I have been hunting in foreign countries since 1964, mainly in Europe and in Africa. In Africa I have hunted more than sixty different species, plain game and dangerous hunting. On this occasion I was going to the Limpopo province of South Africa, to hunt two small antelope species as part of my Tiny Ten collection. On this hunt I was targeting the Klipspringer and the very illusive Sharpe´s Grysbok. My hunting dates were scheduled for October of 2018. Should I be successful, I would only need the Damara Dik-Dik from Namibia to complete the Tiny Ten. Before I go any further would like to say; In all of my hunting career, I have never met a more experienced hunter when in comes to hunting Night Critters. Bossie has shown extraordinary skills during my hunt with Limpopo Big Game Safaris. Bossie must have x-rays on his eyes. Not just because he can see an animal moving or standing in the dark, but also because he can distinguish with a high precision what species and sex the animal is. While shining the light Bossie would say; Kudu bull, Impala female, young Bushbuck male, huge Nyala bull, Steenbok female, African Wild Cat, Jackal, Genet Cat…. and so it kept on and on. Bossie uses the most advance technology on the market. Though he was carrying thermal and night vision, it was seldom used, Bossie just didn’t need it. Back to the hunt; I knew how challenging my hunt would be. Hunting for these small and illusive antelopes is not an easy task. I had done my research on the internet and spoke to some of Bossie’s past clients, I was confident that Bossie could make my dreams come true. However, I did not expect to be successful, as I have experience chasing the tiny ten. For example; It took me three trips to the Eastern Cape of South Africa to finally get a Blue Duiker, Red Duiker took two trips to Zululand in Natal. The rest I bagged while on Safari and took them on opportunity. So why should I be fully confident that I would be successful in Limpopo? Well with all my research, I strongly believed that Bossie at Limpopo Big Game Safaris was the man. We would hunt Klipspringer in the day while the Sharpe’s Grysbok hunt would mainly be at night. So; first we went for the Klippy. Bossie drove us high into the Soutpansberg mountains. The only way to get to the top was by using a 1964 second world war Willys Jeep. The road was very rocky and bumpy, making it extremely difficult to maneuver but very exciting! It is so remote that at some points it felt as if we were a group of settlers in search of fortune and new properties. We made it to the top, we saw a few Klippy’s but unfortunately we could not connect. At the highest point, we stopped and got our lunch box out. It was a great experience to sit in the shadows and watch the mountains while scouting for movement and regaining energy for the afternoon hunt.
At around 3:00 pm we started moving back down to hunt the foothills of the mountain. The afternoon hunt held some frustrating moment in some way. I had the chance to shoot a very nice ram not further than 90 meters away but for some reason I didn’t make the shot count. I have learnt during my nearly 50 years of hunting, that the best you can do when this happens, it is to spend no more than a couple of seconds to completely forget what happened and move on. Indeed, Bossie performed with excellence, but I did not do the same. Provided that the Klipspringer is an easier hunt than the Grysbok, Bossie and I decided to concentrate on the Grysbok for the rest of the time. So now we went nocturnal; the mornings to follow, we spent some time shopping in the near town of Louis Trichardt, so my wife enjoyed walking the malls, accompanied by DJ whom once again shown us his incredible skills to interact and communicate with people. Great boy! In the afternoons we moved back to the lodge to gather our gear and get thing ready for the night hunt. We went out to several of Bossie’s concessions, but the majority of our times was spent on the Bala-Bala Conservancy.
We saw Grysbok on several occasions, but they always saw us first, bolting like lightning, never to be seen again. No matter how well Bossie was conducting the stalk they kept eluded us. On the second last day, I started to think that I was going to leave without having any chance at success. We left the lodge at 6:00 pm. We got to a spot where we had seen a Grybok before, we walked for a while and again we saw him, this time he disappeared even faster. So we went back to the truck and started spotlighting. At some point after seeing all kinds of critters besides Grysbok, Bossie knocked on the top and in a split second he said; GRYSBOK, GET YOUR GUN READY. Is this going to be the moment?? I could see him, but at well over 80 yards there was no way I could tell if it was a male or a female. NOTE: Females don’t have horns, so to Bossie they are not considered a trophy, but should be protected at all cost to ensure a future population. While looking through the scope I was amazed by the beauty of this little creature. While waiting, I could feel the tension build up as I waited for Bossie to give me the command. What felt like a lifetime only took a few seconds….”SHOOT” was the command and I squeezed the trigger. “BOOM’ I could see that the bullet has found it’s mark, then Bossie said “YOU GOT HIM’. We followed Bossie in the dark to the spot where we saw him last. When the light came on there was a good blood trail and it only took a few steps to where the Grysbok was lying. It was the happiest moment of my life, I had shot the 8th member of the Tiny ten and to most hunters they are considered the most difficult of all.
The last day, after packing our luggage we had a few hours available to go out again. This time looking for a Genet cat. Once again Bossie did a perfect job of shining the light and pointing the animals out. Bossie saw an eye and stopped the truck, then switched the spotlight for his Predator Tactic flashlight. He started a squeak call with his lips and in a flash the Genet appeared in the open. Once again I heard the command and the shot went off. “BOOM” That night was spent celebrating around the camp fire with a fabulous glass of red wine and a tasteful dish of BBQ. Everything was very well managed: Elvis the chef, the skinner Simon, the tracker and driver Bethuel and the ladies took care of the accommodation, laundry, etc. All the staff did great. For me and my wife, being with LBG Safaris was like being in a place that I could call home. Bossie and his crew did a fantastic job. We will defiantly go back to Africa with LBG Safaris. Bossie has already started to plan our 2019 trip to Namibia for Dik-Dik and Klipspringer. My wife Carol and I sincerely thank you Bossie for everything you have done for us , your enthusiasm and your professionalism is outstanding. Our special moments with DJ was great and will be remembered for ever. Luis and Carol Montero