The adjacent Namibia property
that Dries Visser and Riaan Alberts guide on is known as Kanona East
and is known for Springbok, Impala and Gemsbok. The property that we
were hunting this day is a different 12,000 acre ranch that is 30 minutes
to the north from the Kanona West property where I had shot my mountain
zebra. Up until now we had hunted sunken ground blinds and I was ready
for a little variety.
I asked my PH, Wentzel if
there were any blinds that were off the ground. He said there was an
old one that we could use, but it needed to be repaired with new canvas.
Years ago a previous owner had constructed an elevated blind near a
river bed that was known to be a leopard corridor. The blinds frame
was built out of sturdy steel and thick treated poles. Wentzel and I
spent two hours on Sunday morning repairing the blind by putting new
canvas around it and cutting shooting windows. The blind stood
about 12 feet off the ground over looking an open area in between the
dried riverbed and three large hills of brush.
We gave it one full day of
rest and went back the following day at 1:00 PM to hunt the evening.
This area is known for the large kudu bull that a leopard and dragged
down and ate on site. It?s unusual for a leopard to kill such a large
animal. Because of its size the leopard wasn?t able to climb a tree
with it and consumed it where it fell. I also knew that the bone pile
was exactly 20 yards from the left shooting window.
After climbing up into the
blind we ate lunch and began the waiting period that we expected to
take 3-4 hours. We really had to wait until the wind switched
in the afternoon because we were now hunting from an open-air blind
compared to the sealed ground blinds that dominated the property.
Dozing off from the heat of the sun was a little dangerous as I sat
in my chair, which was next to the entry hole in the floor of the blind.
We saw a monster warthog come
in and he drank from the water hole in front of us, but because I had
already taken one, I just observed him and left my bow lying on the
plywood floor of the blind.
At 4:30 PM, I noticed a group
of Impala moving along the ridgeline about 300 yards away. They
slowly walked but we could not see a single ram in the group of 15.
Wentzel said to get ready as he really felt they were going to work
their way to the water hole. He also said there had to be at least
one ram in the group this time of year even though we had not seen him.
What seemed to take an hour
was more like 20 minutes as the ?African Deer? came down to the
left of the water hole. At this point we were relying on Nullo and the
slow quartering windto keep them from smelling us.
Having no clue we were there they drifted away
from the water and moved towards the wooded river bed. Finally
a ram showed himself and my PH said, ?You need to take him if he offers
you a shot.? With my bow in my hand and standing so that I could
watch through both the windows I soon became concerned that they were not
going to offer me a shot. The ram moved from female to female
at about 50 yards smelling each one of them. As they slowly moved
to our left it was clear they were not going to hit the water hole.
At 37 yards I attached my Scott
release and tightened my grip on my flat shooting Bear Truth II. It
was a feeling that I had felt hundreds of times when a whitetail was
closing the distance. I felt my heart rate rise. I knew the reflexes
on these animals was lightning fast and I needed the ram to be inside
of 30 yards to avoid him jumping the string. I had missed a lightening
fast monster impala just that very morning on a spot and stock at 40
yards. Camera footage later showed that the animal moved so quick
that he completely ducked a perfectly placed shot.
At 31 yards the animals locked
up as something got them extremely nervous. Wentzel told me to
draw. I drew back my bow and the ram moved to the back side of
another impala continuing his constant checking of the females.
Finally I knew he was at 25 yards just past the bone pile and he offered
me a quartering away shot.
I released the arrow heard
it hit. It was a grim day for the Impala ram. I had watched the Grim
Reaper Mythbuster DVD that Wade had given me before I left my home in
Indiana and knew that the 100 grain Razortip had just opened as promised
in the impala?s chest. The Impala exploded off into the grassy hill.
I was elated at what had just happened. ?That was hunting?
just the way you want it?, I said to Wentzel. Wentzel was blocked
from seeing my shot and could not see the placement but did hear the
I showed him through the window
right where he was standing.
We climbed down and searched
for 10 minutes. There was no blood and no arrow. I insisted
that knew that I hit him right where I was aiming. Finally we
found my arrow that was covered in blood, but we found no blood on the
ground. We decided to search the side of the hill they ran up.
Seventy-five yards away, laid this beautiful creature:
What a fantastic experience
and realization of a long time goal and dream!