OUT OF AFRICA

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sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
Well, after 10 wonderful, fast eventful days we are back in Idaho & "Out Of Africa". Actually we were gone 2 weeks and hunted for 10 days & every day was classic Africa, just like my first Safari there several years ago. This time I had my good friend Larry, his lovely wife Kristen & their oldest son Riley along for the trip and I couldn't have done it without them.
Larry is a new comer to handgun hunting but he is a life time hunter & is going to be making noise in the hand gun crowd for a long time. He's a big strong guy that handles the FA 454 with ease, shoots it very well, even at extended range & knows how to cast a great bullet, that's a winning combination.
His son Riley had recently returned from Africa, having served a 2 year church mission there & while there got to hook back up with some old companions for a day in Johannesburg & introduce them to his parents, fun stuff.
Every African safari revolves around maybe 3 things. Good accommodations, good food & good transportation once you get to your hunting destination. The lodge where we stayed, Motswhere Safaris had 5 star accommodations, a chef that could probably work anywhere in America & at least 8 Toyota Land Cruisers that were set up just for hunting & they are absolutely amazing vehicles! Plus Werner, pronounced Verner had 2 1972 vintage green Toyota's that were very rare, hard to find trucks that you will see in the photo's that were like Humvee's! You will see later a photo of 12 people in one of them with one crazy guy riding out of the front bumper on a stool! A place where there is usually a very skilled tracker riding & holding on with one hand at an unheard of speed, trust me, they drive fast on some of those dirt/sand roads, yikes!
After your initial pick up at the airport in Johannesburg by one of the PH's in a very nice van you are transported to the lodge 4 hours north in the Limpopo Province in the direction of Botswanna & you enter the front gate to some of the most amazing hunting you will ever experience in your lifetime. Is it good? No, it is fantastic, you will pack 4-5 years hunting experience into 10 action packed days, looking at every kind of animal you ever dreamed you might see, and you will see them often.
But, they are wild & don't stand still very long, so either shoot, take a photo, or wait for the next opportunity, it won't be long. This is the bushveld country, heavy cover in many places, lots of brush, short trees, grasses, thousands of termite mounds, Wart Hog holes every where & tracks on top of tracks in the hard packed red sand you drive on.
The rooms were so clean you almost had to wash your hands before you went in side, your laundry is washed & returned every single day, neatly folded & placed on your clean, made up bed, while a hot shower & a cool drink of your choice awaits you at anytime you are at the lodge. You can drink whatever you choose, soft drinks, wine, any kind of hard liquor. After a few days of chasing Gemsbok (5 days) I thought I was going to have to drink a couple of shots of group tightner to ever even get a crack at one those Greyhounds! They never stop running! Last photo's are of Larry, Kristen & son Riley relaxing around the Braii, pronounced Bry. And Larry in the food line.
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More later Dick
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
After sighting in our guns the first morning, my Ruger bisley 45 colt & my FA 10" 41 magnum, and Larry's 10" FA 41 magnum & his FA 454 we were ready to see if all our summer time practice would pay off. We were the first hand gun hunters to ever hunt at Motswhere Safari's so we were the flag bearers for all those to come, hopefully we were up to the task. I'm sure from the looks on their faces some of the PH's were a little bit suspicious of 2 crazy Americans coming to Africa with revolvers when a rifle was so much more efficient...maybe.
Anyway, my PH was a nice young fellow named Joe & we jumped in one of the land cruisers along with our tracker & headed out in search of plains game. I had Kudu or Sable, Zebra, Nyala, Impala, Warthog, Blesbok, Springbok & one animal that was a draw animal out of the hat! Nice, game on! We were seeing game every where but in the brush & gone, only the Ostrich's stood very long.
The heavy brush is laced with dirt roads, it's the only way you can spot game, then you can slip off & make a stalk. There's something here for every type of hunter, whether he's a bowhunter, handgun hunter, handicapped or a rifle hunter, they can make it happen, you will get your animals. You can hunt from blinds, spot & stalk, any way you want to do it, you will get your game.
After about 3 hours of seeing Wildebeest, Zebra, Blesbok, Steinbok, Kudu & Impala Joe suddenly says, right there, Nyala! I'm looking in the heavy brush & trying to make out an animal but can't see it, I'm looking for a reddish color & it's kind of dark in there & then he points more to the right & I see the bull & he much darker than I thought & he's mostly covered by the brush, no shot. I move just a bit with my left thumb between the frame & hammer & try to find an opening in the heavy cover. Nyala are brush loving animals & don't venture out into the open much. After a few seconds the bull actually takes 2-3 steps forward & gives me a slight opening where I can get a clear shot, the only problem is he is facing us straight on. In my 8.5" 45 bisley that I had rebarreled at Bobbly Tylers by Matt Grabbe I had a 282 gr HP in the first chamber as always, followed by a 306 gr LBT solid, as always. The reason being if the first shot didn't do the job & I needed a fast follow up shot the big solid would be a better choice if I had to take a "raking" shot as Elmer used to call them. These 2 loads, made up with different powders shoot into 3" at 100 yds so I have great confidence in this combination.
At 55 yds I planted one of the big 282 gr HP's in the center chest & Joe said, he's hit hard, hit him again. Thumbing back the hammer I waiting as the bull staggered, trying to stay up. He turned slightly to our left & I ran a 306 gr solid through him & he dropped, probably moving 3-4 yds total. Joe was surprised he went down so fast & wanted a cartridge as a souvenir! Day one was great but dinner was almost as good.
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More to come, Dick
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
ay 2 started just like the first, they wake you up at 5:30 with a glass of juice or coffee, whatever you want, then you head over for a light breakfast of hot cereal, hot homemade muffins, fresh yogurt, etc. and then you load up with your PH & tracker & head out about 7am for another adventure, never knowing what you are going to see. Today my PH was Tiian, another young PH who wanted to take the guy with the revolvers. I always take both with me, just in case. I planned on trying to take 4 animals with each gun if it worked out. I had an Ultra Dot on the 45 bisley & a 2.5X8 Leupold on the FA 41 magnum. The 41 was loaded with 4 255 gr cast slugs courtesy of good friend Kelly Brost, former owner of Cast Performance. The reason being seating depth & something I will need to explain in detail later, trust me it's interesting but I ran out of time. I also had 25 rounds of 210 gr Hornady XTP's loaded up. I bullet I had never used before and I got them because of good friend James from Jersey. James bailed me out at the last minute & these bullets were shooting fantastic & were my baseline loads in which I compared everything else I shot in the gun. I just ran out of time before I got things figured out. Anyway, thanks Kelly & James!! I did clean up the CP bullets & powder coat them.
We started seeing game right from the jump, first was Giraffe, then Ostrich, then maybe half a dozen Baboons ran off yaking! We got a brief glimpse of some big Waterbuck, they were nice bulls! Then we got into some Zebra, game on! They disappeared into heavy brush & we made a wide circle with Tiian talking to the tracker in Afrikaans & the tracker pointing at the hard packed red sand. There were tracks every where & some how he was sorting out those Zebra tracks. It seemed impossible but time after time, every single day these guys could do the impossible figuring out those tracks.
We found them again & again they escape into the heavy brush & Mopane trees & the tracker says something to Tiian & then jumps off the truck & we keep going. We drive for close to a mile & stop & Tiian has me set up my Bog Pod rest with the PSR rest on top & its facing down a dirt trail. I slip my Barranti/Sixshot Sling around my legs & face down another trail, hoping to catch them crossing one way or the other if the tracker flushes them out.
After 15 minutes they come out right in front of us & Tiian tells me 65 yds & the stallion is behind all the mares. He said to shoot one of the big mares, they were going to run. I put the red dot behind the shoulder & lit the switch & black & white stripes go in every direction. Tiian said, I can't see her. Then he steps to the right & said she dropped right where she stood, she's behind a bush. The 282 gr HP had hit her behind the right front shoulder on a bit of an angle & dropped her, taking out both lungs.
Zebra are known to be very hard to kill, one guy in camp hit his 4 times with his 300 short mag & then 2 more follow up shots to close the deal. I used my Ruger 45 bisley again with the 282 gr HP & the bullet didn't exit, you can see the recovered bullet held up quite well doing 1350 fps at the muzzle from the 8.5" barrel. Matt did one heck of a job rebarreling this gun, it is a shooter. I used the FA 41 for the photo using the Barranti sling.
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sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
Guys, I apologize for the late break yesterday, I had to make a quick trip to the emergency room to get my foot, toe actually, checked out. Six years ago I had some back surgery that didn't go too well & I came out of it with a numb right foot & a couple of numb toes on my left foot & it's caused me a lot of grief. I walk just fine as long as I can see the ground but my balance is off if I look away as I'm walking, it has not been fun!
Anyway, after the first day of bouncing around in the back of the Land Cruiser and standing all day, sometimes with my left foot up on the fender well I had a little problem going on with my boots cramping down on my big toe. I didn't want to let it stop me so I didn't say anything, I wanted to hunt. At the end of the second day I knew I was in trouble, I showed it to Larry & Kristen, who is a registered nurse & she said we have to get you to a Dr.
Well, the closest Dr. was 50 miles to the closest town & the Dr. happened to be Werner (Verner's) mother. Remember Verner owns Motswhere Safari's. That helped get me to the front of a very long, double line. She cleaned it up, gave me some dressings to apply & gave me what turned out to be a couple of very good antibiotics. But the next day I couldn't hunt, too much swelling, I was really bummed. Graphic photo's!
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Day 4&5 I was mad at those Gray Hounds, actually Gemsbok & was determined to "Brost" one with one of Kelly's 255 gr bullets & the FA 41 magnum. We saw plenty of Gemsbok but it was mostly the south end of them with the exception of one smaller bull at about a hundred that I could have shot but Tian told me to hold off for a bigger bull. Did I say these things never stop running, it's instant & it's final!
We saw some Warthogs, a very nice Waterbuck & 3 Blesbok that are just like the Gemsbok, they never stop running, ever. Some Black Wildebeest ran across in front of us once with that crazy run that they do plus they look a lot different than the Blue Wildebeest. I already have a Blue Wildebeest from my previous Safari.
Back at the lodge I guess Verner was feeling sorry for this Idaho hillbilly & said he would take me out himself tomorrow for Gemsbok & Kudu, I liked that & I went to bed, not knowing the next day would be one of my best ever. Again, up at 5:30 to a nice glass of juice, then over to the chow line, some hot cereal, a hot, fresh muffin (love those things) some mixed fresh fruit & Verner says it's time to go, yippee!
We jump in his pride & joy, an old but like new 1972 Land Cruiser that is a dream safari vehicle trust me, and he has 2 of them. No top, no doors, just a rugged hunting truck & worth a fortune. Verner is an attorney, he can afford it! We drive several miles & bingo we spot some great Sable and I'm almost in tears I want one so bad! And the problem is, I can shoot one but if I do then I can't shoot a Kudu. Actually I can do both but it's early in the hunt, maybe later, wow!
We drive on & there's about 3 feet of neck watching us, it's 4-5 Giraffe's & a couple of them are huge, bigger than "Tank" Hoover! Half a dozen Ostrich going zipping across a big opening, it's going to be a great day in Africa! And then the heaven's open up & Verner says, look! 700-800 yds away is a big herd of Cape Buffalo and they are giving us the stare down already. Verner says, Dick do you want a Cape Buffalo and I said yes but I can't afford one. He said trade some of your other animals & some cash & make it happen, yikes! We literally sit there in the open African air & negotiate a price! I said I'll take it.
The problem was bullets. My normal routine with the 45 bisley was, first chamber with a 282 gr cast HP, second chamber was a 308 gr LBT powder coated solid. But I only had one of them, then I remembered that I had a 325 gr LBT solid in my pocket that I had been showing the PH's. I had taken a few with me, just in case. The loads were 15 years old & I've taken 3 elk with this load, they go through elk like a chain saw through Tapioca. So I quickly slipped out the HP, plunked in the big 325 gr LBT solid that was now backed up with the 308 gr solid & we went Buffalo hunting.
As we approached the herd they scattered in all directions in the heavy brush & small trees & we made a wide circle & glassed then came back. When we did a large bull charged us off of our right rear fender & he wasn't stopping, Verner had to shift gears to out run him, it was a little goosy for a few seconds. He seemed to like me but he didn't care for Verner!
Now we make another pass & the herd is trying to regroup, we watched & when the right one came across in front of us Verner said, take that one now! I glued the Ultra Dot to the right front shoulder & sent 325 grs of the best I had towards Mbogo. I took the high shoulder shot & I would trade my Jeep to have had video of the reaction of the hit. It really rocked that Buffalo, it went down on one leg & it's nose but got back up & turned away from us & Verner said, hit it again & I dialed up the 308 gr solid as the buff gave me just a slight angle from the left side. I lite the switch about half way back on the ribs, aiming for the vitals & it dropped in it's tracks.
I'm sure the first shot was fatal but you never take a chance with a Buffalo, even through it had a bad case of the Saturday night staggers it was still up so it got the second shot. We approached from the back & Verner said that many people get killed by "dead" Cape Buffalo, so put one down through the spine, between the shoulder blades & I did, but the Buffalo was already dead, I did it, I did it, I did it, yippee!
The skinners did recover the second bullet, lodged up against the right front shoulder, it started out weighing 308 grs & this morning when I weighed it back it weighed 308 grs. This was a water quenched powder coated bullet of my alloy.
Another of my neighbors who was also there but with another hunter told me this was the largest cow Cape Buffalo he had ever seen & he's been on many safari's. He said it could pass for a bull. I am extremely happy. The size of this cow Buffalo speaks for itself.
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More to follow, Dick
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
Guess I need to answer some of the questions before I get too far behind & forget. First let me say that looking back through my diary the shot on my Zebra was 71 yds, not 65 yds. Also the first shot on my Cape Buffalo with the 325 gr LBT solid that I make was a complete pass through, so no recovery.
The elevated Braii, pronounced Bry is many times filled with the red sand instead of concrete and as Mike (bearskinner) mentioned those wood fires burn a long, long time. This time of year it can get cool in the evenings, at least it did for us several times, also in the early morning. But, its just nice to have a fire! Elevated makes it handy for cooking, remember the big African cooking pot in the earlier photo's. One day the chef, and she was a master chef, trust me, cooked up a huge stew that was beyond amazing & she let it cook over the open fire all day long.
On my earlier safari several years ago they had a braii that had a big pipe poured into concrete & then a huge steel rack to put meat on & you could swing in on or off the heat & or check the meat or whatever you had on the rack, very, very handy. I always offered to help......
Rey, Verner owns a huge amount of property and he also has access to much, much more. There were 2 days when I traveled 60 miles to other properties to hunt those dang Gemsbok, took me 5 days but I made them pay! Well, me & FA made them pay! These hunts can be set up so that anyone can be successful, whether you are a rifle hunter, bow hunter, handgun hunter, handicapped hunter, etc. They will make it happen for you. You will get the game you want, they have lots of property & lots of animals. The equipment is top notch, the accommodations are 5 star & the food is as good as anything I've ever eaten & I'm a good judge of eating.
They do your laundry every single day, by mid afternoon it is returned to your ultra clean room & folded neatly, you have a huge shower & tub, the dining area is amazing, the have a big wet bar if anyone needs a few shots of group tightener before bed time, etc. I had a great safari my first time, this one is 10 times better at least. He offers package deals, individual animals, etc Very easy to deal with and they have everything. Elephant, Crocs, not the little kind like I wear but the big boys that swallow Impala! Big Lions, lots of Sable, Kudu, you name it, they have it. Verner plans on being at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City around Feb. 18th for a big show there.
One last thing, the day we were leaving there were 3 guys coming in that planned to shoot 15 Cape Buffalo EACH. Usually they only take 5 each.

Dick
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
I'm not sure but I think everyone that dreams of going to Africa thinks about 2 animals, Cape Buffalo or Kudu. To many of us they are the sort of flagship animals of Africa when we lay in bed late at night & have those dreams every kid dreams about when the hunting bug takes that first, really hard bite.
I was so torn between Kudu & Sable for months, I just couldn't make up my mind, still can't but now I'm back home & the decision was made to go with the Kudu, that was a bed time dream animal for many years growing up with BB guns, pellet guns, 22's, 30/30's, an old model 8A Remington 30 Remington my dad had & on up through model 70's, many, many Ruger #1's & then dialing it back down to TC single shots & finally about 25 years ago, pretty much revolvers only. What a ride it has been. You have to be willing to lose, watch them run away when a rifle shot would be easy & never break your own standards, that's the way we play this crazy game. But you win, even when you lose with a quality six gun, at least I do.
It was cool at 5:30am when she softly tapped on my door & said, good morning sir! Handed me a tall glass of juice & faded into the dark, man it's going to be a great day I think, Cristo, an older PH was taking me for Kudu, the animal of my dreams & I was on cloud 9. I had been seeing them for several days, the "Gray Ghost" of Africa & I was wound up pretty tight wanting to get after them, it was game on! Cristo said he knew where some bulls liked to hang out & that put a big old smile on my face & off we went into the cool morning air, actually crisp would be a better word.
Cristo & the tracker were talking a bit in Afrikaans, not to keep anything from me but because the tracker did not speak English. We spotted a Black Impala, we had seen him before, there was something he liked about this certain spot. Also a young Waterbuck liked to hang out here as well. This particular tracker could snap his fingers as loud as a bullwhip, it was amazing, he was on the back of the truck & me & Cristo were in the truck & even me, being almost deaf could hear him snap those fingers when he spotted something. I'll bet he could crack a Walnut in 2 seconds.
Anyway we travel a few miles & "Snappy" goes off in the back of the Land Cruiser & it's game on, we've got Kudu somewhere in sight. Cristo looks at me & smiles. We slow down & then "Snappy" jumps off & looks at 500 tracks & points off through the brush, we take off & sure enough we bump into 2 Kudu bulls & they are running. This chess match goes on for an hour & "Snappy" somehow keeps sorting out those tracks, it doesn't seem possible. Finally we drop off the tracker & Cristo says we will circle & get the wind & the tracker will work back towards us. Twenty minutes go by & we see the bulls sneaking up to the edge of the cover, now they have a decision to make, break out in front of us or turn back towards "Snappy" Cristo whispers, shoot the back one, it's 82 yds. I thumb back the hammer on the bisley & send a 282 gr HP through both front shoulders & he never takes a step. After 70 years those dreams have came true, the old rooster from Idaho just got his Kudu, yippee!
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more to come, Gemsbok is last, Dick
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
The Kudu is known as the Grey Ghost, the Cape Buffalo is nicknamed Black Death, not sure of a nickname for the Gemsbok but over a 5 days period I came up with a few names for them but I can't repeat them here on the forum, sorry. All I can say is I saw lots & lots of them & they just don't stop running.
I re zeroed my FA 41 magnum 3 times hoping to get the right load in there in case one of them stopped in the same zip code I was in. The 255 gr WFN bullets were shooting great out to 100 yds but not beyond that so the PH had me re zero to 150 yds with the Hornady 210 gr XTP's. When we got down to the very last day he decided we had better switch gears again & go back to the heavy bullets & hunt from a blind, something I really was trying to avoid.
Nothing against blind hunting, I've done it before & I'll do it again, I just wanted to hammer one while we were looking at each other, they owed me! Anyway, we got set up & had some Waterbuck come in, then a big Impala ram, then 2 Blue Wildebeest, then 2 Gemsbok, hey look, they can stand still but oh baby were they wired. It was a bull & a cow & the cow had super long horns, she was also pregnant. Then some Golden Wildebeest came in.
Good thing we didn't have "Snappy" with us today, he would have 10 broken fingers by now. Suddenly one of the Blue Wildebeest decided to run off the two Gemsbok & we were afraid they were going to leave. My PH for the day was Bila, pronounced Beala. He leaned right up against my ear & whispered, shoot the bull, almost sounded like a joke. I love to shoot the bull....
The shot was broadside at 54 yds & I did the high shoulder shot. It "Brosted" him pretty good, he never took a single step! Thanks Kelly!
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Dick
 

Badger Matt

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 27, 2006
Messages
418
Location
Simpsonville, SC
Great report. I've been to the Limpopo Province twice and it was amazing. Wonderful people, amazing food, lots of interesting animals, unbelievable views of the heavens, and oh so fun! I need to go again.
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
Thanks to all of you! Tomorrow, I hope to have several photo's of Larry, Kristen & Riley with the several animals Larry & Riley took with the FA 454 & FA 41 magnum. Want to get the story & animals straight first!

Dick
 

Rumrunner

Hunter
Joined
Jun 19, 2006
Messages
4,123
Location
Midwest Illinois
Great hunt with super pictures and a great read. We hunted in Namibia 11 years ago, and are hunting South Africa next year. We will be in the Limpopo region close to Botswana. Your story and pictures have really amped me up for my hunt. I still haven't decided on what I will use. Between my 50th anniversary #1 in 4570, my Contender in 375 Win, and my 44 mag Super Redhawk. Congrats on some fine trophies.
 

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