The Dream Team
by Bryce Sitter
Two Impala out of a group
I've been living and working in East Africa since 1998, so I was pleased to finally get some buddies from home (USA) over for a bowhunt, we called ourselves the dream team. I'm currently working in Tanzania, and although it is a hunting country, the fees are really high and the permits are such a headache to secure, so I organized the hunt in South Africa via my friend Nelius Mostert. We were in the Limpopo Province in June of 2012.
The crew consisted of a bunch of avid deer and elk bow hunters and one of my Australian friends. Nelius put us on a great ranch with very comfortable accommodations and great Professional Hunters (PH) by our side. We hunted mostly from hides, built into the ground so we had a great temps all day and a great eye-level view of the action. Hides with one-way mirrors inside help cover your movement and the brick and rock structures also covered some sounds, so it wasn't tough to keep hunting all day long. There was also a pop-up blind which kept us mobile and a tree stand, so we enjoyed different scenery.
We all had shooting opportunities and at close range, and we saw a variety of game. Each day and each hide presented different opportunities, and most of us shot a few different species during the 10 day hunt. While our normal equipment that we use for elk and deer was sufficient for this hunt, guys who had heavier broadheads and arrows were better off for the tough African game. Shot placement is so important on any hunt and we found that African game is surprisingly fast and tough. I have heard that feather-fletched arrows are quieter and would like to try them on a return hunt, as we all experienced how many of these animals are true string jumper and are always on alert.
I personally shot a warthog and an oryx, but my true trophy was from the tree stand when I shot two impala out of the same group. I just sat so still that the group didn't spook after I downed the ram, so I was able to arrow a ewe too. I also enjoyed the way the different species behave when they approach the water hole, like the brave and lumbering wildebeest versus the timid kudu and impala.
I met Nelius in the office of African Archer Magazine, where he was a writer and had the amazing job of visiting different ranches and writing about their set-ups. I've hunted with him 3 times and he has a wealth of contacts and knowledge. I find that hunting in other countries takes and open mind, as it is often very different than what you are used to. I also find it important to have the right guides and PHs, and to trust what they tell you, an important thing for a successful hunt. Nelius is also a down to earth guy and has really reasonable/affordable packages. (Nelius Mostert -Field Sparrow Safaris - firstname.lastname@example.org) It was an unforgettable hunt for all involved.