Hunting Tanzania... Kilombero Kronicles 6; Enjoying the Hunt

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Shallom, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. Shallom

    Shallom AH Enthusiast

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    Some people call it luck, some call it hard work, some call it skill, some attribute it to the hunting Gods and many more reasons and factors are incorporated to the successes and lack thereof of hunting experiences... I have no particular inclination, but do believe in knowledge, hard work, strokes of luck, skills and good karma. When all these factors come together, you are going to have a wonderful hunting experience and a very successful one at that.

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    East African Bushbuck

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    Nyasaland Wildebeest

    You will be surprised to learn that people still arrive at their hunting destination with doubt and skepticism as their over-bearing emotions. You researched it and did the homework and picked out your destination probably out of a dozen or more options and have finally arrived - commend yourself on your choice and let your better judgment unfold. Don't spoil it for yourself by being negative or prematurely critical. A hunting safari is not about any one or two specific items, but a wholesome holiday/venture/activity just like any other. In most cases, the majority or all standards will be more than what you expect and in a few there may be certain drawbacks but almost definitely compensated by others. Nevertheless, if your safety, security, food, beverage, accommodations, hunting and hospitality are good, then you have it made. Don't allow a rain cloud or bad shot ruin the bigger picture and wholesome experience of YOUR hunting safari. Enjoy it. The chances are that YOUR positive attitude and mentality will turn everyone around you into a positive force and bring the entire crew the success you deserve from being a TEAM.

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    Cape Buffalo

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    Harvey's Red Duiker

    An old friend returned to the Kilombero Valley to hunt with Wild Footprints and celebrate a 10-year anniversary of his best big game hunt. He was last in the valley in 1999 on a full bag hunt and it was a full bag indeed. This year he was to spend just a week with us and was on a different mission. He was to film some hunting activity and expose the wonders of Kilombero. A little hunting activity turned into eight animals in five days! Once again, I stress this is not a game ranch, nor a fenced property - this is wilderness at its' best and when factors come together, the hunt is gonna be awesome! All animals made it into the first page of the record book and the buffalo was the only one that may not be on the first page, even though he was the biggest of the season and had everything - age, boss, drop, spread, curl!!! You will see it once released on DVD.

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    Lichtensteins Hartebeest

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    Puku

    From the planning stages, there was no stress or pressure about this hunt. Our friend was glad to be returning and we were happy to have him back. It was just another outing in the outdoors and could not have been any more casual than it was. The priority was game that he did not prioritize on his first outing ten years back. We got it all within four days and then went for a buffalo on the fifth day and got a fantastic dugga boy early morning to top things off. It was a great week for us and the most leisurely of hunts with big rewards for everyone. We look forward to doing it again next year as it has become apparent that the Kilombero is ultimately one of the best areas for Dangerous Game and Wild Footprints have perfected their marriage to this area over the past two decades. Enjoy your hunt and you are assured the fruits of it will be enjoyable. Check out the photos!


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  2. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    All very well said Ryan, I could not not agree with you more. I would add that sometimes things just don't work out, it is nature after all, we don't control it, but when we align with it and everything falls into place we can find deep satisfaction and appreciation in those moments...

    By the way, what is this DVD that you are mentioning all about?
  3. Shallom

    Shallom AH Enthusiast

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    Jerome,
    indeed we are all at the mercy of mother-nature at the end of the day. Sometimes she shines down and some times she is dark and cloudy. There will be some DVD's released next year as part of a big hunting project and some of my hunts will be featured. I will inform you as soon as there is something out there to track down. In the barrel for now.
    Cheers,
  4. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    That sounds awesome Ryan, I look forward to hearing more about it.

    Your trophies all look amazing... one for some reason stood out from the rest, perhaps because I am not so familiar with them, it is the trophy of your East African Bushbuck (here below) that in my opinion is over the top, can you tell us more about it?

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  5. Shallom

    Shallom AH Enthusiast

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    The bushbuck was an exceptional bonus for us as we do not specifically go out hunting for them. We leave them to be chance encounters and this has worked wonders in terms of trophy quality. The above specimen is an old buck with lots of wear on his horns, but he is still pushing the top spots on the record book. He would definately have a couple more inches on him in his prime, but it also means that he has gained more mass and most importantly, has been allowed to spread his genes back into the population. A truly magnificent trophy.

    The Kilombero Valley is better known as a floodplain and open grassland, but what most people do not appreciate, is the varied habitat and wildlife that thrives in this unique ecosystem. There is thick riverine forest, miombo woodland, rolling hills with valleys, swamp, grassland as well as savannah type fringes. This makes it an ideal habitat for a variety of species, but crucially, is the only patch within the larger area which has a combination of these qualities. For this reason, the Kilombero has gems all over it.

    One of our camps is built along the Kilombero River, within a dense forest which is home to the densest population of Harvey's Red Duiker and East African Suni. Also found in the forest are bushbuck, bushpig, warthog, porcupine, civet, genet, serval, leopard, buffalo, elephant, lion, waterbuck, blue monkey, baboons and various other smaller critters. We have 18 natural waterholes in the forest and half of them are springs that produce water all year round. In this area we conduct some of our specialized hunts.

    On the first day of the hunt, we covered a lot of ground by car and found very little activity in the woodlands and grasslands. It was the drier part of the year and water was very scarce. That afternoon, we decided to walk through the forest and see what was in store for us... At the very first waterhole, we crept to see a female bushbuck grazing along the edges. Nothing else was in sight, but i told my tracker that there had to be a male around somewhere, so we crept on along the edge and suddenly spotted movement behind a fallen tree and noticed that it was the male. There was no question about the age and trophy. We kept as quiet as possible, took position and waited for an open shot. We had to move into position and took the shot to bag a beautiful buck.

    The forest holds many surprises and fortunes for any hunter who is willing to do the work in terms of walking, waiting, scheming and taking chances. It is the same forest where we know of an 80-pounder roaming free. It is the same forest where we took an 80-kilo leopard, a forest where a small pride of lions have specialized in forest living and the forest where we have a 100% record on Red Duiker and Suni. The forest awaits!

    The Bushbuck should enter the record books in the near future. Watch this space for more record book entries and Kilombero Kronicles.
  6. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Great posts and info Ryan. As a bushbuck nut who has never gotten one, I to think that is a superb trophy......... exceptional mass and it carries the entire length of the horns.

    Your hunter should be a happy camper. :D
  7. Safari Chick

    Safari Chick AH Veteran

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    Shallom, I have not been on the site much as of late (life got busy), however whenever I get the chance to pop in I am always glad to read your posts! There is something about the way you write that really draws me into the surroundings. This series you have been posting lately has me enthralled... the forest awaits indeed! It sounds amazing! I pass my time dreaming of too many safari adventures and these posts have been fueling my imagination. BTW, too many=more than I can afford at this moment but I have been working hard to remedy that! Tanzania 2012???
  8. Shallom

    Shallom AH Enthusiast

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    Safari Chick... we have missed you for sure and hope that it has all been 'good' busy, holiday spirit and festive cheer that has been keeping you away from us. Glad to hear you've been enjoying the posts and i must admit that its likewise sharing them on here.

    Will keep fueling your think tank as much as i can and hopefully your dreams are realized on your next outing, which i have every confidence they will. We look forward to havin you tell us all about it when the the time comes. Meantime we can all be on-site and enjoy sharing this wonderful priviledge we have called, hunting. Your hard work does deserve a reward and Tanzania 2012 seems like a due calling. We say KARIBU. It is never too early to start planning and sharing ideas & possibilities. Looking forward to it.
  9. AfricaHunting.com

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    Thanks Ryan for the wonderful addition to the original story. This "miombo woodland" seems to be a true treasure trove, a forest full of surprises. Also a refuge in the middle of your floodplain and open grassland for the creatures that inhabit the area... sounds wonderful and very intriguing. Makes me want to step in just to see what awaits.
  10. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Hi Ryan, Thanks for the posts! You definitely can tell your passion for the outdoors and wildlife conservation. I sure do appreciate your writting.

    Could you label the animals in your post. I think I know most of them. But is that a Harvey's red duiker?

    Anyway, I thought you could further educate the hunting public on the wonders of Tanzania. Awesome animals, for sure.
  11. Shallom

    Shallom AH Enthusiast

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    Jerome... whenever you are ready to take that step - i will back you up.

    Enysse... thanks for the encouragement. That is a Harvey's Red Duiker. The skulls show an East African Bushbuck/East African Impala/East African Suni & Harvey's Red Duiker. I hope Jerome will assist me with the labelling... the animals in order of appearance are;

    East African Bushbuck
    Nyasaland Wildebeest
    Cape Buffalo
    Harvey's Red Duiker
    Lichtensteins Hartebeest
    Puku
  12. ctulpa

    ctulpa AH Member

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    Incredible Week!

    Hi Ryan!

    Great story on the Kilombero!! It truly is a wonderful and very special place in Africa.

    Looking forward to more of your adventures in the Kilombero!!


    Cliff

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