Making Dreams come true By Steven Schwartz (South African Hunting Journal). I have been in pursuit of a good representative Bushbuck Ram for some years now, and even though I have been on numerous trips with an eye out for one, have unfortunately just never been lucky enough to get an opportunity to get one . In late July of 2017 I booked a hunt with Nkwazi Safaris for mid-August on one their concessions in Mpumalanga where I have previously hunted with them. This really is an amazing concession to say the least, the bushbuck numbers are abundant, and the trophy quality is of high standard. We arrived on the farm on the Monday mid-morning and got unpacked and settled in. I took a few shots with my Hoyt Pro Defiant just to check everything was in order, which it was. We had some good opportunities the first afternoon and got to stalk a few good rams but things just weren’t in our favour. We were out at first light on Tuesday morning, in search of both my wish list species for this hunt, being the Bushbuck and hopefully a good Mountain Reedbuck as well. We worked a mountainous section of the concession for most of the day where the chances for mountain reedbuck were good. We came across a few rams but nothing that really matched up to the size I was in search of. Wednesday on our second full day of hunting, we left the lodge at 7am and had decided to head down to the one river section of the concession. It was a long bumpy drive over very rough terrain, travelling slowly up and down mountains and through valleys to eventually reach the riverine section. On approach, we parked the vehicle and proceeded quietly on foot through the dense bush. It never ceases to amaze me how sometimes the hunting gods are just ever so kind to us …. We could have stopped anywhere to walk that morning, but somehow, we had just seemed to stop in the perfect place that day. Little did I know that when we started walking, that accomplishing my dream was only moments away. Kevin and I started on foot and within 10 minutes or so we sighted a magnificent bushbuck ram standing no more than 30 meters in front of us, just the kind of bushbuck that I had been searching for, for so long. We crouched motionless for a few minutes as he looked around, he had heard us but couldn’t see us or get our scent. We let him walk off a little way before we put the stalk on him, and started to move cautiously after him to get into position for a shot. Due to the type of terrain in that particular area of the farm, there were a lot of large rocks and boulders scattered in the thick bush. I came slowly around a clump of big rocks to see the bushbuck standing quartering away, looking back over his shoulder at me at about 20 meters. I could only just see the crease of his right shoulder as he stared motionless at me. I knew it was the same ram from his impressive horns, but tried not to take notice of that to avoid any “Buck Fever” syndrome. Instead, I took a deep breath checked my distance and slowly went to full draw. This all must have taken place in the space of 5-10 seconds but things felt like slow motion. I settled my pin on the crease of his shoulder and in that split second before releasing, it felt as if my pin was glued to him. I released the arrow, heard the arrow hiss through the air and heard that unmistakable crack as the Rage hypodermic impacted. The ram took off like a bullet but I knew he wasn’t going far and within a couple of seconds I heard sticks breaking and grass rustling as he went down. I crouched in absolute shock for a few minutes asking myself if what just happened had actually really happened. I followed up and found my ram not even 15 meters from where the arrow had hit him, this was the close of a long quest. I have been looking for a great bushbuck ram like this for so long, and at last that dream had come true. Hunting bushbuck in any way is difficult enough as it is, but to have had the opportunity to bow hunt one this big, walk and stalk, is most certainly an experience I will hold dear to me forever. On morning 4 we headed out to an area where we had observed a very sick Blue wildebeest the previous day that needed to be hunted due to its poor condition. We glassed the area where we had seen him the previous day from a small koppie and the tracker spotted the bull some way off. We slowly started making our way in his direction and got to about 70 meters from the bull where he was grazing in some very thick grass. Kevin decided that it would probably be better that I get closer alone so as not to disturb him, less people being less movement and noise. I slowly crawled closer until I got to within about 25 meters, but in the position I was in I had no shot opportunity. I slowly moved closer until I got to a stage where I could no longer see the bull at all, but knew he had to be within 20 meters if not closer. I got into a shooting position and waited in silence, staring in his direction and with that, managed to make out his shape through some thick grass. I ranged him at 18 meters and went to full draw. When he looked at me, he was so close it felt unreal. This was my closest walk and stalk to date. I settled my pin and let the arrow fly. The arrow again made that unmistakable crack and to my surprise the bull dropped in his tracks. Had I spined him I questioned myself…. But he wasn’t going anywhere, I whispered to Kevin that he was down and they came in and on closer inspection when we got up to the bull my shot had impacted perfectly just above 1/3 of the way up the shoulder. It was clear that the bull had gone down so easily due to his poor condition. We reckoned that the bull wouldn’t have made it another 2 days before going down. This may have been a management hunt but as I’ve said before it’s never all about the animal hunted, but more about the hunt itself and the memories and experience gained that matters. This hunting trip was particularly special for me, as it was the first hunt with my Hoyt Pro Defiant Turbo and I was able to get in 2 incredible hunts with one of them being my dream bushbuck. The Video of this hunt is available on the Dezynworx YouTube channel!
 A change of scenery Myself and Reino van Aswegan recently had the opportunity to bow hunt Fallow Deer just outside Dullstroom in Mpumalanga. We booked a trip from a Monday to a Friday in April 2017 which was during the Rut. After doing some research it was clear that it was the best time to bow hunt them as the males minds are focussed elsewhere making it easier to get into bow range during the Rut. We had no idea of the terrain or set up we would be hunting in, so we booked five days to allow ourselves sufficient time to get the job done, although after the first day we quickly realised that due to the elements and a lot of rain that the rut was late and the stags were only starting to grunt and were still extremely skittish. On arrival we shot our bows in and headed out. After a short drive, we decided to stop and proceeded on foot. After being used to bushveld hunting, this was something completely different, it was quite amazing stalking through a pine forest, which gave us the sense of hunting in Georgia USA, we were at a loss for words. We hadn’t walked 100 meters and we heard the unmistakable deep grunt from a Fallow Deer stag. As we approached them the pine ended and changed to an oak forest. We glassed them for some time but unfortunately did not have enough cover to get close enough for a possible shot. We inspected the area where they had been milling around and it turned out that the oak forest was their bedding area, so proceeded to set up a trail cam to monitor their movements. We then left and moved to another oak forest area where we located a different herd that used this area as their bedding ground as well and also noticed an old abandoned broken down cottage from many years ago in the same forest. After lunch it started raining heavily, so we sat tight for about two hours waiting for the rain to subside. When the weather let up we moved to the top of the farm and started slowly walking through a blue gum forest. We came onto a sub adult stag which we decided would give us great video footage if the stalk worked out, but when we got to within 35yds of him, he bust us, so we decided to call it a day as it was getting late and we were losing light. Day 2. We were back at it at first light and firstly went to check the footage on the trail camera in the first bedding area and found about 200 videos recorded. By luck Reino had set the camera up right in the centre of their bedding area. We scouted around the area to find an entrance into the bedding area which would allow for a shot and managed to find the perfect spot. We then moved to the second bedding area to find the second herd foraging for acorns, after glassing them for a while they spooked and ran off. We decided to build a natural blind using the old abandoned house to our advantage. After completing the blind we drove off very excited to come back later that day. In the mean time we had several failed walk and stalk attempts. At 2pm we were back in the blind, only to be drenched by the rain after only about 45 minutes of sitting, and decided that the rain had set in and was there to stay, so we called it a day. Day 3. At first light we crept into the blind in the old abandoned house, only to find a bunch of does but no stags, so sat tight and waited until around mid morning. We then decided to try out our plan in the first bedding area and took the lengthy walk to get back there. As we neared our entrance point we heard a deep grunt from the dominant male and crawled in slowly on our hands and knees and before we knew it…. we were “IN THE CHIPS” a phrase I like to use when you know it’s going to happen. There were about 20 deer scattered between distances of 30-80yds. We were having a lot of trouble finding the herd stag so I decided that I would take the first one that came within shooting distance. With that a young spike buck walked across from left to right and stopped at 35yds giving me a perfect broadside shot, I went to full draw and released my arrow only to have the young buck string jump me like I’ve NEVER seen due to my arrow somehow making a noise in flight that doesn’t usually happen. After looking around we discovered that about 10 meters in front of us my broad head had clipped a twig which deployed my blades causing the added noise. Feeling more than somewhat despondent, we left to get something to eat. At 2:30pm we were back in the blind for the afternoon sitting. I’ll never forget what happened next, I looked up to see a huge doe walking into range from the left, it was exactly 16:55, the doe slowly approached to a range of 18yds, Reino went to full draw and settled. As he released the arrow with the unmistakable bright green lit nock flying through the air, the arrow hit the Doe with a loud crack. She took off at high speed into the thicket and after about 10 seconds we herd breaking branches in the thicket not too far away, so waited about 10-15 minutes before following up. Upon finding the first blood where the arrow impacted, Reino’s words with a big smile were “I’m so excited I’m shaking”. We following a blood trail that only a Rage broad head could leave, the doe had gone a maximum of 60 meters where we found her piled up. Our confidence was restored and we were ready for day 4!!! Day 4. As per the previous days, we were in the blind at first light but there was no activity at all. We decided to try walk and stalking as we had previously had numerous opportunities getting into shooting distance. However today, the elements just weren’t in our favour. Whether it being wind change, another deer nearby or Common Reedbuck whistling and giving away our position. Walking and stalking in the forest was also not an option, as it was too thick and not conducive to bow hunting. We had to try and catch the deer on the edges of the forests or leopard crawl in the open. I had never hunted Fallow Deer before and really wanted to get one to take some meat or a nice trophy home and with it being our last hunting day the pressure was mounting. We set up an ambush point where the fallow deer usually enter the 1st bedding area but at about 1pm we got rained out by a thunder storm. We returned to the vehicle and drove to the shed at the farmstead to wait out the rain. We waited for some time hoping for the rain to subside, but even though it eased up a bit, it was still a heavy flat rain. While at the shed, one of the trackers called us and showed us a large stag walking along a ridge about half a km off. His antlers were silhouetted so they really stood out. We jumped into the vehicle and drove towards where he had crossed the road. Just before the top of the ridge we stopped and climbed out with my trusty 7mm Rem Mag. I had decided that If we couldn’t get within bow range due to lack of cover, that I was going to take one with my rifle as I really did not want to return home empty handed and really wanted to try some Fallow Deer meat, having been told it was excellent table fare. As we crested the ridge, there were two stags standing about 60 meters in front of us under a few blue gum trees. Before I could even get my rifle up they took off, running away and gradually to the right. I lined up my crosshairs about a metre in front of them and just before the second one disappeared into the thick grass, squeezed off the shot. Reino, who was standing about 3 metres to my left said “you got him” and with that the rain stopped as well. We walked up to where we last saw the stag and he was DOWN! We loaded him and got him to the skinning shed, and then proceeded to go straight back to the blind, as I was desperate to get one with my bow as well. It was already 5pm, there was no activity at all around the bedding area and we only had 20 minutes of shooting light left, when all of a sudden Reino flicked his hand and whispered for me to draw and get ready, there was a doe coming in. I went to full draw and as I came to the shooting hole I saw her foraging for acorns at 18yds. I settled my pin and let my arrow fly. The Arrow hit the doe hard, breaking both shoulder blades and dropping her on the spot. My nerves were out of control after the shot, I had just got 2 fallow deer in one afternoon and the one with my bow was 20 minutes before last light on the last day. I had come with a goal of taking a fallow deer with a bow and nearing the end of the trip it had started looking very bleak, but the hunting gods had definitely been good to me and I had managed to get the opportunity to take one with my bow. Having had the opportunity to share it with my good friend and team mate Reino had also made it just that much better too. If you’ve never bow hunted before, I sincerely urge you to try it, as the challenge and reward is certainly like no other. The satisfaction and reward after putting in so much effort and hard work to take your quarry with a bow is like no other, one has to experience it oneself to know how it feels. This Video can be viewed on the Dezynworx youtube page.
Against all odds I recently went to one of Nkwazi Safaris’ hunting concessions in the Kalahari to try for either, blue wildebeest, Gemsbuck and Red hartebeest walk and stalk with my bow. The day we arrived, the weather was perfect but overnight turned VERY south. When I woke up on the Monday morning it was extremely overcast and wanted to rain. I got kitted up and as I walked out the door of the lodge at 6:00 AM the heavens opened, yes rain can benefit when walk and stalking but pouring…. I don’t think so. I waited an hour and by 7:00 AM the rain let up, I walked from the lodge and about 2 hours in I was within 50 yds of 2 good blue wildebeest bulls, I thought this is 2 good to be true… 1st morning 3 hours in I’m going to get it done, hahaha nope sorry the wind swirled and they got my scent and were GONE! I walked to the top of a koppie and started glassing, I saw a another herd of 4 Blue wildebeest bulls in the same place I had seen the day we arrived, I tried to plot a stalk but there just wasn’t enough cover to close in from where I was so I left it, I started walking again and from 1 second to the next the heavens opened again leaving me drenched, I got some cover and waited to see what the weather would do, it calmed to a flat drizzle which I thought will help me get in closer, I was neared the top of a sharp hill, now with the time being around 12;30 – 1 PM, I saw a whole lot of long black horns nearing me quickly, I got in front of a big bush, ranged about 5 different spots and went to full draw, there was about 12 gemsbuck walking 60yds from me in the wide open, the first one stopped at what I guessed 65yds being just passed one of the spots I ranged, they slowly passed one by one and due to Gemsbuck not having a fixed breeding season we weren’t allowed to shoot cows, I kept looking for a pod on each ones stomach and no bulls. I was in full draw for about a minute of which felt like 10, I let down disappointed thinking to myself how could there not be one bull, defiantly a first for me!! The Tuesday was pretty dull and the wind was swirling and fairly strong which didn’t allow me to get in close enough, however…. The 4 Blue wildebeest I saw the day we arrived and the first hunting day had a pattern that I caught onto, both mornings I had noticed they would go to the dam and come back to their same spot around 10AM and in the afternoon around 2-3pm do the same routine. On the Wednesday morning when they had gone to drink I rushed down to the area I had been seeing them and found their game path and put a few bushes to act as a make shift blind just covering my left side, so that when they walked past I would have a good quartering away shot at around 20-22 yds. I left the area and between 9 and 1pm had gone to full draw another 2 times on a red hartebeest and gemsbuck bull, but they would slowly walk out of range or due to the swirling wind bust me. At 1 pm I returned to the koppie where I glassed the 4 bulls from, and like clockwork at 1:45 they made their way to water, it was about a kilometre away so I quickly made my way there and got into position HOPING the wind would stay in my favour and began the wait. after about an hour of sitting I heard a hoof impact the ground, I looked over my shoulder and saw them around 150yds away and they were closing in on the path I had hoped for… I’ll never forget it, when they got to about 40yds the sound of their hooved walking was almost intimidating, I knew I had to shoot the first bull that came out other whys I would give up my position, I went to full draw and waited in anticipation for about 10 seconds, and if u can imagine… it’s the last afternoon and I hadn’t dropped an arrow so the nerves were running high, the first bull cleared I put my pin on him in the walk and squeezed the trigger and trigger released it was chaos! The arrow hit him just behind the shoulder, he reared onto his back legs and took off like a rocket and the other 3 bulls stampeded off with in about 10yds of the bush I was hiding in, I knew I had hit him well, when the arrow impacted there was a lot of blood, he made about 100 yds and I started to worry thinking “was the shot too far back” and from one second to the next he went down as if someone flicked a switch. Think was my first Blue wildebeest with a bow!! I’ve gone home empty handed many times and I have learned that those failures make you a better hunter and when you do come right, That feeling of accomplishment and reward can’t be explained but only experienced, when you have put in so much hard work, time and you are down to the last day trying to stay positive is hard. My father once told me if you give it your everything you will succeed!! In my mind and as I’ve said before walk and stalk bow hunting is the ultimate hunt yes maybe the hardest but the most rewarding!!!!
A Sense of old Africa I recently booked a 7 day hunting trip with Nkwazi Safaris on one of their private hunting concessions covering 7000 ha of pristine mountainous bushveld in the Lydenburg area of Mpumalanga. After seeing the video footage and photos of this concession, I decided that I just had to experience it for myself and looking back now after the hunt, I can truly say that it was a tremendous privilege. This trip gave me a sense of hunting in old Africa, every morning whilst traversing the concession we would see various locations where leopard had crossed over our vehicle tracks from the previous day, which without a doubt makes one very aware that you’re working in thick bush with leopard around everywhere, and knowing that there is always the possibility that one might just bump into one of these leopard whilst on a stalk. During the week I spent there, between the trail cam photos and personal sighting’s we managed to spot 5 different leopard, which is by any normal standards, unheard of. As a bow hunter with a long bucket list and wanting to tick the empty blocks, I was primarily after bushbuck or mountain reed buck, but was also open to hunting other species if the opportunity presented itself. A cold front had moved in a day prior to the hunt, so day-1 of the hunt was not too conducive to hunting and as such, decided to set up 3 pop-up blinds with trail cameras to give us an idea of what was moving around. The first pop-up location was about a 15 minute drive from the lodge, where the chances of bushbuck were very good. The second location was close to the southern boundary of the farm and about a 40 minute drive from the lodge. This area was generally frequented by a large variety of game species, which was definitely the case after inspection of the trail cam. The third location was one of the highest points on the farm where the chances of mountain reedbuck looked very promising. Due to the concession being so mountainous and rugged, the travelling time took up to 3 times longer than normal, having to traverse steep rocky slopes and dense valleys at a very slow pace. On day-2 we were out early and decided to dedicate the day to walk and stalk vs. the blinds. We came across numerous mountain reedbuck and bushbuck that allowed us shooting opportunities but they were unfortunately not quite up to the standard that I was looking for. On the morning of day-3, we travelled to a section of the farm that borders the Spekboom river. The one boundary of the farm has about 8 km’s of river frontage on the river and have to say again, that I have never hunted on such a beautiful piece of property. We walked slowly through the dense undergrowth alongside the river in the hope of spotting bushbuck and bushpig. After an hour or so, we decided to return to the vehicle and I’ll never forget it, as we exited the dense riverine bush and got into the open I looked up to see the most amazing rock outcrops that border the dense bush along that stretch, something that I can’t say I have ever seen before. The atmosphere and sheer beauty of this concession was breathtaking, truly something out of a dream. From there we moved to the location of the second pop-up blind to check the activity on the camera, but unfortunately there had been no sign of what we were after, so took down the blind and moved it to another area where we had seen promising activity of the species we were interested in. After having erected the pop-up in the new location and setting the trail camera we headed back to the lodge. En-route back to the lodge we stopped and checked the camera at the first location and saw there had been a lot of activity, with bushbuck, lots of kudu and two leopard in there. I made the decision that I would sit in this blind the next morning, being the morning of day-4. We got into the blind on day-4 at around 10am in the hope that we would get the opportunity of a nice bushbuck ram. At 11am we had 2 big kudu cows with a few calves come in and after about half an hour I decided that I would shoot one of these cows as the meat is great and the freezers back home were running low on meat. We got the video camera rolling and when the cow I wanted eventually moved into a position to give me the opportunity for a slight quartering away shot, my adrenaline levels went from zero to 100%, as a hunter you’ll know this adrenalin spike….. I went to full draw, let my pin settle and took the shot. The impact of my Rage hypodermic made a distinctive crack and disappeared, giving me a good double lung shot. She gave a bark as the arrow impacted and took off into the bush. We waited in dead silence, I can still remember my ears ringing from the harsh sound of the other cow barking twice and the echoing of her bark through the valley. After about 20 seconds we heard branches breaking and I was confident she was down. We waited about another 10 minutes before we followed up and once out of the blind I found my arrow lying just behind where the cow had stood. The arrow had passed right through the cow, giving us a good blood spoor. We followed up slowly for a few minutes and after about 40 meters, found the cow down. Although I tend to hunt more for trophy game vs. purely meat animals, it was great shooting something purely for the freezer instead, a very rewarding moment. The rest of day-4 was quiet without getting a chance at anything else, so decided to return to the lodge. On the way back to the lodge just before last light and about 200 meters from the lodge, out of nowhere on a small dam wall my eye caught that distinctive orange colour....., it was a leopard!!! She was a young female and lay perfectly motionless with her eyes locked on the Cruiser, giving us just enough time to get a short video clip and a few pics. This was truly a very special experience, bearing in mind that this was not a big-5 reserve or anything of the like, it was merely during my hunt on a private concession that I had the privilege of hunting on. This was definitely a first for me and a very special moment that will not be forgotten. On the morning of day-5 we went to the blind that we had relocated, to try for a good impala ram. Being the rut, we had seen there were a lot of good rams trying to approach a big herd of ewes in that area. On arrival we checked the trail cam, and there had been ANOTHER leopard there the previous afternoon within 35 meters of the blind. This was the 4th leopard we had seen this trip. We got into the blind and after about half an hour we had a small herd of kudu walk in. They were very nervous and skittish at first around the salt lick, but eventually settled down. I felt positive, because with them there and being totally relaxed, I knew more game would follow. After about 20 minutes we had five impala come in with a good ram amongst them. Being the middle of the rut, the ram was hyped up and restless, and after about 10 minutes before a chance of a shot he upped and took off. I had a feeling he might come back in, but he never did. The hours passed slowly and by about 11:30 I started to get really anxious. It was the last day and we had made a decision to leave the blind at 12:00 to start packing up the other blinds and kit, so we could make an early start the next morning when we were leaving. Kevin (the outfitter) suggested we wait a bit longer, and gratefully so, as the hunting gods shone down on us. At 11:55 Kevin whispered “impala”. I sat up slowly and saw a large herd of impala ewes coming to the water. I knew that some of the rams that we had seen bothering them would be in close proximity and got ready. As I stood up and reached for my bow I saw one of them. The ram came in to about 25 meters, stood at the salt lick for about 5 seconds then trotted off to chase a few of the ewes. For about 15 minutes, which felt more like an hour, he was all over the place, chasing the ewes, running in and out of the bush, grunting and snorting and basically trying to notify the other Impala that had been in the vicinity that he was claiming his turf. The ram wouldn’t come into shooting distance; he stayed 60+ meters out, probably waiting for the other rams to come in for a scrap. Then all of a sudden he trotted towards the water, I got ready as I just had a feeling this was it. He turned broadside at 40 meters, I ranged him, set my sight, went to full draw and took a deep breath. I was shaking so badly I was struggling to settle my pin, but eventually took the shot and the arrow hit him, but somehow gave me very little penetration. He ran about 35 meters before he stopped, grunting and snorting furiously. I looked through the range finder and saw I had hit him a little low but high enough to penetrate the bottom of his heart. The arrow had hit the joint at the base of his shoulder and I whispered to Kevin, telling him that he might have to shoot him, as he was now out of bow range. But as he reached for the rifle the ram slowly started to sway, lay down and within a minute or so he was done. On closer inspection when we got to the ram, my broadhead had severed his joint at the base of the shoulder giving me just enough penetration for the tip of the rage hypodermic and base of the blades to make a small incision on the heart, probably the size of a 2 rand coin, thus taking the ram a little longer to go down. I have always believed in a heavier arrow set up in case of a situation like this, as a heavier arrow hits a lot harder and has a lot more momentum. If I had been using a lighter 400-450 grain arrow I would have lost this impala. I’ve been on many hunting trips and have many memories of all of them, but have to say, this hunting trip was truly special and it will stay imprinted in my mind for the rest of my life. To be able hear the grunt of leopard whilst around the fire at night and walking in the bush and finding leopard spoor not even an hour old while busy stalking, is truly a remarkable experience. I will most certainly be back to hunt here again, but until then these special memories will have to keep me going, I love bow hunting and this is why!! I would like to extend a huge thank you to Kevin and his team at Nkwazi Safaris, their professionalism and effort is unsurpassed. Both of these hunts are available on the Dezynworx channel on YouTube.
 3rd Time Lucky Over Christmas I went to Zululand in the Nongoma area and hunted with Nkwazi Safaris. This was my first hunt on the archers edge staff shooter team so I was a lot focused to make this hunt a success!!! I set up 3 pop up blinds at water points with trail cameras as a plan B on the first day. over 4 days I put in 6 long failed stalks, 2 missed shots at 55 & 65 yds. With the bush being so thick the first shot hit a branch in front of the impala and on the second I shot too quick due to the nerves and it being the last hunting day... My first shot I was on my way back to the lodge on the second day of hunting when I saw a lone impala ram through the valley I stopped, pulled the binocs out and had a better look, he was a definite shooter so I started planning my stalk, he was moving towards water so I started my stalk in a way where I would come out in front of him hoping for an ambush… well as I got into the bottom of the valley he changed direction and started moving to where I firt saw him. I quickly changed my position and ranged 5 different points where he might come out and he came out at 55 yds in the bottom of the valley to where I was in full draw… he was under a tree and there was a branch about 15 yds in front of him I hadn’t accounted for and I released the arrow flight path was perfect, at the time it almost felt like slow motion and as I followed my arrow flight I heard a loud crack as it pegged into this branch and he ran off never to be seen again, I was left sitting there drenched in sweat smiling and saying to myself impala 1… Steve 0!!! Over the next 2 days I attempted numerous failed stalks and had no luck and upon checking my trail cameras at the pop up blinds I was seeing A LOT of activity but didn’t want to sit in a blind when I could be walk and stalking which is a lot more rewarding and A LOT less boring. On day 4 of the trip as with the first shot, I was on route back to the lodge when I saw a heard of impala cross the road about 500yds in front of me. The impala had no idea I was there so I jumped into action again with a positive attitude. I stalked about 300yds on hand and knees sometimes on my stomach too. WELL I got to 65 yds on the edge of a thicket and they were in the open, the rams weren’t that big but I was passed the stage of shooting a “shooter” it was the last day and I needed meat to take home, so I drew on the biggest bodied ram I could see, as I came to full draw a ewe snorted… brining all their heads up and my ram staring straight into at me, he was quartering away, and with the nerves and excitement I pulled the shot and missed him by a few inches and the herd ran off leaving me there despondent thinking I’ve never had the opportunity at 2 shot doing walk and stalk bow hunting on one trip EVER. By the law of averages taking meat home now was out of the question!!! That afternoon I decided to sit in a pop up that had showed a lot of activity on the completely opposite end of the farm where there is hardly ever any human activity… I had barley set up and sat down, as I wiped the sweat of my head due to 36 degree heat and high humidity, this Impala walked in and turned slight quartering away at 18yds and I sent the rage down range, I hit him with a double lung shot and perfect pass thru, as he sprinted off I saw his sides turning red waiting for him to go down but he carried on like a freight train. Upon following up the thoughts started to build up as he ran over 200yds and funnily enough the first time ever with a rage there was very little blood, I think it was due the shot being a bit high... did I pull the shot??, but after about 15 minutes of tracking he was down!!!! Obviously as bow hunters our ultimate is to walk and stalk but with TIME always being a factor, we have to improvise and move to plan B. the thrill of hunting as a whole is a feeling you can only experience, but when you up the challenge with a bow it makes the game 100 times harder because 100 yds isn’t always close enough and when you get inside an animals buffer zone without them knowing… The rush starts long before you get close enough for the shot. In my eyes from hunting for many years it takes a Determined, patient, head strong, passionate, mentally and physically fit human to be a successful bow hunter!!! This sport is all about passion and how passionate you are determines you success.