During the month of April we hosted the father/son combination of Jon and Ridge who joined Professional Hunter Ross Hoole on their first hunt to Africa. Jon and his family had been on vacation to the Kruger National Park before heading to Cape Town to enjoy the cape and its magnificent surroundings. From Cape Town the girls flew home, while the guys headed north for their hunt with John X Safaris.
Picking up from Professional Hunter, Ross Hoole;”Jon and I had spoken somewhat about the possibility of taking a Buffalo. There were Cape Buffalo in the area we were hunting and an opportunity on a rogue bull had come up a couple of weeks earlier while hunting the same area.
This particular bull had headed on a “walk about”, leaving the 25000 acre reserve which formed part of its home range, into neighboring stock ranches. Naturally there was a level of concern, as an old “Dugga Boy”, usually grumpy by nature, would pose a serious threat to anyone crossing its path. We had decided that we would initially kick-off the safari as per the original plan with a number of plains game species, seeing how we progressed before deciding on the Buffalo.”
“Midway through the hunt with a number of good trophies in the salt, we got lucky with a heavy down poor of over-night rain. Muddy conditions the following morning made for perfect tracking conditions, so we decided to head out and look for the rogue bull whom had by this stage returned to his home range.”
“An early start saw our two trackers – Jimmy and Rudy head-off into the hills in different directions on the lookout for fresh tracks. The bull had been spotted in a particular gorge the previous afternoon, and with the overnight rain and stormy conditions we were hopeful that the he had not moved off to far. After a couple of hours searching for tracks, Jimmy called in over the radio, saying he had found fresh tracks and was following up on them. We moved in for a closer look, meeting up with Jimmy who had found two bulls bedded down below a rocky outcrop. It seemed that the old bull had picked up an accomplice since last he was spotted. Initially we could only see one of the bulls which definitely appeared to be a soft-boss immature bull – not what we were after. Not knowing if the second bull, which was still out of sight was the rogue Buffalo we were after, we decided to set up and wait…”
What a hunt it turned out to be, ending off proceedings in textbook perfect fashion. Having Jon’s son Ridge along on the hunt made an already special hunt even more so, with safety being the first priority, a natural concern for any parent pursuing the Big 5. Jon had gone head to head with the rogue bull coming away with one heck of an experience.
Next week we’re picking up on the trail with Jon’s son Ridge pursuing plains game in the Great Karoo. GTS Productions were along once again capturing the entire safari on film. Join us then for this not to be missed special 25 min edition of father and son experiencing Africa for the very first time – building lifetime memories through hunting.
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