What comes to mind when you hear the word Gunwerks? Is it long-range precision coupled with state of the art technology combined into the greatest long-range system today? Or is it the thought of adventure laced with experiences to last a lifetime? It may be the trigger which brings back memories from that perfect shot at the range or in the field. For each of us its evokes the mind allowing one to drift off into something quite unbelievable.
For the past seven years we’ve come to know the system better than most and have been fortunate to experience some pretty amazing hunts. We’ve been able to share more days in the field enjoying greater success on what in the past would not always have been possible, while seeing the benefits the system has provided our hunters. This season proved to be no different as our hunters amerced themselves into what those in the know believe to be the greatest long-range experience on earth, while Gunwerks once again amazed us with a range of new and exciting products.
For Gunwerks owner, Aaron Davidson, and Professional Hunter, Carl van Zyl, it would be a safari of two halves. The first would be about the exciting new Gunwerks Skuhl 375 Ruger and our quest for a Cape Buffalo, the first ever for the Skuhl series, while the latter half would take us into new and uncharted territory.
Our days were spent putting the Skuhl through its paces at the range and hunting hard for the kind of Buffalo that would do this series justice in every way imaginable. We looked over a number of bulls until settling on a spectacular old brute on day four of our hunt. The Skuhl had debut in a big way while Aaron hunted the kind of Buffalo any Buffalo hunter could wish for.
Together with Aaron was fellow Gunwerks team member Chris Ashworth out on his first experience to the dark continent. Joining Professional Hunter, Louwrence Lombard, the guys hunted from our southern base Woodlands Safari Estate as well as our Mountain Retreat in the north. They hunted with an open mind, taking what Africa would give them, and so doing enjoyed a memorable week experiencing the best of our long-range paradise in the East Cape.
Randy Smith, who had joined us during 2018, was back again this season for a taste of more action. Randy had shared his previous hunt with his son, Ryan, while this time around he invited along his good friend Anthony Dagostino. For Randy it would be the all important visit to the Carlisle Bridge Farm School with our John X Foundation, an initiative he has supported graciously, while pursuing a number of species he had previously not hunted. Of course no hunt would be the same without Randy’s continues jokes and stories around camp, something we’ve all grown very fond of.
Anthony on the other hand came expecting very little and walked away amazed at what he experienced in 8 days in Africa. On numerous occasions one would find Anthony with a huge grin on his face just elated to be on safari in Africa. He hunted an Impala, Kudu, Springbuck and Gemsbuck, but one got the impression that it seldom mattered what he was after on any particular day, as Anthony’s enjoyment of every aspect of his safari seemed to grow with each passing day. If ever there was a guy who embraced the culture and wanted to experience as much as possible, it sure was Anthony!
Like Randy, Uncle John Thompson, was back again after a few years away. Uncle John who had previously joined us some years ago had proved he was an immense shot on that first safari, but arrived slightly tentative on this occasion. For what ever reason he may have been tentative, one would never know, but if ever you’ve seen a long-range display as what we were treated to, you’d want the man to arrive tentative on every future safari. What Professional Hunter, Ross “Stix” Hoole, and Tracker, Jimmy, witnessed was the stuff of legend. Not only did Uncle John hit a full 100% on shots taken vs game harvested, he dropped every single last one with a single shot. To go one step further he achieved our longest one shot kill to date with an impressive 1270 yards on a Common Blesbuck and successfully made a further 6 over 1000 yards. Only the modest Uncle John couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about!
For first timer, George Keys, and Professional Hunter, Dave Burcy, it would be a safari for the ages. At times one could have been forgiven for thinking the hunting gods had come smiling. In as many words as we could put it, we felt George put it best in his letter to our team upon his return home…
“My entire life I have dreamed of going on an African safari. The expertise by my PH, Dave, and Tracker, Shoota, in finding world class animals in the vast landscape was nothing short of unbelievable. I have hunted my entire life but have placed this hunt at the top of my list. I cannot thank you enough for the experience of a lifetime – George Keys”
As for Jay and Cheryl Goodale it would be a family affair as they joined our old friends Jason and Lena Goodale. Jason and Lena had come to join the folks for the first leg of their safari prior to joining us on our Kudu expedition to the Wild Coast on the second leg of the trip. Jay hunted a beautiful East Cape Kudu, Waterbuck, Blesbuck, Gemsbuck and Springbuck up in the Great Karoo, before finishing up at Woodlands Safari Estate with a Blue Wildebeest, Nyala, Impala and Cape Eland.
While all Jay’s game was of outstanding quality, it was his Cape Eland that took the honors in a big way. It’s seldom that one gets to harvest an Eland in this class.
Dale Wilson and Bob Culp were our final compliment to this years multi-area East Cape Experience. These two have been friends their entire lives and listening to their stories of trials and tribulations over the years allowed one to understand the true meaning of friendship. They joined Professional Hunters, Ed Wilson and Paul Kruger, for more of a good laugh than a serious safari. With much fun along the way and taking what Africa gave them, most notably never taking anything to seriously, they both walked away with an exceptional bag of trophies and a bucket full of experiences.
Dale invited along the crew from GTS Productions to capture the action minute by minute / shot by shot. There were plenty of exciting moments and a host of interesting species, including a last minute Cape Buffalo with the all new Skuhl.
Join us again next time as we continue on the hunt with our friends from Gunwerks on the GREATEST KUDU HUNT ON EARTH. You don’t want to miss it!
Any hunters interested in joining Gunwerks & John X Safaris on safari come 2020, can do so by visiting Africa with Gunwerks 2020 or contacting Carl on firstname.lastname@example.org . We have 3 fantastic offers for 2020 : The East Cape Experience 19 – 28 May 2020 (5 Slots) OR 28 May – 5 June 2020 (5 Slots) / The Kudu Exclusive 28 May – 5 June 2020 (3 Slots) / The Kudu Classic 13 -21 June 2020 (5 Slots).