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The Highveld and Her Species

“The wild life of today is not ours to do with as we please. The original stock was given to us in trust for the benefit both of the present and the future. We must render an accounting of this trust to those who come after us.” –Theodore Roosevelt

 

These hunts take place at the foot of the mighty Drakensberg mountain range which separates South Africa from Lesotho and the province of Kwazulu Natal and the Orange Free State... Massive roaming mountains covered in grass, boulders and short shrub are what to expect when hunting in these areas. Crystal, cold mountain streams run through the valleys below. This is highland hunting, very similar to stalking in Scotland, we spot from a high vantage point, evaluate the trophy, discuss the stalk and move in! 

Shots are generally long so once again please come prepared. I strongly recommend the use of a bipod, practice with it and become comfortable. Views from the top of these mountain ranges are intense, one literally gets the feeling of being on top of the world. The slopes converge down into agricultural farmlands. This agricultural farming has benefited these high altitude species by providing a source of high energy food during the lean winter months. This has resulted in a population increase, horn lengths have increased and the entire gene pools have strengthened. To top it all off, game birds have moved into these areas in their millions and the rivers run wild with browns and rainbows. A fair amount of driving is to be expected as hunting areas and farmlands are spread wide apart. Wing shooting, trout fishing, the David Ratrow foundation and the Zulu and Boer war battlegrounds are all within easy driving distance... 3 hrs drive or 40 min charter flight from King Shaka airport 4hrs drive or 45 min charter flight from JHB international

SPECIES IMAGE CHARACTERISTICS & HUNTING INFORMATION
Black Wildebeest These strange looking beasts are found only in South Africa, and are slightly smaller than the more common Blue Wildebeest. The old herd bull makes a special trophy
Vaal Rhebuck Once again only found in South Africa. These proud little antelope are only found in high altitude areas. Their horns are exceptionally long for their body size
Southern Reedbuck Natal is “THE” place to target one of these, horn lengths are incredible. Found at the foothills of our mountain ranges. A Great species to spot from a vantage point and then plan an attack
Mountain Reedbuck Found in the same altitudes as the Vaal Rhebuck…A lot smaller than the Southern Reedbuck…As with all of these mountain dwellers expect long distance shots…
Eland Our largest antelope, they can reach weights of up to 1000kg. The big blue bulls are captivating. Horn length decreases rapidly once the bulls turn blue, however a big old blue bull is in my opinion a far superior trophy than a young bull with long horns
Fallow Deer Exotics that have flourished in our highveld regions. The old stags make a great hunt especially during the rut
Oribi These dainty little antelope are the least common of all our mountain species. When the sun is just creeping onto the frosty grassland slopes, and the vision of ruffous coats contrasting starkly against the white undersides of these little creatures come into view, the adrenaline starts to flow
Baboon Can be a real challenge. Their color vision makes them a worthy adversary
Gemsbuck These nomads of the open plains and highveld regions are part of the Oryx family…The make stunning trophies with their long sweeping horns and contrasting colored bodies…Both the male and females carry horns and more often than not the females horns reach greater lengths…Shots are almost always in excess of 150 yards so make use of a bipod or solid rest and gently squeeze off the shot in time with ones breath hold…
Springbuck A true South African icon…Their leaping and “pronking” abilities are incredible…They are herd orientated and the sight of a herd hundred strong bounding into the sunset with dust settling all around them is one of those sights that will stay eternally etched in ones mind…
Steenbuck These small little antelope are the masters of concealment…They will sit tight until one literally almost stands on top of them, only then do they leap up and bound away!

 

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