Saskatchewan Rivers SCI Trips 

African Safari – Trip of a Lifetime!
By: Jennifer Shewchuk 

My family and I attended the Saskatchewan Rivers Chapter SCI Banquet in Saskatoon in early 2010. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would be leaving this Banquet knowing that I would be hunting in Africa within the next 12 months! The Live Auction portion of the evening was well underway, and up next for bids was an African Safari Hunting Trip for 4 People at Adansonia Safaris, South Africa. I must point-out that our family had NO intentions of bidding on an African hunting trip at this Banquet whatsoever! The bidding for this hunt started and suddenly the Auctioneer pointed at our table with a big “YUUP!”. My mouth dropped as I cranked my head to look at the table behind us, assuming that there was some sort of mistake… but then I looked at my Dad (Stan Shewchuk), who was in full auction-mode and not saying a word – only nodding his head at the Auctioneer. SOLD! I couldn’t believe it – I was going hunting to Africa! 
     As mentioned, the hunt that we purchased in the Auction was for 4 People – 2 Hunters and 2 Non-Hunters. This was perfect as our entire family of 4 could go – even better was that my Mom and Sister do not hunt! Perfect! We were quick to get in touch with Mof Venter, the owner of Adansonia Safaris, in order to schedule our hunt. We booked our hunt for February/March 2011, which we were told by Mof was quite early in the season, but we were assured that we would have a very successful hunt – and we liked the idea that we were getting the first crack at all of the animals! 
     After nearly 24 total hours of being in the air, we finally reached Johannesburg, South Africa and were greeted by an Adansonia Safarisrepresentative. From there, we started on our trek north into the Limpopo province of South Africa, where Adansonia Safaris is located (approximately a 3 hour drive north of the airport in Johannesburg). We arrived at the lodge at Adansonia Safaris which was absolutely beautiful!! Let me just say, we definitely weren’t “roughing it” out there!! Once we arrived, we were greeted by Mof’s wonderful family who made us all feel very welcome. I knew right away that this was going to be a fantastic trip!
     On the first day, we spent a lot of time scoping out the different types of animals that were included in the hunt package that we purchased at the SCI Banquet auction. We also chose to add a few more animals to our list, to round-out our hunt. Mof jokingly insisted that we must “draw blood” on the first day, so the pressure was on! We were after Impalas that day which, I learnt, are like shooting Whitetail Deer back home – you gotta be quick! After seeing nearly hundreds of Impalas, we finally spotted one that was worthy of shooting and that I could get a quick shot on, about 100 yards away. The whole spotting/decision-making/shooting process lasted about 5 seconds – before I knew it, I was walking into the bush to retrieve my first African animal! Mof was also pleased to hear that we “drew blood”!
     Later that day, we were after a zebra – which proved to be a challenge as they were continuously running away from us in a large herd. Upon stalking the zebras, we spotted some Blue Wildebeests in the same area (which was an animal that we were also after) so we ditched the zebra idea, for now, and went after the Blue Wildebeests. We silently tip-toed through the bushes, with our eye on one particular Blue Wildebeest. The animal was standing very close to us amongst some nearbytrees, with only a tiny patch of the animal visible to us. It was now or never, and it would have to be a good shot. It was my Dad’s turn to shoot so I knew this Wildebeest didn’t have a chance. I was right –Dad made an excellent shot and the Blue Wildebeest went down hard! We loaded up the Wildebeest onto the jeep and started heading back to the lodge. On our way back, we spotted a few Kudus standing near the trail that we were on. My Dad had previously been hunting to Africa years before and had shot a Kudu on that trip; however, he was considering shooting another Kudu on this trip if a large enough one came around. One Kudu in this herd was definitely large enough! So here we are, unexpectedly after a Kudu now with the Blue Wildebeest bouncing around in the back of the jeep. We got out of the jeep and hid between two bushes, waiting for the Kudus to come running towards us as the Tracker pushed them our way. This was an exhilarating moment as you could hear the herd of Kudus running full-speed directly towards us, with my Dad waiting to make (what was) one of the best shots I’ve ever saw! When the Kudus came running by us at full-speed, they were (at the closest) about 10 feet away from us – unreal! My Dad made an excellent running shot and the Kudu that he was aiming for flipped over immediately. What an exciting afternoon – already bagged 3 great trophies on the first day! That called for some beverages! Jennifer S , ZebraJennifer S , Kudo



The next day, our main focus was resuming our hunt for a zebra. This time, it was my turn to shoot! We tracked and stalked these zebras all day long, but they just didn’t provide us with a good enough shooting opportunity. Mof had to gather even more Trackers to come to our aid, so that we could really zero-in on these zebras before evening came. Mof and his team set-up an excellent game plan and the zebras fell right into place! With one shot across the river, I finally got my zebra right before dusk (and a rainstorm!). Wow, was it ever a surreal feeling to walk up to one of those lying in the grass!
     Our next mission was a warthog, which we embarked upon the day after zebra hunting. For warthogs, we hunted out of blinds that were either in the trees or on the ground. As we were the very first hunters of the season at Adansonia, a quick check of the inside of the blinds for lurking snakes was definitely essential before entering! After quite a few hours of waiting in blinds, a large warthog came up to the waterhole near the blind for a drink. I put my crosshairs on it, and before I could pull the trigger the warthog quickly walked away into the bush. I thought I blew it! But to my luck, the same warthog came back 15 minutes later. I slowly stuck my rifle out of the window and shot the warthog right through the heart! And boy did that thing ever take-off running through the bush, as if nothing happened! We found it a short distance away and shared many high-fives! 
     Last on our hunt list was a giraffe – Dad and I had our hearts set on shooting a giraffe since we booked the trip and we decided we would shoot it together! On our fourth day of hunting we set-out for this giraffe, and eventually came upon a group of 3 giraffes. We knew we wanted to take one of them, so we chose the largest which was an 18 foot male giraffe. As mentioned, Dad and I decided to shoot the giraffe together so we both lined up with our rifles while we were on the back of the jeep, counted down “3..2..1..” and shot at the giraffe at the same time. Our two bullet holes were within a few inches of eachother! The animal was unbelievably huge and it was definitely another surreal moment walkingup to 18 feet of giraffe! An experience I surely will not forget.
     After our giraffe adventure, we engaged in some spotlight night hunting for the next couple of evenings. That was an adventure all in itself, as there are completely different animals that come out at night in Africa!! Mof and his team sure took us through some wild terrain and it proved to be a lot of fun! During night hunting, my Dad bagged 2 different animals – a Civet Cat (which is a black and white striped/spotted cat) and a Waterbuck. Both are very unique-looking animals! This brought our total amount of animals taken to 8, which we were very pleased with!
     This brought our hunt to an end and it was time to make our way back to Johannesburg to catch our flight home. We spent the last day of our trip in Johannesburg, souvenir shopping and enjoying a final supper with two of Mof’s wonderful staff members – Stehan and Maja. Our sincere thanks go out to Mof and the rest of his team for providing us with a hunting trip of a lifetime. The success of our hunt and the hospitality that his entire family showed us made our trip out to Africa a most memorable experience! I look forward to returning to Adansonia Safaris in the future!

Jennifer S, Warthog     Stan S, Wilderbeast



New Zealand Hunting At Its Best  
by Kelly Silbernagel


I attended the Saskatchewan Rivers Chapter SCI Banquet in Saskatoon in the spring of 2009 without any expectations of what it would be like. I had been to the SCIscenery Convention in Reno, Nevada and felt that being a member of SCI was something I wanted to be a part. So I was happy to have the opportunity to join Sask Rivers Chapter. I was fortunate enough to win the Auction for the Red Stag hunt in New Zealand with Gerald and Sue Telford of Telford Fishing and Hunting Services of Wanaka, located on the South ked the hunt for March of 2010 which I thought might have been too early, but Gerald Telford told me to get in early for the free range Stags before they get pushed off by hunters. And secondly and more importantly he said the Stags are starting the Roar, but the females have no interest in the big boys that early, so they cover a lot of ground and are easier for the free range spot and stalk that I was going to do with my Bow. I asked if I could do free range and he said that is fine, but high fence is always available if required during the end of the hunt if I haven’t stabbed anything by then. I flew from Regina on  through Vancouver, then one stop in Auckland on the North Island of New Zealand before my final journey to Queenstown on the South Island. Total time was 19hr 50min with connections but it was worth it when I was met by Gerald and his two  daughters Latiesha and Melanie.  As luck would have it my clothes bag didn’t show up, but the Bow Case did, and that was all that mattered. We made the trip to Gerald’s place just outside of Wanaka, where I had my own accommodation with a nice bed, shower, and just outside along the edge of a river that was great for shooting rabbits to help sight the bow in after a long trip. 

My first day started with breakfast before daylight and then off to a nice hunting area along Lake Hawea which also provided akelly beautiful view. We made our way to the top of a mountain and was fogged in so we couldn’t glass much, but we could certainly make out the noise of the “Roar” It was coming from all directions, and when the fog lifted we seen a nice Bull moving about 100 yards behind us. We waited for him to move out of sight and then started the slow stalk to get in on him. It took some time to find him, but a lead from a local sheep farmer told us he seen him move along the edge of a river. I have a picture of us looking down on top of him.  The next move was to walk along the water to cover noise and we got within 25 yards. I waited for him to walk out and I got an arrow through his shoulder. It was only 11:00am on opening morning and I have a Gold Medal stag with a bow. I had no plans for hunting other animals as I felt it would take me all 5 days to get a bronze stag, but I was lucky enough to kellyget it done early, so Gerald and I sat for a couple cool ones to celebrate and figure out what to do next. We then decided to chase a Tahr over in a beautiful area by Omarama. This was probably the best hunt area I seen as it had glaciers, mountains, lake and trees all with bird’s eye view. When we got to the hunt area ,the first afternoon we unpacked at the saw cutting shack and thought we should go look around and see where we should go in the morning. As with the Stag, we spotted a Tahr that was record book after glassing for only an hour. I couldn’t get in on him with my bow, but the way Gerald was in awe of the size of him, I decided to take Gerald’s 7mm and put one through his shoulder and anchor him on the spot. Again, a record book animal within the first hour or so of hunting. I am not the best or luckiest hunter, but the luck was with me on this hunt. Again, Gerald and I sat and had a couple cool ones and decided what to do next. I decided to spend the next day just heading up in the mountains to watch the Tahr, as I think they are the prettiest animal I have seen. It was a lot of walking in the mountainous terrain in New Zealand but was not that hard when you stop and look at the amazing view, just take your time and be in half ass shape and you can get it done. After a great day of watching Tahr and taking great pictures we decided to head back to the Lake Hawea area and chase some Fallow Deer bucks. First we went back to Gerald’s and shot some rabbits with the bow again in preparation for the   fallow buck hunt. I guess I never shot enough rabbits because I missed a bow shot that was too close to even tell you about. It was humbling and even more embarrassing to miss like that. I thought Gerald was going to send me home. 
I was determined the next day to make up for  the horrible shot the day before. Gerald found a nice Fallow Buck the next day, and when trying to stalk in on him I got busted a few times, but he never spooked enough to really head out of the area. So we kept after him, and he gave me a 35 yard broadside shot which I nailed him perfectly with a Rage broadhead. He went about 20 yards and piled up in the ferns. Again, 10:30am in the morning and we were done.


I got to give all the credit to Gerald Telford as he got us in on some great animals and gave me great opportunities. It was also nice because it was all free range. I took the next 5 days to tour the South island and take  advantage of the unbelievable scenery the island has to offer. I strongly suggest that anyone that goes to New Zealand take some extra time to tour because it’s easy to get around, people are great and scenery just never gets old. Especially if you like to hike and do    adventurous stuff like sky diving, white water rafting, fly  fishing, etc. I liked it and I can say I’m going back.