A Hunters Reflections
The Sands of the Kalahari, Part One.
Once the formalities of target shooting had been taken care of we set off to try and find a nice big Gemsbok. I had wanted a Gemsbok from the planning stage of this trip, for me they are one of the iconic Kalahari animals and a must have on any Kalahari hunt. J.S told us of an area that held some nice big animals and we started making our way there, encountering a few animals along the way we tried to stalk them for a closer look only to keep getting busted before locating a good animal. After a few failed stalks we decided to move on and try another area.
We were walking through the bush when all of a sudden we bumped a mob of Warthogs, J.S told me to shoot and I dropped the first one where it stood. All hell broke loose at the sound of the shot and they all scattered, running in different directions, I managed to follow a nice one and pulled off probably my best ever running shot to drop the Warthog with a solid chest shot.
J.S was shaking his head in amazement and the ITZ crew all commented that it was some of the best shooting they had ever seen. Amazingly Richard captured the running shot on film and when we watched it later we were amazed. After a quick round of photos the Warthog were taken back to the skinning shed to be skinned and processed, Maree and the kitchen staff would later make a magnificent Warthog Bobotee with the succulent meat.
With the Warthog taken care of we got back to the task of stalking Gemsbok, that was until we started bumping herds of Springbok. We decided Jack should take advantage of this and take a Springbok Ram if we spotted one. It didn't take too long and J.S spotted a nice ram out on an open pan. The only thing was the wind had come up a bit by this stage and was going to make the shot a bit difficult. We stalked to the edge of the pan and J.S set up the sticks for Jack to take a sitting shot at the Ram.
It was a fairly long shot in difficult conditions and unfortunately Jack hit the Ram a bit too far back and we had to employ the skills of Klaus our Tracker. After tracking the animal for a couple of minutes Klaus told us it was not walking properly and bleeding heavily, he was positive we would find the Ram very soon.
The wind was howling by this time and sand was being blown over the Springbok tracks but Klaus stayed on them and not long after yelled that he could see the Ram. When we caught up with Klaus we could see the Ram dead next to a bush, we were all very relieved to have found it so quickly.
After a photo session and with the wind gusting strongly and blowing sand everywhere we decided to head back to the Lodge for some lunch and a break. We would need this wind to drop if we were going to be able hunt this afternoon, the wind blown sand was making things very uncomfortable. We ate lunch in the dining room at the Lodge and rested up until 3:30pm when we once again set off looking for Gemsbok.
We were once again treated to some amazing food, a hearty Poikie Pot Stew accompanied by roast vegetables and a nice red wine. After dinner we sat around the fire for an hour or so before retiring to bed, all of us hoping the wind would drop overnight and give us fresh tracks for the morning hunt.