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Lion and buffalo with CMS October 2015. / Video Lion follow up added
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Picture of Carl Frederik Nagell
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Dande Safari area October 2015
Rifles; Sauer 202 Take Down .416 RM and Verney- Carron Azur 500 NE.
Hand loads;
.416 RM; Rhino Soft 400 grain with 76 grain Norma 203-B, Rhino Solids 400 grain with 75 grain Norma 203-B and for lion Hornady RN Interlock 400 grain with 76 grain Norma 203-B
500 NE; Woodleigh Soft 570 grains with 97 grains N140 and Woodleigh Solids with 95 grain N140
PH: Rich Tabor
Camerama: Justin ”snake” Drainer
Trackers; Teddy and No-rest
Driver; Caveman
Game Scouts; Chammy
Weather; Hot and very hot.

Animals seen; Elephant, buffalo, eland, waterbuck, lion, leopard (trail camera), hyena, zebra, impala, grysbuck, klipspringer, impala, bushbuck, kudu, hippo, duiker, warthog and jackel

Background; After my last hunt with Buzz in 2012 the plan was to bring the family and hunt a lioness and buffalo. But as lioness is no longer on quota and it being fair to assume that importing lion soon could be banned not only in the US but also the EU. I jumped on a male lion hunt in Dande when the chance showed up. A classic lion hunt in Zambezi Valley is not family friendly to say the least. My wife knowing this better than myself convinced me that I would have to go alone. The lion was the main target with buffalo and elephant bull as secondary. When hunting lion bait is a concern so Buzz had put aside a tag for hippo and non-trophy elephant for this purpose.

I needed two upgrades on my weaponry for this hunt. A new scope with an illuminated reticle and develop a load for a soft bullet for the .416 that had the same impact as my Rhino soft and solids. The Rhino soft is a great bullet for buffalo but probably a bit to tough for lion. For the latter I choose a 400 grain Hornady that I usually use for practice. And for the scope a Zeiss Victory 2.5-10 X 50.

Recently shooting lions has got our friends from the anti hunting community up of their chairs so I think it appropriate to comment on the ethics of shooting such a great animal. For those of you that are opposed to hunting and with us here on AR please read the following with an open mind: The isolated act of killing a magnificent animal such as a lion, elephant or any other animal is in itself difficult to defend. And I do understand that you might find it horrific. So I have asked myself before, and certainly now with all the criticism of hunting, is it right to kill the animals I do? I believe it is. If my fellow hunters and I did not use a huge amount of money on our sport there would be far less land sat aside to wildlife. If you look on a map of Zimbabwe you will see that hunting areas cower a substantial part of the country. Could there not be another way to use this land you might ask? Yes there is, cotton and maize fields, villages, mines, factories and wasteland. But the cost would be not one bull elephant or male lion but ALL wildlife in that area. Sure the hunting conservation model is not perfect. There are bad outfitters that deplete there areas, do not have anti-poaching etc. But there are no other models that work better. That said the hunting conservation model cannot stand alone. Wildlife also need other forms of conservation. Some areas are suited as photographic areas. Other areas should be reserves managed in other ways. We must all pull together towards our common goal; preserving the worlds wildlife. Instead of fighting each other we should respect that conservation can and should be done in different ways and realize that not understanding one way is not the same as it does not work as an conservation tool. Together we should optimize our conservation models. A very good example is the 5 year rule on lion. This stops the shooting of immature lion and reduces the takeoff of breeding lions. Together we should also root out the bad apples among hunters and outfitters. With this in mind I am proud that I have means and the will to through my passion put money into safari area and communal lands. And in this way help secure these wilderness areas together with its wildlife.

Back to the rapport

The EU has a weapon embargo on Zimbabwe. This includes sporting arms. This means that you cannot check your gun through to Harare. So you need to go trough customs in Jburg. Declare your gun. Get a SA gun permit. Check inn again and clear you gun with The South African Police. This is a major hassle. My flight was delayed into Jburg so by the time I had got my luggage I had 60 min to my Harare flight departed. But with some hard running and little economic encouragement I made it and so did guns and luggage.

I hunted with Rich Tabor. I have not hunted with him before but have only heard well about him. Rich loves his cat hunting and is a very knowledgeable about cat behavior. And as it turned out everything he predicted our lion would or could do was spot on. I think Rich is the first ph I have hunted with that gives you the feeling that he wants to get your trophies even more than you do yourself. I will recommend him any time. A word of caution though. Rich is a hard walker. Rich will only stop when there is a reason to stop. Having a leak, being thirsty or tired is NOT a reason. We broke down our game scout on day 5 or 6 – it’s harden up or eat a cement pill!

14 days before our hunt a good lion had been spotted on a leopard bait and one month prior to that another big lion had been seen in the northern part of Dande. With that in mind Rich wanted us to get some baits up as soon as possible. I thought we would start up with shooting a hippo on the Zambezi, but Rich thought it better not to use the first 2 -3 days with the transport and recovery.
The first day we shot a kudu cow for bait. There are plenty kudu cows around so this is fairly easy.





One kudu is one bait. The guys skin it out as this will make a dry surface on the meat and slow down the maggots. In very hot weather a bait will hold for 3-5 days before it’s reduced to a mass of maggots and needs to be replaced. After hanging the kudu we made the drag by dragging guts aprox 5 km along a road that lead up to the bait.


Day 2. We need more bait and are soon on buffalo tracks. We catch up to them in no time – remember Rich is leading on! It’s a herd of aprox 30 buffalo. A quick look reveals no buffalo bulls of interest so we settle for a cow. The shot is a bit back. There is little blood but fortunately she separates from the herd and we find her standing in some bush 500 m from where she was shot the first time. The trackers and Rich point her out. I can only see something black and aim in the middle of it. The shot drops her luckily going through the spine. A buffalo cow makes two lion baits.




We head towards our first bait and can see that a big lion has walked over our drag but not followed it. The track continues down the road 2 -3 km not fare from the border to Chewore South. Rich figures the lion is on the lookout for females and that we need to put a bait out in front of it in the direction that he is going. So we found a river bed a few km in front of were the tracks left the road and hung half of the buffalo. We call this bait Secret Valley.

Big lion track





Justin our camera man



Next morning we drive to Secret Valley and find it has been hit and has long ginger colored mane hairs on it.






The trail camera confirms we have a big cat on bait. Rich is still not 100% sure it will meet the 5 year rule, but his smile is just a bit broader than usually.













We decide to build a blind on the other side of the riverbed and upwind of the bait. Blind material is cut 4-5 km from the blind so we do not disturb the lion, but returning 2 hours later the trackers spot him on a ridge overseeing the bait not fare from where we want to build the blind. We jump off the truck and follow. Rich gets a good look at him and his grin gets even broader. His a shooter! The lion sneaks off and we let him go not wanting to risk scaring him off. The blind it quickly build by the team that has done this many times before. Plan is to sit tonight. The trail camera shows he came in at 18.38 just after dark. We are in the safari area and are only aloud to shoot 30 min after sundown which means 1830. We hope he came in a bit late due to the fact that he has just found the bait. And that he will come just a bit earlier now. Rick´s only concern is that the lion went off up wind of the blind and if he comes back the same way he will smell us.

That evenings sit is futile and we walk back to the truck in the darkness a bit disappointed but also a little relieved. On the way into the blind I discover that the stock on my rifle is loose. Sitting in the blind I see that there is a large crack down thru the wrist. The next shot will split it entirely. There is no way back now. I am prepared for the scope to cut my face bad and wonders were we must go afterwards to get it stitched up. The lack of lion on the bait saves my face. Back in camp we do an African bush repair. Super glue, cable strips and duct tape! Incredibly this holds the whole safari.




Rich decides not to sit in the morning. The next day we can see that the lion has come inn 20 min after we have left and that he checked our blind before approaching the bait. So apparently he has been laying behind our blind waiting for us to leave. The trail camera also shows that he leaves the bait well before first light. Before sun rise a female leopard has feed and then a hyena. Rich was 100% spot on his prediction on what this cat would do. So far this cat is one step ahead of us. He now knows what the blind is. Rich´s move is to build a tree blind instead.




Video of lion on the bait










A suitable tree is found just opposite the bait. In 3 hours the guys builds a new blind 15 m up in the tree. While the guys work on the blind Justin and me are eaten alive by tsetse. I have never seen tsetse so aggressive and in these numbers before. Both Justin and I think to our selves that we will not stand 21 days of this!
The blind is finished and Rich wants for me to check if I sit ok in it. Now comes the scariest bit of the safari; climbing up the makeshift ladder to the blind! Climbing down is even worse. The bait is replenished with half a buffalo.

We drive off and have lunch and get some rest. Back to and up in the blind at 1600. The wait begins. The floor in the blind is made up of poles and you can see the ground some 20 m under us. The whole constructions moves slightly in the wind. I hope the guys know there knots. Looking around to decide what to cling on to if the floor disappears under me. Far off we hear a leopard cough. The Mopani bees keep getting into my eyes. Those small buggers have saved the lives of game before by getting stuck under your eyelids at the wrong moment. The leopard coughs again this time much closer.

Rich and I have not talked much bullet placement but I have read Kevin Roberts “The perfect Shot”. You should shoot somewhat behind the shoulder as cats have their legs placed more forward than other game. Rich said something about shooting in the armpit. Obviously they do not agree. Kevin Roberts is a vet. I better stick to his advice. I will be shooting quite a bit downwards. How is it? You tend to shoot high when shooting down. Should I compensate? Probably not. My palms are sweaty.

The leopard coughs again this time very close. This could be good. If the leopard comes it might bring out mr Scumba to defend its meat. The time is 1815. I have 15 min of shooting light left. What is that?! On the opposite riverbank, in-between the trees. I just see a cylinder shaped body. A warthog? No. Now I see the tail. The mane blurs out the head making it difficult to see. My pulse races. Rich doesn’t see it. I pull his arm franticly. Now the lion have layed down on the river bank. Partly behind a bush. I fight the desire to shoot. I decide to shoot at the first opportunity I get. I cannot let it get away now. The lion looks towards the old blind. He gets up and trots to the left. He is broadside. Two hands width behind the shoulder. I do not think but I shoot. A lion is supposed to growl and bite his shoulder when shot, not this lion. Not a sound no reaction only 2-3 leaps and he is gone. Rich crossed with me shouts “I did not tell you to shoot!!” I do not answer. We listen. I can hear something big either falling to the ground or bumping into bushes. Rich can hear it too and his attitude changes to the better.

By the time we get down from the tree and meet the truck is has become pitch dark. At first I was very confident. Now doubt creeps in. Why didn´t I wait with the shot! Rich is wearing his stone face. I have no idea of what he is thinking. Justin tries to break the tension by giving me the thumbs up.
Rich tells me the drill. I walk on his left side – shoulder to shoulder. Caveman will carry a spotlight. This is more or less the only thing that is said. Everybody concentrating on the job ahead.

We climb up the riverbank. I have no recollection of any other people except Rich and one of the tracers to my right. We are 8 all together. I guess they were right behind me. I did not look. The only thing that counts is out in front of me somewhere. We are standing where the lion was when shot. There is apparently no blood. My 500 NE feels light in my hands. It’s loaded with Woodleigh softs. I feel very confident with the double. Rich has a 500 NE double too. It will be difficult for any beast to reach us. The spot light is waving in front of us. Outside the cone of light it is black. It feels vulnerable not to able to decide where to look. We have walked 20 m. A deep growl freezes us. He is still alive – out there in the dark! The sound came from close and a little to our right. We move forward but the bush is too thick to pass. We move in a semicircle to the right. All the time focused towards the light. The light jumps up and down and then to the sides. I hope Caveman will not lose his nerves. Rich is not pleased with how Caveman holds the spotlight. A new growl - this time right in front of us. We freeze again but still no movement. The light jumps around again. Then for a short second the light catches huge glowing eyes. I cannot speak but point with my left hand. The light swipes back and locks on the lion. I will never forget those eyes. They reflect the light in a strong orange glow as if they were illuminated. I am for once uncertain what to do until Rich hisses me to shoot. I only see the eyes and aim between them. No reaction after the first shot. The second throws his head backwards. As the head moves back and to the right I can see the lion but as soon as the motion stops I can again only see bush. We slowly walk up to him. He is laying on his side. He looks bigger for every step. He has an enormous bulk. The eyes are still shining. We talk very low. He deserves respect and I think we all felt it that way. I feel guilty but very happy. Rich has his biggest smile on. It’s a good cat.

The first shoot had hit him behind the shoulder as intended but he was quartering a lot more than I thought so only the lung on the one side was hit with the bullet ending up under the skin at the opposite groin. The last shot hit him between the eye and ear missing the brain but hitting the spine in the neck area.
With the cat in the salt we started in earnest to look for elephant.


Video of Lion follow up

http://vid1018.photobucket.com...llem_zpskvfvcllw.mp4











Lion tail with "claw". Aperantly all lion have them.








Having shot elephant before I would not shoot anything smaller than 40 pounds. At the same time we would be looking for buffalo. We found plenty of buffalo tracks daily. And after a couple of days tracking we got a decent dagga boy and a very good eland. But we did not find any elephant bull tracks that were worth following. We changed area to Chewore South with the same result. No bulls. Compared to 2012 my guess is that the population of elephant is reduced to 1/5. I would not have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes. The days of elephant hunting in the Valley is very soon over unless the rampant poaching is stopped at once. Very sad. Buzz and Myles are doing a great job anti poaching with DAPU, but as long as there neighbor outfitters do little or nothing it is looking dim.
Getting the elephant would have been a bonus to an already fantastic result so not getting one is no problem for me, but the fate of the elephant population is of major concern.

I almost forgot to prize the trackers and camp staff. With CMS everything is always perfect so you seem to take this for granted. Thank you for a great hunt.












Found this under my pillow!!!!!










A 570 gr Woodleigh soft in 500 NE makes a big hole.








This elephant bull has fallen off the river brink and killed himself. Both tusks broken at the lip.






A bad day in the bush; http://forums.accuratereloadin...161014831#8161014831

The hog on the mountain - Cameroonhttp://forums.accuratereloadin...101004302#9101004302

Elephant bull and buffalo with Buzz Charlton; http://forums.accuratereloadin...151050381#8151050381

Good Hunting
Carl FrederikLion follow up added
 
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Congratulations. Pics of the Lion???
 
Posts: 4214 | Location: Southern Colorado | Registered: 09 October 2011Reply With Quote
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Magnificent cat, The tension after the shot was palpable in your writing. Congrats on a great hunt and trophy, and thank you for the wonderful report and photos.
 
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Wonderful trophies! Congratulations on a fantastic hunt.
 
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Posts: 8249 | Location: Oklahoma City - Thunder Up!!! | Registered: 12 February 2004Reply With Quote
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Great story, Carl. Excellent photos and trophies. Plan came together. Did you get any skull measurements?

Dutch
 
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What a great hunt and a beautiful lion. Rich is a great PH and great all around guy. Glad you had such a wonderful trip...


Good Hunting,

Tim Herald
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Excellent report. Thanks for sharing.


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2015 His & Her Leopards with Derek Littleton of Luwire Safaris - http://forums.accuratereloadin...6321043/m/2971090112
2015 Trophy Bull Elephant with CMS http://forums.accuratereloadin...6321043/m/1651069012
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Well damn, that sure looks like a whole lotta fun!!! Congrats sir!!!


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Posts: 4592 | Location: Littleton, Colorado | Registered: 05 March 2009Reply With Quote
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Excellent!

Beautiful Lion. Congrats on a good hunt.
 
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Great trophies. Great pictures. Great report.

Thanks!!
 
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Great report and trophies. Thanks for sharing.
 
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Some great pictures! And a beautiful Lion!
Great report and a great hunt!
 
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Congratulations on a wonderful hunt!! CMS and Rich Tabor once again provide the goods! That eland is awesome too.
 
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Beautiful lion and fantastic report. The photos are first class. Congratulations.


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Originally posted by fairgame:
Beautiful lion and fantastic report. The photos are first class. Congratulations.


+1 tu2
 
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What a good read! Congrats!
 
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Very nice
 
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That was some tense reading! Great report. Congratulations on a wonderful lion


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Outstanding report...Congratulations Sir
 
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I helvete!
What a hunt! Congratulations!
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What a hunt! That is a fantastic lion with a huge skull, your eland is also gorgeous, congratulations and thanks for sharing!


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Congrats CF - exciting like hell. It had of course to be a Norwegian killing the Valley lion Wink Shumba must have been hiding when the other Norwegian was chasing him .... Cool

Morten


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Fantastisk Frederik.
Riveting report - great pictures. Many congratulations.
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EXCELLENT!!! Congrats


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Gorgeous lion and a nice old dagga boy! Well done sir.


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Very Nice. Well Done.
 
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That is a great Valley lion Carl. Congrats and well done.


Mike

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

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". . . 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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A great report. I could feel the tension with you on the lion follow up !!
 
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Well done! Rich Tabor is the cat man and good company around a fire too!
 
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Congratulations on a great hunt and great trophies! Rich and his team are the best! Looking forward to going after Mr. Chuy next June.


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Originally posted by Tim Herald:
What a great hunt and a beautiful lion. Rich is a great PH and great all around guy. Glad you had such a wonderful trip...


Absolutely fantastic!!
 
Posts: 597 | Registered: 08 December 2009Reply With Quote
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.
Read this report the other day on my phone but could not post a reply / comment.

What a great hunt ! Congratulations ! And all the more so for posting !!

Thank you for a great report and great pictures! (some of which were Justin I guess)

Cheers and well done!


PS what are you going to do with the floating bones ?
.


"Up the ladders and down the snakes!"
 
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Carl-

Congratulations on a fine safari and welcome to those who are in the small group that can call themselves Lion Hunters! There will undoubtedly be fewer of us in the future. More's the pity.

Your's is a beautiful beast with a large skull.


Mike
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Posts: 3551 | Location: Silicon Valley | Registered: 19 November 2008Reply With Quote
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Congrats on a fine safari Carl.

It pays to deal with a reputable outfitter who has top quality PH's. CMS and Rich are definitely in that league.
 
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Stort grattis till en fantastisk jakt!

Thank you very much for sharing / P-A
 
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Excellent report. Thanks for sharing!


Hunt big or go home.
 
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