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4th hunt with Limcroma, & the best yet!
This was our 6th trip to Africa, and the 4th for my wife and I hosted by our dear friends at Limcroma Safaris. For the last several years, I have had the privilege of representing Limcroma here on Bowsite. Even though we regard the Els family and the staff at Limcroma as part of our extended family, we are still first and foremost clients not unlike any other guests we have shared camp with. And, as a client, I have to say that this past trip has been the most challenging, rewarding, and genuinely fun of all of our hunting experiences to date. My wife and I experienced a lot of firsts and personal bests on this trip, and I wanted to share a few of our better moments here on the Forum. I will obviously have to post in several segments so please bare with me....
My wife Lisa put the first animal in the salt our first afternoon with a nice management warthog. Old mature, and broken makes him the perfect candidate for the BBQ.
Lisa kept in going by taking a nice, old "unicorn" gemsbok. Her first gemsbok with a bow.
One of my two main goals for this trip was to spot & stalk as often as possible. Even though you limit your opportunity, taking an animal with a bow on open ground outside of a hide is the ultimate reward for me. I also wanted to add to my collection of the various small predators and varmints that are unique to South Africa. On our first night out, I was lucky enough to make a great shot on this small-spotted genet cat. He is going to look great lurking in the background on my wall.
Lisa was working hard on her management slam and got a shot on an old, broken kudu bull. Her first kudu bull ever with a bow.
Nice...Can't wait to see the rest!
I have taken scores of warthogs over the years, They are probably my favorite African animal to hunt. Although I have killed some good ones, a true trophy warthog has eluded me...Until this trip.... We hunted a neighboring farm where the land owner been seeing several monsters. He wanted them gone, and we did our best to oblige. I was fortunate enough to shoot this slob which is my personal best by far. Seeing a big warthog coming is like seeing a big whitetail... You don't have to add up inches in your head, you just say to yourself, "holy crap!" that's a shooter!
While walking this farm, I glassed 2 more big boys that I could not get close to... We went in the next afternoon and set up a brush blind for Lisa on the water hole. The plan worked and she was able to smoke another giant!
Last trip in 2013, Lisa shot a nice steenbok with a rifle. I asked our PH, Kobus if I could try to kill one spot & stalk. He kinda laughed at me and said that I was welcomed to try...He told me my best bet was to sit on a water hole at first light or dark and hope for lots of luck. Not interested.... Driving back to camp the afternoon Lisa killed her big hog, we spotted a good male about 60 yards off the road. I asked them to drop me off about 100 yards past. I worked my way in for a 40 yard shot through the tall grass. My luck continues...
One of my favorite things to do is stalk the many river bottoms within the Limcroma properties. They have miles of riverfront between the Limpopo, Marico, and Crocodile rivers. There are lots of species to try for, and its all free range. I shot this hog stalking the river bank. The tree stand behind me is one of many stands that I have personally hung on the properties. It's also where I shot my bushbuck last trip.
The Botswana Impala Story: One morning I was stalking the Limpopo River and I saw a nice herd of Impala feeding on one of the sand bars in the river. There were at least 3 good rams, and they were on our side of the river and fair game. In one of the best stalks of my life, over a half mile away, I belly-crawled to a 30 yard shot and smoked this ram. It never occurred to me that he could(and would)run to the Botswana side of the river.... Not wanting to spend a year in a Botswana prison, I called Hannes and told him the story. Luckily, he knew the neighbor, and he gladly returned my ram which fell just over the bank on his side. The only one of us that immigrated illegally was the impala. Check out the black nose which is a rare color variation. He is mixed with a Namibian black-faced Impala. Hannes told me that I am only the second hunter in Limcroma history to take an impala spot & stalk. And, after hundreds of blown stalks over the years trying, I can believe it... I'm very proud of this one!
Lisa and Kobus were in a hide one morning and a blue wildebeest came in that had an injured leg. It looked like it was broken and re-healed crooked. Hannes wanted him out, so we made a plan to go after him. Lisa and her PH sat in the blind again, and I went on foot to another part of the property were he was seen. I got lucky and found him trailing the herd. That was the break I needed to stalk him away from 20 other sets of eyes and noses. My luck continues....
One of Lisa's ongoing goals is to try for all of the tiny antelope species. Hannes has a non-native herd of 10 head of springbok on the bow hunting property at the main camp. Lisa diligently and patiently hunted 3 days to finally get a shot. She took the biggest ram in the bunch. Now there are 9....
I completed another first off of my list by taking a few springhares on this trip. For those who have never heard of them, a springhare is a rodent that looks like a cross between a rabbit and a kangaroo. They are not necessarily rare, but I never managed to get a shot until this trip. I shot one for a mount and couple more for the trackers' dinner. They are faaaaaast!
Lisa and Kobus were stalking along the Marico River hoping for a bushbuck, and ran into this old warrior. He was not close enough for a bow shot, but my wife never met a rifle she didn't like. She picked up Kobus' .243 and dropped him in his tracks. For 11 years we could not find giant warthogs... Now we have killed 3 monsters on this trip... His warts are as wide as his tusks!
Another of the small antelopes we wanted was a duiker. Although the plan was for Lisa to hunt him, she was seeing nothing but females and young males every time out. Of course the one evening she stayed at camp, Kobus and I spotted a good male at sunset, and when opportunity knocks, you have to answer. By the time we stalked near him, we had no light. The range finder would not read, and I asked my trusty PH to range him for me. He said 45 meters, let it rip! I said he's facing us, can't we get closer? He said no, shoot him square in the chest. You're a bow hunter now shoot. I put the pin on the tiniest target I had ever shot at in my life, and I watched the lighted nock arc beautifully in the evening sky and whack him square between the shoulder blades.... It gets better... We wandered over and only needed to track him about 10 yards. However, a herd of cape buffalo were tracking us. While we were high-fiving, one of the old bulls snuck in and mock charged us. We sprinted back behind the truck, threw my duiker in the back and took off! I didn't need anymore adrenaline that I already had...
On the last morning, I wanted to hunt the Limpopo River behind the main camp one more time to see if I could better my bushbuck from 2 years ago. I was dropped off just after sunrise and I had the wind in my face. I thought I would sneak over to the gut pile a few hundred yards away to see if any jackals or cats might still be hanging out. I get within a hundred yards or so, and I couldn't believe what I saw... The holy grail of African predators (for me) was chewing on a bone and oblivious to me. A big brown hyena, which is a rare sight let alone in daylight was there for the taking. In my mind I was already anticipating failure. I had to cut the distance by half, I had no cover and the ground was bone-dry, noisy, and thorny. The bow hunting gods were smiling down on me this trip so I figured what the hell...
Some how, I managed to get 40 yards away crunching and crackling all the way. He was too involved in his carcass to pay me any attention. By some miracle, I got to my knees at 40 yards. That was close enough for me... I watched my arrow disappear into the thick fur behind his shoulder and he whirled around ferociously biting at his flank. I yelled so loud that they probably heard me back home. The one animal that had eluded me for so many cold nights sitting in a dark blind all night was mine! Nobody had ever taken a hyena with a bow before at Limcroma, and certainly not out of the blind in daylight... This was a very special trophy for me that I will never forget. I will take luck over being good all day long! Unfortunately, browns are not exportable to the U.S, so we will mount him for the lodge. I hope to visit him there next trip!
We closed out the last afternoon with Lisa sitting at a brush blind bordering a wheat field where so many bushbucks have been seen coming out at dark. I hunted a different section of the river hoping for my chance a bushbuck or whatever else may stand still long enough for a shot. I had a great last evening and another personal first by getting a vervet monkey with my bow.
Anyone who has tried for them will tell you that monkeys and baboons are probably the hardest animals to kill with a bow. They have incredible hearing and eyesight. Killing one form a hide is lucky let alone on open ground. But, with my luck going they way it was this trip, no problem...
I was putting a stalk on a good warthog when I caught a glimpse of some monkeys coming toward me about 100 yards out. I managed to slip next to a big deadfall without being picked off. I could see them coming down a game trail, so I came to full draw and waited what seemed like an eternity for the scout to pass by. I whacked him at 30 yards and he collapsed without a sound. I went straight back to the warthog who never picked his head up. I whacked him and finished with a cool double-header to close out my African trip. I have taken 2 baboons with my bow, but this monkey was my first. He will be a cool mount to add to the collection.
Man, you are incredibly lucky, but I would have to say you must be pretty damn good also ! Congrats to you and your wife on a great hunt and some fine animals. Those warthogs are BIG !
Words cannot not truly express the awesome experiences we had on this trip. I made some great shots, had some cool encounters, and I will take the luck I had all day long! Our PH Kobus and tracker Steven did an incredible job and worked their butts off for us. We hunted hard all day and then went out a night for a couple of hours almost every day. They were always ready and enthusiastic! I think we took a total of 22 animals on this trip, not including the guineas, francolins, and catfish....The entire camp staff was wonderful as always. Thespina & Marcel's cooking and desserts will spoil you. Be prepared to gain a few pounds.
And lastly, a very special thanks to Hannes and the entire Limcroma staff for exceeding our expectations once again. Their collective effort and attention to the small details really make the difference and I could not be more proud to represent an outfit like this. I will close with a few more pics of camp and those incredible African sunsets.
Watch out big boy! Next trip, I'm coming after you!
Black and White Lives Matter!
Annelda, Hannes, Tanya, and new baby Leah...
By the way, I'm not short... Hannes is a giant!
I almost forgot about my African flathead catfish excursion. Another African first. Our tracker Steven was very happy to have them for dinner.
Truly beautiful photos and a great story! You are a blessed bowhunter! Congratulations to you and Lisa on the trip of a lifetime! Thanks for sharing.
What a cool trip. The walk and stalk monkey and hyena are awesome trophies.
You had an incredible hunt and took some awesome trophies. Congrats on a memorable adventure. Thanks for sharing.
Dan, Looks like you had the trip of the lifetime again. The Warthogs are impressive. Taking a Brown Hyena with a bow is a trophy of a lifetime. Baboons and Monkeys are very tough to get with a bow as well. It's not always about the length of the horns that makes a trophy. Matching wits with a sharp predator or primate is a real challenge. Africa is the only place in the world that I've had to shoot my own bait to go fishing. Hannes and company do not disappoint. 1st class outfit. Thanks for posting.
I've been told many times that I have the matching wits of a primate..... In fact, my wife tells me that almost daily.
Looks like you a great hunt Dan...congrats.
Wow! Sounds & looks like you & Lisa had another incredible adventure Dan! Not surprising at Limcroma though.
I'm glad that we went there before you guys did. Not sure that there would have been much stuff left to shoot at if we had waited;>)
Congrats to both of you on your great trophies & even more kudos on your S&S success!
BTW, I'm kinda partial to big warthogs too!
That was great man. Biggest dang warthogs I have ever seen pics of. God Bless and good luck next trip. Seems like the one old bull may be telling you something. :^)
Yes he is...."SAVE YOUR $"
Dan, glad you and Lisa had an awesome adventure. all great trophies. Forrest
What a trip this must have been. Congrats to both of you!
Hey Dan, Mike and I enjoyed meeting you and Lisa... I wish we had more than the one evening in camp together.. Wow, you guys had a great trip as well... I need to quit being lazy, and do a report and pics on our trip too.
Great pictures! Congratulations on a fine safari!
Great pictures! Congratulations on a fine safari!
Dan, thanks for the effort to put this together in pictures and words. I enjoyed your adventure a lot.
My best, Paul
Awesome trip...thanks for sharing it with us!
Very impressive Dan...I'm all about the spot & stalk myself...
I hunted at Limcroma with my best friend back in 2013. It was the best trip we have ever taken. Hannes runs a first-class operation all the way. They know bowhunting...We still keep in touch with our PH Kobus. What a cool dude, and a great hunter...
I need to get back there one of these days for a big cape buff with my recurve...Thanks for sharing and bringing back the memories.