Mathews Inc.
A short African anniversary
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Contributors to this thread:
Bake 07-Jul-16
GhostBird 07-Jul-16
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StickFlicker 08-Jul-16
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HUNT MAN 08-Jul-16
HUNT MAN 08-Jul-16
Buffalo1 08-Jul-16
drycreek 08-Jul-16
t-roy 08-Jul-16
JTreeman 09-Jul-16
otcWill 10-Jul-16
Bake 10-Jul-16
BULELK1 12-Jul-16
Matt Rehor 12-Jul-16
Bowfreak 12-Jul-16
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Charlie Rehor 12-Jul-16
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Pete In Fairbanks 12-Jul-16
Bake 12-Jul-16
AZ~Rich 12-Jul-16
Pete In Fairbanks 12-Jul-16
Bake 12-Jul-16
Pete In Fairbanks 12-Jul-16
t-roy 16-Jul-16
Drahthaar 21-Jul-16
Bake 17-Nov-16
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Heat 17-Nov-16
t-roy 17-Nov-16
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Buffalo1 17-Nov-16
Chief 419 18-Nov-16
From: Bake
07-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
Well I've been back for a little over a week, and I guess it's time to write a little about my recent first safari. . .

It will be partially incomplete, as there was a rifle involved in a lot of animals, and one of the bow stories, I'm trying to have published. . .

My wife and I began planning this trip for our 10 year wedding anniversary on our 8 year wedding anniversary. We actually discussed options for places where we could tour, and I could hunt, at dinner on the night of our 8 year anniversary.

After much discussion, we decided on South Africa

From: GhostBird
07-Jul-16
Share it all, except the "to be" published story. The bow purists will just have to suffer a little. ;)

Inquiring minds want all the details.

From: Bake
07-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
So after much research, calling, etc., I decided on Crusader Safaris in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. I actually paid the initial deposit in September of 2014. Then we started saving our pennies

As this was an anniversary trip, I only booked 6 full days of hunting. I mainly wanted to take a kudu and a bushbuck with my bow. . . anything else would be a bonus.

After the hunt, we booked 3 full days in Cape Town, and then 4 days in London on our return.

As the hunt was short, and my goals with a bow were few, I knew that a rifle would be used quite a little bit, as we were not hunting a blind type operation. I knew this at booking, and it was the way I wanted it.

I'll mostly skip over the rifle parts in this, except for a few notes

From: Bake
07-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
As we wanted to tour London after the hunt, our travel agent, Steve at Travel with Guns (who I highly recommend, he booked us awesome seats on 8 different flights), routed us through London on our way to Africa as well.

I believe this saved us money to stay with the same carrier. Something like that.

Anyways, two full days of travel to arrive at Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

We were met at the airport by Andrew Pringle, of Crusader safaris, and his dope ride :)

From: Bake
07-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
A 2 1/2 hour cruiser ride got us to camp in the Baviaansriver Conservancy. Andrew's family owns a significant amount of land in this area, and the conservancy includes many different farms in the area.

We arrived early evening, and were mainly concerned with getting settled, and showered, after two full days of travel.

I'll show some pictures here of camp, and our accomadations

From: Bake
07-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo

From: Bake
07-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo

From: Bake
07-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
I forgot to mention, on the drive into camp, I was treated to my first sightings of African game.

We spotted impala, springbok, giraffe, baboons, red lechwe, and warthog on the drive in.

The first morning we awoke to a leisurely breakfast, and I shot my bow a few times to make sure it was on. That was good

Then we headed to a small range to check my shooting with Paul's 7mm, and Andrew's 30-06. Seemed good there too, but apparently, rifle shooting is a perishable skill, that I haven't practiced much in the last 5 years, as I would learn to my chagrin :)

From: Bake
07-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
As we headed out for the first morning hunt, we hadn't driven far, when one of the trackers tapped on the trop of the truck. They'd spotted bedded mountain reedbuck.

We kept on driving well past, then planned and tried to execute a stalk, which failed pretty quickly.

Wary little guys. They busted us quickly, but I was thrilled to have a short stalk so quickly in the hunt, and to see some animals up close

From: Bake
07-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
Besides a bushbuck and kudu with a bow, I really wanted a black wildebeest. Before booking, Andrew was very honest, and told me that my chances of killing a black wildebeest with a bow on foot were almost zero.

That first morning, I learned why. Man those things are switched on!

But I began my African career with black wildebeest and blesbok with a rifle.

If a guy wanted to dedicate the time, I am very confident they could get a lot of stalks on blesbok here, and get one killed with a bow.

The first evening, we sat a blind for kudu. . .

From: Bake
07-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
I just realized I never introduced my PH. Paul Kruger was my PH for the hunt. I had a lot of fun with Paul. I don't know if he'd say the same about me :)

I think I exasperated him a time or two. Which is perfectly normal for an eccentric American :)

As a native SA bowhunter, growing up on a farm, it's safe to say that while he was almost 10 years younger than me, he had a lot more experience stalking stuff.

As a Midwest tree hunter, I learned a lot about stalking from him. I'm sure it will help me in future hunts for sure.

I don't have a single bad thing to say about Paul. He put up well with me for 6 days, something that's not always easy for people to do :)

I should mention the other PH in camp, so he won't feel left out if he reads this. Rad was another PH in camp, guiding some Swedish hunters. We never hunted with Rad, but he was definitely entertaining at meal times.

As always, part of the fun about traveling to hunt is meeting the locals. Paul, Andrew and Rad kept us entertained in camp, and made the mealtimes and the fireside stories a lot of fun

From: Bake
07-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
Back to Kudu. . .

As he knew he had a bowhunter coming in that wanted a kudu, Andrew had been pre-baiting a couple of blinds with oranges and alfalfa for a couple of weeks.

When I arrived, he had two mature kudu bulls using his baits.

The first night, the wind was right for one blind, wrong for the other, so we sat a blind that had a smaller, but still mature bull, coming in fairly regularly.

As the Baviaansriver flows right through this area, waterholes are not a big draw for animals. There was water at this blind, but none of the kudu that visited that evening used the water at all.

We saw 6 cows and calves that first evening, and were treated to a baboon male roaring on the hillside above us for a couple hours. But the bull never showed up. We did hear a kudu spook about an hour before dark, but never saw it. And figured it was a cow.

When we arrived back at the lodge, Andrew had been sitting some distance away, glassing us in the blind, and had seen the bull approach from an unexpected direction, get to within 20 yards, and then spook. . .

Such is hunting :)

From: Bake
07-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
With bushbuck in mind, we headed to Cowie the next morning. About an hour and a half drive away, but still part of the conservancy

Our goal was bushbuck and warthog.

And now Zebra. . . although I didn't want one that badly, after seeing the zebra rugs, my wife needed one. So it became a priority. . .

Didn't take long glassing that morning to find several zebra and a couple warthog feeding in the same area on a hillside about 800 yards across a drainage.

We planned a stalk and headed their way, spooking a mountain reedbuck on the way. But fortunately not towards the zebra and warthog

As often happens in area with a lot of relief, the wind got us . . .

While it appeared to be blowing consistently on the hillside where we glassed, 800 yards away and lower, it got squirrelly. We did get to see the warthogs, but all we got from the zebra was pounding hooves as they raced away

But, we spotted a warthog feeding on the hillside where we had been glassing, so we reversed course for another stalk.

From: Bake
07-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
I hate warthogs. . .

Long stalk, crawled for quite a while, and got to 35 yards, where I managed to miss a nice boar with my bow not once, but twice.

As my friend JTreeman would say, "Warthogs are bastards."

From: Bake
07-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
Although dejected, we got a quick pick-me up. . . At Cowie, we were high enough, and close enough to Bedford, that we got cell service sporadically.

Paul called Andrew, and Andrew told us to get our butts back to the lodge area, as he'd glassed a really nice kudu bull at the other blind location that morning. He said we must be into the blind by 2 p.m. And he suggested that my wife not go, as it would add more scent.

Andrew had a valid concern here. This blind did not have water, and was not necessary for anything to visit. Andrew believed, and I'm sure he was correct, that if the big kudu bull winded us, he wouldn't come back to this blind during my hunt.

Well, my wife wanted to go. So she did :) I wanted her there, whether that meant we ruined the chance or not. And to their credit, Andrew and Paul didn't even question it, or try to talk me out of it. They just made it happen.

Andrew emailed me some trail cam pics of the bull, but of course, they're not on this computer.

These are crummy cell phone pics

From: Bake
07-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
We had time for one more stalk before needing to head to the kudu blind. And fortunately, there were some warthogs down in the valley.

Did I mention I hate warthogs?

We got to 8 yards, the bastard was about to step into the open, and I was almost fully drawn, and he saw his shadow and was gone.

From: Bake
07-Jul-16
My wife had stayed in the lodge that morning, so she and Andrew meet Paul and I on the road to the kudu blind.

We get settled in promptly at 2 p.m. Not too long, and the parade to the oranges begins. . .

It started with vervet monkeys. They also liked to visit my wife on the porch of our bungalow most days when she stayed at the lodge. . .

These particular vervets even had the audacity to copulate (as Sheldon Cooper would say), right in front of the blind

From: Bake
07-Jul-16

Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo
Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo

From: Bake
07-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
Then, of course, a warthog streaked through, too quick to even raise my bow before it got downwind. . . I hate warthogs

Then the parade of kudu began. Cows and calves at first. Then some young bulls. Even seemed to have a cow in estrus, but no big bull showed up

Prime time came, about an hour before dark, and a cow started to work her way in. I was sure she had a bull behind her, so I started to get ready, and get into a shooting position

Rookie mistake, as my wife was seated a little in front of and to my right, when I raised my bow, I bumped a limb against the back of her chair, making an audible metallic sound.

Kudu scattered.

Paul's shoulders visibly slumped.

I sulked.

My wife read her book, unperturbed

From: Bake
07-Jul-16
I was busy sulking.

Paul was cussing me in his head I'm sure.

My wife looked over at me, and said, "Is that a kudu?"

I interrupted my angry floor staring to peer through the blind window, just in time to see a kudu cow walk in, immediately followed by a mature bull

Paul said "There's your bull, Blane."

Calmly. Kinda like I do this every day and might actually be good at it, I centered the pin at 28 yards and lovingly caressed my release trigger, sending an arrow dead center, a little behind his leg, angling forward to strike and stop in his off-side shoulder.

Joy quickly turned to disbelief, as after a short sprint, instead of being a good kudu and falling over dead. . . the bull proceeded to calmly walk off with his cows, up and over a mountainside, as the sun set behind us.

I'll spare you the frantic rushing to keep him in sight, finally losing sight of him and then turning the dog loose, second guessing, etc. . .

From: Bake
07-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
Disbelief turned to certainty for me through the long evening. I knew I had located that arrow correctly. I knew he was hard hit.

I knew my broadhead was sharp.

I knew he was dead on that mountainside. We just had to find him.

Fortunately, as morning dawned on day 3, we quickly followed a decent blood trail, right to the bull.

Unbelievably to me, he'd walked over half a mile before laying down and giving it up

From: Bake
07-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
What first time African hunter doesn't want a kudu bull?

You dream and dream of Africa. For me, since I was literally 12 years old. This was the culmination of that dream, right here.

Even though I'd already shot a couple animals, it now seemed real.

My wife was amazed at the amount of time we spent with the cameras at this kill site

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
As Paul would later confide in me, when a hunter wants a kudu, and one is taken, it immediately takes a load of responsibility off the PH.

It took a load off of me.

Gone were the misses, for now. The mistakes.

The kudu was in the salt, literally, and the pressure was off. Although we saw several more big bulls throughout the hunt, 2 of which would be close to the size of mine, if not a hair bigger, I was and am very satisfied with this bull.

At 43 inches, they assure me that he's one hell of a Eastern Cape Greater Kudu. I don't really care. He's mine.

No rest for the wicked of course, we immediately went back to hunting and stalking. I think we blew 3 more stalks that morning before 11 a.m., before finally connecting. . . But that's a story I'll save

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo
Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo

Some trail cam pics of our bull, from the morning he was killed

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo
Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo
Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo

From: Aftermerl
08-Jul-16
Lets Go Royals, Lets go Royals!

From: Zebrakiller
08-Jul-16
Makes me want to go back!

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
After lunch on the third day, it was off to try and find a zebra.

As I said, I wasn't really that excited about zebra, but my wife needed one, so that became a priority.

I'd shoot every zebra I could now. Those things are fun!

We found some zebra, in particular a small group of stallions, and we bumped them a few times, but not too badly, and they finally meandered down into a creek bottom, and settled down.

Paul and I circled way around, and got down into the creek bottom, and started slowly moving in.

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
As I always hope for on a stalk, the zebra did part of our job for us. We managed to be in front of the direction they wanted to meander. So as we slowly closed the gap, they slowly closed the gap as well.

We ended up 35 to 40 yards from the group of 6 or 7 stallions.

Some mares and foals were up the hillside, watching us, about 400 yards away, but thankfully, did not spook.

We ended up a little exposed. And the zebra started to get nervous. One stallion stared holes in us for quite a while. He tried to catch us. He'd stare at us, then put his head down like he was feeding, then jerk it up quickly.

He was the closest, and ultimately he moved down into the creek, out of sight.

I don't know if it was the wind, or our slight movements trying to find all the zebra. . . but they eventually spooked without offering a shot, and ran up hill

As the group spooked, I drew, because the stallion that went down in the creek would have to go in front of us to join his group in flight.

He stepped out at 35 yards, Paul whistled him to stop, and I made the worst shot of my life, that actually worked.

I'm not going to tell you where I hit him. It was a BAD shot. No excuses, I flinched. I knew it was bad

The stallion ran up hill, and I asked Paul to try to get to the truck and retrieve a rifle, while I tried to keep track of the stallion, who had run onto the opposite hillside. At this point, it stopped being a hunt. And my main concern was to get the zebra down as quickly as possible. The hillside was too open to stalk and finish with a bow. Ending it with a rifle was the right thing to do.

Fortunately for the stallion, I hit an artery, and he laid down and died pretty quickly. Before Paul got back with the rifle.

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
As Akuna, one of our trackers, was at the skinning shed skinning animals, there were only 3 of us available to load this zebra. Whitie, our other tracker, Paul and myself.

So I got to see the winch in action. Pretty neat how it worked. . .

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo

From: Bake
08-Jul-16
As the sun fell on our 3rd day, we were driving back to the lodge, and passing Andrew's father's house, when we spotted a warthog boar out in an alfalfa field below the farmhouse.

So we prepared, as a first for me, to hunt behind a high fence :)

This little alfalfa field, probably 15 acres or so, is behind a high "game-proof" fence, to try and reserve the alfalfa for the farmer.

Of course, the bloody warthog never got this message that it was a game-proof fence, and he'd burrowed holes underneath, and was stuffing his face with tender, irrigated alfalfa.

Paul and I decided to end his reign of fence-burrowing.

But, since it was a warthog, and warthogs and I hate one another, as we stalked close, and were trying to figure out a way to shoot through, or get into the high fenced field, a farm worker drove a "motorbike" down to shut down the irrigation.

Bastard warthog cleared the field and shimmied under the fence in a flash.

So my high fence hunting days were brief :)

Warthogs are bastards

From: Bake
08-Jul-16
WARNING: Next post contains a rifle kill :)

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
We spent the fourth day doing various stalks, and near the end of the day, I killed a nice old red hartebeest with a rifle. Much like the blesbok, I'm fairly confident that if a hunter wanted to spend the time to bowhunt them on foot, that they would stand a good chance of success, given some time and patience. Neither of which I had :)

But the really cool thing was the chance encounter we had after the red hartebeest.

Paul and Andrew both kept telling me how lucky it was that we chanced onto a caracal, or lynx as they called it.

Yes it was a rifle kill. But I'm dang happy to have had the chance with any weapon :)

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
Day 5 would be the day that my hate for warthogs really blossomed into a meaningful thing.

We headed back to Cowie, to try and take the last 2 animals on my wishlist. . . a warthog and a bushbuck.

The weather had turned a little, for the better. We'd been experiencing colder and wetter weather, with some wind at times. This had hurt our warthog sightings, and we hadn't even seen a bushbuck yet.

It didn't take long at Cowie until we saw my first bushbuck.

The sun had come out, and there were 2 or 3 rams hanging around a female. We put on a stalk, and got close, but eventually were busted.

Bushbuck bark. It's a dreaded sound actually.

From: Chief 419
08-Jul-16
There's nothing like that first trip across the pond. Great looking trophies. When if your next trip?

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
As the bushbuck barked and crashed off, we stood there in disappointment for a second, and then looked down the hill, and there were warthogs. . .

They were within 20 yards of some sheep, and the sheep were different colors, and we just dismissed them during the stalk.

A short wait, and I got yet another shot at a warthog.

No excuses. I blew it. I didn't rush. I didn't flinch. I just missed the sweet spot, and wounded the warthog.

Cruizer the beagle eventually bayed the warthog in some thick stuff, but before we could get there, the warthog took off again.

Never to be seen again.

Most of us have been there. It's not a good feeling.

From: Bake
08-Jul-16
We still had a lot of day left. We ate lunch under a shade tree. Re-grouped.

I was at a low-point, mentally.

But we kept on.

As the day wore on, it warmed up. Sun came out.

And so did the warthogs. . .

We spent parts of 3 days at Cowie. I bet we saw well over 200 warthogs.

It was a target rich environment.

We still-hunted through a bottom area, and hadn't gone far when a good warthog boar was spotted, in a stalkable location.

28 yards. I shot right over him.

I don't know what happened. I didn't rush. I didn't flinch. My bow was on (I know for a fact). I just muffed it.

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
At this point, I was ready to throw the bow away.

Paul insisted we keep going. We kept still hunting, and spotted yet more hogs.

As we were planning a stalk, several young boars exited a little creek, and ran right at us.

Beggars can't be choosers. . .

I drew and the lead boar spotted me and ran off a short distance. 20 yards. Gimme shot. Right?

Pulled it. But he went down, and I quickly put a finisher into him.

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
At this point, I was pretty dejected. Don't get me wrong, happy as heck with the warthog, but really upset about my shooting.

I've never shot this badly. I wish I could think of a good excuse.

I can't.

We had a little light left. But I raised the white flag. At this point, I was so mentally shaky, that I had no right to keep firing arrows at living animals.

We headed back to the lodge. But not before a young bushbuck ram walked right to us, and watched us from 8 or 9 yards in a thick creek bottom.

I managed to get a few cell camera pics.

From: Bake
08-Jul-16
So for the 6th and final day, I made the executive decision to leave the bow at the lodge.

For one thing, I was not shooting well enough to trust myself to shoot at anything.

For another, bushbuck was the last animal I really wanted, and they can be dangerous when wounded.

I also had no right to put Paul, Whitie, or Akuna in any danger with poor shooting.

So I took a rifle.

We set out with the intent of taking a bushbuck ram, and we accomplished our desire early in the 6th morning.

I have a lot of confidence that given another day or two, and with better shooting, that I could have killed a bushbuck ram with a bow.

Cowie was mountainous, thick, and great bushbuck cover. There were a lot of them, and I feel confident we could have taken one with a bow.

We also tried a stalk on a huge warthog with a rifle, but swirling winds gave us away, and he took off. Warthogs are bastards. I might be one as well

We ended the fantastic hunt with a nice impala ram with a rifle. Again, lots of impala. Given more time and the desire to really hunt them on foot, I feel like a bowkill would have been possible.

From: Bake
08-Jul-16
My only regret was my poor shooting.

Other than that, it was a fantastic trip. I wish I'd had more days, but it just wasn't in the cards for our anniversary trip. And I'm okay with that.

I highly recommend Crusader Safaris, and my PH, Paul Kruger.

I have nothing but good things to say

I will be back. For sure. Maybe not 2017, but at some point, I'll definitely be back.

I could happily spend 5 or 6 days at Cowie, doing nothing but stalking hogs and bushbuck. And that may be what I plan next :)

I gotta get this mental shooting demon under control before then, for sure :)

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
On the 6th day, while I hunted, my wife took a private tour through Addo Elephant Sanctuary and Port Elizabeth, with a tour guide set up by Andrew.

She had a magnificent time.

I'll post some of her pictures, and I'll end the story, eventually, with some Cape Town sight seeing pictures as well

From: Bake
08-Jul-16
I might also note, we saw a lot of game. I'll try to remember everything

Lots of kudu, Impala, red lechwe, bushbuck, black wildebeest, blue wildebeest, giraffe, steenbok, duiker, warthogs, eland, red hartebeest, zebra, blesbok, waterbuck, caracal, bat eared fox, mountain reedbuck, common reedbuck, Vaal rhebuck, mongoose, baboon, vervet monkeys, nyala, springbok, fallow deer.

From: APauls
08-Jul-16
Great story Bake!!! Love how you included ALL the details. The good, the bad and the ugly. I can relate to all 3. Fantastic writing, thanks for the read!

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
Addo

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
Oh, how I detest thee :)

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
My wife saw quite a bit of game in Addo. Elephant, zebra, cape buffalo, red hartebeest, warthog, kudu.

Didn't see any lions, unfortunately

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
Cape Town. What can I say?

I recommend it. We had a good time. Weather was a bit bad while we were there. The locals were freezing, as it was in the 50s.

My wife and I thought it was perfect. The bigger issue was rain and wind.

But we still managed to have a good time.

We stayed at the Cape Grace. An unnecessary luxury, but a good one. Without a doubt the finest hotel I've ever stayed at.

Saw Ethan Hawke in the elevator.

That hotel was WAY too nice for this Missouri hillbilly

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
Took the gondola to the top of Table Mountain

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
I liked Table Mountain

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
The Bo-Kaap area

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
We also did Cape Point

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
Some stinky little penguins :)

From: Bake
08-Jul-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo

From: Bake
08-Jul-16
And I'm spent :)

We really enjoyed the trip. Had a lot of fun in South Africa.

I for one, cannot wait to go back :)

From: StickFlicker
08-Jul-16
Bake,

Fantastic job of telling your story! Thank you.

I did notice one minor error in your story, however.

"These particular vervets even had the audacity to copulate (as Sheldon Cooper would say), right in front of the blind"

Being a BBT-aphile, I think Sheldon would have said that they had "the audacity to perform coitus right in front of the blind"...

Great story!

From: Bake
08-Jul-16
You are absolutely right stick!!

From: HUNT MAN
08-Jul-16
Nice story and great photos. Some day that hunt will be in the cards. Until then I will enjoy the stories you guys post . Congrats on 10' years and a great trip . Hunt

From: HUNT MAN
08-Jul-16

From: Buffalo1
08-Jul-16
Bake,

WOW- what and adventure Bake. And, you did a great job of making us feel that we were right there with you with the excitement and the pain. You can sure help bring back some great memories (good and bad) of my previous African hunts.

Congrats on some great trophies.

I told you before you went over- you would be figuring out how you were going to get back ASAP. Africa is truly and addiction.

From: drycreek
08-Jul-16
Great write up Bake ! As APauls said, glad you included all the details. Crap happens, to all of us eventually, and no need to fret about it. You had a good time, as did your wife, and that's what counts ! Congrats on your anniversary hunt !

From: t-roy
08-Jul-16
Congrats on a great trip, Bake. My wife & I went last year for OUR 10 year anniversary. Great minds think alike I guess, especially about the "shootin stuff" part!

Loved the pics of of your kudu! Beautiful caracal as well. They were high on my wish list.

From: JTreeman
09-Jul-16
Warthogs ARE bastards!

--Jim

From: otcWill
10-Jul-16
Great adventure! Thanks for posting

From: Bake
10-Jul-16
Thanks everyone! Wish I could go back tomorrow :)

From: BULELK1
12-Jul-16
Good for you both!!

Congrats on your Anniversary and Safari.

Good luck, Robb

From: Matt Rehor
12-Jul-16
Thx for bringing us along Bake!! Congrats...

From: Bowfreak
12-Jul-16
Africa is awesome! I miss it a lot and hope to go back. You created some great memories. Congrats on your trophies and time spent with your wife.

From: Bake
12-Jul-16

Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo
Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo

I stole some more pics off my wife's phone. . .

Addo

From: Bake
12-Jul-16

Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo
Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo

Addo

From: Bake
12-Jul-16

Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo
Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo

In a kudu blind

From: Bake
12-Jul-16

Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo
Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo

Public library in port Elizabeth

From: Bake
12-Jul-16

Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo
Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo

Paul and I are glassing a rim. On this rim are mountain reedbuck (the ram was broken on one side), 7 or 8 kudu including a good bull, an impala ram

From: Buffalo1
12-Jul-16
Bake this library photo - you're trying to pull the same trick on the Bowsiters that you tried to pull on your parents when you were in college- "I've been at the library!" You ain't fooling' us !!

12-Jul-16
Take a trip of a lifetime EVERY year! Well done! C

From: Bake
12-Jul-16

Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo
Bake's MOBILE embedded Photo

Kilimanjaro bull record tusks in the British Natural history museum

12-Jul-16
Looks like a great trip! Brings back some awesome memories from the Eastern Cape and Cape Town. Thanks for sharing!

From: JW
12-Jul-16
Great pics and story! Africa is an awesome place. Can't wait to get back! Congrats on 10 years.

12-Jul-16

Pete In Fairbanks's embedded Photo
Pete In Fairbanks's embedded Photo
Bake,

I think we are treading in each other's footsteps in the Eastern Cape. This is my wife Emma Lee. We were married a year ago but took our "hunting moon" in RSA. We were in Addo around May 20.

Pete

From: Bake
12-Jul-16
Pete. . . I missed Addo. I wish I had built in an extra day for it, but it worked out.

On day 5, Andrew had arranged for my wife to tour Addo on day 6, then Port Elizabeth. . . I told Paul that if I got a bushbuck on day 5, I'd do Addo with my wife the next day. . .

But we didn't get the bushbuck on day 5. And I REALLY wanted a bushbuck.

It worked out, as we got the bushbuck on day 6, the impala, and got some more stalks on big warthogs. . . And I got to see a lot more of the Cowie area on day 6. Enough more to convince me that I NEED to go back :) I NEED a bushbuck with a bow :)

From: AZ~Rich
12-Jul-16

AZ~Rich's embedded Photo
AZ~Rich's embedded Photo
Three trips and nearly 30 days of hunting to get my Bushbuck with a bow. I will cherish that moment for the rest of my life. For some it can be easy, for others it can turn into an obsession. Now I can look at him everyday. Keep at it and it will happen. BTW, Nice write-up!

12-Jul-16

Pete In Fairbanks's embedded Photo
Pete In Fairbanks's embedded Photo
Bake,

I flat out love stalking bushbuck. I have a Cape bb and a Limpopo bb, but both are rifle kills. I STILL love chasing them around in the thick stuff though...

The place I go in the Eastern Cape is between Grahamstown and Bedford. I went through Bedford again this past May on my way to hunt eland on another property.

Pete

From: Bake
12-Jul-16
Nice bull! We weren't very far from Bedford where we were hunting bushbuck and warthog.

Then the main lodge is not that far from Grahamstown, I don't think.

Love that country, that's for sure. Your pic looks just like the areas we were hunting

12-Jul-16

Pete In Fairbanks's embedded Photo
Pete In Fairbanks's embedded Photo
Yes sir. Pretty neat bull. Interesting to chase "plains" game at something like 6,000 to 7,000 feet elevation!

Meant to post bb photo instead... Trying again.

Pete

From: t-roy
16-Jul-16

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
Here's a little souvenir I picked up on the Waterfront over in Cape Town last year.

I thought you & JTreeman might soften on the warthogs a bit;>)

From: Drahthaar
21-Jul-16
Awesome, thanks for taking us along. Forrest

21-Jul-16
That's a cool shirt...I missed that one!

From: Bake
17-Nov-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
So, surprise surprise, the dipping, packing, shipping, etc. didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would. Wasn't even held up very long in customs. And it flew Delta apparently, which I wasn't sure was shipping animal trophies. . . . :)

From: Bake
17-Nov-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo

From: Bake
17-Nov-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo

From: Bake
17-Nov-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo

From: Heat
17-Nov-16
Smile from ear to ear I bet? Nice trophies!

From: t-roy
17-Nov-16
Kinda like Christmas!

I see a few trophies in your pile not mentioned in your story. Black wildebeest and I think it's a waterbuck. Possibly Lechwe?

From: Bake
17-Nov-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
Black wildebeest, blesbok, impala, red hartebeest were not mentioned too much, as they were rifle kills. Didn't want to offend the Bowsite sensibilities :)

The red lechwe however, I wanted to try and see if I could have a story published. None of the editors I contacted even took the time to reply, so I guess I can add the red lechwe story. . . .

From: Bake
17-Nov-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
So there were a LOT of red lechwe in this area. They were everywhere along the watercourses and the Baviaansriver. They can jump the cattle fences like a deer, and were numerous. They weren't even on my radar before the hunt, partly because they were expensive, and partly because they just didn't interest me that much. But like other things, as soon as I saw them in the wild, I wanted one :)

We started stalks on red lechwe on the 2nd day. We busted several bulls. Bulls in groups with cows. Bulls alone. Bulls with other bulls. The wind got us on one, a jackrabbit that we spooked ran under a bull's nose at one point, and he walked off, etc.

We had 4 unsuccessful stalks under our belts by the 4th day.

That morning, we checked a drainage for an old big bull that we had already stalked and blown out, and sure enough, there he was. And further up the hill, a big group of bulls.

So we made a plan and began a stalk. Paul maneuvered us finally within 40 yards of the group, which the big bull had joined. Again, my shooting was not up to snuff. . .

I just shanked my shot. Hit him really far back. I knew it immediately, and was disgusted. But as fortune smiles on the idiotic and inept, the bull ran a short semi-circle and stopped 40 yards away. I was able to get a frontal shot, and get another arrow into him. This shot was better, but still a little off.

They all ran off at that point, and we were able to see most of them cross the river, and head down river. But not the big bull.

So we snuck down the little bluff, and watched the bull bed down on the riverbank. As we had walked that way, we had picked up the first arrow I'd shot at the bull. At 50 yards, I missed him while bedded with that already used arrow. Then I 12 ringed him twice with two follow up shots at 50.

I don't know how I can shank a shot so badly on the first arrow, then make 2 perfect shots at 50. . . But that's what happened

Fortunately, this all transpired in a matter of minutes. Probably easily less than 5 minutes, so the bull didn't have to put up with my ineptitude for very long. For which I'm glad. I HATE to make stuff suffer any longer than necessary.

I'm super proud of this bull. Even though his death screwed my budget and knocked eland off the list :) :)

Bake

From: Bake
17-Nov-16
I really don't know what happened with my shooting on this hunt. I've laid awake many a night with this first-world white-man problem. Why was I shanking these shots? . . .

Target panic? Rushing the shot?

I think it is a form of target panic. It was like flinching at the shot. Like when you shoot a big gun and flinch like a little girl in anticipation of the recoil. I was rushing, and then anticipating the trigger on my release.

Strangely, this seemed to start last year on an elk hunt when I did the same thing on a HUGE bull elk. But it hasn't seemed to affect me on "set" shots. Like from a treestand or a blind

My kudu shot on this hunt was perfectly placed, it just didn't put him down as quickly as we thought. I've shot a couple whitetails before or since, from treestands, with none of these issues.

Just seems like you put me on the ground in a stalk situation, and I mentally panic, and think I have to shoot quick, so I rush, then flinch in anticipation of the release.

I hope I can get it under control. That's for sure. I've been debating a back tension release, but hate to make changes during deer season. . . .

Bake

From: Drahthaar
17-Nov-16
Awesome lechwe , does sound like target panic , I have it from time to time. Forrest

From: t-roy
17-Nov-16
Beautiful lechwe! I know what you mean by not being on your radar at first. Waterbuck didn't interest me till about 6 months before we headed over. I ended up killing a really nice bull and was probably my favorite animal taken. Black Wildebeest was also high on the list but it was such a long drive to the concession, we decided against it.....this trip!

Sure would like to see your wildebeest pics. Whoever it offends, they can get over it!

From: Bake
17-Nov-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
Long story. Both were cows. Paul thought the first cow was a bull. Not his fault. She fooled another experienced hunter when at the skinning shed.

The second cow was shot by me when trying to finish the first cow. Shot the wrong one. All my fault.

Outfitter was not going to charge me at all for black wildebeest. But I didn't think that was fair. I pulled the trigger. So I paid for one bull

From: Bake
17-Nov-16

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
Second cow

From: Bake
17-Nov-16
I switched the pics. Second pic was the first cow that fooled Paul. First pic is my mistake for shooting the wrong one

From: Bake
17-Nov-16
This makes my whole trip seem like a comedy of errors. Felt that way a time or two :). But I still had the time of my life

From: Buffalo1
17-Nov-16
Congrats Bake. Nothing can describe when the crate arrives and the the excitement and anxiety experienced. It is truly a "Big Boy" Christmas morning experience.

The biggest problem with Africa is the "addiction" which it creates in the bowhunting soul. Till one goes and experiences, he/she will never understand the yearning to return for infinity times.

From: Chief 419
18-Nov-16
When the crate arrives, it's a moment of joy, relief & sorrow. The sorrow part is getting the taxidermy bill. I tanned all my hides at one time and then took my time getting the animals mounted.

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