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Z1 : Tony Dukes
Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 - 18:37:03

African Bowhunt Part 4
By Tony Dukes
Nov 7, 2005, 11:58

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When you go South in Africa it is like going North in the states. It get's colder. I was going to finish up my two week adventure with Corne Leroix of the Kandiri hunting lodge on the border on the Free State, on the edge of the Kalahari desert.

Contact Conre at . He and his family and staff run a bowhunting lodge that caters to folks wanting a hunt or a 5 star retreat, beautifully landscaped, exquisite African accommodations and lots of game. Lion, Giraffe, Zebra, impala, N. Cape species Kudu, impala, wildebeest, eland, hartbeest, waterbuck, and indigenous, Gemsbok, springbok, lechwe, and blesbuck, the last four were on my list for sure. I like to take game in their original area. At the ranch the also have a blue fallow deer that has been living there for over 300 years as well as other stuff I forgot.
Got there as the magnificent sunset that only Africa posses, faded into it's hundred-forms of red. In the darkness we set up Double Bull blinds.
Next morning, it was COLD and the wind blowing. The landscape had changed from the thick brush of the bushvelt to a grass savanna, with camel trees and a few jumpy hills. Some very open and sandy. Just as I was figuring out the country a blesbok came  into water. I hooked up my release and had the camera running. I said is he a good one. My guide, who doesn't work for Corne usually, said he is a bit young. I passed. When he left I said how much bigger is a super trophy. He said about an inch. I nearly shot him.

Wasn't long until the national symbol of Africa arrive, the multi colored, sleek Springbok. This was way high on my list. The diminutive antelope crossed in front of the blind and my arrow was off. He went about 40 yards and went down behind some brush. An hour another, better ram came in, I got him as well. Wow, amazing how such a little critter can equate to such a big heart beat!
After photos and such, we decided to move to the other Double Bull. Had all sort of nyala, kudu and waterbuck in. Passed, also had giraffe and more springbok.

Second morning back to the same place. Just as it got camera light a pair copper colored impala rams came in, one sporting horns around 25." Unfortunately he walked behind the blind but his partner made the mistake of walking by at 20 yards. The LUMENOCK, light him up and I had animal #3.

Deciding to stay quite, instead of calling in the skinners and trackers, paid off. After a multitude of animals and species came by or in to water something became very familiar. Some big birds were coming. After having spent a month hunting turkey with Brooks and Keith from Double Bull, this had to happen. Sure enough the 300 lb. bird watered at 18 yards, his last drink. I dedicated the African "turkey" to my bow brothers from Minnesota.
Besides Springbok, I really wanted a Gemsbok. I had passed on them in the LImpopo area, wanting to take on their original turf. We had seen them each day, but gemsbok as slow to come to water and salt and can go over a week without.
That afternoon at another Double Bull, the gemsbok skirted us again as well as a monster red lechwe. Meanwhile we were covered with big Eland and Waterbuck and  zebra.
Next day, tons of the animals of Africa, made more exciting by the lion roars that welcomed the dark, but no arrows flew, except for a few dove I shot. Once again the wary Gemsbok, skirted out position.
One day left, and no gemsbok. I was about out of money and time and considered thinking about taking another zebra of a Cape species of Kudu, but still had high hopes of blesbuck, gemsbok or lechwe.
Last morning, out breath looked like a chimney. It was way cold, freezing, nothing moved. After a great meal of assorted meats and wonderful deserts we were back.
Blesbok, came in and never stopped walking and turned around. Later a couple of more, never stopping, so I didn't take a shot. Every other critter in Africa offered me a 20 yard shot, but nothing that was on my priority list.
With nothing in sight a blue rock pigeon came in. I dusted him on film, kinda got my game back in place and started positive thinking. Like grasshoppers, gemsbok appeared on the distant savanna. I was excited, the slowly made their way as zebra and eland came and watered. Finally 4 of the herd of over 20 broke and started in. My guide Rickos was sounded like a New York stock broker, only the numbers he called out were off my Nikon rangefinder. 3 cows, one that would go 40," and a giant bull I guessed at 36." Time after time I drew my arrow only to have one turn or step in front of a camel tree or another gemsbok or fallow deer, which had no joined the confusion.

Finally the bull stepped out and stopped. 31 yds. said Rickos and the arrow was off. Smack, looked perfect, tight behind the shoulder and 1/3 was up. I was sure I had my elusive gemsbok. The herd ran about a 1/4 mile then stopped still in view. We felt sure the bull was down but had lost him in the desert dust.
While giving him time, yet another springbok came in, bigger than the other. Whoosh, the arrow cut his heart out and he went only yards, kicking his way to the grown, all on film.
The trackers arrived and picked up my springbok and pigeon then went to the Gemsbok. We found the arrow at the 1/4 mile mark. The new Magnus BUZZCUT had passed all the way through this enormous animal from my #56 lb. BOWTECH Defender. But now Gemsbok. We finally found him another 2 miles away. Both lungs pierced and a chunk of artery gone, but he had made it. Why, because this is Africa. As well the gemsbok has less than 1/3 the blood pressure of a whitetial and a 1/2 skin.
Next morning I left my beloved Africa and new friends and flew up to JoBurg to catch my flight back to the states. Yes Africa is better the second time and I was already making plans to come back and see Corne and to go with Adriaan Rall up North for leopard, hopefully in 06. Africa, don't miss it.
Special thanks to Corne and Family, African Bowhunter Magazine and Nyattia Safairs and Double Bull. Look for the action on Doulbe Bull TV and or DVD 06 and especially

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