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Masai Land - A Special Place

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03 September 2019, 03:09
dogcat
Masai Land - A Special Place
Tanzania – Masai land Hunt Report

Dates – July 14-27, 2019

Hunt Area – South Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania, near the Ngorongoro Crater and the Kenya border
Look at the north part of this map to see Lake Natron area.

Safari Operator – Kilombero North Safaris – Harry Charalambous - +255 757 152 254, harry.nemesis@gmail.com

PH – Lance Nesbitt – neshuntbyo@yahoo.com, +255 710 613 248, www.nesbitthunting.com

Agent – Neal and Brownlee, LLC, - Jeff Neal and Greg Brownlee - +1-918-299-3580, greg@nealandbrownlee.com, www.nealandbrownlee.com

Travel Agent – Wild Travel, Kathi Klimes - +1 708-425-3552, kathi@wildtravel.net

Weapons and Optics Used - HS Precision Takedown in .300 Win Mag and .375 H&H with Swarovski Z6i 2.5x15x44 scope with turrets shooting Federal factory 180 grain and 300 grain TSX bullets. I really like the takedown rifle as it makes traveling much easier in the airports. My binoculars were Leica 10x42 ranging binoculars that calculate distance with consideration for elevation. These were the most important piece of equipment I brought.

Animals Sought – Leopard, Cape Buffalo, Patterson’s Eland, Lesser Kudu, White-bearded Wildebeest, Kirks’ Dik Dik, East African Impala, Southern Grant’s Gazelle, Thompson’s Gazelle, Plains Zebra, Fringe-eared Oryx, Hyena, Gerenuk, Masai Bushbuck

Animals Taken - Patterson’s Eland, Lesser Kudu, White-bearded Wildebeest, Kirks’ Dik Dik, East African Impala, Southern Grant’s Gazelle, Thompson’s Gazelle, Plains Zebra, Fringe-eared Oryx, Gerenuk, Masai Bushbuck

Other Animals Seen – Ostrich (many), Giraffe (many with babies), Sunlight Squirrels (use tails for shading themselves), warthogs (one sow with babies, no more), Flamingos (technically not an animal but very cool), Mongoose (or Mongeese), 110+ bird species listed in Appendix, Silver-backed Jackals, 2 monkeys of some type (surprised at this), Greater Kudu (one bull and four cows), Bush duiker (only saw one)

Animals Not seen – Baboons – did not expect to not see baboons, Leopards

Executive Summary
Honestly, this was a “different” safari. This is our first trip to Tanzania and Masai land. The area was totally unique to what I was expecting. We hunted the flat, hot, dusty valley/plains between ranges of hills and dormant volcanoes. We were very close to the Ngorongoro Crater National Park. We hunted in a collapsed volcano for several species in flora/fauna resembling a rain forest. The plains were dry, dusty, windy, loaded with Masai with their goats, sheep and cattle. This was unique to us.

Hunt style – no hills in the low country so we used the Land Cruiser.



The hunt was mostly spot and stalk. After seeing the terrain and the abundance of game, we deferred on leopard due to the time needed to hunt them. I did not take a buffalo due to where they were and that we could not get to them (in the crater of a volcano, high on the steep and exposed sides). The plains game was tremendous and abundant. We were rarely out of sight of Grant’s and Thompson’s Gazelles. We saw many giraffe, called a “tower of giraffes”, and one large group with five babies.

The camp staff and food were by far the best we have ever experienced. This was our 12th safari. Lance Nesbitt is an outstanding PH, a Zimbabwe trained guy that has hunted this area for many years. He was perfect for us.

Lastly, there are no bugs or tsetse flies here. That was very nice.

Arusha and Mount Kilimanjaro

I am starting with the end of the trip so bear with me. On the way out from camp, we had time to kill in Arusha. Lance took us to the Cultural Heritage Art Gallery and Shops ( www.culturalheritage.co.tz ) . We were totally blown away by this place. My wife has been to the Louve in Paris, I have been to the art museums in Amsterdam, we have been to most of the famous galleries on planet Earth. I was not prepared for this place. It was absolutely stunning. The shops and restaurants were very nice. The items for sale in the shops were genuine, not Chinese made junk. They had a tanzanite jewellery shop that had an incredible selection of tanzanite jewellery and items. All below prices I have seen anywhere. They even took my Visa card.

The art museum was off the scale of impressive. The paintings, the sculptures and the variety were exceptional. All of the displays were something you would expect to see in New York or Paris. It was astoundingly well done. If you go through Arusha, this is a must stop.



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Mount Kilimanjaro is pretty cool. We could see it fairly well from town and when we flew out. We met several folks on the plane ride in and the ride out that were there to hike to the top. Well, I never really understand the mountain climbing thing, but this is a big deal and it is big business in Tanzania. All in, flying over was really cool and it is seriously impressive. I did not grasp how big that volcano is/was. It is huge and dominates the area. If I were 30, I would likely try to hike it but at 64, not so much.

I am not sure if MJ owns the mini-bus service, but he gets his “ups” over here.



The Hunt
I usually do not do a chronology of the hunt. It gets boring (to me) and turns into a whack and stack report. So, I will do it by species and see how you like it.

Gerenuk

We were hunting nothing in any particular order. We decided to take what comes. Turns out that the gerenuk ended up first. I hunted gerenuk in Ethiopia a couple of years ago. That was a hard hunt and we shot the only good male we saw. Coming to Tanzania, Harry and Lance both said gerenuk were easy and to hold out for a big one. Well, I was not so sure due to past experience, but what they told me was very true. We saw gerenuk every day as we drove out of camp. We saw females, babies and young males. We saw several (15 or more) very nice males. I waited until Lance told me that “that is the one” before getting excited about one. That is not exactly true. I was excited every time I saw horns. Due to the abundance of them, I had a chance to get my eye adjusted to judging good from great. It took a while as I like all of them.

We got lucky on day one. We found Mr. Very Nice, however my shooting was pathetic. For some reason I struggled to connect on the gerenuk, the Thompson’s and the Grant’s. I am embarrassed to say that I missed the first 100-yard shot on the gerenuk, then proceeded to miss another at 150 yards, then closing the distance hit it in the neck. What a mess. A gerenuk has a long slender neck. My .300 win mag and lousy shooting tore it up badly. I am hoping Jerry Huffaker (my friend and super taxidermist) can put it together. My reputation fell fast with the trackers, my new name is “Bwana 3 Shots”.



In the course of this hunt, we saw one that better than this one, so I am quite pleased. As you can see, it is a “great” one.



If you go where there are gerenuk, I suggest you hunt them. They are cool and look great. When we saw a group of 4, they looked like space aliens with the long necks, big ears and eyes looking back at us.

Sidebar One – Have you ever heard of Whistling Thorns? Me neither. Seems that one of the thorn bushes has nodules or odd growths n the stems. Inside these growths live stinging ants. When you touch the thorn bush, out come the ants looking for whoever stirred things up. When the wind blows, and it blows here, the wind makes a whistling noise as it moves through and around the holes in these nodules/growths that actually sounds like whistling. Cool to look at but do not touch as the ants get after you quickly.





Kirk’s Dik Dik

After my wonderful shooting exhibition on the gerenuk, we rechecked my rifle and made some tweeks. Within a mile of camp, we spotted a wonderful Kirk’s Dik Dik all by himself. There are tons of these little guys there. We saw them everyday. They are in pairs, usually, and don’t run far before looking back. We looked at several dozen before seeing this guy who was a monster in his miniature world. I made the mistake of shooting him with my .300 win mag. Should have used the .375 and solids. The back half of him was wrecked but the cape is fine. He is seriously big at 3 1/8”.

If you go, do not turn up your nose at them. There are only four or five dik dik’s in Africa. This is a nice one and you should consider hunting them. I had taken two other duikers in Ethiopia, so now have the Damara Dik Dik to finish a Dik Dik Grand Slam! Try and say that without laughing…..





Thompson’s Gazelle
I really did not know what a Thompson’s Gazelle was other than a small antelope that looks like a Springbok. I do now. Like the Grant’s Gazelle, there are hundreds of these little guys and gals all over the valley floor between the volcanoes and in and amongst the Masai herders and their flocks. It took awhile to get used to seeing so many and not wanting to stop and shoot each one. Lance had to temper my enthusiasm by coaching me on what to look for and how to judge 12” from 15”. That was not easy. They all look the same to me, hence, that is why we have a PH to keep us sorted out.

In Robert Ruark’s books, he often mentioned that Harry Selby told him to go and “knock over” a Tommie for camp meat to keep the camp staff in “nyama” or meat. I read that in his books and thought, “well, I guess a Tommie is something good to eat and pretty good size”. I was right on the first part but way off on the second. They are small, about the size of springbok or roebuck or small whitetail deer. They are really cool to look at and not terribly wary.

We looked a bunch and settled on one that I promptly missed. In my defence, I was having confidence issues with my rifle as I had missed or badly shot a gerenuk earlier. After a couple of shots, I managed to hit the Tommie in the left eye….. with a .300 win mag. You can imagine what I did to the skull. Now, I am seriously irritated, and the trackers were calling me “Bwana 4 shots”. None of the shots were of any distance. None of the shots were in serious wind. None of the shots were through brush. This was wide open, flat terrain with animals standing broadside.

Bwana 4 shots in a moment of contemplation. Please keep sharp objects away.



After this fiasco, we set a box out on the prairie and I shot a several times to re-check my seriously expensive scope. Well, as you would know by now – user error was the issue. I was adjusting the turrets in the opposite direction. Seems the little arrows on the dials with an “H” or a “R” with an arrow pointing a direction confused my simple mind. I had made adjustments opposite of the arrows. Why? I have no idea….. Incompetence or jet lag or whatever. No excuses. With that sorted, I readjusted the scope in the CORRECT directions, and all was fine. Technology befuddles me at times even though I know these scopes very well.
We then went after another Tommie. This time, looking for an older, gnarly one that would compliment the one I just head shot. We had two on quota. About two hours later, the trackers spotted one and said that “even Bwana 4 Shot” can hit that one. Embarrassed, I managed to take this one with one shot in the shoulder – what I was supposed to be doing all along. I asked if I could change my name and they replied, “Not yet”.



Here are the Tommies. I like both. They are good to eat and pretty cool.



Grant’s Gazelle

To me, the Grant’s Gazelle is the signature animal of Masai land. They are plentiful. They are fun to hunt. You get to see hundreds of them and get a lesson on judging good from great. On the drive from Arusha to camp, we saw dozens and my fire was lit. I love the shape of the horns. I love looking at a bunch of them. And then getting to pick the one you want. I love hunting in Tanzania as we had two on quota.

I bet we looked at 100 or more rams just trying to see a super star. Lance is a great judge, as are most experienced and professional PH’s. Some are the whack and stack type of PH, but Lance was serious about finding two really nice Grant’s. And we did.

The first one was a stunner and came while we were headed on a dusty drive from our camp to look for White Bearded Wildebeest and flamingos at a very large but shallow lake north of our camp toward the Ngorongoro Crater. After looking at a bunch of males we found one with long and swept horns with a slight forward pitch – just what we were looking. My shooting was appalling, again, and I fired four shots before connecting on the last. Not sure why I was missing until we rechecked the scope. No problem there, just user error again. Lance suggested that I was leaning into the shot a bit much on the sticks causing the barrel to tip up during the trigger pull. I could not see it but resettled how I got onto the sticks. That solved the issue. Or so I thought….

By now, I was earning a nickname was becoming permanent – Bwana 4 Shots

Anyway, so far, they did not have to track a lost animal, nor did I lose one. I killed every one I shot at. Some just required a few more shots than the others.

This is the first Grant’s. Bwana 4 Shots…..



As luck would have it, we came across a second on this same day that was equally big. I managed to take him with only three shots, the first two being misses at 150 yards. At this point, even my wife was asking what was wrong with my shooting. Honestly, I am usually a decent shot. I have been trained and did well at the SAAM school. I miss occasionally but rarely this often. At this point, my H-S Precision rifle was for sale cheap. On the bright side, I brought plenty of ammo. On the downside, I was burning it up quickly. Again, I rechecked the scope out on the plains. Scope was fine. The trigger man was the issue. Since this one was a “3 shot” Grant’s, I asked the trackers to have mercy and rename me “Bwana 3 Shots” but they were not budging.
Anyway, this Grant’s was a stunner as well with heavier horns a bit more worn. They look great.



Even though I had the two on quota, we continued to glass them every time we saw a good male. I left plenty of good-looking rams behind, so there are plenty when you decide to go.

White Bearded Wildebeest

After the two nice Grant’s, I re-checked the rifle to be sure what was up with the scope. As you would expect, nothing was up. Just bad shooting. Not the way I wanted to get going especially with a wildebeest out there. As you know, a badly shot wildebeest is not a good plan. They run and run and run. So, I steeled my nerves and decided to go back to my old way of shooting – spend less time over the shot and just shoot when the red dot is on the right spot.

In the flat areas between the volcanos, the land is heavily grazed by the Masai, even more so when near water. We had driven about two hours from the camp to see a shallow lake that feeds Lake Natron. We were looking for flamingos. I am a serious birder and have never seen flamingos in the wild. As we drove to this lake, the wind kicked up and we were in a dust storm most of the way. This was a mess as we struggled just to look ahead as the dust hit us in the face and eyes. We masked up as best we could and drove on.

Sidebar - One of the interesting things in this land between the volcanoes are the “dust devils” or “mini dust tornadoes”. I have lived in Oklahoma and Texas for a large part of my life and am familiar with tornadoes and dust devils. A dust devil is a short-lived tornado on a small scale. At any one time in the afternoons as the heat and wind were rising, there were a dozen large dust devils spinning away, disappearing and reappearing. I had not seen this many before. Lance told me he counted 28 at one time when he was glassing. Here are a few pics.





I rarely see snakes in Africa, this was an exception. I do not know what kind it was but I was relieving myself near a termite mound and he crawled out of a hole to inspect the competition.



Back to the wildebeest. When we got to the lake, we spotted flamingos and a host of other shore birds. I was busy counting new species while Lance was looking for wildebeest. In the worst of the dust storm, he spotted a lone bull walking head down into the wind. He was with some Grant’s and zebras. We tried to stalk him in the dust storm but lost him due to the dust. We walked in his direction then looked up seeing nothing. We looked back at the truck and the guys were are all pointing to our left. The wildebeest had turned following the Grant’s to quarter into the wind instead of directly into it. He saw us when we saw him, but he just stood gawking. I am sure he was thinking – “those idiots, what are they doing out here?” We then got tangled up in some Masai that showed up from behind pushing goats to the lake to drink. We queued up behind them trying to act nonchalant hoping the wildebeest could not see we were slow white guys from the somewhere else. When we got close, very close: I settled in for the shot. I mounted the sticks, settled on the shoulder and let’er rip with a good squeeze. It is amazing where the bullet goes when you do three things right – get set and balanced, see the spot you want to hit and you squeeze the trigger like you are shaking hands with a 3 year old.



Note the dust –



Finally, a one shot kill. I like wildebeest for some reason. They are the persistent ones in the animal world. When they want to go somewhere, they just go. This was the only one we saw. Lance thought the rest had moved north to Lake Natron or the Ngorongoro Crater area or on the Serengeti. This was a straggler for sure. He was the only one we saw on this hunt.



Fringe-eared Oryx

I did not know it at the time of booking, but this is the one animal that is the hardest to get in this area. I have shot several oryx over the years in Botswana, Namibia and New Mexico (yes, there is a resident herd on the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico). They are usually very tough to kill, run like crazy and fun to pursue. The prize on Kalahari Gemsbok is 40” horns. Females are longer as a rule but thinner in mass. The males are thicker and usually don’t make 40”. This Fringe-eared Oryx is not a gemsbok. They look different, act different and a bit smaller in size. They are smarter as well.
In this area, these oryx hole up in the foot hills usually near zebra. They run at a whisper or a faint sniff. We bumped them a couple of times and I thought, “Ho hum, this will be easy”, but not so. They do not look back and do not hang around. When they go, they go for the thickest stuff. We spotted one group at about 500 yards, about five or six animals. We glassed them for a couple of hours. We lost them repeatedly, then reacquired them. Finally, something or someone spooked them at that distance and poof, they were gone.

Lance said that he was successful about 50% of the time on them but sometimes less as the hunters get frustrated chasing them rather than lesser kudu or other tough to find animals. We stuck with it as we were the first ones in the area this year and they were less spooky. Could have fooled me, however. Each time we looked for them, we found some but never in time to get a shot or even judge them.

Finally, after several tries and several days, we went to the place we saw them the most often. We arrived and promptly spooked a group at 400 yards. Lance looked them over and said it looked like cows and calves as he did not see a dark, heavy bodied male. He said to sit tight as a male may be following this group. Oryx can breed anytime of the year as the females are in cycle every month. So, we waited.

After about 20 minutes, the trackers spotted a lone male on the same hill we were on obviously trailing the cows we saw earlier. He walked into the open, stopped for a second and got shot. Finally, one shot and no issues. It was 218 yards at a downhill angle. (Note – “one shot”, different than my other opportunities). I am hoping to get rid of “Bwana 4 Shots”.





Honestly, the Fringe-eared Oryx is stunning. I like the dark colors and the face. They are handsome and worthy of our best efforts to hunt them. If you go, hunt them.



Lesser Kudu

The prize…. How many of you have hunted the Lesser Kudu? I have no idea. I hunted them in Ethiopia with Jason Roussos and was very fortunate to take a good one. We saw a couple, but only one that offered a shot. They are exquisite in beauty and rarity. Masai land is one of the few places where you will see several and hopefully take a very good one. When setting up this hunt, this was in the top four of what I was wanted to hunt. After doing this a second time, I would do this a third time. Any kudu, greater or lesser, is a super animal to hunt. They rank with big red stag, big American elk, big Kalahari Gemsbok in terms of beauty and challenge. The 60” kudu is a high bar, the 40” gemsbok is a challenge, but a big lesser kudu is even more rare.

Lance loves the kudu, as do I. He said there a lot of them in Masai land, but a big bull is rare. We chose to hunt a sand river that was totally dry during our trip but rages in the wet season moving large trees and rocks and sand from the hills and volcanoes down to the flats. The area was like what you see in Zimbabwe or the Selous when you drive a dry sand river bed. Lots of trees on the side and lots of visibility along the banks. In this river bed, we saw tracks of everything – Grant’s, Tommies, Eland, Kirks’ Dik Dik, ostrich, loads of bee-eaters and other birds, gerenuk and …. Lesser kudu.

We made the drive several times and saw a few fleeting glimpses of kudu. One seemed to be a good one and we made a stalk but lost him. It was one of those stalks where you see the animal, then see the tracks, then follow the tracks, then a female barks and they vanish. That happened a couple of times. Lance said to fret not, that we would get one if we persisted.

That persistence was needed to find a rock star lesser kudu and a fringe eared oryx but halted a serious leopard baiting hunt. I decided to forego the time needed for the leopard to focus on these two ghosts. I did not regret that decision.

On day seven of the hunt and after hunting the lesser kudu off and on for several days and a lot of miles, we spotted one standing off the road we were driving and across a gully just standing and staring at us. We slowed the truck, Lance, my wife and I slid off and the truck eased ahead. My wife set the sticks. The kudu was watching the truck as Lance worked around for an open shot. The kudu was in the some very thick scrub trees and brush. The vitals were obstructed by a nest of small limbs. I could not see the horns, but Lance said to get ready right now to make this shot. This was the bull we were hoping for. He steadied me on the sticks, and I looked for a hole in the brush. I found one and fired. The kudu went down after a spray of dust and twigs. The bull dropped quickly but was thrashing about like I had nicked his spine. We hurried up to get closer and I quickly but a finisher in the under part of the chest. Down and dead.

The trackers came up and rolled the kudu over revealing a very large entrance hole for a .300 Win Mag bullet. Looking closer we saw several small exit holes on both sides of the bull. Looking even closer, the trackers saw in the brush I shot through a shattered branch of one of the trees. The branch was about 1” diameter. Apparently, the bullet hit that branch and either opened up or somehow tumbled into the kudu’s chest. The fragments went several directions – some exiting on the shot side of the bull and some on the offside of the bull. When we opened him up, he was spaghetti on the inside. I shoot the Barnes Triple Shock bullets and this one made a believer, again, out of me. The finishing shot was not needed as the bull was going to bleed out and die pretty quick. With that shot, my moniker of Bwana 4 Shot was hopefully going to change.

The guys were looking at the brush and saw where I hit a 1” branch that deflected into the kudu in many pieces.



Here he is. You can see why I like them.



Sidebar – The Masai – On the way back to camp, we passed a large Masai village that was apparently celebrating a wedding. These folks were dressed to the nines and were in partying mood. They were hiking to the village from all directions with singing and carrying food and cell phones. I have not seen that many colourful and fancy dresses since going to a sorority formal dance in college. These folks go all out on a party. Wished we could have joined them.
I think maybe she is not so sure about me. Note the cell phone bag around her neck.



All in, the Masai are unique. I have been blessed to go a lot of places and see a lot of things. To me, for Africa, the Masai are unique and special. They choose to live a nomadic like and they choose to adopt parts of outside culture – but only the parts that suit them. We saw children herding goats and sheep, we saw mom’s preparing meals and taking care of the laundry, we saw the young men (Moroni) out strutting like they were on top of the pecking order, we saw the old men softly talking to the young men and boys. I would like to know more, but I fear that their culture will dissolve over the next fifty or less years. We intrude on them too much and make their lives temptingly easier.

We saw this daily.



Cape Buffalo in the mountains

I had seen the great video called “Mountain Buffalo” by Rainer Josch (available from Safari Press) and decided that I wanted to do this. If you like buffalo hunting, you will love this video. It gets mountain buffalo hunting “right”. I wanted to experience that. I booked this hunt with Dean Kendall to do this. He told that it would be a tough hunt – lots of climbing and glassing, not the typical buffalo hunt.

Dean was right and Lance confirmed it. The daily drill was to get up at 4am, eat and drive to the area about 2/3’s the way up the crater wall. We passed through numerous Masai villages and got into some very steep and rugged country. The road played out about 300 meters below the rim of the crater in the mountain rainforest. We saw trees along the road up and on our hike that were over 40 meters tall and 6 to 8 meters in diameter. I had not seen trees this massive since I was in the rainforest in Cameroon. The trees were colossal in size and appearance. It was like being in one of the Hobbit movies when the heroes were in the forest with the talking trees. I was blown away. The area was called the Kitumbeine Crater Reserve.
The hike was long and tough. It was also chilly at this altitude.



The locals hang bee hives up in the mountains. We saw a lot of these up high.



We hiked and staggered up to the rim to take a peak over to see what we could see. On the first trip up and over, we bumped some buff feeding on the rim. They bolted into the trees like buff do when startled. I wanted to follow but Lance said they were long gone. I followed a bit anyway. What I saw was truly strange. These buff took off and ran up and over the rim, then straight down through the jess and trees making a mess and ton of noise. When they hit the flatter ground, they kept going around the rim and into some thick jungle. Lance was right. We could follow them but getting up on them would be very hard due to the steep terrain and the area they holed up in.

Plan A then was to watch the buffalo on the far rim hoping they would graze down or to a place we could make a stalk. Lance felt our chances were 50/50 on that. We had local guide that lived near the rim that is an anti-poaching ex-poacher that watches the buffalo and the area every day. He indicated that we may or may not get close but should sit and watch. So, we did.

These buff stayed high on the wall all day. By early afternoon, we watched the eland move low, so we decided to hunt whichever gave us a chance. The eland did. More on that in the “Eland” part. Teaser – we killed a super eland.

Anyway, we repeated this drill several times with no success in getting close to the buffalo. We did get within 275 yards from one decent bull but decided to pass on the shot. At that distance and in this thick stuff, a wounded buff could easily get lost or eat up several days trying to find him. Further, the terrain was such that we really did not want to sort out a buff in the thick jess and steep hills. Call me cautious, but that was what I decided.

This was what we could see each day. Lots of buff and a bunch more in the thick stuff. There were several nice bulls but we could not get to them.
We were on one side of the crater and the buff were on the other. They were at the top of the rim on the far side.



A closer look from 1500 yards..



If you go here, you will want to try this. It is cool. The scenery is stunning. There are bushbuck and eland to divert to if the buff do not cooperate. I wish I had been able to get close, but it was not to be.

We got our steps on the hikes for buff each day.





Patterson’s Eland

I am a confirmed eland lover and hunter. Eland are in my top three animals to hunt every time in Africa. I love the challenge, the look of them and the tracking. They are hard to slip up on and fun to chase. Sometimes the chase goes for days or miles, but it is always a challenge. I rate them equal to buffalo in terms of difficulty and “fun” to hunt. So, on this trip, I asked a lot of questions about eland. The answers were like what they always are – “Hard to find, hard to keep up with, but they are there”.

We saw eland in the flat country and foothills country while hunting other animals – zebra, lesser kudu and others. The bulls we saw were good but not great. Lance said that the bigger eland and mature bulls are likely up in the hills on the slopes of the volcanoes or in the craters. When we went for buffalo we should see eland. And that is what happened.

The trip to the volcano crater required getting up early, a two hour drive up from the valley floor doubling our elevation. I describe the drive and the terrain in the buffalo section. But to summarize, we went from dusty, flat pans up the hills to lush rain forest type vegetation and monster trees. The higher we got, the steeper it became to the point where we parked and climbed the last 400 meters in elevation to the rim. This hike was tough, not unlike a sheep hunt in Canada, except it was in dense forest (see the pictures). Lance tracked us and said we hiked 17,000+ “steps”, climbed the equivalent of 264 flights of stairs and ended up at 2970 meters of elevation. I am tired just typing this.

At the rim, we looked for buffalo then over the edge into the crater for whatever. We saw a lot of buffalo and a bunch of eland. Throw in a few bushbuck for good measure and we were in a zoo. The problem was, we were on one side of the crater and the quarry was on the other. In between was 1000 meters of flats covered in waist high clumps of pampas type grass. From above it looked benign, but we later found out that walking in this stuff was like walking on bowling balls covered with long grass.

We glassed the buff and eland deciding to wait and see which would move off the slope to the valley floor making a stalk possible. The eland blinked first with three bulls working down from a larger group. These bulls were very good with one being exceptional. On seeing this, Lance said, “That is the prize. You can allows kill a buffalo somewhere, but not an eland like that one”. That made up my mind.

When the bulls got to the flats, we climbed down and slowly stalked to where we hoped they would move to. This involved a lot of crouched duck walking to get over and around the tall clumps of grass. We waddled, crawled, fell and hump walked 800 meters to get close to the grazing bulls. We ran out of cover and ranged them at 212 meters. At this point, Lance looked at me and said, “Now is the time, hold your .375 at the center of the shoulder just above the grass line.” We stood up, the eland went on full alert and turned back toward the thick stuff on the slopes. I let fly and actually made a very good shot – heard the bullet strike, saw the eland hump up and take off. He ran 50 or 75 meters and rolled over. We were seriously relieved as we feared that they would bolt and our chance would be lost. At the shot, the other bulls ran, turned back to look, then disappeared into the thick hillside. How could an 800kg animal standing 2 meters at the shoulder disappear? Well, they did disappear as did about 75 buffalo and 20 other eland. It did not take them long to figure out that Big Joe was down and they better get out of town.

We had left my wife, the game scout and the trackers on the wall of the crater so they got a long, unobstructed view of our stalk and shot. We looked back at them when the eland was down and saw a lot of hugging going on. When we turned back to walk to the eland, Lance and I both did not mark him. We hiked around in circles in the tall grass looking for a 800kg animal without success. The trackers walked straight to him from a kilometre away, embarrassing Lance and me. They were exuberant with the old bull. Great facial ruff, great horns, great physical shape and lots of nyama for them!

Looking for a lost 800kg eland in the grass.



As it turned out the shot was perfect. Finally. I was hoping to lose my bad nickname, Bwana 4 Shots, but would hold out until later on that issue. Right now, we celebrated a great eland bull.



These guys packed that eland out of the crater! I was dying from the effort and the altitude just begging my saggy butt out of there. The trackers went to work along with the local guys and packed that beast out. Wow! They should be in the Cross-Fit Championships. We took the next day off to rest up and let the guys wash clothes and get their legs under them. It turned out to be a very windy and dusty mess, so we did not miss a day of hunting.



Masai Bushbuck

I love bushbuck. Between eland (any species) and bushbuck, I cannot pick a favorite. They are challenging, fun and hard to hunt. In this area, the bushbuck lived high on the slopes of the volcano crater. We were at 2800 meters or higher and in dense forest when we hunted them. We saw several with most being very good. Lance suggested we hold out for a monster as we were seeing so many.

After the eland hunt and figuring out that we could not stalk the buffalo easily, we decided to wait and watch the buffalo to see if they would work down to the floor of the crater rather than stay high at the crater rim. We did this twice and spent a lot of hours watching buffalo tiptoe along the rim and in the open where we could not get close. Further, their watchdogs, the eland, we often in sight of us and blocked our approaches.

On this day, we climbed up and over the crater rim then down to the crater floor to see what we could see – hoping that the buff would take the easy route and go to the floor to graze. This did not happen. While glassing the buffalo, we saw several bushbuck. At one time, we saw five out in the open on the sides and floor of the crater. As we watched them, they do what bushbuck do – they nibble, then look around, they nibble, then look around. Several were shooters. As we watched them, another one came down the wall of the crater through the dense forest right past our hiding/glassing place. The trackers and Lance all looked at him and said to shoot. I was slow on getting set up as I was sitting low watching the buffalo. By the time I got ready, the ram wandered into the thick stuff. Here I go, Bwana 4 Shot or worse, Bwana No Shot…..

Lance said that it happens and that often the ram will go back the way he came when he was done doing whatever he came to do. We watched the buff for another hour when I saw that ram come back along the trail he descended on. This time I was ready and made a good shot at 116 yards. At 17” +, this was a brute. The trackers and Lance said that they don’t see rams this big and that we were exceptionally lucky. The main tracker, Saloom White, was in tears with this one. Lance said he had never seen a bushbuck like this, and he was happy for me. I think he was truly happy the Bwana 4 Shot, made ONE shot and got this one down and dead. Yep, lucky with bushbuck and eland but a miss on buffalo.

I was pleased to say the least. The pics show why!





The tracker in the middle was Saloom White. He cried when he saw this bushbuck. He said he had never seen one this big.



Sidebar – Giraffes – We saw a lot of giraffes. A whole lot. I also learned that a group of giraffes is called a “tower of giraffes”. Aptly named for sure. We saw at least 6 to 10 daily and often more. These seemed smaller than others we have seen in Zimbabwe and South Africa, but more striking in terms of coloration and pattern of their coat. We saw old bulls, young bulls, cows and cows with babies. In one group there were 7 adults and 5 babies. I cannot imagine shooting one or even hunting them. They are just cool.





Second Sidebar- Ostriches – Like the giraffes, we saw a bunch of ostriches. Normally you see one here and there, but we saw a bunch. We saw a couple of groups of 6 to 8 and a lot a pairs. Not sure if it was breeding season or egg laying season, but we saw a bunch. I have shot them in the past, but honestly, they are no trophy and easy to hunt. If they could fly, that would be a different story!!!

Dusting in the road.



Plains Zebra

I think everyone hunts/shoot zebras. Basically, you are shopping for a rug. Find pretty stripes and shoot. Well, I do that. And, I like to hunt them. I find zebra interesting and challenging. The single stallion is a knock over. A herd stallion is not. He has all the help of the dominant mare and the other mares constantly looking around. In Masai land, you hunt the Plains Zebra. However, they do not live on the plains. They hang in the foothills and the mountains. They remind me of Mountain Zebra in Namibia. They are “cleaner” in terms of the shadow stripes but have no brown on the face as do the mountain variety. I also learned that there are only three species of zebra (plains, mountain, Grevy’s) with eight sub-species. The Burchell’s falls in that group and is a Plains zebra. I am not sure which one of the Plains Zebra I hunted.

Anyway, we had two on license and I planned to shoot two. Lance suggested that we would encounter them while hunting oryx. He was right. Each time we went for oryx, we bumped the zebra somewhere. Most often, they heard us or saw and bolted. We sort of staked out some open areas with sandy ground where they roll and dust off. Early in the hunt, we saw a group of seven doing this but did not shoot as the oryx were nearby and we thought (incorrectly) that the zebra would keep the oryx calm. They eventually saw or heard us and bolted. The oryx never showed up.

Later in the hunt, we are cruising to the oryx area and see a single zebra, or so I thought. He was relatively calm, close to an easy recovery and looked perplexed by us. I got off the truck, while Lance watched. I made what looked like a perfect shoulder shot on the triangle and the zebra staggered and was falling over sideways. Lance looked at me and said, “He’s done”, when the stallion abruptly righted himself and started to walk off. I fired again. Lance said, “Don’t shoot!”. It was a hit in the guts and off he staggered. I fired again. And again, Lance says/yells, “Don’t shoot, there are others there and you may shoot the wrong one”. Well, I never took my eyes off that zebra and he is still on his feet, so I shoot again. And again, “Don’t shoot!” At which time, several more zebra show themselves and trot around in circles making a lot of noise. The one I was perforating, fell over.

Now, I got a scolding from Lance about not flock shooting zebra. I was convinced I hit the one I originally shot. The game scout walks around looking for other blood, other than the blood from the swiss cheese zebra I got on the ground. She was a pretty good game scout. She stayed out of the way, said very little and was no trouble. No blood was found other than what was given up by my “holy/wholly” zebra.

We then discussed what just transpired. Step one – we see a zebra, Lance confirms it is a stallion. Step two – I shoot and make a good shot on the shoulder. Step three – I see the zebra stagger, almost go down then start to walk off. Step four – I shoot him in the guts, he jumps and hops around whereby the other zebra show up and Lance is seeing them too. Step five – I shoot again grazing the neck as he walked away. Step six – Lance is seeing other zebra and hoping I am not shooting all of them. I tell Lance that I never took an eye off the main one. Lance is fine with that, but he could see the others when I did not. He was afraid of a pass through and a long day and night tracking a nicked up zebra. I agree that he is right and should have waited until the first shot killed him. Lesson learned. And, back to Bwana 4 Shots.



The next zebra was a different situation. On the last day of the hunt, we were cruising for zebra and just looking around. We see a few and they run off. We start back to camp on the last hour of the last day when Lance glances and sees one in an area we had seen them before. We stop, look him over but cannot tell if it is a stallion or not. We watch this one at 80 yards for 5 minutes. The zebra watches us and never moves. Lance decides it is a stallion for a small bodied one. I shoot at the triangle, hear the bullet hit, see the zebra buck and he runs off. I lose him in the brush and out the far side runs a zebra gingerly and sounding like he is a leaky truck tire. I raise the gun to shoot and Lance calls me off. He says that the zebra I shot will be dead very soon and the one I was about to shoot was not the one. I asked how he knew because I could hear obvious air leaking out the lungs with a swoosh swoosh sound. Lance told me that that is how zebras communicate in close quarters and the one I almost shot was one we could not see. I doubted him.

We then walked to the sight of the shot, found blood than buckets of blood, then a very dead zebra. Lance was right. He saw the bullet hit and knew we had a dead zebra walking.



Again, a lesson learned.

Finally, after one shot kills on several animals, I was renamed something. Not sure what but at least it wasn’t Bwana 4 Shots anymore.
Typical lunch in the field. Most of you see this every time you go, but this was a bit over the top for us.



End of part 1


Tajikistan - 2020 - Marco Polo Sheep and Mid-Asian Ibex
Masai Land -2019- Lesser Kudu and Masai Bushbuck
Ethiopia - 2017 -Mountain Nyala
Botswana - 2016 - Tholo Safaris and the Okavango Delta
Cameroon - 2016 – Lord Derby’s Eland and Buffalo
Turkey - 2015 - Bezoar Ibex and Tour
Nambia - 2015 - Father-Son - Eland
Sonora Mexico - 2015 - Desert Bighorn Sheep and Sonoran Mule Deer
British Columbia - 2014- Stone Sheep, Goat and Moose
New Zealand 2014 - Rusa Deer
British Columbia - 2013 - Bighorn Sheep
Zimbabwe 2013- Leopard with Hounds
Namibia 2012 - Lion
CAR 2012 - Lord Derby Eland
Cameroon Rainforest - 2011 - Bongo
Zambia - Nchila Reserve - 2010 - Forest Sitatunga
03 September 2019, 03:15
dogcat
Part 2

East African Impala
They are in nearly every huntable country in Africa. They are what leopards eat. They are what you shoot for baits. You see them in groups with one ram and twenty females and a couple of younger rams following along. They are beautiful, graceful, good to eat and fun to hunt. Again, I hunt them every time I go to Africa. I am always looking for the proverbial 30” monster but have yet to see one. I tried in Uganda but did not get set up for a fourth camp move there and passed to hunt sitatunga and bushbuck. In Namibia, I hunted them off and on until we took a nice mature male that went 24”, big for Namibia. In Zimbabwe, I have shot several, none much past 20”. My sons and I took some in South Africa in the Eastern Cape that went 22” and were heavy. Like baboons, I shoot them when I can and enjoy it.
In Tanzania, there is the East African variety that can get to 30”. They are bigger in the body that others I have seen. The problem here is that they are a lot more elusive than in other places. They live in the thick stuff and are usually near the Masai and the herds of goats and sheep. They were “people smart”, melting into the thick stuff when they see humans. We tried several times to find them in the valley areas in the thick stuff as we went from area to area. We bumped a group on day, followed and tracked them in a game of tag but lost the game. Later, we found that group again and followed a couple of rams in two complete circles where we back tracked over our own tracks. We gave up on that as well.
Later that day, we were heading to camp and passing close to a Masai kraal and the thicket where these impala were hanging out. It was dusk and we spotted a lone female stepping out into the open for a look around. The Masai had moved their goats past this spot minutes before and we could still see them about 100 yards in front of us. Lance said to watch that female as she followed the Grant’s and Tommies out of the thick stuff and into the open to graze. We did. She kept looking back and finally led about 15 more females out into the open with heads down grazing. Caution was put aside to feed. At that point, the ram we were chasing earlier in the day eased out to graze. He never really looked at us and had his head down.

We were about 500 yards from them and eased out of the truck to try a straight- ahead stalk. I have seen this work and we may have just looked like Masai, and it worked. We slowly and steadily walked right at them getting to 165 yards before heads started popping up. The ram was the last to look up. I eased on the sticks and waited for the ones behind him and the Masai to clear. One shot and he was down. The rest just looked around like, “Whoa, what just happened?” We walked on up and the other impala just eased off a bit and resumed eating as did the Grant’s and Tommies. A Masai herdsman and his son came up to see what was up and ended up with some water and candy.
Nice impala. Not a thirty- incher, but would go 25” or so. Also, no more Bwana 4 Shots…. That was nice.


Had to wait on the herders to pass before shooting.

The next impala were different. We went up the sand river we had hunted several times, then back up to the foothills where we had seen impala and eland and gerenuk previously. We cruised some horrible roads looking for what we could find and eventually pumped into a group in some thick stuff. We chased them in and around the bushes and rocks seeing at least one really nice ram that would push the 30” mark. We tracked, followed, snuck around and finally caught up to them. A ram was standing in the thick stuff, big bodied and mostly covered by brush – except in the shoulder area. Lance looks, says he sees part of the horns and that this must be the one. The trackers agree. I shoot and down he goes.
We walk up and he has one horn. What? I could not see the head in the scope due to the brush but everyone else saw horns. Well, this one had a broken horn about 4” up from his skull. Lance could see the bases and the body was big, so we shot. I pulled the trigger, so it was mine.
After standing around for a few minutes, Lance said, let’s go find the big one. We did. It took a while, but we tracked and sight stalked them for about a quarter mile and got a perfect look at Mr. Big. I made the shot, he dropped and flopped. We were shaking hands when he got up and staggered off. I said, “no way, Jose” and took off after him. He was staggering and trying to lift his head when I shot him again.
The first shot had been a too high shoulder shot clipping the vertebrae in his back and wrecking his upper neck muscles. That shot would eventually kill him but not today. Not sure what happened but inches matter and I was a couple of inches in the wrong spot. Anyway, he was now down and he was Mr. Almost Big. He was big bodied, heavy horned and very nice. Later we taped him at 26 ½”. I like him and we decide that the unicorn first one and he were a nice pair. See the pics.

Local petrol station in Masai Land

Leopard
This was a non-event. I wanted to hunt them but we had no hits on baits. That is not due to lack of cats, but due to high numbers of other things for them to eat. Leopards here are hunted in the daytime, which makes hunting them difficult at best. Seeing the amount of time needed to be successful, I chose to chase the plains game. I am not much of a blind sitter, so this was fine. If you go here to hunt cats, focus on them solely.

Observations
1. In Masai land you will see a lot of people. They will be mostly the Masai out doing what Masai do. The wild animals live with them in sort of a rhythm of life. As the Masai herders move through an area with their animals, the wild animals move out of the way, let them pass, then return. I thought the numbers of Masai would deter the hunting. It did not.

2. The Masai are interesting people caught in between two centuries and are slowly conforming to the modern culture. We saw hundreds of them. We saw dozens of mud and thorn boma villages. We saw the bright colors and the decorated ears dangling jewellery and shiny stuff. Reminds me of the tattooed folks I see all over Denver. However, nearly every adult was carrying a cell phone. We saw herders and women in the middle of what I thought was “nowhere” only to see them talking to someone on the phone. Odd. Their culture clash will intensify over the next 20 years. I am not sure where they will be, culturally, when that comes.

We were in the middle of nowhere and here this guy comes along on a cell phone


3. We saw road work being done in this remote area. Further, we saw the progression of electric poles being set to bring power to the rural areas. This is good and bad. When electricity arrives, then labor-saving devices show up and the Masai will be changing their age-old lifestyles. We saw a few groups of the young Moroni, warrior class of young men. They were decked out with spears and long hair and walked as if they were Navy Seals. The problem is – there is no longer an enemy to fight or lions to spear. What will happen to that culture? Will they go the way of the knights of Middle Ages or the cavalry from our American Civil War or brightly dressed foot soldiers in the British Empire days? I wonder.

4. In this area, we drove a lot. We spend several hours each day in the vehicle getting from one place to another. The roads are very rough, and this was tiresome. However, we hunted continually as we drove. This was not a tracking hunt as you usually do in Zimbabwe.

5. The airport at Arusha (Kilimanjaro Airport) is user friendly. We flew Ethiopian Air from Washington Dulles to Addis Ababa to Arusha. No issues. Guns cause delays but we made it ok.

6. This hunt area is higher in altitude than most areas we hunt. It was above 1300 meters and rose to 2900 meters in the volcano area. We live in Denver, so this was not an issue for us. It was windy and dusty on the valley floor, but up high, the air was clear and cool.

7. Tanzania is expensive compared to Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana and possibly Zambia. The reason is obvious once you get there. The hunt areas are remote. Water has to be trucked to the camps. The game is abundant and there are species there you cannot hunt in other places. Once I saw the logistics and the overall set up (along with the Tanzania Governments greed), I understood the costs. If you want a cheap hunt, this is not the place. However, I felt I got value for what I paid.

8. I did not expect to see the several hundred gerenuk we saw, nor the abundance of eland. Further, we saw at least 5 mature lesser kudu bulls. In previous hunts, we saw very few.

9. I did not expect to come home without a buffalo. Based on expectations, I just did not see this not happening. However, when we got there – these buffalo live very high in the mountains in and around the volcanoes. We could see them but could not stalk them. I could get within 250 yards but did not want to shoot one at that distance. We diverted to the eland that hung with the buffalo. They would come to the floor of the crater and made for a great stalk and hunt. Same with the Masai Bushbuck. After we finished the hunt, Lance commented that he felt our time was better spent going for the Patterson’s Eland and Masai Bushbuck as we took outstanding animals of both.

10. As we all know, travelling with guns is complicated. Ethiopian Air allows this with no extra cost but there are a few forms to fill out well in advance. Be sure you know what forms are needed as their staff does not always know. In the USA, our customs folks are jerks about guns. They seem to intentionally delay you. Plan for an extra hour when clearing your guns. Further, plan for an extra hour when you check or re-check your guns. I hate this.
Shout Outs
1. I originally booked this hunt contingent on hunting with Dean Kendall. Dean temporarily retired and was not available. He recommended Lance Nesbitt. I met with Lance at the Dallas Safari Club Show to get a feel for him. No red flags at all and we had a great hunt with Lance. I have hunted with nine different Zimbabwe trained PH’s. All have been and are excellent, well trained and truly professionals. That is a far cry from my experiences in Alaska and Canada with “guides”. Big thanks to Lance.

2. The camp staff. These men were outstanding. They catered to every need and want. They took great care of my wife and I. Everything rolled like a machine. This staff was the best we have experienced. That includes the Four Seasons Hotel in Dallas.



The lodge was outstanding.


3. Kathi Klimes. Kathi works her tail off to set things up and see that all works well on flights. Her advice is excellent and reliable. She works FOR you. I know there are others out there, but she is top shelf.

4. Southwest Airlines. I fly them about 25 times a year. On our return, we were very tight on making our flights from Washington to Denver. I arrived with a gun (after the customs jerks played solitaire on their computers making me and others wait for no reason). The lady at the counter hand checked me in then hand carried my luggage to the luggage handlers to be sure it got on the flight. Thanks!



Final Analysis
1. I always ask – “Would I do this hunt again?” In this case, the answer is no. I would not come back to this area. Not because of success, problems or anything. I would not come back as I believe we saw and experienced all we could in this area and going after these species. To me, this is a speciality area. If you want to hunt buffalo in the mountains, come here. If you want to spend a lot of time in a leopard blind or checking baits, this is the place. The camp was excellent. The staff was excellent. Lance did a super job.

2. Would I go to Tanzania again? YES! I want to hunt the Selous or other parts. Not sure when, but I hope to come to Tanzania again.

3. My wife goes on all of my hunts. She likes the cultures and the new sights. This was/is a wife friendly hunt. There are no tsetse flies and few bugs. It is dusty and hot at times, but a nice adventure.

Every evening in the Masai Land –


Appendix – Bird List
111 confirmed, 1 unconfirmed, 37 new to me

Flamingos and Kori Bustard


Tons of doves



Red and Yellow Barbets


Pigeon
Superb Starling
White Headed Buffalo Weaver
Kori Bustard
Ostrich
Eastern Chanting Goshawk
Lizard Buzzard
Crested Francolin
Crowned Lapwing
Black Faced Sand Grouse
Ring-necked Dove
Namaqua Dove
Emerald Spotted Wood Dove
White Bellied Go-Away Bird or Lowrie
Little Swift
White Rumped Swift
Speckled Mousebird
White-throated Bee-eater
Red-billed Hornbill
African Grey Hornbill
Red and Yellow Barbet
Common Fiscal Shrike
Lesser Grey Shrike
Fork-tailed Drongo
Pied Crow
Red-billed Oxpecker
Red-billed Firefinch
Fisher’s Starling (very rare)
Irania
African Silverbill
Yellow Crowned Canary
Cardinal Woodpecker
Helmeted Guineafowl
Lappet-faced Vulture
Grey Kestrel
Lanner Falcon
Black-bellied Bustard
African Orange-bellied Parrot
Little Bee-eater
Lilac Breasted Roller
African Hoopoe
Abyssian Scimitar
Rosy-patched Bush Shrike
Ashy Flycatcher
White-napped Raven
Common Bulbul
Crested Bustard
Yellow-necked Spurfowl
Von der Decken’s Hornbill
Black-throated Barbet
Yellow-spotted Petronis
White-breasted Sparrow Weaver
Red-billed Buffalo Weaver
Cattle Egret
Egyptian Goose
Red-billed Teal
Secretary Bird
Black-winged Stilt
Pied Avocet
Spur-winged Lapwing
Blacksmith Lapwing (Plover)
Kittlitz’s Plover
Grey-headed Gull
Flamingo
Speckled Pigeon
Nubian Woodpecker
Bateluer
African White-backed Vulture
Black-crested Snake Eagle
Gaber Goshawk
Tawny Eagle
Batis Chinspot
Blue-capped Cordon Blue
Fischer’s Sparrow Lark
White-breasted Sparrow Weaver
African Morning Dove
Dusky Turtle Dove
Bearded Woodpecker
White-browed Scrub Robin
Amethyst Sunbird
Isabelline Shrike
Slate-coloured Boubou
Black-cheeked Waxbill
Purple Grenadier
Dusky Nightjar
Chestnut-bellied Sand Grouse
Common Stone Chat
Red-billed Quelea
Golden-winged Sunbird
Malachite Sunbird
Scarlet Tufted Malachite Sunbird
Purple Crested Turaco
Eurasian Swift
Green-winged Pytilia
Variable Sunbird
Jamison Firefinch
Scaly Chatterer
Willow Warbler
Cinnamon-breasted Rock Bunting
Spotted Morning Thrush
Auger Buzzard
Brown Woodland Warbler
Olive Sunbird
Speckled Weaver
White-browed Coucal
Spotted Thick Knee
African Pied Wagtail
Red-tailed Starling


Tajikistan - 2020 - Marco Polo Sheep and Mid-Asian Ibex
Masai Land -2019- Lesser Kudu and Masai Bushbuck
Ethiopia - 2017 -Mountain Nyala
Botswana - 2016 - Tholo Safaris and the Okavango Delta
Cameroon - 2016 – Lord Derby’s Eland and Buffalo
Turkey - 2015 - Bezoar Ibex and Tour
Nambia - 2015 - Father-Son - Eland
Sonora Mexico - 2015 - Desert Bighorn Sheep and Sonoran Mule Deer
British Columbia - 2014- Stone Sheep, Goat and Moose
New Zealand 2014 - Rusa Deer
British Columbia - 2013 - Bighorn Sheep
Zimbabwe 2013- Leopard with Hounds
Namibia 2012 - Lion
CAR 2012 - Lord Derby Eland
Cameroon Rainforest - 2011 - Bongo
Zambia - Nchila Reserve - 2010 - Forest Sitatunga
03 September 2019, 03:22
Jungleboy
Ross,

Welcome back & well done. Masailand is truly a special place, quite

a bit different (both in game animals & terrain) than lots of Africa.

Your Grant's Gazelle is really impressive. Congrats again on a great hunt.

Jim
03 September 2019, 03:57
30.06king
Ross,
Of all the hunts done by AR members I think those of you, and Mrs Dogcat, and those of Saeeds are always the coolest and most interesting. Your reports are simply outstanding. Thankyou so much for making so much effort with fine detail. Over there you may be known as Bwana 4 Shots but in my eyes you and Mrs Dogcat are Bwana Hotshots.
The occasional lapses in shooting talent happens to us all at times. Not worth losing sleep over this in the long run.
By the way, is that Swarovski Scope a certain model I remember well ?
Cheers


Hunting.... it's not everything, it's the only thing.
03 September 2019, 04:12
ledvm
Well done Ross tu2


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
J. Lane Easter, DVM
Hunter/Conservationist

DSC Life Member
NRA Life Member
APHA Honorary Member

A born Texan has instilled in his system a mind-set of no retreat or no surrender. I wish everyone the world over had the dominating spirit that motivates Texans. – Billy Clayton, Speaker of the Texas House
03 September 2019, 04:28
MARK H. YOUNG
Ross,

Masailand is a very special place. Glad you and your wife got to experience it around Natron as the lake and Lengai add to the atmosphere. Your report brought back memories of all the unique things you encounter there. Thanks for sharing. Great report!

Mark


MARK H. YOUNG
MARK'S EXCLUSIVE ADVENTURES
7215 GREAT DOVER ST.
LAS VEGAS, NV 89166
Office 702-848-1693
Cell 307-250-1156
E-mail markttc@msn.com
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Skype: markhyhunter
Check us out on https://www.facebook.com/pages...ures/627027353990716
03 September 2019, 04:39
dogcat
quote:
Originally posted by 30.06king:
Ross,
Of all the hunts done by AR members I think those of you, and Mrs Dogcat, and those of Saeeds are always the coolest and most interesting. Your reports are simply outstanding. Thankyou so much for making so much effort with fine detail. Over there you may be known as Bwana 4 Shots but in my eyes you and Mrs Dogcat are Bwana Hotshots.
The occasional lapses in shooting talent happens to us all at times. Not worth losing sleep over this in the long run.
By the way, is that Swarovski Scope a certain model I remember well ?
Cheers


It is! I do believe you know it well....


Tajikistan - 2020 - Marco Polo Sheep and Mid-Asian Ibex
Masai Land -2019- Lesser Kudu and Masai Bushbuck
Ethiopia - 2017 -Mountain Nyala
Botswana - 2016 - Tholo Safaris and the Okavango Delta
Cameroon - 2016 – Lord Derby’s Eland and Buffalo
Turkey - 2015 - Bezoar Ibex and Tour
Nambia - 2015 - Father-Son - Eland
Sonora Mexico - 2015 - Desert Bighorn Sheep and Sonoran Mule Deer
British Columbia - 2014- Stone Sheep, Goat and Moose
New Zealand 2014 - Rusa Deer
British Columbia - 2013 - Bighorn Sheep
Zimbabwe 2013- Leopard with Hounds
Namibia 2012 - Lion
CAR 2012 - Lord Derby Eland
Cameroon Rainforest - 2011 - Bongo
Zambia - Nchila Reserve - 2010 - Forest Sitatunga
03 September 2019, 04:58
30.06king
Originally posted by 30.06king:
Ross,
Of all the hunts done by AR members I think those of you, and Mrs Dogcat, and those of Saeeds are always the coolest and most interesting. Your reports are simply outstanding. Thankyou so much for making so much effort with fine detail. Over there you may be known as Bwana 4 Shots but in my eyes you and Mrs Dogcat are Bwana Hotshots.
The occasional lapses in shooting talent happens to us all at times. Not worth losing sleep over this in the long run.
By the way, is that Swarovski Scope a certain model I remember well ?
Cheers


It is! I do believe you know it well....[/quote]


Wink tu2 clap
Great to see it in it's proper and happy place. Keep up the good work !


Hunting.... it's not everything, it's the only thing.
03 September 2019, 05:16
Hannay
Ross,
Thanks for yet another great (and inspirational) trip report!
Jeff




Muskox-Greenland, 2020
Roe buck and muntjac in England, 2019
Unkomaas Valley, RSA, 2019
Kaokoland, Namibia, 2017
Wild boar hunting in Sweden, 2016
Moose hunting in Sweden, 2014


How to post photos on AR
03 September 2019, 06:05
Use Enough Gun
Ross: Simply OUTSTANDING! tu2 And, to make it even better, you hunted with my favorite PH Lance Nesbitt! Big Grin Great hunt and fantastic pics! Congratulations and well done! tu2
03 September 2019, 09:54
Bud Meadows
ROSS: Another outstanding Hunt Report. When my wife asked why I keep returning to Namibia to hunt Eland, I blame you. Being a 72 year old retiree, I’ll never be able to handle a trip in Masaii country, but I can live vicariously through your Hunting Reports. Luckily I’ve never experienced any “4 Shot” episodes- my May 2019 trip entailed all 1 shot kills, with the exception of a 16” Springbok that required a finishing coup de grace. Your reports are the AR Standard of Excellence. Well played, Sir.


Jesus saves, but Moses invests
03 September 2019, 10:10
crbutler
Congrats on yet another fine trip!

Glad to see I'm not the only one who can't hit things at times!

Thanks for all the photos... I miss masailand for all the unusual animals there...
03 September 2019, 10:20
Spartan
What a fantastic safari! Thank you for going to the effort of posting such a great report. Very much a place I'd like to visit some day.
03 September 2019, 11:52
Gillettehunter
I really enjoyed your report. Looks like you took some fine trophies and had agreat safari. Congrats and thanks fo sharing.
Bruce
03 September 2019, 13:11
Carl Frederik Nagell
Outstanding!

Thanks for sharing.


Good hunting
Carl Frederik
03 September 2019, 15:47
Jazman
Wow, what a nice, refreshingly honest hunt report. I didn't want it to end - such a great read. Well done
03 September 2019, 16:16
Chris Lozano
Ross
Great report as usual. Great collection of trophies beer
This comes just in time for me.
I leave for Maasailand in 5 days. jumping
03 September 2019, 17:46
AR MAN
Legendary report and outstanding safari! Especially love your old blued Eland and the Buffalo standing alone in the middle of the herd looks gigantic! Thanks for taking the time to post!
03 September 2019, 18:55
JCHB
At last another great report from Dogcat!
It was getting to the point that I was considering setting up a crowd funding scheme to send him on safari so we could get to enjoy the report!
Many thanks for sharing

JCHB
04 September 2019, 04:47
Safari2
Congrats Ross and thank you for the excellent report.
04 September 2019, 07:05
DLS
Thanks for a great report on a wonderful safari. You do a great job of taking us there with you.
04 September 2019, 08:55
georgeld
Ross:

This is the most excellent report I can
recall reading. Like a fantastic book,
just couldn't stop reading.

The other thing I congratulate you on is
the PERFECT POSING of the animals. You
kneel at FULL height and don't lay down
or scrunch way behind to make things
look bigger.

Even that one zebra shot with you behind
it, the camera was at the right distance
and you were again at full kneeling height.

Excellent sir! Sorry about the shooting
problems. Any chance you've checked the
mount screws everywhere? I had a scope mounted as a kid and the jerk broke a tap off
and left it that way. Dad happened to see the
scope jump off the gun. Mighty hard to zero
one that way.

Thank you for posting this. And from Denver
too huh? Do you ever get down this way?

George


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

LM: NRA, DAV, RMEF

George L. Dwight
04 September 2019, 09:34
Steve416
Great Report. Lovely animals. Congratulations.
Masailand sure is special.
04 September 2019, 17:43
dukxdog
Enjoyed the details and photos. Always excellent reports on wonderful experiences. Thanks!


NRA Benefactor Member
GOA Life Member
Westley Richards 450 NE 3 1/4"
04 September 2019, 17:56
farbedo
Great report. One of the places on my wish list.

Thank you for sharing your adventure with us.

Jeremy
04 September 2019, 20:53
dogcat
quote:
Originally posted by georgeld:
Ross:

This is the most excellent report I can
recall reading. Like a fantastic book,
just couldn't stop reading.

The other thing I congratulate you on is
the PERFECT POSING of the animals. You
kneel at FULL height and don't lay down
or scrunch way behind to make things
look bigger.

Even that one zebra shot with you behind
it, the camera was at the right distance
and you were again at full kneeling height.

Excellent sir! Sorry about the shooting
problems. Any chance you've checked the
mount screws everywhere? I had a scope mounted as a kid and the jerk broke a tap off
and left it that way. Dad happened to see the
scope jump off the gun. Mighty hard to zero
one that way.

Thank you for posting this. And from Denver
too huh? Do you ever get down this way?

George


George,
Thanks for the comments and reply. On the pics, I usually only do what the PH suggests as they take hundreds of pictures and like to use them on their own websites. My wife also does the photography. I will be posting a Uganda report soon with a ton of pics of mountain gorillas that my wife took. They turned out well.

I have not been to Pueblo yet as we just moved to Denver in May. Will holler when I get that way.

Ross


Tajikistan - 2020 - Marco Polo Sheep and Mid-Asian Ibex
Masai Land -2019- Lesser Kudu and Masai Bushbuck
Ethiopia - 2017 -Mountain Nyala
Botswana - 2016 - Tholo Safaris and the Okavango Delta
Cameroon - 2016 – Lord Derby’s Eland and Buffalo
Turkey - 2015 - Bezoar Ibex and Tour
Nambia - 2015 - Father-Son - Eland
Sonora Mexico - 2015 - Desert Bighorn Sheep and Sonoran Mule Deer
British Columbia - 2014- Stone Sheep, Goat and Moose
New Zealand 2014 - Rusa Deer
British Columbia - 2013 - Bighorn Sheep
Zimbabwe 2013- Leopard with Hounds
Namibia 2012 - Lion
CAR 2012 - Lord Derby Eland
Cameroon Rainforest - 2011 - Bongo
Zambia - Nchila Reserve - 2010 - Forest Sitatunga
05 September 2019, 00:23
bwanamrm
Great report and I concur with the title of your hunt report... Masailand is a special place!


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.
05 September 2019, 02:43
reddy375
Great report Ross, super trophies. And its nice to be able to laugh off one's shooting, it happens to the best of us at times.

I am headed to Masailand for a month hunting with clients shortly.


Arjun Reddy
Hunters Networks LLC
30 Ivy Hill Road
Brewster, NY 10509
Tel: +1 845 259 3628
2020, DSC booth # 2350
2020, SCI booth # 3167
05 September 2019, 05:32
ManuelM
Great report, beautiful animals and what a great experience, one of the most special places in Africa! Thanks for sharing your report, very well written and I enjoyed it.


Manuel Maldonado
MM Sonoran Desert Hunters
https://www.facebook.com/huntingMM
07 September 2019, 03:39
AilsaWheels
Ross,

Enjoyed your report as always. Congratulations on getting those unique Tanzania PG. Reading the list of birds at the end of your report is always interesting. Please keep it up in future reports.

I was surprised to read that we are no longer neighbors. Enjoy your time in Denver. Go Thunder.

Your photo of the Maasai on the phone brought back a memory. Years ago a Maasai was talking to himself as he walked by. It just seemed strange. After he passed we realized he was talking on the phone. The phone was stuck in the hole of his earlobe. He was using the early model "hands free" feature. Cool
07 September 2019, 03:56
Michael Robinson
Ross, as usual, your report is a treasure. I truly respect your humility and enjoy your humor.

I also appreciate the tremendous detail you provide. It makes your reports the best I have read, and this one is no different.

You have inspired me to confess that on my trip to Zambia in July, four (4) shots were required to down my first animal, a plains zebra that we needed badly for leopard bait, and later, another four (4) shots were needed to kill a puku.

And if it is any consolation to you, the cause was the same as yours: user error.

I made the very same mistake on my trip that you did on yours. In cranking the elevation knob on my Schmidt & Bender scope, I went down with the reticle when I intended to go up. It caused me to shoot poorly for two days.

I have now learned, for all time, that "H" on a German scope means "Hoch" which translates to English as "Up"!

You took some beautiful animals, and fine, big and mature specimens to boot.

Thanks for sharing your experience, and congratulations!


Mike

An ounce of experience is worth a pound of theory.
07 September 2019, 04:32
clayman216
INCREDIBLE TROPHIES ! Well done.
07 September 2019, 05:03
shootaway
Congratulations dogcat.Nice animals, great hunt.
08 September 2019, 01:33
big toms
Another superb hunt and report to match. Thanks Ross.
08 September 2019, 04:03
jjbull
A wonderful report as always, Ross.

Thank you for sharing.


___________________________________________________________________________________

Give me the simple life; an AK-47, a good guard dog and a nymphomaniac who owns a liquor store.
08 September 2019, 23:52
Charlie64
.

Great report and pictures Ross !

Congratulations to the two of you on another great hunt!

How many eland is that now ?

Cheers

.


"Up the ladders and down the snakes!"
09 September 2019, 18:19
Tim Herald
Huge congrats Ross ! Great report as usual.


Good Hunting,

Tim Herald
Worldwide Trophy Adventures
tim@trophyadventures.com
17 September 2019, 00:46
dogcat
quote:
Originally posted by Charlie64:
.

Great report and pictures Ross !

Congratulations to the two of you on another great hunt!

How many eland is that now ?

Cheers

.


Not enough.... Still need one more....


Tajikistan - 2020 - Marco Polo Sheep and Mid-Asian Ibex
Masai Land -2019- Lesser Kudu and Masai Bushbuck
Ethiopia - 2017 -Mountain Nyala
Botswana - 2016 - Tholo Safaris and the Okavango Delta
Cameroon - 2016 – Lord Derby’s Eland and Buffalo
Turkey - 2015 - Bezoar Ibex and Tour
Nambia - 2015 - Father-Son - Eland
Sonora Mexico - 2015 - Desert Bighorn Sheep and Sonoran Mule Deer
British Columbia - 2014- Stone Sheep, Goat and Moose
New Zealand 2014 - Rusa Deer
British Columbia - 2013 - Bighorn Sheep
Zimbabwe 2013- Leopard with Hounds
Namibia 2012 - Lion
CAR 2012 - Lord Derby Eland
Cameroon Rainforest - 2011 - Bongo
Zambia - Nchila Reserve - 2010 - Forest Sitatunga
17 September 2019, 15:42
StormsGSP
Great hunt, thanks for sharing. You should come back and try for the buffalo. It is as challenging as mountain nyala (if not more so), and incredibly fun. I think it is one of the top hunts in Africa.


-----------------------------------------
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. -Henry David Thoreau, Walden
17 September 2019, 19:15
dogcat
I will. We just could not close the deal on one. I am thoroughly hooked.


Tajikistan - 2020 - Marco Polo Sheep and Mid-Asian Ibex
Masai Land -2019- Lesser Kudu and Masai Bushbuck
Ethiopia - 2017 -Mountain Nyala
Botswana - 2016 - Tholo Safaris and the Okavango Delta
Cameroon - 2016 – Lord Derby’s Eland and Buffalo
Turkey - 2015 - Bezoar Ibex and Tour
Nambia - 2015 - Father-Son - Eland
Sonora Mexico - 2015 - Desert Bighorn Sheep and Sonoran Mule Deer
British Columbia - 2014- Stone Sheep, Goat and Moose
New Zealand 2014 - Rusa Deer
British Columbia - 2013 - Bighorn Sheep
Zimbabwe 2013- Leopard with Hounds
Namibia 2012 - Lion
CAR 2012 - Lord Derby Eland
Cameroon Rainforest - 2011 - Bongo
Zambia - Nchila Reserve - 2010 - Forest Sitatunga