Experiencing a whirlwind plains-game quest along South Africa’s eastern seaboard

NRA Editorial Director John Zent goes south for an African safariWhen Editorial Director John Zent went on safari in South Africa, he went with thoughts of landing that long range heroic shot:

Spiral horns and Curious Diversions
Carefully laid plans for a classic African plains-game hunt take an unexpected turn.

We left the hills in mid-afternoon after failing to find the record-class buck known to be up there. Wind-blown mists from an imminent winter storm hindered glassing, and at any rate, we had another plan for evening. Beyond a well-kept farmstead, we came upon a behemoth green tractor dragging chisel plows over muddy ground, and assuming it was the landowner, stopped to thank him for allowing us to hunt the place. Emerging from the fogged-up cab was a big ruddy-faced man dressed in wool and brown duck. As we joked about wayward bucks and mud-splattered tractors, a lanky teenager popped out the door, and he was followed by two younger boys. Though fairer and less weathered, they clearly were the man’s sons, keen to help Dad christen the farm’s new machinery.

More on John Zent's African safari in American Hunter magazine ...

Teams from American, England, Wales, Ireland and South Africa compete for international rifle title

Shooting the International Long Range High Power Championships at the General de Wet Range in South Africa

Bloemfontein, South Africa - Protea is the top team trophy at the South African International High Power Championships. Named after the South Africa's National Flower, The International Protea is shot over three ranges measuring out at 300, 600 and 900 meters. Keeping with the earlier team matches, it was South Africa that powered past England and the United States to claim the hometown title.

More on the Protea Match at the South African Rifle Championships ...

Images from Team England's photo library at the South African International Championships

While putting together our final report from the International Long Range High Power Championships at the General de Wet Range, we thought now was the perfect time to share a few images that you won't see at the range. We'll be back with final scores from the Protea Match, were a contingent of American shooters are making their stand, later today.

More images from the England Rifle Team in South Africa ...

Team USA travels to South Africa for Long Range High Power Rifle tournament

Team USA warms up for the America Match in South Africa

Bloemfontein, South Africa - The South African Rifle Team jumped out to an early lead in yesterday's America Match at the General de Wet Range. Gaining ground in each of the four relays, their final tally reached 2362.251 before teams from the U.S. and England fired their final shot. By then, South Africa was in the clubhouse with a 13 point win.

More on South Africa winning the 2013 America Match in Bloemfontein ...

Long Range High Power Rifle Championships bring in teams from the United States and Great Britain

Warming up for the American Match in South Africa - pics from James Watson of the England Rifle Team

While gearing up for the National Rifle & Pistol Championships this summer in Camp Perry, Ohio, we decided to wet your appetite with news from an international long range high power match taking place this week in South Africa

The General de Wet Range is located just outside of Bloemfontein, South Africa. It sits about 4,500 feet above sea level. The air is thin, the conditions are dry and the winds can be unforgiving … a perfect place for an International Long Range High Power Rifle Championship.

More on the South Africa Long Range High Power Rifle Championships ...

Top junior shooters face off in an international postal match

Junior Precision Air Gun Competitor Mitchell Van Patten

Fairfax, Virginia - During this year's NRA National Junior Air Gun Championship, the first day's top shooters were selected to join the NRA National Air Gun Team for a postal match against South Africa.

The match, which has been going on for years between the two nations, sees each country field two teams: one Sporter and one Precision. Each team is comprised of 14 shooters - 12 shooting for record, a coach and a manager.

On the United States side, the NJAGC's second day scores go on to be used in the postal match.

Last month we received South Africa's scores and have tallied everything up. How did the stars and stripes do?

More on the USA vs South Africa postal match...

Britney Starr is a part owner, operator and social media guru for Starr & Bodill African Safaris - an all service operation based in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. When not tweeting about her time taking down springboks, cape buffalo and wildebeest, Britney contributes and article or two to the Women's Outdoor News.

Nikki Goeser - Photo Courtesy of Michael Ives
She recently sat down with 2012 NRA Sybil Luddington Women’s Freedom Award winner Nicole “Nikki” Goeser of Nashville, Tennessee. Take a look:

Shooting Starr: Nikki Goeser on life, death and the Second Amendment

Britney: Congratulations on being awarded the NRA’s Sybil Luddington Women’s Freedom Award. Thank you for all of the hard work you have been doing; you are most deserving of the honor. What does receiving this award mean to you? Can you tell us about your background and what you want people to know about you?

Nikki: I feel extremely honored to receive this very prestigious award from the National Rifle Association. It means a great deal to be part of such a powerful organization that puts everything they have into trying to prevent innocent people from being helpless victims. I have a firsthand account of what that feels like. I have worked very hard to educate others about the importance of our right to keep and bear arms for our own self defense and it is nice to be recognized for that.

More on Britney's interview with Nikki Goeser ...

Carved African Rhino presented to Jessie McClain of the NRA Air Gun Department

Fairfax, Virginia - While upstairs this afternoon in NRA's Competitive Shooting Division, I stopped by Jessie McClain's office to catch up on the latest in the Air Gun Department. When I inquired as to what was new, she asked if I'd seen her Rhino.

How it arrived on her desk was an intriguing story.

More on the South African Air Gun team's gift to the NRA ...

H.J. “Walt” Walter, NRA Board Member and champion shooter, brings us the following update:

Ty CooperTy Cooper (pictured at right) from Ft. Benning, GA, won the individual 80th Anniversary Matches in South Africa yesterday. With not much info coming in, no scores are yet available. The team results showed the South Africans winning on their home turf with the Americans finishing second. Behind them, Great Britain came in third with Ireland in fourth place.

The matches continue with more individual and team matches through the weekend. Hopefully we will be able to report more in detail as results are received.

Thanks, Mr. Walter! We are anxiously awaiting your next e-mail.

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