First Hunt – Part 2
By Robert Hoague
Jun 22, 2008 – 10:22:11 AM
Link to larger and more Red Hartebeest Pictures From This Hunt.
Two more Red Hartebeest came from the left side of the Hide. I locked on them with the Sony.
The color of their eyes. Their horns, shaped like nothing I’ve ever
seen. And they took almost an hour to come to water. They were
incredibly wild … and wild looking. I went into picture overdrive.
I was 3 miles down in the camera when Johan whispered, “That one is a
bull.” I looked at him and he pointed at a Red Hartebeest that was
further out than the others. I took its picture.
Another one walked into my camera’s viewfinder, it was eating dried African grass.
These were big, ominous, but quiet animals. The only sound was one I
would not’ve noticed normally, I could hear them drinking because of the
Pro-Ears. Johan pointed out the largest bull and it walked around the
left edge of the watering hole and began drinking. It was now the
closest Hartebeest to me. About 15 yards away.
I took another picture and let the camera hang around my neck by its
strap. Carefully, I slipped my bow off the bow-peg that was conveniently
installed in the Hide. My lucky BowTech 82nd Airborne has downed wild
turkey gobblers and a wild boar since it arrived in late March. Now it
looked like I would get a chance to add a huge Red Hartebeest bull.
Other Red Hartebeest were behind the bull. I waited for an opportunity, just one instant when the bull was clear of the others.
As if there was a signal most of the Red Hartebeest turned and walked
toward the woods. There was no shot opportunity here, the bull had his
butt towards me. I gripped the Sony in my right hand and took a
Hey, notice the one that is still at the water is down on its front
knees drinking. Did you notice that in any of the other pictures?
I stood there with my bow and camera in opposite hands. A different
bull separated from the others and walked back toward the water. I took
The water hole had large limbs as wall as brush on the opposite side
from the Hide. It created a barrier to keep animals from drinking on
that side, which is good in a couple of ways.
One, if animals drank from that side chances are almost 100% that the shot opportunities would be head on. That’s not good.
And two, it moves them a few yards closer to the bowhunter in the Hide. And closer shots are always a good thing.
The bull stopped right behind the barrier. I took its picture.
All the bull had to do was step around either edge of the barrier and I
was back in the game. This was exciting. Every pore in my body felt
like it was a foot wide.
I let the camera hang and hooked up to my string loop and waited for my chance.
The other Red Hartebeest disappeared from view. The remaining bull’s
attention moved to something in the trees and brush to our left.
Range finder time. It was 24 yards to the bull. A shot I could make.
But chances were not good that I could clear the top limb in front of
the bull. The 82nd was too flat shooting to risk it.
A minute later the bull turned and walked away in the direction the others had gone.
In case you are interested here is the link to larger and more Red Hartebeest Pictures From This Hunt.)
We saw two more Red Hartebeest, a cow and a young one, pass through in the brush. At noon Johan drove us back to the lodge.
We had a super lunch with the other PH’s and bowhunters. Afterward Reed
Nolan and I worked with the tech support for the internet equipment
they had sold to Johan. Everyone else left to hunt but I stayed behind.
I wanted to get on the internet as soon as possible and the tech guys
in Wiindhoek didn’t seem to know as much about their equipment as they
After hours, back and forth on the phone, the tech guy admitted to Reed
that he wasn’t very familiar with this particular internet system, it
was new to him and he said he would have the big honcho call us
tomorrow — because it was after closing hours.
That night we had a delicious meal of Ginsbuk in a tasty sauce, vegetables, salad and a custard type desert. Good stuff.
I told Johan and Riaan that I wouldn’t be able to hunt tomorrow until
we had the internet going. He understood and said tomorrow he would
have a G3 laptop, it might be slower than the other but he knew it
Shortly after dinner I sat in my room, easily the largest and most
luxurious one I’d ever slept in at any hunting lodge. My mind switched
between four thoughts. The images of those Red Hargebeest. Annoyance at
the Windhoek internet jerk who waisted hours our time pretending he
knew about something he was at “idiot level” about. How very comfortable
it was to be at this place — everyone was so friendly and helpful, the
food was outstanding and the facilities were first class. And how Johan
had stepped up to the plate about the internet. He was told their new
internet equipment would work and he had (and was still) spending the
bucks to make it happen.
I drifted off to sleep with visions of Hartebeests, an internet dumb bell and the faces of new friends playing in my head.
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