Hunting Lord Derby Eland

Discussion in 'Articles' started by christophe morio, May 25, 2011.

  1. christophe morio

    christophe morio SPONSOR AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    4
    My Photos:
    2941
    Member of:
    Rowland Ward (RW) & Association des Guides de Grande Chasse (AGGC)
    Hunted:
    senegal, guinea, ivory coast, burkina faso, benin, cameroun, central africa, tanzania, zimbabwe, south africa
    Hunting Lord Derby Eland

    [​IMG]
    Lord Derby Eland in Central African Republic

    [​IMG]
    Lord Derby Eland Bull in Central Africa

    [​IMG]
    52.5 inch Lord Derby Eland

    [​IMG]
    52.5 inch Lord Derby Eland

    We don't know much about the Lord Derby Eland, also known as Giant Eland, as it is difficult to find surveys. The subject here is to share what I've noticed during the long walks chasing them since I have been hunting them for a long time now. Lord Derby Eland is one of the biggest antelope in Africa and on the contrary it is not easy to observe. Carrying a great trophy, it is an exceptional species for all the hunters who have enjoyed and who will never forget his tracking and stalking.

    It is not easy to truly imagine what it's like when you have never seen one in the wild. Just picture a big and elegant ghostly shape of 600 kg (1,300 pound), 1.8 meter (5.9 feet) in height with a smooth coat reddish brown to chestnut in color with several well defined white stripes on both sides of the body, a huge black haired neck extending to a large pendulous dewlap and a beautiful curly, massive set of horns drifting in and out the bush.

    As a savanna antelope they are primarily diurnal. Gregarious specie (up to 100 in herds), only the older bulls disband the herd in the wet season. Highly nomadic with a large home range they spend long hours walking looking for fresh leaves, salt licks and waterholes where they sometimes drink and where the bulls roll in the mud to protect their skin.

    Hunting Eland is for me one of the most beautiful experience for one simple reason: he is shy, crafty, clever and you track him. Everyone can hunt a Giant Eland when they are in a good number in an area, it depends on his ability of walking and concentration.



    The Eland hunting day always begin by driving around a chosen area, checking the tracks on the roads and salt licks. We don't look for tracks by the water as they don't come often. As you find the tracks, the first thing is to check the freshness of the spoor, dung, leaves and branches by the team and then look for a big bull track, large, square in the front side of the mark, deep on the ground promising a heavy bull.

    Before following the trail you have to pack 8 liters of water, camera, rounds, load your rifle and get your mind ready for a long walk. On my side I always boost the morale of the trackers especially the main one because even for them it is a hard hunt. Without a good team of trackers you can forget your Eland unless by a lucky encounter. Their skill, for the best trackers, of following Eland tracks on hard gravel or on burnt terrain is something remarkable. Even for me after many years where I don't have trouble to follow Buffalo, on Eland I lose the trail of 40 animals very easily. While we follow the tracks we always check the different signs; if the dung is green and wet you know they are close, if the leaves and broken trees has moisture on it you know they are close. At that time you have to look for a flicking tail but the trackers will see it long before you. Open your ears to try to catch the noise when they brake the trees or better try to catch the sound of a bull smelling their odor of a strong anise.

    Then you hear the tracker going: pssssst... You stop dead still in your tracks and scan and scan again the thick bush you have been walking through for many long hours. Instantaneously you are covered by sweet bees, in your eyes, nose, mouth, ears. You chase them but all of us look at you and you hear, "don't MOVE they are 100 meter in front of us? You wear your head net and are relieved You make one and two steps through the thicket and you point at them with your arm and again I say "don't MOVE..."

    We check the swirling midday wind and try to get closer. You think that they are feeding quietly but be sure that with their big ears and eyes, one or two of them have already caught you moving!! They start trotting away in a big cloud of dust... We take the advantage and run towards the cloud to get into a shooting position because they should stop and look back in a moment. You are ready for the first time and at last you see them, you even see the big bull walking broadside 60 meters away between the trees, ruff and dewlap swaying from side to side... Your finger reaches for the trigger of your favorite 375 HH and here you are at the last moment and you instantly forget the last 5, 6, 8 or 9 days of the hard walking pursuit. What great hunting... you have chased the ghost!

    [​IMG]
    Big Lord Derby Eland Bulls

    [​IMG]
    Trophy Lord Derby Eland Bulls

    [​IMG]
    Trophy Lord Derby Eland Bulls

    [​IMG]
    Trophy Lord Derby Eland Bulls

    [​IMG]
    Check out the size of the necks in the early season...

    [​IMG]
    Check out the size of the necks...

    [​IMG]
    Trophy Lord Derby Eland Bulls

    [​IMG]
    Lord Derby Eland Bull and Cow

    [​IMG]
    Trophy Lord Derby Eland Bull on the left

    [​IMG]
    Lord Derby Eland Bulls running

    [​IMG]
    48 inch class Lord Derby Eland

    [​IMG]
    48 inch class Lord Derby Eland

    [​IMG]
    48 inch class Lord Derby Eland

    [​IMG]
    Lord Derby Eland curls

    [​IMG]
    Lord Derby Eland herd

    [​IMG]
    Medium Lord Derby Eland

    [​IMG]
    Young Lord Derby Eland Bull

    [​IMG]
    Time to try...

    [​IMG]
    Salt lick

    [​IMG]
    Adding salt

    [​IMG]
    Lord Derby Eland country

    [​IMG]
    Lord Derby Eland spoors and dung

    [​IMG]
    Skinning Eland

    [​IMG]
    Lord Derby Eland heart

    [​IMG]
    The Festivities of a Derby Eland Hunt

    [​IMG]
    A trophy of a lifetime...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2014
  2. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Messages:
    5,112
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    USA
    My Photos:
    4887
    Fantastic article on one of the great trophies of Africa Christophe! You are certainly going to make a few dream of this well earned trophy of a lifetime.
     
  3. safari-lawyer

    safari-lawyer AH Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    43
    Member of:
    SCI, DSC, SCI-AL
    Hunted:
    Zimbabwe (x3), South Africa (x2), Cameroon, New Zealand (x2), Argentina, England, Canada, and USA with bookings for Zimbabwe (2012), CAR (2013) and Tanzania (2013)
    No doubt that the LDE is the grandest animal on the continent. Have a look at this guy, taken by my grandfather, with me in tow, in Cameroon in 2004. The body on this eland was unbelievable. 46 inch horns, well worn.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. graybird

    graybird AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    5
    My Photos:
    10
    Member of:
    NRA, SCI, DSC
    Hunted:
    South Africa (Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal)
    Fantastic post and pictures!!!
     
  5. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    5,928
    Likes Received:
    106
    My Photos:
    32
    Member of:
    Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
    Awesome pictures! I now have some material to dream about every night!
     
  6. christophe morio

    christophe morio SPONSOR AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    4
    My Photos:
    2941
    Member of:
    Rowland Ward (RW) & Association des Guides de Grande Chasse (AGGC)
    Hunted:
    senegal, guinea, ivory coast, burkina faso, benin, cameroun, central africa, tanzania, zimbabwe, south africa
    Hi Safari-Lawyer, your grand dad shot a great old bull, look at the size and color of the neck and the dewlap, huge..... the horns are smooth, beautiful. He is only 46 because the curls are not deep. This a great trophy to be proud of.
    Cheers
     
  7. Caracal

    Caracal AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    10
    Hunted:
    Germany, Benin, Zimbabwe, Macedonia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Romania, Guinea, Pakistan, Zambia, Cameroun, Burkina Faso, USA, Mozambique, Poland, South Africa, Namibia, NewZealand, Canada, Croatia, CZ, England & Scotland, Belarus, Lithuania
    Wonderful pics. I really enjoy our articles, thank you christophe. I hope one day I'm able to hunt with you.
     
  8. bwanawannabe

    bwanawannabe AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Member of:
    Sask. Wildlife Federation
    Hunted:
    Canada, Zambia, Azerbaijan, U.S., Japan, Kyrgyzstan
    Thanks for the blog Christophe. The lord derby eland is my favorite African animal and your pictures are excellent.
     
  9. Xpraetor

    Xpraetor AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    9
    Member of:
    NRA, NHA, USSA, QF, CCA, NOGA, SCI,
    Wow! What beautiful Trophy bulls! Great post, thank you Christophe.
     
  10. alpinist4life

    alpinist4life New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Member of:
    CAWA Safaris
    My teacher and friend, very nice photos! How'd you convince the warthogs, eland, hartebeest, and maribou to stand and pose in the same picture? ;)
    /Adam
     
  11. jaeger

    jaeger AH Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    2
    Top class!!!!!
     
  12. Baobab

    Baobab AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    24
    Member of:
    NAPHA
    Hallo Jaeger
    I do agree, it is a magnificant animal! I always thought the Cape Eland was large but this is wow!
    Jaeger is German. Are you German speaking?
    Just asking!
     

Share This Page