My Third African Safari
By James Hays
I recently returned from my third African safari. It was my first safari to the Eastern Cape where I hunted with Huntershill Safaris. This trip, I decided to take my hyper accurate Fierce Fury in 300 Win Mag with YHM suppressor. The hunting was fantastic, and the trophy quality was superb.
The Mountain reedbuck was my first animal taken. After only three hours into the hunt, my PH spotted a nice ram up the side of a rocky hill at a range of 285 yards. I exited the truck and took a comfortable prone position in the short grass. I lined up the shot and squeezed the trigger. I heard the loud whop of the 180 grain Barnes TTSX hit the mark, and the reedbuck dropped like a sack of potatoes.
Next up was the Blue wildebeest. The animal was spotted way up in the mountains, and on the second stalk, we were able to line up a shot. I steadied the rifle on the sticks for a 190-yard shot, squeezed the trigger, and hit the wildebeest square in the shoulder. He ran across the hill for 30 yards and then tumbled into the brush. Second animal down, two for two.
The next day, we traveled south just below Ft. Beaufort to their Rocklands property for a long day of hunting. After seeing several young nyala, we finally were able to stalk up to 185 yards to a really nice bull. We waited for what seemed to be an eternity for the bull to step out from a bush into a small clearing. I estimated that I spent at least 25 minutes on the sticks waiting. The bull finally stepped out, and my PH, Lloyd, gave a loud whoop and the bull froze in its tracks. I immediately pulled the trigger, and the bull went straight down. Three for three.
After a night of celebration and good sleep, we were off to the coast near Port Alfred in quest of a bushbuck. We arrived at the property at around 8:30 in the morning and began our hunt. We drove over the grassy hills with the Indian Ocean in the background sighting a few female bushbucks, oribi, and a small group of impala. At around 11:00 a.m., we spotted a nice ram running uphill and into a small bushy patch. My PH and I got into the back of the truck while the tracker drove forward exposing the ram standing sideways at around 200 yards. I rested the rifle on the truck rack, took aim, and fired. Dirtnap time, making it four for four.
We returned to the Rocklands, celebrated some more, and headed back to the main camp in the morning to get my final trophy, the common eland. The herd of 150 eland was nowhere to be found. Lloyd received a call from the Huntershill's chopper pilot that the herd had passed through a break in the fence into the neighbor's property, and he had just finished herding them back with exception of a very large and stubborn bull. The pilot flew over to where we were watching and picked me up to go after the bull. We chased him up and over a large rocky hill. The pilot put the R44 sideways, and I laid a shot right behind the shoulder as he approached a small road. The bull staggered and went down after only a few yards, landing right at the edge of the road much to the delight of Lloyd and the trackers. We returned to the truck, recovered the eland, and began the final night's celebration. It was now five for five thanks to Fierce Firearms.
The long 21-hour flight home was filled with sweet dreams of Africa.