The Africa 29 Bucket List


IMG_1819 Stocky on horseback in Namibia

I recently returned from a 28 day trek into some the wilder portions southern Africa in pursuit of not only Namibian, free-ranging plains game, but also into Zimbabwe for a shot at the elusive leopard as well as an elephant to complete not only the Big Five but also the SCI African 29 Grand Slam. But first a little back-story...

I have been focusing my hunting Africa for two years now following my return to health after a fairly bad motorcycle accident that left me essentially unable to walk more than a 100 yards on my right knee for about 5 years (2007-2012). I had some ground to make up so I made a promise to myself that if and when I recovered I'd go on two major hunts annually for the five years, making up for the years I was hobbled. It'd also be a great opportunity to put our goods to the test.

When the exchange rates started falling Africa got the nod - with completing the Africa 29 (taking representative animals from 29 different categories including the Big Five) became the goal, something no one to my knowledge has ever accomplished in under two years, and with certain reasonable exceptions due to trophy prices and availability, the goal was to have every animal score well enough to make it into the Safari Club International Record Book.

On April 14th, 2015 the quest the 29 was completed in 1 year, 11 months and 10 days (710 days) with a grand total of exactly 40 animals "making the book." Of these nine have been officially ranked by method in the SCI Top Ten including the largest lion taken in Africa in over five years. Well over 90% of them have been one-shot kills, while on the flip side just one animal was wounded and lost.

IMG_1615 Damara Dik-Dik / PSS-134 Stock

Suffice it to say that it has been not only an adventure but perhaps even more importantly quite a number of lessons have been learned from both successes and failures. I'm finding the knowledge gained from harvesting about 40 animals with a rifle and a dozen or so with a crossbow, animals ranging in size from the tiny Damara dik-dik to the biggest game on the planet at distances ranging from 10 yards to over 500 yards, is invaluable - much has been learned using our industry's more current firearm innovations to boot! This is certain to influence not only our product line-ups but also the advice that we will be passing along to our valued clientele in the blog posts to come as well as on the phone and in response to your emails. It also encompassed the development and refinement of two specialized rifles for the variety of tasks at hand, all using upgrades that can of course be purchased right on this site and with the exception of the barrels, installed on your kitchen table.

(If you'd like to chat with me directly with any specific questions just ask for Stocky and reference this post.)

In the upcoming post I'll take you along with on the Namibian horseback hunt for  Hartmann Mountain Zebra and some huge gemsbok; following that into Zimbabwe to accomplish the "impossible" - leopard and elephant on the same two-week excursion. Along the way we'll discuss the reasoning behind my choices of rifles and cartridges as well as the stocks, bottom metals and optics chosen specifically based upon the weaknesses uncovered in the previous four safaris, do please do stay tuned...

Warm Regards,

- Stocky

P.S. Here's a mock video trailer of the leopard hunt my PH Walla Albertse actually composed in the Zimbabwe bush on his IPhone... (IMG_2020_420)

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