Our most recent African hunt in South Africa is now history and most of the
guys are finally coming down off their high. An African hunt stays with you for
the rest of your life, and very few people go to Africa ONCE. A lot of guys have
told me they decided to go to Africa to get it out of their system. Then on the
flight back home they are trying to figure a way to go back. I have been to
Africa 13 times and good Lord willing, maybe there is a 14th hunt one day soon.
This last hunt was a great hunt and filled a lot of bucket lists. There were 11 of us. Paired up (for the most part) we had Alcorn Russell with Amede Honeycutt, David McGilvray and Larry Farley, Daren Harris and Huey Eaves, Dean Andrews and Doug faith, Erik Stenberg with his son Nick Stenberg, and being the odd man out I hunted with my good friend of 12 previous safaris, PH John Abraham, the head honcho of Madubula Safaris. . I started hunting with John in 1992 and have hunted with him as much as time allowed ever since.
The hunt was on a government preserve that had not been hunted for many many years. The buildings were headquarters for troops many decades ago during the Boer Wars and some of the buildings still had the firing ports in the walls. Other than that though it bore no resemblance to a troop headquarters building. It looked more like a deluxe getaway on some island. It was high class all the way with a chef and waitresses and great food 3 times a day. Almost too good for this old African hunter. Being used to 2 man tents on most of my safaris this was an eye opener to say the least. The area comprised about 120,000 acres and was full of game, much of it animals I had never seen. There were over 300 White Rhino on the place and we saw them several times a day. At $150,000 they were a bit out of my price range. Unusual African animals that I had never seen before were there in abundance. Exotic animals like Red Lechwe, Tssesebe, Black Springbok, Bontebok, and many more that were new to me. I even saw one of the new and unusual Yellow Wildebeest. They are scarce and non huntable.
The record book animals were in abundance too. Of the 50 or so animals taken on this hunt at least 90% of them should go record book with quite a few in the top 10 in the world. There were large herds of the magnificent Eland, huge animals reminiscent of the Brahma bull. Many hunters are lucky to see one Roan or Sable in a dozen African hunts, but on this preserve they were in herds. Magnificent animals. The black Sable with his scimitar shaped horns and the Roan, a beefy version of the Sable with his brown and black coat and smaller horns. The Kudu with their sweeping spiral horns and the Gemsbok with their long pointed horns were everywhere. Blue Wildebeest and Black Wildebeest, two of the African animals most first time hunters seek were there in large herds. The Springbok bouncing across the plains and the rare Black Springbok mixed in the herd. Here and there we spotted the Red Lechwe, an animal I had never seen before except in videos. We saw the elusive Bontebok, an animal much like the Blesbok but much more rare and another one that was a first for me. And even though the game animals were in abundance they were not easy to hunt by any stretch of the imagination. Being that they had not been hunted in decades they were very wary of the Land Cruisers and would run off and often stop to look back at 100 yards or so, which was the downfall of many of them. There were several shots taken at near 200 yards and also a few shots taken at 35 yards. The Zebra were there in herds as were the Impala and Red Hartebeest. We saw quite a few Warthog but they were too fast for me to get a shot, although a couple were taken by the other hunters. There were several big herds of Cape Buffalo, my main bucket list animal.
I have a list of the game taken by my guys but I fear my list is not up to date. I know several of the guys took animals that I donít have pictures of and I apologize for the ones left out. Of the animals taken, here are my lists, again some are shy an animal or two.
Alcorn Russell, on his second safari with me, took a Red Hartebeest, Kudu, Red Lechwe, Eland and a great Cape Buffalo that will surely end up in the top 5 in the world.
Amede Honeycutt took several animals but I only have pictures of his Blue Wildebeest and his KuduÖ.sorry Amede.
Daren Harris took a Blue Wildebeest, a great Gemsbok and an Impala.
Huey Eaves took a pair of Impala with 2 different rifles, a Blue Wildebeest and a Springbok.
David McGilvray took a Blue Wildebeest, a Blesbok, a Red Hartebeest and a great Kudu.
Larry Farley, hunting with Dave, and on his second African Safari with me took an Impala, a Black Wildebeest, a Zebra and a red Lechwe.
Dean Andrews, on his first African hunt had a helluva hunt, taking a huge Gemsbok, Black Springbok, Black Wildebeest, Blue Wildebeest, Springbok and Warthog.
Doug Faith also had a great hunt and is signed up to go on our 2019 hunt. He took a Black Springbok, Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, and Waterbuck.
Erik Stenberg , hunting with his son, took a huge Eland, a Red Hartebeest and a Blue Wildebeest.
Nick Stenberg had a great hunt too. He took a big Eland, a really nice Kudu and a Zebra.
And bringing up the rear I took a monster Cape Buffalo with my 450 GNR, a Bontebok, a Red Lechwe and a Tssesebe, these last 3 with the 310 GNR. I had wanted a Cape Buffalo for years and on this hunt I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. We spotted him in a large brushy thicket. He watched us as we got out of the Land Cruiser and took a good look at him with our binoc. After about a minute of this he decided to run these intruders out of his territory. John told me he would come out of the brush with his nose high on a bluff charge. He said when he got to about 75 or 80 yards he would stop and give us a huff and a grunt and he would probably turn a bit to one side or other and when he did for me to hit him on the point of the shoulder. When he turned, I did exactly what John told me. I had loaded up some 500 grain soft points in .458 caliber that Steve Hornady had sent me for the hunt. The bullet did exactly what Steve said they would. At the shot the buffalo dropped. After about 10 seconds he struggled to his feet. When he got up, John said hit him again. I did and it was all over. And a magnificent beast he is too. John said he would easily go top 3 in the world maybe even better. We wonít know for the 60 days we have to wait for the drying out, but I doubt those monster horns will shrink any at all. Thanks to John I filled my bucket list and thanks to Johnís 5 PHs my guys filled many of their bucket lists also.
This was a hunt to beat all my previous hunts and it is a bad one too. The bad part is, I can never beat that Cape Buffalo. John said my Tssesebe, Red Lechwe and Bontebok would go top 10 also so it doubtful I can ever beat them either. But even if that is true I wouldnít change a thing. It was a hunt to remember.
Our 2019 hunt is filling up fast. We plan on bringing 12 hunters again in April of next year. We have 9 hunters signed up so far, which leaves 3 openings. If you want to join us on a great hunt, get with me. I can give you the info you need. And you donít have to come up with a lot of money to get signed up. Sometime this summer you will need to post half of the daily rates which is around $1800. The rest of the daily rates are due in February. You pay for the animals you take after the hunt is over. So it is not a hunt to break the bank.
Already signed up are
Doug Faith (for his second African safari)
Alcorn Russell (for his 3rd Safari)
Don Wood (for his second safari)
So that leaves 3 openings left. This is going to be a great hunt. Donít miss it.
And while we are talking about a hunt coming up, donít forget the HHC (Handgun Hunterís Challenge) October 4 thru 7 in Monterey Tennessee. This is our 81st hunt and I hope you can join us. It is listed as a handgun hunt but you can hunt with whatever you like. One of my best friends said it wasnít a hunt. It was a gathering of friends. And that is exactly what it is. So join us. To sign up, call Sandy at 931-979-4050. Just tell her you are with the Reeder group.
Hopefully next month I will be down off my African high and can go over some new stuff for you. Until then, varmint season is here. Take a lady or youngster out hunting. They are our future.
Til next time,