We made our annual hunting trip 900km west of Johannesburg, South Africa, to the Kalahari desert last week in search of Oryx (local name Gemsbuck), Wildebeest and the usual Springbuck.
Local hunting conditions where pretty tough with howling winds the whole week making shots difficult. My wife was after her first "big" game animal and made a fine shot on a Black Wildebeest. Her shot ranged out at 256 yards which is her furthest shot to date. She used her tuned Ruger no.1 in 280 Rem to put him down.
Most shots where from dune to dune. No grass made prone shooting the order of the day.
As usual I decided to go for an Oryx (Gemsbuck). A 325 yard shot through the heart put the cow down fairly quickly. Rifle was a Rem Sendero in 300RUM, shooting 220gr SMK's at 2950ft/s. They are truly beautiful animals.
What is interesting in that part of the world is the amount of vultures around. The usual hunting modus of operation is to drive out into the desert and then start a walk and stalk from dune to dune. You are accompanied by a local tracker / guide. Once an animal is shot, he is gutted in the field and then has to be hidden while you continue the stalk. The hunt is normally split into two parts each day i.e. morning and afternoon. At the end of each session the vehicle picks everyone up and collects the animals that have been shot. In this way you don't waste any time, and continue hunting once an animal has been gutted and hidden. Most animals are hidden in trees from the vultures.
I did manage to make one fairly long shot on a Springbuck. The shot was 540 yards on what is quite a small animal. The shot wasn't perfect and hit the Springbuck quite far back, but the 220gr SMK puts those little buck (50 pounds) down, especially if you catch them unawares. Seems like I underestimated the wind. (Part of the learning curve.)
Again the shot was taken prone. I used a backpack and small rear bag which I find to be the most comfortable for the terrain. The area was fairly open as can be seen from the photo.