Heber Simmons with his South African black wildebeest.
Wildebeest, The Second Part. The black wildebeest looks like several different animals rolled into one, and popular wisdom holds that it can be rather belligerent when wounded. Endemic to South Africa, black wildebeests don't roam as much as their northerly cousins the blue wildebeest (which we covered last time), and they stick to the open plain, but they are no less wary. All the more impressive, then, that subscriber Watson Okubo (9393) took both Cape buffalo and black wildebeest with his bow with PH Willem Van Dyk of Dries Visser Safaris. “PH was great and never balked at my missed shots. Dries Visser's Citadel concession is a 5-star facility — bow hunting only, quality animals. The buffalo camp at Alpetra is great, too.” Heber Simmons (9287) took a 72 3/8 SCI black wildebeest with his crossbow with PH Sakkie Marais of Choronga Safaris. “Great folks at Choronga do everything possible to get you the trophies you want.”
Eland, black wildebeest, and red hartebeest topped the list on Eric Arnette's fun family hunt (9439) with his wife, two sons and his father at John X Safaris. “I think we ended up with 20 animals between us. PH Carl Van Zyl and everyone at John X meet the needs of every guest, no exceptions!” As a good end note, Daniel Kaiser (9139) waxed poetic about his Eastern Cape safari with Safari Trails International. “I will never forget watching the black wildebeest sporting with groups of impala grazing nearby. PH Russell Lovemore is a great host and a true renaissance man with a lot of knowledge about the flora and fauna.”
US ELK ROUNDUP
Brian Peterson with the elk of a lifetime.
American Elk Part I. We have so many great reports on elk hunting in the West that it's going to take two roundups to give western elk its due. For the first installment, here are some classic Rocky Mountain elk hunts across the West. For starters, the long-since reintroduced elk in Arizona are HUGE. Brian Peterson (9519) took a monster elk there, hunting with Rincon Outfitters. “This is the elk hunt I have been waiting years for, and I came with my sights set on a 350-plus bull. I spotted another bull while watching a 370-class and took the shot. This one came in at 396 5/8 despite a broken beam! Rincon has decades of experience getting clients big elk.”
Brian Searcy (9437) had a rugged elk experience with Beartooth Plateau Outfitters. “True Montana wilderness hunt for wild, free-range elk. Incredible terrain and challenging hunting conditions in deep snow at 8,000 feet.” Robert Cassell (9572) scored a big 386-inch bull on his hunt with Boulder Basin Outfitters in Wyoming. “The best rifle hunt for elk in the state,” Cassell says.
Let's not forget, there are more than 300-class giants. James H. Mathisen (9455) took a “bull that wasn't as big as some others I saw, but just had character that I couldn't resist” while hunting with Rimrock Outfitters in Colorado. Mathisen says that this hunt is a great value. Still in Colorado, Charles Macintire (9464) visited the Nine Mile Guest Ranch to go after the cows! “Since I took a trophy bull in Arizona a number of years ago, my priorities have changed. I've found cow elk hunts to be wonderful if you just want to get away for a western hunt. Readily available tags, great bargains, and a freezer full of meat. What's not to like about that?”
INTERNATIONAL TUR ROUNDUP
Stan Atwood's magnificent 37.5-inch tur.
The Sheep Hunter's Goat. The tur is a member of the Capra genus, but the tur's sheep-like horns have made it a species of interest for sheep hunters, and it's included in both the Capra World Slam and the Ovis World Slam. Hunters in Azerbaijan are reporting numerous East Dagestan tur. Stan Atwood (9174) travelled to Azerbaijan with Safari Outfitters' Sasha Kiseljov. “On my first climb I could see over 100 tur from one peak, and probably a dozen good, old rams. A flawless and well-executed hunt, which resulted in my wife and I taking a pair of beautiful turs.” Dusko Naumov (9270) reports that, “One particular evening we glassed almost 200 animals” during his hunt with Safari Outfitters. Filipe Correia da Silva (9330) had an overall good hunt in Azerbaijan with Asif Ilyasov of Global Safari. “Guide failed to carry their own optics and had to use mine, which made it tough come shooting time. Suffered like hell to complete the hunt, but worthwhile.”
Just to the north in Russia there's also plenty of action. George Myers (9310) says that his 11-year-old Mid-Caucasian tur, taken with guide Alexey Budin of ProfiHunt, puts him one trophy away from his Ovis World Slam. “I would not hesitate to hunt with ProfiHunt again. Alexey was an excellent guide.” Susan Tuohy (9401) got her gold medal tur with guide Evgeniy Kharitonov of Stalker Group. “Stalker went out of their way to make sure my hunt was a success, despite some weather issues.” Apparently the weather is notorious in the Caucasus, which can add some excitement and additional challenge to hunting these demanding animals.