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Great Zim Hunt -- PHOTOS ADDED
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Area Hunted: Dande East and Dande North, Zimbabwe
Professional Hunter: Richard Tabor
Outfitter: Charlton McCallum Safaris
Firearm: Kimber Caprivi, .375 H&H

I just returned from an unbelievable safari and hunting experience in Zimbabwe with Charlton McCallum Safaris, hunting the Dande East and Dande North hunting concessions. This hunt was booked last year as a sable/buffalo/plains game hunt, and it became very exciting from the start.

While the hunt is described below, in summary I will say I was extremely pleased with CM Safaris, my PH Rich Tabor, the entire staff of trackers, scouts, cooks and camp workers, and the overall quality of the experience. My wife Romona joined me on this safari, and we stayed in 4 different camps over the course of a 16-day hunt. All facilities were in top-notch condition, well stocked and managed. The food was great, staff was very cordial, and Rich was an absolute pleasure to hunt with and get to know. This was my first trip to Africa, and I feel like I got 2 or 3 safaris in one – definitely one of the highlights of my hunting career.

Now for the hunt report:

The first day consisted of driving the Dande East unit to check the roads and waterholes for tracks, just to get an idea of activity in the area we would be hunting. We made a few walks, and saw quite a few sable, impala and a few kudu. We saw a really nice sable (around 39”) on the first morning, but Rich decided not to pursue it. He was confident we could take a 40”+ bull if we were patient, and we had a 16-day safari ahead of us.

Day 2 consisted of walking, tracking buffalo and seeing more sable and kudu. We almost got a nice kudu at the end of the afternoon, but we couldn’t determine how good the tips were quickly enough – we only needed a few more seconds on him, but he saw us and was gone.

Day 3 was the day we got a big sable. We had seen a herd of around 40 sable each of the 1st 2 days, but the largest bulls were only 37-38”. Today, however, a larger bull had joined the group and I knew I wanted him as soon as I saw him. Rich gave me the green light pretty quickly, and we promptly made a stalk and got the shot from around 120 yards.



That was early in the morning, so we took him back to camp, ate an early lunch and went back out. We began tracking a herd of around 30 buffalo, and when we finally got sight of them, there was a great bull in the bunch. We chased them for several hours in the thick stuff, but we never got a shot opportunity. We saw that big bull several times, and we knew he was one to go after.

On day 4, we picked up the track of the buffalo herd from the evening before and caught up with them around 9 am. I shot that bull twice, and we ended up getting him after a long day of tracking and following. The trackers did a phenomenal job of keeping up with him, and Rich and I were both excited to finally get him down. He is a great bull, with huge drops and sweeps, measuring 40” wide.



We hunted the next day for Kudu and then decided to move to the Mururu camp in the Dande North to try for some of the plains game that were more plentiful in that area (zebra, bushbuck, waterbuck). I also learned that a leopard tag was available and decided to try to for one since we were only 5 days into a 16-day hunt. It turned out to be a great decision.

On day 7, from the Mururu camp, we tracked a herd of zebra and I shot a really nice stallion around mid-morning. We spent the rest of the afternoon “swingin’ steaks” – hanging 5 baits in hopes of attracting a big male leopard.



The morning of day 8, we found big tracks around the first bait we had hung, so we built a blind and prepared to hunt it that evening. We returned to the blind at 4:15, and the leopard showed up around 5:30 and I got him then. This was unbelievable luck to locate and get on a leopard so quickly – I still can’t believe it. Everyone in camp assured me I was probably the luckiest hunter in the Zambezi valley at that moment. It was a really neat experience to drive into camp with all of the staff singing and chanting. Everyone in camp delayed their supper and stayed up to see us arrive with the big cat. It sure felt like a big deal.




The next morning, Rich and his team removed the 5 leopard baits and we relocated them to an area closer to camp where we could try for a hyena in the early morning hours. It took 2 nights for the hyenas to find the bait, and the first morning we hunted them, they left before it was light enough for me to shoot. There was a lioness on the bait as well, probably keeping them more on edge than normal. Regardless, we snuck in the next morning in the dark and got one at first light. I now understand why the PH’s describe them as an under-rated trophy. They are certainly a great trophy, and I’m really glad I got one.



The rest of the hunting days were spent making walks to locate kudu, bushbuck, waterbuck, warthog, impala, etc. With the big animals behind me after the first 8 days, we relaxed a bit and rotated to other camps in order for Romona and me to get a broader experience in the area. It was a wonderful time. I ended up shooting a 2nd zebra and got a really nice impala.



We ended our hunt with 2 days at the Motombo river camp, which has a tremendous view of the Zambezi River – especially at sunset. We went out on the river each of those 2 afternoons, and we saw lots of hippos and crocs, and quite a few elephant as we made walks looking for bushbuck and waterbuck. It was a great way to end the hunt.



As I said before, all in all, this was a tremendous experience. With 16 days, we were able to really settle into a long hunt, develop a routine of rising early, walking a lot each day, relaxing around the fire with a couple of “sundowners” before supper, and then retiring early. The trophy quality was exceptional, and I still can’t believe my good fortune to take a great sable, a great buffalo, a leopard and a hyena on a single safari.

Also, I can’t say enough about the professionalism of the staff and how well the entire operation was run. I would definitely recommend this hunt and CM Safaris to anyone who can walk and would enjoy the tracking-style of hunting like we did for the buffalo. That was my favorite.
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: 25 August 2013Reply With Quote
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Welcome John...Fantastic report and I enjoyed it!
Big CONGRATS to you and your wife and the CMS Team tu2

EXCELLENT!


Roland
 
Posts: 3430 | Registered: 24 February 2007Reply With Quote
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Congrats! Hunted w/Rich in 2010...buff/sable/hippo..... Great PH.


Skip Nantz
 
Posts: 455 | Location: SouthEast, KY | Registered: 09 May 2010Reply With Quote
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WHERE ARE THE PICTURES???? dancing
 
Posts: 7051 | Location: Georgia | Registered: 28 October 2006Reply With Quote
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As one of my good friends says "this post is worthless without pictures".

On a serious note. Congrats on an amazing safari. Well done. Looking forward to the pics. Glad to hear your wife went along and had a great time.
 
Posts: 1307 | Registered: 04 November 2010Reply With Quote
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OK John, now time for us to see some pics of those great trophies.

Mike tu2


Michael Podwika... DRSS bigbores and hunting www.pvt.co.za " MAKE THE SHOT " 450#2 Famars
 
Posts: 6685 | Location: Wyoming, Pa. USA | Registered: 17 April 2003Reply With Quote
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OK OK. Photos added. Smiler I had to get instruction on how to do that. Thanks Mike Jines!
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: 25 August 2013Reply With Quote
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Dammit man! What a sweet bag! Congratulations to you..
 
Posts: 183 | Location: Huffman, TX.  | Registered: 04 August 2011Reply With Quote
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Nice trophies but my favorite has to be the buff. Love the drop to his horns!


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Posts: 6388 | Location: Victoria, Texas | Registered: 30 March 2003Reply With Quote
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Wow! Truly amazing trophies all around. That buff is crazy cool. I love those drops.
Thanks for sharing.
 
Posts: 164 | Location: Albuquerque, NM | Registered: 07 July 2012Reply With Quote
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I'll say it again even now that pics are up....EXCELLENT!!! tu2
 
Posts: 3430 | Registered: 24 February 2007Reply With Quote
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Cracking first safari. Classic Buffalo and very well done on your great Leopard and Sable.


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Posts: 7300 | Location: Zambia | Registered: 10 April 2009Reply With Quote
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Superb, and welcome to the forum.
 
Posts: 1744 | Location: South Dakota | Registered: 22 August 2004Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by John Brogan:
I was extremely pleased with CM Safaris....

Ya Think?! Holy sweet mother of baby Jesus, what a great hunt! Hard not to be envious of your trip.

Thanks for sharing, and welcome to AR.

Best-


"You only gotta do one thing well to make it in this world" - J Joplin
 
Posts: 1129 | Registered: 10 September 2008Reply With Quote
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Great report.

CMS does a heck of a job.

They consistently produce great results, congrats to all involved.

Cheers!
 
Posts: 712 | Location: Helena, Montana | Registered: 28 October 2009Reply With Quote
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What an outstanding safari! tu2 Congratulations on your success! Big Grin
 
Posts: 12603 | Registered: 04 April 2005Reply With Quote
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This was a dream hunt! Congratulations on a fantastic first safari. Now you are hooked.
 
Posts: 309 | Location: WV | Registered: 14 February 2005Reply With Quote
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Great hunt and report. Some very nice trophies.
Congrats
 
Posts: 4214 | Location: Southern Colorado | Registered: 09 October 2011Reply With Quote
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Thanks to all of you for the congrats and complements. I'm new to the site -- really appreciate the positive feedback.

I'm definitely off the deep end. Just bought a Merkel .470 NE double today. Jeez! Will probably be needing lots of advice from all of you to get it shooting right.Smiler
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: 25 August 2013Reply With Quote
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Congrats on your first hunt John. You picked a winner for sure. CMS and Rich Tabor are certainly top shelf. I've hunted with Rich twice now and he has to be one of the hardest working PHs around. Not only that, but he IS "The Cat Man" securing my "Mr. Spots" on day 13 of a 14 day hunt. Like you, my very first post on AR was from a Leopard hunt with Rich and CMS.

Congrats again and I hope you have many, many more great hunts! Welcome to the forum.


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Posts: 6361 | Location: North Central TX | Registered: 09 January 2011Reply With Quote
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Great trip John - congratulations!
 
Posts: 1483 | Location: New York | Registered: 01 January 2010Reply With Quote
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Great report and congratulations on your trophies. I always thought my picture of sundown on the Zambezi was killer...until I saw yours - outstanding.
 
Posts: 1255 | Location: Texas Hill Country | Registered: 31 May 2007Reply With Quote
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Congratulations on a fine hunt.That picture of you and Rich with the buff has an effect on me.I am jealous.



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Posts: 10541 | Location: Montreal | Registered: 07 November 2002Reply With Quote
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John.
I certainly understand why you're pleased. Great hunt, great trophies, great outfitter.
Many congratulations and thank you for posting.
Jytte
 
Posts: 207 | Location: Denmark | Registered: 13 December 2010Reply With Quote
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You really did well!

beautiful trophies!

Leopard that quickly? my goodness!
 
Posts: 2967 | Location: Minnesota USA | Registered: 15 June 2007Reply With Quote
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Hi John and Ramona

It was such a pleasure to sharing a camp with you guys! Well done on a truly outstanding first hunt!! Rich keeps providing the goods! Looking forward to seeing you both at the shows. Cheers Buzz
 
Posts: 875 | Location: Zimbabwe | Registered: 22 June 2009Reply With Quote
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Conations on a fantastic first hunt in Zim. Nice write up and awesome pictures, thanks for sharing


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Posts: 305 | Location: SA Eastern Cape | Registered: 20 August 2011Reply With Quote
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Fantastic report; thanks!


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Posts: 1195 | Location: London, UK | Registered: 02 April 2010Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by fvh40:
Conations on a fantastic first hunt in Zim. Nice write up and awesome pictures, thanks for sharing


Congratulations, that's the word I was typing Big Grin


PH 47/2015 EC
HC 16/2015 EC
Ferdi Venter
ferdiventer@gmail.com
http://www.ferdiventerhunting.com

Nature at your doorstep
 
Posts: 305 | Location: SA Eastern Cape | Registered: 20 August 2011Reply With Quote
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Really good stuff!!!!


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Posts: 4592 | Location: Littleton, Colorado | Registered: 05 March 2009Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by FishN4Eyes:


CMS does a heck of a job.

They consistently produce great results

Cheers!


That's the truth.


Congratulations John, Rich and team, excellent.
 
Posts: 2270 | Location: Zimbabwe | Registered: 28 February 2007Reply With Quote
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Congratulations!


Hunt big or go home.
 
Posts: 574 | Location: Moscow, Russia | Registered: 13 March 2007Reply With Quote
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Congrats on a great hunt... Nice cat!!!


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

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Posts: 2490 | Location: dividing my time between san angelo and victoria texas.......... USA | Registered: 26 July 2006Reply With Quote
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You got some really nice animals there on a great hunt, love your buff! Congratulations and thanks for sharing.
 
Posts: 410 | Registered: 25 October 2010Reply With Quote
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Well done. Thanks for the report


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Posts: 1048 | Location: San Diego | Registered: 02 July 2005Reply With Quote
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What a wonderful first hunt and to be able to share it with your wife. I hope that she understands the great success you had....
love the curls on that Buff
 
Posts: 1291 | Location: Vermont | Registered: 27 March 2006Reply With Quote
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Great hunt!

What ammo, bullet types, weights did you use?


Hook em Horns
 
Posts: 290 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 February 2012Reply With Quote
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Great animals. I particularly loved the drop on the buffalo and am jealous of your Hyena. CMS really does provide wonderful experiences.
 
Posts: 156 | Registered: 06 May 2010Reply With Quote
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Thanks everyone for all the congrats and compliments. Most of them should go to Rich who worked his butt off and to CMS for running such a smooth operation. We were totally focused on hunting and having fun, with no worries about logistics.

Re: the question about ammo, etc.: I shot everything with my Kimber Caprivi .375, Federal Cape-Shock Swift A-Frames, 300-grain. Also a couple of 300-grain solids in the buffalo from Superior Ammunition -- they developed a solid load that blueprinted with the A-Frames. The Swift A-Frames were awesome. Every one of them performed perfectly.

Got to learn a new load now. Just bought a Merkel double in .470 NE. Guess I'm going back.
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: 25 August 2013Reply With Quote
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