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Nyakasanga Buffalo with CM Safaris (First trip to Africa)
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Outfitter: Charlton McCallum Safaris
PH: Buzz Charlton
Cameraman : Justin Drainer
Appy PH : Peiter
Trackers: Criton, Nyati, Eddie our driver
Dates: Sept 12-19
Area Hunted: Nyakasanga
Rifles: Camp .375 H&H Winchester model 70 & 7x57 Brno
Animals taken: Kudu, Impala, Baboon and Cape Buffalo

This goes back to March or April when I made a post on here about wanting a hunt for Cape Buff in the wild countries. We are having our second child and my wife gave me the go ahead to go hunt before we have more rugrats running around. I was in contact with a few outfitters that were like minded and had the hunt I was looking for.

Wild areas, no fences, proper tracking and hunting. The way Africa should be experienced. As I don't know how many times I'll be able to go to Africa I wanted to do it right. Track Buff in the thick stuff, in close. See trackers work their magic, watch a PH carry his double around like its an extension of his arms.

And what can I say. Buzz delivered this and more. For my first Safari and what I hoped to experience they were a 10/10 in every way. Originally we were booked in Dande, in Mururu camp, and how luck unfolds between a cancellation and CMS having a Fly tent camp setup on the Zambezi it was a no brainer to hunt Nyakasanga. Arguably some of the best Buff hunting in Zim.

The only two things I hoped to achieve with my trip was to hunt a Cape Buff the proper way. And hopefully take a Kudu. Both of which I'm happy to say we were able to do and both hunts were perfect.

I left Vancouver on Sept 9th, would be going to Frankfurt, Johannesburg, Harare. Losing a day I'd arrive on the 11th. First time I've flown in a double deck plane, first time ever on plane for longer then 5 hours haha, and am glad to say Lufthansa was great to fly with. I flew economy mostly with one upgraded flight on premium economy.





Gotta have a good German bratwurst and pretzels in Frankfurt





Landed in the morning in Joburg and has a short time till connecting through Harare. One short flight later I couldn't believe I was finally halfway around the world finally here. Beautiful feeling. Met Justin and Pieter at the Airport, Eddie and Criton were waiting. And we drove to Buzz's to pick him up and off on our way to camp, I think a 6 hour drive.



We stopped halfway at a side store and ate a burger and had my first Biltong and also a form of pepperoni which was delicious. Also stopped and grabbed some tomatoes, oranges and sugar cane for the guys in the back to chew on haha. Also learnt of the pay-by-phone system that have going in the absence of cash.



The drive actually flew by for me, talking with Buzz for hours just getting to know each other and talking about all things hunting and everything in general.

We came down the escarpment just as the sun was setting and my first view of the Valley was amazing. It was much wider then I thought and seeing the hills rise up on both sides was a great sight. Looking out over Zambia was very cool. We hit the unpaved road into camp and as it got darker we seen a porcupine, a serval cat and hyena running down the road. Also some Waterbuck females.

Camp was set up great. Overlooking the river, hippos sounding off, nice dining room tent and two big tents setup with showers and flush toilets. Not that ritzy nor too roughly it, probably just the right accommodations I was looking for.









Next morning up at a good time. I was doing very good with jet lag. I had stayed awake the first flight and then slept on my next flight when I was in the same timezone as Zim. I almost dint have a single issue with jetlag.

We sighted in the .375 H&H I would be using. Peiter normally carried it for his duties, but I shouldered both the Winchester model 70, as well as Buzz's Blaser which was just a touch short for my LOA. I made the rifle look pretty small hahaha

It was left with iron sights so we put the quick detach scope back on and after a small adjustment and it was shooting perfect! Off we went, I couldn't believe it. I was hunting in Africa, and I've always loved the saying

“Whatever you do, Go until the view feels a less familar.”

That's something I've always struggled with in my head. I hunted a lot of places in North America, and I can always find something similar to home, a group of trees, some sort of outcropping. And I knew I was good when we set off into the bush. This was nothing like back home. I thought it was the neatest thing seeing groves of Mopane trees, and stunted 8 feet high, as you quickly realize Elephants just walk by and eat anything at mouth height and mow all the trees the same height.

We stopped at many pans and checked for tracks, so many amazing sights and trees.




One pan we stopped at was still holding quite a bit of water, enough for a bull and two female Hippos to be living in. My first up close sights of them. And before long we were sitting under a large tree and we heard something falling. Turned out a baboon had shit above us and Buzz and Justin ran for cover!!! Too funny, and I learnt just how much everyone didnt hated baboon shit haha




The culprit



I love how every Baobab tree is slightly different from the next. And even cooler to see how the elephant dig into the bark with their tusks. How some are almost hollowed out.





After that it was still quite early, we cut 3-4 buff tracks crossing the road. I got to finally witness the tremendous tracking ability of Criton and Nyati. And the complement eachother so much, Criton may be the better tracker by a little, but Nyati's eyes are sharper and well trained for animals. Its a great 1-2 combo and works great how they both track but with Criton tracking it gives Nyati alittle extra to look up when you get closer to get eyes on the target.

Buzz and the guys guessed at how far behind we'd be, he guessed just over an hour and the trackers figured 1.5+ turned out Buzz won hahaha. Just over an hour, one dry river crossing, and into the thick stuff. I got my first view of a Buff at 75 yards. Wind swirled and just like that they were gone, I was surprised I thought they'd be jet black but they actually blend in alittle better, old age and mud and lighter hairs. But it was a good first tracking session. Also positive in that Buzz saw enough to know he wasnt a shooter and he was with two younger bulls.





By then it was lunch time we parked in the shade on a dried up pan. Pretty soon we were eating around the table and here come a half dozen female impala walking by under 50 yards. What a sight to see!

Buzz decided on a quick nap in the pickup to beat the midday heat and all the sudden a half dozen rams come walking by the same line! A bit of quiet yelling and we grabbed the guns and sticks and before any action they were gone. The running joke was we could of shot our impala over the dining table!

After lunch we did more looking for pans and got up into a beautiful area of the concession. Its namesake was 100% accurate in its description. Paradise. Not long after we spotted a gorgeous Kudu bull. We started walking into the bush to hopefully get it crossing in front of us. We were alittle over 100 yards and the sticks went up and we waited for him to walk out from behind a large bush/termite mound. Turned out he walked out from another bush just alittle further but he turned broadside and I let a round off.

It felt good. I practiced alot with sticks at home before to get used to them and quite liked shooting off them. At first glance I saw the kudu bull cringe and bolt, he actually ran towards us alittle and I knew my second shot was behind, he then turned and was running broadside into the thick jess. My 3rd shot I was leading and thought it made contact too.

We started tracking it, and as Buzz had said, he thought the shot went alittle forward. We found some bone fragments in the blood trail which validated his thoughts. We tracked him till just before dark. He bedded many times and lots of pools of blood. He just had enough strength to keep getting out infront of us. We finally had to leave his trail so we made time to not be hiking in the thick stuff in the dark.

We also found blood spots up high on the right so that confirmed my 3rd shot hit somewhere high on the neck. With the amount of hyenas in nyakasanga and near mana pools, the trackers somberly said, “atleast hyena dont eat the horns”

Upon video review, Buzz was correct, shot was forward and hit shoulder and brisket. He was hurt but just not bad enough. I felt bad and everyone has experienced similar. The guys had did their jobs flawlessly and I added alot more tracking then should of been needed. We got up early and walked to be walking back into the trail at daybreak, when we came around a corner about 1km from the spot we came to a pride of lions. 4 female and 1 young male.

I couldnt believe how tall the male was in real life. They sat 15 feet off the road and looked like the had eaten in night. They were watering up at a pan. We joked that Eddie should go back when we hike in to check that pan for any tracks. He was not amused and much laughter ensued.






We only drove by them a km before stopping and hiking in. Half hour later we were at the spot we left the kudu trail. We started tracking again, and soon came to an odd track. It was a hyena track that had been dragging something. I didnt have a good feeling.

Buzz had said he had a similar thing with a sable once and the sable had actually stayed alive and fought off the hyenas in the night till morning. But that hyena track soon washed any hopes of finding it alive. All I hoped now was maybe they'd start from the rear and work forward.

Not 200 yards from where we had left the trail the night before we finally came to the kill site. Turns out those very same lions had most likely killed the Kudu or found it in the night. And then many hyenas had come and finished the scraps. We started walking around looking for the horns. The only consolation price to this magnificent animal. I started to worry that a hyena had even dragged those away! But before too long Nyati had found the horns 40 yards away.

And when I tell you the hyenas ate everything. I mean it. There was alittle pile of stomach contents back at the kill site. But all that was left of the Kudu was the skull and maybe 3-4 neck bones. That was it. Even the skin on the face they worked over. Not a single scrap was anywhere. The predators ate well that night. The team was sad about no kudu meat in camp, and sad for me not to view the beauty of a large male Kudu.

He has deep deep curls! I've never owned a ruler for measuring Big game animals, and Buzz didnt have anything in camp so it'll be fun when it gets home to see what it actually measures out too. Mid 50s was Buzz's guess, and hes probably right. He was fairly tall but those deep curls will sure add to the length. There must be 4-5+ inches atleast inside the curl. There was actually another set of kudu horns in camp which you could actually put them inside the curl since that set was such a tight curl.

Just a stunning bull, and I cant wait to get Justins video so I have more footage of him alive. I'll try to frame a shot of it alive as they're so majestic. Buzz said he'd look around for a kudu cape if I wanted to get a shoulder mount which I will definitely will be going for.








Peiter was put to work, a good young Appy.

 
Posts: 40 | Location: B.C. Canada  | Registered: 07 June 2016Reply With Quote
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Great start! Too bad about the Kudu.

That's a good looking plane sitting on the tarmac next to that old Lufthansa 747.


Frank



"I don't know what there is about buffalo that frightens me so.....He looks like he hates you personally. He looks like you owe him money."
- Robert Ruark, Horn of the Hunter, 1953

NRA Life, SAF Life, CRPA Life, DRSS lite

 
Posts: 11198 | Location: Bakersfield CA. USA | Registered: 30 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Nice pictures! Enjoyed reading your report and look forward to pics of your Buff. I realize not ideal on the Kudu, but now you have a great story. Lions and hyenas gotta eat too.
 
Posts: 27 | Registered: 07 January 2007Reply With Quote
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Great time. I was in Nyakasanga in August but just to vacation for a week. Met Buzz and his young learner PH, Peter, swam, fished, and saw lots of critters. I'm sure you will go back as will I.
Congratulations.
Cal


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Posts: 5169 | Location: Willow, Alaska | Registered: 29 June 2009Reply With Quote
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Thanks for the report! Looking forward to the rest of it.
 
Posts: 142 | Location: Oklahoma | Registered: 27 November 2010Reply With Quote
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quote:
That's a good looking plane sitting on the tarmac next to that old Lufthansa 747.


Sure is Frank. Excellent spotting Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin

And, very nice report thankyou Crazy_farmer.


Hunting.... it's not everything, it's the only thing.
 
Posts: 507 | Location: New Zealand's North Island | Registered: 13 November 2014Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by 30.06king:
quote:
That's a good looking plane sitting on the tarmac next to that old Lufthansa 747.


Sure is Frank. Excellent spotting Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin

And, very nice report thankyou Crazy_farmer.


777 Wink

Great report so far keep it coming!


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*we band of 45-70ers*

If its recoil does not bother you, do as Mac did and buy a .300 Weatherby. Ammo might be hard to find in many places, but you should be able to plan ahead and take enough for where you're going. It's certainly enough gun for anything that walks in this world, including an elephant in a pinch if you have solid bullets and you can convince the local game guard that it's a legal caliber.
- Bill Quimby
 
Posts: 1505 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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We threw the Kudu horns in the back of the land cruiser and went off looking for Buff. Buzz wanted to give me the full experience of tracking dugga boys aswell as working herds. So we snuck off into the side of a fairly large herd and crawled in alittle. Buzz really just wanted to get me close and look over some bulls. We found a decent one but still something we'd pass for Day 2. We worked them twice and checked what bulls were in the herd. It was nice to experience both forms of buffalo hunting and can say without a doubt, tracking bands of old duggaboys is some of the finest hunting I can imagine.

After lunch we went for a nice walk into a special area, this dried mud pan always seemed to hold something new each time we walked to it. You'd walk through the thicker jess and it would open up to a beautiful long clearing. Only a few tall trees in the center and some others elephant had already knocked over. Today, a young bull was mulling around. This was my first real close experience with a wild elephant. They're just so massive and almost unworldly to me. It is one animal I dream of hunting. To me tracking Buff and Elephant are two of the truest forms of hunting. My wife will need a serious amount of coercion to let me hunt an ele. And as a Canadian I know the timing couldn't be better with the export bans. But I've been working on her for a couple years and hope to sway her mind.

Sitting and watching the bull ele on a fallen tree.



At the end of dried and cracked mud pan quite a few impala were working back and forth. We made our way past the young bull ele and got the sticks up beside a tree with a good hide. I had two good shooters just past 100 yards and we decided on the left one. I had Buzz's Brno 7x57, truely a lovely gun and has a great funny story on how Buzz became the owner.

Once again the shot felt good on the sticks. And unfortunately it turned out I pulled it left almost identical to the Kudu first shot.

I've thought about this alot since returning, and the only thing I can even think of is I wasn't holding it down snug enough into the sticks. I did this on my other shots, and as you'll see had great results.

So we tracked the impala and it was almost a repeat of the kudu just a day before. I couldn't believe it. I felt so bad for the guys. And then instead of running out of daylight, even worse it went out of bounds at last light and I knew there'd be no option for retrieval now. Only neat thing was while tracking we came upon a solo duggaboy laying down in the very thick jess. I actually spotted his curl of the horn maybe 60 yards away.


Day 3 we woke early and cut the tracks on a different area. We stopped halfway and sighted in the two rifles. We wanted to make sure it wasn't the rifles for my poor shooting. I put a bullet from the .375 and 7x57 both inside the bullseye and knew they were good. Soon enough we found a small group of dugga boys that we very fresh tracks. It didn't take long and we tracked and got into them. 4-5 bulls. It was great fun working them proper. We got close twice before they finally booked it and we decided to let them have a rest and we continued to look for more tracks.

It was only another 15-20 minutes down the road and we found tracks from the previous night of atleast 6 dugga boys. This warranted a good tracking too. We were barely in the bush and we spooked a waterbuck which in turn spooked the very Buff we were tracking. They ran off and we gave them alittle time and started in on them again.






We were able to get 70ish yards and looked at one good bull. They didn't really scent us but slowly they made their way off again and we kept following. Buzz and the trackers wanted to see what caliber of bulls they were. We tracked for quite a distance, through all types of terrain. It was truly a great buffalo hunting day. We came around a small hill on the side, and the buff had been right there and we ran into them under 40 yards. One big bull approached and stood his ground. He was big and wide, not too much drop but a spectacular sight. This is what I hoped to experience!

It almost turned into an freehand shot, but with the trackers slighty infront of us and before sticks could go, the bull decided to run off. We stopped for lunch now and decided to work these bulls again after they get up and start feeding in the afternoon.



We werent too far from camp so we decided to run back and have a nice lunch at camp, and a short mid day nap in the heat of the day. I thoroughly enjoyed the raddlers we had. In that heat, a cold beer mixed with lemonade works for me!



Learnt it was best to dry out my feet at lunch. I had a couple small hot spots from that first day hiking over 16km. But I got out infront of it and just 3 days of some duct tape and all was good. After that I had zero issues. What a view to have a mid day siesta.



We got back on their tracks maybe 2ish hoping to find them just starting to feed again. It was almost two hours of nice hiking through small hills. This is where I find the complete vindication of how good the trackers are. You are following them, they are following the tracks. And soon enough, you notice the buff sign getting greener and greener. You know in this heat, when you see damp ground you're even closer. Spots where they had pee'd. Then we found where the 6 duggaboys had bed. Perfect! We had timed it flawlessly.

We worked our way to the very top of the hill, and everyone quiet following Criton and Nyati, they stopped instantly. Just as we were on the top of the hill, not 30 yards infront, just a head and one horn was broadside feeding. Sticks went up and I was ready.

I wont lie, after my two shots I pulled left I never gave it much thought, but the more I got in close with Buff I started to think alittle, I better make this one count. It was for all the marbles.

We waited for what seemed like forever but really maybe under a minute. We wanted him to take one more step forward out of the bush. And just like that wind swirled and he saw us and bolted.

What can I say, but one of the truly greatest moments I've had, being that close to a shooter. Tracking for 2 hours, and then being that close to pulling the trigger. I wasn't even disappointed. And I knew Buzz wasn't either. We were doing it right. Hunting them the way they should be. And sooner or later, they'd screw up.


Day 4 Started early again, we were going to hit up the two groups of Duggaboys we had been working. We knew both groups had atleast 2 shooters in them. Worthwhile to pursue. We found fresh tracks of the 6 we tracked the previous afternoon and kept going to see where the other group of 5 had gone to.

Coming close to where we saw them before we actually spotted them from the road and drove past them and started stalking them. I dont think we even got out of the trucks, and these bulls made off into the bush. The tracking began. We got back into them not too long after and slowly eased in closer. We thought we'd get lucky and have them just over a ridge and we'd have a good look at all of them. Turned out all but 1 was over the ridge, and that one was only 40-50 yards away before he finally caught us and sounded the alarm. They ran off, this time we got a good look at all of them, such powerful animals, they'd knock over small trees as they ran.

We decided to sit right there and give them alittle time to calm down and try again.

I was sitting quite pleasantly on the tree until Justin started talking about Scorpions coming out of the tree and stinging you on your you know what hahaha



We gave them a solid half hour and started tracking again. Atleast an hour later Criton and Nyati had slowed right now and had spotted the group of Duggaboys. This time we got a view of one we hadn't seen. He was very wide. Probably an easy 40” wide, but he went straight out. He had no drop at all. Buzz had wanted for my first buff to be a good representative bull. I had sent him a couple photos and it seemed I like a good buff that had a good amount of drop and curl.

We started to crawl. If you've ever crawled over sand thats under 100 degree heat, its something I've never felt. It soon became a bum scuddle which wasn't going to leave my knees needing any medical attention haha.

Once we crawled in closer, we found a nice green tree which afforded us the ability to get the sticks up and stand. Now we could see 4 of the duggaboys. Two were younger. One was a scrum cap bull. I love those old boys but for my first Buff I wanted a good set of horns. If I'm ever back for another Buff, I'll be over the moon to take an old warrior scrum cap.

Soon enough we found my bull. He was bedded with the two younger ones. All the bulls were only 40 yards from eachother. But we waited for him to stand. I stayed on the sticks and waited. Soon enough he got up and gave us alittle staredown and was trying to wind us. He only presented a frontal shot at right around 70 yards. He was actually in a little window between two small trees that V'd.

Buzz and I had talked before on frontals on a Buff. Not preferred but we talked about them and I felt good in the situation. He had only stood for maybe 5-10 seconds and I said “Okay”

The shot rang out. It felt just as good as my previous shots. I had threaded the needle so to speak. I had never truly felt worried about the shot, but after my other two shots I had that little nagging thought buried deep in the back of my head.

Buzz had talked about their death bellow, said a vast majority of them make it but not all do. A short while later we heard a short grunt. Appy Peter said “duggaboys not happy” and we heard maybe 30 seconds later another short grunt.

Not a true death bellow but we gave it shy of 5 minutes and started in. We found the blood trail, a very bright bright red. No lung matter just bright red blood. A good amount but not a ton of blood.

We started tracking, single file. Nyati in the lead, Buzz with his Heym 500NE, then me. And Peter and Justin behind. We followed the blood for under 100 yards when we got into some thicker bush. I thought “oh great!! I've now wounded a buff and he's in the thick stuff.” Times like that, I never felt unsafe. Probably with Buzz in front I had some false sense of nothing could go wrong but I can now see what its truly like to hunt Dangerous Game. I can honestly attest to having heightened senses or what I would assume it was during those final moments.

As we rounded some thick bush, I saw Nyati in the lead just a couple feet make a hand gesture to Buzz behind him. At first I wasn't 100% of what it meant. I was still trying to learn all the hand signals they use, they`re like a well oiled machine, not having to speak and working so far together then can get by without talking at all during tracking.

Nyati made a motion with his hand where it was standing vertical then he laid it sideways, I finally put two and two together and hoped he was gesturing that he saw my buff on its side. This turned out to be true!!!

Buzz now took the lead with me behind, and we gave it a wide birth and worked our way around till we were right behind it. I could see its tongue hanging out now, and Buzz had me put one insurance shot right through the spine and chest from behind. The buff barely moved from the energy of the shot but we knew it was already done.

There it laid. My Cape Buffalo. Tracked and hunted the right way. The way I`ve always wanted to hunt them. Words cannot describe how the hunt means as much or more to me then the actual taking of this buffalo. I cannot say just how much hunting dangerous game in this form means to me. It has been what I`ve pictured in my head all these years I`ve dreamt of Africa and the adventure of it all.

As it lay



The group minus Peter taking the photo



We took a hundred photos probably, all are great. They wanted me to take just one Bwana shot haha



After all the handshakes and congratulations were over we looking to the recovery. We were 2km from the nearest road. It was looking to be a long cut in. On the walk out though we luckily ran into someone elses recovery road that had been expanded in the past. We were able to get to within 200 yards, hit an elephant path, and only cut the last 100 yards in.



Back at the skinning shed, I really wanted to be apart of it. As I didnt get to see my Kudu or Impala worked on I stayed to watch.





As they butchered it, I was hoping to see where the bullet hit and hoped to find the bullet too. It was finally complete vindication of my shot when I saw the giant hole in the heart. And the pedals had sheared off the older barnes x bullet and completely shrapnelled the lungs. The lungs were completely destroyed. I`m surprised there wasnt more blood from the shot, but Buzz said a frontal does make it harder for alot of blood to flow, but that bright red blood was sign it was from the heart. He had called a heart or top of heart shot after tracking and finding the bull. He was right!



 
Posts: 40 | Location: B.C. Canada  | Registered: 07 June 2016Reply With Quote
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Congrats ! What a way to hunt africa for the first time.
 
Posts: 153 | Location: Near the arctic circle, Norway | Registered: 14 October 2005Reply With Quote
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Thanks for sharing. Great report !

Reminds me about my first buffalo bull with CMS in 2014. Memories start flying in my head Wink


Morten


The more I know, the less I wonder !
 
Posts: 879 | Location: Oslo area, Norway | Registered: 26 June 2013Reply With Quote
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Terrific way to start hunting Africa!

Took my first buffalo and elephant with CMS last year, they run a good show.
 
Posts: 426 | Location: Hudson Valley | Registered: 07 July 2009Reply With Quote
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Congrats on a great safari! Buzz and crew are tried and true.
 
Posts: 1169 | Location: Sinton, Texas | Registered: 08 November 2006Reply With Quote
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Fantastic story with true emotions of the experience. Congratulations!!! Go again so you can tell us more stores of your adventures.
 
Posts: 181 | Location: Douglas, Wyoming | Registered: 14 August 2006Reply With Quote
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Great report! Thank you for sharing!
 
Posts: 33 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: 15 July 2011Reply With Quote
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Congratulations! Thanks for the great report.


____________________________________________

"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." Terry Pratchett.
 
Posts: 3150 | Location: Wyoming | Registered: 25 February 2005Reply With Quote
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.

Congrats! Great report and pictures. Glad you found your kudu horns; would make an excellent European mount with a story to tell! Good buff and you had a possibility at a scrum cap too!! The gods smiled on you! Buzz and the team are all great guys.

Thanks for posting!

Charlie

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"Up the ladders and down the snakes!"
 
Posts: 1001 | Location: South & West Africa | Registered: 10 February 2014Reply With Quote
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Congratulations on your Safari!

Well done!
 
Posts: 1651 | Location: Winston,Georgia | Registered: 07 July 2007Reply With Quote
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I can feel the excitement, your first time all the sounds, smells, sights are new. You are wide eyed on everything. Excellent report. You certainly did it right. You will find some way to go back.
 
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Well played Sir!
 
Posts: 812 | Location: Chicago, IL | Registered: 02 May 2008Reply With Quote
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And so started one of my greatest days of my life.

After taking the buffalo, it was still fairly early in the day and with that in mind Buzz had already mentioned the Zambezi McNab. He had European clients in the past all want to do this. Instead of a Red Stag, shooting a brace of grouse, and catching a salmon.

Shoot a Cape Buffalo. Catch a tiger fish. Shoot a Guinea Fowl.

I watched them clean the Buff and take the meat off. After lunch the plan was set to complete the McNab. Buzz, Justin and I hit the river. I must say I`ve never been a huge fisherman. We live right on the river here, and grew up eating salmon and fishing with dad and grandpa. But somewhere in there, hunting became my main passion and fishing took a side seat.

I just never could wrap my head around fishing all day, not being able to see any fish, and who knows, maybe there's a million fish down there just swimming by haha

We got to a little back eddy off the side channel and a good fallen over tree provided all the bait fish we`d need. Justin was the man and soon nailed 3-4 little fish. Already fishing was coming back for me. I even started to enjoy catching baitfish almost as much as Tigers! Like a kid at heart, using two of Buzz`s daughters kids fishing rods.

We got back in and got up to the top of the island. Gave the group of Hippos that called that point home a wide berth and started our drift downstream. About 200 yards down we had a 13 foot Croc slide into water and all hands quickly tucked safety inside hahaha. We continued for another 15 minutes at least and was getting closer to camp.

Justin and I had two proper fishing rods setup. And Buzz was feeling left out at the helm of the boat so he rigged up one of his daughter fishing rods and let fly!

We could see camp from across the island now and just then! The little kids rod got hit! I took control and started the battle. It was a comedy of sorts. I`m not the smallest guy, neither are my hands, and I made that 3 foot childs rod and reel look mighty small! The drag control was so small I could barely tighten it up while fighting the tiger fish. And fight did it ever. It was a proper fight and even left me with a blister on my right thumb haha. We landed the 4-5 lb Tiger and was two thirds the way to completing the McNab.

So many laughs reeling this in. I honestly haven't laughed like that in along time and appreciate those moments so much.





And then of course, when you see a ton of Guineas every time out, when you hit the road looking for just one. YOU DON'T SEE ANY!!!!! Couldn't believe our luck. We did have a card up our sleeve worst case as the Guineas came to roost on the river by camp but that was an absolute last option. We had almost given up and when we drove back we went past camp and turned around maybe 500 yards. We heard a tap on the roof and Justin jumped off and with a big smile said We have a plan!

Buzz and I looked at each other as we hadn't seen a single Guinea Fowl, and turns out, Justin and Nyati had seen a flock of Guineas working their way from inland that were heading towards the river. We setup and I had Buzz`s .22 hornet ready.

And then slowly here they came, working their way down. They looked like a giant flock of Turkeys was the only thing that came to mind. All their bright blue heads running around. I almost let half the group walk past us before finally some would stop of a second to peck the ground. I took the shot and all I saw was a clump of feathers shaking on the ground. Success!





And hearing from camp, it was tried again this week and not completed! As it turns out the tiger fishing proved to be luckiest of all. We fished off and on for 3 other days and I only had 2 hits after that. But thoroughly enjoyed the fishing. I really enjoyed it so much, I may even dust off my fishing rods here.

We got back to camp at sunset. Took a few photos, had a good drink, lit some big cigars and sat by the mopane campfire. What a day.

 
Posts: 40 | Location: B.C. Canada  | Registered: 07 June 2016Reply With Quote
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The skinner did some awesome work, I found out it was an art form for the perfect rolling boil.







Man do I love these curls!

 
Posts: 40 | Location: B.C. Canada  | Registered: 07 June 2016Reply With Quote
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The next day we spent our day looking for another impala and warthog. There was a good number of warthog, but nothing good sized. Lots of Sows with 3-4 piglets which is a good sign! We walked a lot of pans that were nice because you could walk from one to the next and have a good walk doing it.

Seen lots of game, but the stars never aligned that day. We went back in to check the dried mud pan and this time a herd of eland were there. A nice young male Eland with alot of females. And also 3-4 Cow elephant with a couple calves. This was such a special spot, every time you cleared the thick jess you just never knew what you`d encounter.

We did see quite a bit of game. Some quotas were already filled for the area. Saw more good Zebra, Eland, Kudu, Waterbuck, grysbok. The area has an abundance of impala, baboons and hyena. But the hyena quota was quite small and already taken or else I would of loved to take one. It was a small pleasure of mine seeing more big Kudu`s in the wild. As I didnt get to see my kudu up close in the flesh, seeing the others was starting to make up for it.

Nice little lunch by a pan. Had a small herd of Buff walk past for water while we napped away the mid day heat.




For dinner, I actually tried some of the local deliciousness. Gorro and sadza. My cape buff stomach and intestine and their grits. I will say it was cooked good, had an initial flavor that was tasty, but it does have a slight aftertaste of grass or fermenting grass from the stomach. As the skinner said, the best way to taste a buffalo is to eat his insides. To taste a buff, is to eat his insides.

The next morning we hit the road early and tried hard again for an impala or warthog.

It was so picturesque. We came into an opening and had elephant feeding in the distance, the trackers had got us to under 50 yards from a nice Warthog. Sticks went up and he was digging in the dirt. When he finally lifted his head, Buzz could see he wasn`t a good boar to take. Tusks maybe only 3-4 inches out of the mouth. As we walked away we were surrounded practically by Elephant.

We were either inbetween a herd or two groups were on each side of us. Just took our time and walked through slowly, they never noticed or bothered with us. A couple tuskless were spotted too. One young bull ele too, maybe 15-20 lbs and I got to see first hand how they can take a couple steps backwards and disappear into the bush. I can see how tracking a elephant and getting in nice and close would be superb. Top of the mountain!



The trackers had an idea, we had seen so many impala in the shade of the trees during mid day. And they werent around in the morning turns out. So we made a plan to walk along the edge of the trees and the plains. And sure enough just as we broke through the tree line we had a good group of impala in front of us. The lead ram ran left and out of sight. Then the bush came alive and 10-15 female impala ran out and into the plains.

I was still on the sticks, and luck turned my way and another ram had come running out to follow the ladies. He stopped maybe 20 yards after coming out of the trees, perfectly broadside. One shot from the 7x57 and he went running. He barely went 100 yards and got to the base of two Palm trees. He started to do the wobble and you could see the red stain behind the shoulder and he went down.

A beautiful ram. To me, it has the quintessential impala look. And I was surprised just how lovely its coat was. Nothing like our deer at home, it was so smooth and I know impala are a little unappreciated because they're so common, but they are such a beautiful African animal. One of the prettiest.



I got a kick outta the guys. Everyone loves having their picture taken to show to others back home!



I didn't have much desire to take a baboon. I thought their skulls were quite a neat thing to bring home, but it wasn't until we saw 2 or 3 different full grown males kill and eat the baby baboons, that I thought I`d like to take one.

On the way back to camp we found two large males in a group. I shot one maybe just under 150 yards but put it right through the center chest and spine. He was dead before he fell backwards



It was funny to see Eddie and the trackers with the baboon, they have a serious superstition with them, and hate having baboons in the truck. Eddie hated to think about baboon shit in the truck bed. He was such a light hearted funny man. A pleasure and joy to have on the crew!
 
Posts: 40 | Location: B.C. Canada  | Registered: 07 June 2016Reply With Quote
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Very nice. It looks like the hunting gods have turned in your favor. I especially like the Zambezi McNab - congratulations.

Look at it this way you had your jitters early, everything now will be gravy.

You have certainly done it right. Now let the Africa fever begin!
Big Grin


________________________
*we band of 45-70ers*

If its recoil does not bother you, do as Mac did and buy a .300 Weatherby. Ammo might be hard to find in many places, but you should be able to plan ahead and take enough for where you're going. It's certainly enough gun for anything that walks in this world, including an elephant in a pinch if you have solid bullets and you can convince the local game guard that it's a legal caliber.
- Bill Quimby
 
Posts: 1505 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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Well Done!
 
Posts: 221 | Location: North Texas | Registered: 08 May 2013Reply With Quote
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Great hunt with some nice trophies.

Just curious, what was the final spread on the buff?

I have mixed feelings about shooting baboons, they remind me of people too much. However, the people they remind of of would probably be people that deserve to be shot. LOL

Thanks for sharing.

BH63


Hunting buff is better than sex!
 
Posts: 1408 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With Quote
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Looks like you had a blast! My first and only hunt was with CM. Glad to see Justin was with you, he adds a ton when your PH is busy. Also glad to see the old blue boat still in action. Tabor, Justin, and I were in that boat when a hippo hit us.
Congrats
 
Posts: 72 | Location: Utah | Registered: 25 March 2012Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by BuffHunter63:
Great hunt with some nice trophies.

Just curious, what was the final spread on the buff?

I have mixed feelings about shooting baboons, they remind me of people too much. However, the people they remind of of would probably be people that deserve to be shot. LOL

Thanks for sharing.

BH63


No tape measure!! Hahaha. Buzz figured around 37” +\- but we’ll find out when they make the long journey home.
 
Posts: 40 | Location: B.C. Canada  | Registered: 07 June 2016Reply With Quote
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Great report!!! Congrats


Golf is for people that don't know how to Hunt and Fish.
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Posts: 1850 | Location: East Wenatchee | Registered: 18 August 2008Reply With Quote
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The last few days.

We spent some time looking for a good warthog. Never did find anything with much more then a couple inches out of lip. A positive sign was seeing all the sows with piglets though. And we always had two boars near camp, and I always hoped it would be a new two hanging out but always the same two. Just got word and a picture of a BIG nice warthog taken. Best of luck for them!

We did alittle exploration up in the southern end of the concession. Much for elevation and hills. Was a great change of scenery and saw some very cool things.





Neat to walk the valley bottoms and come over hill tops. Put the miles on the boots but saw some amazing country. Everywhere water and greenery, something would be hiding.



One of my absolute favourite shots. Eddy brought the truck around after a walk and was keeping it cool under a baobab. He saw a big kudu while waiting!!



On the way back to camp one day we ran into a group of Wild Dogs. I know they’re rare and a treat to see. The next day we drove by the same area and they had made a kill in the night too.



Justin said you could get nice and close. He’ll have some great footage.





Spent the last day looking for a grysbok, and probably had 3-4 chances. Fast little things that’s for sure. I’ve always had a curiousity and desire to hunt the little antelope too so I throughly enjoyed it. I think hunting then with a shotgun would be much fun aswell and sporting! But they got the best of us, I’m sure another outing for two would of netted us one.

Spent the last afternoon fishing, great day on the water. And a classy memorable touch was Buzz had the guys bring my skulls over from the shed and had them in the sand in camp overlooking the water. What a sight to see. I hope that picture stays burnt in my memory.






Got up the last morning. I got lucky and the next group was scheduled same day so it was all arranged for a charter to drop them off. Pick me up and head to dande. Two more to pickup then back to Harare.

It was smoky out but a real pleasure to fly down the Zambezi and see the areas.






Only other notable thing would be my flights heading home. I knew everything went too smoothly as “this is africa” Two charter flights, flight Harare to Joburg all good. Then as we sat and waited at the gate for our flight to Frankfurt we noticed the flight number removed from the board. SAA rep came and problem with the plane. No flight tonight. Was put up in a hotel. Didn’t get into Frankfurt till later next day and no flights fly out of there past 9pm. So another night put up. So all in all I arrived home on the same flight just 24hrs later. Not the end of the world but when you want to just see the family it’s hard. Would I do it again if it meant adding Africa?? In a heartbeat.

A huge and massive thank you to Buzz. From start to finish, a professional, a gentleman, all my preconceived notions I hoped for in a PH he was, and stood up for how things should be done. A friend now. I hope to return sooner rather then later but like most things in life, time and funds will dictate, but I know myself and saving up. I’ll keep driving my old truck forever if it means I can return, hopefully for an elephant bull

Justin was an absolute pleasure to have in camp and the field. He has hunted with Buzz so many years it’s like you’ve known them for years from all the stories and humour. Super knowledgeable and is like having an extra set of eyes/ PH / tracker and videographer all rolled into one. When Buzz says he’s an asset, truer words haven’t been spoken.

Nyati in the truest sense, is a humble soft spoken humorous gentleman. He told Justin when the plane came in with a smile and smirk, he was leaving and going to Canada now. I almost burst out laughing, and Justin told him he’d freeze to death

Criton is a machine, if you need one guy to track something, he will get it done. I feel a little spoiled in the first time hunting with trackers I had Criton and Nyati because I don’t have others to compare but I know from all other reports he Is a game changer.

Eddie is so very humorous. Always a smile and positive. He may be the brunt of some jokes but they’re always sarcastic and never once hurtful. He always comes back with a witty reply and a big smile on his face!

Peter was a very nice young Appy. He was up before me every day wouldn’t take no for an answer for a tea or coffee. Nice guy to have with us. He seems to be on the right road and shouldn’t have much issues in his career path.

All the camp staff, was outstanding aswell.

Thanks for reading!
 
Posts: 40 | Location: B.C. Canada  | Registered: 07 June 2016Reply With Quote
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Terrific hunt report!


~Ann

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Posts: 11382 | Location: The LOST Nation | Registered: 27 March 2001Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Crazy_farmer:
quote:
Originally posted by BuffHunter63:
Great hunt with some nice trophies.

Just curious, what was the final spread on the buff?

I have mixed feelings about shooting baboons, they remind me of people too much. However, the people they remind of of would probably be people that deserve to be shot. LOL

Thanks for sharing.

BH63


No tape measure!! Hahaha. Buzz figured around 37” +\- but we’ll find out when they make the long journey home.


That's the figure I was guessing. LOL

Thanks.

BH63


Hunting buff is better than sex!
 
Posts: 1408 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With Quote
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Crazy Farmer:

Congratulations on your successful hunt. My first African hunt was also there at Nyakasanga for buffalo. It was in 2011 with Peter Barnard. I shot my buffalo first, because Peter said it was bad luck to hunt other animals first. Then I got 3 impala, a hyena, and a baboon. Hope you get back to make more African hunts. I just got home from my 5th hunt.

Dale
 
Posts: 413 | Registered: 03 January 2004Reply With Quote
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This has to be one of the best hunt reports I've ever read. Your genuine emotions and joy really come through. What a perfect experience!
 
Posts: 122 | Registered: 04 February 2012Reply With Quote
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Adam- it was such a pleasure guiding you on your hunt. Hunting with first time hunters makes us look at everything we take for granted with new open eyes!

Myself , Justin and the "crew" loved every minute of our hunt and we look forward to the "Macnab #2" that is Tuskless tiger and Ginneafowl in a day in the near future! Best of luck to you and Kristy on the healthy arrival of number 2! Thanks again Adam!
 
Posts: 897 | Location: Zimbabwe | Registered: 22 June 2009Reply With Quote
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How hunting should be. How a report should be.

Congrats to all involved.


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Email - kafueroyal@gmail.com
Tel/Whatsapp (00260) 975315144
Instagram - kafueroyal
 
Posts: 7404 | Location: Zambia | Registered: 10 April 2009Reply With Quote
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Thanks everyone.

Should of also included in my report. A month or two before my hunt My wife drew a coveted sheep tag here in BC. 1 in 700 odds. I couldn’t believe it when we checked the results.

And then I checked the dates. Sept 15-30th and I quickly realized my hunt on the 9-21st would make it a little tight for time. I offered for my wife and father in law to go but like a good father in law he told my wife to wait for me hahaha!

So since my flights were delayed 24hrs home we had one less day. But I took one day to shake the jet lag and off we went into beautiful sheep country. I had found some massive rams a month before when I scoured and no luck. They weren’t where I found them nor had the guys seen them that took photos of them.

As a side note. My wife was now 6 mths pregnant. And we quickly realized we had to tone down our expectations. After another day, we found a group of sheep that had one ram. Just under 3/4 but our draw was for “any ram”

My wife did great. We split all her gear and she just carried her rifle. Up we went. She was out of breath but we took our time and showed when we got close

I brought my sticks I had made to get used to shooting in africa. She took a shot at 200+ but low and I thought our hunt was done but luckily a ewe went left along the ridge and carried the rest of group with her. And she was coming closer!!

A quick move and now we were only just shy of 100 yards. Another shot and down came her ram. Not the biggest. But a helluva trophy for a 6 mth pregnant lady and a whole family affair. Mom, dad, our 1.5 year old son and father in law. My saw has been asking for baabaa photos for months and he was up the mountain with my FIL only 75 yards behind us.

This was the big ones I found before





And her ram.








And our son just loves “baabaa” ribs too

 
Posts: 40 | Location: B.C. Canada  | Registered: 07 June 2016Reply With Quote
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Well that was one heck of a hunting report!
Remarkable photos of some great trophies...
I thought I would be making one African hunt.
I'm now up to three...
Oh! And congratulations to your wife on the California bighorn. I am very envious...
Thanks for the post.
 
Posts: 35 | Location: Fort St. John, B.C., Canada | Registered: 16 December 2010Reply With Quote
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