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Epperson's Africa Plains game Hunt Part 2

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Sorry everyone, I told you all I'd post more pics when I could and I never got around to it. I took over 600 pictures and I want to post them all. HA!! I can't tell you all enough how unbelievable this hunt was. I constantly think of how cool it was.

 

The last post I made I didn't post any pics of Brad's game he took so here's a few. His kudu was spectacular!

 

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I didn't get any pictures of his awesome Eland but these next couple just killed me!!!

 

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He said the eyes were creeping him out so this next picture is him taking care of the situation. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!

 

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One of the days we were driving to another waterhole and Brad snapped some fantastic shots of gemsbok running in the white sand.

 

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Ok so after 6 days at Howards 1st property we headed to his other ranch about 2+ hours away. It's flat as a pancake out there and there's 1 hill on the property and his house is at the top of it. Here's the driveway going up. It had to be 45deg angle up that puppy and made me nervous EVERY time we drove up or down it. LOL! It has a sharp right turn once you make the first climb that's just as steep. You'll notice the blown out wall where someones brakes gave out and they slammed thru the wall. YOWZA!!

 

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Ronny and I sat in a blind that night but didn't have much action other than 1000's of crazy birds flying in. There were feathers EVERYWHERE where the hawks and eagles had been frequently catching them.

 

Here's some pics of lots of different birds there. It was so fun watching them all.

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I believe they called this an Egyptian Goose, he was absolutely gorgeous!!

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The next morning we sat the same blind again and had several warthogs and a lot of wildebeests come in. I picked out one particular cow that I wanted and I bet it took 45 minutes of them getting spooked several times till I finally got my chance. It was a tad farther than the rest of the animals I'd taken but at 36 yards I couldn't resist. A line of cows slowly walked behind some trees and my cow stopped just short of the tree and I let it rip! Here's some pics of the arrow flight and then the end result, another trip to the skinnin shack :)

 

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Back for some lunch at the ranch house and I looked off the back balcony down onto that water hole I posted above and I spotted some Roan Antelope, some giraffe's and many wildebeest off in the distance. As I was watching I noticed movement to the left and in walks 2 cheetahs!! I ran and got my binos and video camera and quickly came back. The Roans were highly agitated and they were snorting and raising heck. A couple of them got literally within 5 or 6 steps till the cheetahs finally backed into the brush. Even the giraffes came over to chase the cheetahs off! It was so cool to watch!! I took the 1st shot thru my binocs the rest are stills off the video.

 

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So I was down to one last animal to after, a gemsbok. We saw them most every time we would drive to and from blinds. We climbed in and within 45 minutes or so our first customer of the day came in, a female ostrich.

 

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Then over the next several hours we had many more animals come in...

 

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It was getting dark as the wildebeests finally stampeded off as they'd smelled us just one to many times. It was getting dark enough that Ronny lifted the screen so he could see for an extra few minutes out of the blind. I started to gather all of my stuff since I figured the day was over. He had literally had just hung up the screen and looked out and whipped back in whispering, "Gemsbok!" I snagged my bow off the hanger and attached my release as fast as I could. I glanced a hard right out of the window to see it was a male and jerked my string back. In the waning light I lined up the sights on it's shoulder, guessed he was a little less than 40 yards away and released! It hit him good and he ran out and to our left and was gone in just a couple of seconds. I all happened so fast it was crazy! We got out and to look for blood and soon as we got out there we could here our ride coming. Had they decided to come 2 minutes earlier it would've spooked them and ruined my chances! Crazy how things work out. The PH William walked out in the direction we said it had ran and within a minute he called us over to come see my gemsbok. I couldn't believe how beautiful it was! The facial coloring and everything was just so different than anything we have here in Arizona that it just blew me away.

 

 

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Back at the skinning shack I was all smiles. What a hunt!

 

That evening we enjoyed swapping stories and then another FABULOUS feast prepared by the amazing cooks!

 

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So the next morning we just hung around because we had all killed everything we'd came there for. Howard comes in and says, "You guys want to go put a radio collar on a rhino?"

I said "OH HELLS YES!" I figured, when in Africa…...

 

So a while later we all gathered into the back of the Land Cruiser and Howard went up in the small chopper with the vet to find some.

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They flew all over the 70,000 acres for almost 45 minutes when they finally called and said that they'd found them about 500 yards from where we were all waiting. They flew in close and darted one of the 2 males and they called us over. We drove over there very fast and we bailed out and met the vet and Howard. As we approached the tranquilized rhino it just stood there. Having a HUGE amount of respect for an animal of that size I let the vet go first. He just walked up to it like he does this every day and I approached only after I realized it was safe. A couple guys put a cloth over it's eyes and into it's ears to lessen the shock I guess then he called all the guys over to help push.

 

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It took 9 guys to push it onto it's side!

 

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Once there the vet quickly worked at taking a blood sample from it's ear as another helper was quickly attaching a radio collar to it's hind leg. Brad and the PH William held the head to try to keep it from swaying. The look on Brad's face says it all!

 

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The collar

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So then they had a guy dump about 5 gallons of water on it for some reason and I believe the vet gave it another injection to bring it out of it's haze then told us all to get the crap back! Within less than a minute the rhino got back to it's feet and just stood there. I took these stills off my video at about 30 yards or so.

 

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It was after that final shot that I hauled tail back to the truck! Hahaha!!

 

We all stood around talking about how unbelievably awesome that was when someone said, "Here comes that rhino!"

I snapped a shot of it as it trotted by us all agitated.

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The PHs both knew what was up. The rhino was trying to get thru the trucks and get to the helicopter I found out a while later! They kept pulling fwd and then we'd all go backwards to stay in-between the rhino and the chopper. I'll have you know that sitting in the back of a Land Cruiser 20-30 yards from a ticked off rhino was extremely unnerving! Come to find out later that Howard was having trouble getting the glow plugs going to get the chopper started and he was quite nervous too! That rhino could've mucked out that chopper in a few short seconds! What an experience though!

 

Well I hope you all enjoyed the story and the pics and I'll leave you with some more pics of animals that came into the waterholes that I never mentioned. Thanks for looking!!

 

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Wow what a dream hunt. Congrats on all the success. You got to experience something that most of us can only dream of! What kind of set up were you using to take down all those animals?

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Wow! what a great experience!! I can see why you are still constantly thinking about it! what an adventure! GPS collaring a rhino to top it off!

 

congratulations on all your great game animals and thanks for the excellent writeup and pics! And thanks for the pics of the birds as well as all the game animals; I enjoy seeing birds from other countries!

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Wow what a dream hunt. Congrats on all the success. You got to experience something that most of us can only dream of! What kind of set up were you using to take down all those animals?

 

Just usin the ol trusty Hoyt Carbon Element. Those 100gr Muzzy's worked like a charm shooting thru the screen mesh.

 

And no problem posting the bird pics Amanda, I thought of you as I posted them, I figured you'd appreciate them. And I'm not joking when I say it's pretty much 100% bird noise as you sit in wait. If an animal spooks and all the birds fly off then there's silence for about 10 seconds before they all come back. It's then that you realized just how loud they really are. It's pretty bizarre actually.

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Holy heck, Josh!! Just amazing!!!!!!! Soooooo cool! Can't really think of anything else to say......

 

Thanks a bunch for sharing with the site!

 

S.

 

:)

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What an awesome adventure of epic proportions! Very cool that you got to be part of the rhino collaring, probably not too many people can say that. A huge congratulations on all of your trophies and thanks so much for sharing them all. Great job on the pics and I bet the video is even better!

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Thanks for taking the time to share your trip with us. I enjoyed reading about your adventures and seeing pictures of all the animals and birds. Way cool you guys got to help with the rhino :)

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Congratulations on an amazing safari, love all the pictures! It's so hard to explain the sights, smells,and sounds you encounter while waiting in your 'hide'. I remember looking out the window of the blind watching another incredible African sunset thinking at that very moment there was no one out there luckier than myself.

 

Being in on the darting of the rhino had to be absolutely unbelievable! What an awesome experience!

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WOW. What an incredible trip. Thank you for taking us with you with the fantastic pictures and write up. The Monkey eyes freaked me out too. The look on Brads face holding the business end of that Rhino says it all. Congratulations on your trophies!

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Amazing experience. Thanks for sharing all the great pictures.

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