By Dave Stueve
Editor’s Note: On June 21, 2016, Dave Stueve, owner of the Double Lung Archery Pro Shops in La Porte City and Mason City, departed for South Africa for his sixth annual Hunt with Double Lung group hunt. Joining him were a half dozen clients hailing from Cedar Rapids, Atlanta and Wisconsin. Upon arrival in Johannesburg, the hunters were greeted by Charl and Erika of Infinito Safaris, their hosts for what promised to be an eventful week of hunting in the South African wilderness. This year, Stueve joined two clients hunting for a Cape Buffalo, one of the most dangerous animals in South Africa. Standing some six feet tall and weighing more than 1,500 pounds, the Cape Buffalo has reportedly killed more big game hunters than any other animal, earning its well-deserved nickname, “Black Death.” To read Parts I and II of this series, logon to www.theprogressreview.co.
The next morning we are all up early for breakfast. We watch the animals roam the valley below us as we eat. We are coming back here to stay again tonight so we do not have to load up all our gear. About 9 AM we all load into two trucks for the two hour drive to one of the main entrances of Kruger Park.
After a brief stop at the main gate to get checked in, we enter the massive park, which is about about three million acres. We drive only a short and begin to see animals, lots of animals-elephants, zebra, impala, hippos, crocodiles, a huge 62 inch Kudu, giraffes and more. There are huge ant hills everywhere!
Proceeding to the Elephant museum, we see whole elephant skeleton, elephant skulls and huge tusks, There are plaques with the history of some of the park’s more famous bull elephants.
There is also a display that shows some of the methods that poachers have used over the years to poach elephants for their tusks. Some of these are pretty dirty tricks.
We hit the little store to stock up on drinks and snacks for the rest of the tour. Leon and I are playing a game of “guess how many inches those horns are.” He is beating me badly.
At midday we get to another stop area and have lunch in a restaurant overlooking the river, which is filled with hippos and crocodiles. You can even feed the hippos. I don’t think they recommend trying that with the crocs, however.
After lunch we load back into the trucks and start the long drive back to return to the lodge. We make our way back to the lodge on the mountain and arrive just before dark. Dinner and a short time at the fire and off to our rooms we all go. Tomorrow is going to be a long day.
Arriving back at Infinity Camp, my other clients have arrived and already gotten a duiker and an impala. I am excited to meet up with them and spend some time in the hides (blinds) filming their hunts.
Gawie and Brad are going to a different property to hunt Eland or Nyala and invite me to go along and run the camera, so off we go. We check in with the man in charge of the property we’re hunting and load onto his truck. We see lots of animals but none we are after. We almost got Brad a shot at a big warthog but it was too quick. Off into the tall grass it disappeared.
We followed after it for a bit but it was gone. Back to the truck and to a different part of the property, Gawie spots a nice Nyala in the distance. Off the truck we pile and into the bush we head, Gawie in the lead, then Brad, and me following along behind, camera ready.
We stalk around to get the wind right and close the distance. He is moving ahead, quartering away from us. Then, in the grass Gawie spots another one, one that is unaware of our presence. We get into position as the Nyala stands up to see what the other one was heading away from. BOOM! The Nyala runs 30 yards and goes down. Nice shot Brad!
We make quick work of getting the photos taken and load the Nyala in the truck to get him to the cooler as soon as possible.
Next on our list is an Eland but there are none to be found. We decide to call it a day and head back to camp.
On the way, Gawie gets the call that Daudi, one of my bowhunting clients, has shot an Impala with his longbow. He is hunting the Bushbuck hide on the other side of the mountain. We swing into camp to get Mauser, the tracking dog, and over the mountain we head. When we arrive, Johan and Daudi get out of the hide. We find part of his arrow and start to follow the trail, Mauser in the lead. We only go about 30 yards and there he is, a nice Impala ram. Daudi had made a near perfect shot! Some quick photos before we lose all daylight and back across the mountain to camp we head.
Soon, the drums beat, signaling that dinner is ready! Tonight is zebra steaks! Thanks Brad!
Tomorrow I will be filming Dean’s hunt from the Graveyard hide. I can’t wait!