Day Three — First Kills!

Bowhunting World’s Lee Hetherington recently returned from the trip of a lifetime — an African bowhunting safari.
Day Three — First Kills!

africa impalaI sat in the “gravel” blind on the second morning; Ken had arrowed his warthog from this blind the night before. In terms of seeing game, it was slow compared to my hunt the evening before. We saw only a large flock of 60 guinea foul and a female duiker. Later, we heard over the radio that Ken had scored again. He and his PH had just picked up a blood trail when we arrived at his blind, and a short distance away we found the dead duiker Ken had shot. We were doing high-fives and admiring the animal when Ken told us he had also shot an impala. After another very short track job we found the beautiful, mature ram impala. Ken was on a roll — three animals down before Walt and I had drawn our bows.

After lunch we headed to the baobab (pronounced bow-bob) blind. The name came from the tree that it’s built in, a baobab tree, which resembled a set from the movie “Avatar” or the home of the Swiss Family Robinson. The blind was built into the tree about 20 feet off the ground, positioned with a 14-yard shot to the water. The baobab blind complete with its two resident storks became one of my favorite places to hunt.

Soon after we arrived that afternoon, several warthogs came to the waterhole for a drink. Talk about nasty lookin’ critters! Pete gave me the nod to shoot. With confidence I placed my 20-yard pin on the shoulder of the biggest pig and released the arrow. He ran with crazy power and speed, then spun in circles, raised up on his hind legs, spun again and fell over dead. I was on the board! Pete called the trackers to come and get the hog — we never got out of the blind.

Seemingly no matter how often I patrolled the parameter (looked out the windows), game would sneak in on us. This was the case with the impala rams. It was a textbook encounter that took about 20 minutes from the time I saw them to the time the biggest ram was broadside at the waterhole. My 15-yard shot was true and the ram crashed through the water and into the same thick cover the warthog had run through two hours before. Again, Pete called the tracker. This time we got down from the tree and followed impala tracks 120 yards to where he lay dead.

Hunting Notes: Ostrich, giraffe, warthog and eland are the most frequent visitors to our blind each day. The temperature is unusually cool, making otherwise predictable waterholes suddenly unpredictable. We’re also fighting the effects of the full moon phase, which is causing the larger animals to feed at night. The animals reproduce naturally on Jurie’s concessions — it’s not a controlled game-farm operation where they replenish animals based on the kill. These animals are wild. Any thoughts that hunting Africa would be like a slam-dunk zoo shoot soon left our mind.

africa photo gallery

MORE STORIES: You can find the rest of the story as the days become live on the Feature Listing Page >> HERE <<

As a convenience and to best help United States clients, Jurie Meyer has asked Dick Scorzafava to be his U.S. representative and to answer questions related to hunting with Jurie. Dick lives on the East Coast. He can be contacted at (413) 568-5604 or at Jurie will be attending the Safari Club International show in Reno, Jan. 26-29 and the Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pa. on Feb. 5-13.


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