How to Keep Your First Shot “in the Pocket” – Africa Part 3

Jim’s African Adventure: Part 3

Red Oxx Manufacturing co-owner Jim Markel traveled to Zambia in September 2003. He packed guns and cameras in his Red Oxx gear! Keep watch as new gear Jim tested in Africa is made available for purchase. Here’s Jim’s story, part 3:

We arrived at Tony and Pat Park’s ranch and determined who would have first crack at the Kudu. We made our way down to the waterhole and settled in as the heat of the day began to build. Just as we were dozing off, the Kudu came down to water. The way they move and their ability to blend in with their surroundings was simply amazing.

My cousin Shawn was up first. Shawn’s first shot was right on the money but Kudu are no pushovers. A second shot was required to put him down. When we inspected the hide we found that the shots were only an inch apart.

I was up next so we went out looking for an Impala. My first shot took the Impala in the neck. Thinking I had a case of the nerves, I thought nothing about it. But in the back of my mind I was sure I had held in the pocket. Sure enough the next day I did the same thing to my Kudu. Now I knew that I had not flubbed two shots in a row. So we went to check the zero and sure enough it had moved. After re-zero we went after my Kudu. Two shots to the boiler room, and I had him.

Now it was Beano’s turn and he was going for the big Eland. After locating his bull, Beano took his shot. Just as he fired, the bull stepped. The shot took him a little to the back. As Beano and Abie and the trackers headed after him, Shawn and I retired to the waterhole to see what wandered in.

We watched birds such as the Saddle Billed storks and Black winged Stiltz feeding at the waterhole. Then the warthogs showed up, providing hours of fascinating viewing. As the day wore on, we began to wonder what ever happened to Beano?

Ah yes, the "first shot is the most important shot," says Abie DuPlooy. Just ask Beano. While we were relaxing at the waterhole, Beano was out learning some bush craft.

He related how the trackers were able to follow his Eland over hell and back. He was sure they were having him on. Then after a grueling day, they spotted him and moved in for the kill. Once they had him down, it took a small squad of trackers and skinners to get him loaded up.

After a few more days of hunting, it was time to load up and go on photo safari with Robin Pope in the South Luangwa Valley national park. We went back to Lusaka and boarded a Cessna Caravan for our flight to …

To be concluded with Part 4.

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