Having first met Larry Pendleton and Paul Valentine through our good friend, Bwana Big Jim Smith, at SCI some years ago, it was immediately obvious that we were all men cut from the same cloth. A passion for hunting was the obvious link, but the manner of hunting, combined with the species these two gentleman were after is what truly bonded us.
It would be their fourth trip to Africa, their first having been Zimbabwe, then Tanzania, and finally Namibia. South Africa’s East Cape would be their choice destination this time round, joining up with Professional Hunters, Carl van Zyl and Greg Hayes.
Together with their teams they took on the mountains for the ever elusive Mountain Reedbuck, Vaal Rhebuck and Klipspringer, before pursuing Cape Bushbuck, Nyala, Warthog, Blesbuck, and Zebra, along our coastal belt.
One particular afternoon up in the mountains of the Great Karoo, while searching for Klipspringer, Carl and Larry spotted a group of three animals high on a ridge above their glassing position. The Klipspringer were feeding in a relaxed manner, and while the spotting scope could hardly make out horns at that distance, the ram seemed to look promising between the mirages of a cold winters afternoon.
We immediately set off into the hills, choosing the “long way up”, earring on the side of caution as not to run off an opportunity. That morning we had already looked over two pairs as well as a single male – none of which warranted a closer look.