Contributors to this thread:
Dries Visser Aug 23-Sept 1
My wife and I were fortunate enough to hunt with Dries Visser Safaris this year. Everything was top notch, from the lodging, to the food, the PH's, and the hunting, which was incredible. We met some really great people and took some amazing trophies. My PH was Nico, and I cannot say enough great things about this guy. He was a great guy to hunt with, and worked extra hard to give me opportunities at the animals I was after.
The 1st morning, Nico sat with my wife and I in a fiberglass blind, looking for Impala and Kudu. We weren't in the blind 30 minutes when 2 nice Impala rams came in. We looked them over, and he told me we could do better. The morning passed with vervet monkey, warthog, and a 1 horned duiker running around.
Around 12:30, Nico saw 3 nice Impala working their way in from our left. They were very nervous, and milled around for about 30 minutes before coming into the water. The biggest ram came in and stopped and gave me an 18 yard broadside shot. The shot looked good and the impala took off. We called in the trackers, and went to look for him and found him 80 yards from the blind. 1st day, and already 1 great trophy.
After taking pictures, we got back in the blind, hoping for a big Kudu to come in. We had some more impala, warthog and a couple small Kudu come in, but no shooters.
The next morning, Nico and I put up a blind in an area that he had seen a large kudu. He told me that since we put the blind up today, the action might be slow, but he was confident that the big kudu would show up.
The action was slow that morning, with only a couple warthogs running through. Around 11am, we saw 2 good warthogs coming in from our right. I told him I would like to try and take the biggest one if he came in. The biggest one was cautious, but he finally came in and I had a 16 yard shot. I pulled my bow back, and was settling the pin when Nico whispered "don't shoot". I slowly let up and the warthog ran off. I was shooting over Nico's video camera and I guess my broadhead was going to hit it if I shot. The warthog was still close and he fed back in about 10 minutes later. I re-adjusted my position, and got a shot this time. We found him about 75 yards away.
Back in the blind, I couldn't believe I had already taken 2 great trophies, but I wondered if I should have let the warthog walk. I was hoping that I didn't mess up the chance at a kudu. The next couple of hours were slow. Nothing was coming in. But it was still early, and we had a few hours left.
Around 2:30, I looked out the blind and saw a kudu bull. I could tell he was small, but I still got excited. He stood and looked at the blind for about 5 minutes, before starting to come in. As he was walking in, 2 more bulls appeared, 1 about his size, and the big one! Now my heart was beating. They all stood about 75 yards from the blind and just milled around, but wouldn't come in. They fed for about 15 minutes and turned and left. My heart sunk.
I was pretty bummed for the next few minutes, but not 20 minutes later, 3 kudu cows came running into the water. Nico said "get your bow, the big one is back". I grabbed my bow and looked out the shooting window and there he was. My heart was beating so loud I was sure they could hear it. He finally gave me a 16 yard shot and I released the arrow. He ran off and we called the trackers. It only took them 10 minutes to get to us and i was still shaking when they got there. Once we got out of the blind, we saw the bull, not 50 yards away, piled up. We high fived and ran over to him. The animal I wanted most was down, only 2 days into my hunt.
Both your warthog and kudu are OUT STANDING! What did they measure? I would guess 14" on the warthog and close to 60" on the kudu. Very nice.
The warthog was around 10" and the kudu was 54". I was very pleased with both...
Awesome kudu! Congrats, keep the stories coming.
The next day, I sat alone, looking for another impala or whatever came in. The day started off good, with waterbuck, monkey, warthog, impala and kudu coming and going but I didn't see anything I wanted. Around 1 pm, about 40 baboons came pouring in. I grabbed my bow, and waited. They were moving all over the place and I was afraid to move, as they have excellent eyesite. Finally, a male came in front of the blind and stopped for a brief moment. I made a 15 yard shot and he made it about 25 before piling up.
4 trophies in 3 days. I couldn't believe the amount of animals I was seeing. The next day, I saw alot of animals, but held off, not wanting to go broke half way through the safari. A jackal did come in, but never gave me a good shot. He stayed out about 70 yards from the blind. He finally came to the water, but would never drink and just stayed behind the branches at the back of the water hole.
I told Nico that night, that I wanted to try for Gemsbok or Red Hartebeest the next day. He told me that he had a blind close the the lodge, where a big red hartebeest was coming in.
We got the the blind the next day very early, and not 10 minutes after getting everything set up, I saw 2 good kudu bulls off in the distance. They were just haning out about 100 yards in front of the blind, but wouldn't come in. After watching them for a few minutes, I looked to my right and saw a gemsbok! This was the 1st one I had seen all trip and I really wanted one. About 6 showed up, but never came to the water, just staying out of bow range.
After about 45 minutes, 2 slowly made their way to the water. I had one give me a 15 yard shot, but they heard me draw my bow and took off, leaving only a cloud of dust at the waterhole. I have been told how hard it is to get gemsbok to come into a waterhole, and figured I had blown my chance.
After things cooled down, 9 good kudu bulls made their way back into the water and stayed around for awhile. A couple small warthogs came in and while I was taking pictures, 7 more gemsbok showed up. Maybe this would be my lucky day. They were nervous, but a couple made their way into bow range.
About that time, 3 good blesbuck came into the water hole. I had a gemsbok at 24 yards, quartering away, but a good blesbuck 13 yards away broadside. I knew I should take the shot at the blesbuck, but didn't want to pass up the shot on the gembsok. I drew back the bow, settled the pin on the gemsbok and released. the shot was good and I watched her drop.
I had finally gotten a gemsbok!
The rest of the afternoon brought alot of animals, but no hartebeest. Here are some of the different animals I saw that day.
The next 2 days would be spent looking for Red Hartebeest. We saw Eland, Kudu, Gemsbok, Blue Wildebeest, Waterbuck, and Warthog, but no Red Hartebeest. Other in camp were seeing them, but they were eluding me.
Late in the afternoon, about 50 blesbok come to the waterhole. Hartebeest and blesbok were the last 2 I was looking for, so I was hoping for a shot at one. I could never get a clear shot, as there were just too many at the waterhole. Most fed off, and 3 came in alone, and I finally got a good male at 18 yards. The shot was too far back and he took off with the herd. He stood out in front of me, about 100 yards for a couple minutes then walked off. The herd just stayed there for about 1 hour, and he finally laid down. I felt good about that, but 30 minutes later, he was up again. I waited another hour before calling the trakcer, as I wanted to give him time. When the trucked pulled up, I watched him walk off and told John, the tracker, what happened.
We went to the last place I saw him, and found some blood,but not much and we decided to back out and wait a bit. We went back to the lodge and rested until about 4pm. We went back out to look for him, and 3 other trackers showed up to help, and Dries Sr as well. Dries went to the spot we last saw him and studied the tracks for a few minutes. We tracked him until dark, and Dries said we should leave him until morning, but was confident we would find him. I wasn't so sure.
The next day, they told me to just head to another blind for hartebeest and they would take up the track. They found my blesbok not 100 yards from where we stopped, but the jackals had gotten to him. We did get the horns, and Nico found me a cape back at camp. I felt very lucky to get that one.
I had 2 days left to hunt, and still hadn't gotten a chance at a hartebeest. I went back to a blind I sat the day before, as Nico said this was my best chance. I was in the blind for about 1 hour, when I looked out and saw the hartebeest. He was about 50 yards out, looking toward the blind. He slowly made his way into the waterhole, and I had time to get my bow and get nervous. He presented me with a 18 yard broadside shot and the shot flew true. I called Nico on the radio and he said he would be right in. Nico showed up with John his tracker, and my wife, as she wanted to see the hartebeest. We found him about 100 yards away. 9 days and I got my Red Hartebeest!
I was pretty much done, having taken 7 animals in 9 days. Nico and I talked it over and decided to try for bushbuck on the last day. We went to another property about an hour away and sat in a blind at the base of some mountains. We passed a game preserve on our way there and got to see this guy along the side of the road.
The day brought a lot of different animals. We saw giraffe, zebra, eland, kudu, impala, duiker, monkey, and even bushbuck, but no shooters.
As the sun set on the last evening, I thanked Nico for an absolutely amazing hunt. I sat and reflected and knew how blessed I was to not only get to hunt in South Africa, but be able to take the trophies I did, and make some new friends along the way.
This was my 2nd "once in a lifetime" trip, and I'm sure it won't be my last.
Awesome! happy hunting, dv
Great looking animals! Looks like you had a fantastic trip.
Outstanding trip. Great pictures as well. Im sure its a trip both you and your wife wont forget anytime soon. Any pictures of your blesboks horns?
Great looking animals! Looks like you had a fantastic trip.
Thanks for the photos and stories. Looks like you had an awesome time. Congrats on some fine trophies.
Thanks for the nice comments. I don't have any pictures of my blesbok horns, but I saw this nice ram the next morning. I didn't shot, because I didn't know at the time if they had found mine other one or not.
Congrats--Dries is a great guy & outfitter
Congrats on a fine trip, Your kudu is beautiful. I hunted with Nico the last 2 weeks of july. For only 1 year of being a PH, i was very impressed.
How's general? He got his back feet run over right before i left.
Great Photos and hunt. I was there for 12 days in 2005 .
Nico is a great PH, no doubt about it. He was always positive and listened to what I wanted to hunt for and put me in a place to have an opportunity.
General was all healed up when we got there. He is a great little dog, that's for sure.