10 days of Big game safari

Second day of hunting: As we've just left the camp, we met a jackal on the road. But it does not expect his remains and begins to run before us. Then the guide whistles and, bizarrely, it stops immediately, I adjust my weapon, perfect shot ... indeed, the first game...

We head then to the first great plain where we saw several groups of Hartebeest. Who says plain, also said difficulties in the approach. It was discovered that we move forward we need to see without being seen and even less downwind! Finally, the tripod laid, I put myself into shooting position. But, I don't know why I don't fell very comfortable. In my mind, the blesbok is too far away, a few hundred yards ... persuaded by my wife and the guide I shot on the animal. But my ball is too far back, aggravated by its size : a bit small for the African game (300 WM). On detonation, the herd leaves hurriedly while we remain motionless in order to observe my animal stayed almost static. The wait lasted about thirty minutes, enough to make sure that the ball was sufficiently weakened so that it could not run away in the bushes nearby. We are approaching very cautiously so, up to thirty meters, then he goes down. By the time I put my weapon on the shoulder to achieve, the blesbok gets up. Finally, the second ball will break him a leg, making him fall. The third shot will be fatal. After such an adventure, the return to camp is animated!

The third day of hunting will be like the first, we'll see many animals and even do a very good approach on a group of eland, without finding a beautiful male.

Fourth day. We see, still installed on the car, a beautiful bushbuck (a sylvatik guib) at 100-150 meters in front of us, a little on the right. Immediately, we go down with the utmost care to throw ourselves on his trail. The approach runs smoothly, 200 meters away, I have it in my glass, through full, I shoot and click ... .. the ball was not involved in the head ... stomp! ... The bushbuck, who has heard something, leaves but with no panic. We follow him when, suddenly, here he almost turned around to meet us, but this time, at high speed. The presence of two female great kudu certainly explain his sudden change of direction and would absolutely not solve our business. The disappointment for all of us (especially for the guide) is more palpable than ever ... we go back to the car with much less enthusiasm ... Then, just back on board, we see again the famous bushbuck, this time, I have plenty of time to realize that it bears a special trophy, exceptional! Again we jumped from the car, small approach, at the last moment, a tree hide him and we have no other solution than waiting for he moves. Really, I think that I am not lucky today! After a good half hour, I assure you that it seems very long time, he finally decides to move ... this time is good, a bullet in the heart and here I am with a beautiful bushbuck trophee of 18.5 inches. We can say he gave me some emotions! Glorious return to camp, we will celebrate this amazing journey and this beautiful trophy.

Fifth day of hunting. Barely an hour after our departure, a flock of a dozen zebras cross the road. But after observation, there are only females. We return to the car. Just in the way we see the male of the group that runs towards the others. But he saw us, I am surprised, I lack speed, he uses it to escape. I can feel the black eyes of my wife and the guide upon me ... when suddenly, incredibly, the zebra, came back on his steps! When we say that animals are curious! Snap shoot, we find him some fifty feet away, dead with a bullet in the heart.

Sixth day. Promises are due, you know the proverb? Today is a rest day. We take this opportunity to visit the town of Ellisras, now Lephalale renamed, and shopping for our loved ones.

Seventh day of hunting. How time flies, I set the main objective on the eland. We have already spotted a beautiful male during the previous days. We find it on the great plain called the "New Castle". In total, we make three approaches without success. We have first been exposed by a colony of vervets, very fast monkeys, then by an ostrich. Our group of eland, became very suspicious, started running without any known reason at our last approach, it will not be for today. Hopefully tomorrow we'll have more luck!

Eighth day of hunting.

I slept pretty well, I must say that I thought much of the night at my eland ! maybe a good omen. We go directly to the great plain of "New Castle" where we had left our eland the last evening. After a good hour, we spot the herd. This time, with our experience of the day before, it was with extreme care that we begin our approach. On several occasions, we adjourn to make sure no animals around does the alert. It lasted around one hour, a few meters lack to feel perfectly at ease, but we were spotted by a female eland, I have no choice, it is clear that I arm shoots the animal. It jumps under the impact of the ball before fleeing. I am convinced that I have rightly touched it. On site, we find streams of blood which showed that the bullet passed through the animal. We will find it a hundred yards away, death. The caliber of my gun has made me very precisely adjust my shooting, it is done. Tonight, for sure, I'll take a better night.

Ninth and final day of hunting. My main objectives have been achieved, I left the camp with the right spirit lighter. So much so that my choice is still undecided, I hesitate between a warthog or a Steenbock, in both cases, not easy. This season, the grass is high and hide all the animals of small sizes. I've seen several animals, just always at the last moment and therefore no possibility of fire. I am still ready. I'll see a female warthog and her babies but nothing more in the morning. Before returning to camp, we decided to pass along a great plain. It was a good idea because we saw fairly quickly Steenbock unfortunately it is a female. ... I drop my gun, ready to return to the vehicle when suddenly the guide shows me the male, not far from the female, hided by the grass ... quick and accurate shooting is what is called a successful hunting safari!

Do not tell anyone, I just signed for a caffer Buffalo next year with the same organization. South Africa, when you hold us...

Jean et Michèle SOROCZAK.

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