I just returned home from South Africa …… the flight seems soooo much longer on the way home than the trip over, I was worn out (we hunted hard) and I wanted to get home to my family, and delays only made it seem that much longer. I did get a chance to stop in Cape Town for a couple days to visit family before leaving, which was nice (and earned me brownie points with my wife). I’d been on the farm on the Eastern Cape, and it was great to get back to see Rob Dell and Andrew Myers, two good friends I’ve been hunting with for 13 years now…. I still have black hair in those early photos! I took several impala, springbuck, a couple bleesbuck and a big Wildebeest bull, along with a lot of small stuff. There will be a lot of videos and articles from material collected on this trip, but there are three things I wanted to quickly tell you about.
My Beloved Hawke Frontier Binoculars Came Home
I hadn’t been out to the farm in almost four years, and one night sitting in the pub Rob asked me “Jim, what were those bino you brought out that you kept whining about losing”? I didn’t immediately remember because I loose and break gears as though I had my own manufacturing plant. But then I said “oh yea, my Hawkes” which brought to mind the fact that I’d lost two sets within a couple months. He walked over to a shelf and pulled a set of badly abused binoculars, caked with mud, antelope dung and hoof marks. They looked like they been through hell and back, but aside from some of the rubber having flaked away, were not as bad as I’d expected. After cleaning them, we found they worked as good as new…… well at least they worked! I gave them to a tracker that was using some pretty low end glass, and he seemed quite happy with them, and they will now live on in the field for a few more years! When Hawke tells you their binos are bullet proof, believe them!
The Omega Compressor
OK, so you’ve probably picked up I’m having a love affair with the Omega compressor. We have one on the farm that the AOA guys shipped over three years ago. In the past we ingratiated ourselves to just about anybody in the country that owned a carbon fiber tanks so we’d have enough air for the hunt. But then then Robert Buchanan shipped a compressor over for one of our hunts and let them keep it, and Hounslow is the only outfitter in S. Africa that I know of that are fully equipped for airgunners. I had several air hungry guns and was shooting nonstop, but we kept the tanks topped off and the guns charged for the duration. In all the years of operation, the Compressor has worked flawlessly, the only problem being that we blew the internal water pump years ago, and since an external one was rigged up, never bothered doing a replacement.
I’ve tried several arrow heads on my arrow shooting airguns (FX Verminator, AirBow, and AirBolts), but found what might be the most effective solution… and cost effective at that. While at Gander Mountain recently (sorry to hear they are going out of business BTW), I saw the Toxic crossbow arrow heads, which for lack of a better description are a clover leaf design. They were expensive at about $40. for three, but I found look alike on ebay that were $11.00 for six. so bought several packs. They were accurate, sturdy (standing up to several shots through targets and hay bales), and punched a large hole….. more to the point they drill a big hole through anything you shoot them at. So you ask how do they work on game? I shoot a 500 lb Wildebeest at 50 yards, drilling a big hole though both lungs before breaking a shoulder and hitting rocks and trees 30 yards on the other side of the animal… and though the arrow broke I could re-shoot the arrow head! The other thing to note is that the wound did not close, and the bleed out was fast and continuous.
Well, I’ve been home for two days and I leave for Scotland on business over the weekend. When I get home I am going to hit the field on another prairie dog shoot, and am going to try to get out to see my buddies at AOA and maybe get in a fast hunt with the guys (if it’s not too hot for them 🙂 ) Hope you’re all having a good summer and will catch up soon!