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Hunting Elephant

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Hunting Elephant

I have dreamed of hunting elephants for over 30 years,in 1988 i was lucky enough to hunt buffalo and sable etc in Zambia which only served to whet my appetite. after another buff in SA and a heap of plains game my friend douglas and I planned our latest hunt ,he wanted a 45" buff and I wanted an ele, we arrived in Klasserie PNR last end of september and started our quest, After 5days and over 1300 buffalo and 250 ele's we still hadn't shot then we found our first shootable bull ele , we tracked him for almost 8 hours and ended up being 20 yds from his young companion who was shovelling red earth wuth his front foot and blowing it aover his back with his trunk we were standing beside a tree watching this and scarcely breathing as he was so close ,then he started to search the wind with his trunk as he must have sensed our closeness, then he just quietly turned and walked away taking our big fella with him.such is hunting, i could have done a snatch shot at 80yds but not for my first one. the next day saw us back on the tracks as usual looking what I love about Africa is the variety of animals one see's whilest hunting,we saw all the big 5 and some rather rare animals ie pack of hunting dogs plus there 6 puppies.-then we saw another big bull and his younger friend feeding in some thick bush, we drove of about half a mile and very quietly stalked back to where they were, after about half an hour we were very close and the PH said he was a shootable bull. fortunately the younger one fed off 100yds to one side. we carefully manuvered ourselves in position and waited for the bull to emerg from behind a thick bush he was feeding on. now for the last 6 months i had been studying ele brain shots-Ron Thomson's book Mahoboho is invaluable, also i had been snap shooting with an air rifle a 1.5x2" bit of metal 11" high to improve my muscle memory- now was the moment of truth ,as he was walking i remember thinking a side brain shot- no problem- then just as i was squeezing the trigger he saw us and spun round to face us. many swear words,i can vividly remember saying to myself -where's the brain where's the cheekbone find the brain i was just going to shoot when he moved his head , Christ recalculate then when i thought everything was right i squeezed of the 416( this all took about 5 seconds) as the rifle came out of recoil i saw his back legs buckle and i knew he wasn't going anywhere.the PH put a 458 lott into his chest and i put 2 more into his head to make sure. I had my ele 30 down yds away, we then had to run off as his companion came rushing over to see what had happend. after about 15 minutes he moved off and i was able to go and see my ele, he was magnificent however i wasn't prepared for the emotions that came over me i'm 55 and not ashamed to admit that i cried over my ele .The whole hunt was a magnificent experience, Douglas got a 44" buffalo the next day, and were busy planning the next trip and i'm saving up for another ele.

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