An Easy Eland Hunt

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by christophe morio, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. christophe morio

    christophe morio SPONSOR AH Enthusiast

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    An Easy Eland Hunt

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    Giant Eland - Lord Derby Eland - Taurotragus derbianus gigas

    For most of the hunters, the Lord Derby Eland is a dream and a big deal, far from home. But on 2 weeks time you can reach your goal.

    You should be ready to have a hard time to get your Taurotragus derbianus gigas. Each morning is spent looking for fresh tracks, by the roads or by the salt lick and you pretty much ignore everything else. As you get the trail you have to walk, hours and hours days and days. You will not catch them up until they decide to stop. If it is your first Eland you should take the opportunity when it knocked. Nowadays a 50 inch Eland is big and not easy to find, it takes time and most of you are looking for a long list of game, what I understand. But I think 47 - 48 inch is a very good trophy as long as it is a mature bull with a full dark coat. 50 inch is a cherry on cake. It is still very hard for me to make the difference between 48 and 50 as some got long horns and thin ridges and some got short horns and thick ridges for the same score. Don’t forget that, those big beasts live in thick places where trees are plentiful (they eat only leaves) they walk all the time, they are difficult to see and after many days of walking…. when your PH tells you to shoot you shouldn’t second guess him, unless you really don’t want this animal.

    But sometimes it is easy….

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    Giant Eland jumping the road

    Central Africa, February 2008, I take my hunter from America and his wife at Sangba airstrip. On the way we talk about the main animal he is looking for. 50 inch Lord Derby Eland … I explain my point of view. Let see. A short stop at the main camp to get some fresh food and we go to our 2nd camp, FO, 30 km away. By half way we sight the rifle, 100%. And the hunter said to me: the bush is very thick here!! Not really I reply!! You will see tomorrow where we go.

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    Giant Eland - Lord Derby Eland - Taurotragus derbianus gigas

    Next morning 7 o’clock we go to “kongodo” to check a good salt like some 15 km from camp. 2 km from salt lick, we find a fresh track of a lone bull walking toward the salt like. We stop, look, find some drops, very fresh, look around, nothing. Quickly we pack, get the rifle and go, he is here close by. I decide to walk straight to the salt like. After 5 minutes Assane, the tracker, said: bozobo!! Here he goes on our left, 70 meter away. Luckily I burnt down this place not long ago, we can see him properly. Huge, beautiful, black neck, big dewlap, big horns. Do you like him? Yes. Shooting stick ready, at the shot the bull ran off and disappeared. We take the tracks and after 3 hours we stop. He is definitely missed and gone. I will hunt this eland in 2009. It is time to go back to the camp and rest a bite before we go and check another salt lick this afternoon.

    3 o’clock we drive slowly looking for game on the way to the salt lick, we were talking about the eland when I hear behind me bozobo!!!! Ouaah, what a vision, about 60 elands on the road, cows calves, young bulls, big bulls... what a luck. They are quiet, busy feeding. We take the wind and go. Quickly we catch them, 60 meter away, all around us. I know this herd, they are more then 80 and one is very big, he is the one, I look for him for 3 years now. We are in a very good shooting position, I can see some very nice bulls, my hunter too!!! Wait for the big one I say... Look, there he is, 120 meter on the left, shoot, shoot him…. Too late, gone. One old cow is looking at us, very close at 40 meter. After a while she had enough and crashed away taking with her all the herd in a big cloud of dust.

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    Giant Eland herd in Central African Republic

    Let’s go it is still early, we can get them one more time. I was wrong; we stopped before dark and got the truck at dark. What a great first eland day. Tomorrow we try this herd again. I am dreaming about the GIANT…. I think the hunter too.

    Next morning, early we park the 4x4 where we left the tracks. As we stop the engine we hear them calling each other, knocking down trees to feed. We pack up for a long day, we don’t know!!!! We take the wind and go. After 15 minutes, here they are walking, feeding, their ghostly shapes moved in and out the bush. After a while we finally succeed to get on shooting place in front of the herd. I scan the bush to find the giant. Nothing, as they walk towards us I doubt that he is here. May be today he is walking on his own, tired of the calves, the noise or maybe he knows we are back!!!! as I am looking through my binoculars, the hunter show me one bull, he is coming straight to us mane and dewlap swaying from side to side, I like him he said, I agree, big body, long and thick horns, black mane, everything for a perfect trophy. At the shot about 45 meter, he run off and join the herd, they stop and look around, I lose the bull. We wait, and suddenly on my right side here is the giant at 50 meter. He was by the herd.

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    PH Christophe Morio sitting by the magnificent Giant Eland in C.A.R. - 49 ½ inches

    Our eland is very beautiful, 12 white strips each side, black mane and 49 ½ inch set of horns. We were back to the camp by one o’clock. We are very happy and we have lot of time for the other animals.

    One and half day for such nice eland, I can tell you it is unusual.

    [​IMG]
    Giant eland hunted in C.A.R.
     
  2. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Those are just awesome. Some day.
     
  3. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Always a special moment when everything on the hunt falls into place... You just hope that the hunter realizes how fortunate he is when everything goes so perfectly! That is a spectacular ghost antelope.
     
  4. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    ..Great pictures & a great story! That is a beautiful trophy you have taken!
    It is a hunt I hope I can go on someday!
     
  5. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH Fanatic

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    At 49 1/2 the hunter got a great trophy. I hope he never second guessed shooting that bull. Some people never realize how lucky they are. Sounds like a fantastic hunt.... We all should be so lucky as to be able to go and have an opportunity on a great animal like that.
     
  6. Heeler75

    Heeler75 AH Senior Member

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    That is a beautiful eland. A friend of mine did a full body mount on the Lord Derby he took a few years ago. Amazing animal for sure.
     

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