From game camera pictures we learned that Zebra were not coming into the water holes until between 12-am and
4-am. So on the 8th and
final day of the hunt Will Smith (my PH) got permission for me to use a rifle
to hunt the zebra. There were too many zebras populating the 15,000 acres of
Konona West ranch; so the owner asked us to take a zebra if we could.
We woke up early and got right out after them at daylight. Right away we saw zebra standing in the road, so we jumped out of the back of the
truck and put a stalk on them. However, they somehow busted us and
left the party before it actually every started.
We then climbed a
rather large Koppie (rocky hill; small mountain) and got several
hundred feet above the bush country and glassed for zebras below.
Soon we spotted some Zebra several hundred yards from the base of of
the Koppie we were on; so the chase was on. We climbed down the Koppie
and put a stalk on the zebra.
When we got to the area we spotted
them at we heard them and could smell them pretty well. Will glassed a
nice mare at about 100 yards straight out, looking right at us and told
me to get ready to shoot. I laid down on the rock to get a good rest
for the shot; lined up the crossed hairs, and pulled the trigger:
“Click” was all that was heard. I had forgotten to close the bolt all
So, I closed it; however, did not rework the action and when
the zebra actually walked into about 40 yards it clicked again. Just
then my PH told me the camera stopped working and not to take a shot
unless I wanted it to be taken with out footage for viewing. So we
pulled out and started to regather our composure.
Meanwhile the zebra
ran far away; so, we began to stalk them all around the 15,000 acres. We climbed many more rather high Kippie’s, and continued to glass the entire
range in view.
lunch we began drove around the free ranging area; we were running
along the fence line and following some Ostriches when we crossed a dry
river bed. Coming up on the other side we stopped to get pictures of
the rather large birds when to my surprise I caught a glimpse of a fine
Hart mans zebra trotting away from us about 30 yards away.
pointing it out to my PH, he instructed me to get out of the truck and
he guided me back to the river bed about 100 yards or so, and then up
the river a couple hundred yards — hoping to cut off the zebra.
We did — I saw the zebra through the bush, coming right at us. Will pulled me over to the edge of the river bank and I kneeled
down to get ready for a shot. I zeroed in on the right leg and pulled
the trigger from only 50 yards away; nearly close enough to have taken
the shot with my bow. The bullet entered in the front leg breaking it
and entering the heart and lung area. The stallion spun around and my
second shot anchored him.
At last I had my zebra. It was a fine
Hartmans mountain zebra stallion. He was a very old specimen; his
teeth were quite worn down. He was probably in his last year of life.
However, he had survived for
many years; avoiding the leopards and cheetas that regularly kill game
in the area.