with Terry Oertwig and His CVA Muzzleloading Electra
Editor’s Note: Terry Oertwig, a member of CVA’s Pro Staff, hunts all over the world with blackpowder weapons. His muzzleloading rifle of choice is the CVA Electra, because it requires less cleaning, gives more-reliable ignitions than percussion caps and has unmatched accuracy out to 300 yards. While on a recent trip to Africa, he took a kudu and a warthog, and this week he tells our readers about his kudu hunt.
The kudu is known as the gray ghost of Africa. This animal weighs about 800 pounds and has horns that are often 50-plus-inches long. My kudu had 52-inch horns. Even as big as kudus are, they’re very elusive and can disappear in the bush very quickly. On one morning of my hunt in Africa with Mafigeni Safaris, we got up early to go out to hunt specifically for kudus. Finally, we spotted a kudu near a lake and planned a course for our stalk. We had seen this kudu before, and he was really a nice trophy. There were several kudus in the bunch that we were stalking. As we got within about 150 yards, fate dealt us a joker. A family of baboons spotted us, got up in the trees and started screaming and shaking branches. The action by the baboons spooked the kudu. My guide, Claude Kleynhans, said, “The kudus were coming to this lake to drink, and this is a relatively-small lake. So maybe they’ll come back here once they think the danger has passed. Then we’ll get another chance at the big kudu.”
We waited for about 2-1/2-hours, and even though I had plenty of opportunities to take other animals, we had decided that this kudu was the hunt for that day. Because we’d been sitting in the blind for so long and trying to stay as motionless as possible, my legs and back were beginning to ache. I decided to stand up. I made sure there was nothing in front of me before I started to stand. When I stood up, I leaned my CVA Electra against the tree. As I started to stretch my back and arms, I spotted the kudu coming toward our blind from behind us.
Apparently, when he had spooked because of the baboons screaming, the kudu ran all the way around the lake and now was approaching the lake from directly behind the blind. I picked-up my CVA Electra to try to get-off a shot, but African animals are not like white-tailed deer. They don’t stand in one spot, eat, move on and grab a bite of grass or bushes, while they’re walking. They keep their motors running and their engines in gear. At the slightest sign of danger, they can throttle-down and escape. As I tried to find an opportunity to take the shot, the kudu kept moving through the bush. Although I was within range, I never could get an opening to shoot. Before I could take the shot, the kudu winded us, shifted to high gear and left.
We sat at the waterhole for a while, hoping he might come back, and finally decided to leave, circle the area, and arrived at another location where we had spotted this kudu previously. However, before we got to the place where we planned to look for the animal, we spotted him standing about 400 yards from the place, where we had seen him earlier. He was eating and moving, so we moved in the direction he was going and got to within 70 yards before I took the shot. We had started hunting this kudu at 6 am, and when the gray ghost went down, I looked at my watch and it was 5:15 pm. The kudu weighed around 800 pounds, and the CVA Electra put him down very efficiently.
To learn more about African muzzleloadin safaris with Claude and Jill Kleynhans, go to www.mafigeni.com.
To order a CVA Electra for you self go to http://www.cva.com/rifles-electra.php#tab-additional-models