Hunting West African Savannah Buffalo (Syncerus Caffer Aequinoctialis) in Burkina Faso.
It has often puzzled me how to account for the fact that the handsome Roan antelope (Hippotragus Equinus) seems so generally lacking from the trophies secured by sportsmen out on shooting safaris in Africa. This is more surprising as this species of antelope enjoys such a widespread distribution over the continent. Many consider the spread of the Roan over Africa must exceed even that of its more handsome relative – the Sable antelope (Hippotragus niger). I believe the range of the former species is far more extensive. A large number of small herds of Roan are spread over many different regions, whereas the Sable is more confined to special localities. Notwithstanding the wider distribution of the Roan, it does seem abundantly evident that many more Sable are shot by sportsmen. I know of many men who have not once seen a Roan in the wild state; and still more who have not shot a single specimen.
The Roan favors open country or light bush terrain. But, if driven out of it, the species will take readily enough to forest and heavy bush areas. After a period of immunity there they will nearly always return boldly to their former and more-favored haunts. They like best of all a rather upland and rolling countryside, which is not too profusely timbered. The Roan is never to be found at any great distance from water, because it drinks regularly. Both the Roan and Sable antelopes are encountered in much the same type of terrain, each of them preferring flat country and are rarely known to ascent hills of any real height.
In the mature Roan the coloration of its back varies from a warm grey to a pale roan shade; the belly is white and it has black and white face markings which is boldly defined. The Roan is a larger and more heavily built beast than the Sable. It averages between 500 and 750 lb. in weight; while the variation in height at shoulder is roughly 3 to 4 inches in favor of the Roan.
The horns of the Roan are deeply annulated, curve backwards evenly and boldly, diverge as rising from the skull, and sharply pointed. The horns of the bull range from between 24 and 34 inches in length; while those of the female are about 8 inches less.
Roan antelope are not simply located or hunted; but that cannot be the sole reason for so many sportsmen failing to collect a trophy of this species when out on a shooting safari. Say what you will this creature provide a handsome trophy. It is never easy to stalk for a kill and I experienced real hard work in getting my two. But both were worth every particle of the toil and sweat to get them ‘ in the bag’. Such is the luck of big game hunting. Some are unusually fortunate, while others never seem able to find what is most desired by them. from ‘A Breath of the Wilds’ by Foran
The Roan antelope shares the genus Hippotragus with the extinct Bluebuck (H.leucophaeus) and the Sable antelope (H. niger) and is a member of the family Bovidae. The cladogram (a diagram used to show relations among organisms) below shows the position of the Roan antelope among its relatives.
A good population of Western Roan is found in Burkina Faso in West Africa and it’s probably the least expensive country to hunt Roan in Africa. Large herds are frequently encountered. A good, mature bull will often be found on his own or in a smaller group.
Geoffrey and our client for the last 15 years Manuel Thies, hunted there in March. Hunts take place on the 260.000 ha hunting concession Singou and Ouamou that is situated in the Eastern Region, 350 km from Ouagadougou.
Enjoy the pictures that was taken during the hunt on this unique hunting destination.
Species that are hunted: Western Savannah Buffalo; Western Roan; Western Hartebeest; Western Kob; Waterbuck (Sing Sing); Harnessed Bushbuck and Nigerian Bohor Reedbuck. Other species that are frequently seen includes: Lion, Hippo, Elephants, Oribi, Warthog and Baboon.
Nigerian Bohor Reedbuck
Western Hartebeest Western Roan Antelope (Hippotragus Equinus) The Western Roan is one of the most beautiful and biggest antelope in West Africa. Western Savannah Buffalo (Syncerus Caffer Aequinoctialis) These Buffalo are one of the major hunting attractions in Burkina Faso. Lion
I’ve never found time spend in nature to be a waste of time.
Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Ralph Waldo Emersohn
Nature is my medicine. Sara Moss Wolfe I go to nature to be soothed and healed and to have my senses put in order. John Burroughs Mother Nature has the power to please, to comfort, to calm and to nurture one’s soul. Anthony Douglas Williams
Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty. The earth has music for those who listen. Nature is the art of God. Dante Alighieri
The silence of nature is very real. It surrounds you… you can feel it. Ted Trueblood
Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better. Albert Einstein.
In every walk in nature one receives far more than he seeks. John Muir
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. Aristotle
George Gopoian and his girlfriend Emily Boychuk hunted at Fort Richmond during the past hunting season. They were joined by George’s parents. During a very busy 10 days of hunting time was put aside for a photo shoot on the African plains.
To celebrate Valentine’s day, we thought it appropriate to share the beautiful pictures of this stunning couple.
Have a Happy Valentine’s day.
The cornerstone of a great relationship is wanting the best for and bringing out the best in each other. Richard Branson Let’s celebrate life in each other on this Valentine’s day. Have a great day.
Photo Credit: Developing Beauty Photography – Marion du Plessis
Read more about George’s hunt with his father here: Father-and-son-set-foot-in-africa.
“Every day’s hunt on the African plains was a different experience filled with adventure. To be walking on and being a part of the African soil was a great priority; therefore every stalk was truly a great experience. Geoffrey showed us the details of the landscape, vegetation and wildlife i.e. the differences in the acacias, the long lifespan of some of the bushes, the marriage of steenbok pairs and many more…” Gary Stalder.Maddy (daughter), Gary and Jennifer Stalder hunted Fort Richmond Safaris – the picture says it all. Good times, unforgettable memories, hard work and loads of fun made it an experience of a lifetime for this family. Gary wrote the following: My most memorable hunt was the Zebra hunt with my daughter Madeline and my wife Jen. As we got closer to the herd of Zebra, they moved into an open area with other groups of Eland and Gemsbok which made stalking within rifle range very difficult. Madeline and I were able to quietly sneak into an ambush location under the cover of some rocky hills. As we positioned ourselves, we realized how awesome it was to be experiencing the excitement of a hunt in this beautiful land together. We were able to get to a vantage point and soon spotted the Zebras following the script perfectly in single file at 150 yards. The lead stallion paused before going into more cover and the shot was perfect. Not knowing the source of the bang, the entire herd ran straight towards us with the animal that was shot falling within a few yards of us after a follow up shot. We recorded the entire hunt on video and it will be a lifelong memory.
Maddy took an Impala and Steenbok on her hunt. Here follows her account of a day in the ‘veld’. The sun was setting- bathing the African landscape in a brilliant orange. We had been chasing a herd of Impala which consisted of a nice ram for 15 minutes. Upon the herd running far enough ahead into the brush, Geoffrey parked the truck, and the stalk on foot began. The wind swirled and blew against our favor the majority of the time, making a successful stalk unlikely. The three of us- my dad, Geoffrey and I- tip toed cautiously around the Acacia trees. Ever so often, Geoffrey would peer out from behind a tree one moment, and then be setting up the shooting sticks and ushering me forward the next, asking me if I saw the ram, standing perfectly broadside in an opening. Thanks to my superb hesitation skills, the ram took off before I could pull the trigger. This occurred on more than one occasion. On one particular occasion, the ram stood around 200 yards away. Geoffrey, having more faith in me than I did, encouraged the shot. However, I had my doubts, and yes, I hesitated. There’s a shocker. I stood with my crosshairs on him for what must have been forever. Geoffrey held his ears and my dad was filming, holding one ear with his free hand. All three of us, not for the first or the last time that night, expected a taken animal. But the ram fled. Before I had time to let out a breath, Geoffrey was re-positioning my sticks to the the left of us, and I soon realized why. Out of the brush, about 60 yards away, bound seven or eight Springbok, and boy are they cute. Geoffrey pointed out the nice ram, of course, the one quartering away and not making any promises to change that. So, here was a herd of semi-spooked Impala running off ahead of us, and a small group of Springbok coming out of nowhere practically right to us. We were surrounded. I held my cross-hairs on my new target, waiting for him to turn broadside. I was nervous about taking a quartering away shot. I’d grown up learning to wait for the broadside shot. In this case, however, there was no broadside shot coming. It was quartering away or nothing at all. I lacked this knowledge at the time, and continued my hesitation only to witness the fleeing of my Springbok a few moments later. My only reaction was a broad smile. I knew being that close to Springbok doesn’t happen often, and I had two opportunities to pull the trigger within a few minutes of each other. A brief hug from Geoffrey and laughter from Dad behind us told me they had fun too, which made it even better. We continued our original Impala stalk, but not as cautiously, as the herd gained considerable ground on us while the Springbok distracted us. We finished our small loop through the brush just to see what we could kick up. On our way back to the truck, we began to relax and tread less lightly to enjoy what was left of the sunset. The sun shone through the trees in the most brilliant of ways, this became my most favorite sunset of the week. Suddenly, Geoffrey stopped and glassed ahead of us. The stalk abruptly resumed; this time for Duiker. We abandoned the path to the truck and crouched as we sneaked behind the next couple of trees. I’ve yet to observe the Duiker, but if Geoffrey says he’s there, he’s there. Finally, after peering around an Acacia and staring for a while, I was able to get the Duiker in my cross-hairs. I was told to wait until he stepped out from behind his bush before I took the shot. So, I waited. And waited. And waited. And the Duiker just looked. And looked. And looked. When he finally did leave his cover, it was very quickly and he was gone. Oh well. I was not discouraged as I knew I still had more time to get an animal. Walking back to the truck, all three of us couldn’t help but smile. Not every day do you get to hesitate three times in 45 minutes. Not every day do you get so lucky and up close. Not every day do you get to stalk plains game in the African ‘veld’.
“Many days were filled from just after sunrise to well after sunset with preparations, hunting and trophy care. As a taxidermist, I enjoyed watching the ways the crew prepared the trophies. And enjoyed it to take part in the process as well as to show them some of the techniques I use as a taxidermist. Many thanks again for an unforgettable time shared with my family.” Gary Stalder
We are looking forward to two new books for hunters by Richard Mann to be released soon.
UNDER ORION – a Book for Hunters.
See more on Richard’s Blog, Empty-cases: http://empty-cases.com/blog/under-orion-hunting-stories-from-appalachia-to-africa/
THE SCOUT RIFLE STUDY and the realization of the general purpose rifle.
See more on Richard’s Blog, Empty-cases: http://empty-cases.com/blog/the-scout-rifle-study/
Books by Richard Mann available in South Africa.
Available at Amazon.com, WallMart and even on the shelf at Safari & Outdoor in Johannesburg, South Africa!
Geoffrey Wayland…found this on the shelf in Cape Town South Africa.
There are few recreational activities that form such a bond between a father and his son or daughter as hunting does. To hunt is a way of life. A lot of skill is involved and the transfer of that skill from one generation to the next makes it very extraordinary indeed. Spending quality time together in nature whilst hunting has many benefits. The restorative power of nature has an impact on the bonds between family and friends.
We at Fort Richmond were privileged in the last week to have two fathers hunt with their children – Richard Mann, from Empty-Cases with his son, Bat Mann and Shane Jahn with his daughter, Grace Jahn.
Bat and Richard Mann with Bat’s Kudu.
Richard wrote: “The best of times – an epic week in Africa. Great times spent with my son. This photo was taken just after he made an amazing shot on a kudu bull with his African rifle – a O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc. Patriot in 308 at Fort Richmond Safari.”
“Probably the most important part of the safari are the personal relationships you create. Lucky for me I was here with my dad, and obviously we already have a connection. Having a friend on the trip is great, but having your best friend is even better. We were also with a father and his daughter. It was great being on the outside and seeing what it’s like to connect with your dad. Hunting is truly a family tradition.” Bat Man.
Shane and Grace Jahn.
Shane Jahn’s graduation gift for his daughter, Grace, was to join him on a hunt in Africa. It was Grace’s introduction to hunting. She did exceptionally well and enjoyed the hunt thoroughly. She was very grateful for the wonderful experience that she had with her dad. She also took a Gemsbok and a Red Hartebeest on the hunt.
Shane took this warthog whilst hunting for the Kudu. He borrowed her Mossberg Patriot Super Bantam rifle in Muddy Girl camo and took the shot. He was also proud to pose with his trophy AND Grace’s rifle.
Hunting is a family tradition.
tradition | noun | : the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction.
At first we passed groups of Blesbok and Springbok. A nice herd of Gemsbok appeared and we decided to pursue them.
We departed from the vehicle to start the stalk just over the crest of a small hill and we took position under a low tree. As Geoffrey set up the shooting sticks, he indicated where he thought the Gemsbok would appear.
My excitement rivaled that of hunting my first whitetail deer back in Iowa as a young boy and I struggled to maintain my composure. After what appeared to be a while, Geoffrey spotted the Gemsbok and told me to get ready. I couldn’t believe I was about to get a crack at my first African animal. The range was just over 200 yards and the lead animal was a nice bull. As the bull led the herd up the hill, I could feel my heart racing, and had to take a couple of deep breaths to calm my nerves. I followed the bull through the scope, keeping the crosshairs on the target. He stopped and stood in the perfect position. Just as I was squeezing the trigger, he turned away from us offering only a shot at his rump. As Geoffrey whispered for me to wait until he turned back, the bull quartered away and he told me to take him behind the shoulder; angling the shot forward. I settled the crosshairs and launched the 150 gr. bullet.
The herd bolted and headed back the way they came. The bull split off to the right and disappeared through the trees. Solomon, our tracker confirmed that it was a good shot. We picked up the shooting sticks and walked swiftly in the direction the bull ran. As we cleared the trees, we saw nothing running or standing and my heart sank. Geoffrey started searching through his binoculars. We walked approximately 50 yards further and he said “I think I see your bull”. My first reaction was to get ready for a follow up shot, but Geoffrey said he was lying just ahead in the tall grass and appeared to be dead.
We approached cautiously and once we determined the bull had expired, I could feel the excitement build-up along with the adrenaline rush. I couldn’t believe I was looking at my Gemsbok bull, the first African animal taken by me and that my dream had come true. I could not stop looking at the beautiful facial markings and horns of the animal – truly majestic.”
It is worth the effort to pursue your dreams, it really is.
Why don’t you make your dream a goal? it will change you forever!