I chose to post these two mounts together because of the hunt. These two will always be intertwined in my mind as the experience was amazing and unforgettable. Our first day at the second Ranch, Asante Sana, started early. We ate breakfast and were on our way at sunrise. Our plan was to drive to high ground and do some spotting for game. We hadnít driven twenty minutes when the trackers banged on the roof alerting us that they had spotted game. We stopped the vehicles and got out to glass the side of the mountain. What we saw was a group of Gemsbok with two good bulls in the group. The animals were about half way up the hill, about 1000 yards, in a small ravine. Due to the difficulty of the stalk we left my grandfather with the truck, loaded the guns and started up the hill using the terrain to our advantage.
We had stalked to about 250 from where we thought they would be and crawled over the ridge to see if they were within range. The guide was the first over the ridge and as soon as he looked he motioned for me to get in position. We had expected to see Gemsbok but once we had looked over the top we saw that there was two kudu, one a nice bull, mixed in with the Gemsbok. We immediately made the decision to take the Kudu. Kudu is an animal I think everyone desires when going to Africa. Leading up to my hunt I was constantly dreaming of hunting the Grey Ghost through the African bush. In the end my hunt for Kudu did not live up to the hype, but regardless when I centered the crosshairs on the bull my heart was pounding. On the shot the Gemsbok scattered and the Kudu Bull took off like a rocket. The PH said hit him again, I racked the bolt and tracked the bull in the scope and squeezed the trigger and the bull dropped instantly. We watched to make sure he was down, shook hands and hoofed it over to my trophy. After setting up for pictures we decided to move into position to try and put on a small drive for the Gemsbok.
On the shot one of the trackers watched the Gemsbok and noticed one of the bulls split from the group and ran into a patch of brush and never ran out the other side. We set up and they put the drive on. After about ten minutes the trackers emerged from the brush with out any sign of the bull. We left one tracker behind with the Kudu to wait for the recovery team and climbed down the mountain to continue the hunt. Just about the time we got down to the truck, the tracker waiting above called down on the radio and told us he had spotted the Gemsbok again in the brush. We decided to turn around and climb right back up the hill and take another crack at him. We set up on the sticks and they trackers tried to drive him out again. This time it worked like a charm and the bull ran right where we had expected. The PH told me to wait until he was 100% sure it was a good bull. The Gemsbok stopped when it saw us at about 80 yards and the PH said take him and my rifle cracked instantly and the big bull dropped on the spot.
Here it was less than an hour into the day and I had taken two great trophies within a half an hour of one another. The day had barely begun but I didnít need anything more to remember it forever. We took our pictures and hopped in the truck to continue the hunt, which was really just beginning.
My gemsbok was mounted as a pedestal with some of the back skin inlaid in the panels. Also the top of the pedestal is covered with a black glass top etched with a picture of me with my trophy.