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.