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ErikDAdministrator
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Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe.
      #36448 - 25/08/05 07:17 AM

HUNT REPORT:

Date of Hunt: June 24th to July 10th, 2005. A total of 8 hunting days.

Location: Zimbabwe. Mainly in Harare, Mana Pools, and Chewore North. All situated in the northeast of the country.

Animals taken: Elephant cow, hippo, waterbuck.

Animals hunted but not taken: Buff cow.

PH/Outfitter: Myles McCallum of Charlton & McCallum Safaris

Email: hunting@cmsafaris.com
Landline: +263 4 870 149
Mobile Phone (Myles): +263 11 219 172
Mobile Phone (Buzz) : +263 91 201 487
Website: Charlton McCallum website

Mana Pools outfitter: Stretch Ferrera ( admin@goliathsafaris.co.zw )
http://www.goliathsafaris.co.zw/



I flew into Harare on a pleasant saterday morning, and was met by my PH; Myles McCallum. We drove straight to his home, were I would be spending a couple of nights, so I could dump my bags, and have a shower after the long flight. We then went staight off and met up with his lovely fiancÚ; Olivia, and then continued to that days main event: a Rugby match between Zim and Senegal! It was an interesting experiance. Not that the rugby was of a very high level, but rather because of the fighting that eventually broke out between the two countrys supporters! That is were all the real action was! We then continued off to dinner with some of Olivia and Myles' friends, and ended up having a great evening. The next morning we met up with most of the same crowd again, as planned, and drove 30 km northeast from Harare to Ngomakurira (Also known as "Mountain of Drums"). It is a huge granite hill that has lots of rock paintings. It's also quite a nice steep hill to climb the day after a flight to get the heart pumping again! As Harare is about 5000ft/1500m above sea level, there is actually a slightly noticable differance from Oslo which is at sea level.

Climbing up one of the steep sides of Ngomakurira. Pictured is Myles and his soon to be sister-in-law; Sasha:


A couple of the guys had driven a 4x4 up to the top from the other (non steep) side, with lots of food and drinks. The veiw was as you can see, quite beautiful:


Another side of the hill with lots of rock paintings:


The day after, I continued up to Mana Pools in a an old Land Rover, where I would spend a few days with Stretch Ferrera who has a nice tented camp situated on the Zambezi river bank. The nice thing about Mana Pools is that you can both canoe, and walk inside the national park. And as these animals are not hunted, they are quite easy to get up to while on foot. Thus, the pictures below are all taken on foot, and not from a vehicle. Large amounts of buff, hippo, elephant, waterbuck, lions, etc etc are found here, and I would highly reccomend spending a couple of days here before a hunt, both to "acclimatize", for taking pictures, and for the family if they are with you on the trip.

Andrew "Stretch" Ferrera:

I can recommend Stretch very highly. He is very professional, great fun, and knows more about the bush then most other PHs put together! As an ex-special forces survival instructor from when Zim was called Rhodesia, this comes as no suprise. He also worked many years as a PH, and as a professional croc culler to reduce the croc population once upon a time.

A dead hippo we found that had been killed by another hippo bull. Lions had been feeding on it, as had numerous other animals:



Ele bull feeding:


He eventually got a little pissed off with us, and did a bit of a mock charge, stopping at about 5 meters:


Part of Stretch's tented camp, and the "dinning room" below:


Stretch and Analynn (his camp manager)




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ErikDAdministrator
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: ErikD]
      #36449 - 25/08/05 07:18 AM

Wounded buff that had been gored by another bull. Notice under his belly:


Some of the uncountable waterbuck we saw in Mana Pools. They were everywhere:


An old buff, which I presume will soon become lion food:


One of the many, many wild dogs we saw. We eventually found a den with pups, and were able to get within 30 meters of them, before they were scared back down into the den by an eagle that flew overhead:


I slid on my butt to within 20 meters from these without them getting agitated:


An elephant bull that didn't stop until he was about 3 meters away. A bit unnerving!:

We had on several occasions rather large ele bulls only 4-5 meters away, that were fully aware of us, but Strech had an interesting way of calming them down by talking to them. A few bulls tried to show off and be pushy, but as he held his ground and continued talking in a calm voice, they quieted down. On the otherhand, if we saw any cows while walking, even 200 meters away, Stretch would take another route as he didn't trust them at all.


Some of the numerous hippos in Mana Pools. In my opinion, and many others I have understood, this hippo population should be strongly reduced. There was barely a foot of the river without hippos, and the same went for the few pools that still had water. It was really overpopulated:


young Eagle:


The second evening I was in Mana Pools, everyone except Stretchs camp helper; Analynn, and myself, had gone to bed early. We sat up talking for a while and looking over on a nearby island with our flashlights. There were quite a few buff over there grazing. Just by chance, she got up to have a look with her flashlight from around the kitchen corner, and saw a pride of lions coming our way from only 40 meters away! She behaved very well, and calmly said "There are a lions right over there coming this way. We have to get to our tents!". This we did, and only seconds after our tent zippers were zipped, the pride walked straight thru camp were we had been sitting less than a minute ago! Not many minutes later, a lot of noise came from the other side of camp, when the pride obviously killed some sort of prey! Next morning, we found the remains of an impala 70 meters away from camp, so Stretch and I went of to see if we could find the pride. We drove quite a few km down from where the lions had been during the night, and then left the Land Cruiser to track up again towards camp, expecting to intersept the lion tracks somewhere along the way. A few hours later, we had come across many animals, but no lions. Finally, only about a kilometer from camp, I spotted a lion laying on the ground 200 meters away. After sneaking up to a tree, and climbing it a bit, I was able to spot the rest. I then left Stretch who hung back in full view of the lions to keep them occupied, and crawled, keeping out of the lions sight, until I was about 75 meters from them behind a anthill. My plan was to slither up to the top of this hill and get some good pictures. The plan unfortunatly failed as the anthill then had another anthill in the way that we hadn't previously seen would be in this position. Moving forward wouldn't work, as it would then be in the lions sight, so I returned to Stretch without the closeups I had hoped for. It was fun anyway, and when back with Stretch, we moved openly closer to the pride, which made them move off.

Some of the lions I tried to sneak up on:


Lion prints that we tracked:




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ErikDAdministrator
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: ErikD]
      #36450 - 25/08/05 07:19 AM

All things come to an end, and the next morning, after tracking some more lion tracks, I left Stretchs camp to meet Myles and his trackers; Choice and Ringo at the crossroad where the track to Chewore NOrth (from here on called: CN) meets the one to Mana Pools. We then drove for some hours more to Big5s main camp where we would be staying for some days, with a quick detour via the Nat. Parks office to pick up our gamescout; Paddington.

Our main goal in CN would be hunting a tuskless cow elephant, and shooting only when i was upclose and personal.

With the whole team now gathered, we installed ourselves in camp, and met a couple of Danes who were flying out the next morning. They had hunted buff, pluss several antilope and had had a good time there with their PHs; Andy Hunter and Dirk Du Plooy. Both Andy and Dirk were very good guys and I'm sure would be fun to hunt with.

As Myles and his trackers had not been in CN before, the camp manager Kathy gave us one of Big5s own trackers. His name was Richard, and it turned out that we couldn't have been luckier. He had been in CN for about 15 years, and knew practically every rock, crevice and tree in the concession! And was also very nice guy with a good sense of humor and a "never give up" attitude. That we got Ricjard was also lucky for another reason; Choice, who is Myles main tracker, got very sick. He was only able to drive the car, as walking was out of the question for him. And after a few days, he had to be left in camp and stay in bed. At that time we were unsure of the cause, but suspected malari. Therefore, I gave him my Malarone pills and perscribed to him the dosage used as a cure. There were next to no mosquito in the area anyway, and we were only going to be there for a weeks time, so I decided it was better to give him the pills, and just take a chance myself.

We drove off into the concession and after a while stopped the Land Cruiser to climb a hill and see if we could spot anything. The hills are plentiful and steep in CN, so being in good shape is very important here. And I was also glad that I brought, and used, my Camelbak so that I could drink water while still moving whenever I felt the need. I found this a better solution than stopping up to get a waterbottle from Ringos backpack.

Myles and I had decided to not shoot an elephant for the first 2 or 3 days. No matter what. I wanted to do it this way to gain as much experiance of hunting elephant as possible. As we only had one on quota, shooting one the first or second day would make it all over too fast!

Tracking elephant, and sneaking up into herds of cows with young is undoubtably some of the most fun I've had hunting. And for those who have not hunted elephant, let there be no mistake; it's the cows that are the evil tempered nasty ones, and are considered by most as much more dangerous than the bulls. During the first 2 days, we saw about 10 shootable cows (shootable since they didn't have young), and spent all day from first light to sunset walking, stalking and sneaking in and out of herds. We were for the most part only 10-15 meters away from the elephant while in, or next to the herds. The wind is of course of great importance, and the wind in CN, as in much of africa, has a nasty habit of changing suddenly and sending your scent straight to the animals. This resulted in numerous hasty extractions were we had to literally sprint away to avoid shooting one of them in self defence.

On the morning of the second day, we came across the tracks of a large buff herd, near the Zambezi river, and decided to see if we could catch up to them. I had also wanted to hunt a buff cow if available while in CN. After an hour or so we did catch up to them, and I got into a nice position on top of an anthill where I could see most of the herd. Eventually, I had a nice old, worn out cow in my sights, but ended up not shooting. The whole situation had been a bit too easy in my opinion, so we decided to retreat and let the herd go. I wanted to do more hunting, and not just shooting. So it was back to elephant stalking for the rest of the day, and as I mentioned we saw several shootable cows that we had fun with sneaking up on.

Day three started with the same tracking of elephant as the previous two days, and this day we decided that I would take a shot if we came across a nice cow. Unfortunatly, we spent the morning and midday sneaking in and out of herds where all the cows had young... Thus, none of them were shootable. in the early afternoon, we went into yet another herd, and that is when the trouble started. In this herd, there was as far as we could see about 6 adults, all with calves that were too young to loose their mothers. As we were then about to withdraw, the wind changed direction a little and they became aware of our presence. At that time the herd was spread in front of us in a semi-circle 20-40 meters away. They began to squeal and trumpet, and then took off to our right at high speed. We had then begun to move away to our rear when we saw that one tuskless cow broke away from the herd and decided that we needed to be scared a bit more, even though we were withdrawing. Paddington (game scout) and Big5 tracker Richard were by then quite far ahead, running as fast as they could, while Ringo; Myles "second" tracker said I must follow him. As if it needed saying! Myles was about 10 meters behind at the time, and running full out by then too. The jesse was very dense and green there, so we were running bent forward, thru little maze like corridors in the vegitation. It was next to impossible to see much more than 10 meters ahead actually. As Ringo and I rounded a bend in the bush, coming up to where the trackers were, we heard a shot behind us. Stopping for 2 seconds to listen, I then ran back with my gun held high at the ready. A second shot came, and as I rounded the turn in the bushes, I saw Myles standing there very excited. The tuskless cow was laying there only a few meters away! It turned out that as Myles was coming around one of the turns in the "labyrinth", the cow had decided to take a shortcut straight thru, and cut him off. When Myles rounded the turn, he saw the cow out of the corner of his eye, only meters away, reaching for him with her trunk! He didn't even have time to fully shoulder the gun, but was able to hit it near enough the brain to stun it and make it fall. He then shot the second shot in the brain the kill it. We were of course very alert in case some of the other cows came back after hearing the shot. And the game scout fired a few AK47 rounds in the air to scare them off. Right next to my ear... He wasn't happy as his rifle kept malfunctioning, and later switched it for a better one back at the Nat. Parks office.

So, although only about 10-15 meters in front of Myles, the bush was too dense for me to even see the event. Much less fire off a shot. The rest of the afternoon was spent going to the Nat. Parks office and then skinning the elephant and cutting up the meat. Even though I didn't get any shooting action, it was still an intersting experiance, and it is actually lucky that Myles didn't get squashed! Or any other of us for that matter, had more than one cow decided to charge. Obviously, no more hunting was done that day.

One of the numerous resonably permanant pools found in CN, which is why there is so much elephant there:


Myles and Paddington standing next to the elephant cow that tried to flatten him:


The enterance hole from Myles 416 Woodleigh solid:


Myles cutting off the tail:


Ringo cutting off the trunk:


Ringo, myself and a Big5 worker skinning:


On the morning of the 4th day we came across buff tracks almost right away, and decided to follow them. We found them shortly, but in the thick jesse, were unable to get in a shot thru the vegitation. They would then get wind of us, run off, and we would jog and track after them. This went on for a few hours. Finally, one time when we were a bit ahead of them, some passed by us to the right, 40 meters away thru a small opening in the jesse with the terrain sloping up behind them. I was leaning against a small bush, waiting for the "right one", and on Myles order squeezed the trigger as the buff cow passed thru the opening. It jumped uphill and to the left where it had come from, and I was about to put a second shot in her when Myles shouted "Don't shoot again. She's hit hard!". I held back. Unfortunatly, as we were soon to find out. Neither of us were worked up, as we had been standing still at that position for several minute, and we calmly decided to wait 15-20 minutes to let her die. Then, while talking, I began to wonder if things were not quite as rosy as we thought they were. Myles went on about how he saw her stumble while she ran after the herd, while I knew that I had seen her turn back to where she came from, together with quite a few other buff. And I had not seen any stumbling! But, as it was a "perfect" shot from only 40 meters thru the jesse, with a good sight picture and trigger pull, and a pulse no higher than 80 I convinced myself that he was right, and that I had not seen correctly. When we went up to where she was when I shot, we began to worry when we found no blood in the direction Myles said she ran. We spread out and moved after the herd, looking for blood. With no luck. after 150 meters, I said that I was going to take Ringo back with me, and have a look where I was sure I had seen her run. And of course, Ringo and I found a bit of blood shortly afterwards in that direction... We waved the others over, and then began tracking. There was a bit of blood to begin with, and we tracked the herd for about 8 hours to veiw them from every angle, trying to find the "damaged" one. Without luck. The blood quickly dried up, and we observed the herd from left, right, front and back over and over again in the hope to see which one had a nick in it, and shoot it for good. I was quite irritated (and sad!) as it was the first time I've ever shot at something that didn't die as it was supposed to. And an expensive "mistake" too... The only reason we could see for this mishap was that a twig or branch got on the way of the bullet. At least it was so insignificantly hit that it will continue to walk around for years, fit and healthy, mocking me...



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ErikDAdministrator
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: ErikD]
      #36451 - 25/08/05 07:19 AM

The day after, we continued after elephant, tracking and stalking all day until the late afternoon. All the countless cows we saw that day had calves that were too young to be on their own, but would be mature next year! So 2006 will be a good year for tuskless cows in CN!
When we eventually did come across a tuskless cow without a calf, in the last half hour of light, things went pretty fast. There were numerous elephant around our vicinity, some alone and other in small groups, and after I decided that I'd shoot the cow (which was actually all alone and not in herd), Paddington (gamescout), Richard and Ringo (trackers) did a quick retreat to keep their distance, while Myles then went about 10-15 meters behind and off to my right, facing the other nearest elephant to keep an eye on them incase they decided to come for us at the shot and try anything funny. Myles had set up the shooting sticks, but I moved a bit to the side as I didn't want to use them. I had to let the elephant in rather close, about 12 steps/10 meters to let it clear some bushes, and then gave it a frontal brainshot while she was coming towards me. As she cleared the bush and saw me, she quickly lowered her head quite a bit actually, making it harder for me in that split second to calculate in regards to the cheek bones/earholes. Being a rather small cow (compaired to many monsters we had seen the first few days) her cheekbones were not very pronounced either. The shot was thus a little high, but it went down after staggering to the side for a step, and I then fired a shot in the heart/lungs incase she suddenly got up and ran, followed a millisecond later by a side brainshot that turned off her lights like a switch. Myles then turned and came back to me from his position 10-15 meters away. After quickly cutting of her tail, we made a hasty retreat out of the area and eventually back to the truck, as there were many elephants still around, and it was then getting kind of dark. There wasn't even time for pictures! We returned the next morning to skin/debone her etc. which we did as quickly as possible, so that we could get back to hunting again.

I have to admit that the shooting of the elephant itself was a little bit of a let down for me. Mainly because it meant that the elephant hunting was over, and it was the tracking, stalking and sneaking that I enjoyed the most. In retrospect, I would have made sure that I had at least 2 cows on quota so that the ele hunting could last longer!

My Ele, taken the next morning as it was too late in the evening to take pictures when I shot it. Due to all the other irritated elephant close by, we had to make a hasty retreat! :


On the day of the 6th, after skinning and deboning my elephant, we threw our bags onto a small speedboat, and went down the Zambezi to Big5s flycamp in the far northeast of their concession. On the way down we kept our eyes open for any hippo bulls on land. I wanted to hunt a hippo while there, but did not want to shoot one in the water. Luckliy, we spotted a nice bull grazing on the Zim sid of the riverbank, and after beaching the boat upstream, we stalked down along the bank to where we had seen the him. As hippo have good eyesight, hearing and smell, they are not always easy to get out of the water before they make their escape back into the river. And in many hunting areas, they don't venture out of the water during the day time.

As we got closer, Myles and Richard stayed behind while I belly crawled the last 50 meters across some sand to a point where I could get a shot. I had put on my scope for the hippo, and as it was only 30 meters away from me from where I had had slithered up to, the side brain shot was quite easy. He dropped like a sack of potatos, and never moved again.

The hippo. Dead where it stood grazing:


It's easy to see how these jaws are potentially dangerous:


Ringo skinning a "wide load":


I was suprised over how thick and stiff the hippo skin was.

The "barge" getting loaded with hippo meat, which was very tasty! :


Ringo (tracker) on the left, and Paddington (Gamescout) on the right:


Stalking thru the hills near the flycamp:


A hotspring that was hot enough to make you not hold your hand directly where the water came up:




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ErikDAdministrator
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: ErikD]
      #36453 - 25/08/05 07:25 AM

A catfish I caught while trying to catch some baitfish for tigerfishing:


Paddington, Ringo, myself and Richard in the hills near the flycamp:


We spent the next few days stalking around the steep hills trying to find a nice waterbuck. Generally, waterbuck are of course found near water. But in this area, they have become wise to the hunting, and thus are also found hiding up in the steep hills and mountains! I guess you could call them "MountainWaterbuck".

Beside a few hours of fishing, where I caught a catfish and Chessa, but no Tigerfish, we spent the time walking the hills, and looking at various waterbuck and other antilope. We also came across a lion that bolted away only seconds after being spotted, and a couple of leopard!
However, we did not see many waterbuck that we felt were big enough to shoot. And the few that we did gave us the slip after numerous attempts to sneak in on them.

On the last morning, after stalking for some hours, we decided to go fishing for an hour until lunch. Amazingly, we then spotted a nice herd of waterbuck with a decent male. Right next to the river where they belonged! We sped back to camp to pick up our rifles and Paddington (the gamescout) and set off again upriver from where we had seen the waterbuck. While stalking down towards where we had seen them, we came across a young kudu bull that made a lot of noise when we bumped into it. This then scared off a large group of impala that also made a lot of noise. We were sure that waterbuck had heard this commotion, and dissappeared. Thankfully, we were wrong! As we came near to where we had seen them, we could still spot them thru the dense vegitation on the steep riverbank. Once again I left the other behind, and slid on my belly on the thorn covered ground towards the edge of the riverbank. I was actually thankful for the small areas covered in elephant dung that I crawled over, as it made it softer and covered the thorns! As I came up to where I could take a shot, the herd had started moving away towards the bush, and the buck was about to move off behind the females. I saw that it was now or never. I chose now!

The waterbuck:


And that was the end of hunting on this trip. We quickly gutted the waterbuck, lifted it onboard the boat, sped off to the flycamp for a quick lunch, and then had to head back upriver to the main camp.

The flycamp on the bank of the Zambezi river, in the far northeast of CN:


The Big5 maincamp is very nice. A bit too nice for me actually!


When we arrived at the maincamp, we found that Choice (Myles head tracker) was sicker than ever. Our plan had been to drive to Sapi that afternoon to meet Buzz (Myles partner) and his client Bill Campell. This plan went out the window, as we had to throw our gear into the Land Cruiser, making a bed in the back for Chioce and speed off to Harare with him. Everyone wa certain he was about to die. Himself included. He even had to be lifted up into the back since he was so weak. Eventually, shortly after midnight, we arrived in Harare, and dropped Ringo and Choice off where they were staying. Choice didn't want to go to the hospital in Harare, but preferred to go down to his village further south with the help of Ringo, so Myles drove them to the bus station early the next morning. I found out a while later after returning home that Choice had luckly survived, and is now feeling better.

The rest of our day was spent with Myles "soon-to-be Parents-in-law",and family. It was a great day, as they are fantastic people, but I was beginning to feel something not quite right in my stomage. I visited the bathroom quite a few times that day... Shortly after going to bed, the stomage illness really hit me, and I threw up so violently that it was like that possessed little girl in the film "Excorsist"! It continued like that thruout the night, and I was totally worn out when I had to catch my flight home that day. I had started an antibiotic cure of Ciproxcin that morning, and stuffed myself with Imodium so that I didn't have to run to the toilet while flying for the next 24 hours. It helped a little, but I had to up the Imodium dosage quite a bit more than is recommended...

All I can say is Thank God I didn't get sick until the hunt was over! As it didn't go over for several days after I returned, I went to the hospitals tropical infection ward to get tested. They found "unknown" bacteria, and recommended to continue the Cipro cure I was on. After a week of Cipro it went over, although I felt rather weakened.

To sum it up, all I can say now is that I can highly recommend hunting tuskless elephant with Charlton-McCallum Safaris, and that I will surely return to Zim for more elephant hunting myself! It was a great adventure!



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Metswedi
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: ErikD]
      #36454 - 25/08/05 07:53 AM

Fantastic report Erik, Great reading! This is one seriously envious Brit!!

Glad you had such a great trip and that you're fit and well again. Thanks for sharing your memories with us.

--------------------
Perfer et obdura!


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Daryl_S
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: ErikD]
      #36468 - 25/08/05 09:53 AM

Wonderful indeed! Great pictures and excellent naration.
Thankyou very much.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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500grains
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: Daryl_S]
      #36474 - 25/08/05 10:51 AM

That is a fabulous report! And lots of fun for the PH as well. I would love to shoot an old scrum cap buffalo like that one in you picture.

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mickey
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: 500grains]
      #36492 - 25/08/05 05:00 PM

Eric

Great Report, as usual. Once again I am envious.

What type of Sleeping Bag did you take?

--------------------
Lovu Zdar
Mick

A Man of Pleasure, Enterprise, Wit and Spirit Rare Books, Big Game Hunting, English Rifles, Fishing, Explosives, Chauvinism, Insensitivity, Public Drunkenness and Sloth, Champion of Lost and Unpopular Causes.


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ErikDAdministrator
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: mickey]
      #36496 - 25/08/05 05:28 PM

Mickey,

After careful evaluation, I decided to not bring my sleeping bag!
I think this was due to a process called: Planning !

Some people plan, some people don't. The ones who do plan usually have the least problems!

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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: ErikD]
      #37231 - 11/09/05 03:01 PM

Erik

Great report.

I especially like the add-on trip at the beginning. Too many people miss out on the great benefits of doing some extra time and trips when on safari.

Some great photographs and experiences. The first photo with the girl Sasha from the mountain top is breathtaking. Photos only show a portion of such a sight so the actual spot must have been brilliant. That is a scene I plan to visit one day.

The rock painting cliff is also amazing. I assume the rock paintings were bushmen paintings?

I walked and canoed on the other side of the Zambezi in Zambia opposite Mana Pools in 1994. I recognize such of the hills across the river. Good photograph of "Stretch Ferrera" too. Some close-ups on elephant as well. Did 'Stretch' actually raise his rifle at the bulls when 'talking' to them or not?



Look at the 'broomed' off horns on this old warrior.

I like your lion incident. I am envious. When in Zim in 2002 and in my enforced stay at a tourist camp on the Zambezi (on the Bots border) they told me of an incident a few days earlier when the waterbuck and bushbuck which grazed on the grass between the chalets and near the dining area, were attacked by lion right in front of everyone. With a lioness rushing past in ambush from the other side pf the dining table past all the diners. Killing a waterbuck only a few metres from the table. I sat on the verandah on my chalet for half the night watching the waterbuck and a couple bushbuck but alas no lions . It must have been quite a sight to see the lions march past your tents. (PS Is a mosquito screen of a tent effective protection from a pride of lions? )

What lens did you use for the lion pride photo?

Nice hunting dog pack too.



--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: NitroX]
      #37233 - 11/09/05 03:25 PM

Second lot of questions and comments. I need to make moderators work!

Some fun hunting the cows. Being chased by the cows on numerous occasions must really add to the experience.

Pity about the buffalo cow, but that is how it goes sometimes. If you followed the herd for eight hours looking for a wounded one you certainly tried to find it. In a herd it is hard to spot one until much later. The same happened to me with a zebra. We looked at the herd many times and re-tracked it again and again and couldn't find one with a wound. Only by chance the next day did we manage to guess which one it was and kill it.

For the elephant shot, did the practice on the trailer target help? Some quick shooting from the sounds of it. The calibre was a ??? .375 ??? Good idea to have two ele on quote. Decisions, decisions for me for 2006.



Great stuff hippo on land. But your head is meant to go between the jaws. If the stick holds!

What trophy other than ivory did you take fromt the hippo? Was the skin used for anything?

Good to hear the Zambezi 'trots' waited until Harare. Also not fun to spend the whole flight in the toilet on the way home.


***

Erik

Thank you very much for your great hunt report. The photos were brilliant, the stories entertaining and informative. The usual great posts of your trips we have come to expect.

And a great safari to remember too.


PS Are you sure you didn't need a sleeping bag AND a blow-up mattress for the luxury Big5 camp?


--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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470Nitro
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: ErikD]
      #37254 - 12/09/05 04:22 AM

Amazing pictures

Thanks for sharing .

--------------------
-----
down by the river on a friday night
pyramid of cans in the pale moonlight
talkin' 'bout guns and dreamin 'bout women
never had a plan just a livin' for the minute


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larcher
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: ErikD]
      #37279 - 12/09/05 07:00 PM

Hi Erik

Really splendid reports.

I have read it twice and I need to read more so as to ask you lots of question.

The very best in your report is the many bloodcurdling close brushs you have.
Fantastic, really all my congratulations.


--------------------
"I don't want to create an encyclopedic atmosphere here when we might be having a beer instead" P H Capstick in "Safari the last adventure."


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larcher
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: larcher]
      #37386 - 14/09/05 04:55 AM

Hi Erik

"quote Erik : "The second evening I was in Mana Pools, everyone except Stretchs camp helper; Analynn and myself had gone to bed"
Poor Anne Catherine.
You sure You was in Zim, not in Hot Burkina?




--------------------
"I don't want to create an encyclopedic atmosphere here when we might be having a beer instead" P H Capstick in "Safari the last adventure."


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ErikDAdministrator
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: larcher]
      #37387 - 14/09/05 05:10 AM

In reply to:

You sure You was in Zim, not in Hot Burkina?






Hahaha! Good one JB. But I must let you down, as it definatly was in Chilly Zim and not Hot Burkina! But she was single, so perhaps there is a chance for you if you go down soon? I promise I woon't tell your wife!

PS. I have now put in the missing commas that will make the sentence you qouted more accurrate! Good thing you brought it up, or some people might start wondering!

--------------------

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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: NitroX]
      #37388 - 14/09/05 05:20 AM

John,

The rock paintings were made by Bushmen way back when. I must admit that I didn't know that Bushmen used to live in Zim. Thought it was mainly Botswana, Namibia, RSA and a bit in Angola. I guess they were killed of in Zim by the Bantu rather early.

Stretch didn't raise his rifle even once while we were close to the elephant bulls. It was quite an unusual expericance.

The lense I used was a Nikon 80-200mm 2.8ED on my Nikon D70S (due to the differance between the digital chip and the analoge lense, one must times the lense with a factor of 1.5, so in otherwords; 200mm is then extended to 300mm). The lions were taken at full zoom; 300mm.

It was kind of exiting trying to crawl/sneak up on them!



Erik

--------------------

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ErikDAdministrator
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: NitroX]
      #37391 - 14/09/05 05:27 AM

Yes, I used a 375H&H, and wouldn't hesitate to use it again. On the otherhand, I would prefer a larger calibured double if I happend to own one, and could thus choose between the two.

As for me sticking my head into the hippo mouth, I choose not to as the stick was kind of rotten! No point in having my head chomped off shortly before going home!

We did skin the hippo, but found that the skin was too ripped up by other hippo bulls to be worth tanning. So it'll only be the teeth that I will have sent home. I have to find out how I'm going to set up the teeth here though. On some sort of plaque perhaps?



--------------------

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SAHUNT
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: ErikD]
      #37419 - 14/09/05 09:14 AM

A excellent report and very informative. Thanks giving such a detailed report.

Only moffies don't stick their head in the hippo's mouth

--------------------
Life is how you pass the time between hunting trips.
Sometimes I do not express myself properly in the English language, please forgive me, I am just a boertjie.
Jaco Human
jacohu@mweb.co.za
SA Hunting Experience


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DDouble
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: SAHUNT]
      #50851 - 25/02/06 02:37 PM

Erik,

What a great hunt! It was hard to hear your comments about Choice. So unfortunate you was so close to have the extraordinay priviledge of hunting with Choice.

Of the 25 bulls he tracked for me, he imediatly demonstrated not only how great his intelligence and knowledge were, but most of all his love for the Hunt. And I have such deep appreciation for those who hunt like we hunted when we were 10 years old. And I absolutely love those who can track more with his instincts than looking to the ground. They can read more than what can be seen!

And he had that humble elegance and serenity of a leader. Their unassuming, modest figure somehow demand respect. We just knew he could lead, he could Hunt.

What a priviledge when Myles left us to stalk Kudu together, me with my recurve and him carrying a pistol to scare off elephants or lions.

And what a joy to see a lioness freeze us with a huge roar and jump and run from a bush 7 paces from us!!!

I hunted a bull elephant on Chewore South with Choice, actualy he hunted and I shot the bull. And typing these words at late hours, in my trophy room, looking at his picture in the wall, proudly holding my (actualy his, or ours) tusks, it is hard to accept we will not hunt together again.

In 2004 as I met him I could immediately guess from the swollen glands in his neck that Choice had aids. And I knew some infection would eventualy take him. How much pain he must have felt on those cold mornings in the Rover, and yet he never hinted a complain. Strength.

Coming to Harare I told Myles I had decided to send him the anti-retroviral cocktail. But sending it internationaly was a major crime according to Zimbabwe law. In Zimbabwe, Like in South Africa, the president says it is not a virus...

I hunted elephant on my 40th birthday, when I decided to slow down from 100 hour working weeks and making money. Told my wife and 3 boys I and we were going to travel a lot. Since then I have spend the last two years hunting all over the world. In those days I had great doubts. Those days were full of very intense feelings, feeling the guilt of sepeing and the hapyness of harvesting together. Choice!

Choice can mean option, alternative, selection... And choice can mean superior, worthy, excelence... he meant all these things.

Leave as many tracks as you can, and put them on the most majestic places on earth, and anjoy your family and friends, let them read your tracks, and feel happy even knowing these tracks will be wiped out by time, wind and beast.

Dante


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ErikDAdministrator
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: DDouble]
      #53308 - 25/03/06 08:35 PM

Dante,

Sorry for not replying sooner. Yes, it was a great pity that Choice was not "fit for fight" while I was there. It was clear that he was special.

Perhaps you would consider sharing some of the experiances you mention with us? It sounds like you've had quite a few interesting adventures.

Erik

--------------------

Cut along dotted line, discard top part.

Edited by ErikD (30/03/06 02:10 AM)


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DDouble
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: ErikD]
      #53592 - 29/03/06 11:51 PM

Erik,
Same as you, I have had my share of traveling. By the way I am just back from a water buffalo hunt. Oddly last night I was spreading some maps around...

I am sad to say Choice has left us to the happy hunting grounds. I met Myles at the SCI convention and he told me that then.That is why I said I would not hunt with him again in my post. It happended probably sometime in December.

He was a truly great hunter and will not be forgotten.

Dante

PS - by the way my tusks are arriving from Zimbabwe today.


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ErikDAdministrator
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: DDouble]
      #53610 - 30/03/06 02:09 AM

Dante,

This is very sad news, and a great loss for both his family, Myles, and visiting hunters.

It's been a few months since I asked Myles about his health, and at that time, it wasn't too bad, so I assumed incorrectly that this was still the case.

Erik



--------------------

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markhyoung
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Reged: 31/10/05
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: ErikD]
      #53615 - 30/03/06 03:32 AM

Erik

I must admit today was the first time I have looked at your post on your elephant hunt in detail. You had a heck of an adventure and I was glad to see you gave yourself some time to take in something other than just the hunting. I think folks miss a lot of Africa by not taking a little time to see something other than the hunting concession.

Magnificent photos. I 've been right there on the Zambesi where you took the pics a couple of times and that run down through the Gorge is incredible.

Mark

--------------------
Mark H. Young
ADAM CLEMENTS SAFARI TRACKERS INC.
WORLDWIDE BIG GAME, WINGSHOOTING AND PHOTO SAFARIS
www.safaritrackers.com
Office 1-307-587-6372
FAX 1-307-587-3385


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ErikDAdministrator
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Re: Elephant hunting in Zimbabwe. [Re: markhyoung]
      #53620 - 30/03/06 03:58 AM

Mark,

Glad you enjoyed the report.

Ever since the first time I was in Africa back in 1988, I realized that there is a hell of a lot of interesting things to do and see in Africa besides the hunting itself.

And I have thus made sure to use at least a week before or after my hunts to do "non-hunting" activities. And will continue to do so! Infact, doing this, and seeing that there is so much to experiance in Africa, was what eventually brought about our year long drive from Norway to RSA.

Back to the elephant hunt trip, I had actually planned to spend more time in Zim, as I haven't seen the "Great Zimbabwe Ruins" yet, plus a few other things worth doing. However, with a wife and small baby waiting at home, I decided to put that off until the next time I visit Zim. Which I will undoubtably do in the near future.

Erik

--------------------

Cut along dotted line, discard top part.


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