It’s mid October and our biggest and most successful season to date is over, looking back we could not have hoped for a smoother season. The trophy quality was unbelievable; I think that all comes down to good hunting, excellent hunting areas and great management of all of Crusader Safari’s areas.
All the guides, trackers, skinners, cooks and other hired help played a huge part in the success, as did our clients. Without the quality hunters like we are very lucky to have I don’t believe we would have been near as successful, so thanks to all involved.
Paul Gardner and Tina Randello started the second half of the season real well, Paul ‘International’, Gardner who is a African veteran treated his fiancé Tina to a great trip. Paul took a great Bushbuck and some small critters while Tina was successful with a mixed bag of animals, the highlights being the Vaal Rhebok and a great Nyala.
Once again our old friend John Paul made the flight across the pond with his hunting buddies Glenn Bailey and Jeff Smart. They have all hunted Africa before and were on a trophy and cull hunt combo. Jeff, whose priority animal was a Nyala, got a beautiful bull as did John Paul and Glenn a 54 inch Cape Kudu in the Cowie Valley.
Jeff Smart with a Nyala
We always enjoy having repeat hunters visiting us at Crusader Safaris, early June saw Art Stender and his wife Colleen arrive on their second trip. They were accompanied by their buddies from Wisconsin, Rick and Rainey Viner. Art and Colleen hunted with a rifle and Rick with his bow. Once again a successful hunt was had and we look forward to hosting both couples in 2010 on Cape Buffalo in our new area in Mozambique.
Well known taxidermist John Albrecht came out in mid June on his 3rd African trip. John an avid bowhunter was after a Giraffe, Nyala and Bushbuck in our Kwazulu Natal camp. He succeeded with all and killed the pending world record Duiker in the Eastern Cape with his trusty Matthews bow.
Along with John we also had Rob Klaas, Dave Beightol and Jeff Jones in camp. All, except Dave were bowhunters and killed great animals. After 4 years of preparation and planning we are at the point where as a bowhunter you can realistically expect to get 6 animals in 10 days. Remembering that this is a fair chase and free ranging hunt, the stats are pretty good. As far as I know we are the only South African outfitters hunting under these conditions with that kind of success.
The Pawelskis, Jim and Jeff both had a great time hunting the Baviaans River and Stormberg. For a first time African safari they got a wide variety of animals and we hope to see them again soon.
Kirt Fredericks, a past president of the Inland Empire chapter of SCI, who has hunted Namibia and has a great knowledge of African hunting brought his family out in July.
With daughters Montana and Savannah getting a taste for African hunting I don’t think he will be able to make the trip alone again in future. Both got 3 great animals each and Kirt a beautiful 30 inch Nyala and a 9 inch Vaal Rhebok.
Glenn Smith, world famous as a sheep hunter came out on his first safari with Crusader Safaris. It was a privilege to have such a knowledgeable and down to earth hunter in camp. Glenn had a great hunt, getting a monster Vaal Rhebok, 2 Lechwe and a number of other good animals, including the number 99 all time Black Wildebeest with Chris and the new book number 3 Steenbok.
Ira de Shields out of New Jersey took some great trophies with guide Chris Broster, he hunted the Baviaans River and Stormberg. His Vaal Rhebok in the Stormberg and Bushbuck in the Baviaansriver where both top end trophies.
At late notice Randy Sachewitz who was on business in West Central Africa came down South to do a week of hunting. Not knowing quite what to expect on his first trip I don’t think that it will be long until we see him back in Africa for some hunting and a quite evening of Johnny Clegg around the camp fire.
The Williamsons made the trip over from Virginia sharing the camp with Randy, late starters in their African hunting careers, the experienced hunters made a great start, each killing a number of good animals with Verne in particular getting a really big Caracal.
The Pennsylvanians Steve Gaidos and Larry Lucas hunted both the Eastern Cape and Natal. With time on our side they managed 10 animals each in a little over 10 days and got to see a good piece of the country.
Ken Snyder and his wife Deb hunted early August with Chris and Schalk in the Baviaans River and on the coast. Ken getting a great Vaal Rhebok and Deb her first African animal a beautiful Blue Wildebeest before heading to Kenton to hunt Caracal and check out the Indian Ocean.
Bill Baumgartner his 2 boys Jason and Erik where joined by the Pliskas as our second last hunt of the season. All had great trips with the undoubted highlight being Jason getting his first animal a 24 inch Impala in Natal. Bill got his Vaal Rhebok and Erik a beautiful 17 inch Bushbuck. The Pliskas did a great job in putting a number of great trophies in the salt.
Erik Baumgartner with a Southern Kudu
Steve White and his wife where the last hunters for the 2008 season. Steve a part owner of the Laser Shot computer games, took 6 beautiful animals in the Baviaans River and a Blue Duiker on the coast, along with his Caracal giving him the coastal double.
We are in Canada for the fall hunting Whitetailed Deer with Scott Taylor at Bearpaw Outfitting in Northern Alberta, you can contact us up here on 971 4095615 or on email.
The taxidermists at home in South Africa are hard at work getting your animals out as soon as possible. If you have any questions regarding your taxidermy contact us or them directly, we would be glad to help.
Thanks to all of you who hunted with us this year, it was a great season, with great trophies and a lot of fun had by all. We look forward to planning future trips with all of you.