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» Trad Gang.com » Main Forums » The Dark Continent » Back from Bostwana! (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Back from Bostwana!
hybridbow hunter
Contributor 2015
Member # 22270

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Hi all,
I am back from south western Botswana where we bow hunted with 2 friends for 8 hunting days.
National parks hunting is no more legal in Botswana but private lands hunting can be done. Compared to South Africa, rates are a tad higher and going there is longer with no direct airways. Hunting properties are not bow only and you will share camp with rifle hunters. But hunting place are huge : we hunted 2 properties: 75 000 acres and 100 000 acres.
Regarding to animal density, the place we were wasn't brought to his max potential with medium to low animal density.
Bowhunting takes places in natural waterholes helped by solar pump during dry season or out of the blind, chasing the game in the thorn bush. There is absolutely no feeders, nor covered or pumped back water during night ( in order to dry the waterholes to get all animals during day...) as you may found in some places in South Africa.
Conditions are tough and for each animal you must hunt hard, as you will not see crowded waterholes with 0 to 4 animals for a whole day in the blinds, with few big trophies coming at the far side, mostly quartering toward.
Upon those hunting conditions, if you accept the deal (few animals, difficult shots, possibility of shooting any animal you wish, even management or non trophies) you will get a really rewarding hunting time with the bow...


We knew that shooting range might be longer than our usual so I made a " light" arrow for that hunt that indeed worked very well. I shot my border black Douglas HEX6.5 custom tillered, 64" and 61# @ 31"
Arrow was a beman prohunter 300 full length shaft, Easton nocks and 14 gr alum insert. I used either Magnus 1 160 gr BH on steel 125 gr adaptator or VPA /big Jim 300 3 blades file sharpened down to 285-290 gr
Total arrow was 660 gr instead of my usual 720 gr arrows. Going down in weight gave me increase in speed by 8 fps, meaning a real speed over 192 fps (shooting and hitting a target 20 yards away through a chrono 1 yard in front of bow) and helped me to shoot up to 30 yards with confidence


A couple of pics from waterhole aspect

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La critique est aisée mais l'art est difficile.

Posts: 524 | From: France | Registered: Dec 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
hybridbow hunter
Contributor 2015
Member # 22270

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First day hunt, we spent all day in the blind, seeing just a couple of kudu cows coming twice. A long day....
30 minutes before last light, a couple of wildebeest cows came, at the furthest part of a muddy waterhole, steep quartering toward. The PH range them 20 yards. I thought I could get a better angle when they would turn to go back to the bush but they decided to go straight toward us around the hide. Pressure was really high as it was now or never. At this time all I could see was through a lateral narrow window of the hide, 25 yards away, but with perfect broadside view. The first young cow went without stopping and once I saw the second one, mature cow, I decided it was poker time, through that narrow window: the cow stopped with a little call broadside and all I remember is an orange butterfly disappearing in the chest of the cow, with complete pass through arrow.
After a 20 minutes wait we decided to track the wildebeest cow as night was coming. We found her dead 120 yards away, following a fair bloody trail.

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La critique est aisée mais l'art est difficile.

Posts: 524 | From: France | Registered: Dec 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
hybridbow hunter
Contributor 2015
Member # 22270

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On day 2 nothing happened and the wind was very bad, swirling all the time. We spent all afternoon outside of the hide trying to stalk but we only saw a couple of oryx, very skittish.


On day 3 we headed northern on a second property neighboring ours. Bush was much smaller and less thick. After almost an hours drive we arrived at a tiny waterhole with a pit blind, but furthest part of the water was only 17 yards, giving me some hope I could get an easier shot than the previous.
Few minutes before noon time a female oryx came alone, very skittish. She waited 20 minutes before slowly coming, looking around to the bush very closely. She came quartering toward, 11 yards away. I thought I could get a shot while turning to go back but once she finished drinking, she flipped quickly and went away walking in a second. So fast that I never could get a shot...I was depressed !!
Nothing came until end of the day. We then saw a couple of young warthogs, kudu cows and a small cow eland herd. On that property we weren't allowed to shoot cows. I really felt frustrated [knothead]
Then my luck came.
A monster oryx came, quartering toward, 15 yards. I was so motivated and learned the morning lesson. I took the shot quartering toward, focusing a point between neck and shoulder blade. My arrow went spot on and we could see a wide spread of blood at impact. Bull ran 80 yards and then disappeared in the bush, out of sight. All happened so fast and with so high pressure that I started to shake, LoL !!
After 20 minutes we trailed very easily the bull and found him dead 20 yards away from the point he disappeared.
The arrow tipped with a big Jim broadhead made 2 holes, poking out back to the opposite front leg


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Here is entry hole


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La critique est aisée mais l'art est difficile.

Posts: 524 | From: France | Registered: Dec 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
hybridbow hunter
Contributor 2015
Member # 22270

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Next day in another nice blind, a young warthog came at 2 :00 PM, 22 yards away.

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It has been a boring morning and we decided to have some action. These animals in that place drink for a couple of minutes then flip and stop hearing for a few second then start to walk away quickly. Window shot is on that flip and stop moment. The arrow flew like a laser to the heart and the warthog ran even faster after the arrow passing him.
Indeed it was an easy trail with heavy bleeding on the ground.
That little brave beast made 100 yards with an 1.5" hole in the heart ! [scared]
Tough animals !
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Shot placement, heart is very low and forward on those WH

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La critique est aisée mais l'art est difficile.

Posts: 524 | From: France | Registered: Dec 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
hybridbow hunter
Contributor 2015
Member # 22270

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Time is going fast and day 5 came.
I decided to give another try to the " oryx" pit blind where I shot the nice bull.
We were really boring all the morning then at noon time a few warthog sows and kudu cows came. Then another depressing afternoon up to 5:00 pm. A small herd of wildebeest came with a bigger bull. All the herd was stepping inside the waterhole randomly moving. For 2 or 3 minutes I couldn't get any angle to the biggest bull at the back of the herd. Then things went quieter and a narrow window in the middle of the necks, shoulders and rumps of other wildebeest appeared. I was seeing properly a basket ball sized area on the broadsided chest, including shoulder crease.
Wildebeest have vitals location very similar to deer. So that was roomy enough to give a try. Arrow took that basket ball right in the middle! [Big Grin]
All the herd exploded, and my PH didn't understood which one I shot as he was watching with a different view angle. I perfectly followed mine after the shot and saw him disappearing in the bush a 100 yards away. We trailed him from the first blood, with small spotting for 50 yards and then massive one for a 100 yards. We found our dead bull laying.
Arrow didn't pass through though. Hard earned animal !!


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Shot placement in both lungs

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La critique est aisée mais l'art est difficile.

Posts: 524 | From: France | Registered: Dec 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
hybridbow hunter
Contributor 2015
Member # 22270

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The next day, we headed to a nice remote blind


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Furthest part of water was 31 yards. Wind was good. We came at 7:00 AM and it was very cold : 46 degrees.
After only 45 minutes a magnificent kudu bull came, very old, a tad under 54". This old bull had a giant body and thick horn's base.
He went at the furthest part of the water quartering toward. He drank a long time like this and I thought I couldn't get any shot. But luck was mine. He then stepped a few paces inside the water and started to flip slowly still drinking and ended in a nice quartering away position. PH ranged it at 28 yards. Arrow flew true with a complete pass through shot. Animal took a 20 yard run then stopped and looked around, as if nothing happened to him. He then started walking slowly toward the bush for another 30 yards for a new stop. If I hadn't clearly seen my arrow hitting perfectly I would have thought it was a missed shot [Confused] [Confused] [Confused]
Then he walked again slowly and all I could see in my binocs was the horn moving away... Man, that was weird !
Then I saw the horns shaking and the bull went down stone dead !! That moment was fantastic.
We trailed for fun from the shot and good blood was on the ground all the way. He made 60 yards, with liver + lung hit
Bigger trophy of course can be shot but I really don't mind about horns size. What a beauty in my eyes...

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La critique est aisée mais l'art est difficile.

Posts: 524 | From: France | Registered: Dec 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
hybridbow hunter
Contributor 2015
Member # 22270

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Then came the last day. We decided to hunt out of the hide all the day.
That decision brought the most exciting hunt ever in Africa for me...

We decided for stalking an eland cow in a herd. Then after trying to locate a herd during more than an hour, PH and head tracker Jack, a bushman, found tracks of a herd. We tracked the herd on foot for an hour before contact. I could stalk up to 40 yards and then bumped into a big wildebeest...
We tried hard to get a pathway but the herd disappeared walking calmly... After a short while we went on the place where elands were grazing. After tracks examination PH told me that there was a big bull in the herd with a weird track, making them thinking he could limp. He called our bushman and asked him. After 15 minutes examinations of the ground the small guy come with brightening eyes very excited: he confirmed the limping bull, from right back leg and said that bull laid more time on ground than other animal of the herd. He said we can try to hunt him in the bushman way: chasing him until he's too tired to go away ! PH said we will know if possible if the bull leave the herd quickly if we chase it and then we will have to walk hard and even run to him for hours until a shot can be done...
Wow ! Let's go !
After another 45 minutes we are on contact with the herd, trailing only the limping foot and pushing it . All animal start to run. So do we, walking as fast as we can...after another 40 minutes second contact...second run for every body [Big Grin]
Following fast the track for 30 minutes, Jack now show a big smile: the bull slow down and tracks separates from main herd...
Now the hard time is starting for us. We are on his tracks, the faster we can, almost running slowly. After an hour we have a contact with a small herd of wildebeest and the PH locates the bull laying in the middle of the gnus a hundred yards from us. Damned! It is a BIG bull ! We try to sneak on the animals but wildebeest are spooky and wind not too good for us. Another run...that time the bull runs away less faster but enough to disappear. Another 30 minutes fast tracking for a new contact...this time I locate the bull before the crew. He is under a tree shadow standing. Another sneak up to 50 yards and then another run....that moment we all are getting tired and very thirsty with noon sun...they ask me if I am ok to go on? OF COURSE I'm Ok ! Man, I am suffering for more than 2 hours but I want this bull. Another couple of run and contact and now the bull can't run anymore. We are tracking almost running after him for almost four hours now. I am almost done. We have permanent contact to the bull 100 yards away, but can't outrun him yet. We decide to run and get closer, 50 yards. I can't run anymore faster and my PH 28 years old keep contact for half a mile after me. I keep on trails walking as fast as I can and soon jack is again with me. We find Richard completely done under a tree, out of breath. New track....but last !

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La critique est aisée mais l'art est difficile.

Posts: 524 | From: France | Registered: Dec 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cacciatore
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Congrats I always like your stories. [clapper]

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1993 PBS Regular
Compton
CBA
CSTAS

Posts: 9046 | From: Italy/Colorado | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
hybridbow hunter
Contributor 2015
Member # 22270

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Another 30 minutes later contact with the bull walking. I am now under adrenalin only. Richard ask Jack to try to outrun the bull and try to make him to go back.
This little man, older than me and 20" sorter start to run very easily and faster than us! My pride, almost already killed, dyed at that moment [laughing]

We ran slowly up to the bull. Giving my last energy I try to walk away of the trail as fast as I can and shoot the bull 40 yards away walking away. My arrow with Magnus 1 blade took him in that very steep angle in the last ribs with 25" penetration: at least I got his lung. Still walking I am on that bull that ran upon hit 50 yards. I out run him with Richard and as he turn 25-30 yards away he gives me a quartering away angle and I manage to snap shoot him. As I just realize I picked a 3 blade thinking my bad, I saw the arrow totally passing through the bull in the perfect spot regarding to beast angle [shaka]

Just the time to see the bull falling dead on a sand road 80 yards away !

MAN ! That was Epic! And we did it the Bushman Way LoL

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The team

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The nice trophy of a big old bull

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La critique est aisée mais l'art est difficile.

Posts: 524 | From: France | Registered: Dec 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
hybridbow hunter
Contributor 2015
Member # 22270

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It ended to be a bull rifle shot 6 weeks ago, with a bullet in the pelvic bone on right side but without fracture. The head PH told they tracked that bull for 8 hours after the shot but lost him in the herd running away without bleeding evidence. Regarding to this and to thank us for it, I was charged a low cull fees for that BIG bull [Smile]

A limping bull but a proud hunter LoL

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The GPS of PH told we tracked the bull on more than 8 miles and 4 hours and half...
Believe me I slept like a baby that night
[biglaugh]

Exit hole of second shot can be seen

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Many thanks to those who read me!

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La critique est aisée mais l'art est difficile.

Posts: 524 | From: France | Registered: Dec 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BenBow
Trad Bowhunter
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Great hunt thanks for sharing! Good equipment selection provided great results

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But his bow will remain steady, and his hands will be skillful; because of the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, (Genesis 49:24 [NETfree])

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JoLo
Trad Bowhunter
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Great read. Thanks for sharing.
Posts: 338 | From: Denmark | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
el chupa nibre
Trad Bowhunter
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Amazing report!
Posts: 133 | From: Illinois | Registered: May 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rastaman
Trad Bowhunter
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Great hunt sir!

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TGMM Family of the Bow

[archer]

Randy Keene

Posts: 7080 | From: georgia | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Big Ed
Contributor 2017
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Fantastic Journey!! Congrats!!

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"Get kids involved in the outdoors"

Posts: 6886 | From: Morgantown, PA | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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