Showing posts from August, 2017

Into Africa: Day 5

Don't Get Cocky Of the three shots I had taken on animals in Africa so far, all the arrows had hit exactly where they needed to. I'd studied Brent's shot placement book over and over, and with a little bit of his coaching during the moment of the shot, had made three perfect shots. Granted they were all 16 yards or less, but the blood trails had been short and the tracking easy. I won't say I was getting overconfident or cocky, but sometimes I need a reminder not to. On day 5 we returned to the blind I had killed my zebra from, again planning to sit all day. An nyala was the first animal to come in after things had settled down, and soon some small warthogs appeared. Close to 10am, Brent heard the guttural grunt of an impala and signaled me to get ready. Two male impala began making their way in to the water and we agreed on which one I should take. I positioned myself to get ready to draw and Brent got the camera running. Now it was just a matter of waiting for

Into Africa: Day 4

Black with White Stripes Brent and I had noticed that the animals weren't moving until later in the morning, so there was no need in beating the sunrise just to sit in the blind longer. We developed a routine of getting up just a little later for breakfast, after the other hunters in camp and still getting to the blinds well before the animals were moving. This time we went to yet another blind, a small tin shed built into the ground with shooting and viewing windows cut into it. We had quite a few animals come in: nyala, kudu, warthog, wildebeest and sable all wandered in and out throughout the day. Seeing so much activity kept us entertained and provided some filming opportunities but there was nothing to shoot at. Warthog was high on my list but the only males we saw were very small. Having packed a lunch, we sat all day. Just before dark, a herd of 8 wildebeest, a few warthogs, and a sable were all in range feeding and watering, when we saw a gemsbok carefully approachin

Into Africa: Day 3

New Favorite We arrived at the pop-up blind with our lunch of leftover pizza packed and plans to sit all day, or until we killed something. We had the usual quick breakfast in camp and Erisha took the truck back after dropping us off. We sat for a little while and both started reading after a while. A few blesbok came into the water, but way out of range. This was a big water hole, and the majority of it was out of bow range, but many animals had been approaching where we were set up, so we were still hopeful. Back to reading The Green Hills of Africa.  I looked up to see a kudu bull with his head down drinking water about 40 yards away but at a bad angle. I don't know much about kudu, but he looked like a pretty good one to me. There was another, smaller bull with him that was very cautious and never came out into the open. Up until then, I was still undecided if I wanted to take a kudu but seeing him in the flesh, his gray, deer-like hair, mane on his neck, the white

Into Africa: Day 2

Not So Fast The next morning we would go back to the same blind we hunted the day before. The staff had prepared a quick breakfast for us as well as packed a lunch so we could stay all day. As we drove up to the blind, we spooked a beautiful sable, so we hurried and got settled in. Later in the morning the sable returned, along with two eland and the wildebeest that had been with the one I killed. These would all return throughout the day making for some excitement, but not any shot opportunities. The sable is a beautiful animal, but the trophy fee is a little more than I planned to pay. The eland on the other hand, were not initially attractive to me but after seeing them in person being impressed by the size of their body, were beginning to grow on me. Twice we had zebras approach the waterhole, but from our blind spot and I was never able to get a shot. The eland and sable kept me entertained and provided some good video but I wasn't able to shoot anything. Blind hunting

Into Africa: Day 1

Set the Pace Having arrived at camp so late, none of us were itching to get started too early. We had to check our weapons anyway, so we got started well after daylight. I'm not sure if it was the rough handling on the planes or if I was just jumpy, but it took about 30 arrows and a sight modification to get the Hoyt grouping right. Then Brent, Erisha and I were on our way to our first hunting spot. Not far from camp, we spotted two giraffes. Giraffes! We drove up to a blind fashioned out of a burlap-like material with a window cut into it, wrapped around the legs supporting a 14x14 platform wildlife viewing station overlooking a waterhole. In addition to the water, there was a salt block and feed to draw animals in. This is wintertime in Africa, and its very dry this time of year. Brent and I got set up and Erisha drove the truck back up the road a ways so as not to interfere with any animals close by. We had been in the blind about 45 minutes when two blue wildebeest began to a

Into Africa: Travel Day

It's not every day that you wake up in the middle of a dream and find out that it's real. But that's what happened to me landing in South Africa. I could never paint a true picture that would represent the incredible experience I had on this trip. It has to be experienced. But I'm going to try to detail the trip as well as I can with the rest of this series. Enjoy and please comment any questions you have about the hunt! Travel Day As my overnight workday was ending, my real day was really just beginning. Leaving work at 5am, I hurried home, took a shower and loaded my bow case, backpack and a suitcase into the back of my sister's car. My mom, dad and sister were taking me to the airport to see me off on my first ever trip out of the country. I had gone over my list of items to bring many times, and as we neared the terminal of the airport, I mentally checked them off again, not that there was really any time to pick up anything last-minute anyway. Ok, I think I