Wow! What an awesome bow! The F1 – Fireball arrived one week before the San Antonio Texas Trophy Hunters Pop-up 3D Archery Championship Tournament. I installed the Alpine Whisperflite rest, peep, hunting sight and shot my Victory Arrows in the back yard. In no time flat, I fell in love with the bow and we were off to San Antonio to work at the TTH show, attend the *Trophy Game Records of The World Awards Banquet, shoot some video with JEH Jackie Earle Haley Productions and shoot the tournament.
The tournament would be perfect practice for me with Africa only a couple weeks away. I was shooting in the adult division and Friday and Saturday was qualifying in an effort to earn one of the fifteen shoot-off spots amongst several hundred competitors and compete for the championship. The Alpine worked its magic and I made it to the championship shoot-off! Sunday came and the five arrow shoot-off was on! My first three shots were perfect and then my sight came apart……I think you get the picture. I finished in the top ten with a ton of confidence in the Alpine for the safari! Couldn’t wait to draw blood with it!
Dad and I caught up with Captain Mike in the Washington Dulles airport. Three die hard hunters and best buds heading to Limcroma Safaris. Dad was staying for two weeks and Captain Mike and I were staying for three! After a sixteen hour flight we landed in Johannesburg, South Africa. We stayed one night in Johannesburg in an effort to get a good nights rest before a Limcroma representative would meet us early the next morning and drive us three and a half hours north to their main lodge in the Limpopo region. We stayed at the Afton Guest House and ate dinner there as well. We shared a dinner table with one of the most accomplished hunters in the world today, Larry Bucher.
Mr. Bucher has taken just about every critter in the world and has even completed his world sheep slam twice. At the young age of 73 he was heading to Uganda for 21 days chasing Sitatunga. Did I say a good nights rest, no way! After telling stories with Mr. Bucher we called it a night at 11pm only to wake up at 2:30am ready to go. All three of us sat up and talked until breakfast! Thank goodness the Limcroma rep was early! We loaded up in seconds and we were off. Whohooo!
We met Hannes Els owner who is like a brother to me, Eric Du Plesis our PH and the Limcroma staff at the main lodge for a great brunch and bow shooting. Hannes asked if we would mind spending the first part of our visit at one of his newest and more remote bowhunting only concessions. He wanted us to evaluate the game quality, quantity, blind set ups and accommodations. ‘Absolutely’ was the answer from all of us. I love checking out new areas and to top it off we had the entire concession to ourselves!
Dad, Mike and I all settled in one big chalet and soon after were headed to a blind for an afternoon hunt! During this first sitting we didn’t launch any arrows but we did see Kudu, Waterbuck, Warthogs and a Duiker. When we arrived back at the chalet Trudy and Pete had a nice fire burning along with snacks and refreshments on deck prior to a wonderful dinner. This camp is nestled in a remote dry river valley. The sky seemed bluer than blue here and at night the stars jumped out of nowhere! A milky way of stars was present every night making you wonder where it starts and where it ends? We turned in after a wonderful dinner and dessert. We could only imagine what tomorrow would bring!
The next morning was a bit crisp, about 33 degrees! We had a quick snack of rusks and hot tea or coffee and with a very nice lunch packed we were headed to the blind for an all day sit!
The blinds are huge and easily accommodated all four of us comfortably. In no time critters were hitting the water. A very nice warthog came in and Captain Mike told me to take it since he shot several on his last safari. Man I wanted to take it with my Alpine but this was primarily Captain Mike’s safari and there was no way that I was going to put an arrow in an animal before he did. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll start smacking after he draws first blood!
Well I didn’t have to wait long because a nice Impala was coming in and Captain Mike was about to draw on him but my Dad said to wait as Red Hartebeest were coming in! Eric confirmed that two of them were monsters. Captain Mike passed on the Impala and settled his pin on the Red Hartebeest, touched his release and sent an arrow through the kill zone! The beast went down within our view and Dad captured it on video. I was excited for Captain Mike but I also knew that the next critter that Captain Mike passed would be my first with the Alpine!
Captain Mike took a monster Waterbuck and Impala before an Impala Ewe came to the water and he said, “Take it Ty.” Music to my ears! I hooked my new Goat Tuff Equalizer release on my loop and the Alpine was at full draw in seconds. Smack! The arrow went through like butter and left one awesome blood trail!
We waited a few minutes and then took a very short walk to claim my first trophy with the F1 – Fireball! I love this bow and this Equalizer has really helped me pump up arrow speed! It’s a new design that let me increase my draw length and pick up performance for a faster arrow. And it’s a dream to shoot. I don’t think there is a better combination of equipment made today.
After Captain Mike took a Waterbuck, Two Impala and a Monkey he looked at me and said, “Ty, We should stalk giraffes and you can shoot first!” Captain Mike has a way of just coming up with ideas like this right out of the blue. Awesome!
We started hunting giraffe early the next morning and I am continually amazed at how these huge animals can just disappear the way they do? We were seeing giraffes the entire safari until we decided to hunt them. When you do find them it is really difficult to get within bow range. And then, just when you think things are not going to work out your luck changes.
Another piece of equipment I never hunt without anymore is my HECS suit. This stuff really works. During mid afternoon while wearing my HECS clothing I decided to go it alone and was able to stalk to within 46 yards of an old dark bull. My arrow was tipped with a 150 grain broadhead to which I added a 25 grain collar to boost the head to 175 grains. My total arrow and broadhead weight was 950 grains! With the giraffe broadside I drew the Alpine, settled the pin on his shoulder and touched the Equalizer.
My super heavy shaft seemed to move in slow motion but found its mark and sunk to the fletching! The big bull was gone in a blink but I was confident in my shot! We waited a while and the trackers, amazing in how they track, performed their magic. They got on to the blood trail and then just tracks. Giraffe tracks were everywhere but our lead tracker Obit could distinguish my bulls track from the others. Just when I thought we were on the wrong track Obit reached down and picked up the back of my arrow, smiled and then proceeded to lead us to my once in a lifetime trophy!
What a magnificent, giant of a beast! The second critter taken with my Alpine is the heaviest animal that I have ever taken! We collected 850 kg of meat from the giraffe and took countless numbers of photos. The memories are permanently etched in my brain.
Now it was Captain Mike’s turn. The next morning we started hunting for his giraffe and spent all day and never spotted a single one! We gave the giraffe hunting a little break for two days while we stuck warthogs, impala and zebra. I shot two old timer warthogs with complete pass through right on the shoulders. I love shooting those beautiful creatures! They have a face only a mother could love and Dad captured all the moments on video.
Around the campfire Dad told us that the next day we would hunt for Captain Mike’s giraffe and he would stick an arrow in it by 9am! Mike and I liked the optimism but we doubted 9am, besides Captain Mike was looking for an old dark bull not just a big bull.
We packed lunches for an all day outing but we hadn’t hunted long before we spotted a huge dark giraffe. The stalk was on. Captain Mike had been practicing for the last few days shooting out to sixty yards. It’s a good thing he did because the closest we could get to the bull was 50 yards before he busted us. Mike came to full draw and released the same arrow and broadhead combo that I was hunting with and buried the Victory to the nock on the bulls shoulder! Man we were fired up!
Dad said, “Take a look at your watch boys.” It was five minutes before 9 o’clock! We had another opportunity to watch Obit perform his tracking skills and another bull giraffe was taken! Captain Mike’s bull was even bigger than my old bugger! A longneck double on this safari! How cool is that?
Dad had to leave a week before we did so I took over the job as cameraman and filmed Captain Mike shooting his Bushbuck, Common Blesbok, White Blesbok and Black Wildebeest! I did manage to lower the guinea, francolin and pigeon population with my Alpine which will be entertaining to watch on film!
“Every kid is waiting to be invited outdoors. Ask them!”
* EDITORS NOTE: Ty Weaver, even at his young age, has made a tremendous impact on the sport of bowhunting/archery. Not only is Ty a great bowhunter and tough competitor, he is also one of the nicest, most polite young men I’ve met. What Ty did not include in this article are the awards he received at the Trophy Game Records of The World Banquet.
- North America Hunter Of The Year Award
- Jason McCullen Memorial Youth Hunter of The Year Award. Ty accepted this special award from Jason’s Mother Betty McCullen. After the photo session Ty presented the Award, the first such award, back to her as a gift in memory of her son.
- Runner up Archery Hunter of The Year Award
- Award for New World Record Common Reedbuck