American Hunter - June 2014 - 38

Photos: Pieter Potgieter
Photo: Author

"Just like the mounts we saw at the
lodge last night," Dad said, running his
fingers along the white-ringed ridges on
the blesbok's horns.
"He is an old ram," Pieter added. "Those
white ridges are a sign of age. His horns
are very thick and will likely go - or
½-inches long. I know score isn't important to you, but that is a gold-medal blesbok."
To boot, Pieter reminded us that
although blesbok are found in many areas of
southern Africa today, they are indigenous
to the part of South Africa we were hunting.
After handshakes and photos, we
noticed the springboks hadn't moved far, so
I passed the  to Dad. Using our umbrella
trick again, we were able to get in range, and
soon Dad had his springbok, an animal that
had eluded him on his first safari.
We were two for two, with virtually
our whole safari in front of us. I couldn't
wait to explore more of this land, and I
was thankful to be sharing the experience
with the man I respect most, the man
who taught me everything I know about
hunting and shooting. Dad never said it
in so many words, but I know the feeling
was mutual.

T

hat afternoon we were admiring a
herd of zebra on a steep hillside when
Dad spotted a gemsbok in the distance. We

had seen a few gemsbok earlier, and we
could tell instantly this one was larger.
"It's a bull," Pieter said as he studied the
animal through his Swarovski. "He's not
the biggest one you'll find, probably about
 inches, but he's a good representative
gemsbok for this area."
We were on the back side of the
property, and it was steeper and brushier
than the open terrain we had hunted that
morning. The bull stood atop the next
ridge, feeding in a field lined with brush.
"He's farther than he looks, but we
should be able to get to him before dark,"
Pieter continued. "Do you want to try?"
We did. And knowing that Dad wanted
to christen his ., I told him to go get
his bull.
The hillside was steep, but we slowly
threaded our way to the top. When we
reached the brush line along the summit,
Pieter peered over the edge while Dad and
I stayed tucked out of sight. The big bull
was still there, but two gemsboks we had
seen before-a young bull and another
with a broken horn-had joined him.
"Craig, the bull you want is the one on
the left," Pieter instructed. "The grass is
tall, so you will need to stand for the shot.
When I put up the sticks, get on them and
shoot quickly, as the other two are close
and will likely see you."

A kudu, above, topped the author's
wish list on his first trip to Africa. But
after seeing the continent's stunning
wildlife diversity for himself, much of it
hanging on the walls inside the lodge at
Aloe Hills, above right, that list quickly
grew to include a blesbok, left. Though
not a glamour species, the horns on the
author's ram taped 161⁄2 inches.

Dad crawled up to the edge and was on
his feet as soon as Pieter raised the sticks.
I remained down but erupted to my feet at
the report of the shot. I immediately saw
the lesser bulls running off, then noticed
two long, spear-pointed horns protruding above the grass. Dad explained the
bull had turned and was quartering away
when he stood to shoot. He aimed for the
last rib, driving the Barnes Triple Shock
into the offside shoulder.
As we admired Dad's gemsbok, we were
treated to a sunset every bit as dramatic
as the sunrise we witnessed that morning. Looking over the countryside, I was
reminded of the many days growing up
when Dad, never one to complain, had gone
off to work in the steel mills of southwestern
Pennsylvania to secure a living for our family. He had talked about going to Africa for
as long as I can remember. There had to
have been times when he secretly wondered
if he'd ever get here. Now, he was back for a
second time. Seeing the smile on his face as

Download the NRA Magazines
app from the App Store to see
more photos from this hunt.
  ❘

 ❘ .


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American Hunter - June 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - June 2014

Table of Contents
American Hunter - June 2014 - Cover1
American Hunter - June 2014 - Cover2
American Hunter - June 2014 - 1
American Hunter - June 2014 - Table of Contents
American Hunter - June 2014 - 3
American Hunter - June 2014 - 4
American Hunter - June 2014 - 5
American Hunter - June 2014 - 6
American Hunter - June 2014 - 7
American Hunter - June 2014 - 8
American Hunter - June 2014 - 9
American Hunter - June 2014 - 10
American Hunter - June 2014 - 11
American Hunter - June 2014 - 12
American Hunter - June 2014 - 13
American Hunter - June 2014 - 14
American Hunter - June 2014 - 15
American Hunter - June 2014 - 16
American Hunter - June 2014 - 17
American Hunter - June 2014 - 18
American Hunter - June 2014 - 19
American Hunter - June 2014 - 20
American Hunter - June 2014 - 21
American Hunter - June 2014 - 22
American Hunter - June 2014 - 23
American Hunter - June 2014 - 24
American Hunter - June 2014 - 25
American Hunter - June 2014 - 26
American Hunter - June 2014 - 27
American Hunter - June 2014 - 28
American Hunter - June 2014 - 29
American Hunter - June 2014 - 30
American Hunter - June 2014 - 31
American Hunter - June 2014 - 32
American Hunter - June 2014 - 33
American Hunter - June 2014 - 34
American Hunter - June 2014 - 35
American Hunter - June 2014 - 36
American Hunter - June 2014 - 37
American Hunter - June 2014 - 38
American Hunter - June 2014 - 39
American Hunter - June 2014 - 40
American Hunter - June 2014 - 41
American Hunter - June 2014 - 42
American Hunter - June 2014 - 43
American Hunter - June 2014 - 44
American Hunter - June 2014 - 45
American Hunter - June 2014 - 46
American Hunter - June 2014 - 47
American Hunter - June 2014 - 48
American Hunter - June 2014 - 49
American Hunter - June 2014 - 50
American Hunter - June 2014 - 51
American Hunter - June 2014 - 52
American Hunter - June 2014 - 53
American Hunter - June 2014 - 54
American Hunter - June 2014 - 55
American Hunter - June 2014 - 56
American Hunter - June 2014 - 57
American Hunter - June 2014 - 58
American Hunter - June 2014 - 59
American Hunter - June 2014 - 60
American Hunter - June 2014 - 61
American Hunter - June 2014 - 62
American Hunter - June 2014 - 63
American Hunter - June 2014 - 64
American Hunter - June 2014 - 65
American Hunter - June 2014 - 66
American Hunter - June 2014 - 67
American Hunter - June 2014 - 68
American Hunter - June 2014 - 69
American Hunter - June 2014 - 70
American Hunter - June 2014 - 71
American Hunter - June 2014 - 72
American Hunter - June 2014 - 73
American Hunter - June 2014 - 74
American Hunter - June 2014 - 75
American Hunter - June 2014 - 76
American Hunter - June 2014 - 77
American Hunter - June 2014 - 78
American Hunter - June 2014 - 79
American Hunter - June 2014 - 80
American Hunter - June 2014 - Cover4
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