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Picture of MJines
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Dates: October 16 - October 30, 2018
Areas: Dande Safari Area, Ward 1 and Ward 11 (Zimbabwe)
Outfitter: Charlton McCallum Safaris
Professional Hunter: Buzz Charlton
Appy: Max Delezenne
Airline: Emirates (Houston-Dubai-Harare)
Travel Agent: Steve Turner, Travel With Guns
Rifles Used: Heym PH .500 NE (Hornady DGS and Barnes TSX)

After several years of casting about in countries other than Zimbabwe and with outfitters other than CMS, this year it was time to renew my spirit with a hunt in the Zambezi Valley with my friend Buzz. The past year had been challenging in several respects, e.g., Hurricane Harvey and the flooding of my elderly in-laws home and the death of my Dad in late May. I was looking forward to getting back to a place I truly love and to being around some of the best folks in the hunting business.

An initial comment about the weather. I have hunted in Zimbabwe in October and November in the past so I knew what to expect temperature wise. Sometimes though, our expectations are pleasantly wrong. While we certainly had days when the temperatures were hot and dry, many days we were blessed with cooler temperatures and a cool breeze. The evenings were actually cool . . . requiring a blanket many nights and on a couple of occasions a comforter. Shocked, yes I was shocked. I had come prepared with my O2 fan and chilly pads but only used the fan one night. What a pleasant surprise.

The hunt started with a bang . . . literally. Less than thirty minutes into the first morning of the first day we experienced a double elephant cow charge. This was obviously a first for me but it turns out it was a first for Buzz as well. We saw a group of cows from the road and decided to follow them to see if a tuskless was in the group. We caught them quickly and identified a tuskless. We positioned ourselves to get a good look at the tuskless and concluded that since it was just Day 1 we would pass. An instant later she came in an all out charge. Buzz and I both fired two shots a piece and she went down. Then from behind us a large one-tusked cow charged at full speed. We each fired one shot and she crashed to the ground with her hind legs out behind her, indicating the speed and determination of her charge. The two cows were less than forty feet apart with Buzz and I in the middle. Fortunately we had positioned ourselves in some open ground so we had good visibility when the charges came. Certainly a little more excitement than we had bargained for on Day 1.

We spent the next few days tracking buffalo. It took us until Day 7 to track a couple of dugga boys to their resting spot on the side of a hill. They busted off and ran to the bottom of the hill where I was able to shoot the older of the two. A good hard-bossed bull taken with a double rifle. Proper.

While I am not a huge small antelope fan, the one small antelope fan I find fascinating is the klipspringer. The next day we decided to try and spot and stalk klipspringer. Our efforts were rewarded with a nice klippie.

The next several days we focused on eland. Taking an eland in Dande in certainly an accomplishment. For those that have never hunted eland, they are a worthy quarry and it is a proper hunt. Tracking eland is akin to tracking buffalo with a couple of exceptions. One, they rarely pause to rest. While buffalo may bed up midday, eland seem to just browse around a few minutes and move on. Two, eland are very switched on. They are alert with keen eyes, ears and noses. A tough hunt done with your feet. Overall over the 14 days of the safari we walked more than 250 kilometers. One day hunting eland we walked 28 kilometers.

Our eland hunting was interrupted by a bushpig and tuskless on Day 11. Just before lunch while tracking a group of cows we came to the edge of a sand river and caught a bushpig in thick brush. A bushpig is a great epicurean trophy. That afternoon on one of Buzz's infamous "random walks" we caught a single mature tuskless in the jess. A tuskless and a bushpig on one day . . . and Eddy's birthday to boot. Good stuff.

The next day we gave the team the day off to attend a soccer match between Ward One (Eddy's Ward) and Ward Two (Criton's Ward). The team enjoyed the game . . . Ward One won . . . and we enjoyed a relaxing day fishing.

The last two days we spend back on the trail of eland. On the morning of the last day we found the fresh tracks of single bull. We started tracking and six hours later caught him on the crest of ridge. A trophy well-tracked and well-spotted. A fitting way to end the safari.

My thanks to Buzz and his team for their usual above and beyond service and for delivering an epic experience. Some places and people just make you feel at home . . . hunting with Buzz in the Zambezi Valley certainly does for me.

[A couple of postscripts. One, for several years Buzz hunted in blue shirts. This safari I decided to wear blue shorts. Unknown to me was that the reason Buzz stopped hunting in blue shirts was that the trackers felt that the color provoked the elephant to charge. After the Day 1 double charge, the trackers insisted that I not wear the blue shorts. Paranoia or true, we had no further drama. Two, the appy on the hunt was a young Frenchman named Max Delezenne. He carries a Verney Carron round body .500 NE. Max was great to have on the hunt and I hope he has a long and successful career.]

Pictures they say are worth a thousand words . . .

















Mike

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

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

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

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

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

 
Posts: 15896 | Location: Texas | Registered: 03 January 2006Reply With Quote
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Congrats. Looks like a fantastic hunt.
 
Posts: 5043 | Registered: 31 January 2005Reply With Quote
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Well played, Mike. I enjoyed reading your past exploits with Buzz in “Tall Tales” and your latest hunt just adds to your CMS legacy
 
Posts: 812 | Location: Chicago, IL | Registered: 02 May 2008Reply With Quote
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Great report and a fine hunt Mike. Congrats! Whose third double is in the pictures?


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!
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Life grows grim without senseless indulgence.
 
Posts: 6481 | Location: Victoria, Texas | Registered: 30 March 2003Reply With Quote
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Great job Mike!

Have you ever thought of smiling in a photo so that it looks like you're actually having fun? Big Grin


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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Mike...great hunt...looks like a great time and some wonderful tracking experience.
 
Posts: 694 | Location: Music City USA | Registered: 09 April 2013Reply With Quote
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sure a very exciting Safafari
Awesome Trophys !
Congrats to the hunter and PH


Nec Timor Nec Temeritas
 
Posts: 1899 | Registered: 29 May 2005Reply With Quote
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An excellent proper adventure for sure!!!!


DRSS.
 
Posts: 1622 | Location: MI | Registered: 20 March 2007Reply With Quote
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Sure am sorry about your recent personal troubles, but very glad you had such a fine hunt. tu2
 
Posts: 4616 | Location: Dillingham Alaska | Registered: 10 April 2006Reply With Quote
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Very nice - but then again it always is with CMS

Good Hunting
Carl Frederik
 
Posts: 386 | Location: Denmark | Registered: 04 March 2007Reply With Quote
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Looks and sounds like an exceptional hunt.

Congrats, and thanks for the report & photos!
 
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Great hunt and great report. Well done.


JEB Katy, TX

Already I was beginning to fall into the African way of thinking: That if
you properly respect what you are after, and shoot it cleanly and on
the animal's terrain, if you imprison in your mind all the wonder of the
day from sky to smell to breeze to flowers—then you have not merely
killed an animal. You have lent immortality to a beast you have killed
because you loved him and wanted him forever so that you could always
recapture the day - Robert Ruark
 
Posts: 272 | Registered: 20 June 2012Reply With Quote
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Great report and picture.

That would be an absolute dream safari. Tuskless, Buff, eland and a klip.

Outstanding. Love the character of your eland!

And enjoy seeing the three doubles. You can tell Buzz’s, nice dark wood and not a lot of blueing left from all those days in field!
 
Posts: 40 | Location: B.C. Canada  | Registered: 07 June 2016Reply With Quote
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Mighty fine....congratulations!
 
Posts: 8417 | Location: Republic of Texas | Registered: 24 April 2004Reply With Quote
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Enjoyed the report immensely. Always an adventure with CMS. Glad you survived that double charge. Not many get to experience one much less two.
 
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Congratulations,Mike.Extraordinary adventure!



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Posts: 10772 | Location: Montreal | Registered: 07 November 2002Reply With Quote
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Wow - 2 charging elephants in quick succession!

Amazing. Thank god you guys are safe.


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Posts: 9345 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 02 July 2008Reply With Quote
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Congrats Mike. Well done protecting those blue shorts...and keeping them blue with that double charge


Skip Nantz
 
Posts: 475 | Location: SouthEast, KY | Registered: 09 May 2010Reply With Quote
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Mike, Thanks for being brave enough to make a report. A good write up and a real adventure. Congratulations.


Dick Gunn

“You must always stop and roll in the good stuff;
it may not smell this way tomorrow.”

Lucy, a long deceased Basset Hound

"
 
Posts: 150 | Registered: 25 June 2010Reply With Quote
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What a hunt Mike...in retrospect that double charge is something to remember...you both stood your ground and sorted it out.. tu2
 
Posts: 3539 | Location: Vell, I yust dont know.. | Registered: 27 March 2005Reply With Quote
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Hi Mike,

Long time no talk. Wink Thanks for sharing - nice report indeed tu2w

Funny thing you mention the warmth you expected but experienced something different. Fits in with my first experience with the Valley in first week of October 2014. I and my son expected hot conditions, we had of course that during the day - first day was 45 celsius, but because of the breeze it did not feel to bad. And in night we also had to use a blanket some times and we slept like babies with temps down to 16-18 celsius.

One question; did you and Buzz both fire 2 rounds each on the first attacking tuskless and were able to reload and shoot the second attacking female ?

Morten


The more I know, the less I wonder !
 
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Well done Mike.
 
Posts: 9409 | Location: Orlando, FL | Registered: 26 January 2006Reply With Quote
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Mike
What a great hunt mate! Congrats especially for the eland !

I know how hard they are in the valley! It took me quite a few goes with CMS to get mine with Blake a few years ago!

Looks like the double was the right weapon for the double ele charge for sure!!

It was good whatsapp’ing with buzz during your safari!!! I was getting the tally almost in real time whilst on our way back from our Buff/ eland hunt in Mozambique!!

Glad that this safari went well for you Mike. I think your back in the saddle again well and truly!!!

Hopefully can catch up with you in Jan. at SCI if your going


Cheers
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: 22 October 2018Reply With Quote
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. . . responses to questions.

Russell, it is a Verney Carron round body in .500. I edited the original post to add that.

Frank, I am smiling. Wink

Morten, yes, we both fired twice at the first cow (the tuskless), then reloaded and turned around and shot once each at the second cow (three shots each, six shots total). We commented afterwards that we wish we had video of the charge just to see how we accomplished the reload. Certainly helped to have ejectors I have to say. The other thought Buzz and I shared afterwards is that we were both glad that we had .500 doubles and not some lesser caliber like a .375.

WR500, some cracker buffalo you and the brothers shot mate. Well done.


Mike

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

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

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

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

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

 
Posts: 15896 | Location: Texas | Registered: 03 January 2006Reply With Quote
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Congrats Mike!

Nothing like a double charge on your first morning to get your blood pumping!

Looking forward to hearing a recount from you and Buzz soon.
 
Posts: 1169 | Location: Sinton, Texas | Registered: 08 November 2006Reply With Quote
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Congrats on the Safari. It looks like some fine shooting.


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As always a great report Mike.
 
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Outstanding report Mike. Thanks for sharing, that is one nice klippie!

.


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Posts: 30510 | Location: Crosby and Barksdale, Texas | Registered: 18 September 2006Reply With Quote
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Congratulations, Mike! That looks like a great hunt.


____________________________________________

"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.
 
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Good job, Mike! tu2
 
Posts: 13050 | Registered: 04 April 2005Reply With Quote
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Outstanding and some guys have all the luck. You got a nice write up in Tall Tales but I am in the "Smelly Affairs" chapter!


STAY IN THE FIGHT!
 
Posts: 1530 | Location: Southern California | Registered: 25 July 2006Reply With Quote
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Congratulations Mike!

Looks like a great hunt.
 
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Phenomenal hunt, Mike.
 
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Well done, Mike.

And thanks for a very enjoyable report.


___________________________________________________________________________________

Give me the simple life; an AK-47, a good guard dog and a nymphomaniac who owns a liquor store.
 
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The second pic looks like a scene out of Months of the Sun. No room for error.
 
Posts: 5043 | Registered: 31 January 2005Reply With Quote
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Nice hunt Mike - well done for sure, glad you made it out of that tight spot in one piece.


Master of Boats,
Slayer of Beasts,
Charmer of the fair sex, ......
and sometimes changer of the diaper.....
 
Posts: 313 | Location: HackHousBerg, TX & LA | Registered: 12 July 2009Reply With Quote
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Nicely done!



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Posts: 11000 | Location: LAS VEGAS, NV USA | Registered: 04 August 2002Reply With Quote
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As always Mike such a pleasure for me , Criton Nyati and Eddy to spend 14 days with you. 14 days of simple pure hunting. 14 Days of no stress no pressure and lots of good humour- this is the way it should be.

I do believe that that is what the Valley offers- good value and honest hunting at a very reasonable rate! Looking forward to the next adventure!
 
Posts: 897 | Location: Zimbabwe | Registered: 22 June 2009Reply With Quote
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Ahh, sounds like you guys made some skidmarks. Scary charge !
 
Posts: 153 | Location: Near the arctic circle, Norway | Registered: 14 October 2005Reply With Quote
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Right proper report with great pics to back it up.

Double charge from opposite directions and both of you handling them as it should have been: WOW!

Glad you both made it and had a great time.

George


"Gun Control is NOT about Guns'
"It's about Control!!"
Join the NRA today!"

LM: NRA, DAV, RMEF

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