Safari, Namibia 2016: Next Link In The Chain. Blog #7 “Klippi Part 2”

by david on April 17, 2017

I felt good about the shot as the animal went straight down. My 9.3×62 was more than enough rifle and the solid (non-expanding) bullet would have punched a 9.3mm and not much more hole in the cape.  All that was left was the recovery. Johann had seen a route that would take him around the huge hole in front of us, allowing him to work his way down from above. This made sense to me. If he was looking down, he should be able to spot the animal fairly easy. I took a good look and picked out a marker for myself. I was going back to the bottom to work my way up. I figured we’d meet in the middle and if one of us got off-track, the other could help realign things.

Going down was easier than the climb up, but not by much. I still had to pick my way, though, over, and in between. I just had gravity helping instead of hindering this time. Climbing up the other side was a breeze. The things making the face of the kopje so unsuitable for a stalk made it great for a climb where stealth was not an issue. All I had to do was shoulder my rifle and put one foot in front of the other. One might ask, why not leave your rifle at the base to leave the extra weight and aggravation behind? The answer is simple. I never go into the bush without my rifle. I read that little bit of wisdom in a Peter Capstick book before my first trip to Africa and over the course of my hunting trips let’s just say I see the wisdom of his words just about every time I go out. If you have your rifle and don’t need it, all is well. If you don’t have it and need it, chances are you may very well never need it again.

The little ram fell further than we thought and I made it to it first. At first glance, all was well. When I got closer, all was definitely not well. My little trophy had a massive slice down his right side. At first I thought he had torn it during his fall. Upon further inspection I decided my round had done it. Either I moved at just the wrong time, or he did. Instead of entering the chest, the flat nose of the solid had entered the shoulder and proceeded to cut a swath from just behind the shoulder to just in front of the hind quarter.  My hopes for a full-body mount vanished in the blink of an eye. This was a shame, as the ram was a very good one and would have made a great-looking full mount. Johann and I left the klipspringer at the skinning shed. After dropping the ram off, Johann asked what I wanted to do next. I had yet to decide if I botched the shot or the ram moved at just the wrong moment, and I was a little disillusioned with myself. I learned a long time ago that if you are not feeling 110% confident in your hunting abilities, you should not go afield. Even though I did not feel confident enough to hunt, I did not want to go sit at the lodge for the rest of the afternoon. Sitting and dwelling on the situation would be breaking another personal rule of mind.

If anything not to your liking happens, don’t over-analyze it. If you sit thinking and worrying about something, it will only make matters worse. Get back out in the field and have some fun doing something else hunting-related. Hunters do not have to be shooting something to have fun; we can enjoy just being with other hunters and being outdoors. And that is exactly what I did.  We spent the rest of the afternoon checking and hanging fresh leopard baits.  By the end of the day, ruined capes were the last thing on my mind. Sounds crazy but hanging baits and dragging guts was exactly the right medicine.

When we got back for dinner, Doug was still without a gemsbok. He had not even seen one. We chilled for a bit with a few sundowners and then went in for dinner. Mince was on the menu for dinner tonight. It is sort of a spaghetti-type dish with game and spices. It looks similar but that is the only characteristic it shares with its Italian cousin. Add a glass of wine and it was a wonderful dinner.

After dinner it was one last glass of wine and back to the fire pit. Tonight was sort of special. It was the night I decided to remember a dear friend.

My klipspringer My klipspringer

 

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