I'm Back

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by WildRose, Aug 14, 2015.

  1. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    I haven't been around for a while as some probably noticed. The last month or so before my trip to Africa was a truly hectic time and it was followed by 25 Days of almost pure bliss.

    Remove the almost four days of travel time and it was as close to bliss as I'm likely to ever see in this lifetime.

    The people, the places, the hunting were all just amazing.

    I haven't traveled outside of the US as a civilian and this was my first trip back to South Africa since the 80's.

    If you ever want to see just how good you have it here in the US I strongly suggest a trip to Africa.

    The bulk of our time was of course spent in The RSA but we made some brief ventures into Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.

    It's good to be home but I sure hated to leave.
     
  2. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    The highlight of the big game hunting was taking my Sable and Nyala both on the same day after several days of scouting and stalking. Old bulls don't get old being stupid.

    I could not believe just how large the Sable is up close. I thought they would be the size of a large goat but this guy was just huge! I was glad I was shooting the .375Ruger that day. He was shot right at the top of the sternum and it about flipped him! It was only a little better than 200yds through a very small hole in the trees. I waited nearly an hour and had to change positions several times in order to find a clean window.
     

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  3. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Welcome back and congrats to your success and for sharing them with us.

    Ed
     
  4. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. Meet "Miss Piggy".
     

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  5. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad it was everything you hoped for!
     
  6. TXAoudadKlr

    TXAoudadKlr Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering why I haven't seen you post in a while!!! Those are some damn fine animals. Well done!!!
     
  7. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    We hunted Kudu on several places. I finally settled on this old man after having over 20 very nice bulls in my scope . This is an East Cape Kudu.

    He was 52 on one side and 53 on the other.

    This was a pretty tough shot as well at 287m, a very steep hill, and again a small hole to shoot through along with him being 150 feet or so above me. On top of that it was almost dark when we finally got a clear shot and with leopard, jackal, and hyena in the area there was little chance of recovering him in tact if he ran any distance at all. I couldn't get a decent rest so I had to shoot leaning against a tree.

    I made some considerably longer shots on the trip but none I was as proud of.
     

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  8. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome back Rose! Glad to see your Africa trip was successful and you're back stateside. Those are some nice animals. Can't say I'm not a bit jealous. Congrats on the awesome trophies. :D

    I have always wanted to hunt outside the states. Maybe one day. gun)
     
  9. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Big Blue Wildebeest. Not the biggest horns in Africa by a wide margin but an incredibly tough animal.

    First shot when through the crease between neck and shoulder as he was quartering away he still ran over two hundred yards and then tried to get up and come after us as we approached him. We found the bullet had passed through the top of the heart, right lung and out the shoulder Tough, tough animals.
     

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  10. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    You just have to put it at the top of the list and make it happen Mud.

    I was incredibly fortunate to have friends there that had imported dogs from me in the past who made it possible and got me the "local rate" as opposed to what Americans generally get charged.

    I got to hunt behind and work with about quite a few dogs out of my kennel and those bred from them there in Africa during the trip. It was great! We had a pretty large event one Saturday with GSP folks from all other the country showing up. Most of the dogs here are out my breeding.
     

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  11. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    This is my Black Wildebeest. He was the old man in a herd of forty or so and like the Kudu was at an age where he was beyond his prime.

    He measures over 31" and you can see his age in his chewed up, chipped up, and weathered bases.

    It took us over an hour to work into range and then another half hour or so to get a clear shot. He too was taken just a few minutes just before dark.

    The ranch owner was my guide and I really enjoyed hunting with him He is an excellent stalker and was willing to sit with me in a two man bobsled position so I could use his left shoulder as a rest to shoot off of.

    He went straight down on the shot which proved to be a solid heart/lung/shoulder shot yet still managed to get up twice to come after me as I approached after we'd given him five minutes or so to be sure he was done. Another shot through the liver and lungs and into the opposite shoulder clipping the spine as he spun around blindly looking for me brought on a quick end.

    Tough, tough animal. Hard to believe an animal no bigger than this could have so much fight in him!
     

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  12. fmajor

    fmajor Well-Known Member

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    Glad to have you back WR - really missed your postings!

    Looks like a great hunt by all accounts. You've taken some simply amazing specimens (regardless of points and headgear mass) - thanks for sharing your hunt.

    Please excuse my ignorance, but do you get to eat/taste any of these critters?

    I noticed you mention of carrying your .375 Ruger. Would you mind sharing what other hardware/optics/chamberings/loads you used?

    Also, what was it like shipping/sending/bringing your irons (I've never travelled/sent anything like that so am quite curious)?

    I've travelled enough in the last 12 years that if I don't see another airport for the next 10 I'll be more than happy. That said, I'd like to try to hunt caribou in AK or Canada some day.

    Thanks!!

    fm
     
  13. Leslie Sapp

    Leslie Sapp Well-Known Member

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    Nice! This is definitely on my bucket list.
    Could you please post the details of your trip as to travel, outfitter, and the various costs?
     
  14. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    You bet we did, prepared several different ways including some of the best sausage you could ever eat, and grilled in various ways. Afrikaaners also have a semi or fully dried way of preparing meat similar to jerky but not heavily salted called "Biltong". We ate a good bit of it prepared from the wild meats

    I shot all factory ammo. Unfortunately the 300gr DGX did not group well at all once the suppressor was installed so I shot the 270gr spire point. It shot extremely well and killed very effectively but the 2850fps was too much for the non bonded cup and core bullets and had a tendency to break apart. Seeing how it performed I'm glad that our Cape Buff hunt fell through. If it hadn't I'd have had to borrow my buddy's .416 Rigby.

    Minor pain in the butt. Next time I will ensure that my luggage is tagged and ticketed all the way through so I don't have to handle the gun case at all except for departure and arrival. For some reason the travel agency didn't do so, so I had to pick them up at Dulles, then take them back through security before continuing along to SA. Had the same issue on the return flight.

    You also have to go to US customs before leaving the country and get a special form filled out and carry a copy with you for the SAP's going both ways (RSA National Police) and yet another copy to hand back over to the CP&B boys on the way back into the country.

    I've travelled enough in the last 12 years that if I don't see another airport for the next 10 I'll be more than happy. That said, I'd like to try to hunt caribou in AK or Canada some day.

    Lot's of people skip carrying their own and instead use "rented" firearms from the outfitter and/or PH.

    Being a gun nut though the weapons used are part of the story and the legacy of the hunt so I will continue transporting mine back and forth. Using someone else's rifle on a hunt like this is just not something I want to do.

    The 300wm actually did an outstanding job although again, I had the wrong bullet. I was shooting 180gr Siroccos and they reacted in some strange ways on the big beasts like the Blue Wildebeest. On him for example the first shot penetrated about a foot separating the heart from the lungs almost completely but then turned about 90 degrees to exit through his left shoulder. You want a bullet that simply stays together and follows a straight path all they way through or at least deep into the body core.

    Strangely enough we picked up some Privy Partisan 300wm with a bonded bullet that performed very well on the Kudu and Black Wildebeest for example.

    Optics wise I made a mistake. Most of the places we hunted shots over 300 yards are very rare and shots well under 100yds are quite common. The Leupold 6.5-20x50 Mark 4 was just too much scope. When I go back the .375 will be carrying a new 1-6x24 Trijicon Accupoint TR25 probably with the German #4 and Green Dot and I'll most likely put a 3-9x50 or 2-10x on the Sharpshooter 7mm STW and take it or similar on the .300 if I take it.

    It's just way too easy to find yourself in a situation where you need 3x or less and a very wide field of view.