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Almost 100 miles for his first antelope #8297513 06/17/21 04:33 PM
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Dimitri Offline OP
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Last year my eldest son (then 11 years old) shot his first antelope - a nice duiker ram. This year it was my younger son's turn He is 10 years old.

In April I spent 7 days on a friend's farm with my family. The farm is in the Limpopo province and is pretty much flat bushveld. Each day we tried to get my son a shot on an impala (young male or adult female) or a steenbuck or duiker. The proviso was that the animal had to be at 70m or less in order for him to be allowed a shot. We hunted hard during our stay but the right opportunity did not present itself. All of our hunting is done on foot and, during that week-long hunt we landed up walking about 110km (68 miles) without my son taking a shot.

We have just returned from a 4-day hunt on a mountainous farm in the Free State. Again we were to try and get my son a shot on an antelope. The terrain is mountainous grassland, rocky oucrops, cliffs, steep hills and deep wooded valleys. It is difficult to get close to the game in that terrain and I was prepared to allow my son an 80m shot after a good range session. On day 4, our last day of the hunt, my son finally squeezed the trigger and the thud of the bullet finding it's target was unmistakable, We had walked 48km (30 miles) over the 4 days.

And so, after walking almost 100 miles, my younger son finally shot his first antelope - a mountain reedbuck ewe. What's more, my eldest son walked with us every step of the way even though he knew that it wasn't his turn to take a shot. I'm so proud of the boys. How wonderful it is to hunt with your children. Memories to be cherished.

Re: Almost 100 miles for his first antelope [Re: Dimitri] #8297516 06/17/21 04:36 PM
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Raising them right, congrats to you and your sons. That is a lot of walking


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Mainstream news might be fun to watch
Re: Almost 100 miles for his first antelope [Re: kmon1] #8297523 06/17/21 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by kmon1
Raising them right, congrats to you and your sons. That is a lot of walking

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

X2 up


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Re: Almost 100 miles for his first antelope [Re: Dimitri] #8297583 06/17/21 05:54 PM
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Outstanding! Pictures?


To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

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Re: Almost 100 miles for his first antelope [Re: Dimitri] #8297599 06/17/21 06:04 PM
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Congratulations to both of your sons. Good job

Re: Almost 100 miles for his first antelope [Re: Dimitri] #8297623 06/17/21 06:22 PM
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Very cool, congrats and thanks for sharing the story.


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Don't let your ears hear what your eyes didn't see, and don't let your mouth say what your heart doesn't feel
Re: Almost 100 miles for his first antelope [Re: Dimitri] #8297654 06/17/21 07:00 PM
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Congrats!


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Re: Almost 100 miles for his first antelope [Re: Dimitri] #8297682 06/17/21 07:46 PM
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Congats to both boys and to you for raising them right. Pictures are still needed though.

Re: Almost 100 miles for his first antelope [Re: Dimitri] #8297857 06/17/21 11:18 PM
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Re: Almost 100 miles for his first antelope [Re: Dimitri] #8297858 06/17/21 11:20 PM
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Congratulations to you and your son, Dimitri!! You guys have to WORK to get those shots! Hope to see the photos, also!

Re: Almost 100 miles for his first antelope [Re: Dimitri] #8297861 06/17/21 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Dimitri
Last year my eldest son (then 11 years old) shot his first antelope - a nice duiker ram. This year it was my younger son's turn He is 10 years old.

In April I spent 7 days on a friend's farm with my family. The farm is in the Limpopo province and is pretty much flat bushveld. Each day we tried to get my son a shot on an impala (young male or adult female) or a steenbuck or duiker. The proviso was that the animal had to be at 70m or less in order for him to be allowed a shot. We hunted hard during our stay but the right opportunity did not present itself. All of our hunting is done on foot and, during that week-long hunt we landed up walking about 110km (68 miles) without my son taking a shot.

We have just returned from a 4-day hunt on a mountainous farm in the Free State. Again we were to try and get my son a shot on an antelope. The terrain is mountainous grassland, rocky oucrops, cliffs, steep hills and deep wooded valleys. It is difficult to get close to the game in that terrain and I was prepared to allow my son an 80m shot after a good range session. On day 4, our last day of the hunt, my son finally squeezed the trigger and the thud of the bullet finding it's target was unmistakable, We had walked 48km (30 miles) over the 4 days.

And so, after walking almost 100 miles, my younger son finally shot his first antelope - a mountain reedbuck ewe. What's more, my eldest son walked with us every step of the way even though he knew that it wasn't his turn to take a shot. I'm so proud of the boys. How wonderful it is to hunt with your children. Memories to be cherished.

up


hold on Newt, we got a runaway
Re: Almost 100 miles for his first antelope [Re: Dimitri] #8297942 06/18/21 12:34 AM
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Great story!


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Re: Almost 100 miles for his first antelope [Re: Dimitri] #8297982 06/18/21 01:22 AM
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Amazing! I would have walked 100 miles with my dad on a hunt to but he wasn't into "hobbies". Great story thank you!

Re: Almost 100 miles for his first antelope [Re: Dimitri] #8298078 06/18/21 04:29 AM
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That is awesome. Walking that much for a kid age 10-12 is hard character building work regardless of the payoff. Congrats


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Re: Almost 100 miles for his first antelope [Re: Dimitri] #8298118 06/18/21 10:54 AM
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Thank you for your kind words everybody. Here is a bit more detail about the hunt and some photos:

Weather: Unusually warm for this time of year. Max 17-21 min 0-2 degrees Celcius. And yet .... one morning we walked along the river and into a deep kloof that gets very little sun. It is a remote part of the farm and we felt like we were the first humans there. Some of the pools in that kloof were still fozen over at 10am in the good weather we had.

Wind: Not very windy at all. A relief because it can blow you off the mountain there. The wind swirled a lot on the second last hunting day which drove us mad. It also drove the farmer made as he was burning a firebreak and it was difficult with the wind changing direction. On one occasion we saw the mountain reedbuck bedded down on a ridge. We needed to detour to our right in order to approach with cover and wind in our favour. It was a 2km hike. After a few hundred metres the wind changed so now we had to go back, detour to the left in order to approach the reedbuck. Luckily this was a shorter hike of about a kilometre. We approached as quietly and stealthily as possible and were only a few metres away from being able to peep over the ridgeline when the wind changed again. 5 mountain reedbuck got up only 40m from us and ran off.

Hunting: The terrain is mostly open and it's difficult to get within 80m of the mountain reedbuck. I had opportunities out to 140m but passed them up so that we could get a shot for my son. We had a ewe at 50m with Alec ready on the sticks but her rear-end was toward us and she was looking back - not offering a shoulder shot. The boys begged me to take a neck shot but I was hoping the ewe would turn and offer my son a shot. When she moved again it was to run off. Early on the morning of our last hunting day I had us 50m from a herd of 5 reedbuck below us on a slope. I asked my sun to get up slowly and see if he could see the closest one clearly. His eyes opened wide and he nodded as he sat back down. I set the .243 on the sticks and asked my son to slowly move in behind the gun and get comfortable. Unfortunately I didn't turn down the scope magnification which was on it's 12x maximum. "Alec, take your time boy. Breathe. Nice and steady on the shoulder and squeeze when you are ready .............. on the shoulder boy, squeeze........" I had popped my head up to watch the ewe and I waited and waited for Alec's shot but it never came. He couldn't find the ewe in the scope and by the time we worked it out the reedbuck had sensed something was up and they ran off. Alec looked as if he was going to burst out crying any second. We climbed down the mountain and walked back to the vehicle. We drove to the section of the farm we had hunted the day before when the wind had betrayed us. We parked the vehicle and set off on the long walk to the ridge. The reedbuck weren't there. We walked along the ridge and eventually spotted some reedbuck across the way on a hill. They had seen us first and ran off. I had an idea where they were going and, if I was correct, the only way to approach them without being seen or scented was to descend to the bottom of the valley and use the ouhout trees as cover. After a kilometre hike we were directly below the reedbuck which were about 400m up the steep slope. We used the few trees that there were as cover to close the distance and then resorted to crawling and leopard crawling until we were 75m from the animals. After catching his breath, Alec did his bit and he had his first antelope.

It's not only about pulling the trigger: We took some photos then gutted the ewe together. We dragged the carcass up the slope to where we could later recover it with the vehicle. It was hard work. Once loaded we rewarded ourselves with some hot chocolate from the flask and some biscuits. Back at the farmer's house we phoned mom and my daughter to tell them the news and they were very proud. We skinned the ewe together and then washed the carcass and hung it in the coldroom. That night we cooked the liver and it was delicious. We saved some for the farmer and he loved it. Back home Alec helped to cut up the meat. He wanted carpaccio from the one loin so we made some yesterday. The hind legs he wanted for biltong so he helped debone, trim and cut the meat. Then we weighed the meat and spiced it. Last night my kids slept over at their aunt so I hung the biltong this morning and now we wait to sample the biltong that Alec provided for us.

Everyone does as they prefer but I feel that I would have short-changed my boys on the full experience if we had simply driven up to the antelope and I had let them shoot from the vehicle.

To follow are some photos. I don't like posting pictures of my kids with dead animals on public platforms or social media for obvious reasons but there are other pics to illustrate our story.

Pics 1-3: Scerery
Pic 4: me and my boys
Pic 5: Taking a break
Pic 6: Me and Alec gutting his ewe
Pic 7: Chicken curry and mountain reedbuck liver
Pic 8: Mountain reedbuck quick carpaccio

Attached Files IMG_20210614_094352.jpgIMG_20210614_115255.jpgIMG_20210614_145951.jpgIMG_20210613_205749.jpgIMG_20210615_133256.jpgIMG_20210615_152540.jpgIMG_20210615_200651.jpgIMG_20210617_135444.jpg
Last edited by Dimitri; 06/18/21 10:58 AM.
Re: Almost 100 miles for his first antelope [Re: TXHOGSLAYER] #8298124 06/18/21 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by TXHOGSLAYER
Great story!

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Re: Almost 100 miles for his first antelope [Re: Dimitri] #8298411 06/18/21 04:48 PM
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Incredible scenery and photos! When I hear your hunting stories, I almost think I am listening to Capstick and his tales. That food looks delicious too.

Re: Almost 100 miles for his first antelope [Re: Dimitri] #8298470 06/18/21 05:48 PM
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Excellent. Thanks for the phots and update!

The only animal I targeted in Africa and failed to get was a mountain reedbuck. They are wary wary animals that live in difficult places to reach. Your son should be especially proud up


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Re: Almost 100 miles for his first antelope [Re: Dimitri] #8299593 06/20/21 02:12 AM
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well done! great pictures and an awesome story.


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