I got back from SA this week. I went on 2 reasonably short hunting trips but still had a fantastic time.
My first trip (4 days) was to the Umkomaas Valley in Kwa-Zulu natal. It's the same farm where i shot my kudu last year. This year i was targeting a bushbuck, which is a very tough animal to hunt as they prefer thick cover and are very secretive. We walked several miles each day, up and down some steep valleys looking for this elusive animal. We saw several females and a few young rams but not what i was really looking for.
Below are some photos of the accomodation we stayed in and of the valley's we climbed.
My 2nd trip was to a friends farm in the Kokstad area of Natal. My friend took a nice blesbuck female and then we tackled the big mountain looking for mountain reedbuck. This hunt is more of a challange than a hunt as the mountain is steep and rocky so the going is tough. The top of the mountain is 2100m above sea level so the lungs take a pounding. I shot a trophy ram here last year so we were looking for cull animals this year. After seeing (or should i say them seeing us as their eye sight is brilliant) at least 20 animals we finally came across a stunning ram (he'd make the Rowland ward top 10) with a few females in tow. We put in a long stalk using the little cover the rocks provided and i managed to shoot one of the females at a distance of about 80 yards. She was an old doe, missing a lot of her teeth and those she did have were quite worn down. I dont think she would've survived the winter so was a good cull animal.
Then the hardest part begins - carrying the beast down the mountain. On the shoulders she went and the 4 mile walk downhill began. It took quite some time as the ground was tough to traverse - especially with a beast on your shoulders. Howver, this is why i enjoy this hunt so much as the whole experience is such a challenge.
Here is a photo of the mountain.
The trout dam
Sunrise over the "flats" taken from the mountain. You can see the trout dam far in the distance
Me glassing the mountain for Mtn Reedbuck
The Mtn Reedbuck doe
Me with the beast on my shoulders with the mountain in the background. i may look fresh but believe my i was aching!
For those of you interested in going out to SA to hunt i have the contact details for a PH/Outfitter who is keen to put together a good trip. PM me if you're interested.