Fort Richmond Safaris Blog
The place where master hunters stalk their prey
The FORT RICHMOND SAFARIS team looks forward to sharing with you the hunts, photographic opportunities and all that is happening on this amazing land.
We look forward to your contributions!
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. — Aristotle
We were honored to have Manuel back for his 10th trip with us at Fort Richmond Safaris and a very special hunt it was indeed.
We headed to the Kalahari for the hunt and after encountering difficult conditions hunting for Sable, we were about to throw in the towel. The concession outfitter suggested that we hunt on a neighboring property where they are plentiful. On our way to the neighboring property the next morning, I noticed something in the road ahead of us. As we got closer, we realized it was a monster Kudu bull. Not knowing whose property is was, we continued down the road and watched as the bull hopped the fence on its way. On arrival at our destination we discussed the huge Kudu we saw earlier. The farm owner almost choked on his breakfast from excitement and said, “That’s our cattle farm, we know of two big bulls there that are close to 55 inches!” Manuel turned pale at the thought of missing out on the opportunity of such a huge Kudu. I asked if we could go and look for it on which the farmer replied, “Yes, although it’s probably long gone by now”. We left in a rush. I tried not to get Manuel’s hopes up too high and downplayed the situation by saying the bull might not actually be that big, although I knew it was the biggest bull I’d ever laid my eyes upon! As we came around a corner on the road, we saw what we were looking for; about 500 yards ahead and walking slowly forward was the Kudu bull. We hopped off the vehicle and moved stealthily from brush to brush and tree to tree – all the while keeping as low as possible. We came around the side of a tree and there the bull was, just 150 yards away and looking straight at us!
BOOM! Manuel needs no prodding from me, as we have hunted together many times – which affords us a certain bond in the bush. The bull jumped high and landed with a crash. “Perfect!” I yelled, Manuel had done it again – breaking both front shoulders, right above the heart. We hugged and laughed, walking closer to get a good look and the nearer we got the bigger this bull became.
After taking what felt like a million photos, we took the monster bull to the skinning shed where he taped out at an amazing 60 inches! We were both close to tears and hugged again, I knew what this meant to Manuel, his last Greater Kudu and a perfect Kudu to end his amazing collection! The Holy Grail of Kudu was at last his! From all of us here at Fort Richmond we say: “Thank You, Manuel! You deserve it!”
The following quote describes Manuel as a hunter to us:
I do not hunt for the joy of killing but for the joy of living, and the inexpressible pleasure of mingling my life however briefly, with that of a wild creature that I respect, admire and value. John Madson
Thank You, Manuel for allowing us to be such a big part of your hunting life.
There is so much more to a hunt…
Fellowship Friendship FUN Character Development from encountering difficult situations
Beauty - beauty of the experience; - beauty of nature
Join Scott Lamphere on his hunt with Fort Richmond Safaris in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.
When Scott phoned me in the middle of the night in 2013, his first words to me were, ‘Can you get me close to an Nyala?’ I immediately replied: ‘For sure, I can!’ After lots of planning via email and many hours of travel, I picked Scott up at the Port Elizabeth Airport for his hunt in the Eastern Cape. It was not long before Scott took a beautiful old Bushbuck ram with an impeccable shot and soon after a lovely Blue Duiker too. Time flies when you’re having fun and we found this to be so true. Although we’d been out looking for Nyala a few times, we were without luck. On the fourth morning, as we were driving up a ridiculously steep hill, we heard a tap on the roof of the Land Cruiser accompanied by shouts to stop. Three bulls were coming down the hill to the left. We prepared ourselves quickly, packed some water, Scott checked his rifle and ammo and we were off. Trekking through thick bush isn’t easy, it can wear you out in just a couple of hundred yards and making a clean shot as well as picking the right animal in the herd can also be very challenging. Luckily as we got closer, it became a little less dense and as the Nyala bulls came down the hill, the more scattered they seemed to become! We squatted down behind some shrubs and waited… After what seemed like an eternity to Scott, they started appearing! “Hold on”, I said, “there are more coming!”. Just then more Nyala started appearing before us and walking in single file down the last stretch of the hill, just below the crest. “I saw him”, I whispered to Scott. I continued to explain that he would only have one shot at this, through a small opening in the bush. I helped Scott get setup on his bi-pod. Suddenly, the first young bull appeared. “That one?” Scott whispered anxious to get his Nyala. “No!” I said, “wait! I’ll count you through them”. Then came a female, followed by another young bull and a calf. The wait was almost excruciating! All of a sudden, Scott’s bull stepped into the opening and stopped. I whispered, “Take him!” and all within a heartbeat Scott squeezed the trigger, BOOM! After Scott’s 300 Weatherby Mag went off, it took us a moment to regain our senses and Scott exclaimed, “Did I connect?” and my reply came almost simultaneously: “Perfectly!”.
The look in Scott’s eyes at that moment is the reason we do what we do as Proffesional Hunters and Outfitters in Africa. PURE EMOTION, PURE JOY! Racing from moments of sadness to an absolute and overwhelming feeling of accomplishment in an instant and yet it feels like an eternity at the time. “We got him, that’s why I came back – for that animal and we got him!” Scott and I just sat there for a while and soaked in the sun, replaying the beauty of the experience in our minds quietly. It was one of the best hunting moments I have experienced. I will really treasure it and my time spent with Scott in the Eastern Cape for many years to come and many more Nyala hunts. Geoffrey Wayland
To the Bushbuck, Blue Duiker and Nyala, Scott added a Vaal Rhebok, Common Reedbuck, Red Lechwe, Oribi and Klipspringer. (pictures below)
Scott and I just sat there for a while and soaked in the sun, replaying the beauty of the experience in our minds quietly.
‘Wonderful things will never happen,
if you do not make them happen.’
2013 at a glance – what a treat
treat [n] : extravagance, pleasure, delight
- Trijicon brought a group of outdoor writers to hunt!
- We welcomed a client for his 3rd hunt with us!
- We welcomed a client for his 10th hunt with us!
- A new group hunted with us from Michigan!
- A couple hunted with us from Iowa!
- A father and son hunted with us from Michigan!
Enjoy the Picture Gallery.
Kudu – the Grey Ghost of Africa, always a challenging and hard hunt.
Zebra (Burchell’s) – an equally hard hunt.
Congratulations Eric – new editor of Guns and Ammo!
It was such a privilege to have you to hunt with us earlier this year. You had us in stitches of laughter so often and your dedication, thorough research and enthusiasm will stay with us for many years to come.
Richard Mann from ‘The Empty Cases Blog’ shared this:
The new editor of Guns & Ammo is Eric Poole. The reason this is good news is that Poole is one of the most passionate gun owners and the most passionate editor in the gun writing industry. I know Poole’s back-story; it’s incredible. And, if you are lucky enough, some day he’ll share his childhood and his combat experiences as a Marine in the pages of his new magazine.
I’ve hunted in Africa with Poole, I’ve attended weeklong shooting classes with Poole and his dedication to his work and the GUN way of life is enviable. He lives and breathes guns and he’s continually thinking how he can best show guns and gun related topics to readers. I don’t think Poole thinks he has a job, I believe that he believes he has a duty. If there was ever to be hope for Guns & Ammo, a magazine whose quality has declined over the years, its Poole.
This may seem as high praise coming from a writer not associated with Guns & Ammo but as a freelancer I have worked with Poole on occasion. From time to time he’s asked me to work up an article for him and when I had the time, I was happy to comply. I suggest other gun magazines and editors step up their game. Eric Poole has the job he has wanted since he was a kid. If the publisher lets him do his thing, I’m confident he’ll work endlessly to make Guns & Ammo even better than the magazine he grew up admiring.
See full blog post here: http://ramworks.net/blog/guns-ammo-reboot/
Embracing South Africa’s grand romance while on Safari.
The boyhood dreams of an epic adventure and following the unearthed footsteps of soldiers once headed to war would be fulfilled in a pair of boots. I laced up my Strathconas, slung my rifle and set out on safari.
Just 100 kilometers south of Kimberley in the Northern Cape of South Africa lay 21415 of unspoiled acres that make up Fort Richmond. The place gets it name from the Second Anglo Boer War where, in 1899, 300 English and Canadian soldiers occupied this property and forced the Wayland family out of there home. The family moved to Grahamstown for the war’s duration, but Walter stayed behind to keep a watchful eye over his precious piece of Africa.
On November 23, 1899, many of the British troops living here assaulted a Boer position at nearby Belmont, attempting to move north by rail to overcome the Boer siege of Cecil John Rhodes’ diamond town, Kimberley. It was a victory for the Brits that could have been seen from the rock-built outpost atop a hill at Fort Richmond. More troops would soon arrive from parts of the British empire as the Boers lost momentum.
General Sir Charles Warren joined the main body of the 5th Division shortly after the Boer victory at the Battle of Colenso and briefly stayed at the Wayland home during British occupation. Walter’s grandson John Wayland remains in this house living with his lovely wife Shirley. They keep a photo of this controversial military leader and former London police commissioner wearing Strathcona boots among other keepsake among other keepsake photographs taken of the battle-hardened soldiers staying at Fort Richmond.
Lord Strathcona’s Canadian regiment was one of the last in the British Empire to be created and raised by a private individual. He recruited and equipped the cavalry regiment at his own expense for service in the Boer War. Many skilled horsemen enlisted, including some cowboys and officers of the North-West Mounted Police, which allowed for a short training period and a rapid deployment to war. Strathcona’s horse sailed on the S.S.Monterey from Halifax on March18, 1900, and arrived at Cape Town nearly a month later. During their movement to the front lines, members of the North-West Mounted Police began to prefer the lace-up boots the regiment was already wearing and adopted them, as well as the Stetson campaign cover, as their own. The tall, leather-soled boots are known as Strathcona’s boots and are still worn by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
John no longer has the Martini souvenir handed down by his grandfather because “it kicked like a mule”, he says. All that’s left for evidence of the soldiers’ occupation are a few cigarette burns in some old furniture and markings on the rock-piled ruins of the fort behind his house.
To see the full article download here: Embracing South Africa’s grand romance
Hunting the Grey Ghost where master hunters have stalked their prey for centuries.
Richard Mann from the Empty Cases Blog shot this Kudu during the last minutes of his hunt with Fort Richmond Safaris and described it as one of the best hunts of his life.
“Luck has nothing to do with it. It is hard work, a good PH and a rifle that will shoot.” Richard Mann
Grace and Dignity combined!
The Kudu’s massive spiral horns give it an air of grace and dignity.
Interesting Facts about Kudu.
Greater Kudu are the second largest African antelope.
The horns are present only in the male.
Their cryptic coloring and markings protect Kudu by camouflaging them. If alarmed they usually stand still and are very difficult to spot.
The stripes on a Kudu’s flank are as individual as a fingerprint; similar to the stripes on a Zebra.
Kudu are excellent jumpers, jumping over 7 feet high.
Kudu are very vocal. They communicate with loud grunts, whines, barks and hums.
Kudu normally restrict their movements to a small home range, but the scarcity of food in dry season may prompt them to roam more widely.
Behaviour: The hierarchy among kudu males is usually determined by age and size. Males of about the same size and age engage in sparring contests in which they approach one another slowly, lock horns and push back and forth until one gives up. Usually no serious injuries result, but remains of animals have been found where the two combatants had locked horns in such a way that they could not disengage. Dominance is usually quickly and peacefully determined by a lateral display in which one male stands sideways in front of the other and makes himself looks as large as possible. If the other is suitably impressed, dominance is established. Sometimes males form small bachelor groups, but more commonly they are solitary and widely dispersed.
The grandest display of romance I have ever seen in the hunting fields was indeed in Africa just last month. I was hunting with Trijicon in South Africa at Fort Richmond Safaris.
Romance is a big part of hunting and to experience that romantic connection to the past, hunters often go to great lengths. Sometimes to their detriment. This infatuation with the romance of the hunt probably most happens in Africa. Images of the last ivory hunter or Ruark often drive hunters to equip themselves in the proper attire or to hunt with firearms from that golden age. Admittedly, we would all like to be a bit like Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson; slayer the man eating lions of Tsavo. I’ve been guilty of this in the past myself and at times still get romantic. Like when I pull a lever gun out of the safe to deer hunt. You could even say that all bow hunters are romantically connecting to the past even though modern bows look like something out of a science fiction movie.
Eric Poole hunted this Black Wildebeest wearing his ‘Romantic Boots’ at Fort Richmond Safaris.
The visible reminder of Invisible Light.”
Fort Richmond Safaris has proven to be a very capable and accommodating outfit. Have seen hundreds of animals and ate the best omelette I have eaten in my life. Also, today I managed to shoot the first animal ever with Nosler’s new 125 gr. 30 caliber Accubond. At 218 yards it punched through a blesbok’s heart. He staggered around for a few seconds and went down. The .30 Rem AR has now struck in Africa
About the Author
Richard is a contributing editor for several magazines and the editor of the 13th Edition of Cartridges of the World. He was the compiling author of the book, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter and conceptualized and contributed to Selecting and Ordering a Custom Hunting Rifle. Richard also contributed a chapter to the John Velke book, The True Story of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. His new book, Handgun Training for Personal Protection will be released in May of 2013. A hillbilly at heart, Richard lives on Shadowland – his shooting range in West Virginia – with the most understanding wife in the world, their three kids and a giant German shepherd with ADD.
Check out the Empty Cases blog
Hunting the Grey Ghost where master hunters have stalked their prey for centuries
Kyle Austin from Michigan. Read about his hunt in the Broadheadlines – SCI SE Michigan Bowhunters’ magazine.
Manuel Thies from Michigan, with the Kudu he took this year. Having hunted with us for the last nine years, Manuel decided to focus on Kudu this year.