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Cruiser Safaris safari hunting South Africa

CRUISER SAFARIS

Your Ultimate South African Safari Hunting Destination

Send an Inquiry
Safari hunting Speicals

Duane, Craig and Mark Hunt Photos

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Cruiser Safaris 2021 Newsletter

Duane, Craig and Mark
Hunting Story and Photos

(Duane) OK, so let’s start at the beginning, sometime in 2018 or maybe 2019, three cousins, Craig, Mark & Duane decided they should go to South Africa for a hunt. Duane had twice previously hunted in South Africa at Cruiser Safari’s… Craig had hunted once with a different outfitter and Mark has not previously been to Africa. Plans were initially made for a hunt in July of 2020…. But as you know, the Wohan Black Plaque put dampers on many plans that year and the hunt was pushed to July of 2021.

The following will be a day-by-day summary of some highlights of the hunt. Most of you probably know who Murphy is…. The guy that believes if anything can go wrong, it will and at the worst possible moment. Murphy did participate in our trip, but overall, it was a great success. Some in our group may have set a new record for the most animals shot on one hunt.

In the week leading up to our hunt, there was some political problems happening in South Africa resulting is some rioting and killings. Although some thought we should again delay the hunt, we ultimately decided to go for the gold.

1. Day 1 (Travel) 13 July 2021: Craig and Mark flew to Chicago and then on to Newark, NJ, arriving late afternoon. Murphy’s initial participation played a role in getting the corona virus test that was required within 72 hours of flying and Mark looking for keys that locked his gun case.  Duane flew out of Dulles airport and landed in Newark, NJ a short time after Mark and Craig arrived. Our international flight was scheduled to depart at 8:45PM that evening.

2. Day 2 (Travel). Although we departed on this flight about 30 minutes late, we arrived on time at 5:45 PM 14 July 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa. We had gained six hours on the clock and the flight was about 15 hours. We stood in line a bit for the passport check, grabbed our suitcases, the customs/agriculture check was not operating so we walked into the lobby and found the PH (Pieter) waiting to pick us up. In the past I had spent the night at the Afton Guest House and was picked up by the outfitter then next morning, but the Afton was full so the outfitter picked us up for the 4 hour drive to the hunting camp….. now of course we needed to stop next at the customs/police to get out gun permit. I think 5 guys were in there when we arrived. The other guys were cleared rather quickly…. The 3 of us then waited about two hours to get cleared… Don’t ask me why, but I hear it happens from time to time. I think we hit the road in a Van about 8PM and arrived in camp just after midnight. They had a light meal for us and we hit the rack.

3. Day 3 (Hunt Day 1). 15 July: As I recall we slept in a bit and had breakfast about 9 AM, then went to the range to test fire the guns. Duane was shooting a .338 Win Mag, Mark a 300 Win Short Mag and Craig was the big gun with a 375 H&H. Mark was assigned Pieter as his PH. Pieter was the guy that picked us up at the airport. Craig was assigned a PH named LJ and Duane was assigned a PH named Munsu (nickname). We each had a Toyota Landcruiser and tracker/driver assigned as well. We were all assigned to properties relatively close to the lodge, so we returned about 12:30 for lunch. Mark was first to score and had a Wildebeest in the truck when he returned for lunch. The afternoon became more exciting for all. We eat wild game for most meals… food was good. Hot water bottles in the beds at night was a nice touch.

Duane's Sable

Duane shot a Sable with 43 inch horns.

Craig's Sable

Craig Shot a Sable with 44 1/2 inch horns

Craig's White Blesbok

and a White Blesbok with 16¾" horns.

Mark: Big Day for a first time African Hunter. He shot the Blue Wildebeest in the morning and in the afternoon, he managed to take an Impala, Gemsbok and Kudu.

Blue Wildebeest
Impala
Gemsbok
Kudu

4. Day 4 (Hunt Day 2). 16 July

Duane: Shot a Bushbuck late in the day with 15.5 inch horns…. After a long day of hunting along a dry river bed. The picture makes the animal look bigger than it is… probably 120lb animal.

Craig: Shot a Golden Wildebeest with 28 inch horn lengths and a Nyala with 27 ½ inch horns.

Mark: Slowed down a bit today and shot a Blesbok. Our memory is a bit foggy on this, but I believe it was also on this day that as we were leaving the hunting area, the guide pointed out to Mark that back down the road two Jackals were on the road. Marked leaned on the fence, asked the guide how far and touched off a shot. One of the jackals folded. This was just after sun set, so it was getting dark, we drove back down to take a look and used a range finder back to the shooting site and the distance was right at 380 yards. Mark elected not to take the jackal since he had made a substantial hole in the hide.

Golden Wildebeest
Nyala
Blesbok

Long shot Jackal

5. Day 5 (Hunt Day 3). 17 July

Duane: Zero day

Craig: Shot a very nice waterbuck with 27 inch horns and Steenbuck with 3 ¾ inch horns.

Mark: He had been looking closely at the sable… and shot one of his own, the biggest of the group with 45/46 inch horns.

Craig's Waterbuck

Craig's Steenbok

Mark's Sable

6. Day 6 (Hunt Day 4) 18 July Sunday. Day of rest.. just bummed around camp and rested. Cooked steaks on the outside grill on wood coals.

7. Day 7 (Hunt Day 5). 19 July 21: Duane and Craig – zero day. Mark: Shot a Zebra and Warthog.

Zebra
Warthog

8. Day 8 ( Hunt Day 6) 20 July 21

Duane: After two long days of chasing eland, I managed to get one at about 100 yards with 33 inch horns. This animal has a huge body. Craig and Mark had a zero day.

Duane's Eland

9. Day 9 (Hunt Day 7) 21 July 21

Mark and Duane spent this day and another half day watching the catching of wild animals to be relocated to other hunting areas. A team had come in the previous day and strung cabling in a cone shape for several hundred yards, canvas walls were built 10 feet high. Cable was also hung for a closure on the open end of the cone and the tarps were bunched up to leave the large end of the cone open. A helicopter then chased animals into the cone and sounded a siren telling men on the ground to close off the opening, as the animals were pushed into the smaller end of the cone another set of walls were closed and the animals then pushed into shoots and into vehicles. The bigger animals were tranquilized, not to a state of sleeping, but enough to calm them. I believe they caught blesbok, impala, waterbuck, zebra and eland. Mark took video of the animals entering the truck. The bigger animals were herded into cells on the trucks for transport. Smaller ones like the blesbok and impala were man handled into smaller trailers. Blesbok were docile, but the impala raised hell. A couple of guys were kicked, head butted and generally beat up pretty bad. It was an interesting experience.

Craig shot a big male zebra on this day.

Animal capture truck

Animal capture helicopter

Craig's Zebra

10. Day 10 (Hunt Day 8): 22 July 21

Duane: on the way to watching the game catching, Duane Shot a warthog. Mark and Craig had a zero day.

Another interesting tidbit is we observed smoke a few miles off. And radio chatter started big time, they apparently don’t really have fire departments in this rural area and ranchers just all pitch in and fight fires when it happens. We learned most ranchers have trailers with water tanks, and gas-powered pumps and they all come running when there is a fire. I believe the fire started early morning and they had it under control by early evening. Pieter, our ranch owner took men and helped to fight the fire.

Duane's Warthog

11. Day 11 (Hunt Day 9) 23 July 21

Duane: We spent much of the day trying to help Craig get an eland, but along the way I shot an impala (23 inch horns) and sat in a water blind over the lunch period and got a 38 inch male Gemsbuck.

Mark and Craig had a zero day.

Impala
Gemsbok

12. Day 12 (Hunt day 10) 24 July 21

Duane: After another day of primarily helping Craig try and get an eland, I shot a second warthog on the way back to the lodge. It was a bit bigger than the first.

Craig shot a black impala with horns about 19 ½ inches.

Mark had a zero day.

Warthog #2
Black Impala

One event that Cruiser Safari always plans is big BQ out on a dry river. The event was conducted this evening and I’ll insert several pictures to give you a feel for the event. We had eland tenderloins as the main course…..Great time was had by all. Our chef, Del Marie is also pictured. She is wearing a hat I gave the lodge back in 2017.

River side picnic table

BBQ

Craig, Duane and Mark

Chef Tiny in Duane's hat

Mark

Craig

13. Day 13 (Hunt day 11) 25 July 21

Duane had a zero day.

Craig: In addition to the eland that Craig has been chasing for several days, he had seen a waterbuck with deformed horns and wanted that animal as well. He managed to shoot the waterbuck today, horns measured 31 ¼ inches. He also shot a very large Impala with horns measuring 25 inches.

Mark shot his second warthog today.

Craig's deformed-horn Waterbuck

Craig's Impala

Mark's 2nd Warthog

14. Day 14 (Hunt Day 12) 26 July 21

Duane: Keep in mind this was a 10 day hunt, well I had finished my 11 days and traveled to the taxidermy and placed my order and was then dropped off at the airport to begin my journey home that evening. Craig and Mark had booked return flights for a day later so they got in one more day of hunting.

Craig: Craig managed to get this eland and a warthog today.

Mark: Was offered the opportunity to shoot a female gemsbuck with long horns that was getting old… half price I might add. He had been hunting it for a couple of days and managed to take it on his last day of hunting.

Craig's Eland

Craig's Warthog

Mark's female Gemsbok

Closing comments: We have to leave a few stories to be told later, but Duane missed his flight connection in Newark and took an extra 8 hours to get home. Mark held up the plane in Newark so Craig could make it before they closed the door and Mark’s missing flight tickets from Chicago home was saved when had one seat left available on the plane…. I promised my wife this would be my last trip to Africa, but then the truth does sometimes change. Craig scored highest on the trip with 12 animals, Mark was just behind with 10, or 11 if you count the Jackal and I was happy to take my 7 animals. Cruiser Safari is a great place to hunt. The final pictures were taken of skulls laid out on the dry river bed.

Duane, Craig and Mark with their trophies.

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