The past ten days saw long time friend, Dave Jensen, return on his second African hunt with John X Safaris.
On that first hunt he had been one of six guys in a group from Salt Lake City. This time round, Dave decided he’d invite along his wife, Connie, and sister, Beth, together with the Bateman family from Utah.
We had first started planning this hunt three years ago, but for one reason or another, we had never gotten around to finalizing any dates. So when the time came of their arrival, we were ready for a fun-filled action packed ten day safari.
For Dave, it would be a hunt with highs and lows, but certainly one which was truly memorable. He once again teamed up with Professional Hunter, Greg Hayes, on the hunt for a Springbuck slam in the Great Karoo.
The entire hunting party headed north from Base Camp that first morning. Some poor weather was threatening from the west, if we were going to hit the mountains it would best be sooner rather than later.
Dave had previously heard and read about the Springbuck slam, which up until recently entailed the Common, Black and White Springbuck. With the ongoing efforts of a few extremely dedicated individuals, led by our good friend, Niel Schoombee, we have been able to offer our hunters a fair number of the rare Copper Springbuck.
While Dave was reaping the rewards from a bout of good fortune in one of the best Springbuck areas in South Africa, the rest of the crew was hard at it.
Brad and Collin Bateman joined Professional Hunter, Carl van Zijl, while Steve and Karrie Bateman were on safari with Gary Phillips. Our hunting party was also extremely privileged to have along Mr. and Mrs. Bateman, joining the children and grandchildren on their first African experience.
Collin, who at first was dead set on hunting East Cape Kudu, soon started taking a keen interest in Gemsbuck. With their breath-taking beauty and vast herds, one cannot be blamed for being in awe of these majestic animals.
Our journey back south was a laid back one. The hunters had hunted more than what they had expected, and the group had enjoyed their time in the north. The group had requested to attend church that Sunday, making for a relaxing day and a well-earned break for all.
Monday morning saw us refreshed and ready to hunt.
While the group had successfully hunted a number other species too, the Impala, Zebra, Warthogs, Gemsbuck, Kudu, and Springbuck, could never match the Cape Bushbuck that were to come.
When we had first met the Bateman’s on their fantastic Dairy Ranch outside of Salt Lake City, Utah, I had mentioned the beauty of a Cape Bushbuck. It seemed it stuck and both Steve and Brad had set their sights on hunting Cape Bushbuck. They were caught by the lure of this shy specie that lurks in the depths and shadows of our Coastal Forests.
Now you may be wondering with so much hunting and so little time, when did we have time to relax, kick back and enjoy the fun of life on safari? Well, you could say…. We made it!
Our friends, it was a pleasure having you. We look forward to seeing you all during January 2012 on our annual visit to the USA. Until then, “hamba kahle” -go well and be safe, we’ll be planning the next one….
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