This was an amazing trip to South Africa with Scott Shultz and the Team Realtree cameras. Shultz is the head honcho at both Whitewater Outdoors and Robinson Labs, Inc. Scott is a former 3-D shooter and by all means considered a professional hunter in “outdoor’ circles.
Awesome 24 1/5-inch impala!
Scott with his excellent blesbok
Trophy bushbuck. All were taken using a Hoyt bow. photos by team realtee
Dates Hunted: We flew from Atlanta Georgia to Cape Town on June 21st. The trip lasted until the 6th of July.
The Outfitter: Ferroland Bowhunting Outfitters of South Africa. See sidebar at bottom of this journal for more information. Ferroland is a bow-only outfitter. One of very few in South Africa. Ferroland has between 60 and 70 thousand acres available to its clients. Craig Bruce was our professional hunter.
Method of Hunting: Scott and Marc were strictly bowhunting. Scott was using a Hoyt Cam Ω Ultra Tech. It was set at some 70 pounds and shooting 300 fps. Rocky Mountain Titanium broadheads were topping his arrows. The hunters employed mainly blinds hunting near water holes. Some spot-and-stalk hunting did take place.
Weather Conditions: It is winter over there right now. The lows just before daylight were 38 to 40 degrees. It would warm up to the 80s during the day. This was a huge temperature change, but very typical for this time of year in the region.
ON THE MOVE FOR BIG GAME After arriving at Cape Town, we took another plan to Uppington, SA. We stayed in a town called Kathu. Basically we hunted all-day, every day out of man-made brick ground blinds near game watering holes. Each blind had shooting windows built in to provide us with shots between 20 and 35 yards. During our stay, we hunted three different areas. The first area was in the Kalahari. The game we were chasing was Gemsbok and Impala. Scott took one of each on our first day of hunting.
We hunted the Kalahari area for three days then shifted gears and headed to Thabazimbi via plane. There we saw kudu, wildebeast, Baboon, Nyalas, and warthogs. This area, loaded with Iron mines was in Northeast South Africa.
Shultz and Womack with a fine bushbuck.
Shultz and a great Gemsbok.
An 800-plus pound zebra. photos by team realtee
The third place we hunted was Elisras. The farm we hunted was called the Manketi. This was the place where we saw the most game including some amazing White Rhinos. The first day there we hunted from a blind. Meanwhile trackers got on the trail of a huge Cape Buffalo. The most exciting part of the hunt was getting on the trail of a trophy Cape Buffalo. We almost got a shot at the monster from the 40-yard range when the wind shifted on us and we got busted. We tracked him for more than eight miles that day but never did get another shot opportunity. It’s likely that Scott will be returning next year for another go-around at the giant Buffalo.
NOT A TALL TAIL An interesting side note about this particular animal goes something like this—The locals figured this Buffalo to be some 15 to 20 years old. It sported a busted right horn. Some of the local villages heard a huge commotion one night in the bush. They went down to find out what all the noise was. Turned out there were two huge Cape’s doing battle. The two fought all night long until one succumbed to the death. The winner of this battle was the same Cape we were tracking. He had busted off his horn in the skull of the loser. This was the first of two killings the locals knew of by this ornery giant.
THE TYPICAL DAY OF HUNTING You get up around 5:30 am and have a small breakfast. Then, you get dropped off at the blind with a professional hunter. You sit from daylight until dark. Of course, a really nice lunch is provided. During the course of the day, different herds of game make their way to the watering hole. On a given day, one can expect to see ten different species of African game. At dark, the hunting day is done. You head back to the main camp, clean up for supper and enjoy an outdoor, white-linen tablecloth dinner. Four-course, five-star meals are a given at Ferroland. Not enough can be said about the accommodations at this wonderful place.
ONE SUPER HIGHLIGHT We hunted in Elisras for a really big impala for close to four full days. While we were holding out for this impala, Scott told me to take a crack at a Baboon if the shot presented itself. I was excited at the chance for certain. Not long after that conversation, a group of impala came into our setup. Sure enough, one of the impalas was the one we were aiming to take. Because does kept on getting in front of the shooter-buck, Scott simply couldn’t find a clean opening. He drew on the buck several times but it just wasn’t going to happen at this time. Finally, the impalas left the area and in strutted a bunch of baboons.
The ultimate trophy impala!
More great scenes from the Dark Continent. photos by team realtee
Quickly, Scott passed me his bow rig and I passed him my camera. I had an arrow knocked and was just seconds away from pulling the trigger on the release. Out of the corner of my eye I could see the same group of five impala rams heading back to the watering hole. The switch was back on! Off came the release, I passed the bow and Scott passed me back the camera. I started video and sure enough, the impala we were chasing gave Scott the perfect broadside shot. All the while, the pack of baboons (with super keen eyesight) were all over the place. We knew that making a noise or a sudden move would set the baboons into full-spook alert! Slowly, we opened the shooting window. Scott carefully drew, aimed and shot the big impala. The ram went about 15 yards and piled up.
At this time there was a total of some 20 impala and at least 25 baboons out in front of us. After the shot, the baboons went absolutely nuts. The baboons were yelling like mad not knowing what had happened to the ram. And the impalas were looking at the baboons as if they had done something to the now-dead ram. Basically, the impalas were snorting at the baboons and the Baboons were yelling at the impalas. It was quite a sight—we got it all on video!
After 20 minutes of this, the animals all left the area. We went and recovered Scott’s trophy. It was a 24 1/2” Impala—a real trophy for sure!
TROPHY NOTES There were a total of four hunters at this camp including Scott. Close to 40 animals were taken in the two week time period. Between 10 and 12 successful hunts were caught on video by Womack and his Team Realtree camera. Some of the game taken include: a zebra which weight in the 800-pound range, a gemsbok, three different impalas (two 23 inchers and the one 24 Ω mentioned above), a world class bushbuck in the 16-inch range. Several warthogs were also taken. One had 12-inch tusks! Average shot distance was about 25 yards on all game. As far as tracking, most game fell within eyeshot with the exception of the huge Zebra. The double-lunged giant went more than 120 yards.
MORE ON FERROLAND Ferroland Bowhunting - Visit the following sight for more information: www.BowhuntAfrica.com
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