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Old July 19, 2000, 10:06 AM   #1
MAD DOG
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Join Date: October 13, 1998
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Got back yesterday.
Fishing sucked due to outrageous sandstorms.
Traveled all over Namibia and South Africa in a Land Rover 110 Defender Turbo diesel driven at insane speeds on the wrong side of the road. We averaged about 75 mph on the dirt roads, and about 90 on tar roads. With an offroad trailer in tow, no less.
Met a lot of wonderful people. Ate a lot of sandy food at the fishing camp, and a lot of great food at the hunting camp thanks to Celeste Tromp, the wife of Nico Tromp the game Rancher that hosted us in Okahandja, Namibia.
Had a great hunt. Two (modest) Kudu and a Warthog of large proportions, as well as various other small game and miscellaneous adventures.
All of my game was taken with a Remington VSSF in .308 with a 3-9X scope. All shots made offhand with scope set a 3X due to the VERY dense bush conditions. Warthog was taken on the run in a farm road at three hundred yards, probably my best shot ever.
(Distance was paced off by PH on level ground.)

My companion and host, Aubrey More, made a superb shot on a Kudu bull at 358 yards, UPHILL at about 40 degrees, drilling it in the back of the head. I lasered the bull where it lay from Aubrey's shooting position, and verified the distance twice. It was the longest shot any of us made, and the Remington Sendero .300 Mag heavy barrel did it's work well. The muzzle brake on it helped reduce recoil dramatically, rendering it about as easy on the shoulder as a twelve gauge shotgun with skeet loads. Very nice to shoot.

I am already planning my next trip, and can't wait to go back.

I will elucidate as the pictures become available.
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Old July 19, 2000, 10:34 AM   #2
Coinneach
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(temporarily unable to post due to teeth-grinding envy...)
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Old July 19, 2000, 02:50 PM   #3
416Rigby
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....And I think I speak in the name of all of us suckers who stayed here trudging like slaves while you lived it up in the Dark Continent:

!!!!!

Seriously, congratulations! And kudos (kudus?) on the interesting choice of caliber. .308 is a very gutsy choice for Africa, you must be quite a rifleman.

Tom
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Old July 19, 2000, 02:54 PM   #4
Erik
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Congrats on the good trip and a safe return!
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Old July 20, 2000, 10:38 AM   #5
MAD DOG
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.308 was not my "choice" of caliber, rather, it was what was available for me to use.
Fortunately, the weapon was very accurate and reliable.
Aubrey had a .300 mag as well, but I carried the .308 and he carried the .300 due to the way the toss of the coin went.
I had access to the .300 about 60% of the time, but never took any shots that I felt really required it's extra oomph.

It is a matter of odd fact that despite the fact that most of the shots on this trip availed themselves to the hunters at ranges of under 100 yards due to the dense cover, all of mine happened to be longer than this by quite a bit. My first Kudu fell immediately to one round through the heart at 160 yards, it was standing face on to me in brush.
The second (a bull) took a broadside round at 200 yards, buggered off into the brush, required three and a half hours of tracking copious arterial blood sign, and finally fell to a coup de grace from 25 yards in very thick brush. The Kudu bull jumped over a fence just as I pulled the trigger on the first shot, and took the round through the rear leg, shattering the femur and femoral artery, rather than through the boiler room as intended. Sigh.
I have never been more thankful to find a wounded animal. I was feeling like a real schmuck for about half the day, until we finally found the Kudu.
Lesson: Animals do not always stand perfectly still while you are shooting at them.

Aubrey's 358 yard shot on the Kudu bull was the longest anyone attempted, and he pulled it off with style. The Kudu dropped as if it had been pole axed.

Aubrey went home with about 900 pounds of Kudu meat, I gave my Warthog to the trackers.


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Old July 20, 2000, 10:54 AM   #6
Turk
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Mad Dog,

Welcome back.

Did your 308 perform OK

Why I ask is my best friend returned from West Africa last year (lived there for last 12 years) and he never used anything larger than a 30/06 and his son used a 243. They took some very large antelope (don't know the real name) had a white face. He also took a couple of Hippo plus a lot of smaller game. No elephant or Cape Buffalo. In West Africa, Mali & Burkina Faso there are no Cape Buffalo but a type called a Jungle Buffalo its smaller but suppose to be meaner.

He’d carry a couple of 06 rounds loaded with a 220gr. RN bullet just in case he ran into one of the jungle buffaloes.

Lets here more about the trip

Turk
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Old July 20, 2000, 05:02 PM   #7
MAD DOG
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Here is a link to a few photos from the trip.
http://albums.photopoint.com/j/Album...5725&a=7200175
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Old July 20, 2000, 05:06 PM   #8
MAD DOG
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The overwhelmingly most popular choice in weapon caliber was the 30-06. Our guides both used them, and so did six out of the nine hunters in the party.
One "hunter" had a .243, but shot nothing, evidently prefering to spend his time drinking... he did claim that his father had shot a lot of bucks with it though.

The weapons carried varied from a vintage Sako Finnbear to a recent Steyr/Mannlicher with double set triggers.
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Old July 20, 2000, 07:08 PM   #9
SnakeLover
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Welcome back and congrats on the safari. From the pictures, looks like you had yourself a good time.

You made that huge list of items to take. What did you not need, what were you most thankful for having along, and what did you wish you had?

My dad just returned as well (with a NICE nyala) and between his pictures and yours, I can hardly wait to get back.

Congrats and thanks for sharing.
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Old July 20, 2000, 11:35 PM   #10
MAD DOG
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The list:

Minimal clothing, boots, socks etc.
two hats
two bandanas
two pair sunglasses
GPS + batteries
Nikon Laser Range Finder + batteries
compass (southern hemisphere)
notebook/pens
camera and film
two Krill lights
Surefire 6Z + batteries + extra lamp modules
binoculars (10 x 40 roof prism compacts)
Knives (Mad Dogs, of course... Panther, Bayou Hunter, Pack Rat, Mirage X Micro)
sharpeners
Camelback
MSR Mini-Works water filter
sunblock
slingshot
paracord
Blackhawk three day assault pack
fannypack w/ two .5 liter water bottles
trauma kit
salt tablets
cigars
matches/lighter/firestarters
passport/int. driver's license
malaria prophylaxis
Misc:
Reading material and CD player for on the plane


The only stuff that I didn't use at one time or another was the three extra pairs of shorts that I took along, a few extra T shirts, and the fanny pack with the water bottles.

I would have liked to have an extra sweat shirt, as it is winter there now, and I was cold a lot of the time. I was particularly glad that I had brought gloves and a warm hat, because in the mornings it was REALLY cold. By noon, it was up in the mid seventies though. Dress in layers. Riding in the back of an open truck in 40 degree weather with wind is chilly. I got a sinus infection the last day I was there as a result.

The laser and binoculars were VERY handy, and the first aid kit was a boon when one of the guys lacerated himself on a mussel shell at the beach. I doctored his foot for a few days, and he was trotting around nicely by the time we got to the hunting camp.

The GPS and a compass is great to have, especially when hunting in unknown areas.
It is nice to be able to find your way back to camp even if the tracker/guide gets snake bit.

I did not use the camera tripod, and I will leave it behind next time. The rubber chicken often came in handy, as did the rest of the stuff. I even took some training knives along, so I could work out with Aubrey while the fish were not biting.
The three kids along on the trip loved the sling shot, and became rather adept at assassinating lizards with it. We had to buy two more slingshots to keep arguments over it's use to a minimum.

All of the stuff I took fit in two suitcase/duffels, so I was not terribly burdened.
All in all, I felt well equipped for the usual eventualities, and can't think of anything else I would carry on the next trip.
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Old July 21, 2000, 11:00 AM   #11
MAD DOG
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The items that I used the most were my Pack Rat Knife, the surefire 6P, and the white Photon II microlight.
At one point, the electricals in the Land Rover shorted out, and we had to drive about ten kilometers on dirt road using only the Surefire to light the way.
The PhotonII was handy for signaling the truck for pickup late in the evening without alerting every critter for miles, as well as the sundry digging after black objects in black backpacks at night and map/GPS reading in the Rover. The Photon was easily visible to the driver from about two kilometers away. They were amazed that such a small light had so much horsepower.

The knife was used for everything from cutting biltong and other food, to minor surgery. Removing thorns, cutting blisters, etc. It also cut the throats of several big critters after they dropped with lead poisoning.
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Old July 21, 2000, 11:52 AM   #12
Rich Lucibella
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Welcome back, Kevin. Great shooting....especially the first kudu. I know of few hunters that would have learned from that shoot....in fact, many would have related it as a "first shot stop" by the time they returned to camp. This irks me to no end.

I, too, have learned that animals don't always lend themselves to perfect shots. Stuff happens. It's not possible for us to "guarantee" quick kills every time...but we can certainly approach this ideal by reviewing our shoots with honesty and integrity.

Great pics, too. Just one question: in the first photo, which one's the warthog?
Rich

[This message has been edited by Rich Lucibella (edited July 21, 2000).]
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Old July 21, 2000, 07:22 PM   #13
MAD DOG
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The Warthog is not wearing a hat.
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Old July 21, 2000, 07:44 PM   #14
dZ
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So were you at the airport on the right day for the return trip?



sounds like you had a great trip

I have to convince work that i need to assist one of our African photographers in the field!

dZ
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Old July 22, 2000, 06:26 AM   #15
SnakeLover
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Sandstorms? Just curious, did you carry your rifle with anything over the barrel muzzle (balloon, tape,etc..) because of the conditions? I had never really thought of using that practice in Africa, despite doing it here each fall because of threat of snow.

Also, thanks for the link to PhotoPoint. I tried them last night and it was really pretty easy to set up.
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Old July 22, 2000, 03:57 PM   #16
MAD DOG
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We were hunting far inland from the coastal sandstorms. These mostly precluded our attempts at killing fish and driving as fast as we wanted to on the coastal "highway".
When we were traveling, the rifles were stored in hardcases in the offroad trailer. Inside the hard cases, the rifles were wrapped thoroughly in saran wrap to keep the pernicious and all penetrating dust out of their actions and optics. This worked very well. Over 2000 kilometers of dirt road caused the rest of the items in the sealed trailer and in the Land Rover interior to gather more than a little dust, but the rifles were fine inside of their polymer cocoons.
When we got them out to zero them at the camp, they were clean as a whistle.
We didn't even have to clean the lenses of the scopes.
No other precautions were taken in the field.
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Old July 25, 2000, 02:59 PM   #17
gunmart
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I cant belive that the Remington 700 action did so well in your hands.the way you talked so bad about them you would think they where practicly worthless.!ohh well maybe they have a little life left in them.


good hunting.
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Old July 25, 2000, 10:03 PM   #18
MAD DOG
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I think I just got lucky. I am thankful that my loaner weapon performed as well as it did, but I was always afraid that it would develop some sort of acute Remingtonitis.

My host Aubrey's weapon (Rem 700 Sendero) had the bolt handle snap off when a cartridge got stuck in the undersized chamber about two weeks before the hunt...
A local smith rewelded it, but made no other mods due to time constraints. The chamber still needs to be reamed out and the bolt handle is sticky on fired cases, but at least the weapon was accurate during the hunt.

Like I said before though, I would have gone with nothing but the (controlled feed) slingshot that I packed in case my rifle screwed the pooch.
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Old July 29, 2000, 10:07 AM   #19
gunmart
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i think remington is trying to get the most out of thier reamers.i find many chambers from the factory very rough and out of specs.

please understand when i defend the remington 700 i am defending the action and not the factory built rifle.
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