Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day 6

Day 6 found us up extra early, skipping the usual big breakfast and grabbing a cup of coffee and a rusk, which for the uninformed is a hard biscuit type of thing much like our biscotti but without any flavor or coating. They're quite good actually and the Africans traditionally dip them in their coffee or tea. We headed out to a different area about 45 minutes away with a new plan. We would drop our tracker Stephan off at the bottom of a high ridge, give him a pair of binoculars and a two way radio and have him start climbing to the top. We then headed off  in the rover to another distant peak and would do the same. It wasn't long before the radio started to chatter with Stephan spotting a band of kudu. We also could see them moving about in the heavy cover below us. We watched as they meandered through the acacia trees and closed the distance to three hundred yards. Our PH was watching through his own binoculars and Kyle had his gun up on the shooting sticks while I watched from just behind him. A nice sized kudu presented a clear shot and Jeff our PH gave the order to shoot! But it was not to be... within a second they all ran away and I could see the frustration on our PH's face as he mumbled a few choice words. But before he could belt out another string of profanity, Kyle, who was still looking through his rifle scope whispered that he was watching a 2nd larger kudu step out from behind the same tree. Jeff was very excited and told him to take the shot if it felt right. Kyle dropped the hammer and within the blink of an eye the kudu was down for keeps!

Our tracker Stephan was also very happy as you can see!

By the time we took pictures and loaded the kudu in the rover it was close to noon. The trackers had gathered wood and made a fire and we grilled fresh sausage we had brought with us. Kyle was wiped out from all the excitement and quickly fell asleep in the bed of the rover while Jeff cooked our lunch.

After lunch we headed back to camp for a short break and a change of cloths. It was starting to warm up and we still had four hours left in the day and were now looking for springbok. Once again we found ourselves wearing out the soles of our boots, but lady luck was with us today! Our PH Leon spotted 3-4 springbok about 400 yards out. We tried to use the few existing trees and shrubs for cover as we moved forward in a crouched position.
We ran out of cover after the first 100 yards and the decision was made to let Kyle take a shot. There was some discussion between Kyle and Leon as to which animal to take. Leon guided Kyle to shoot the one that was moving into the open. At the shot, the springbok dropped instantly. It was turning out to be a very successful day for my son... 

While in Africa, our entire lives are lived looking through a pair of binoculars. This is not an option, good optics are a must and quality glass more than makes up for the money you shelled out.

Kyle takes a break after a long hike up the mountain.


After sunset, there was some serious celebrating around the nightly campfire!

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