On the third day of the safari, my
hunting partner Marlin Davis and I piled into the truck at 6:30 am with our
PH, Phillip Ellis and his wife Lande, who is also a PH.
Marlin and I had already taken our impalas, so we were out for other
game. We hunted all morning
without either of us getting a shot. After
lunch Phillip and Lande took us to a different area, where we hoped to have
We soon spotted a small herd of blue
wildebeest, and with Phillip’s direction, Marlin picked out a likely target.
The herd stampeded a short distance, and Phillip instructed Marlin to
wait until his target turned broadside to us.
Sure enough, the herd stopped and Marlin put a perfect shot onto the
point of the shoulder with his iron-sighted 45-70.
The animal staggered, regained his footing and ran about 40 yards
before slowing. The herd vanished
into the distance. As his animal
slowed, Marlin put a second round through the ribs and both lungs.
Down went the wildebeest. The
first shot was close to 120 yards and had broken the shoulder and blown up the
close lung. The ammo was the new
Leverevolution load from Hornady.
About an hour later, we checked a
water/feed area for activity by warthogs.
We glassed the spot from at least half a mile away, and seeing some
pigs, decided to make a stalk to see if a large male was present.
While leaving the truck, Phillip explained to me that if a rhino was
near the water hole, we would have to quietly back away, rather than risk
spooking him. Anyway, we made a sneak through the thorn brush that took us
to within 90 yards and sure enough, there was my big tusker just waiting for
my bullet. The females were
coming into heat, and he was very interested in them.
Phillip told me to wait until he came around the females and turned
broadside. I was carrying my BLR
in 30-06, stoked with 165 grain Nosler partitions.
Sure enough, the boar came around and stopped behind a female.
I interrupted his revelry with a bullet through his heart and lungs.
He dropped completely but was up and running just as if he had not been
shot. Phillip told me my second
shot went just over his back as he stumbled again.
We took off running after him, expecting a long search, but he was
laying dead in the trail just 15 yards into the brush.
Phillip said he had nice 7 to 9 inch tusks, but since I had never shot
a warthog before, he was a real prize to me.
Now we needed a warthog for Marlin, or
a zebra or kudu for either of us. I
went to Africa really wanting to shoot a kudu more than anything other game.
I’ve always admired their elegant posture and spiral horns.
Anyway, after the warthog, I’m pumped up like I’ve never been.
We soon spot a single large kudu browsing in some scattered trees. After glassing the horns for size, Phillip turns to me and
says, “Tom, there’s your kudu.” I’m
sitting in the back of the truck on Marlin’s wildebeest, with blood running
all over the floor and little room to stand.
It all seemed to be happening in slow motion.
The kudu was facing us about 120 yards away, and as he turned I knew he
was going to run. He was
quartering to us when my first shot took him in the shoulder and into the
chest cavity. He was immediately
running to our right; my second shot creased a leg but did no damage.
My third shot broke his right front leg and went all the way through. He
collapsed, regained his footing, and then collapsed again.
This went on a couple of time more, all the while Phillip was shouting
“shoot again, no wait, he’s down, shoot again, no wait!!!”
I had my kudu! I think he
is magnificent, what with his 52 inch horns with a 47 inch spread.
I can’t wait for my mount and flat skin rug to get here.
We had to take the rear seat and cooler out of the truck to make room
for the game, We had Marlin’s
wildebeest and my hog and kudu,
which made a truck full of meat
as we headed back to the skinning facility.