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September 02 2019

#Travel experience #Rifle scopes #Hunting #Hunting experience


After climbing to a promising viewpoint, we scanned the area for a while with our spotting scope. At this altitude, no more trees grow. The air is thin and cold. The landscape in front of us is rough. The wide plains and mountain slopes extend as far as the eyes can see. If I did not know it, I would not believe that this is Africa.

The Winterberg Mountains located in Eastern Cape, offer a completely different hunting experience than the classical plains in South Africa. The goal for this trip: attempting to find a Vaal Rhebok (Pelea Capreolus). We wanted to experience its habitat and face the challenges of such an intense hunt.




The Vaal Rhebok has an incredible eyesight which is very impressive. How could this small animal spot us in such a distance? It seemed nearly impossible to get closer than 500 meters (~ 1,640 feet). I quickly realized that all the stories about the Winterberg Mountains and these fascinating animals were true. After just a few seconds, I felt how my admiration for them and their daily endeavors grew. Having laid eyes on their homeland, I could not help but develop a great sense of respect which these animals so well deserve.


The open terrain made approaching the animals very complicated and challenging. The combination of being in a new surrounding and stalking an unknown animal will encourage you to stretch your usual shooting distance. So better be ready and do your homework. Be prepared and know you gear!




To tackle this challenge I decided to go for the new Z8i. With a magnification of 28x, this rifle scope was perfect for long range shots on an animal that weighs only about 20 kg (44 pounds). For maximum accuracy, I used a ballistic tower supported by a personalized ballistic ring for my specific ammunition. This made it easy to quickly adjust the scope.


At the same time, having a long range rifle scope with 3.5x minimum magnification was unprecedented and provided great versatility for hunting other game in low thick brush.



About the Author: PEDRO AMPUERO

Pedro Ampuero lives and breathes hunting. His hunting adventures have taken him to some of the world’s remotest corners, but his homeland, Spain’s Basque Country, is always in his heart. Growing up surrounded by sheep, hunting rifles, dogs, and hunting books, he went on his first hunting trip with his father when he was just five years old. What he loves most is the sense of freedom that he experiences when he is out in the wild. Pedro loves the challenge of confronting nature’s mighty elements. In the mountains is where he discovers his true self. He is always happy to share his knowledge and experience with others because he believes learning from each other is the best way to help everyone to be better hunters.

Pictures by Roberto Fontaneda


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