Mike Becher safari

Wednesday, 27th April 2016

Hunt ended with Jim taking another impala and the total was 11 animals : Jim 7 and Mike 5, a total of 1 non trophy and 10 Trophys.

All had a good trip !

ELAND COW :

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They got an Eland today their last day !

A blesbok was hit but still looking for it.

Jim and Mike each hunted Gemsbok and got both today !

Today Jim hunted a Black Wildebeest and Mike got a Springbok and an Impala - going good !

Jim got his warthog and an Impala so far !

Mike Becher from Clendenin,  WV, USA
and

James Miller from Elkview, WV, USA

 

The hunters, Mike and James, are on their way with Barry to Grahamstown for their first part of their hunt, all went well with their arrival in Joberg and PE.

Jim and Mike's hunt with Barry :

Arrived at the lodge settled in and then made the trip down to the range. Both rifles were spot on and without tarring we made our way down into the Gwextu river with a strong hot breeze from the North West straight into our faces. We spotted some Kudu cows feeding into the thick Acacia below us but did not glimpse a bull and once shooting light had faded we wound our way up back to the truck and headed for the lodge.

The next day we got a good early start and I had decided to hunt a huge conservancy about an 1 hours’ drive from the lodge. The mist was thick along our route and as predicted the day became very hot early. We scoured the kloofs for Kudu but they had taken to the thick bush for shade and rest in the certainty that they would feed their full under the large round moon that night. At about 11 we ended up standing on a contour looking down at the floodplains of the Koonap river, just above its confluence with the Fish river. Far below us on a green patch a solitary warthog boar with long thick tusks was on his knees feeding. We made our way down hastily but it was far away . We approached the clearing slowly , searching for the boar. Suddenly on our right,60 yards away, we spotted a very good Bull walking over the same clearing directly at us. I placed the sticks and Jim mounted the tripod slowly and quietly , the bull continued to walk at us until it stopped with a branch covering it. It suddenly looked up at us and bolted not offering us a shot.

Late in the day we spotted a big Bull and stalked in on him. He was feeding in some thick bush and moving slowly. Getting into range we positioned on him and waited for him to enter a small clearing on the dense opposite slope. Mike was up on the sticks as he appeared in the open and squeezed off a shot that did not find its mark. 

We drove back home filling up with fuel in Grahamstown along the way. The next 2 days of hunting were hard and hot as hell, the worst weather for Kudu.  Mike and Jim put in so much hard work and we successfully stalked a number of big Bulls to under 100 yards, however each time a branch would obstruct our view of the vitals. 

Over lunch on the second day we carried our cooler boxes down to a place that offered us shade from the draining heat and a view of a thickly bushed valley. We  had some lunch and Jim eased himself back for a siesta, Mike scanned the valley with his Binocs , I stalked a few yards west to get a different angle and Eric my tracker settled down to scan the far slope.  About an hour later a warthog boar came into view and within range. Tapping Jim on the shoulder I let him know and prepared the tripod. The shot echoed out and the resounding slap of a hit was clearly audible. The shot was a little far back and the pig set a course for the thickets parts of the far slope and very soon was out of sight. We started to track him with the aid of my experienced blood dog “Adatha Spare” . The heat was unbearable as we crawled and fought our way on the blood spoor. The dogs were really suffering in the heat and had to work even harder continually having to come back and show us the way as the blood was getting very weak.  After about 3 hours, Addie made contact with the pig and started to bay it not far in front of us.  Moving into position I could see Addie flashing white as she danced and barked in front of the pig, but could not make out the pig in the gloom of the thick bush. A sudden rush of sound as the pig exploded away from us. Another hard walk and a few clearings we could actually stand up in and even start to jog behind when another contact was made 200m in front of us. We move quickly and I only caught a glimpse of the warthog reversing down a hole throwing my rifle up I peer over the top of the scope and pull the trigger hitting the pig in the head but missing brain it is stunned. I ask Mike to cover me from the flank of the hole as I line up to try and brain the pig deep in the hole. I try and see through the scope buts it’s all fine floating dust and dark, I remove my eye from the scope and deep down I see the white of the tusks aim over the top of the scope and shoot, as I pull my bolt back the pig comes out at me in front of the hole. As he explodes out Mike shoots and brains him stopping him in his tracks thankfully. 

We took our pics and loaded the pig up, the sun was very low and without too much warning a thunderstorm erupted bucketing rain down on us as we made our way home through the bolts of lightning. The storm was intense knocking the power out back at the lodge, so an impromptu unanimous decision to go to the “Rat and Parrot” pub about half and hour drive away in Grahamstown for beers and supper was taken in the truck.

Our last day at least its cooler. Very early start and 10 min in the bush our first Bull spotted far away. Get closer but Bull needs another year. Spot another bull from there and reduce distance, turns out there are 3 bulls 1 shooter. We stalk a perfect stalk and in the end all we can see is his horns at 60 yards, we need him to step 1 m left or 1m right, but no, he steps directly away he goes, keeping the one bush between us. Radio Eric who brings the truck to pick us up. Driving along and here 40yards away a Big long old bull walks nonchalantly away from us . I stop. jump out. grab sticks. Jim joins me and we start a slow walk in scattered acacia catching glimpses of the Bull as he moves slowly through the scrub, Up on sticks a view of head and neck, a passing patch of shoulder and gone as he melts away.  

We need to move and get onto the opposite slope to look back for him, I am sure we can get him. Into position and scan the slope, there the cows he was with, an hour no bull and a sudden crash of thunder a flash of lightning and a huge downpour begins. We hunt hard for the rest of the day, searching hard, but luck does not come our way and the sun sets over a wet green land where everything is possible but nothing is for sure other than its  very real and sometimes cruel even for those who deserve……. Mike and Jim remained calm worked hard and stayed positive and deserved their Bulls! 

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Mike Becher from Clendenin,  WV, USA

and

James Miller from Elkview, WV, USA  

will be here for their african hunting safari on mon 18 April 2016, with PH Barry Podesta first for Kudu and Warthog in Grahamstown and then with PH Lalase here at RHS !

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