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Leopard / Buffalo Safari with Charlton McCallum Safaris
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Charlton McCallum Safaris

Country: Zimbabwe

Area: Dande East- Maruru Camp & Mantombo Camp Ward-1

Hunt Dates: 7/21 - 8/4 2014

Leopard / Buffalo Safari

Travel Agent: Steve Turner and Susan Hill / Travel with Guns.
.
Ruger 458 Lott 500 gr Barns TSX topped with a 1.5 x 5 leupold
Winchester 30 x 338 165g gr Barnes TSX topped with a 2.5x15x44 swavoroski Z6i

PH: Rich Tabor

Camera Man: Justin Drainer

This is my first hunt report, so here it goes…

I flew Delta, business class, on 7/19 from Huston to Atlanta then on to JNB.
African Sky meet & greet has always taken good care of me and this time was no different. I was escorted to the front of the SAPS line and in 15 minutes we were headed to African Sky. There were lots of hunters in line behind me. The temperature was 55 DEG at 6:30 p.m. When my hunting takes me through JNB African Sky is my home away from home. Once settled in I had a few Castles and met some fellow hunters. I shared a bottle of red wine over lamps chops with them and then off to a comfortable bed.


The next morning I flew out of TAMBO on SAA to Harare. Buzz met me at the airport and drove me to the Amanzi Lodge. Amanzi is like a small tropical rain forest and very quiet. I had dinner at an Indian restaurant and a nice visit that night with Miles. The hot Indian Mutton Curry was very tasty. Myles is always good company.



The next morning Buzz and I had a relaxed breakfast and leisurely drove to the Harare Airport. Buzz walked me through security and on out to the charter plane. All went very smoothly. After an hour and fifteen minutes we landed on a dirt strip near Pedza, the main camp, and were met by Siraaj. I liked him straightaway. He is an apprentice hunter for Buzz and Myles that will make a name for himself in the near future. Siraaj and I loaded up and headed for Maruru Camp. We picked up Aaron, our game scout, along the way.



Maruru is at the top of all the African hunting camps I’ve stayed in. It’s not big and not fancy it’s a hunting camp sitting on the edge of a sand river and lacks nothing a hunter needs. Given some time a fellow could bag the big four plus plains game while seated in the dining area of camp.









Day1: We left camp at 6am with frosty breath. We cut buff tracks up in the mountains about an hour later. We tracked up to the heard in a half hour. Rich worked the herd as good as any savvy PH can work them


and I have hunted with some of the best. African winds can be very tricky and even more so in the mountains. I shot a nice buff about an hour later.




I knew after that first hunt that my camera man, Justin, was no green horn to hunting… We were going to make a good team. We chopped out a road to the buff and in doing so found a nice thickly shaded spring with lots of leopard activity. We had lunch and hung our first bait there, which was a four day old buff leg from a previous hunt.

I have had leopard on license before but this would be my first time to hunt old chui. I was taking it all in. For folks that have never hunted cats, hyenas or crocs be ready for some new fragrances… all day long.
Mtumboo plays a big role in this. Our daily routine consisted of hunting, hanging baits and checking baits not necessarily all in that order. The morning of day four we had ten baits swinging and a big old Tom feeding on one of them.



The nights were very cold, two blankets cold, and jackets were needed up to around 9 am every morning, after that sleeves were rolled up and we would be cruising under blue bird skies…


Day 3: An old male Zebra stallion was spotted a good distance off by one of the trackers. This donkey had played the stalking game before. He finally made a mistake and stopped long enough for me to range him quartered to us. We collected more bait. I never get tired of Zebra rugs, nor do my friends. I would supply a good friend’s wife with this nice Zebra rug.



I am partial to a PH that hunts hard all day long then settles in for some quiet visiting around the evening fire. Rich Tabor is this kind of PH. I did my home work before this hunt and discovered that he’s never too high nor low just stays right in the middle. Toddy in hand we had some interesting discussions every evening. Justin was fine company too.



Day 4: After finding the baby shumba track, as the trackers called it, we replenished the bait and built a blind. The blind was 80 yards from the tree with the Manume river separating blind from bait. Large mountains loomed in the back ground. It was one of those spots that just felt good. I told Rich that I wanted to check zero on my rifle at lunch, dead on. We were in the blind by 4:30 that afternoon. We had a close call with some Eles but they eventually moved on. Our cat arrived about thirty minutes before last legal shooting light. Rich whispered there is a cat laying to the right of the tree. My rifle was stationed in a shooting position so I eased up on it and found the cat. He was swatting flies and occasionally he would stare in our direction. I could see he had a big head, neck and shoulders. We watched him for about 15 minutes and that was very cool then Rich leaned over and whispered that if he didn’t get into the tree soon I would have to take him on the ground. Two minutes later Ol’ Chui got up and stretched and climbed up into the tree. I squeezed off to what I had always dreamed of; a big Tom, standing broadside in the tree over bait looking right at me in the day light. I told Rich that the shot was good. We made our way out of the blind and Justin assured me that the footage would be excellent. He was money on that. We checked up in the middle of the sand river to wait on our trackers. I smoke an occasional cigar but have never been a cigarette smoker. I puffed on one with Rich and Justin on this night as we gathered ourselves for the follow up. We walked to the tree and cut heavy blood about 10 yards out. We were shoulder to shoulder with Justin rolling right on our heels and both trackers lighting the way. He made it about 40 yards and expired but I am here to tell you brother it seemed like 400 yards as we tracked him, polepole, slowly slowly. I have followed buff and lion in the day light but this night follow up was completely different. My senses were all on full throttle. Looking back at the video I had a good laugh because my eyes are normally slightly squinty and as I looked to my right while tracking the camera catches my right eye and let’s just say my eye was gathering all the light it could, fully opened. I carried my cat to the truck on my shoulders, something else I had always dreamed of. We drove back to camp with Bohlingers in hand all very ecstatic. After a wild leopard celebration dance by all the guys in camp we settled in for some spirits around the fire. I was riding high…it doesn’t get any better than this.











That night the lions ate on my leopard carcass hanging 6 feet off the ground at the skinning shed.



Day 5: Walked the sand rivers looking for kudu, sable, and eland. We stopped by Pedza camp for lunch to restock on some supplies. Charlie keeps that camp on its toes and is good company too.

Day6: I shot a big hyena over bait from a blind without the aid of a torch. This is where good optics can make the hunt. I was using a Swarovski 2.5x15x44 Z6i. We could hear the dogs crunching bones and Rich had already told me that as soon as a light hit them they would be gone. I took my time on low power and found them in the scope at about 45 yards. I slowly eased up my power then turned on the lighted dot that I had preset to the lowest setting. In my opinion the lowest setting is all the light you’ll ever need. The big hyena was very mature.




Day7-9: We moved to Matombo Camp that is located on the banks of the Zambezi. The move required two trucks. The whole Maruru camp staff moved with us. As you walk into Matombo camp uphill from the parking area the view becomes incredible. The camp sits high up on the banks of the river. Looking out across the river towards Zambia are more mountains. That evening we sat some croc baits and looked over a few pods of hippo. We had a westward boat ride into a setting sun back to camp. What away to end the day on the Zambezi. Don’t forget to look at the Lady Of The Zambezi on the cliff walls near camp if you are ever there.











We hunted for a big Croc every day all day long. We sat baits, cruised the river and tributaries. We made lots of belly crawling stalks with some bringing us to within 15 yards of some nice crocs. We did see one big boy that we built a blind and baited for but never saw him again. There are lots of 12-13 foot crocs in the area.




Day 10: We found a pod of hippos cows that had a big bull with them. We belly crawled across an island and got into good position. The bull was 100 yards out and sleeping on a sandbar that had about 3 feet of water covering it. The sand bar dropped off to extremely deep water at all sides from the hippos. The trick was to brain him and hope the current didn’t roll him off the sand bank into the depths. I shot him from a prone position just at the base of the ear his head quartered slightly away from me while he rested it on the back of a cow. He slowly rolled over at the shot. Rich and Norest sprinted back to the boat and sailed around the island at a high rate of speed. They fastened a rope to his back leg with empty water bottles tied to the rope every ten feet for markers. An hour and thirty minutes later Rich floated him across the river with the boat to where we could drag him out. The crew made short work of him. The bush telegraph went out and we had tons of help. Some Zambian fisherman paddled over and thanked me because that bull had destroyed one of their mokoros a few days before. They had barely escaped the wrath.












Day 11-14: The remaining days were spent searching for a big croc.



Charlton McCallum safaris are a first class operation from top to bottom.





Rich Tabor sending me home.

 
Posts: 1795 | Location: Sinton, Texas | Registered: 08 November 2006Reply With Quote
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great Leopard congratulations
 
Posts: 920 | Location: Chico California | Registered: 02 May 2010Reply With Quote
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Congrats on a great hunt, terrific cat and buff! Enjoyed your report and all the pictures, thanks for sharing. That view from camp with the Zambezi in the background is something you could never get tired of.
 
Posts: 437 | Registered: 25 October 2010Reply With Quote
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Great photos, report, and trophies - congrats.
 
Posts: 3720 | Registered: 03 March 2005Reply With Quote
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Some very nice trophies and sounds like a great hunt!
Congratulations.
 
Posts: 4214 | Location: Southern Colorado | Registered: 09 October 2011Reply With Quote
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Great report and pictures. A trail cam in the skinning shed would have been cool.

Mike
 
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Great hunt with some really great trophies taken. Matombo Camp is one of my favorites - the view can't be beat, and I loved the serenade of the hippos below all night.
 
Posts: 1594 | Location: Virginia | Registered: 29 September 2011Reply With Quote
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Brilliant report- well done.
I feel as though you just visited my house while I wasn't home Smiler
 
Posts: 559 | Location: UK | Registered: 17 November 2006Reply With Quote
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Nice hunt and trophies.I enjoyed the hunt report.Well done.
 
Posts: 11651 | Location: Montreal | Registered: 07 November 2002Reply With Quote
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Great report. Thanks for sharing, especially all the camp life pictures.
 
Posts: 1247 | Location: Simpsonville, SC | Registered: 25 June 2006Reply With Quote
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Well . . . at last . . .

Excellent report Jay. Glad you had such a wonderful experience. Me missed you on the dugga boy but are delighted with your success on the leopard.

See you next week.


Mike
 
Posts: 21319 | Registered: 03 January 2006Reply With Quote
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Delightful report and photos, thank you. Beautiful cat. Mururu is indeed a wonderful camp.
 
Posts: 1981 | Location: South Dakota | Registered: 22 August 2004Reply With Quote
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Excellent hunt!!! Well done
 
Posts: 644 | Location: Zimbabwe | Registered: 10 August 2012Reply With Quote
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Beautiful pictures with some great trophies! Thanks for posting.


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: 12566 | Location: Kentucky, USA | Registered: 30 December 2002Reply With Quote
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what a great hunt.
 
Posts: 10071 | Location: Houston, Texas | Registered: 26 December 2005Reply With Quote
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excellent hunt, well written up!

Thanks for sharing!
 
Posts: 10712 | Location: Minnesota USA | Registered: 15 June 2007Reply With Quote
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Thanks for the great report.
Congrats on some fine trophies.
 
Posts: 744 | Location: Australia  | Registered: 31 October 2012Reply With Quote
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Wonderful tu2

Morten


The more I know, the less I wonder !
 
Posts: 1138 | Location: Oslo area, Norway | Registered: 26 June 2013Reply With Quote
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Nice Jay. Those shumbas over at Mururu are quite cheeky, eh? I've got trail camera footage of them eating my kudu cow (lion bait) at the skinning shed. Its my favorite camp by far.
 
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It does not get any better indeed. Congrats on your fantastic cat and other trophies.

Many years ago I hunted the other bank so your photos bring back some good memories.


ROYAL KAFUE LTD
Email - kafueroyal@gmail.com
Tel/Whatsapp (00260) 975315144
Instagram - kafueroyal
 
Posts: 9879 | Location: Zambia | Registered: 10 April 2009Reply With Quote
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Excellent report and great photos, any chance we can see the video?


lets make a plan
 
Posts: 98 | Location: England | Registered: 29 April 2013Reply With Quote
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Congratulations on an excellent safari.
Your report certainly rekindles many fond memories from my hunts at Mururu and Motombo as well !!!
I lost my Zebra out of the skinning shed at Mukanga to lions this year as well!!!! They are getting to be a real problem,

NAtional,Parks needs to put some lioness on quote in Dande for sure!

Cheers

Nick
 
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Eeker

OMG there will be a solar and lunar eclipse today and Jupiter is aligned with Mars!


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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Great report and fantastic hunt. Well done.
 
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Excellent report thanks for posting


Jerry Huffaker
State, National and World Champion Taxidermist



 
Posts: 2008 | Registered: 27 February 2002Reply With Quote
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Good for you man!!!


Aaron Neilson
Global Hunting Resources
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Posts: 4884 | Location: Boise, Idaho | Registered: 05 March 2009Reply With Quote
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Dande North + Dande East = the best DG concessions in Zimbabwe????

Congrats on the hunt and thanks for posting. The picts of the Zambezi from the river and the top of the hill are awesome. That alone is worth the price of admission.
 
Posts: 3153 | Location: PA | Registered: 02 August 2002Reply With Quote
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Fantastic. Great rophies.

Thanks for sharing.


.
 
Posts: 41792 | Location: Crosby and Barksdale, Texas | Registered: 18 September 2006Reply With Quote
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Jay- great report Thanks and well done on a great hunt! Richie Tabor really is top dog on buff and leopard!!! Looking forward to seeing you in Dallas! Cheers BUzz
 
Posts: 1128 | Location: Zimbabwe | Registered: 22 June 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Nice Jay. Those shumbas over at Mururu are quite cheeky, eh? I've got trail camera footage of them eating my kudu cow (lion bait) at the skinning shed. Its my favorite camp by far


Very cheeky Todd!
 
Posts: 1795 | Location: Sinton, Texas | Registered: 08 November 2006Reply With Quote
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Excellent report and great photos, any chance we can see the video?


I am working on that now Ricky.
 
Posts: 1795 | Location: Sinton, Texas | Registered: 08 November 2006Reply With Quote
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Dande North + Dande East = the best DG concessions in Zimbabwe????Congrats on the hunt and thanks for posting. The picts of the Zambezi from the river and the top of the hill are awesome. That alone is worth the price of admission.


IMO.. you hit the nail on the head Bill.
 
Posts: 1795 | Location: Sinton, Texas | Registered: 08 November 2006Reply With Quote
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Thanks for all the nice comments guys. Hope to see y'all at DSC.

Safe travels.
 
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Great hunt and great report. Rich and Justin are a pair that's hard to beat! Hunter and I hope to repeat your leopard success and nail a croc ....


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

DSC Life Member
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Thank you for sharing, that is a beautiful cat, congratulations!


Manuel Maldonado
MM Sonoran Desert Hunters
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Posts: 530 | Location: Hermosillo, Sonora | Registered: 06 May 2013Reply With Quote
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Very well done!!!!
 
Posts: 10240 | Location: Texas... time to secede!! | Registered: 12 February 2004Reply With Quote
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Sounds like this was a very good trip. Great write up and photos.
 
Posts: 492 | Location: Queensland, Australia | Registered: 26 August 2012Reply With Quote
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Wow what a spectacular safari and report! Congratulations on your cat!

Best regards, D. Nelson
 
Posts: 2271 | Registered: 17 July 2003Reply With Quote
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Jay,

Excellent report/trophies and the pic of the leopard on the ground near the blind is really cool. I've shot some leopards myself and they are among my favorite animals to hunt.

Mark


MARK H. YOUNG
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7094 Oakleigh Dr. Las Vegas, NV 89110
Office 702-848-1693
Cell, Whats App, Signal 307-250-1156 PREFERRED
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Posts: 12898 | Location: LAS VEGAS, NV USA | Registered: 04 August 2002Reply With Quote
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My trophy shipment from this safari arrived in the States last Monday. I received this e-mail on Friday from Well Worldwide. Not a Damn thing I can do about it... I guess it happens but its a first for me.

Dear Jay,

Delta Airlines lost your original export permits so we are unable to file your FWS and Customs declarations right now. We are working with the shipper to get replacement documents. After we receive the new documents – we will be able to file your paperwork with the proper authorities. This may take a few weeks to receive the paperwork needed.



Best Regards,

Cindi Rulon

Account Supervisor
 
Posts: 1795 | Location: Sinton, Texas | Registered: 08 November 2006Reply With Quote
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