Mathews Inc.
7-Day Hunt w/DVS, Lifetime of Memories
International
Contributors to this thread:
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Elk Dog 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 25-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
huntingbob 26-Jul-13
INbowdude 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
otcWill 26-Jul-13
venison junky 26-Jul-13
Drahthaar 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
INbowdude 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Buffalo1 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Nick Muche 26-Jul-13
Tony 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Russell 26-Jul-13
Medicinemann 26-Jul-13
Medicinemann 26-Jul-13
BMG2 27-Jul-13
Russell 30-Jul-13
Drop tine 30-Jul-13
From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
This first-time trip to South Africa started when I took my youngest daughter salmon fishing in Alaska during the summer of 2012. Since I have two daughters (no sons), I couldn’t show favoritism to my youngest one. I asked Elizabeth (Liz) last December if she would like to go fishing in Alaska. About 30 seconds later she said NO, a very definitive no at that. Hmmm…that got me thinking. A few weeks later I called and asked her if she would like to go on a hunting trip with me. YES, but not to hunt. OK then, I started thinking. She’s on summer vacation from med school, South Africa is cool in July and Alabama is hot!

I asked her if she had a current Passport…yup was the answer. Well then, I guess I have to take her to Africa to watch me doing a little bow hunting….rough job but I had to do it!

Here she is sitting in the Atlanta Airport awaiting a 15 1/2 hour flight to Johannesburg. I think she’s a bit excited.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Boeing 777

Purchased two seats in Economy Comfort class. Not too bad, but did cost $2100 each.

Took me a couple sleeping pills (prescribed) around my normal bedtime. Lights were out for the next ten hours. Two movies and a couple meals, we were arriving in Africa.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Once we got our bags and cleared customs, we were met by a representative from the Afton Guest House. No problems traveling through the airport. A baggage cart (free) took care of the baggage handling.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Nice rooms, but my daughter reported that I snore really loud. Hmmm, sorry Liz.

A big breakfast in the morning and around 9:30 our driver arrive to take us on a 3-4 hour trip to the hunting grounds with Dries Visser Safaris.

Once we got out of the city, the country-side was nice. Lots of agriculture.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Typical village.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Not sure what this is, but it was interesting.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Entrance to one of DVS’s South African property.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
DVS’s main lodge.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Our living room. My daughter and I each had seperate bedrooms.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Typical bedroom. Very nice with our own bathrooms.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
We were met by our PH's and provided a nice tour of the facility. They were very knowledgeable of the different animals that we may see and discussed what was on my list of possible animals I wanted to shoot. The Nyala sparked some interest.

I wanted a nice Kudu, Zebra, Impala, and Warthog.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Dries Visser Sr.

Tour of the main lodge. Very nice with lots of high quality trophies.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Each morning we all gathered for a big breakfast. The first morning was bread, juice, and cereal.

I'm an eggs and meat guy when out hunting. Asked my PH if I could have that for each breakfast...sure enough, Chef Mike had a full spread of everything we wanted.

If you don't let them know what you want, you'll never get it. We all ate like kings.

Wild-Man Mike is on the right and J-Dog Jason is sitting to the left of Liz. The other three are PH's.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
A practice round at the archery range confirmed my gear was ready. (I never realized my elbow was that high. Hmmmm, need to address that).

My field points and Rage 2-bladed, 125g were dead-on, while my G5 Montecs were 4 inches off. I told my PH something's wrong. A couple more shots and all were good. My PH said my Jetlag was off! lol

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Liz liked the cats. I did too!

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
The first evening our PH's took us all on a evening drive to see the sights. Lots of new animals that we were all truly impressed with.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Some of the many hides (blinds) the PH’s have available to hunt, depending on the winds and game the client is after.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
These hides are nice.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
A couple of the hides had it's interior game too. First time Liz saw one she screamed. Really???

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
This kind of hunting is not my preferred way of hunting. However, the leaves had fallen and the bush was noisy. My PH explained it would be nearly impossible to stalk these animals in this condition.

I was in for a "gentleman’s hunt" you might say.

First morning we had a few cow Kudu come in for a drink and a bite to eat.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
A bit later a couple nice bull Kudu arrived. My PH looked them over very carefully and said one was a good one. A shooter was standing at 20 yards!

The video camera was rolling as I drew and settled in. My PH kept saying wait, wait, wait. I surly wasn't going to shoot until he said too. He then said once the cow clears, shoot. As the cow walked by and her rump cleared the vitals by a foot, I shot. The Rage 2-bladed arrow found it's mark and blood was seen pouring out as the bull ran off.

This wasn't the bull, but you get the idea.

From: Elk Dog
25-Jul-13
Thanks for sharing the photos. Please post more.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
My PH reviewed the video footage and said it was a good hit. He radioed Cornie the tracker. Soon he arrived via truck and we exited the hide.

You see, we don't exit the hide unless the truck drives up. (The animals are used to a truck coming around adding feed to the hide area.

It was sort-of like shooting sweetie birds of my mom's bird feeder with a BB gun way back when. Fun to say the least.

We took up the heavy blood trail and about 100 yards later, this was at the end. Wow, was this a big and majestic animal. I was in awe at the beauty and size of the horns.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Nice deep curls. The one horn measured 53 7/8" and the other just a bit shorter. Total score was 129 1/8"

SCI Gold level bow killed Kudu.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
I just loved this animal. Can't wait until my taxidermist calls and says the crates have arrived.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
A couple hours later, my PH said, LOOK...those are Nyala, the mount you liked back at the lodge.

I asked if any were mature ones. He carefully studied them using his binos and said one was a good one.

The camera was rolling and I found myself once again at full draw focusing on the small spot where he said to aim.

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo

From: Russell
25-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
The arrow was soon on it's way. The bull ran and faltered not 50 yards later. Down he went. The arrow passed completely and nearly went as far as he did.

I like short track jobs!

This once scored 55 3/8" Missed the SCI Bronze level by 5/8"!

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
The Rage once again performed well.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13
The conversation turned from four-legged animals to the ones that crawl. My PH mentioned that three weeks ago he saw a Black Mamba snake in a tree while hunting this property. I thought he was joking...later I asked if he was and said he was serious.

I'm starting to like hunting from these hides...I hate snakes, especially the ones that can kill you. Damn...these Black Mambas are very fast and aggressive. Not to mention the most deadly snake in Africa! Crap!!!

From: huntingbob
26-Jul-13
Nice post! I too have a daughter that I took hunting and fishing all of her life. She kinda went away for a while but low and behold now her and the boyfriend do it together. Thinking about a trip with the three of us. Bob.

26-Jul-13
Great pictures! Brings back some fun memories. Next year couldn't get here quick enough. Thanks for taking us along on your safari.

From: INbowdude
26-Jul-13
Great pics! You really have captured some great scenes and added lots of flavor to the hunt.

Don't forget to tell the story of how we almost pasted that kid who ran across the road. Whew!

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Thanks guys.

Well, Mike, that kid sure was lucky.

We were traveling down the paved road from Jo-Burg to DVS, out in the country. An occasional person was seen walking along the road or in the nearby fields.

All of a sudden this young kid decides to cross the road to join his friends. Not 50 yards in front of us here he dashes across the road directly in front of us. We were traveling at about 50+ mph. The driver with Mike riding shotgun (steering wheel on the right side) and the rest of us all saw the "stupid" kid at the same time.

The driver hit the brakes and horn while the rest of us braced for the impending crash! Mike had a front row seat for this as the kid passed just inches from the front left portion of the bumper.

Soon after we missed the kid, the driver (somewhat shaken) asked for a drink! A drink of water; bet he really wanted a double whiskey and Coke.

Not the actual person that we nearly killed, but locals.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Over the next six days we saw lots of game each day.

Kudu, Impala, Gemsbok, warthogs, Eland, Zebra, Waterbuck, a Brown Hyena, Blue Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, and lots of birds. Saw one Jackal that I missed. They are fast, it ducked my arrow from 25 yards or so.

These pigs were too small. Actually we only saw one good mature male pig on the second day. We passed, should have shot it, but now I have to return for another hunt.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
These Impala rams were young.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
A typical view during the peak hunting hours, 10:00 am thru 2 pm. A variety of animals would come and go.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
A Waterbuck and Gemsbok.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
The animals had to drink. The Zebra drink every three days.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Guinea hens where often seen milling around. I was tempted to whack one or a few, but that would scare away any animals that were nearby, especially the Zebra.

Zebra have extremely high sense of smell and will stay a couple hundred yards away out of sight for an hour or two before approaching the water. They will also sometimes circle the hide checking for scent. A very crafty animal.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13
Kool looking birds.

From: otcWill
26-Jul-13
Awesome! Keep 'em comn!

26-Jul-13
Nice pictures ! Great Hunt !

From: Drahthaar
26-Jul-13
awesome hunt and pitcures.waiting to see more. Forrest

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Thanks for the kind comments.

Take II: Kool looking bird.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
These animals look like donkeys with horns. Red Hartebeest.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Each morning Chef Mike packed us a hearty lunch box. Snacks, fruit, drinks, and two sandwiches. Some were interesting, all were very tasty.

Thanks Chef Mike!

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Each morning Chef Mike packed us a hearty lunch box. Snacks, fruit, drinks, and two sandwiches. Some were interesting, all were very tasty.

Thanks Chef Mike!

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
These were really tasty.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Awaiting for the others to return from hunting. A cold beer and a camp fire...what else could a happy hunter ask for?!

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Due to swirly winds, my PH decided to hunt this elevated hide. Because I'm a deer hunter at heart, I felt at home. Liz on the other hand didn't.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Awhile later, my PH asked me if I wanted to shoot a big bird…what? This is what was coming into the watering hole.

The male Ostrich is black and white, the female gray. He explained these birds can kick the crap out of you if they choose. I passed.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Interesting sandwich. Some kind of meat, very tasty.

From: INbowdude
26-Jul-13
I passed on the ostrich as well. But dang those are big birds. Those red hartebeest never came in to our blind. The only time I ever saw them was either coming or going from the hides.

Great pics and story.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
After I shot the Kudu, we took a break and visited the landowner's lodge. Very nice place with a marvelous view of a river.

Nice place for lunch.

From: Buffalo1
26-Jul-13
Russell,

What was your equipment setup? I know you were shooting Rage BH's but what pound bow and type of arrow shaft?

This is a really interesting and educational thread that you have going.

Thanks again for sharing.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
The weapon of choice was my Bowtech Invasion, 70#, Carbon Express Maxima 350 arrows, with 125 grain Rage 2-bladed heads. For Zebra I carried two arrows with 125 grain G5 Montecs.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Since I'm strictly a bowhunter for big game, I had to get a picture with my PH's 375 rifle. We never had to use it.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Due to varying winds, my PH decided to use smoldering Zebra dung for cover scent.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Tough to shoot when the sun is beaming on you.

Waiting for the "green Light" from my trusty PH (Johan).

Johan was very meticulous in picking which animal is the best to shoot. He kept telling me we could do better...most of the time he was right.

On the second from last day a group of Zebras came to the water. We had one yearling and three mature ones standing broadside at 18 yards. I really wanted one and even pleaded by telling him I’m not picky! The hides were not high quality, then he said one was pregnant. Game over. I relaxed, I’m not shooting a pregnant Zebra regardless how nice the hide was.

Without warning, a Kudu started barking…all the animals (35+) of different species scattered in a big hurry. The winds had once again switched for a few minutes.

One day while hunting Impala, I had to exercise the "client override" button. I shot two rams that were mature, but past their prime. I was running out of time and they all looked great to me.

From: Nick Muche
26-Jul-13
Fantastic account of your hunt! Nice work!

From: Tony
26-Jul-13
Russell, thanks for sharing and sounds like a great hunt and happy that you took your daughter with you too.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Thanks again for the kind comments.

On the second day while waiting all day for the mighty, elusive Zebra to show, some real nice Gemsbok came in for a snack.

I asked if any were shooters, a short time later he said yes. Then I asked if the hides make good rugs; once again the answer was YES...I said get out of the way, I'm gonna shoot me a Gemsbok.

Camera rolling, I soon settled my 20 yard pin on the large male's shoulder. Broadside, I released. Arrow once again found the mark, but looked a couple inches too much forward.

The animal bolted as I watched wondering if the broadhead did it's job. My PH reviewed the footage and believed the shot was a heart shot.

Shortly afterwards the tracker arrived and we quickly exited the hide. There was very little blood and we found my broken arrow. I was worried that I just wounded a beautiful animal and we were in for a long track job.

I stayed behind as the tracker and my PH tracked the wounded Gemsbok. Soon Cornie (the tracker) came running back and grabbed the rifle and returned to the bush.

They must have found the animal and needed to finish it off. I waited for the sound of a rifle shot.

Minutes later my PH was seen waiving me to follow. He didn't say a word; I just followed. Less than a 100 yards later he pointed to my latest trophy, dead. YAHHH!!!

The arrow did it's job via severing the trachea and nicking one lung. The shot missed the heart by an inch.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Wrong pic. Here's the correct one.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Here's the A-team. Nice male gemsbok that scored 84 4/8", SCI Silver record.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Trackers in Africa follow tracks and not necessarily blood.

The tracking was easy for them, one front leg was dragging.

The vitals are much more forward and the wound if often sealed via the heavy shoulder muscles.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
We took the animal back to the skinning shed where a team of skilled men carefully skinned out my latest trophy.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
My future rug and European mount...

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
What killed the Gemsbok. Think I'll add this to the mount.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
I killed a total of eight animals; two kudu, one Nyala, one Gemsbok, and four Impala (two rams).

I don't have any pictures of Impala, however Dries Visser is putting together a video that includes the shots and post-shot interview.

I'll post some once I receive the DVD.

On the way out, we stopped at the other ranch and had a short chat with a group of tame Ostriches.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Liz liked the birds too.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
These birds have big feet!

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
A Kodak moment.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Some baboons along the road.

From: Russell
26-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Johan (my PH) drove us back the Jo-burg airport as he lives in the area. He took us to a few shops and we all found a few things we just couldn't live without.

The asking price is never firm. Haggle haggle haggle. I liked that, Liz was just the opposite. No problem, I haggled for her.

We used US dollars and Visa, mostly green-backs in small bills ($20's and less).

From: Russell
26-Jul-13
Lessons learned:

Always bring a self-inflating seat cushion if hunting in a hide.

Bring hand sanitizer to clean hands in the hide.

Bring a bar of soap. African soap doesn't lather like American soaps.

Bring souvenir money in small bills. Use Visa when possible. You normally get a better exchange rate from your credit card company.

Lock your check-in bags. Use zip-ties on the smaller external compartments.

Fly direct from Atlanta via Delta airlines if possible. Purchase Economy Comfort at the very least and get an aisle seat.

Pack light, there's daily laundry service.

Take lots of pictures. I used a Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS camera. Worked great.

Have extra memory card and battery. Bring charger too.

DVS had an adapter in the room. I didn't need anything else for power.

If hunting only from a hide, use one green pin set at 20 yards. Keep it simple.

Have lighted pins. I used a Montana Gold sight with light. Used the light a couple times.

Bring a rangefinder to confirm distances.

Bring a good set of binos. Makes looking at animals more enjoyable.

Wear black hoodie in the hide.

Bring a fleece vest.

Make sure your clothing is quite. These animals have keen hearing.

High-top hiking shoes are fine.

Every plant seems to have spikes. Sneakers are a no-go for hunting. Spikes pierce the soles. Ask J-Dog Jason about this!

Bring a good book to read while in the hide. The sits are all day.

Carry a couple arrows with Judo points for shooting guinea hens for the chef. They taste great.

That's about it.

Hope you all enjoyed my pictorial adventure.

Best wishes, Russell

From: Medicinemann
26-Jul-13
You just created a photo journal that you can take anywhere in the world with you....as long as you have internet service!!

From: Medicinemann
26-Jul-13
.

From: BMG2
27-Jul-13
Awesome photo montage. Thanks for the posting it all.

I never was keen on Africa but now u have spiked my interest.

From: Russell
30-Jul-13

Russell 's embedded Photo
Russell 's embedded Photo
Forgot to mention, practice from the sized window you will shoot from. Makes a big difference.

First time I shot during practice, my eyes switched (I shoot with both eyes open). Closed one eye to make sure.

Center the animal in the widow and I had no issues while shooting with both eyes open.

Russell

From: Drop tine
30-Jul-13
Great thread, great pics, thanks for sharing.

  • Sitka Gear