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Zimbabwe 2021... the Big 4
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Outfitter: Brian Van Blerk Safaris

Concession: Ngamo Sikumi Forest and Kazuma Hunting Camp

Dates: July 11 - 30 2021

Professional Hunters: Matt Stanton and Brian Van Blerk

Rifles: Kobe custom Winchester M70 stainless .416 Remington Magnum with factory Barnes and Swift ammo

Merkel 140-2.1 .470 Nitro Express using handloaded Northfork solids.

Travel through Shawn Kennedy at Gracy Travel- American airlines, Qatar airlines, and SA Airlink.



This hunt was a late pick up due to the issues with Covid causing folks to be hesitant to travel and the uncertainties involved. Initially it was a elephant (Nontrophy and trophy) and plains game hunt, then I added Leopard, and then a Lion tag became available.

This hunt was one of the bigger one's on Brian's book for the year. He was looking forward to it probably as much as I was, but some things intervened...

I flew out from Minneapolis on American as they have a code share with Qatar, although the guns had to be redone, so I ended up having to essentially recheck in Dallas on the way out. The TSA lady in Dallas was rather insistent that we had to use TSA locks and was about to cut mine off, but also had to get me because Qatar didn't put any documentation on the case... so that was a big hassle. Fortunately I had very long layovers at each step. That made things painful at times, but there were a couple times I used the full 8 hours getting things sorted out. Suffice it to say that Covid has screwed up the travel industry in multiple ways. The flight to Dallas was rather full, and the flight to Doha was quite sparse. I had business tickets on Qatar and (oddly) on United going back, but not out. SA Airlink has gotten rid of business class. I paid more for it, but haven't gotten a refund despite that. Shawn said she thought it rather unlikely I would get anything back as far as a refund...

Flying to Doha, they had compartments for the business class folks and as long as your door was shut, you were allowed to take your mask off. That was a pleasant change, especially on a 15 hour flight.

Doha Hamed Airport



Once I got to Doha, it was a rather decent airport experience- I was in transit the whole way and no customs stops or anything. They had everything on their computers and would hold me at the door of the plane until they verified my rifles were in the baggage hold. Doha airport is quite nice and open. It was much more quiet than what I am used to here in the US, about the only real loud noise was when they made the PA announcements of the Muslim call to Prayer. Other than that, they were about as overt about religion as we are in the US- signs for prayer rooms, and notation on the menus that things were Hallal, and not nearly as much alcohol around- but if you wanted it, you could get it.

Johannesburg was a real mess, however.

I arrived there at 0400, and my flight did not leave until 1405. Unfortunately, the airport was not heated, and the transfers desk only opened 2 hours before the flight departed. You cannot go to the lounges because you cannot pass security without a boarding pass. So, sitting in a dark waiting room for 8 hours with no heat while Johannesburg is suffering from a cold wave (they were talking about snow on the weather reports). I was substantially underdressed for the weather- I had a fleece for AM's in the car, and a hoodie jacket, for what I typically use in MN for fall and spring, but not in my carryon. All of Southern Africa was experiencing near record cold for that time of the year. I think we had a high of 80F maybe 1-2 days, and many days it barely made 70. Lows were often in the 40's F. (Normally I was told 80-50). I then was late getting on the plane due to hassles with the new contactless gun process from Airlink- it worked, but they kept telling me I had to pay the fees, even though I had receipts and they would call folks and finally get it straight, each place (transfers ticketing, boarding ticketing, and actual boarding, they held me up and asked for money again. It took a lot of extra time, and while they held the plane, it delayed take off by about 30 minutes. If they get this sorted out, it will make transiting J-Berg much more pleasant as I didn't have to go through customs, and recheck my baggage, but it was... an unwanted pain as far as everyone wanting to be paid, again. No tipping by me in J-Berg airport this time. Masks everywhere (but given how cold it was, that was no negative... except my glasses steamed up constantly.)

I also got a bit of unpleasant news while waiting. Brian had come down with Covid. Apparently, a hunt he did with CMS the videographer came down with it, and Brian had driven him back to town after the hunt... He was out of the hunt until he could pass a test. The US protocols were of no meaning over there... Fortunately, his case was pretty mild and he did join up towards the end of the hunt, but he had arranged for a friend of his, Matt Stanton (Lin Stanton's older brother) to take over until he could make it. In essence, I got a 1:2 hunt with 2 excellent PH's, and it was a lot of fun with the discussions. The hunting team was otherwise Brian's usual group, with Albert and Proud doing the tracking along with the Ngamo staff that ordinarily are at the camps.

Arrival at Bulawayo was very quick, given that the flight was less than half full (closer to 1/3) and while it took a while to process through customs, and despite being one of the first off, given I was the only one with firearms, I was also the last out of the airport. The place had a deserted feel compared to my other trips.

Brian came to the airport, along with his son, and said hi and gave some paperwork to Matt who also was there to pick me up. As both Matt and I were immunized, we didn't worry too much about masks and what not, but we did have to put them on ant every checkpoint or stop, and were pretty much waved through everything except the toll booths. Those were interesting- everyone was soaking down their cash with hand sanitizer. Our trip was a bit on edge, as we would be doing the last part after curfew started, but we ended up not having to do anything more than tell the police where we were heading after dark. In Zimbabwe, the no travel order seemed to be much more enforced in the bigger towns than rurally, and we saw buses and such operating outside of the cities, but not in them.

We got to Sikumi, (where I have hunted for nontrophy elephant before) around 9 PM, as the roads looked a little different after dark and Matt hadn't hunted there since his appy days.

Bed!



On July 14th, our first day, in the morning we checked the rifles, and I had apparently drank too much caffeine as I could not get them to hit consistently. I wasted quite a bit of ammo before I got the bolt gun shooting right, and decided that I didn't need to monkey with the double.

Sikumi Camp



We then went out looking for elephant. I could also shoot a Sable if we saw something worth shooting, but I had taken a 43" one before there, and while we saw some, nothing big. The permits were for Nontrophy elephant at Sikumi, and Sable at either place, but everything else was at Kazuma camp.



Elephant was more a matter of finding a nontrophy bull. We made one stalk on a possible, but when we got within a hundred yards or so he was too small bodied and thus young. Most of what we saw were young bulls that had potential to grow still, but towards early afternoon we found a good old bull. It was a bit of a difficult stalk as he had a young companion bull that we were worried would catch our scent, but it was a matter of try and hope he didn't at that point and they were both feeding with the wind being good for him, and the terrain being open except for our approach corridor. At the last second, he seemed to notice something and turned to face us, so it was a frontal shot. He didn't know just what was going on, but obviously was a bit suspicious. I hit him and he went down as he should, but then about a minute later as we were approaching to pay the insurance he began to try and move and I ended up shooting him in the chest twice before we got in the right place to spine and heart finish him. It turned out all 3 of the "finishing" shots were fatal, but the first frontal brain shot was a hair low and hit close instead of in the brain. This elephant is used by forestry as rations for their workers and their families, and we were very much welcomed by the staff for getting their meat for them. I had thought we might use some of the meat for baiting, but that is not the case with the nontrophy bulls.



The next day we made the trip to Kazuma. This is right on the Botswana border and has a border with Kazuma Pan National park on one side and the Matetsi hunting areas on the other. We went to pick up our game scout at the Matetsi station and then moved on to Kazuma hunting camp.



The first order of business was getting bait in a tree for both Lion and Leopard. While not much time, we did take a brief look around that evening and saw a lot of elephant. Kazuma is not a very big area, but it has a lot of migration through it, and as there are a bunch of water holes there (from borehole pumps) this place is a very good spot for hunting elephant when it gets dryer. Brian told me it is not unusual to see a lot of bulls every day during the dry season, but we were more at the time for cats. As it was cooler, the baits should last longer- and with how cold it was, we actually had people taking our baits to eat after we were done with the hunt...

Brian had in mind one particular Lion as our main target. He had sent Matt and I a trail cam pic from an earlier hunt.

The target Lion



My goals were rather minimal- I wanted to just hunt cats, buffalo, and elephant; and as I have shot them before, success was purely secondary on this hunt. I actually made the comment to Matt when he asked what was the #1 animal I was after I said "Serval cat." I was just sick of covid, and wanted to recharge. Maybe not having any goals was the trick here. Bait was principally Giraffe in this area. There are a lot of them around, and a big bull will give you 7 (or more) good baits for lion- neck, shoulders, hind legs, chest, and pelvis. The plains game usually had Zebra and Kudu around, but there were good sable, and waterbuck and wildebeest were on quota. Matt said most folks shoot Giraffe from the car as they tend to get pretty wild. I said that wasn't my experience, that they were easy, and that I had little desire to shoot one, other than if we needed meat. When pressed for actual expectations of what I was willing to shoot, for elephant, I was holding out for 70# tusk or better, and the leopard was a goal of a bigger one than I have shot before, but also understanding they can be hard to judge, but that it had to be a daylight leopard- if we could not get him in the day, he wins. Brian had a particular lion in mind, and essentially, if it wasn't a big MGM lion, I was not going to shoot. The buffalo was more a matter of a hard bossed bull, as I was told I have shot much larger than any reasonable chance in this area. Essentially, I was trying to set the goal post sufficiently high that odds were against me shooting much.


Matt, Albert, and Proud



That afternoon we looked around and didn't see a Giraffe, but we did get in among Elephant. We saw one young male, and quite a few tracks. We did run into a guy hunting one of the adjacent Matetsi areas who was hunting lion as well. His PH said that they had 2 good males on bait, and were trying to get the bigger one in to shoot.

Camp



This hunt changed my opinion on Giraffe as a game animal. While they were around, and we saw sign regularly, it took us almost a day and a half to even see one. After that we saw them sporadically but fairly regularly... but they were spooky and did not like people getting out of the car. The first ones we saw did not have a big bull with them, and we had to move on. The second group, we were initially going to shoot from the car and be done with it, but they were moving around a lot and you couldn't get a shot. They walked away from the road and Matt said that he didn't think we would pull it off, but as this was a big bull, and we were not seeing much that we had to try. We stalked them for about 30 minutes and I finally got a rather long shot with the heart obscured behind a tree. I shot above the limb and hit him in the shoulder. We then had to track him down. He was hit pretty hard as he kept stopping, but was headed to Matetsi and we both ended up putting a couple more rounds into him. He was much darker than the prior giraffe I have shot, and much bigger. He also had a broken horn from fighting. Matt later said he was dead on his feet, but just didn't know it yet. In Matt's opinion, Giraffe and Eland are the most difficult animals to get if you wound one. When we cut him up, his lungs were a mess, and most of his blood was in his chest. We then left the crew working at skinning and cutting him up , and went to camp to get the skinners and to get on with hunting. We got there, and started a late lunch while the staff went with the company's land cruiser to help out. We then went to collect a bait, and found that the Forestry car had lost a front wheel. That car was still sitting there when we left 2 weeks later. Apparently, it needs a bearing and it will take a while for it to arrive. We in the US are not the only place suffering from lack of delivery by a long shot!

Giraffe



This Giraffe had broken his horn at one time while fighting.



That afternoon, we started putting up baits, and we finished with that the next day.

Pan at dusk



The next day we had "customers" on bait already. The first bait was all but flattened by a group of female lion with 2 younger males.

Lion on bait



The bait near the Pan that we saw elephant at the evening before had been hit by a leopard or two, but no pictures on camera. We adjusted the first bait to make it harder to get at, and they never really returned to it- they came by from tracks, but didn't even try and feed. The second one we ended up having camera problems, so we put up 2 different cameras and gave them a log to perch on to get at the meat. We were not sure, as it looked like there were 2 leopard, a male and a female, and also hyena. It turned out that what was going on was the hyena were repeatedly driving the leopard off the bait, and it made him come in early in the morning and also early in the evening- during daylight- but he wasn't willing to be there at night with the hyena around. The small leopard tracks confused the situation. We never did see the small leopard on that bait on camera. A third bait had a female leopard on camera.

Leopard on bait



The next 2 days pretty much followed the same pattern, we would check baits, then follow elephant, and then get back after dark. There was some activity on baits pretty much every day, but not enough to make us set up until the pan bait started showing that the one good leopard was coming consistently in during light, and was worth a further look. We were not seeing any real buffalo sign, and while there were plenty of elephant, and for most they would have been shooters, with a 70# target, nothing was big enough. Most were in the 40-50# size range for the bigger bulls, with the vast majority being juvenile bulls with cow-sized teeth. While there were some cows and calves around, the majority of elephants I saw here were bulls.



We did hear that the hunter in Matetsi 2 had shot a really good lion on the evening of the 18th.



On the 19th, we had seen enough of the Leopard on the pan bait to decide that it was worth looking at him. We set up a blind, and that evening we sat on him. He came in maybe 30 minutes before sunset and we had a good look at him. Matt thought he was a shooter, but he wasn't sure if he was bigger than I had before. I was in no particular hurry to shoot anything, and given his question, we held off on shooting him, but it would have been an easy shot. He sat around staring at the bait, and even when some yahoos on the botswana side of the border were racing a car around and playing loud music (Matt was suspicious later that they were trying to keep a big known elephant from coming in to our concession since it was known that we were hunting there) it didn't really drive him away, he came back within minutes. Per the trail cameras, he was back within 15 minutes of us leaving the blind as well.



On reflection, the following day, Matt thought he was a little smaller than my goal, and while we could get him, we should just keep him on bait for now.

Brian called on the 22nd and said he tested negative and would be coming out. Matt and him had discussed what was going on, and he decided before he came he would go and get a Zebra for baiting. Matt is convinced that Leopard like nothing better than Zebra for bait.



We continued to check baits, look for plains game, and follow elephant for the next four days, having a grand time. Brian arrived in camp the evening of the 23rd, and started hunting with us at that point. He was convinced, as having seen my prior leopards, that this cat was bigger than before, and that we would sit on him in the afternoon after seeing he was still coming in like clockwork in the morning and evening.



As we continued to check baits, we finally came across the lone specimen of plains game that I shot on this hunt. We saw a good kudu, and after a couple longish stalks, finally got a crack at him. He turned around, and started walking away, and Brian insisted that I take the shot, as we need meat for the tree. I shot and he went down about 150 yards away with his hip broken and lungs shot. A .416 is a bit more gun than needed for Kudu, but it allows for bad shooting angles. He was still alive when we got to him, so I finished him off and I had a nice kudu added in.

Kudu



That evening, the leopard came as per his timetable, and I shot him perfectly, but somehow, despite the fist sized exit, he ran about 100 yards, with a rather modest blood trail.



Closer view of the exit wound (for the squeamish, don't look at this one...)




The following days again slipped into a pattern. Go look at baits, and stalk elephant and not find quite what we were willing to shoot at. We started to find more lion sign, and one evening, when we had Albert moving a bait while we were chasing elephant, he said he saw and heard lion. Brian was trying to move baits to box in the lion that we saw tracks from, but were not getting to feed. Brian was sure that the big one was over there, as he saw the photos of the lion the other hunter shot, and said that it wasn't the one he was looking for. We were seeing large tracks and lots of fresh lion sign, so we knew they were around.



The bullet here is a .470 NE round


Elephant Herd

note this is a classic protective formation they will take to protect their young... if you are far enough away that they don't run or come right at you...



Things started moving again on the 25th. We finally saw buffalo sign. We immediately started following this herd, and relatively quickly came up on a lone buffalo bull. He wasn't too large (actually quite small), but he was mature, and we needed fresh meat for the lion. As we had somewhat surprised ourselves by finding him, he was feeding in a dry spot, with thick bush all around. Brian knew we couldn't move or he would spot him, so gestured for me to rest the rifle on his shoulder, and shoot him from there. I shot and he bucked. We started following, and heard death bellows quickly, but one of the trackers also saw the herd- this wasn't a dagga boy, but rather one of the bulls trailing the herd. We immediately went on following the herd to see if there was anything good. We followed them for an hour and saw all of them. A time did happen where we had worked in, and some of the cows walked into us, but they were still pretty placid as a whole, and we were able to inspect the whole herd. The biggest bull was nothing special, maybe 38", but a lot bigger than what I had just shot, but not enough to be worth shooting a second for.





The following day we had what Brian had been waiting for- a hit bait by a big male lion. We immediately freshened the bait and set up a blind. We would sit on him that evening.

That evening, we waited. Eventually, he smelled something and started roaring, but still came in to bait right at dark and started feeding. The light was not good, but I was able to make him out, and thought I had a good shot, and took it. He have a deep grunt and ran off, starting towards the blind and then turning towards the thick bush. Unfortunately, I misjudged the size of his mane and the angle, and shot him a bit far back, hitting him in the liver we later found out. It was now full dark, and we were tracking a wounded cat that we were uncertain of how well hit he was. We followed for maybe 50 yards and found where he was laying up, but had left. With the trackers, we continued to follow, bumping him 2 more times in about 100 yards. The decision was that he was well hit, and likely to die soon, but if we kept on pushing, he would charge in the dark and the odds of a injury were just too high to justify going on now. We would return at first light.

It was a very long night for me, reliving the shot and trying to think of how I had managed to screw this up.

The following morning we went out and found the tracks, and within a couple hundred yards found him lying cold and dead. There was a lot of relief! Me because the shot wasn't so bad that he was out hurting all night, and Brian and Matt because we found him without something else eating on him and ruining his hide. He was by far the best lion I have shot (or seen in the wild). It was the Lion that Brian had seen before.



The camp was very happy when they saw him, and pretty much every person in camp had to get their picture with him.



When the skinners got done with him, they gave me a piece of buckshot that they found in him, and asked me why I had shot him with a solid. Apparently the bullet had not opened up at all and just went through. The placement was good enough that if the bullet had expanded properly, he should have bled out within 10 minutes or so, and we would have found him relatively quickly.



That afternoon, we went out and looked for elephant, and cut down baits, some of which the trackers wanted us to save for meat. We did modify a few for ground hyena baits.

Hyena on Leopard bait



Bullets from the Buffalo and Kudu with the buckshot from the lion



The next day, we got going a bit late, and cut down the remainder and chased elephant again. We did get within 20 yards of a big, thick tusked old bull that would go 60-65#, but we held fast to the resolve to not shoot anything smaller than 70#, and let him walk. By not shooting anything, I was able to get close to over a dozen trophy class elephant bulls that would be considered shooters. It certainly was fun and exciting to go in close, knowing you might shoot something, and then quietly getting away before they saw you. Only 1-2 times did the elephants get an idea anyone was around and get alarmed, and both of those was when we were already getting out of the area.

At dark, we pulled in to my last hyena bait, and were going to look at see if we would come back with a spotlight- however, there were a couple there, and one came back to see what we were. I hit him, but not fatally, and then we had a bit of tracking before we found him and I finished him. Another hyena to the herd!



The flights back were worse than the flights to, probably because I didn't have the anticipation to help me through. Joberg was the same wait hours mess with a cold, dark waiting room; Doha was a long wait that passed comfortably, and then I got back to the US in Chicago. O'Hare wasn't bad as far as the airport part, but customs was horrid. It took about 6:30 to stand in line to get through customs, and while the folks working were doing a good and fast job, there were just way too few of them. The gun inspection was done as painlessly as it could be done, and quickly, but the 6:30 wait was excessive- I didn't even have the time to go sit in one of the lounges before I had to head to my boarding gate. Things were delayed there a bit, and the gate got changed and delayed again... I got back to Minneapolis about 90 minutes late, but otherwise everything made it with me and nothing got lost. Notably, the flights back all were almost filled to capacity.



Take home points:

Brian and Matt are excellent hunters and great company. You would not do wrong hunting with either.

Kazuma is a full bag hunting area, but you need to understand you are hunting transient animal populations. The lack of buffalo was VERY unusual for the area, but in the absence of a resident population, this can happen. The lack of extensive plains game (I NEVER expected to have to buy a Zebra) is testement to the cat populations. I saw duiker daily, giraffe every third day or so, Kudu (mostly females) a little less than giraffe, a Sable herd was able to be found whenever you wanted to find it, but they had no sable big enough to tempt me, and I saw one wildebeest (and Brian has never seen one here, even though they are on quota), and we saw female waterbuck one time. There were some impala, but not much size wise (one I thought would go 19" was the biggest ram), and we saw zebra a couple times... both in the park or on Matetsi areas, so not huntable by me. You should get a leopard there if you have one on quota, lion is probably a fairly good chance for one 5+ years old, and elephant is a good spot, especially if you go late in the year when the other water holes dry up.

Gecko



Sikumi did not have as big as elephants as Kazuma, but had a lot more of them. We even saw a good herd of Roan there as we were leaving heading to Kazuma, I wish I had my camera ready, there were some nice bulls in the group. It does have quite a bit more plains game. Notably, both Mopane and Cecil were killed in one of the little ranch concessions near there. I did see a nice lion there a few years ago, but he had a collar. Unless you are willing to shoot a collared lion (which is legal) I don't know if I would say your odds are great there; its just too close to the Wankie/Hwange national park, with all the researcher/phototourist operator silliness.

Zimbabwe is open and friendly, but its not the same as it was pre-Covid. curfews and travel restrictions all over the place. It will probably come back to normal, but people are hurting there right now if they are in a tourist occupation. The phototourists are not showing up yet. Hunting is probably still 1/3 lower than it was a year ago, with more than a few good operators still having open time slots as of mid season.

Ground Hornbill



Air travel was not really sure what they are doing. Some flights are really empty, others are reminiscent of pre covid, but wearing masks, and cutting back on food/drink service. As much as I hated the sitting around and my total travel time was almost twice what it was pre covid, at times I needed the whole 8 hours (like at O'Hare...).
 
Posts: 7816 | Location: Minnesota USA | Registered: 15 June 2007Reply With Quote
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congratulations and that Lion is magnificent. Very interesting report. Thank you for posting.


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Posts: 9032 | Location: Zambia | Registered: 10 April 2009Reply With Quote
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.

Charles, Great report thanks for taking the time to share. Superb cats - well done ! Shame that travel was such a mess but cudos for making the trip during these tough times!

Cheers,

Charlie

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Posts: 1864 | Location: South Africa & Europe | Registered: 10 February 2014Reply With Quote
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Well done on two excellent cats- the lion is truly a beauty! Brian is a great hunter and as you say alot of fun to be with! I set off on a double ele hunt now to Kazuma- cant wait!!! Thanks for posting! Cheers Buzz
 
Posts: 1095 | Location: Zimbabwe | Registered: 22 June 2009Reply With Quote
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Super lion Doc! Thanks for the detailed report on a great safari.
Bwanamrm and I spent some long cold hours at Tambo in June as well while enroute to Bots. Luckily we both had heavy jackets in our carry on.
 
Posts: 1547 | Location: Sinton, Texas | Registered: 08 November 2006Reply With Quote
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Congratulations on your cats. Well done.
 
Posts: 1037 | Location: Southern CA | Registered: 01 January 2014Reply With Quote
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Outstanding Report and pictures and truly awesome cats.


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Posts: 1254 | Location: Lake Bluff, IL | Registered: 02 May 2008Reply With Quote
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Proper hunt, that!
 
Posts: 8232 | Registered: 09 January 2011Reply With Quote
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That is a outstanding lion. Congrats on a fine hunt. The travel stuff just sucks. Good thing you had the time to make it all happen. Thanks for sharing.
Bruce
 
Posts: 344 | Location: Gillette, Wy USA | Registered: 11 May 2012Reply With Quote
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Wow! Great report and a beauty of a lion. Thanks for posting it, I really enjoyed the read.


Frank



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Posts: 12147 | Location: Bakersfield CA. USA | Registered: 30 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Congratulations on a well done adventure!


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Posts: 949 | Registered: 07 February 2017Reply With Quote
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Congrats on a great hunt!
 
Posts: 1644 | Location: St. Charles, MO | Registered: 02 August 2012Reply With Quote
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Doc, a great hunt in a short period of time.

Yes, the lion was a dandy, however you were lucky the hyenas did not find him in the night. I know a leopard hunter who was not so lucky.

All in all a superb hunt, thank you for sharing.

the extra time you allowed for travel interchange came in handy, and hopefully the issues will be worked out in the near future.


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Posts: 1325 | Location: West River at Heart | Registered: 08 April 2012Reply With Quote
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Charles,

Once again well done. The lion is a brute.

Mark


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Posts: 12336 | Location: LAS VEGAS, NV USA | Registered: 04 August 2002Reply With Quote
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What a wonderful hunt and great report. Thanks! And a huge congrats on your very successful hunt.


Good Hunting,

Tim Herald
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Posts: 2962 | Location: Lexington, KY | Registered: 13 January 2005Reply With Quote
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Amen to all of the congrats on your successful hunt! tu2
 
Posts: 17385 | Registered: 04 April 2005Reply With Quote
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Hi Charles,
Thankyou for a great report and congrats on your success. I love the coat on your leopard.
My hat is off to you for persevering through what could be the new normal hoops for the travelling hunter. I only hope in time this will smooth out somewhat. It makes my most recent last trip to Cameroon look fairly benign.
Sorry you didn't find your target Elephant but hopefully it makes the perfect excuse to try again sometime...? Big Grin
Anyway, great to have you report. Thanks again.
Cheers.
 
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Congratulations on a great safari Charles! I am glad to see people taking advantage of the world slowly reopening. Those are some fine trophies and the lion is off the charts. Well done and thanks for taking the time to post a report.


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: 7189 | Location: Victoria, Texas | Registered: 30 March 2003Reply With Quote
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Great Hunt. Congratulations.
Arjun Reddy
Hunters Networks LLC
30 Ivy Hill Road
Brewster, NY 10509
Tel: +1 845 259 3628
SCI Booth 1751 (2022 Las Vegas)
 
Posts: 2284 | Location: New York, USA | Registered: 13 March 2005Reply With Quote
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Picture of Chris Lozano
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Congrats on a great hunt beer
Double on cats and a buffalo.
Could not ask for more
 
Posts: 727 | Location: Michigan USA | Registered: 27 September 2008Reply With Quote
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Congratulations on a great hunt. Envious of that lion. Awesome.
 
Posts: 8666 | Location: Houston, Texas | Registered: 26 December 2005Reply With Quote
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Thanks for the interesting report! Fantastic lion! It sounds like a fantastic time, partly because of your ‘ no pressure’ approach.
 
Posts: 3408 | Location: California | Registered: 01 January 2009Reply With Quote
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Great report! Thanks!


USMC Retired
DSC Life Member
SCI Life Member
NRA Life Member
 
Posts: 616 | Location: Maryland Eastern Shore | Registered: 27 September 2013Reply With Quote
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Fantastic! Well done on a wonderful safari and thank you for sharing the report and photos. Proper in every sense of the word.
 
Posts: 144 | Registered: 24 December 2008Reply With Quote
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Great report Doc and congrats on excellent hunt


" Until the day breaks and the nights shadows flee away " Big ivory for my pillow and 2.5% of Neanderthal DNA flowing thru my veins.
When I'm ready to go, pack a bag of gunpowder up my ass and strike a fire to my pecker, until I squeal like a boar.
Yours truly , Milan The Boarkiller - World according to Milan
PS I have big boar on my floor...but it ain't dead, just scared to move...

Man should be happy and in good humor until the day he dies...
Only fools hope to live forever
“ Hávamál”
 
Posts: 13376 | Location: In mountains behind my house hunting or drinking beer in Blacksmith Brewery in Stevensville MT or holed up in Lochsa | Registered: 27 December 2012Reply With Quote
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Great report, hunted with Brian several times,
great hunter. Big congrats Doctor
 
Posts: 463 | Location: texas | Registered: 29 March 2008Reply With Quote
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Picture of Ahmed Sultan
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Great report and congratulations on 2 super cats, welldone.


Ahmed Sultan
 
Posts: 731 | Registered: 29 June 2007Reply With Quote
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I would be very surprised if a better lions was taken in Zimbabwe this year, magnificent trophy!
And the leopard is a monster too. Great hunt!
 
Posts: 477 | Registered: 08 October 2011Reply With Quote
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crbutler, I finally had a chance to read your report in full this evening.

Superbly written and done. Congratulations!


Mike

Edited on advice of counsel.
 
Posts: 11992 | Location: New England | Registered: 06 June 2003Reply With Quote
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thank you for sharing that report. Fantastic trophies.

I hunted there six years ago and had never seen so many lion over the course of the ten days I was there, along with large tusked elephant. A truly wild place!


The danger of civilization, of course, is that you will piss away your life on nonsense
 
Posts: 776 | Location: Baltimore, MD | Registered: 22 July 2005Reply With Quote
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Picture of L. David Keith
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That's an exciting hunt Charles, superb trophies! Congrats!


Gray Ghost Hunting Safaris
http://grayghostsafaris.com Phone: 615-860-4333
Email: hunts@grayghostsafaris.com
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Took the wife the Eastern Cape for her first hunt:
http://forums.accuratereloadin...6321043/m/6881000262
Hunting in the Stormberg, Winterberg and Hankey Mountains of the Eastern Cape 2018
http://forums.accuratereloadin...6321043/m/4801073142
Hunting the Eastern Cape, RSA May 22nd - June 15th 2007
http://forums.accuratereloadin...=810104007#810104007
16 Days in Zimbabwe: Leopard, plains game, fowl and more:
http://forums.accuratereloadin...=212108409#212108409
Natal: Rhino, Croc, Nyala, Bushbuck and more
http://forums.accuratereloadin...6321043/m/6341092311
Recent hunt in the Eastern Cape, August 2010: Pics added
http://forums.accuratereloadin...261039941#9261039941
10 days in the Stormberg Mountains
http://forums.accuratereloadin...6321043/m/7781081322
Back in the Stormberg Mountains with friends: May-June 2017
http://forums.accuratereloadin...6321043/m/6001078232

"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: 6728 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: 18 December 2006Reply With Quote
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