Safari 2012 Journal Entries: Day Five – Friday, July 20th, 2012 (part 4) Springbuck and Wildebeest

by david on August 17, 2012

           After we pick up Tjokkie, Johann decides to take the long way back just to see what we can see.  Our luck holds and we see one last group of wildebeest.  The wind is blowing in the right direction and for the moment only one direction.  We hope this stays the case because it is late and the winds should be calming as the sun drops.  Johann, Tjokkie and I start our stalk.  Johann asks Willie to stay in the truck with the radio so he can redirect us if the herd moves.  We cover about half a mile, when we bump a herd of hartebeest we did not know were there.  Dang and double dang, what will go wrong next?  A plague of locust perhaps, or maybe a warren of killer bunny rabbits.  Whatever the case may be, it is getting frustrating.  When the hartebeest spook and run, they, in turn, spook the wildebeest.  Busted once again, we convene a war council.  After a quick conference, we decide that since the wildebeest had not seen or smelled us, they had only reacted to the hartebeest and maybe they had not gone very far.

            We start off in high gear, trying to cover ground quickly and quietly.  The sun is already nearing tree-top height and we do not have a lot of daylight left.  We are covering ground at a frantic pace when Tjokkie picks up the tracks left by the departing herd.  At least we now have a confirmed direction to go in.  We were right; the herd had not gone more than a half mile.  We are able to sneak close, and I finally see them standing in a bunch of brush.  I am still looking at the herd as a whole when the sticks magically appear in front of me and I hear Johann say, “See that one in the small opening in the brush?  Shoot it NOW”.  I manage to get on the sticks and find it in my scope just in time to see it duck behind the brush and disappear.  In what seems like minutes, but was probably only seconds, it reappears.  The opening is small and I can only see a small part of the wildebeest.  I am unsure if I am looking at the right animal or not, so I ask for verification the animal in the opening is the correct one.  The response is, “Shoot NOW”.

            My rifle goes off almost of its own accord and the 9.3 flattens the wildebeest.  I remember seeing the wildebeest go down just before a cloud of dust stirred up by the others obscures everything.  I look around at Johann and Tjokkie.  They are normally happy for me when I take a trophy, but they are extremely animated this time.  Johann looks over and says, “You just shot one hell of a wildebeest”.  When we get up to it, I find it is a fantastic trophy and maybe it will make the Roland Ward book.  I have never taken a Roland Ward animal before.  Even though it is not something I seek, to take an animal like that qualifies as quite a nice thing.  

            The sun is dropping very fast and we hurry to take pictures.  The decision is made to field dress the animal before we load it, as we have an hour and a half to a two hour drive ahead of us.  Field dressing the animal will help the meat to cool quicker avoiding any chance of spoilage.  After it is field dressed, we add the wench pulley to the truck’s roll bar and wench my trophy into the back of the truck.  The whole process only takes ten minutes and we are on the way back home. 


Technical notes for those of you who asked:

I am still using the 9.3×62 Mauser for this hunt.  For my aiming point on the springbuck, I followed up the backside of the front leg to the intersection with the body.  I aimed just behind the shoulder where the white under section meets the darker upper coat and squeezed the trigger.  At 2500 feet per second the 250-grain Barnes TSX bullet passed completely through the springbuck and dropped him where he stood.  The distance was paced off at 110 yards.

For the wildebeest, again I followed up the side of the leg and wanted to add a hand’s width distance to that line, but there was a limb in the way.  I knew the top of the lungs were still exposed or I could try for a spinal shot.  In the end, I held as close to the top of the limb covering the heart lung shot as dared and pulled the trigger.  The shot, while higher that I would have liked, still dropped the wildebeest where it stood.  The cartridge had enough energy that even though it did not pass through the heart, it transferred enough energy and imparted enough trauma to stop the animal from taking another step.  The shot was from 80 yards and the opening through the brush was about 16” square. 

For anyone besides me keeping track of such things, my shooting is still perfect: 3 shots yielding 3 animals.

One heck of a good wildebeest.

There are videos of loading my wildebeest into the truck the easy way using a front mounted winch and a few special pulleys. 

The following link might work-                                                                  If not search David Brown & loading wildebeest into the truck the easy way parts one and two

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