Charlie Mike. Fantastic experience. I was there with my dad for my 40th birthday, and he and I came up with the fact that we hadn't spent 10 consecutive days together in over 20 years. It was a real treat.
For the first three days, he was the designated shooter. He harvested a Burchell's Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Southern Kudu, Black Wildebeest, Springbok and Impala - all in three days. We hunted HARD. It was his first trip to Africa, and I was proud of him.
Day 4 took us to the Kalahari to look for Sable. They did not cooperate. Finally, I spotted this beautiful 43" bull napping under a tree just after lunch. He was very asymmetric, but he was a magnificent animal. My heart was in my throat as I set up on the sticks three times before finally getting a shot.
Sako 85 in 375 H&H Magnum
Leica ER Riflescope 3.5-14x42 with Ballistic Reticle
Barnes VOR-TX 300 grain TSX
One shot through both lungs and this fellow still ran 130 yards. The PHs grilled his backstraps medium rare in a Braai the next evening. Absolutely delicious!
On day 6, we focused on Cape Eland. Again, one shot with the 375 at about 50 yards was enough. He ran only about 40 yards. Although orange from the dirt, this old 33" Bull was faded blue jeans from the tip of his nose to his toenails. His ridges were worn from age, so he didn't score as well as he would have last year, but I was very proud of him.
The chefs prepared him as a schnitzel that was fantastic.
Day 7 took us back to the plains where dad had harvested his Black Wildebeest, Springbok and Impala. For the entire trip, my PH had given me hell about not shooting a Blesbok. At this point, I had harvested 13 species in South Africa over the course of my two trips, and I had not taken one. He said, "EVERYBODY shoots a Blesbok in their first four animals." I told him that if he found me a stud, I'd shoot it at long distance.
On my trip last year, I shot my Springbok at 313 yards and was very proud of myself. Dad took the long distance title from me with his Black Wildebeest at 326. I was determined to beat him on the plains with my Blesbok.
I shot this 17" Ram at 430 yards. It was a personal record for distance. We didn't eat this specific animal, but we ate plenty of Blesbok. Dry sausage is the way in which they are typically eaten, and the sausage was great. It's sort of a cross between sausage and jerky - but certainly not as dry as jerky. Pretty standard South African fare for meals and snacks. I learned that Blesbok only occur in South Africa (as do Black Wildebeest who grace the 5 Rand coin).
GAP Non-Typical Hunter in 300 Win Mag
Swarovski Z6 2-12x50 with Christmas Tree Reticle
Barnes VOR-TX 180 grain Tipped TSX
On the final day of our hunt, I shot two animals. Early in the morning, I spotted this 24.25" Impala Ram with a large group of females. Having shot an Impala last year, I wasn't planning on taking another one, but he was just enormous. He didn't have a very deep saddle which makes him look even taller. Since I was targeting Waterbuck, I was toting my 375. He didn't move an inch after I shot him.
My Waterbuck was where my rig let me down. The target turrets on Leica's ER scopes are WAY TOO LOOSE and easy to turn. At some point, the windage knob on the scope was rubbed and caused me to misplace the shot. Rather than hit him in the wheelhouse quartering away, I hit him in the ass and up into the stomach. Fortunately, the round went all the way through, and he bled enough to track him.
Waterbuck meat is not very good. Some folks eat it, but I'm told it's an acquired taste. You also must skin the animal very carefully and make sure their hair does not come into contact with the meat.
I was again after Buckbuck. Not successful. Perhaps on my third trip.