My Gemsbok Hunt

My Gemsbok Hunt

As told by Jim H.


The hunt for my gemsbok could be the subject of a suspenseful magazine article. Stalking, waiting, and then crawling on our hands and knees before finally shooting off of my P.H.’s shoulder — it’s a hunt I will never forget. Of all the experiences on my safari, this is the story I’ve told the most since arriving home.

We had gone out for one of our “walks” looking for gemsbok. We were at it for probably two hours when suddenly my P.H. dropped to his knees and started pointing to a spot 125 yards ahead of us. He was telling me there were gemsbok there, but as much as I strained my eyes, I could not see them. Finally, with a swish of a tail, I could see the small group of four standing there, facing away from us.

Gemsbok. Photo by Chivic African Safaris
Gemsbok. Photo by Chivic African Safaris


We dropped binoculars, backpacks, and even the shooting sticks so that we could slide ever so carefully ahead. It took us at least twenty minutes to creep forward about 50 yards. The group of gemsbok was not moving, with the exception of their jet black tails. My P.H. could see the bases on one of the animals and could see they were quite thick, but we were not able to see the length of them. Finally, a female with very long horns walked from left to right, behind the four animals we were looking at. Where she came from is anyone’s guess.We opted to stick with the four we had been sneaking up on, with the thought the one with the thick bases was a male and his horn length matched his horn thickness. After another thirty minutes of creeping forward, finally the big male began to move to his left. He presented me with a very harsh quartering away shot, which caused my P.H. to place my rifle barrel on his shoulder and tell me to shoot. Concerned that firing my 7mm Remington Mag. would deafen him, I pulled my rifle back. He insisted, so I moved closer, figuring that at least the end of my barrel would be as far past his head as possible. By now the gemsbok turned completely and presented me with a perfect broadside shot.

I fired.

The gemsbok whirled around, ran about 20 yards, and was now facing us.

I fired again and he was down.

I couldn’t have been happier. The bull measured 375/8 inches and will make an incredible trophy for me to gaze at while planning my next trip back to South Africa.

Everything was absolutely incredible! Words cannot properly describe the trip. Laughing and telling stories around the campfire with new friends, while steaks are being grilled, can anything be better then that?


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