RANCE SAFARIS,EASTERN CAPE, Brian and Denise Welker Safari EP5

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RANCE SAFARIS,EASTERN CAPE, Brian and Denise Welker Safari EP5

A crisp clear morning greeted us on the fifth day which was a welcome change.  Primarily we were to target a bushbuck by glassing the thicker valley bushveld thickets. We encountered plenty kudu and waterbuck again but there was no sign of bushbuck.  We slowly walked from vantage point to vantage point spending considerable time at each glassing away.  Just as we were about to move off further down the valley I spotted a buffalo walking out into a clearing – he was a long way off but we decided to take a closer look.

It must have taken about thirty minutes to get onto the same side of the valley as the buffalo was around and across a deep gorge.  We had to guesstimate to where the buffalo was heading and would be and we were spot on.  We managed to get within about 25 yards of him but the brush was so thick that we could only see his feet.  He must have heard our hearts pumping in our chests and with that took off down into the gorge and up the other side to where we had just come from.  Brian was carrying his 375 improved, so was confident in taking a longer shot if necessary.  As the buffalo came to a screeching halt and spun around to figure out what he smelt, he was a tad over 300 yards away and Brian let lead fly! Only after the buffalo reared up on his back legs we heard the hit.  There was no time for follow up shots as the brush engulfed the wounded bull.

Because of thick brush and the uncertainty of how well the bull was hit, we brought Gus into mix, an unbelievable English Coon Hound cross Blue tick.   Once we climbed up across the valley and found where the bull was initially hit, we were quick to pick up the blood trail and released Gus.  Within three minutes Gus had the buffalo bayed, the wounded buffalo didn’t run very far at all, but lay in ambush in the nearest thicket waiting for us.  The sound of Gus and bull having a go at each other was something spectacular! With Gus holding the attention of the buffalo, we managed to get in close without provoking a charge. As the bull broke in attempt to get away from Gus, we managed to get a few extra shots in before he disappeared below us.  As the buffalo’s death bellow echoed down the valley we knew it was all over.  Closer inspection revealed that Brian’s initial shot was a tad low in the shoulder missing the bottom of the heart! Again high fives all round on a successful and exciting bushbuck turned buffalo hunt.

That afternoon Brian and I went out in search of nyala.  We made a few successful stalks on several nyala bulls but all turned out too immature. Whilst making another stalk on a nyala we stumble upon two beautiful kudu bulls not 80 yards from us, the one was old pushing 58” for sure. I offered him to Brian but he declined as he would rather have Denise have a go, but she was back at the lodge on a conference call, we never did see that bull again.

After passing up nyala after nyala, at last light we finally found the bull we wanted.  Brian had to make a shot a little over 100 yards and made no mistake! He was a beautiful old nyala bull with long ivory tips way past his prime, and stretched the tape to 27”. 

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