Walk and stalk - Blue Wildebeest at Doornkuil Bow Hunting

Tell us all about your hunt, post a few pictures, lets see what you have been up to.............

Moderators: James, Jakkas, Guardian, hawkster, Gerhard, Ranger, jcdup, timspawn

Walk and stalk - Blue Wildebeest at Doornkuil Bow Hunting

Postby Clint » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:28 am

Game Farm: Doornkuil Bow Hunting Safaris
Manager/Owner: Oom Piet Smit
Website: http://doornkuil.com
Farm Size: 200 ha
Location: Rust De Winter, Limpopo
Professional Hunter: n/a
Date: 23 March 2013 (day hunt)
Hunters: Clint
Non Hunters: n/a

Weapon: Hoyt Turbo Hawk – 80lbs
Broad head/Bullet: Slick Trick Std – 125 grains
Arrow details: Carbon Express Maximum Hunter 452gr
Hunting Method: Walk and stalk
Shot distance: 50 yards
Animal hunted: Blue Wildebeest Bull

Hunt Details:
After a long morning, form 6am to about 11h45, and 5 x failed stalking attempts on impala and belsbok, I call in to be collected so I could fill my hydration pack with energade, in my modified “bum bag” (I feel a back pack in summer makes my back way to sweaty). I asked the tracker to see if we could see what area the wildebeest were in on the way back to camp for the quick refill.

We spotted the wildebeest under a tall tee in the middle of what, at first glance looked like very open terrain. We left them under the tree and contained as the camp. After the refill I walked back to the bush, deciding what to do.

First I decided I would sit in the pit blind and wait for them to come in for the food at the blind which was about 250 yards away from the tree they were sleeping under. The pit blind is only 200 yards from the camp. I decided this because the terrain looked very open, with not much cover for a stalk.

When I got to the blind I decided to go have a closer look at the possibility of a stalk, as I had already decided, I was only going to walk and stalk this year, no matter how many times I failed at the stalks, it does however get a bit frustrating, and after about half a day of failures, I am normally very tempted to go and sit in a hide.

Finally got to within 140 yards, and sat down for a while to try plan the rest of the stalk. After planning the route, checking the wind and observing the animal’s behaviour, I continued the stalk. The wildebeest we now lying under a tree in the shade. During the stalk every few minutes one would get up and scan the surrounding area. By observing their behaviour before the final stalk, I knew they were doing this, so I had to keep an eye on the constantly. Every time a wildebeest stood up to scan, I stopped dead in my tracks and did not move a muscle, sometimes not always in the ideal position.

I had ranged the distance before I got to the bush, by ranging the tree, they were lying under, and then the bush I was aiming to get to. Subtracting the distances, I knew if I got to the bush in question, I would be 50 yards from the wildebeest. I therefore set my HHA single pin site on 50 yards.

After about 2 hours, of stalking bent over and crawling (trying to stay as low as possible), I managed to get within 50 yards, and was kneeling behind a small bush, that just covered my head; there was no more cover between myself and the wildebeest herd of about 5 animals, so I could go no further.

As an afterthought I feel I was a bit impatient at this point. I drew my bow, and stepped slightly to the right, to get a clear shooting lane. I gave a soft whistle, to get them to stand. Nothing moved. Gave a louder whistle, and then the bull stood, looking in my direction. I aimed for the tip of his nose, and released the arrow. With my bright yellow fletched, I could see the shot was spot on, going to hit, just below his nose. I would not have taken this shot for an impala or warthog, due to their super-fast reactions, and their ability to spring jump. I thought the wildebeest was too big to move that quickly. However, at the last second, the wildebeest “spring jumped” the arrow, I think due to 2 x mistakes I made:

1) I whistled and the wildebeest was looking in my direction, and was therefore alert.
2) The shot distance was too long for an alert animal, and he heard the arrow on the way to him.

Fortunately I was in the Lord’s favour on Saturday. The wildebeest did “spring jump” the arrow. He went down and to the right. The arrow could very easily have hit him on the shoulder bone, and I would have deeply regretted the mistakes I had made, but fortunately he moved just enough for the arrow to hit in the vital triangle, and turned out to be a great shot, (with a lot of luck).

The arrow penetrated about 20 inches, and as the wildebeest ran to the right, I could see the bright yellow fletches and arrow was in the vitals. It broke off after the wildebeest ran 10 yards. I watched the run taking note of the last bush he disappeared behind. Making a mental note (almost a mental photo). This is very important for recovery, especially if there is not a great blood trail.

I was ecstatic. I walked back to the camp and after an hour the tracker and I went to look for the BWB. We found the broken end of the arrow, with some good frothy lung blood. There was not a drop of blood on the ground, but I was not worried due to the visibility I had of the shot placement. We tried to follow the tracks, the herd split. The tracker went back to where the BWB stood when shot to look for a blood trail again and I went to the bush I had marked (where I saw him last).

I saw a dirt road about 20 yards away. I walked down the road, as it was directly in line with the direction the BWB was running and I was sure he would cross the road. Sure enough I found his tracks and then a few drops of blood in the sand. I started following the tracks and the blood. 20 yards away, just to the left of the road lying in the grass, I found my BWB.

I was overwhelmed. I was only the fourth animal in 3 years I have taken on walk and stalk.

I always try and review my walk and stalk sessions in my mind and replay them, whether successful or not, and formulate a lessons learned, to ensure I don’t make the same mistakes again. Here are the lessons I learned from Saturday.

1) I had 5 x failed stalked and an impala combined blesbok herd of about 30 animals. There are way too many eyes and ears together, and success on a walk and stalk with this many animals is very limited.
2) On the first stalk I did that morning, I did get to with 37 yards of the closest impala, but as I move closer a very young kudu calf, stood up from behind a bush in front of me, and spooked the herd. There was nothing I could do about that though, as I had no idea she was there, but it did remind me to be completely aware of all animals in the area. You do not need to be “busted”, by the animals or herd you are stalking, and any animal in the area could give that dreaded alert call.
3) Spot and stalk is a lot easier than walk and stalk. I feel you stand more chance of success than walk and stalk. I normally get busted on the walk and stalk due to movement and/or making too much noise.
4) Wildebeest, even though very large, can “spring jump” and arrow, and now I feel all animals have the ability to spring jump, as all bows and arrow make a noise. Limit the shooting distance if the animals is alert or wait until the animal is totally relaxed.
5) Don’t take long shots on an animal looking in your direction, or on an alert animal. Wait until the animals in looking away.
6) Always mark the last bush that the animal disappears behind. This was key to the successful recover on Saturday and on others hunts where I did not have a good blood trail – even when shooting from a blind.

I have recounted the story of my walk and stalk hunt honestly, and would welcome any criticism – both positive and negative (as I expect to get both) from the hunters on this forum, to learn even more from the mistakes I made, but did not identify.

Dimitri, if you happen to read this, please comment, I enjoy your open and honest comments.

Thanks guys.

Stalking route
Image

Shot taken from this bush
Image

Me with BWB
Image

Me, Oom Piet and BWB
Image
Last edited by Clint on Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Bowtech Insanity CPX 80 lbs
FMJ DG 250 - 736 gr
256 Fps
Slick Trick Std 125 gr
User avatar
Clint
Corporal
Corporal
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon May 31, 2010 6:48 pm
Location: Greenstone, Johannesburg

Postby henried » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:38 am

Besonders, baie geluk.
Life Christian Adventure
www.lifeca.org
User avatar
henried
First Lieutenant
First Lieutenant
 
Posts: 1450
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:49 pm
Location: Vanderbijlpark

Postby Clint » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:46 am

Dankie Henried
Bowtech Insanity CPX 80 lbs
FMJ DG 250 - 736 gr
256 Fps
Slick Trick Std 125 gr
User avatar
Clint
Corporal
Corporal
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon May 31, 2010 6:48 pm
Location: Greenstone, Johannesburg

Postby JDKey » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:46 am

Clint,

Well done! Nice bull you took. No need to criticize as you learned your lessons, as long as one does not make the same mistakes in the future.

I really liked your marked photos.
JDKey
Corporal
Corporal
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 10:05 pm
Location: Roodepoort

Postby Clint » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:49 am

Thanks JD :-)
Bowtech Insanity CPX 80 lbs
FMJ DG 250 - 736 gr
256 Fps
Slick Trick Std 125 gr
User avatar
Clint
Corporal
Corporal
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon May 31, 2010 6:48 pm
Location: Greenstone, Johannesburg

Postby Shaka » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:05 am

Baie geluk en GREAT report!!

Ek is nou glad nie 'n kenner nie, maar was al geseënd om so paar diere met die boog te walk en stalk.

En ek kan nie dink hoe mens enige wildsbok wat by sy volle positiewe is, kan W&S sonder bietjie (of baie) luck nie...

Baie keer maak jy jou eie luck, maar dit is altyd baie minder berekend as uit die hide...

Baie dankie vir jou moeite om die bydrae te maak aan die forum.
Genesis 27:3 "Vat nou jou skietgoed, jou pyl en boog, en gaan veld toe en skiet vir my 'n stukkie wild."
Bowtech Destroyer 340
125gr ST's
Image
User avatar
Shaka
Captain
Captain
 
Posts: 1541
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 3:58 pm
Location: Bedfordview - Johannesburg

Postby Clint » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:32 am

Baie dankie Shaka.

Jou worde laat a mens baie lekker kry as ek hulle lees.
Bowtech Insanity CPX 80 lbs
FMJ DG 250 - 736 gr
256 Fps
Slick Trick Std 125 gr
User avatar
Clint
Corporal
Corporal
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon May 31, 2010 6:48 pm
Location: Greenstone, Johannesburg

Postby SV MAD » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:36 am

Awesome, baie dankie vir great storie
Hoyt Maxxis 35 Dangerous Game
94# trekkrag, 31' treklengte
Easton FMJ DG pyle 32.5inches 75gr insert, 5 inch feathers
Lots of 100gr BH's and 2 170gr FOC BH's (awesome 3.5inch cuts!!!)
800gr teen 260fps (KE =123flbs)
User avatar
SV MAD
Second Lieutenant
Second Lieutenant
 
Posts: 1299
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:05 pm
Location: Midrand

Postby Christo Jones » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:06 pm

Lekker storie. Baie geluk. Solank ons uit ons foute leer. My hart klop chocklates vir jou part..
Christo Jones
Specialist
Specialist
 
Posts: 203
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:51 pm

Postby Dimitri » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:39 pm

Hi Clint

Well done on your story.

You gave good detail and supplemented your (good) standard trophy photos with interesting reference points etc in your other photos. And you were honest in relating the story as it happened and your self-criticism.

I'm glad you have persevered with walk and stalk over the last few years. Those that do it know that it is not easy. Well done.

I am basically echoing your own comments here as I think you have covered just about everything I may have raised.

Perhaps I am wrong but I think the average bowshooter cannot consistently shoot acceptable groups out to 50 yards in field conditions. I certainly can't and so I restricted myself to 35m shots maximum although all the animals I have ever taken with a bow have been at under 30m. If you cannot consistently shoot 2" groups out to 50 yards then your shot was risky and it was unethical to take it. On the other hand, if you can consistently shoot the groups at 50 or 60 or whatever yards then I have no problem with the distance (as a single factor).

Taking a shot at an alert animal is a no-no at the best of times and when you combine this with the distance at which you took the shot then it is a recipe for disaster. But you have acknowledged that already. Sometimes, after all the effort and frustration of failed stalks, one is tempted to take unnecessary risks. Don't. As frustrating as it may be you must accept that you are going to have to turn down a number of shots for various reasons. Better that than taking risks that can lead to wounding.

I tried to imagine what I would have done if I could shoot accurately out to 50 yards and if I had the wildebeest bedded down 50 yards from me. Well, there are 2 choices. Wait for who knows how long until they get up on their own during which time you run the risk of something else disturbing them e.g. a vehicle, chopper, other animals or the wind changing. Or you can get them to stand up by whistling or whatever. The only thing I would have done differently would be to make sure that I was well hidden and that they could not spot me when I whistled. Then after they got up I would have waited and hoped that they would settle down again. Often they will mill around or graze a bit before lying down again and there may have been a reasonable opportunity for a shot. I have used that technique successfully but I have also had the animals decide to depart.

Anyway. You you were fortunate that the wildebeest was not wounded and did not suffer - which is very important. But you also learned from your mistakes - which is just as important.

Well done on a good post and a fine animal.

Regards

Dimitri
User avatar
Dimitri
Sergeant
Sergeant
 
Posts: 382
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:41 am

Postby Bongsie » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:44 pm

Clint

Well Done on your description, photos and sharing your experience with us, as many of the guys echoed, to walk and stalk takes lots of effort and patience!!!!

Great shot and congrats on your BWB!
Hoyt Maxxis 31-64# @ 28 ". Easton FMJ 480 gr. Cobra. Trophy Taker. Rage. Muzzy. Scorpion.
User avatar
Bongsie
Sergeant First Class
Sergeant First Class
 
Posts: 751
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:55 am
Location: Benoni

Postby Roger » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:33 pm

Well done!

Get Serious.. Get Hoyt!
:twisted:
Get Serious, Get HOYT !!
Hoyt Rampage XT BlackOut 72#

Facebook: Ultimate Trophy Safaris and Outdoor
User avatar
Roger
Sergeant First Class
Sergeant First Class
 
Posts: 829
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:23 pm
Location: Welkom, FS

Postby egenis@mweb.co.za » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:47 pm

Roger wrote:Get Serious.. Get Hoyt!
:twisted:



:shock:
User avatar
egenis@mweb.co.za
Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant
 
Posts: 736
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:39 pm
Location: Jhb - Alberton

Postby Roger » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:00 pm

egenis@mweb.co.za wrote:
Roger wrote:Get Serious.. Get Hoyt!
:twisted:



:shock:


8)
Get Serious, Get HOYT !!
Hoyt Rampage XT BlackOut 72#

Facebook: Ultimate Trophy Safaris and Outdoor
User avatar
Roger
Sergeant First Class
Sergeant First Class
 
Posts: 829
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:23 pm
Location: Welkom, FS

Postby egenis@mweb.co.za » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:44 pm

Roger wrote:
egenis@mweb.co.za wrote:
Roger wrote:Get Serious.. Get Hoyt!
:twisted:



:shock:


8)


<skud_kop_en_sug_gesiggie>
User avatar
egenis@mweb.co.za
Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant
 
Posts: 736
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:39 pm
Location: Jhb - Alberton

Next

Return to The Hunting Camp