I first met the Henrich’s in 2007 when they joined John X Safaris on one of our Classical Plains Game hunts in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Brothers, Mike and Doug along with their father Vern enjoyed the hunting, and fell in love with Africa like so many before.
Day 3 saw us on the quest for East Cape Kudu and Springbuck. Numerous Kudu bulls were spotted early on. One in particular was a fantastic bull. Having crossed two ravines and put two mountains behind us, we were finally in position. We crested the final ridge into a wooded valley where the bull was last spotted, nothing. He had disappeared like a ghost. We decided to give the Kudu hunting a break for the afternoon and concentrated on Springbuck.
Day 4 saw the party heading back south to meet up with Professional Hunter, Ed Wilson. An interesting afternoon was spent looking for Kudu and Warthog before heading back to Base Camp for a warm dinner.
Day 5, up at dawn. Operation Kudu. Doug, Jill and I would concentrate on Kudu, Warthog and Bushbuck with the bow. Ryne and Ed would do the same, with the main emphasis on Kudu.
Having had an exciting morning with a Kudu bull coming within 40 yards, a fantastic Warthog came within 30 yards – we just never got a break with the bow.
Boy called us at about 11.00 and informed us that he had spotted a bull in hot pursuit of a group of cows a few ridges over. We made our way over to Boy and went and settled down close to some water with the bow. On our arrival we had a small chance of getting a Bushbuck, which just slipped us. A warthog boar was rutting around us, coming within 40 yards on a few occasions, but we decided to pass it up in the hope of seeing the Kudu. After an hour, we were starting to regret our choice of passing on the Warthog, which by now was long gone. I gave Doug the 15 mins signal and settled back down. A few minutes later I saw Doug’s body tense and glassed towards the direction he was starring. There he was, a magnificent Kudu bull. Our patience and plan had worked!
Day 6 saw the party head off towards the coast for what turned out to be one of the best days of our safari. An Nyala was high on Ryne’s priority list and Doug was always keen for another Bushbuck.
After Doug’s early morning luck, we decided to concentrate on Nyala for Ryne.
After making several attempts with his bow, Ryne finally decided it wasn’t worth losing such a fine trophy if he couldn’t get within 40 yards with his bow.
A happy team gathered for lunch out in the field and decided to concentrate on Impala and Bushbuck for the remainder of the afternoon. Doug had never shown any signs of being interested in hunting Cape Eland, but those who know me well will tell you that I love hunting Cape Eland. There’s nothing like a 10-13 year old bull with a huge tuft of darkened hair on its forehead. I had seen a group of bulls earlier and was determined to have Doug see them again. There were at least 3 exceptional bulls.
It couldn’t get much better even if we were the script writers of our own story. We had hunted 3 fantastic trophies on 1 day and still had time to head back to camp for sun downers and snacks. The trackers were still busy taking care of the Eland, a big job on its own, when Ed spotted a very good Impala in the distance.
Day 7, how could our luck continue you may ask? We were all aware of what we had been part of up until this point, but the hunting gods kept it coming.
Day 8, it finally came. We got skunked! Nothing what so ever.
The remainder of the hunt was spent visiting, taking pictures and dedicating a few hours towards hunting every day. Jill also got in on the action with her camera taking pictures of….
For all of us involved with this hunt, it was truly a privilege to have been a part of Ryne’s graduation gift. We wish him all the luck in the world for college and hope to see him back in Africa some day again. Doug and Jill, it was a pleasure my friends, until the next graduation…