The long drive to Rooiport went off without a hitch. We
enjoyed the constantly changing scenery as we drove. One minute it looks like
you are in Wyoming with the long rolling hills, the next in northern Arizona
with the sharp hillsides and mountains in the distance. We go thru areas that
look like southern Georgia with heavy weeping willows along streams. We got
into Rooiport in mid afternoon and pitched our gear in our tents.
In Rooiport we stay in large tents. These are tents that have wooden floors
with zebra skin rugs covering the wooden floor. They have bathrooms in the
back of the tent and each tent sleeps 2 hunters easily. We dragged our gear
into the tents assigned to us and immediately got our guns out. We still had a
few hours left in the day and wanted to do some hunting.
As we hit the field we immediately began to see the large assortment of
animals that Rooiport is known for. Large herds of mixed species of animals,
with blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, zebra, impala, springbok, blesbok, black
wildebeest and much more by the hundreds. In a couple of areas there are what
they call "pans" which are long flat areas that look like they were
ponds or lakes many years ago. The grass is high in these areas and hundreds
and hundreds of animals are scattered across the pans.
We mostly drove that afternoon to let the guys get the lay of the land. I was
the only one that had been in Rooiport before, this being my 4th hunt in this
area. For the rest it was an eye opener.
As we drove in the land cruiser Jason, Bill Firman and I were getting an eye
full of wild game. Sean Harper was in another cruiser with his PH. Jason and
Bill were our hunters. I was along to video. My chest cold I had picked up in
Baviaan when we got soaked and then damn near froze in the back of the cruiser
was getting steadily worse.
The next day was bright and clear as most of them are in Rooiport. A great day
for hunting. Unfortunately not for me. My cold had turned into a racking cough
that wouldn't quit. Knowing all I would do was scare away the game we were
stalking I decided to stay in camp and try to get rid of the cold. And of
course some of the best action would happen while I was in camp. The second
group of hunters arrived in camp in the early afternoon. That group brought
our group of hunters to 10. Among them were...
- Woody Seiders...378 GNR Encore, Ult 410 revolver and
375 H&H rifle.
- Bill Springer..375 H&H rifle
- Tracy Marshall..510 Hunter revolver, 378 GNR encore
and 375 H&H rifle.
- Brian Tonnacliff...375 H&H rifle.
- Shawn Deremer..378 GNR Encore, 475 Linebaugh African
- Anthony Ransom...8mm mag Encore rifle, Magnum
Research 500 S&W.
Among the first group we had...
- Bill Firman..378 GNR Encore, 338 GNR Encore, 510 GNR
- Jason Parr..416 GNR Encore, 338 GNR encore, 470 Nitro
- Sean Harper..Professional Hunter 475 maximum
revolver, 410 GNR Encore, 375 GNR#2 encore.
- I had my destroyed 338 GNR encore, 378 GNR encore and
280 GNR encore.
Among the group we had 6 rifles, all but one was a 375
H&H, 6 revolvers, and 12 encores.
On our first full day hunting in the new camp Jason got on a huge eland and
after a long stalk took him with his 416 GNR. Bill spotted a large blue
wildebeest and decided it belonged in his trophy room. They did a nice stalk
on him and Bill took him with his 338 GNR. On the way back into camp they ran
into a large herd of red hartebeest and Bill collected his second Rooiport
trophy with the 338 GNR.
The next day was another cool and clear day. Against my better judgment I went
with the guys even though this cold still had me by the nuts. Today Bill has
his 378 GNR with him as he saw several large gemsbok yesterday and felt the
378 was a better choice. This was a good move for Bill as he took a very nice
gemsbok with his 378 the first few hours of the day. Several nice Kudu showed
themselves but Bill just never could get on them before they disappeared into
the heavy brush. In Africa, being a good shot is a must, but being quick is
even more important. The animals there are smart, so smart, and you have to be
a bit smarter and quicker. This is why I constantly tell my guys to practice
shooting off sticks and practice shooting quickly. Being pin point accurate is
not as important as being quick and reasonably accurate. There are very few
animals in Africa that require a one inch group at 100.
After lunch we went back out and again began seeing Kudu. Jason tries one but
like Bill, just couldn't get on him in time. We begin seeing herds of cape
buffalo and Bills hope of taking a big one is getting closer to becoming real.
We spot a huge sable but on closer inspection find he is a one horned animal.
he is huge but all the minerals that would go to making two good horns are now
making one huge horn. We just enjoy watching him.
Soon after seeing the sable we saw a large roan but he
is too far away for us to really begin to see what a large animal they really
are. The other hunters were also beginning to bring in the game. In my 11
hunts in Africa, Anthony Ransom brought in the first giraffe I had ever seen
taken. A huge old bull. They literally had to quarter him just to get him in
the truck. That will make one impressive mount for Anthony.
The next day was like the rest, bright and clear. Our April is, to me, the
best time to hunt Africa. It is our early spring but it is fall in Africa with
cool mornings and warm afternoons. Bill got on a big old warthog and stalked
him and finally took him with his 378 GNR. Jason spotted a red hartebeest and
decided that he wanted to take a big animal with a 470 Nitro. After all how
many of us can say we went to Africa and hunted with the old 470 Nitro. Jason
took his hartebeest with the 470 nitro and a nice trophy it was too.
The next day Jason and I both were still down with that racking cough and both
stayed in camp. Bill and John Abraham went out for roan and sable. These are
huge animals, the size of a big bull elk. They got on both during the day and
Bill got himself a couple of outstanding record book animals, both with the
The next day we all decided that colds or not we were going out. We spotted
one of the herds of cape buffalo and John said there was a big bull in there.
We all piled out and started our stalk. Within an hour we came up upon the big
bull and Bill got in a shot with the 300 grain solids in his 378 GNR encore.
At the hit the big bull was off and running. John sent a 475 Jeffery #2 round
at him from his double rifle as the buffalo faded into the heavy brush.
Following the blood trail proved harder than you would think. The buff seemed
to just fade into the brush leaving only a small spot of blood every few feet.
But John's trackers are second to none. Those goys can track a cat over lava
rock and the buff was soon back broadside to us again. This time Bill hit him
with a good shoulder shot. But like before, the buff turns and runs off. This
time John sends 2 475 Jeffery #2 suppositories up his ass.
Within another 30 minutes we come up on the buff again and he makes a short
charge, only to fade back into the brush. John and Bill again both put a
bullet in him. Finally the buff decides to make his stand. He is in some head
high brush 6 paces from us (John measured it later). He makes a short charge
and John hits him again with the 475. I am standing elbow to elbow with John
filming this magnificent beast. One of the trackers has grabbed Bill by the
arm and dragged him behind a tree, just in case. It is just too dense and
thick here for 2 shooters and this buff has decided he isn't going to run
As John and I stand there, he with his 475 and me with a video camera, I would
have felt a bit better with my 510 on my hip. We stand there waiting. Finally
John says for me to stand there and keep the bulls attention. I knew John had
this bull figured out and the thought that the bull might do harm to me never
entered my mind. I have hunted in too many places and too many situations
where there was a bad boy in front of us for me to ever doubt John and that
475 of his.
John eased from my right in front of me to my extreme left. He had gone behind
some brush so the bull didn't see him. He was still grunting and doing those
little mock charges they always do. He was just gathering up his strength for
one last charge. He knew it, John knew it and I knew it too. It was now up to
John to get into position before that happened. As John got into plain sight
of the bull and grunted a couple of times to get the bulls attention, the bull
turned his head and looked John straight in the eye. John figured it was time
to end all this foolishness and put a 475 in the base of the bulls skull,
putting him down for keeps. Bill had himself a great buffalo and had taken it
with his handgun, what else could you ask for?
We loaded the big bull onto the cruiser and went back into camp for lunch.
It's amazing what you can get accomplished before lunch. That afternoon Bill
got a very nice Springbok and a huge eland with his 378 GNR. We got on a big
kudu but couldn't connect with it.
The next morning we were up and out as soon as possible. Our hunt was coming
to an end and we still had animals to hunt. Bill got his Kudu at about mid day
with one shot from his 378 GNR. In for lunch, Sean Harper joined us as Jason
was finished hunting and I was along for the filming. That left 2 hunters,
Bill and Sean. That afternoon we hit the pans. Sean had asked to play with the
280 GNR during the lunch break and was so impressed with it's accuracy that he
asked to use it on the rest of the hunt. That turned out to be a good decision
That afternoon Sean took 2 more animals with the new 280 GNR including a large
record book (probably the new #1) blesbok with the 280 along with a nice
steenbok. Bill continued his rampage taking another springbok at long range
and a very nice black wildebeest, both with the 378 GNR.
The next day, our last, Sean took another large critter with the new 280 GNR,
this one a very nice red hartebeest. Bill and Sean both had a good afternoon
continuing to rack up great animals with the 280 GNR and the 378 GNR.
The next day was the roughest as it was time to pack up and head home. As Bill
said during all this, "I would like to stay another week, but I will be
back, if not in 2007, then in 2008 for sure". Each of the guys were on
the same wave length, One and all they were hooked. Hunting Africa gets in
your blood. To me there is nothing else like it on this earth. Even after
being there 11 times, I can't wait until my next hunt there. And I can tell
the feeling is the same among each of these FOGs. If any way possible, good
Lord willing, each one of them will be back hunting in the wilds of Africa.