I received a call from a good friend of mine asking me if I could be his backup and shot placement coach on a Giraffe Bull hunt in Hoedspruit. This hunt was during a break between overseas clients so it was my absolute pleasure to accompany him to Hoedspruit.
As many of you know that have hunted Giraffe before, their vitals are situated very high and forward from the shoulder, this is where a lot of people make the mistake of shooting too low and behind line the front leg.
As we arrived on the farm Owned by Dirk Kriek we drove past a couple of big old mature Giraffe Bulls, they had very nice black colouration and we had that chill of excitement for what lay ahead the next day.
We stayed in a very nice self-catering chalet and around the campfire that night discussed shot placement and the way we would handle the stalk on foot the next day.
The next morning we were up early and headed towards the Shooting range to make sure our rifles were sighted in for the day’s action. We set of to find the tracks of the bulls we saw the night before. We followed the tracks and found that they had split up. They covered quite a bit of ground during the evening and after 3 hours of tracking decided to resume our tracking after brunch.
After brunch we set of to where we left the spoor. We walked into an impala male group and Karen, Eugene’s wife, made an amazing quartering away shot on an Impala Ram, at least we had first blood for the day.
They going was tough through the Dense bush but we eventually caught up with two bulls. With those long necks they are able to spot an intruder from a mile away. At that point you realise that your are hunting an animal on his home turf.
Nevertheless we carried on. We left the two bulls, as they knew we were on them and remained skittish the entire time. We drove around the next block to see if we could find fresh tracks of the other two bulls and as we turned the corner there they were out in the open.
Eugene and I got off the cruiser and stalked the bulls to around 60 Yards. I helped Eugene set up on the shooting sticks and took a couple of seconds to instruct him where I want him to place the shot based on the way the animal was standing.
The shot went off and I could see through my binoculars that he made a perfect shot, the bull covered 80 yards and then came to a standstill. Whilst the bull was running I instructed him to chamber another round just in case we would need it. As the bull stopped he took 2-3 seconds and then collapsed. Eugene shot a perfect double lung shot. I gave it 5 minutes and then approached the Bull.
We both stood a couple of seconds taking in the shear size of the animal he had taken and then I congratulated him on a job well done. We took our time to take some good photo’s and then assisted the team with the skinning episode.
I noticed that there were no exit wound and went about looking for the Peregrine .375 300gr point. I recovered it under the skin on the opposite side and the result was amazing. The bullet passed through the centre of both ribs and still had perfect form. I couldn’t be happier with the result.
The hunt was very successful and we had a toast that night around the campfire. A legendary Professional Hunter and Outfitter in Zimbabwe, my Uncle Tokkie van der Merwe, taught me something that has stayed with me through the years.
“To The Giraffe, To the Hunter, To the Guide, To this Hunt, To Passed Hunts, and Future Hunts……………..
PH, Bernard de Lange