Lance Review July 2019

Jul 15, 2019 | Client Feedback, Hunting Reports | 0 comments

You have to love chasing Black Wildebeest. They are just crazy and always bucking and running in circles.

This past July I went with two of my teenage sons and several friends  on safari in South Africa.  We hunted with Lauren and Juan Stander of LJ Safaris with Nadine as our PH.  We had a wonderful experience and made memories that my sons will never forget.  We spent eleven memorable days hunting split between the high deserts of the Karoo and the coastal concessions of the East Cape.  I loved the rugged grasslands and rocky canyons of the Karoo but wish we had packed an extra pair of thermals, the wind can get cold on those mountains!  We found a ton of springbok and harvested several common and black while seeing white and copper also.  I was glad I took my bipods and we split shooting between the shooting sticks and off the bipods depending on terrain.  My 15 year old son started the trip off with his favorite trophy the first day with a large waterbuck bull.  He had been wanting one since his older brother shot a trophy waterbuck in Botswana a few years ago.  He thinks he outdid big brother and shot a better one!

 

You have to love chasing black wildebeest.  They are just crazy and always bucking and kicking and running in circles.  You either kill them on the first shot or about the 5th or 6th.  My older son is a great shot and got his on the first shot.  Mine was well……tougher.   We found a ton of red lechwe and I love the good bull I finally chose.  I would love to come hunt them again with my bow and with some time I think a spot and stalk hunt would be awesome and doable.  We rounded out the Karoo with red hartebeest, blue wildebeest, and blesbok.  My biggest regret of the Karoo was not going after the huge eland bull we ran into chasing kudu.  But when you are surrounded by hartebeest, wildebeest, zebra, eland, kudu, fallow deer and reedbuck  in a canyon its hard to decide what to go after.  The food was great and just good down home cooking.  My son proved you can eat five gemsbok steaks after eating an awesome dinner and still be looking for dessert!

 

After leaving the Karoo we traveled several hours to hunt the coastal concessions.  Two different worlds.  We didn’t need the additional thermals there but the weather was still not uncomfortably hot.  I have always wanted to hunt nyala and we found a lot of really nice bulls and both my son and I killed great bulls.   We loved watching the nyala bulls rutting and doing their long legged tip toe dance.  We harvested impala, zebra, warthogs, and were really thrilled with the two giant forest hogs my friend and I shot.  They will be awesome additions to our African collection!  I didn’t really even know they existed before this trip.  We found a number of good bushbuck and they are tough little animals to hunt but we finally harvested two that will be some of our favorite trophies.  We rounded out our hunt with my son shooting a nice male caracal.

 

LJ treated us so well the whole trip and we saw some amazing country with so many varied species of animals its hard to describe without actually being there to see it.  I can strongly recommend Juan and Lauren to anyone interested in a safari to the East Cape.  What really stood out to me and sums up their character was an experience on our last day of hunting.  We had been fortunate to not lose any wounded animals until the last afternoon when I finally shot and couldn’t recover a nice kudu bull, which was the focus of my trip to begin with.  I was sick and disappointed.  I knew he was dead but just couldn’t find him in the thick scrub and we ran out of light.  Two weeks after returning home Juan texted to tell me he had gone back and found my bull and had taken the head to the taxidermist and was looking for a cape for it.  That commitment and integrity stands out to me.  He had my money.  He had filled his contract and responsibilities.  But he and Lauren were committed enough to try and do all in their power to complete our experience on a positive note. 

 

I plan to return to hunt with LJ in the next couple of years with a buffalo on my list and maybe go back and find that eland bull I should have gone after.  I also hope to bring a couple of younger daughters with me on that trip and think Lauren and Juan would be a great place to start more of my children on their African experience.  I would be happy to receive email questions or discuss more specifics on our time spent with LJ Safaris.  I can highly recommend them.  I can also recommend Nadine as PH.  She is a hard hunting completely ethical guide that put her hunters’ success above her own comfort and convenience.

 

 Lance

Utah, USA

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LJ Safaris is based in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. We pride ourselves in delivering outstanding hunts in wild places!

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