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CMS Late Season Elephant Bull
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Outfitter: Charlton McCallum Safaris
Date: 2 - 13 December, 2013
PH: Blake Wilhelmi
Area Hunted: Dande Safari Area, Ward 11, Dande North
Animals Hunted: Elephant Bull, Leopard (left over quota)
Animals Taken: Elephant Bull, Impala x3, Warthog, Baboon x2
Firearms and Loads: VC 500NE Round Body - 570gr North Fork Solids; Chapuis 9.3x74R - 255gr CEB Non-Cons

I'm going to follow the trend of late and let pictures do most of the talking on this one. This hunt was originally scheduled as an early season ele bull hunt with Buzz as PH but due to circumstances, had to be postponed to late season as well as a change to my old buddy Blake as PH. Although not as extensive of a hunt as last year's adventure, this was without a doubt, the toughest and most exciting hunt I've been on.

Blessed to be on Safari again:



The rains were late this year and therefore the temps soared and everything was bone dry. This made the conditions tough in terms of finding big bulls, as well as tracking the ones we found. Day 3 was particularly brutal as we were hot on the trail of a group of 5 bulls who were bent on a route march, never once taking a break to feed or rest. We tracked them 8.5 hours straight, at a very fast pace, 15 miles + in 120F+ heat without ever catching up. These 5 dogged us throughout the hunt, getting back on their track on day 4 with similar results. We again found them on day 10 after locating their tracks at a water hole in the Angwa River bed. On this particular day however, we caught them after an hour and a half. They were holed up in some of the nastiest jesse bush you can imagine, with a large herd of cows and new born calves. Very dangerous conditions. In the group was a single tusker with the largest ivory we saw on the entire hunt. For the next 7 hours, we were never more than 200 yards from them and at times, as close as 40 yards. Weaving in and out of the thick stuff, and in some extremely steep ravines, we played the wind and attempted to get a shot. The cows continued to keep them revved up and on alert throughout the day, resulting in a very close encounter right at dark, but with the wrong bull. The result was 7 hours of extreme adrenaline use leaving us completely spent at the end of light.

Tracks in the Angwa:



Eles in the Jesse:



Start of Day 10, ready to go!:



End of Day 10, completely SPENT!:



What are you guys doing here?:



Hey, get out of here!:



A happy team makes for a successful hunt:



CMS is running the DAPU (Dande Anti Poaching Unit) with great success. While in camp, they made several arrests and I do believe word is getting out that poaching in Dande will result in getting caught. More work is needed and it's an never ending endeavor to say the least.

Poached lion found in snare. All of the teeth were removed. What a waste.:



Sleeping Giant!:



The Giant Awakened:



Day 11 brought a change in luck as we moved onto the Zambezi islands. Here, amongst the thickest and most up close and personal conditions I've ever experienced, we found ... our 5 bulls again! Hot, sticky, hands and knees conditions were the order of the day! Just the way I like it. Once I have a chance to catch my breath a bit, I'll post the video, but suffice it to say, the pucker factor was high this day. The side brain shot came at 6 yards. What happened next is a bit of a blur!

I took two steps left and fired a back up shot on the downed bull and quickly reloaded. Blake yelled: "RUN". One of the remaining bulls, a huge double stumpy, took offense to loosing his buddy and properly began chasing us through the reeds. At one point, I quickly looked over my shoulder, while running at what I thought was full speed, only to see the bull at 9 yards and closing with his ears fully extended. While I had a loaded rifle, I was completely out of position to fire the rifle accurately. I quickly saw that Blake had established a position about 6 yards ahead of me and was preparing to shoot the bull off of my back if necessary. This inspired a very short but impressive Olympic type of dash on my part to get out of the line of fire. Blake and I re-entered the thick reeds at full speed and were able to cause our pursuer to loose sight momentarily. Thankfully, this did the trick and we didn't have a defensive shooting.

Recovery was by boat on the Zambezi. A very interesting experience considering 6 or 7 locals, seeking meat, swam a 50 yard channel where we had observed 4 very large crocs earlier. We also had several Zambians in their dugouts come across and attempt to land, also looking for meat. The game scout turned them back.

Conditions going into the island:



6 yard shot:



After the chase:



Pristine bullet found on the ground next to my bull. Maybe from the back up shot?:



Blake and I with our bull:



Looking for Nyama!:



The heat really did a number on my wife Donna but day 12 finally brought a welcome change in the temps making for a nice, relaxing day in camp!

Cooler temps ahead!:



One of the world famous CMS / Pedsa Bush Babies enjoying his evening popcorn!:



Another great safari in the rear view mirror!



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Posts: 6448 | Location: North Central TX | Registered: 09 January 2011Reply With Quote
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Nice Job. Congrats on a great hunt.


Mac

 
Posts: 1530 | Location: Salt Lake City, UT | Registered: 01 February 2007Reply With Quote
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Congratulations!

Thank you for the report, very nice.

/ P-A
 
Posts: 292 | Location: Northernmost Sweden | Registered: 17 July 2013Reply With Quote
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Great hunt,ele,report,and pics...CONGRATULATIONS!!
You guys from Tx do well in the heat... Cool


Bob

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Posts: 551 | Location: Northern Illinois,US | Registered: 13 May 2010Reply With Quote
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Great Stuff Todd. I danced with those same bulls on those same islands. My bull had left those islands and struck out for the mountains. Also a croc had taken a lady right there the day after, so those seeking nyama were either brave or...

Jeff
 
Posts: 2636 | Location: Orlando, Florida | Registered: 18 September 2007Reply With Quote
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Todd, good deal all around! I was pretty confident that you could hit an Elephant with your double at 6 yards...any more than that might be a stretch :-)
 
Posts: 16047 | Location: Very NW NJ up in the Mountains | Registered: 14 June 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Bwana Bunduki:
Great Stuff Todd. I danced with those same bulls on those same islands. My bull had left those islands and struck out for the mountains. Also a croc had taken a lady right there the day after, so those seeking nyama were either brave or...

Jeff


Can you imagine swimming BACK across that stretch, now smelling like elephant entrails and CARRYING MEAT?!! I think the word is ... desperate!



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Posts: 6448 | Location: North Central TX | Registered: 09 January 2011Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Biebs:
Todd, good deal all around! I was pretty confident that you could hit an Elephant with your double at 6 yards...any more than that might be a stretch :-)


rotflmo

Stand by ... 260 yard video on it's way! Cool


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Posts: 6448 | Location: North Central TX | Registered: 09 January 2011Reply With Quote
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Exciting reading - congrats Todd.

Looking forward to the video and Reading Biebs admitting that you can stretch it a couple of hundred yards Big Grin


The more I know, the less I wonder !
 
Posts: 868 | Location: Oslo area, Norway | Registered: 26 June 2013Reply With Quote
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Well done Todd. I was concerned about the heat and the rains when you left.

It looks like a pretty good bull for the area. Any estimate on the weight?

I know that island. It is seriously thick. I am glad you all were unscathed.

The Africans were placing themselves in serious jeopardy.
 
Posts: 9338 | Location: Orlando, FL | Registered: 26 January 2006Reply With Quote
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The Africans were placing themselves in serious jeopardy.

Larry, they knew they were MUCH faster than Todd.
 
Posts: 16047 | Location: Very NW NJ up in the Mountains | Registered: 14 June 2009Reply With Quote
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I was thinking just yesterday, "either he got lost, or he should be home about now". Nice report. Nice elephant. Sounds you had a time and a close call.
 
Posts: 4214 | Location: Southern Colorado | Registered: 09 October 2011Reply With Quote
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Todd,

Another great adventure. There is a thread here on AR about the high price of safari. What is an expereince like you had worth? A lot, I would think. Where else can you buy something like you experienced at any price?

Congrats on your successful safari and I must say the pic of the bushbaby is amazing.

Mark



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Posts: 10932 | Location: LAS VEGAS, NV USA | Registered: 04 August 2002Reply With Quote
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Nice hunt, Todd!

Looks like a real nice elephant and some heart-pounding moments indeed!

Congrats.
 
Posts: 712 | Location: Helena, Montana | Registered: 28 October 2009Reply With Quote
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Great hunt Todd, congrats. Surviving an early season or late season hunt is a success in and of itself. Well done.


Mike

"Living dangerously is twice blessed -- it blesses the moment with elation; it blesses the after-day with warm memories." ~Major P.J. Pretorius

"The man who declares that he is not afraid of elephants is either an ignoramus or a liar." ~Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke

". . . when a man has shot an elephant his life is full." ~John Alfred Jordan

"Danger not only adds zest to all forms of sport, it also tends to sharpen the faculties and to bring into focus all that is to be seen and heard in a forest. Danger, which is understood, and which you are prepared to face, does not in any way distract from pleasure." ~Jim Corbett

". . . he wasn't aware of it then, by the time he left he had been infected by a disease known to many born outside the continent as the call of Africa -- an incurable disease indeed. ~ Peter Stiff

 
Posts: 15817 | Location: Texas | Registered: 03 January 2006Reply With Quote
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quote:
One of the world famous CMS / Pedsa Bush Babies enjoying his evening popcorn!


Wow...That's a Hollywood show right there...Cool pic!

Congrats on a nice hunt!
 
Posts: 3430 | Registered: 24 February 2007Reply With Quote
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Todd. I've been looking forward to this hunt report. A very exciting read and the great pictures compliments it perfectly.

Congratulations on taking such a great elephant bull under very difficult and extreme conditions. Alan pointed out the islands while we fished the Zambezi, having a hunting tale of his own from there, the area looked impregnable and a bit scary to be frank.

I am very happy for you that you had such a great hunt, hope your wife Donna, even in the extreme heat, also enjoyed herself. Did you go to Vic Falls?

Personally I would not mind if you added more pictures!

Kindest regards
Jytte
 
Posts: 207 | Location: Denmark | Registered: 13 December 2010Reply With Quote
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Great job buddy and glad your home safe. Cannot wait for details. Call me and lets get together.
GREAT looking bull and well earned in the valley this time of year.


Dave Fulson
 
Posts: 1410 | Registered: 20 December 2007Reply With Quote
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Congrats Todd.

The bush baby photo brought back some memories, those little devils were fun to watch.


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Posts: 2545 | Location: The 'Ham | Registered: 25 May 2007Reply With Quote
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Forgot to ask, how was sleeping at night? Eeker


Mike

"Living dangerously is twice blessed -- it blesses the moment with elation; it blesses the after-day with warm memories." ~Major P.J. Pretorius

"The man who declares that he is not afraid of elephants is either an ignoramus or a liar." ~Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke

". . . when a man has shot an elephant his life is full." ~John Alfred Jordan

"Danger not only adds zest to all forms of sport, it also tends to sharpen the faculties and to bring into focus all that is to be seen and heard in a forest. Danger, which is understood, and which you are prepared to face, does not in any way distract from pleasure." ~Jim Corbett

". . . he wasn't aware of it then, by the time he left he had been infected by a disease known to many born outside the continent as the call of Africa -- an incurable disease indeed. ~ Peter Stiff

 
Posts: 15817 | Location: Texas | Registered: 03 January 2006Reply With Quote
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Excellent late season safari - been some great CMS hunt reports this season.

The snared lion is pretty sad.

Mike


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Posts: 7414 | Location: Cocoa Beach, Florida | Registered: 22 July 2010Reply With Quote
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Well done Todd, earned every pound that the Jumbo was carrying, for sure!

Unfortunately that Lion is a sad reminder of the bastards stripping the bush of the creatures that make it complete - pamberi DAPU!!!!!!

Cheers
Brent
 
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Wow!


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Welcome back Todd - I have been thinking about you on safari the whole time you were gone. Glad to hear you had such a great hunt. Your photos are superb, and your description of getting charged is priceless. It reminded me of something Mike Payne told me a while back - he said when getting charged by elephants, a white man will run as fast as he can…..and a native African will run as fast as he has to! It's experiences like yours that keep us coming back to hunt dangerous game. The first drink is on me in Dallas!
 
Posts: 1378 | Location: Virginia | Registered: 29 September 2011Reply With Quote
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Well done Todd.
You guys are my heros for undertaking hunts in those late season temperatures.
Regards
Rob
 
Posts: 555 | Location: UK | Registered: 17 November 2006Reply With Quote
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Well Done Todd......... I knew those North Forks would not let you down...... The one on the ground is
funny, but more than likely from backup. I watched video this weekend of Brents elephant and two complete
pass throughs with his 500 MDM kicking dust on the other side, one chest, one head shot.......

Again, well done, and glad you survived the heat....... I don't do the heat anymore.........

M


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Posts: 8426 | Location: South Carolina | Registered: 23 June 2008Reply With Quote
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A big congrats Todd on a beautiful well earned Jumbo! I have hunted the valley in the late season...Reminded me of football two a days but I loved every minute of it.
 
Posts: 1134 | Location: Sinton, Texas | Registered: 08 November 2006Reply With Quote
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Thanks all. Sorry I haven't been responding but I'm in a bit of recovery mode at the moment.

Mark, spot on! No cost too high to have gained this experience.

Dave, I'll call you in the next day or so and we'll get together. Got another whitetail that needs attention from one of us!

Admiral, good one about the running! Accurate as well!

I'll try to get some more pictures added and a couple of videos posted in the next day or so.

Thanks again for the nice comments.


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Posts: 6448 | Location: North Central TX | Registered: 09 January 2011Reply With Quote
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Well done and congratulations. I love Zim at this time of the year.
 
Posts: 2782 | Registered: 26 March 2008Reply With Quote
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Very nice, Todd. Congratulations!


Frank



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Sounds like you had a great hunt. Thanks for sharing!


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Posts: 258 | Location: Scottsdale, AZ | Registered: 19 April 2012Reply With Quote
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Well done Todd!
Great looking bull, what an adrenaline rush in the thick stuff on the island.
KNow exactly where you were, we saw a group of bulls there in sept whilst tiger fishing!
I guess the heat made the leopard part of the hunt difficult. Always the next time !

How did your wife handle the heat? I know mine would never consider coming along!!

Congrats again and well done to Blake and the CM crew for producing another good one!!


Regards

Nick
 
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Great bull, well done.
Looking forward to seeing some video.
 
Posts: 312 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 11 April 2009Reply With Quote
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I figured you were due back. Welcome home and congrats on another great adventure.

I read your reply to Beau - I believe he is going to decide between CMS and Chifuti within the next 10 days. It's turning into quite a safari: Lion, Leopard, 2 tuskless for Lion bait (or 1 tuskless and 1 hippo, depending upon availability) and assorted leopard baits. I will be handling the bait hunting for him.

Looking forward to seeing you at DSC.


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Posts: 3556 | Location: Silicon Valley | Registered: 19 November 2008Reply With Quote
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Nice one Todd. Glad you are safe.


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Posts: 9087 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 02 July 2008Reply With Quote
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Todd, fantastic! What a fine Christmas present. See you in Dallas.

Mike tu2

Oh yea, estimated weight?


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Posts: 6687 | Location: Wyoming, Pa. USA | Registered: 17 April 2003Reply With Quote
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A few more pics:



Rich Tabor helping out with the recovery:

An old snare scar on my bull's leg:

The only participant on our leopard hunt:



Mopane flies? No problem!:

How DO they do that?:



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Posts: 6448 | Location: North Central TX | Registered: 09 January 2011Reply With Quote
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Well done Todd!!!!!
 
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Well done. Great hunting report and a hard earned bull.

You chaps do not carry binos?


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Posts: 7357 | Location: Zambia | Registered: 10 April 2009Reply With Quote
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Hey Rich. Good to see you in JoBerg and meet your family!

Andrew, yes. Blake carries a full sized 10x40 Swaro bino set inside of his ammo belt and I carried a micro Zeiss 8x20 set in my shirt pocket. However, on day 10, with the pics above, I had the little binos in my side pants pocket since I went with a T Shirt that day. On the last day, where we took the bull on the island, I left them behind as I knew we couldn't use them where we were going. Honestly however, I hardly used them as we were so close to the bulls most of the time and I can't judge ivory to the nearest 100 pounds! Smiler

My idea was to go light as possible since I knew this hunt would be very physical in the heat. With the weight I lost since last year, switching from a 577 to a 500, the reduction in ammo weight, smaller binos, etc, I was carrying afield a total of 42 pounds less than I did on last year's safari. A difference that made quite an impact!


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