By Lloyd Straits
In November 2019, SCI Foundation announced that their Rasland African Ventures Hunt Sweepstakes raffle winner was Lloyd Straits, President of SCI’s Western Montana Chapter. The hunt was for one hunter and non-hunting companion in the greater Kruger National Park area.
Originally, we scheduled our trip for mid-2020, but we were not able to visit South Africa because of the pandemic. Towards the end of the year, we learned from Rasland’s US Rep, Phil Oosthuysen, that Rasland had large concessions in Namibia, and that Namibia was open-for-business. Without deliberation, we re-booked our travel plans with Ethiopian Airlines (on long range overseas flights they operate Boeing 777-200 aircraft, the same as Delta, United, etc.).
Our flight was from Washington, DC to Addis Ababa where there was a brief effortless connection direct to Windhoek, the capitol of Namibia.
We were greeted upon arrival by Rassie’s son and daughter-in-law who drove us to Rassie’s newest acquisition, Uukwaluudhi Safari Lodge which is on a conservancy managed by Rassie and the local Ministry of Wildlife and Conservation. In addition, Rassie has hunting rights to two other conservancies in the same general area; however, further North near the Angolan border.
My primary objective was to shoot a large Eland bull. Eland are native to Namibia because of the open savannas semi-arid desert, mopane grasslands. The old bull that I shot weighed approximately 1,500 pounds. It was a solitary bull that lived alone as it had been pushed out of the herd by younger bulls.
Eland are timid, alert, and wary animals, and it is usually difficult to approach within shooting distance (according to Dr. Kevin Robertson, author of The Perfect Shot-Africa). They are not too dependent on water but will drink it if available. I took this animal shortly after sunset with a 7mm rifle using a 165-grain bullet placed on the center line of the foreleg midway up the body.
One of the specialties of Rasland African Ventures is Leopard hunting from blinds. For more info, refer to their website: rollingriversafaris.com or phone their US Rep, Phil Oosthuysen +1 (828) 524-7640.