A few of you have been asking for more of my African animals. Here is a photo of the Gemsbok I harvested. While we were not in an area that is considered a trophy area for Gemsbok, I was more than thrilled with the harvest of this beautiful animal.
After close calls on several animals earlier in the day, we went home for lunch empty handed. In fact, I had hesitated on killing the herd bull, a real beauty. When I finally was ready to pull the trigger, he took off. I was kicking myself all during lunch.
After lunch we crossed three gemsbok on the road. We hoped out of the Landrover just as they disappeared into the brush. This wasn’t the first time we had lost a herd in the tangle of thorn trees. A tracking job and some educated guessing from our PH and we were soon on these animals again. When we found them they were moving away and already over 250 yards away. Some of the most incredible video footage from our hunt is the three gemsbok on the run, with their tails swooshing back and forth in the afternoon sun. Simply unforgetable.
We ran back to the range rover and moved over two miles in the hopes of intercepting the three animals. We spotted the gemsbok again, this time at over 1,000 yards. But they were moving our way. The stalk was on. We soon closed the distance and set-up the perfect ambush. The first gemsbok walked past at 15 yards-not a shooter-so far we were unnoticed. The second gemsbok came into view and stopped. The guide told me this was not our animal either. The animal looked good to me. I tried to remember the old adage, “Trust your PH.” Then, just as the gemsbok started to move, my PH changed his mind and said, “SHOOT.” At 15 yards, even I can hit a broadside gemsbok. The gemsbok blew out on a death run, we were in hot pursuit. My PH, Pieter later admitted that he initially thought I had hit the animal a bit far back. Fortunately, it was a perfect heart/lung shot. We found the animal down about 12 yards away. What a huge relief. I had harvested my first African animal.
With exceptionally heavy horns, beautiful black, grey and white markings and finally that amazing tail, the gemsbok and the kudu were at the top of my Africa list. Jennifer’s filming was superb. I will always be able to relive and remember my first Africa hunt for gemsbok.