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Complete Hunt Report: CMS Lion and Buffalo Hunt
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[Rather than edit my short post, I thought I would simply do a new post with a more complete report on my recent hunt. I have also rationalized in my own mind (since it easier to do!) that the reports that are focused more on pictures and less on stale narrative are likewise easier and more enjoyable for users to digest. Hence, the lack of detailed narrative and plethora of pictures.]

Dates: October 25 - November 7, 2013
Areas: Dande North Ward 1 and Ward 2 (Zimbabwe)
Outfitter: Charlton McCallum Safaris
Professional Hunter: Buzz Charlton
Airline: Emirates (Houston-Dubai-Harare)
Travel Agent: Steve Turner and Susan, Travel With Guns
Rifles Used: Ruger Guide Gun .375 Ruger (Barnes TSX) and Verney Carron .470 NE (CEB Safari Solids and Safari Raptors)
Cigars: Flor de las Antillas Toros

This trip was booked as a continuation of my lion hunt with Buzz last year. In 2012 Buzz and I hunted hard for lion for nineteen days but were unable to connect. After my trip, Todd Williams was able to take a nice male that Buzz and I had tracked but been unable to catch. Kudos to Todd and Blake for connecting on “Stumpy”.

This year Buzz and I decided very late in the season to try one more time for lion. The odds were in some respects stacked against us. One, we were hunting late season which means temperatures are hot and therefore baits go bad quickly. Two, we were hunting the communal areas in Dande as opposed to the safari area (although I am not convinced in retrospect that this was a downside at all). Third, the hunt would only be for fourteen days. With Buzz trying to balance an otherwise full safari season with the arrival of his second child, fourteen days was the maximum amount of time we felt would be possible. In some respects, going into the hunt with these limitations in mind actually made the hunt easier. Since expectations were somewhat tempered, it made the hunt much more relaxing. We sort of approached every day with a view of let’s have fun and just take things as they come.

The early part of the hunt we focused on Ward 1. The Ward 1 area borders on the Dande Safari Area on the south and the Zambezi River on the north. We spent our days doing a combination of tracking for lion and baiting. There was a male lion and two lionesses operating in and through Ward 1. We tracked them early in the hunt and ended up baiting them later in the hunt. While we had them on bait, the male was an uninspiring representative of the species. We sat two evenings in the blind, with the lion and lionesses coming in on the first evening but not the second. In between chasing and baiting for lion in Ward 1 we also gave some dagga boys and herd bulls the runaround – or maybe it should be said that they gave us the runaround!

With things slowing down in Ward 1, we elected to relocate to Ward 2. The program in Ward 2 (which is south of the Dande Safari Area and north of Dande East) was to be a repeat of the program in Ward 1, a mix of tracking and baiting. On Day 10 of the hunt despite some early morning drizzle we were able to catch a group of buffalo after a relatively short tracking session. We watched the group from the top of a termite mound and spotted a nice hard bossed bull with a 40+ inch spread (41" it turns out). As the herd started to move off, the bull presented himself. After the shot he ran less than 25 yards and piled up. We were back in the baiting game. The afternoon of Day 10 we spent putting up two baits, one on each end of a sand river which still had areas that were holding water or were spring fed.

The morning of Day 11 Buzz decided that we would do a walk down the Mkanga Gorge. As I understand, the entire walk is approximately 8.5 kilometers. The gorge is a beautiful area but the walking can be challenging. There is a lot of climbing over and around boulders, traversing rocky areas, etc. During our walk in the gorge we noticed a lot of bushpig sign, as well as hyena, elephant and bushbuck. When we had completed approximately 2/3 of the walk, Buzz spotted some bushpig walking on an elephant path on the side of the gorge. With Buzz’s instructions to “have fun” I opened up on the pigs. They were running left and right, but in less than thirty seconds and after four shots, three were down. A bushpig trifecta. Then we started to focus on the reality of, what next – how are we going to get these pigs out of the gorge. With 2.5 kilometers left to go on the walk, Buzz radioed the vehicle and suggested that they start walking down the gorge to help us carry the bushpigs out. Then Buzz suggested that before they do that, they should check the other bait to see if it had been hit (the bait was at Buffalo Bend for those familiar with the area).

Shortly after talking to the crew on the radio, they called us. In driving up to check the bait a male lion had charged the vehicle. Buzz quizzed the team, “is it a good male”? The reply, “110%”. So now the mission becomes to get to the bait. We field dressed the bushpigs and Criton, Buzz’s tracker extraordinaire, proceeds to hang one pig off of opposite ends of a pole and carry them out. We took the hams and shoulders off of the other pig, loaded them in a backpack and started up the gorge. Remember, they are carrying these loads over, under and around boulders, rocks, etc. The strength and balance were something to behold. At 55 I can only admire their physical abilities.

As we came out of the gorge, we put the bushpig down and began to approach the bait site. Rather than approach the bait site from the river, we cut over a rocky ledge that came up behind the bait. The wind was perfect both in terms of direction and speed, enough to help cover the sound of our approach. As we reached the edge of the ledge we could see the bait. Laying near the bait was the lion. He was facing away from us, looking up the river. Since we were above the level of lion, I lined up for a little higher shoulder shot. One shot and the lion simply rolled on his side. I elected to put a second shot in but it was unnecessary, the first shot was all it took. He was a tremendous free range, Zambezi Valley lion. It was just before noon and we had shot three bushpigs and lion . . . amazing.

. . . thanks again to Buzz and his team for another fantastic safari. Enjoy the pictures.


















































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: 15897 | Location: Texas | Registered: 03 January 2006Reply With Quote
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Fantastic Mike.

Jealous of the bushpigs and no mention of the Cohibas.

Jeff
 
Posts: 2662 | Location: Orlando, Florida | Registered: 18 September 2007Reply With Quote
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LOL. I definitely enjoyed a couple of the Cohibas, probably the most expensive cigars I will ever smoke. Problem was that Buzz was hoarding them in his humidor. Big Grin


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: 15897 | Location: Texas | Registered: 03 January 2006Reply With Quote
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Great story, photos and trophies all around. Well done!
 
Posts: 1383 | Location: Virginia | Registered: 29 September 2011Reply With Quote
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I was waiting for the rest of the story. Well Done.
 
Posts: 4214 | Location: Southern Colorado | Registered: 09 October 2011Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by MJines:
LOL. I definitely enjoyed a couple of the Cohibas, probably the most expensive cigars I will ever smoke. Problem was that Buzz was hoarding them in his humidor. Big Grin


Oh yes. Mr. Charlton is very protective of his Cohibas.
 
Posts: 2662 | Location: Orlando, Florida | Registered: 18 September 2007Reply With Quote
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Congratulations Mike on finally connecting on the lion. Nice buff and other trophies as well. Sounds like you had a great time.


DRSS
Sabatti 450\400 NE
Merkel 140-2 500 NE
 
Posts: 648 | Location: PA | Registered: 24 April 2011Reply With Quote
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Awesome Mike! I'm incredibly happy for you my friend in getting your lion! And to do it from stalking makes it all the better, IMO.

clap


DRSS
NRA Life
NAHC Life
SCI
DSC
 
Posts: 6491 | Location: North Central TX | Registered: 09 January 2011Reply With Quote
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Fantastic hunt and trophies. Did you shoot anything with the VC?


I meant to be DSC Member...bad typing skills.

DRSS
 
Posts: 1921 | Location: Dallas | Registered: 19 March 2008Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by DCS Member:
Fantastic hunt and trophies. Did you shoot anything with the VC?


Two shots at a target at the range on first day of the hunt. Bottom line, used the .375 Ruger for everything.


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: 15897 | Location: Texas | Registered: 03 January 2006Reply With Quote
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Congratulations on a most excellent hunt.

Please, your thoughts/comments on the Ruger Guide rifle, interested in hearing from an actual field user, thank you.
 
Posts: 948 | Registered: 02 November 2003Reply With Quote
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Very nice story, Mike. Great pictures!


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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All right guys
Excellent trip, damn I wish I was there
Congratulation on your hunt


" Until the day breaks and the nights shadows flee away " Big ivory for my pillow and 2.5% of Neanderthal DNA flowing thru my veins.
When I'm ready to go, pack a bag of gunpowder up my ass and strike a fire to my pecker, until I squeal like a boar.
Yours truly , Milan The Boarkiller - World according to Milan
PS I have big boar on my floor...but it ain't dead, just scared to move...
 
Posts: 8716 | Location: In mountains behind my house hunting or drinking beer in Blacksmith Brewery in Stevensville MT | Registered: 27 December 2012Reply With Quote
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Three little pigs and a big bad wolf.

Excellent and well done.


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Posts: 7404 | Location: Zambia | Registered: 10 April 2009Reply With Quote
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Three little pigs, a big bad wolf ( lawyer ) and a lion.
Well done Mike, that must have been a brilliant hunt. Did you take any other interesting pictures while you were there?
Please bring that degree of good fortune on our little jaunt next year and I'll bring the Cuban cigars.
Regards
Rob
 
Posts: 555 | Location: UK | Registered: 17 November 2006Reply With Quote
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Well done Mike!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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
 
Posts: 23384 | Location: Gainesville, TX | Registered: 24 December 2006Reply With Quote
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Wow! Great photography as well. 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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Great Lion...Congratulations!
 
Posts: 1651 | Location: Winston,Georgia | Registered: 07 July 2007Reply With Quote
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Nice pics, congrats on your lion..


go big or go home ........

DSC-- Life Member
NRA--Life member
DRSS--9.3x74 r Chapuis
 
Posts: 2508 | Location: dividing my time between san angelo and victoria texas.......... USA | Registered: 26 July 2006Reply With Quote
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Well done, thanks fore sharing Smiler


Terje Kvestad
 
Posts: 59 | Location: Kongsberg ,Norway | Registered: 05 November 2006Reply With Quote
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Great stuff Mike. Sounds like another great CMS hunt. I love hunting warthogs and yours looks like a good one.

Great photo of the tree roots.

I must say I do like a Cohiba, so will bring some across next time for Buzz, but only if he can keep up with the Aussies on the whiskey!

Cheers

DK
 
Posts: 77 | Location: Australia | Registered: 05 February 2012Reply With Quote
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Congratulations Again! Well done Mike.
 
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Congrats on a great hunt and thanks for taking the time to post your report. It and the pics are outstanding.


"I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

Tanzania 2012: http://forums.accuratereloadin...6321043/m/8331015971
Saskatoon, Canada 2013: http://forums.accuratereloadin...4121043/m/7171030391
Las Pampas, Argentina 2014: http://forums.accuratereloadin...4107165/m/1991059791
 
Posts: 258 | Location: Scottsdale, AZ | Registered: 19 April 2012Reply With Quote
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Mike,

You did very well. Guess you also decided to show your lion pix. Nice trophies.

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
Website: myexclusiveadventures.com
Skype: markhyhunter
Check us out on https://www.facebook.com/pages...ures/627027353990716
 
Posts: 11000 | Location: LAS VEGAS, NV USA | Registered: 04 August 2002Reply With Quote
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Nice lion. Thanks for the report tu2


DRSS
Chapuis 9.3x74R
Searcy 470 NE
 
Posts: 1069 | Location: San Diego | Registered: 02 July 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by MARK H. YOUNG:
Guess you also decided to show your lion pix.


Correct, ultimately I concluded that I could actually care less what anyone thinks about my lion; it is my lion, I think it is an outstanding lion and I am extremely happy with it. At 55, I am beyond getting tied in knots over the thoughts and opinions of others.


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

 
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Mike

Nice!!!!!!!!!! Did you use the Barnes TSX out of the Ruger for the buffalo? What weight and how did it perform?

Thanks
Mark
 
Posts: 334 | Location: Fairbanks AK relocated to Homer AK | Registered: 03 July 2002Reply With Quote
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YOU SIMPLY MUST BRING THAT STAINLESS AND LAMINATE BEAUTY WITH THE RECOIL REDUCER ON OUR DUGGA BOY HUNT....

Nice cat by the way. I am extremely jealous!


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.
 
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Awesome job Mike and Buzz!!! Very nice pictures too.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by bwanamrm:
YOU SIMPLY MUST BRING THAT STAINLESS AND LAMINATE BEAUTY WITH THE RECOIL REDUCER ON OUR DUGGA BOY HUNT....


. . . be careful what you wish for.

I used the .375 Ruger on everything and the performance was outstanding -- one shot kills on the zebra, buffalo, bushpigs and lion. We recovered the TSX on the buffalo and it was a picture perfect bullet. I did not weigh it, but it has to be within 5% of its original weight.


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: 15897 | Location: Texas | Registered: 03 January 2006Reply With Quote
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Congrats, Mike on a fine lion! I am very happy for you. tu2 Thanks for the report. How hot were the temps while you were there?


Antlers
Double Rifle Shooters Society
Heym 450/400 3"
 
Posts: 1928 | Location: Alaska | Registered: 13 February 2002Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Antlers:
How hot were the temps while you were there?


Damn, 'effing, ridiculous, stupid hot. The last two days of the hunt, the thermometer in the truck was showing over 120 degrees late into the afternoon.


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: 15897 | Location: Texas | Registered: 03 January 2006Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by MJines:
quote:
Originally posted by MARK H. YOUNG:
Guess you also decided to show your lion pix.


Correct, ultimately I concluded that I could actually care less what anyone thinks about my lion; it is my lion, I think it is an outstanding lion and I am extremely happy with it. At 55, I am beyond getting tied in knots over the thoughts and opinions of others.


Wish others could say that.


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

Thank you for your reports. I've been lucky, relatively speaking, being young and introduced to safaris (buffalo in 12 and elephant in 13) and now truly addicted. I enjoy your posts.


Beau
 
Posts: 56 | Location: Bay Area, California | Registered: 07 July 2012Reply With Quote
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Mike

Were the tsx bullets the 270gr or 300gr? I have shot a couple moose with my 375 Ruger with the tsx and have not recovered a bullets.

Regards
Mark
 
Posts: 334 | Location: Fairbanks AK relocated to Homer AK | Registered: 03 July 2002Reply With Quote
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The Barnes TSX were 300 grain bullets, we just recovered the one bullet from the entire trip. The others were all pass throughs.


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: 15897 | Location: Texas | Registered: 03 January 2006Reply With Quote
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Very nice pictures, that lion is fantastic
 
Posts: 292 | Location: Northernmost Sweden | Registered: 17 July 2013Reply With Quote
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Mike!

Very happy for you that you this year got your great beast, the lion. Some great pictures added with large smiles even.

I expect I was not the only one waiting for your hunt report, knowing you were sweating in Dande with Buzz only weeks ago.

As usual, I enjoyed your hunt report, 3 bush pigs, my heaven, you always have surprises up your sleeve!

Many congratulations, it looks to have been another fine hunt with CMS.

Jytte
 
Posts: 207 | Location: Denmark | Registered: 13 December 2010Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by MJines:
quote:
Originally posted by Antlers:
How hot were the temps while you were there?


Damn, 'effing, ridiculous, stupid hot. The last two days of the hunt, the thermometer in the truck was showing over 120 degrees late into the afternoon.


Eeker man, I wouldn't have survived!


Antlers
Double Rifle Shooters Society
Heym 450/400 3"
 
Posts: 1928 | Location: Alaska | Registered: 13 February 2002Reply With Quote
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Mike-
I've been waiting for your report. Congratulations on connecting with such a fabulous lion. He is truly amazing.
Loved the photos, particularly the one of Criton balancing the pigs.
And I thought it was hot in April. Yikes.
 
Posts: 1765 | Location: South Dakota | Registered: 22 August 2004Reply With Quote
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