From a purely hunting perspective 2005 was as good as we had hoped and expected. The last couple of seasons have seen some good rains in our area and for a place that is prone to droughts this has contributed to good hunting and good trophy quality. More on the hunting later but first some administrative information.
If you are reading this report then you have obviously noticed that we have created a new website. We have decided that something more personal, current and interactive is the way forward. As well as the usual general information with regards hunting in Africa, contact details and price guides that are really important we have included a breaking news feature. This we hope will be an informative and up to date link into what is happening at Crusader safaris. Expect the odd topical article from Chris and Andrew and featured hunts by clients reporting on their safaris, one hunt in particular or taking a light hearted look into some of the cock ups that happen from time to time during a long season.
Already you can expect to hear from Anthony Pennimpede from NJ, on how it is that you can shoot a 2 by 4 piece of wood and a one horned kudu with one shot at once and on top of that with a muzzleloader. Also in the pipeline is Albertans and Whitetail outfitters, Dale Mckinnon and Bill Machura and their thoughts on hunting Africa. You might even hear from the Cape doctor out of Cape Town South Africa.
Back to the hunting, from a rifle hunting perspective the highlight of ‘05 has got to be the quality of Vaal Rhebok taken. Being the toughest plains game animal in Africa to hunt and our equivelant of the Rocky Mountain Goat it is always very satisfying to see the quality that we took this year. To my knowledge there has never been a Vaalie killed with a bow so that has to be the next challenge, we got close this year and have a few plans up the sleeve for next year.
The Vaal Rhebok where a highlight but with so many species on offer it is not a true reflection to isolate one particular animal. A more in depth look at individual hunters highlighs featured in the breaking news feature will be a better reflection.
This leads us nicely into bowhunting. The late rains made it pretty tough for bowhunting but some good animals where taken. Jim Nelson of SD had an especially good hunt taking seven animals. We consider 5 animals in a 8 day hunt to be succesful, so where real excited about the 7 that Jim killed. Jim got some good plains game, a big Baboon and is still looking for his Blue Balled Monkey.
It must be remembered that none of our hunting areas are high fenced, this makes bowhunting a real challenge and at the end of the day a real hunt.
Good news on the bird hunting front is that John Broster, Chris’s father, has joined us as a bird specialist. Not only does John tell a good story but he has 25 years of bird hunting experience under the belt. Having hunted the Stormberg for Greywing Partridge and waterfowl for all those years he has excellant knowledge of the area aswell as access to the best areas.
With the Greywing being the fastest flying upland game bird in the world and Southern Africas most sought after, we spend a lot of time hunting it, the rest we mix up between doves and Pigeons in the cornfields, Guineafowl and a huge diversity of Waterfowl.
The season is done for the year and it is already looking good for 2006, we will be heading to the States and Canada in September and am sure will catch up with most of you either there or at the shows early next year.
We look forward to sharing a few stories over a couple of beers.
Andrew and Chris