Back From Africa - With Pics

Discussion in 'Trophy Photos' started by BallisticsGuy, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. BallisticsGuy

    BallisticsGuy Well-Known Member

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    Africa is weird. You find the strangest places and the strangest things and the strangest things in the strangest places and the strangest people in the strangest places doing the strangest things to the strangest other things.

    Take this for example. Not the movie I would have named a coffee shop after but to each their own. Still, it's a really neat coffee shop inside. We elected to look but not stay as parking long enough to properly patronize the business would have meant leaving the buckeys (what they call pickups) unattended for whole minutes with our stuff inside, which is not a recommended behavior.
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    My first springbok. Very nicely curving horns. 240m in 20mph winds with gusts quite a bit higher. I waited for the wind to peak and held on the nose. It ran 20 feet and piled up. Right through the lower bit of the heart with a 150gn Game King from a suppressed .308. Bullet performed nicely with minimal meat damage, decent penetration and good expansion. I took another springbok about an hour later with even a nicer rack yet and the dark stripe was much closer to black. That one was at just over 100m in the same wind. The SGK opened up much more vigorously at the closer range but didn't ruin any meat to speak of. Another heart hit on the second one but smack in the middle of it instead of at the base leaving very little heart to eat from that one. We ate the livers & hearts that night and turned some neck into pulled springbuck rolls that looked like meat filled cannoli and were amazing.
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    I got a ewe and a ram impala as well. The ram I'm told is a trophy grade example despite the fact we were meat hunting. Great spread, great length and big bases. This guy took a .300wsm stoked with TMK's to the lower back. The bullet came apart in the chest and liquefied the pumping and gas transfer stations within. It hit the ground where it stood, wobbled side to side and pretended to be alive but was clearly very much done in one. We put a cut on the neck to be sure and no blood came out. The ewe impala was my first African game harvest. This ram was my 2nd. Both taken from the back of a buckey in driving wind and very surprisingly cold weather. Africa gets cold too. Whodathunkit.
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    The smaller game hunts were really exciting but from the back of a buckey, as an American where such things are generally verbotten, it was a little weird feeling. Almost like shopping while doing a drive by shooting. Still very exciting but so different to what I'm used to I almost didn't know how to feel about it. That was not to be the case for my big hunt.

    For the big hunt, we were looking for kudu, eland, blue wildebeest or red hartebeest and we found examples of them all around the countryside. Oryx and blesbok and nyala were also around but I want to do those next year and we passed on those. After scouting some areas rich with oryx and blesbok, kudu, eland and wildebeest we decided on a hunting area and route to do a good ol' walk-n-stalk. Hunting the hard way. About 3 hours in to the walking (Where my friend who owns the place got his new nickname of Klipspringer Van Kudu. Man that guy can run up a mountainside!), we ran into a large herd of cow & immature bull kudu about 200yrds away on the next hill with their satellite dish sized ears and managed to not have them bust us. A red hartebeest was not so easy to fool and it bounced well before coming into shooting range. We were able to get within rock throwing distance of some klipspringer which was super cool.

    Then we got word from the other side of the property where there were oodles of zebra standing vigil over the nicest kudu bulls that 3 eland bulls may just be heading our way so we posted up and waited while watching a variety of other species mill around. What do you know... a very little while later 1 super big trophy bull and 2 smaller but still impressive eatin' size bulls wander in a half mile away. We wanted to save the big guy for now as he was the boss breeder and had another good year in him being dominant and with good genetics before it would be right to cull it out. I picked one of the lesser guys to fill some freezer space and we got within 50 yards stalking in before nature spoiled the shot and I came off the trigger rather than maybe wound one at a distance where a charging animal would be hard to stop.

    I waited another few minutes and it moved to 100yrds away and gave a nice shot presentation. I put one in the boy's chest from a .338WM with 225gn SST's and boy, it noticed. Then it and its 2 friends calmly walked about 2km down to a wadi where the friends mosey'd off eventually leaving the hit one behind. I watched it like a hawk till we thought it would certainly go no further and we hiked down to it. As soon as we got the blood trail at the edge of the wadi it bolted out the other side and Klipspringer Van Kudu put another shot on it which while it only opened up the back leg a bit, it did put the big eland's e-brake firmly into the on position. It made it another 150 yards down to another wadi and holed up under a tree. We stalked close enough to guarantee a downing shot and I put the .338 over my buddies shoulder and put the final hit on it. It pulled a spun-n-run which didn't go far at all and piled up.

    Once we ran over we took a knife to the neck to start the blood draining and then I was sure that I'd hit the vitals hard as not a drop of blood came out of the neck's blood vessels. When we got it back to the farm and took the feathers off we noticed the thing had no blood really outside its chest cavity at all as the first shot clipped the top of the heart and punched both lungs. So, when the 2nd 225gn SST hit the chest it hydraulic'd the blood filled space hard and the thing took 3 steps in surprise and gave it up. Minus head/guts/feet it scale weighed 276kg (which if I'm doing my math right is ~700lbs) meaning a live weight of ~900-1000lbs. When we opened it up for processing it poured literally gallons of blood from the chest cavity. We ate the liver that night braii'd nicely as liver patties with onion and herbs (a tradition in my family and my guide's family) along with some of the heart and then finished up with the tenderlions grilled whole to perfection and sliced at the table. The meat was fork tender with zero special prep. Open flame, salt & pepper and bango, epic chow.

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    Some perspective and soda about the size of this beastie.
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    The heads are being done European mounts. The skins of the small species are being made to hides and the skin of the eland tanned to leather.
     
  2. BallisticsGuy

    BallisticsGuy Well-Known Member

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    A few more pics now that I got them all uploaded somewhere useful.

    Impala ewe (headshot, so holding the icky bits out of view)
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    The other springbok and KvK.
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    bontebok (like blesbok but way more expensive and an export hassle)
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    Blue Wildebeest
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    Bontebok in the foreground with oryx in the background
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    Ostrich
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    Giraffe
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    adam32 likes this.
  3. Dpmj

    Dpmj Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the pictures and the write up. Sounds like you had a great time. Awesome have a great day
     
    imyourhuckleberry likes this.
  4. 86alaskan

    86alaskan Well-Known Member

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    awesome hunt, that looks like a great trip. was that your tikka and grs or one of the guide's?
     
  5. BallisticsGuy

    BallisticsGuy Well-Known Member

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    It was truly mind blowing. To be able to go in the first place was a life's fantasy that suddenly and almost magically sort of fell into place and happened. Then to have the experiences I had and meeting the people I met, unbelievable time. I've already started planning next year and thinking a month is a much more doable amount of time.

    One of my guides built (or had built) that tikka. The thing is a laser beam and he takes his reloading somewhat seriously. It's a gun you really find out you can trust to put metal on meat. It has a Proof barrel on it and the GRS stock, .300wsm, US Optics B17, and a very effective suppressor which thankfully cut the recoil to a bit less sharp than my .243AI. In fact... every rifle I shot except for the AX50 had a really nice suppressor. That was a nice change from Kommiefornia.

    The GRS chassis stock is pretty nice ergonomically with one exception. I did find that when using a rear bag, very often the little pins for the cheek rest could nab the back of my hand on recoil. Not a major issue & easily remedied. To me, up close visually it's kinda like Brickell Clark, expertly assembled from what very much is agreed upon to be all the right pieces to achieve a particular look and yet, somehow, is still not very attractive.