An American couple on vacation in Central Africa
by, 04-17-2012 at 04:53 PM (2538 Views)
An American couple on vacation in Central Africa
But it is really a vacation... You should ask them...
This is the first safari of the hunting season in that beautiful eastern corner of CAR. Francois and I are waiting for the hunters on the runway. We are " hot" and full of hope. We found many places on Google earth and we want to discover these promising and un discovered spots. But are the hunters ready for that??
Teresa and Jimmy are experienced hunters, fit, ready to hunt, they know Africa and they have 4 weeks and they have a full license and they have good shoes... GREAT sounds good.
Francois will hunt with Teresa and I will hunt with Jimmy. The moon is almost full so both team drive to the Bongo camp that we are going to share for a week. That was the plan !!!
On the 2nd day of her hunt Teresa shot a brilliant, old 29 and a half inch Bongo bull.
So they decide to leave the next day for the main camp to hunt the Lord of the savanna.
I said to my buddy Francois, I hope they not miss each other too much !!! Otherwise we are in the trouble? So they stayed with us that day just for Jimmy to show to Teresa that he is not here for the "hair cut" as he shot a great, kind of "forest buffalo". Small body, 350 kg and the horns tend to be like a dwarf forest buffalo, but it is not... it is an adaptation of their biotope.
Jimmy shot a beautiful 31 and a half inch Bongo on day 6.
We saw many Giant forest hog and buffaloes.
We decided to hunt Eland in this area because we saw some signs at about an hour drive from the camp and we could check out the spots I found. We followed the Elands for 6 days, walking 5 to 10 hours a day. It was very hard because the area was not burnt down and, or we lost the tracks or we bumped into them without getting a chance to shoot. So we burnt a few hectares of the bush
I remember, I think Jimmy too?on January 15 we walked more than 35 km for about 10 hours. When we got back to the road (not to the car...) by 5 o'clock in afternoon, Jimmy shot a bush duiker that he nicknamed "a 35 click duiker"
I don't how he shot it because his eyes were half open half closed full of dust and suit bees, his legs were stiff like a dead tree but he was steady on the shooting stick... We were exhaust.
That was also good for him because the previous day after a few hours on Eland we went to check one of the spots? A kind of muddy shallow stream with a salt like on the bank with many signs of Giant forest hogs and buffaloes.
As we walking slowly, all senses in alert, looking for pigs we hear something in the mud. We stood still for a while trying figured out what it was. The tracker saw the tail of a buffalo...I called him and he came out of the thicket at 11 meters I whispered to Jimmy to shoot. He was stuck in the mud up to his coddles. When he moved to get into a shooting position the buffalo took off flat out and the shot went off. I saw the impact in a big stick... After half an hour and a few drops of blood the beast went in the tall grass. The tracks mixed up with some more buffaloes. After 2 and a half hours of tenses tracking and just before dark we had to stop. We knew he was gone and he is not going to die. Even it was a big disappointment.
The Eland day (day 12) was the easiest tracking day!!! Only 2 and a half hours. We picked up the spoors of 2 bulls. We bumped into them after 2 hours in the tall grass and it took us half an hour to get into a shooting range. Jimmy made a great 160 yard front shot through the heart between the trees...
Jimmy looked at me and said: I am glad the Eland is down because I am done
No, now you are trained enough to hunt the bakos for duikers and pigs I said?
How far ??he said. This sentence became our joke between him and me. Every night before we went to bed I asked him: How do you feel Jimmy? How far he said and we laughed
By the time we were having some hard and great time, Teresa on her side was doing well as she shot two buffaloes and a Lord Derby Eland
For the next five days we hunted the forest species. We shot a nice bleu duiker and a nice 14 and a half inch warthog
We saw many Giant forest hog, red river hog buffaloes and we missed a yellow backed duiker and bushbuck. Hard to see and to shoot in the bakos, you have to get use to it before you get something but it is extremely exciting.
So, after so many long days far from Teresa we decided to go back to the main camp and hunt the savanna and of course again some bakos for roan, hartebeest and giant forest hog. But for me the main target was the pigs as I wanted Jimmy to get his pig slam which is quite hard to do.
We went to check one salt lick by midday. On the way, by 11 o'clock we saw a sounder of 11 giant forest hog from the car but the boar was not very good. We reached the salt lick, a kind of deep crater with big holes on the bank made by elephants (long ago) and used now by colobus monkeys and giant forest hog.
We could see nothing but we could hear the animals in the holes. We got closer and suddenly, one, two ,three, ten came out !!! No good boar but what a sight... It was 1 o'clock, we had lunch and a well deserve nap.
Just before we left, Jimmy saw some more GFH far away, feeding. We saw 31 GFH in 3 hours that day?
The next day we went to a new spot and we found 5 GFH in a salt lick. 4 of them were in the hole and the sow was walking around or lying down, waiting for some room for her !!! fantastic, we waited there 20 mn at 30 meters when the wind turned. Jimmy shot in the run a bit far back. It took us 3 hours to get it. It was the 75th we saw !!!!
We saw 104 in total !!! Teresa and Francois saw about 60? Quite a few left there!!! And of course she shot one
So, we had only the red river hog to get to complete the pig slam!! We kept on hunting the bakos and Jimmy shot a yellow backed duiker and a red flanked duiker.
We found a sounder of red river hog early morning when it is still chilly.. the tracker called them in within 10 yard !!! Jimmy missed the first shot but killed him at the second when he came back at the call? So cool, the pig slam is done. Of course Teresa got her pig slam too, she is always doing like Jimmy !!! ( only 5 hunters did it this season).
During the last days, Jimmy shot a very good 29 and a half inch roan, hartebeest and oribi. What a safari for Teresa and Jimmy, they both shot: Eland, bongo, Giant forest hog, 2 buffaloes, roan hartebeest, duikers, bushbuck, warthog, red river hog? believe me, even if it is hard hunting by that great eastern corner of CAR, there is still some hunts to do there and what a great human experience with so nice and friendly people and on top of that BIG HUNTERS
Thanks, to you both.