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D. Nelsons Zambia 2016
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HUNT-2016 Zambia—Report

Concession: Nyamvu
Hunt: August 1-21, 2016
PH: Andrew Baldry
Visiting guest PH: Jay Leyendecker
Doer of jobs no one else would do and tree climber extraordinaire: Tom Baldry

I celebrated my 70th birthday on the banks of the Luangwa River in the Nyamvu Concession of Zambia, under the guidance of Andrew Baldry for 21 days! I was in heaven!


However, my apologies to Andrew for breaking his 100% track record for Africa’s top predator. I am not a lucky hunter and have always had to “pay my dues” by hunting harder and more often than most. I’m not sure that is such a bad thing as I have learned much and seen much more than the hunter that takes his/her trophy the first day of a hunt. Plus, I just love the hunting part of a safari, (mind you, game viewing and campfire lying sessions are high on my list too.) I warned Andrew about my curse, but he bravely took on the challenge. So sorry, Andrew!



As a preface, shortly after the cat ban in Zambia, I told Andrew (Fairgame here) that if he ever was able to obtain a “top predator” tag again, I was in! He did and it was booked for 2016, the year of my 70th birthday. And, despite and after USFW importation ban, I elected to hunt anyway. I’ve taken lion successfully before, albeit on the 19th day of a 21 day safari in Tanzania…there is that cursed lucky streak again! But that lion was many years ago and I was hoping for an old “boomer”!

Besides Andrew’s superior guidance, I enlisted the expertise of my friend and PH, Jay Leyendecker, to travel with me since my husband is no longer able to make the trek. It made it a different sort of safari, but my husband’s and my friendship with Jay goes back to the days when he was an “appy” for Johann Calitz. So selecting Jay was my traveling companion, body guard, and personal PH was a no brainer.











Nyamvu is a spectacular concession. We stayed in a newly constructed camp site. We were the first to enjoy the beautiful, upscale chalets. I think I was told that the owner was making improvements in anticipation of a very high ranking, local dignitary. So we were some very lucky Guinea pigs!





We were amongst lions every day. The first morning a “boomer” actually did come roaring into camp during breakfast. Andrew told me to grab my rifle and we tracked him as he left camp and headed for the thickets. The next day we encountered a young lion and lioness on the road as we sought a hippo for bait. Every bait we hung was either hit by lions or leopards. We had prides and young lions and lionesses regularly at our baits. We even robbed two 5 year old lions of their sable kill, which we rehung in another location. One morning while following tracks we were actually in the middle of a roaring contest (and the contestants were very near). But we just couldn’t get an old timer on bait.

Sable, roan, impala, bushbuck, waterbuck, hippo were plentiful. Buffalo were too, but they wouldn’t leave the forest, probably because of the pressure they were under from the lions. We did manage to catch and old dugga boy (my lucky number 13th) out in the open as well as a zebra.




[


By day 19, I reassured Andrew I was having a wonderful time and no other trophy could improve the safari. Then we got a radio alert that poachers had killed two elephants in the concession and there was a big lion feeding there. While I waited in the truck, Andrew, Jay, and the tracker verified that at last we had a mature lion. Plan A: The next morning we constructed a blind at the first elephant. The mature cat came in briefly and posed broadside and then went to feed on the other elephant. Plan B: We moved the blind to the second elephant. That evening two other, bigger lions came into feed at last light. I had a brief shooting opportunity at the ginger maned lion, but Andrew had me hold off. The other lion had a big, black mane but stayed low in the grass. We returned to the blind early the next morning, but they didn’t return. Plan C: We built a new blind at a different vantage point and sat for several hour that afternoon. We returned the next morning, ready and waiting, and nothing came in. We later found out, there was a third poached elephant and apparently that is where the action happened as my 21 day clock ran out!




I have hunted long enough to know why it’s called “hunting”. I’m very proud of the hard hunting we all did and I’m never disappointed when spending time in the bush where lions roar. I thank the guys for catering to my every need and making this old gal’s birthday something I’ll never forget...the champagne every night didn’t hurt either. But the story doesn’t end here though, thanks to Steve416, plans for another “go” are in the works for my 71st birthday!!!!

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As a side note: Everything everybody has written about Emirates Airlines is the truth. The most luxurious air travel I have ever experienced. LAX to Dubai non-stop (17 hours), 11 hour layover in Dubai, Dubai non-stop to Lusaka (7 hours). Thank you Kathi Klimes of Wild Travel for perfect planning and rifle documentation!
 
Posts: 2266 | Registered: 17 July 2003Reply With Quote
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A fine old hippo and a cracker buff aren't bad 70th birthday presents! Plus, putting a smile on a young man's face you couldn't wipe off with Chlorox for allowing him to shoot your hippo for bait. I say "well done" and glad you are planning another safari!


On the plains of hesitation lie the bleached bones of ten thousand, who on the dawn of victory lay down their weary heads resting, and there resting, died.

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch...
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
- Rudyard Kipling

Life grows grim without senseless indulgence.
 
Posts: 6969 | Location: Victoria, Texas | Registered: 30 March 2003Reply With Quote
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Posts: 9071 | Location: Texan in Colorado :( | Registered: 12 February 2004Reply With Quote
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Thanks for posting. A wonderful trip, beautiful camp, solid friends and hunting. Happy birthday!
 
Posts: 1905 | Location: South Dakota | Registered: 22 August 2004Reply With Quote
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What a birthday celebration! Really great trophies you took but your Zebra just jumps off the page, what a striking photo. Congrats on your hunt, and for the report. Happy belated Birthday!


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"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading" - Thomas Jefferson

Every morning the Zebra wakes up knowing it must outrun the fastest Lion if it wants to stay alive. Every morning the Lion wakes up knowing it must outrun the slowest Zebra or it will starve. It makes no difference if you are a Zebra or a Lion; when the Sun comes up in Africa, you must wake up running......

"If you're being chased by a Lion, you don't have to be faster than the Lion, you just have to be faster than the person next to you."
 
Posts: 6524 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: 18 December 2006Reply With Quote
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Great hunt - nothing like living like to its fullest.

Mike


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Posts: 11132 | Location: Cocoa Beach, Florida | Registered: 22 July 2010Reply With Quote
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Been waiting for this report. Well done to all. Look at it this way Darin, if you shot your Lion would you be going back in 2017?

The silver lining!! Big Grin

Hugs,
J&J


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Hunt Reports

2015 His & Her Leopards with Derek Littleton of Luwire Safaris - http://forums.accuratereloadin...6321043/m/2971090112
2015 Trophy Bull Elephant with CMS http://forums.accuratereloadin...6321043/m/1651069012
DIY Brooks Range Sheep Hunt 2013 - http://forums.accuratereloadin...901038191#9901038191
Zambia June/July 2012 with Andrew Baldry - Royal Kafue http://forums.accuratereloadin...6321043/m/7971064771
Zambia Sept 2010- Muchinga Safaris http://forums.accuratereloadin...6321043/m/4211096141
Namibia Sept 2010 - ARUB Safaris http://forums.accuratereloadin...6321043/m/6781076141
 
Posts: 6993 | Location: Alaska | Registered: 05 February 2008Reply With Quote
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Super. Congrats.
 
Posts: 3720 | Registered: 03 March 2005Reply With Quote
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Congratulations on a very special birthday celebration! What a wonderful adventure. More pictures, please.
 
Posts: 3109 | Location: California | Registered: 01 January 2009Reply With Quote
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Darin it was a privilege to spend 3 weeks with you hunting the king of beasts. The big male that we just could not get onto would have been a very fine trophy indeed and was everything we were looking for. I would have bet my last dollar that he would have returned to feed and even shaved for the pending photos!

You have many stills and some fine video that requires processing and I cannot wait to see some of those images. The Lion charge was awesome.

Jay and I dragged you through thickets and sand in pursuit of dangerous game and considering you are now 70 you are indeed one tough bird.

















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Posts: 8525 | Location: Zambia | Registered: 10 April 2009Reply With Quote
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What a thrill it must be to be amongst all those lions.I hope next time you will connect with the right one.
 
Posts: 11651 | Location: Montreal | Registered: 07 November 2002Reply With Quote
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Great report.

Sorry about the lion.

The only downer in my opinion was the elephant poaching. Did you see many live elephants?
 
Posts: 1555 | Location: St. Charles, MO | Registered: 02 August 2012Reply With Quote
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21 days that will fill your soul forever. Congrats D and Andrew!
 
Posts: 1372 | Location: Sinton, Texas | Registered: 08 November 2006Reply With Quote
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well done and what a spirit !!! may our hunters of tomorrow learn from your incredible example.
 
Posts: 472 | Location: Botswana | Registered: 29 October 2003Reply With Quote
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I would have expected Andrew to be at the other end of the zebra :-)
 
Posts: 18193 | Location: Very NW NJ up in the Mountains | Registered: 14 June 2009Reply With Quote
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Congrats Darin.

It never ceases to amaze me the lengths to which some hunters will go to in order to come up with an excuse for just one more trip. Big Grin


Mike
 
Posts: 17846 | Registered: 03 January 2006Reply With Quote
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Fantastic Darin! I was waiting for you to get back. Unfortunately, I was working out of town for the couple of weeks before you left town so I missed seeing you. I'll be going to Wyoming in two weeks but I'll be working out of town before and after that trip. I promise you that I'll get you some antelope.


Frank



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- Robert Ruark, Horn of the Hunter, 1953

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Posts: 11851 | Location: Bakersfield CA. USA | Registered: 30 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Superb in every aspect!

BH63


Hunting buff is better than sex!
 
Posts: 2205 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With Quote
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End result you get to hunt lion AGAIN I'm deeply envious.

Mark


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Posts: 11774 | Location: LAS VEGAS, NV USA | Registered: 04 August 2002Reply With Quote
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Two Lions in this picture. One in the grass below the other. They killed a large Sable bull.



The lesser of two big males that we were after. The big boy was feeing on another carcass.



These snapshots were taken from video.


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Posts: 8525 | Location: Zambia | Registered: 10 April 2009Reply With Quote
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One of the best 70th Birthdays I know of! Congratulations
 
Posts: 352 | Location: Zambia | Registered: 01 May 2011Reply With Quote
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Congratulations, well done! However, my favorite picture is the cake, the bubbly, and the young girl in the background.
 
Posts: 1278 | Location: Texas Hill Country | Registered: 31 May 2007Reply With Quote
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What a great way to spend a birthday!!
 
Posts: 503 | Location: Manitoba, Canada | Registered: 10 September 2013Reply With Quote
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That was a dress rehearsal for next year's big birthday bash.


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Posts: 8525 | Location: Zambia | Registered: 10 April 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Biebs:
I would have expected Andrew to be at the other end of the zebra :-)


With Blazer in hand?


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Posts: 8525 | Location: Zambia | Registered: 10 April 2009Reply With Quote
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What a great place to spend a Birthday!!! Happy B-Day by the way.


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Posts: 2195 | Location: East Wenatchee | Registered: 18 August 2008Reply With Quote
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With Blazer in hand?

DOH!!! :-)
 
Posts: 18193 | Location: Very NW NJ up in the Mountains | Registered: 14 June 2009Reply With Quote
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Congratulations Ma'am! Looks like a wonderful safari, and Happy Birthday. Good choice of PH too...
 
Posts: 1965 | Location: Colorado | Registered: 26 May 2010Reply With Quote
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congrats to you and andrew on a great hunt, and happy birthday beer(apologies the champagne smiley wouldnt appear....) what a way to spend it
 
Posts: 81 | Location: uk and zambia | Registered: 27 December 2015Reply With Quote
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Congrats on another fine hunt, and good on you for back next year!
 
Posts: 5979 | Location: Minnesota USA | Registered: 15 June 2007Reply With Quote
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Happy belated birthday Darin and thank you for a long awaited report which did not disappoint.
What a blast and what an adventure. You were in great company.
Congratulations.
Seems like a sound idea to return next year for that big boy!
Kind regards
Jytte
 
Posts: 214 | Location: Denmark | Registered: 13 December 2010Reply With Quote
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That was a wonderful report. Best wishes on your future hunt next year.

Don


Trust only those who stand to lose as much as you do when things go wrong.
 
Posts: 289 | Registered: 28 June 2011Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by dogcat:
WohOOOOOO!!!

WEll done but I want more pictures.....

Welcome back!!!!


PS- Super buffalo!!!!

jumping jumping jumping jumping


I'm waiting for more pictures from Jay!!! (Are you listening Jay?)
 
Posts: 2266 | Registered: 17 July 2003Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by MJines:
Congrats Darin.

It never ceases to amaze me the lengths to which some hunters will go to in order to come up with an excuse for just one more trip. Big Grin


Mike; I'm shameless!!!!

Best regards, Darin
 
Posts: 2266 | Registered: 17 July 2003Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by Safari2:
Great report.

Sorry about the lion.

The only downer in my opinion was the elephant poaching. Did you see many live elephants?


Safari2;

There were lots of elephant in Nyamvu. In fact, they were very cheeky and would charge the truck at any opportunity...chase the truck too! The down side is they don't carry large ivory. Poaching 3 young bulls for tiny ivory! Very sad!

Best regards, D. Nelson
 
Posts: 2266 | Registered: 17 July 2003Reply With Quote
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Well played Darin! Like you I'll be celebrating my 70th Birthday with an African hunting trip. I'll be heading to Namibia in April 2017 going after an old eland bull and a few other critters. Before I revert to room temperature I'd like to hunt buff with Andrew. Maybe for my 75th Birthday.


Jesus saves, but Moses invests
 
Posts: 1110 | Location: Chicago, IL | Registered: 02 May 2008Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Bud Meadows:
Well played Darin! Like you I'll be celebrating my 70th Birthday with an African hunting trip. I'll be heading to Namibia in April 2017 going after an old eland bull and a few other critters. Before I revert to room temperature I'd like to hunt buff with Andrew. Maybe for my 75th Birthday.


Do it Bud!!!!! Andrew is very gentle on us senior citizens!!!

Best regards, Darin
 
Posts: 2266 | Registered: 17 July 2003Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by D. Nelson:
quote:
Originally posted by Bud Meadows:
Well played Darin! Like you I'll be celebrating my 70th Birthday with an African hunting trip. I'll be heading to Namibia in April 2017 going after an old eland bull and a few other critters. Before I revert to room temperature I'd like to hunt buff with Andrew. Maybe for my 75th Birthday.


Do it Bud!!!!! Andrew is very gentle on us senior citizens!!!

Best regards, Darin


Including myself.


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Posts: 8525 | Location: Zambia | Registered: 10 April 2009Reply With Quote
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You're an inspiration Darin! Congratulations on a great safari. Nyamvu is a terrific spot, I took a wonderful buffalo there last year with Thor while hunting leopard on Munyamadzi.
 
Posts: 425 | Registered: 25 October 2010Reply With Quote
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Congratulations to everyone. Well done.


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