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D. Nelson Zambia 2017
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HUNT REPORT Zambia 2017

Concession: Mutambashi Camp, Royal Kafue, Zambia
Dates: August 19 to September 10, 2017
PH: Andrew Baldry, Royal Kafue
Asst PH: Patsy Hahn Hunter
Rifle: .375 H&H Pre 64 Custom Robar (I all Thelma)


Just as last year I went on a quest for Africa’s top predatory. And, just as last year, my cursed “lucky” charm was not working. I did, however, have a great safari and no regrets. Another birthday celebrated in the bush around a campfire!

It was wonderfully familiar to have Andrew, my Outfitter/PH/Transport/Host, waiting for me as I arrived in Lusaka via LAX-Dubai-Lusaka on Emirates Airlines. A message board in the luggage claim area stated my luggage did not make it, but it appeared first off the plane and it took Andrew less than 15 minutes to my clear rifle. Big relief.

I overnighted at Andrew’s beautiful home in Lusaka where his wonderful wife, Julie, served me champagne and dinner. Andrew and I departed for camp early the next morning and arrived in time for a late lunch and nap. We had already made a quick stop to verify my rifle before actually pulling into camp.



Royal Kafue is located on the banks of the Kafue River (ironic huh!) I occupied a beautiful thatched roofed chalet. There was a well-appointed, permanent, thatched roofed dining area, lounge area and bar. 3-4 wall tenants were located privately, 100 yds apart. And, of course, the favorite area for most hunters, the camp fire area, situated under a giant Marula tree. A very comfortable and picture-perfect setting.

First order of business was to get baits up. I took a zebra at last light my first hunting day, and although my shot was good the zebra appeared to run into a forest and it was too dark to track. We found it quite stiff and unmolested the next morning. (I had a horrible night thinking I had missed my first animal. I even discussed being “too old” to do this, Tom Baldry would get my .375, and I would head home as soon as possible!) Came to my senses when we found the zebra and it had obviously died immediately after I shot it. Andrew didn’t want to take any trophy pictures, so I slipped a few pre-skinning pics.



The hunting area going away from the river consist of forests and dense thickets then opens to beautiful savannahs or planes dotted this anthills big and small. Portions here and there have been burned, the rest is 2-3 ft dried grass (excellent cover for lions). Everything is fairly flat and looks to be easily traversed. However, (NOTE ABOUT MY NEMISIS: The Muskeg/tussock/ clumps or small hillocks with cracks and crevices between them-mounds of the size. Burnt clumps of grass growing up between deep dried elephant tracks. Anyone who has hunted Alaska would be at home in this stuff. Walking through it requires some degree of agility, which I no longer have much of. Everywhere buffalo went, this stuff was what the terrain consisted of.)






Also, I must comment about the food in this camp! Royal Kafue does not have a cook, it has a chef. This being my 15th safari, I’ve eaten a variety of meals, but Royal Kafue was by far the best I’ve ever had. Ronald, our chef, would often ask me what I wanted to eat. I told him to surprise me and every meal was delicious and presented to please the eye as well.

Next morning I took a Reedbuck. We left a hind quarter at one of Andrew’s game scouts’ camp, some went to the local chief and we enjoyed the rest.



By day 4 we had been chased by a herd of elephant, seen hundreds of Puku, waterbuck, hippo, roan, impala, sable, jackal and, my favorite, ground horned bills. And, although Royal Kafue is quite remote, there is one ant hill that everyone knows you can get cell phone reception.




We received word that an elephant had been poached just outside the communal area, fairly near one of Andrew’s game scout camps. Inquiries were made in hopes we could use some as bait, but bureaucracy had to take its course.



Patsy Hahn Hunt, owner and operator of Takeri Private Game Reserve, arrived in camp on the fifth evening. She is a licensed Zambian PH, but wanted dangerous game experience, hence she would participate in my hunt more as an appy. This petite woman is quick witted, has a hilarious sense of humor, is hard working, multi-talented and had a great relationship with Ronald, our chef, as well as all the other staff. I didn’t think meals could get better, but having another woman in camp made everything a little sweeter. Poor Andrew was now 2 women in camp!

Patsy Hahn






The quest for bait and buffalo continued. Early day 6 I took a Coke’s Hartebeest. We hung it near camp. Andrew also informed the game scouts, he had camping near the river, that he wanted them to relocate up river. Seems like the local, poaching, fishermen needed to be kept out of our area.



By now I started to have concerns that we had not really seen any sign of buffalo herds. Although the trackers had identified a few tracks of dagga boys we followed, we hadn’t seen one buffalo. So, tonight at dinner, and with the courage provided by champagne, I expressed my concerns to Andrew. Me, “Andrew, I have hunted buffalo a lot, and where ever there are buffalo, there is buffalo poop. Even when we followed tracks, there was no buffalo poop. I’m very concerned!” Andrew assured me they were there.

When we left camp the next morning, the road was literally covered with buffalo spoor for a mile. Andrew even got out of the vehicle to humorously, pointed this out to me. We had a great laugh. The buffalo were crossing into our area and there were a lot of them.

We checked baits and trail cams, no lion, but a lioness and leopard were both feeding on our zebra bait.

We departed camp early day 8 and as dawn broke we bumped a herd of buffalo not far off the road. We did a short stalk. I shot, from cover, at the biggest bull to present himself. The herd stormed off and he went the opposite direction. Andrew and the guys did a very long follow up, but were able to put this bull down. I was very relieved he was recovered and a very nice bull. More bait to be hung and checked.

Buffalo #1



My 71st birthday celebration started after we had done an early morning check of the new buffalo bait. We had mimosas with our brunch. Then after our afternoon drive the celebrating really started. You fellows probably won’t appreciate all the attention that went into this, but I did. Little candle light lanterns were hung throughout the dining area. The table laden with flowers and spent rifle shells, gifts wrapped and stacked. After a main course of quail in red wine sauce, my chocolate birthday cake was brought in by Ronald and his choir of trackers and staff. A finer acapella group, I have never heard. Lots of champagne and the end to a wonderful day. (I wished I had pics, but only got video)









We still haven’t heard or seen any lion, but received reports they were in the neighboring area. Checked baits and followed sable tracks. Our evening entertainment was the huge fires burning across the river. Andrew’s good mate, Richard Bell-Cross, made a surprise visit to our camp, appearing out of the darkness from the river.

More days of bait checking and relocating some baits.

Buffalo #2



We needed to hang more baits, so got on tracks of a herd of sable. After an hour or two of tracking, we all froze as we spotted the herd about 500 yards out across a big plane about to enter the forest in front of us. Then an anthill thicket about 80 yards to our left exploded with three dagga boys burst out on the run. (Isn’t this a typical hunting scenario!???) The last bull stopped and turned towards us and I did a frontal shot. As he turned, I spined him and he was down. Both Andrew and Patsy were ready to follow up if he got up and I honestly don’t remember saying this to either of them, but they claimed I shouted out, “Don’t shoot MY buffalo!” No further shooting was necessary. My 15th buffalo was down!

Days of driving miles and checking baits, but no sign of lion.




On the afternoon of day 15 I made a good shot a beautiful lone, old sable bull we noticed while watching a herd of roan. Andrew and crew continued to diligently follow up any rumor of lions from the community. And we continued to hang the sable and check our baits.

On day 17 Patsy departed for a few days in Lusaka organizing re-supplies and documents for next hunt. She would also be bringing the new clients to camp a couple of days before the end of my hunt. We had already made this overlap part of our plans, as the new hunters were AR’s Steve416 and his fellow Aussie, Peter Mayall. It was Steve who had generously allowed me to have his lion tag. Andrew and I were looking forward to their arrival in a few days.

The upper scout camp reported a lion had roared about kilometer away. A new bait was hung. We checked our other baits before returning to camp. Tom Baldry, Andrew’s son and a favorite of mine from last year, arrived in camp with supplies.

The morning of Day 19 we checked the upper bait and only a lioness had hit. We checked all the others. That afternoon Tom took a puku and we hung that near camp.



Patsy arrived back to camp with Steve and Peter. The party really started, albeit the guys had each endured long travels. I think Steve may have gone crazy, but he agreed to allow me to hunt his buffalo as a finale to my hunt. Unfortunately after a long stalk, in which Peter basically held my hand every step as I tried to negotiate the Muskeg, I flubbed the shot. The next morning we followed the buffalo tracks until they all went to a water hole. Game over.

We did a memorable AR photo shoot with my buffalo skulls and champagne.



A fond farewell to the guys and Patsy drove me back to Lusaka and saw me off the following evening.

Another great hunting memory is in my bank! (And, with Andrew’s trophy pricing structure, I saved a hell of a lot of money in my other bank!)

 
Posts: 2259 | Registered: 17 July 2003Reply With Quote
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Congrats on a great hunt...

Proper Buffalo.
 
Posts: 11636 | Location: Wisconsin  | Registered: 13 February 2006Reply With Quote
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Very cool! I wish I could get my wife to hunt.........


Guns and hunting
 
Posts: 734 | Registered: 07 February 2017Reply With Quote
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Congratulations on a fine hunt. Sorry the lions did not cooperate.
 
Posts: 8662 | Location: Republic of Texas | Registered: 24 April 2004Reply With Quote
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Great report and pictures, Dee. Your luck with lions is like my luck pursuing Spotted Hyenas- non-existent. You still managed to have a great hunt despite the lack of cooperation from Simba.


Jesus saves, but Moses invests
 
Posts: 1024 | Location: Chicago, IL | Registered: 02 May 2008Reply With Quote
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Congratulations Darin, beautiful bulls (Buff and sable)!


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: 11698 | Location: Bakersfield CA. USA | Registered: 30 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Great report and fantastic hunt Darin. Glad all went well.


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"He Who Farts in Church, Must Sit in Own Pew".
 
Posts: 308 | Location: Moorpark, CA | Registered: 18 May 2012Reply With Quote
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Fantastic....
So great to see some great Women having adventures like this. You have done several great reports..
Congratulations! 15 Buffalo now...fantastic
 
Posts: 931 | Location: Music City USA | Registered: 09 April 2013Reply With Quote
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Darin enjoyed your report... Fine shooting as well..

Michael


Michael Podwika... DRSS bigbores and hunting www.pvt.co.za " MAKE THE SHOT " 450#2 Famars
 
Posts: 6724 | Location: Wyoming, Pa. USA | Registered: 17 April 2003Reply With Quote
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Looks like you took some nice trophies. Too bad about the lion, but as we all know that is hunting. Glad you got to hunt w/ Patsy. She was my PH last yr at Takeri. Had a great time w/ her. Congrats to you.
Bruce
 
Posts: 299 | Location: Gillette, Wy USA | Registered: 11 May 2012Reply With Quote
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Congrats on a great safari.


Golf is for people that don't know how to Hunt and Fish.
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Posts: 2119 | Location: East Wenatchee | Registered: 18 August 2008Reply With Quote
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D, A great safari despite the lions not roaring for you. Two good buff and a super sable! Camp fire must have been great with Andrew, Patsy and others! Well done you !

Cheers

Charlie and Anja

.


"Up the ladders and down the snakes!"
 
Posts: 1357 | Location: South & West Africa | Registered: 10 February 2014Reply With Quote
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Darin:
This is about the finest report I've seen on here. Pics spaced out just right. Beautiful sable, perfect hide and horns.

Happy b'day too.

George


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"It's about Control!!"
Join the NRA today!"

LM: NRA, DAV, RMEF

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Posts: 4380 | Location: Pueblo, CO | Registered: 31 January 2006Reply With Quote
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Thanks for the great report on what sounds like a wonderful safari. You're fortunate, I think we'd all love to celebrate our birthdays as you did.
 
Posts: 2894 | Location: California | Registered: 01 January 2009Reply With Quote
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You always have some of the best reports. Congratulations on your hunt. Looks like it was fun.


________________________
Everyones entitled to their own opinion, because that's all it is.

*we band of 45-70ers*

If its recoil does not bother you, do as Mac did and buy a .300 Weatherby. Ammo might be hard to find in many places, but you should be able to plan ahead and take enough for where you're going. It's certainly enough gun for anything that walks in this world, including an elephant in a pinch if you have solid bullets and you can convince the local game guard that it's a legal caliber.
- Bill Quimby
 
Posts: 1938 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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Hi Darin,

Was wonderful to see you again and so glad we got to spend a few nights in camp together.

I am now back at home after a wonderful time with Andrew.
Am pulling together my report............but can tell you that despite my best efforts your Lion continued to lay very low!
The Leopard....that's a different story!!

Best

Steve
 
Posts: 689 | Location: Australia / Singapore | Registered: 31 October 2012Reply With Quote
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Awesome!
 
Posts: 225 | Location: North Texas | Registered: 08 May 2013Reply With Quote
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Enjoyed reading your report. Good to see your emphasis on the experience rather than strictly on the animals taken or not. It is easy to feel your love for the safari and Africa. Thanks for sharing.

Nyae Nyae bull elephant raffle
https://www.tsumeb-gimnasium.c...hant-hunt-in-namibia
 
Posts: 838 | Registered: 14 June 2010Reply With Quote
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great report and photos. Some great animals there, sorry about Shumba...


Good Hunting,

Tim Herald
Worldwide Trophy Adventures
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Posts: 2848 | Location: Lexington, KY | Registered: 13 January 2005Reply With Quote
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congratulations on your hunt ma'am
shame the lion wouldn't comply
sounds like you had lots of laughs
from the way patsy explained your character,I felt for Andrew around the fire each evening , with you and patsy (his a big boy , he can handle it )
I really enjoyed your report
thank you
 
Posts: 1 | Location: australia/zambia | Registered: 31 May 2017Reply With Quote
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Congrats on another fine hunt, Darin!
And a belated happy birthday.
I always enjoy your reports, photos, and perspectives.
Might I suggest a trekking pole in that kind of bad footing? It will add years to your hunting career, it has mine.
 
Posts: 1864 | Location: South Dakota | Registered: 22 August 2004Reply With Quote
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Thanks for posting this report Darin. Great pictures!

Looks like you had a wonderful safari with Andrew and Patsy.

REALLY nice Buff and Sable!! Congrats!
 
Posts: 1697 | Location: Colorado | Registered: 26 May 2010Reply With Quote
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Well done Darin!

Brett


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Rhyme of the Sheep Hunter
May fordings never be too deep, And alders not too thick; May rock slides never be too steep And ridges not too slick.
And may your bullets shoot as swell As Fred Bear's arrow's flew; And may your nose work just as well As Jack O'Connor's too.
May winds be never at your tail When stalking down the steep; May bears be never on your trail When packing out your sheep.
May the hundred pounds upon you Not make you break or trip; And may the plane in which you flew Await you at the strip.
-Seth Peterson
 
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Thanks for the great report. Now you have an excuse to go back Wink


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Posts: 1240 | Location: San Diego | Registered: 02 July 2005Reply With Quote
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Thanks for all the kind words!!! I did have such a good time.

Steve416: I'm looking forward to seeing your report!

Trevor Hunt: Your wife, Patsy, was so much fun. And, indeed, Andrew held is own against both of us. We called each other Rosebud, Petal and Thorn!

Marty: The trekking pole idea is great. When we did the stalk on the first buffalo, I used the shooting sticks to navigate and they really, really helped.

Again, thanks all for your kind words, Darin
 
Posts: 2259 | Registered: 17 July 2003Reply With Quote
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Very well done, really glad to see you back in Africa putting buffalo down! Great pictures and seems like a great time!


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Posts: 517 | Location: Hermosillo, Sonora | Registered: 06 May 2013Reply With Quote
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Congratulations on another wonderful hunt, excellent trophies and another birthday on safari!
 
Posts: 1150 | Location: Shelton, CT | Registered: 22 February 2010Reply With Quote
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Great report and some truly outstanding trophies. Thank you for sharing!


JEB Katy, TX

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

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Posts: 322 | Registered: 20 June 2012Reply With Quote
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Wonderful report!

You really have been snakebit with the lion though! Glad you had such a good time!

Always gives you a reason to go back!
 
Posts: 4923 | Location: Minnesota USA | Registered: 15 June 2007Reply With Quote
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Congrats on a great hunt! I really enjoyed your report. Looks like another "Lion Birthday safari" might be in order.
 
Posts: 1308 | Location: Sinton, Texas | Registered: 08 November 2006Reply With Quote
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Thanks for a great report Darin and congratulations on some fantastic trophies. Sorry you had bad luck on the lion again. Hopefully next time you will connect.


Thor Kirchner
Munyamadzi Game Ranch
+260 978157643
P.O. Box 570049
Nyimba, Zambia
www.thorwildlifesafaris.com
munyamadzi@live.com
 
Posts: 267 | Location: Luangwa, Zambia | Registered: 04 June 2011Reply With Quote
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Posts: 8692 | Location: Denver - Go Rockies!! | Registered: 12 February 2004Reply With Quote
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Good Job! Thanks for sharing.

BH63


Hunting buff is better than sex!
 
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Posts: 8049 | Location: Zambia | Registered: 10 April 2009Reply With Quote
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Looks like a great place to spend one's 71st birthday! Duly noted. Shame about the lion but if any consolation, I share the same luck when lion is on the menu!


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.
 
Posts: 6807 | Location: Victoria, Texas | Registered: 30 March 2003Reply With Quote
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Great adventure and a belated happy birthday!
 
Posts: 480 | Location: Manitoba, Canada | Registered: 10 September 2013Reply With Quote
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Petal!!!! great report and time spent hunting with you rate as some of the best times ever. Your buffola trophies that you so kindly said I could keep will be up in the bar at Takeri and will bring back great memories for many many years to come.
hope to see you back in zambia soon
Rosebud!


Professional Hunter
Private Game Reserve in Zambia
www.takerireservezambia.com
 
Posts: 19 | Location: zambia | Registered: 29 November 2015Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by patsyzambia:
Petal!!!! great report and time spent hunting with you rate as some of the best times ever. Your buffola trophies that you so kindly said I could keep will be up in the bar at Takeri and will bring back great memories for many many years to come.
hope to see you back in zambia soon
Rosebud!


Thanks Patsy for all your help and for keeping Darin in high spirits.

Thorn


ROYAL KAFUE LTD
Email - kafueroyal@gmail.com
Tel/Whatsapp (00260) 975315144
Instagram - kafueroyal
 
Posts: 8049 | Location: Zambia | Registered: 10 April 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by fairgame:
quote:
Originally posted by patsyzambia:
Petal!!!! great report and time spent hunting with you rate as some of the best times ever. Your buffola trophies that you so kindly said I could keep will be up in the bar at Takeri and will bring back great memories for many many years to come.
hope to see you back in zambia soon
Rosebud!


Thanks Patsy for all your help and for keeping Darin in high spirits.

Thorn


Thorn!!! You kept me in pretty high spirits yourself, but you both made it a wonderful safari! Petal

Hugs, Darin
 
Posts: 2259 | Registered: 17 July 2003Reply With Quote
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