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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I accompanied brother Rich (Airwinky) on a plains game safari in South Africa last Sept. I recorded this in my hunting journal at the end of our last hunting day. The exhaustion and exhilaration come through, and communicate why we’ll be going back soon.

We left the lodge at 7:30 this morning, got back about 8:15 pm. Epic day of hunting, all above 9000 feet in altitude on the northern mountain. Temps ranging from maybe 45 degrees to as much as 60, depending upon whether we were on a south face or a north face. Steady wind at 20 mph, with gusts to 40 mph.

The hunt was the most strenuous I have ever experienced. 3 separate stalks, totaling about 4 miles of rock-strewn land. Probably 4000 feet of total elevation change. My knees are sure feeling it, and brother Rich must be in agony.

The wind was so extreme that the kudu were busting us by smell and sound a mile before we got into gun range. Very frustrating, and we were literally on our way back to the lodge at 1:45 or so, figuring we had been defeated. On a surface road approaching the bottom land, our PH spotted a kudu up in a massive ravine from 600 yards away (Rich ranged it while we were evaluating the bull)! Henro slammed the truck into a bush to hide it, and we started the stalk.

Only problem was, the ravine was so steep that we covered more than 1000 vertical feet just to get within 250 yards of the bull. About 3 times during the climb, I was on my hands and knees to move forward without losing my footing. We finally reached a spot that gave us cover to shoot from, about 225 yards from the bull. He never knew we were approaching him, and it took us more than 30 minutes to get there!

We established a shooting position with our backs against a boulder (to keep from being skylighted). Henro gave me a range, and instructed me exactly which branch of the cover I had to place my shot exactly 1 inch under…. Despite the excitement, exertion, altitude, pounding heart, etc., I suddenly got a perfectly stable sight picture. One shot, near-side shoulder. He moved about 2 lurching steps forward, then crashed down the ravine. Dead on his feet. My bullet smashed his near-side shoulder and carried bone fragments with it through his heart and lungs; instant kill.

But..... Now we have a dead 500 pound animal 600 yards from the truck and about 1400 vertical feet up. Oh boy.... We spent the next 5 hours skinning and quartering him on the mountain, but darkness caught us before we could move him down. Deon and Henro got the cape and horns down, and we left the rest of the carcass covered on the mountain.

I'm spent, but the WinkaBros’ tags are filled with a day to spare. With Henro’s help (and Rich’s voice reciting the pre-shot checklist in my head), my best shot of the whole trip was this last one. So happy.... Best part is that Rich captured the final seconds of the stalk, the shot and the impact in HD video! He stayed at the truck, and was filming the whole thing. Can't wait to see it...

The team recovered the rest of him by 9 am the next morning, and presented me with one hell of a souvenir.
 

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Congratulations! Sounds like a great hunt. What does he measure?
 

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Sounds like you had fun.
 
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Congratulations on a fine, heavy-horned kudu. They are beautiful animals. I have 57 inch kudu in a shoulder mount gracing the entry in our Houston home. He shares the space with a 42 inch cape buffalo. I am reminded every day of the great hunts I had stalking them.

Some think mounts are for bragging rights. For me they are memories.

T.S.

PS - Welcome to Marlin Owners!!! Lots of friendly, knowledgeable folks here. :top:
 

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I'll take penetration over expansion any day. :biggrin:

T.S.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ashamed to say that we didn't get the formal measurement that night. Too preoccupied with getting down out of the ravine without breaking our legs or necks.... We were hunting in the East Cape area of South Africa, outside of Tarkastad. Shooter kudu range from maybe 40 inches to 50 inches in that region, if I understood the guides properly. I think mine measured maybe 42 or so, based upon my brother's (bigger) kudu a few days earlier.
But he's a giant to me! Both horns had fully turned back forward, and the spirals were uniform enough to have the "tube" straight up through them. The trophies should be back in the USA soon, and I can reacquaint myself with the old boy.
 

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Very nice! Congratulations.

I don't always keep a journal during a hunt, but it sure is a good thing to do. Really glad that I did so on my Alaska hunt. Thanks for sharing your journal entry, thoughts and photos with us.

Regards, Guy
 

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Winkler, are you having the taxidermy done in Africa or you going to have it done in the US? I've done it both ways. In Africa, I've used Life-Form Taxidermy in South Africa {RSA).

To tell you the truth, I can't say which way is best. :dontknow:

T.S.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
IMG_0076.JPG IMG_0074.JPG We had all of the hides/horns prepared and packed in Africa by Splitting Image, but we're having the actual mounts done by our go-to taxidermist on the East coast. Bob Vitro at True-Life taxidermy in Middletown NY treats us like kings... :)
 

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Congrats to you guys, and enjoyed reading the story.. :top:
 
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