#Namibia2017: Day 5
Since yesterday involved a long day of sitting in the blind, we decided to drive around for a while before heading back there this morning. We had also heard that there was a big, lone gemsbok that had been seen two mornings in a row in roughly the same area, so we thought we would see if we could find him. We did catch a glimpse of him running away of course! We decided to head towards the blind when Steve spotted a jackal out of the corner of his eye. He swung the truck around as I readied the rifle and found the jackal in my scope. He was moving away from us, but he paused for a split second when Steve called to him, and I fired. Blackie was out in a flash, but he seemed very disinterested by the downed jackal and left him quickly. We spent more time admiring the different colors in the fur; jackals have much prettier coats than the American coyote. We dropped him off at the skinning shed before heading towards the blind.
We had a little more action at the blind today, but not the gemsbok we were hoping to see. We spotted a herd on the way in, so we were hoping they were headed in the general direction of the blind, but they never showed. We had visits from a springbuck, and big giraffe, and tons of little mongooses. These little guys became very curious of our blind, and half a dozen of them ended up getting within just a few feet of us to check us out. This lasted for about five minutes until Addison got too excited and made a sudden movement- they took off in a hurry. They were a lot of fun to watch, and they make a sound like a purr that is pretty darn cute. Steve said that they had a few as pets long ago and that they are very social creatures, but that they are not fond of people outside of their “family” and have very sharp teeth that they use when they are not happy.
As we were leaving the blind later in the afternoon, we passed a herd of gemsbok, probably headed to the salt lick. You gotta’ be kidding me, right? Oh well! We stopped by the side of the road so we could get a picture of a monitor lizard, and then headed out to another part of the preserve to see what we could see. It must have been “bring your baby to work day,” because they were everywhere! We saw a black wildebeest calf, and a blue wildebeest calf, who was with a group of cows with no bull. Then we saw lots of baby giraffes, some only a week or so old. One of them actually had the dried umbilical cord still attached, which looks like a thin twig hanging from its belly. Such cute little guys!
As we were headed for home, we spotted another herd of gemsbok. Steve thought he saw a nice bull, so we swung the cruiser to a stop as he glassed through his binos. I looked through my scope as he told me which gemsbok was the bull, but he was quartered towards me. It is a shot I can make, but not without being certain of my bullet placement. I hesitated a second too long, and they were off. The second gemsbok in two days that I had in my scope, but both days I couldn’t take the shot. So goes the life of a hunter; you have to decide to be ethical above all else, and as frustrated as I am that I haven’t gotten my gemsbok, I can’t second guess my decision in either case, because it was the right call at the time.
We headed back to the lodge, and on tonight’s menu was beef filet and leg of springbuck- delicious!