It’s been a while since we have updated the goings on at Crusader safaris and the progress of the season. We started hunting in early March and have been going for about 6 weeks, obviously the early fall, late summer weather has been pretty warm. As a result the hunting has been best in the early mornings and late evenings with everyone enjoying an afternoon siesta in the heat of the day.
The season kicked off in the Umkomaas in Kwazulu Natal on the 10th of March, we where fortunate to have great weather and great hunting. Paul Lucas, Paul Himelrigh and Denny Lamb all out of Ohio enjoyed their second trip with Crusader Safaris. The hunting was great but for Paul Lucas not getting his priority animal, a Vervet Monkey. His guides Chris and Elvis put him on many Monkeys but he just could not finish the deal. He has rebooked for 2009 and will be heading out for an elusive Monkey opening morning before chasing some of the bigger more popular African species.
From Natal the entourage moved south to the Eastern Cape where we met with Randy Barber, Joan Silvers, the Rosés and Allan Wentzel. They had made the trip to Africa from Lancaster, PA where we had met them two years earlier at the Eastern Outdoor show in Harrisburg, Pa. This hugely impressive hunting and outdoor spectacle has been good to us and we have met many a hunter there over the years. The Barber group was no different and we had a great hunt with them in the Baviaans river conservancy. From camp the whole party moved down the coast towards Cape Town for some diving with the Sharks in False Bay to tasting wine in the Stellenbosch wine lands, a great time was had by all.
The season stepped up a gear at the beginning of April with four groups in camp all at once, we had 8 hunters, 4 observers, 6 guides and 14 trackers in camp at once. This may sound like an unmanageable number but everything went off really well. With our hunting area being as large as it is we hunted out of both our Baviaansriver and Stormberg camp and did not once bump into any of the other hunters or get the feeling that the area was not big enough to accommodate the pressure. With a few different parties in camp it is always great waiting around the skinning shed to see what is brought in and later sitting around the fire sharing an ice cold beer and a story of the day’s events.
Greg Alcorn and father in law, Jim Delsorda both had successful hunts, Greg getting a double on Kudu and a record book Mountain Reedbuck, the biggest shot in the Stormberg in years. Jim took a 42 inch Gemsbok, an impressive trophy.
The Faiths, Jim, Deborah and daughter Madison came out with African veteran Ken Faith who was on his third trip with Crusader Safaris. Ken and Jim had very successful hunts both bagging a number of very good trophies, a 29 inch Lechwe for Ken and a 50 inch Kudu for Jim. The highlight of the trip was young Madison who at six years old managed to take a White Springbuck after a memorable hunt with guide Schalk de Villiers. Deb got an impala of her own to complete a great family vacation.
Hunting is all about challenging yourself to hunt the best possible animals under the circumstances of the hunt, when you decide to hunt using black powder you choose to disadvantage yourself; this is what the Savells chose to do. In 12 days they killed 16 trophy animals and got the opportunity to hunt 3 of our areas, a large percentage of their animals will go very high in the black powder book and I am sure they got back to Montana with fond memories.
Bill Nace made up the balance of the April party; a good start was followed by a few days out of action with a stomach bug followed by some more good hunting. Jims Stormberg Black Wildebeest monster was a bull we had all been hunting for years, Bill was lucky to get the bull and it couldn’t have gone to a nicer man.
Well that was a brief reflection of the events of the last few weeks; the site will have some photographs updated as soon as possible. I am pretty sure that all the hunters in the early season had good times and are looking forward to returning some day, if you are planning a trip with us later on in the year or in the future don’t hesitate to contact any of the above hunters or any of our references for that matter regarding what to expect and how to prepare.