Hunting black wildebeest South Africa
During the first week of 2017 we had the privilege of hunting on horses. The father-and-daughter hunt took place in the Free State South Africa, and being summer time, it turned out to be a hot day that will not be forgotten soon. In the outdoors at almost 6 500 ft with an outside temperature of close to 90 deg F, it was a challenge to stay hydrated.
Usually when walking to the horses the horseman looks at the riders and decides which horse for which rider. In this case I could see the horses playing rock-paper-scissors so the loser could end up carrying me. With a sigh of relief they (the horses) saw me drive the support vehicle, my faithful old Toyota hunting-cum-family truck.
Above: Father and daughter a few minutes before departure. Prior to that our day started at 04:30 with coffee and rusks. We wanted an early start to try and avoid the heat of the day and to make it easier on the horses. After coffee we walked across to the shooting range to sight the silenced 308. Within minutes after that we were ready to head up the mountain.
Above: They were heading to the pinnacle on top of the mountain on the right. It is close to 9 000 ft above sealevel up there.
Above: We were in for a long, hot day but did not realize it yet.
Above: Up and up they went. This is almost an hour after starting the hunt. They are almost on top of the first ridge.
Above: When they reached the top of the first ridge it was time to give the horses a breather.
Above: About a half mile from the hunters was the first group of black wildebeest standing on a ridge. They dismounted, approached and were looking for blesbok. The small herd of free roaming blesbok had only a single juvenile male with them so the group was left undisturbed.
Above: While they were up in the mountain looking for blesbok, I admired the view of the valley below.
Above: They kept going for a very long time.
Above: Stopping on the heat of the day in the mountain fly camp for a drink and some nourishment.
Above: We treat women equal so allowed a lady to join us for lunch.
Above: After lunch they headed out again. By now it was a scorcher outside and I had drunk a lot of water just looking at them from the truck with the ac on. Not really. While they were riding is was walking around glassing for blesbok with a large bottle of water next to me.
Above: I still cannot get enough of the brilliant views of the Eastern Free State. Note the black wildebeest at the bottom of the picture.
Above: Finally after almost 7 hours in the saddle they came across a herd of black wildebeest that did not spot them. After dismounting they did a 200 yard approach, low to the ground before they reached a great observation point. From there the 308, with 165 gr factory loads barked once and from 220 yards out, the black wildebeest dropped in it’s tracks. The silencer / suppressor works very well in the mountains often giving hunters a second shot.
Above: A great trophy taken by a great shot. Well done.
Above: Great shot. Great trophy and well done. Back at the lodge a welcome lunch break awaited us after almost 9 hours in the saddle.
Above: It was only after the hunt that I was shown the trusty steed they had lined up for my mountain hunt.