Kudu hunt


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Andrew Leigh
October 11, 2012, 07:52 AM
Thought I would share the fruits of my latest hunt. Shot on a friends farm in the Eastern Cape, South Africa at 300m with a CZ550 30-06 using 180gr. Accubonds. Not a trophy but a nice bull at 48.5" none the less.

http://i1133.photobucket.com/albums/m582/CZ550/Kudu-2-Oct-2012.jpg

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countertop
October 11, 2012, 09:55 AM
Why isn't that a trophy? Sure looks like one to me.

Andrew Leigh
October 11, 2012, 10:15 AM
Hi,

what I meant to say that it does not meet the Rowland Ward minimum criteria of 53 7/8". If it did I would have had it full shoulder mounted.

For me it is a stunning trophy and the largest I have shot, I will be having it skull mounted.

Water-Man
October 11, 2012, 11:53 AM
Thank you for sharing with us. Nice animal and good shooting.

W-M

H&Hhunter
October 11, 2012, 09:01 PM
Nice bull, congratulations.

Liberty1776
October 11, 2012, 10:34 PM
gotta tell you - I wish I had friends like yours. Really nice bull, must have been a great trip. Any stories?

DesertFox
October 11, 2012, 10:58 PM
Nice beast!

C-grunt
October 11, 2012, 11:38 PM
When I retire I want to go to Africa for a hunt. Not the big 5 or anything like that. The Kudu seems like a great animal to hunt.

Saakee
October 11, 2012, 11:54 PM
going to at least mount the skull and horns?

JEB
October 11, 2012, 11:59 PM
vey cool! good job!

Andrew Leigh
October 12, 2012, 03:17 AM
going to at least mount the skull and horns?
Yeah a skull mount will be the order of the day.

Andrew Leigh
October 12, 2012, 04:09 AM
gotta tell you - I wish I had friends like yours. Really nice bull, must have been a great trip. Any stories?
A couple of us were invited, with our wives, to hunt on a private game farm just north of Uitenhage, which is close to Port Elizabeth in South Africa, I had hunted there previously. We decided to drive down as I like the wide open spaces and the feeling of freedom as one accesses our beautiful country, my wife wanted to fly, spoilt brat. The drive is 750 miles but we broke the journey and slept over at Mountain Zebra National Park which is just before Cradock. MZNP is a small park but there are different things to see, I could not help lusting after a Eland bull, my rifles were behind the driver’s seat …… just kidding. We had our first spot of the Malachite Sunbird that afternoon which was awesome, the following morning early we took one of the 4X4 tracks en-route out to the exit gate, it was a nice drive. We arrived at the farm at about 14:00 on Thursday and most spent the rest of the day relaxing and unpacking.

Late that afternoon we decided to go out and see what the lay of the land was so to speak. I took the 6.5X55mm along, keen to blood the rifle as it was new, also knowing that we would not be shooting Kudu that afternoon. We came across an Impala ram at about 160yds which my host told me to shoot, I was on the rear of the Toyota Landcruiser and I took aim over the front railing and missed high. How that happened is a mystery, I do not suffer from “buck fever” and said rifle was shooting 0.5MOA groups over the bench. Anyway the pot was still empty so off we trundled until the next Impala, my seasoned hunter friend took aim with his .308 Mauser, a fully bedded full stock beauty and he too missed, over the top again? Well now we were a little perplexed as we both can shoot, especially over a dead rest. The wind was gusting and swirling but we were never over 160yds from the Impala so it should not have made that much difference. Upon reaching the next Impala ram our host decided it was time to teach the “Englishmen” how to shoot (he being Afrikaans speaking), he took dead rest over the bonnet with his .270 Sako and missed, over the top.

Having no explanation for our poor performance other than the possibility that the swirling wind could be affecting the trajectory we all agreed that the afternoon should not be referred to again and that we would have to serve each other a “punishment drink” for our failures. Well we continued to “punish” ourselves till late deciding that Impala were no longer to be hunted as they were too illusive and had too much mojo.

As the weather potentially was going to warm up it (it never did, it got worse) it was essential to get the hunt over early so we could hang the meat, quarter it and allow it sufficient time to cool before placing into the deep freeze to really cool the meat (not to freeze) so that we could transport it back by trailer on the Tuesday. Remember we were shooting in our summer so special care was required.

We went out on Friday morning looking for a trophy Kudu for me, I took the 30-06 with 180gr. Accubond’s being pushed by 52.3gr. S365 (a local powder); which consistently delivers less that 0.75 MOA over a bench. We parked the Landcruiser where the bush was a little less dense and went further on foot. We came across 5 young Kudu bulls walking in single file. This was truly remarkable as they normally bugger off when you are 500yds away, if you see them at all that is, plus with the swirling wind and cool conditions most the game had gone to ground or deep cover, it must have been our lucky day. When the 4th one entered a clearing my host simply said “take him”. At about 60yds I took him on the shoulder, the tail flicked up and the legs kicked back, a sign of the bull having taken a hit. The bull lurched and disappeared. We found him 10yds from where he had been shot, he had fallen down into a dry river bed. We then field dressed him and I can recall being a little perplexed as this was hardly a trophy bull. I should not have been, this bull was free and I quickly reminded myself of my host’s hospitality. We fetched the Landcruiser and it took three of us about 30min to drag the bull through the bush to a place where it could be loaded. The bullet hit where I wanted it to so I was chuffed, the Accubond zipped straight through so we could not recover the bullet, I still want to see a recovered Accubond to see if the “premium bullet” is exactly that.

Early that afternoon my host said to me “come Englishman, let’s go get you a nice Kudu bull” it must be pointed out the Englishman is said with affection, my host is Afrikaans speaking.

Let me explain what the farm is like, the terrain there is mountainous, the bush is impenetrable and there is one ravine after the next. Sightings of Kudu are limited to small groups of cows on the other side of the ravines and bulls are extremely rare, although there are many. If you see a bull all you see is the top of the head and the horns and that only when on the back of the cruiser. There are well appointed hides all over the farm which are about 20 foot high and positioned at junctions in the road. Not every shot can be taken as one first needs to evaluate the possibility of recovering any animal from where they drop. Many shots are not taken on good bulls for this reason.

So off to the Landcruiser we go with me on the back. We covered mile after mile driving around looking for sign / spoor and for visual. We had the tracker dog with us, without the dog it can be almost impossible to recover any kill. The roads are bad and it is bone jarring stuff. We continued until late that afternoon seeing nothing save for 3 Kudu ewes at a distance, I was getting despondent; no Impala, no Warthog, no nothing. Clearly the weather was against us and it did not look like it was going to improve, indeed it did not.
We crested one hill and on the other side of the ravine was a Kudu bull standing in the open. I judged him to be about 230yds away, my host said it was further.

After surveying the bull through his scope he said that it was a good bull but not a trophy and that based on our results and the fact that the weather was getting worse this could be as good as it gets. I took dead rest over the top of the landcruiser and shot the bull. Clearly I had hit and the bull did not run off but started a slow and labored walk to the thicker stuff. My host shot the bull with his .270 and the bull continued his slow walk. Not wanting the bull to suffer anymore or to enter the bush I shot him again in the back of the neck and he dropped like a ton of bricks. I have never heard such a thump when a shot hits but this one hit the bull hard enough that he lurched forward, never making it out of the clearing.

The post mortem revealed that we had both shot low and my first shot had gone through the liver, bullet was not recovered. My hosts shot was recovered under the skin and the Pro-Am bullet (a local bullet) had performed poorly, the tip was missing but the rest was intact. We could not find an entrance wound for my third shot but hopefully the butcher will recover the bullet for me.

In hindsight, and in recent discussions with my host, the bull was estimated to be about 300yds away. I don’t know why I bought a Leupold range finder, I never take it with …… note to self, take the flipping range finder with next time distance judging over dead ground is notoriously difficult.

A quick measurement had the bull at 48.5”, the horns are perfectly symmetrical and very thick at the base and in fact throughout the length of the horn. My previous best was 44” odd inches, I still need to measure them correctly. Well I am most chuffed with the bull and I am most grateful for the opportunity to be able to hunt / shoot on this farm.

That evening my host asked if I had ever shot a Bush Buck, the answer was no. He said I should take one of the trackers and the dog and go to the other farm and have a look for a nice ram. So on Saturday morning we set off on the quads and we parked them at a suitable spot and went looking. My wife went with which was really nice for me. The conditions were against us, again we did not see an animal in sight. We decided to return but I said I wanted to set up in a hide so they left my wife and I there and we sat dead still for about 2 hours. We saw a small herd of Impala about 300yds away but that was it.

We were also lucky enough while in the hide to record our first sightings of the Cape Batis and the Cape Rock Thrush which was great.

That afternoon we went out again to the same farm across the road and the conditions were about the same or a little worse significantly. Again no Bush Buck but we startled a huge Warthog which in 5 seconds was into the thick bush with the Jack Russell hot on his tail. Off we went, tracker and I, through the thorns under trees etc. I had thorns in my neck, arms, back, knees and other places. It was hardly fun, the Warthog escaped us and we needed to make our way back via the same path. I was puffing like you can’t believe …….. note to self …… get fit before the next hunt. A small consolation was that the slimmer, younger and fitter tracker was also huffing and puffing like a steam train.

Sunday morning we went deep into the mountains, my host was still hell bent on getting me a trophy bull. We parked the Landcruiser and walked the area, through the river beds etc. but we had to admit that conditions were not right and that hopefully next time would be better. Monday was spent chilling. Tuesday we drove back home.

As the hunts are totally free and include food and drink this made us uncomfortable, we are not takers but givers also so we told our host whether he liked it or not that we would bring the food and drink. After some bargaining he said that we could if he brought the drink. Well we ate like kings and queens. As two of us are aspiring cooks we went to town. We had braised lamb shanks (my mate shot a Bush Buck so we popped those shanks in as well), a seafood soup that could have come from the finest of kitchens, traditional Indian chicken curry, 1.5” thick veal chops man the food was awesome. I think our host really appreciated our efforts and contribution as it left them time to relax and siesta instead of being dutiful hosts running after us all weekend.

The weekend was a roaring success and much fun was had by all. The food bill was horrendous but with the wives with for the ride one has to serve more than just meat and grits.

I have been invited back for a week’s hunting around the 01st of June. I don’t really want to go but someone will have to do it Hee hee.

Andrew Leigh
October 12, 2012, 06:06 AM
When I retire I want to go to Africa for a hunt. Not the big 5 or anything like that. The Kudu seems like a great animal to hunt.
Africa is cheap when travelling on the US Dollar.

The trick is not to use the local outfitters that see $$$$, you boy's often get charged ridiculous prices simply for being American. Africa thinks you all are loaded. There are plenty of local outfitters that can do a really good deal for you. It will not be 5 star fetch and carry but who wants that on a hunt, I certainly don't. The facilities and grub will be good, there will be rifles for hire and the animals will be cheaper.

Cheers

H&Hhunter
October 12, 2012, 11:07 AM
The trick is not to use the local outfitters that see $$$$, you boy's often get charged ridiculous prices simply for being American. Africa thinks you all are loaded. There are plenty of local outfitters that can do a really good deal for you. It will not be 5 star fetch and carry but who wants that on a hunt, I certainly don't. The facilities and grub will be good, there will be rifles for hire and the animals will be cheaper.


Boy oh boy isn't that the truth.

I am fortunate enough to have friends in South Africa with whom I hunt for local prices. It's not so easy to know with whom to hunt and trust with no local knowledge.

Sheepdog1968
October 12, 2012, 11:43 AM
Sounds like a great time. I'd have that animal on my wall by the way.

VegasAR15
October 12, 2012, 04:45 PM
Very nice bull, sounds like a great time. You are very lucky to be able to hunt animals like that. I would love to be able to go hunt there one day.

tahoe2
October 21, 2012, 01:25 PM
The rest are just numbers in some book!! The hunt it'self and the animal taken, are the "trophy hunt"! ...I too, dream of Africa, hunting all those spiral horned "plains game" animals and such, I don't care to hunt the scratchy, toothy, stompy, critters, although witnessing them in their natural habitat, would be a sight to behold !!

Grumulkin
October 22, 2012, 09:24 PM
http://www.orchardphoto.com/i23ud-212.jpg

I just returned from South Africa last week after a 3 week safari.

I bagged this cull Kudu with an Encore handgun chambered in 444 Marlin. The 265 grain Hornady FTX bullet passed through both shoulders.

Though this Kudu isn't considered a trophy one, I still think it's a beautiful animal and it will become a shoulder mount on my wall.

tahoe2
October 23, 2012, 12:47 AM
another "Beauty"!! congrats Grumulkin!, good lookin animal !!

Andrew Leigh
October 23, 2012, 01:28 AM
Awesome well done.

Let's have some details, time, place etc? Did you measure the horns? How long before you get your mount as it is somewhat of a rigmarole with all the laws and vetinary rules. You probably will not have the mount before 6 months and you will be chomping at the bit to show your friends.

Flyincedar
October 23, 2012, 03:18 AM
Great looking Kudu Andrew , congrats!!

And i must commend your rifle choice. The CZ 550 series sure are nice!

Grumulkin
October 23, 2012, 06:05 AM
Awesome well done.

Let's have some details, time, place etc? Did you measure the horns? How long before you get your mount as it is somewhat of a rigmarole with all the laws and vetinary rules. You probably will not have the mount before 6 months and you will be chomping at the bit to show your friends.
My Kudu was taken in the Eastern Cape and no, I didn't measure the horns but they're long enough for me.

My mounts of the the Kudu and other animals will be completed in the Eastern Cape by Karl Human and I would suspect I'll have them in about a year.

Between cull and trophy hunting, the Kudu was one of 26 animals I took over a 3 week period. When I get the time, I'll post a link to the complete story with photos.

Andrew Leigh
October 23, 2012, 06:07 AM
Thanks, again well done, look forward to the writeup.

MCgunner
October 23, 2012, 07:30 PM
Must be cool to live around all that big game. :D Nice, thanks for posting. Makes my hunting seem pretty boring. http://www.clicksmilies.com/s1106/lachen/laughing-smiley-001.gif That's sorta why I like Caribou's posts, too. :D

Andrew Leigh
October 24, 2012, 04:04 AM
Yeah it is but don't be fooled, living in Africa has it's own unique challenges. You only have to watch the news (if at all African events are covered) it would be apparent. The animals are also not always on the doorstep but a damn site closer than the U.S. :)

Cheers

LeonCarr
October 24, 2012, 09:10 AM
Magnificent animals.

Are Kudu good to eat/delicious?

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

Andrew Leigh
October 24, 2012, 10:36 AM
Scrumptious, the Kudu cows being the most tender and tasty. Springbok is highly acclaimed but my favourite is Eland as the texture and flavour is the closest to beef so although you know you are eating venision it does not have that very venisony taste. Warthog is great when turned into cabanossi sausage or salami.

Generally South Africans enjoy Biltong (or Jerky as you would know it) so many of us hunt to make jerky. The nicest jerky comes from the sirloin and fillet and then the next best comes from the hind quarter. These are all nice cooking cuts so one must decide if you want roast venison or jerky. We would often do venison slowly in a dutch oven over a nice camp fire.

Then we use the offcuts and the neck to make sausage. We either do a wet sausage for cooking with grits or we change the spices a little and dry the sausage into what can be best described as sausage jerky which is delicious. The old dry rations the old timers used to take on long trips, can't escape our roots.

Where we differ is that out jerky tends to be more salty than sweet. The traditional old folks way was to layer the meat in brown vinegar and to add salt, pepper and corriander seeds inbetween layers and to marinade this for two days turning as frequently as possible to ensure and even coating. Nowday one buys commercial spices which are real good.

It is then hung to dry. We can make jerky naturally in all the months without an "r". May, June, July, August, these are our winter months and we have no flies. Nowadays one buys small jerky making cabinets, making jerky year round in not an issue.

LeonCarr
October 24, 2012, 01:16 PM
Thank you for the great reply.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

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