Getting Ready for South Africa
Were counting down to our departure date for South Africa, there are four of us going on this trip. Kip Perow from AoA and one of their customers by the name of David are joining me, as well as a cameraman. We’re going out to hunt with my good friends and Outfitter/PH’s Rob Dell and Andrew Myers at Hounslow Safaris. At some point we’ll meet up with Robert Buchanan and Andrew Hugget, who’ll be hunting in another area,for a brie (BBQ) at the Dell farm.
Getting ready takes some work; we needed to get the information to Rob and Andrew so they could get our letters of invite, we needed to get out South African Police (SAP) documentation filled out and ready for execution on arrival, a trip to the customs office at the airport to obtain the forms which identifies the guns and gear we’d take out and bring back with us.
This is aside from getting our actual hunting gear together; three guns, ammunition, shooting sticks, binoculars, range finder, daypack, knife, electronic call, clothing (three pairs of pants, five shirts, sweater, vest, coat, camo jumpsuit, hat, gloves, undergear). I’ve also got a pile of camera gear with me; my 35 mm SLR, video handicam, Go Pro, tripods, extra SD cards, batteries, etc. I want to try to get it all into one duffle and my gun case.
This is my seventh trip (safari-wise, spent a lot more time in SA), and I’ve got my gear pretty well lock down. I love the country, my wife and I were married in Capetown and my mother in-law and much of the family is still there …… it feels as much home as anywhere after a life of moving country to country. It’s been the biggest constant in my life, and I’ve managed to get back at least once a year over the last seventeen.
We booked our flights (mine from Minneapolis and the other guys from Phoenix) and I’ll meet up with Kip et al in Atlanta, then we’ll fly the rest of the way together. We go to Johannesburg then connect to Port Elizabeth where Rob and Andrew we’ll meet us for the drive out to the Dell property. It’s a long haul, about 30 hours from Minneapolis to PE, but once you get there, see the animals on the way in, and start sighting in the guns you know it’s well worth it.
I’ve gotten to hunt in a lot of different places, but I feel this is the ultimate airgun hunt; and besides the plain game and small game, I’m going to focus some attention on the predator hunting. I’ll be updating the blog, getting lots of photos and video footage, and will document the hunts.
Been sighting in my guns, and getting a lot of practice shooting offhand and off sticks, as this is invariably the most common shooting position available. Between Kip and I w’ll have the FX Boss .30, the Wolverine .30, the Verminator .25, the AirRanger .25 and several other guns along.
I’m writing this on a plane, arrived in Amsterdam this morning and connected for a flight into Edinburgh. I’ll land mid day (Saturday) and hope to find an airgun shop. Only problem is that with the Draconian laws recently passed, I’m not sure if there are any shops still trading. I hope to get the chance to do some shopping in the airgunning fatherland, they’ll have some things you just can’t get at home. If I find one I’ll get some pictures and do a brief write up of the experience.
Been running through my selection of pellets for upcoming trips; the Crosman Premiers .22 and the Benjamin Dome .25 work really well in many of my rifles, but the .22 , .25, .357 JSB pellets are probably the best all around projectiles I’ve found, and still the only game in town for the .303’s. I’m always looking for the best pellets for any given gun and therefore need a large supply, otherwise I’d try to narrow down the selection as much as possible.
I’ll have a weekend at home between Scotland and South Africa, and the squirrel season will be in full swing. Can’t wait to get out in the squirrel woods, as I’ve often written one of my favorite times of the year. Going to start off with the Boss .30, just to get a bit if field time in with the gun before the big trip. Used my Wolverine a lot last year for small game and predators, and thought the .303 was the first practical caliber/projectile that let me move between light weight quarry such as squirrel or rabbit, and larger body predators. Think either of these guns will be perfect for turkey / Guinea fowl.
Well, I’ve got a week in the UK and hope I get some time for some Airgun related free time around my meeting schedule. Was going down to my brother In-laws place to do some sub 12 fpe rabbit shooting but due to flight delays and long lines through customs for US passport holders, missed my internal flight. Maybe next time on that one. Catch up with you all next week!