MOST VIVID AFRICAN MEMORY

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Cliffy, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,060
    Likes Received:
    5
    My Photos:
    7
    Hunted:
    Hunted Zim, RSA (2), Namib(2), going again, Calif, Oregon, Arizona, Texas, Virginia, Idaho, South Dakota, Montana, Nevada, MO
    The time- Fall 1998
    The Place- Lion's Den, Zimbabwe
    The Memory- First Elephant Seen

    Driving around in the open Toyota we were entering a slight dip in the road (trail?) that was going through a wash (dry creek bed) that was lined with leaf-bare Mopane trees. The PH (Thys DeFries) says "you hear that?". And yes we heard branches cracking and leaves being crushed under foot. He shuts off the engine and stops about 1/3 of the way into the shallow depression. We sit there and hear the noise getting closer. He says "it's and elephant coming this way". Now remember, our first trip to Africa. We're in Zimbabwe (some place we've never even thought of being before now, with a PH whom we've only known for 2 days, in an OPEN vehicle and this ain't the zoo at home! Can you picture the area with a dirt road ahead dipping down then up out of the arroyo with thick, bare Mopane trees lining both sides of the arroyo. Now try to remember the movie "Field of Dreams" where the players materialize out of the corn field surrounding the ball field. That's just what this huge bull elephant did about 50 feet in front of us. HE JUST MATERIALIZED INTO VIEW! He stopped in the middle of the road, 50 feet ahead and stopped. Does dry mouth, frozen in place come to mind. That's just how we felt. He turns his head slightly and looks right at us in the OPEN vehicle. Now this is a huge bull with about 40 to 45 lbs of ivory a side. He looked at us for maybe 5 seconds (but it felt like an hour at the time) and then he walks ahead into the bare Mopane trees again. Now get this, HE JUST DISAPPEARED INTO BARE TREES! Just like the ball players in "Field of Dreams! It is still the most amazing sight I (we) have ever seen in our lives. Truly a "once in a lifetime" experience. HE JUST DISAPPEARED AS IF HE WAS NEVER THERE! We will never forget it. Even after 3 more trips this one still ranks at the top of the list. THAT, IS AFRICA!
     
  2. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    2,625
    Likes Received:
    119
    My Photos:
    68
    Member of:
    NRA, NA Hunt Club
    Hunted:
    Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe (2), Namibia, South Africa (2)
    While not a hunting moment..I treasure a few minutes (the whole trip actually) I spent with my daughter when I took her to Namibia in 2007. It was her first trip and I had not been to Africa in some years and I really had missed it badly. When we arrived at EDEN camp it was after dark, and cooling off and they had the floodlights on at the waterhole next to camp. Various animals were at the water and it was quite peaceful and very beautiful and having my daughter there with me at not quite 16 and obviously struck by the whole thing has certainly left a happy memory for me.
     
  3. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    Messages:
    866
    Likes Received:
    3
    My Photos:
    11
    Member of:
    NRA lifetime, SCI Member, Longhunters LLC
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Germany, USA (OH, NY, VA, PA, WY)
    Great thread....this one might go AH viral!

    For me even though I have only been once (so far), the whole trip with my dad was great. I will never forget the week! If there was one moment, it would have to be the morning of the last day of our hunt. My dad had been hunting this one bush buck the whole week. He gave us the slip every day. Countless encounters with him. We had driven this area of the property all morning waiting for him to appear. We made the last turn to finish this early morning hunt. Only to see him standing at a sharp bend in the road. The following image is burned into my head to this day. There he was standing on what I believe was an old termite mound. But the rising sun was right behind him. All you could see was his outline. It was like he was up on a pedistal. An amazing sight! Of all the sights I saw that week, that one I will never forget. An yes my dad got him that evening.
     
  4. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,513
    Likes Received:
    148
    My Photos:
    23
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    USA, S. Africa
    Standing over my first African animal, an nyala, 33 hours after the completion of our photo tour of Kruger National Park, 24 hours after receiving a phone call at the Afton Guest House telling me my safari was cancelled, 12 hours after I had been rebooked and just minutes away from the lodge we stayed at for the Kruger tour. Quite a memorable day and a half.
     
  5. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,060
    Likes Received:
    5
    My Photos:
    7
    Hunted:
    Hunted Zim, RSA (2), Namib(2), going again, Calif, Oregon, Arizona, Texas, Virginia, Idaho, South Dakota, Montana, Nevada, MO
    Installment #2
    Same Time
    Same Place
    Different Elephant

    So we're driving down the "road" again several days later when all of a sudden he stomps on the brakes and we come to a dusty stop. The PH (Thys) can hardly contain himself- "look, look, do see how big he is, 70 pounds a side, a trophy of a lifetime, Look Look!" I went to Africa with the feeling of "why would anyone want to shoot an elephant", I couldn't understand it. But, read on. We say we see it and he says, 'lets sneak up on it". Whoa, I say, I'm not even hunting elephants. He says, "lets go, it's fun". OK, we pile out of the truck and he pulls down his 458 Remington AND for the first time all week actually loads it! I look at him an say, "You trying to tell me something?" He then proceeds to tell me how he's hunted these for many years and ranks them as the most dangerous of the 'Big 5", and now I'm going to sneak up on one? WOW!,,,,,,,
    So we cover the 300 or so yards and we get within 40 yds of this big bull. I can hear him crunching the food, his ears are flapping and I whisper to the PH, "You gotta get this close to shoot one of these (remember this is my first African hunt)? And he says (and I'll never forget it) "OH NO, I won't let you shoot until we cut this distance in half!" YIKES! We stood there and watched him for a few minutes and then quietly slid out of there back to the vehicle. Standing about a 100 feet away from a big bull gave me a completely different view of who controls the situation. Now, if I can ever afford it, an elephant is the only one of the "Big 5" that I want. I don't know why, but for some reason I am learning all I can about double rifles :)

    "IF YOU GO ONCE, YOU WILL GO AGAIN- DEAL WITH IT"!
     
  6. M. Egan

    M. Egan AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Member of:
    SCI MWF DU Canada MWF DU RMEF
    Hunted:
    canada US RSA Zimbabwe
    Hey Cliffy
    I had my first "wild" elephant experience in Zim also (2010). I had no desire to hunt elephant until I spent some time close to them in the bush. Their ability to appear and disappear made them almost magical. Their size, power and majesty made them both intimidating and desirable.
    I am leaving to hunt elephant in Zimbabwe in about six weeks. I am truly blessed.I didn't think I wanted to do this and never thought I would be able to. I hope that you get to hunt them,though you already have when you did the stalk. Next time it will be you with the rifle.
    Cheers, Mike
     
  7. Buff-Buster

    Buff-Buster GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,083
    Likes Received:
    98
    Location:
    Hempstead, Texas
    My Photos:
    78
    Member of:
    Houston Safari Club, Gulf Coast SCI, SCI International. Rowland Ward, NRA, RMEF, Nort American Hunting Club - Life Member, Texas Trophy Hunters
    Hunted:
    Mozambique, South Africa, (Kwa-Zulu Natal & East Cape), Zimbabwe (Charisa & West Nicholson), U.S.(Texas, New Mexico, LA, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Wyoming & Montana), Canada (Alberta) & Argentina (Cordoba)
    Time: July 2007
    Place: Charisa, Zimbabwe
    Memory: My first encounter with lions

    After taking a buffalo, I decided I really wanted to hunt spotted hyena. We set a couple of baits out (buffalo rib cages), one being on the north side of the dry Sengwe river bed about 10 kilometers from camp. The next morning we left camp alot earlier than normal so that we could be at the bait site way before the first hint of the new day. We stop the landcruiser about 2 kilometers from the river and left it to sneek in. What a feeling, walking in the pitch black, no artifical light, while the sounds of a male lion could be heard as he sounded off letting all be known, that this was his territory. The walk was brisk but silent. When we got within a few hundred yards of the blind, Scott signaled for the trackers to stay put and we would go alone the rest of the way. We settled into our make shift hide and waited for the first glow of the new dawn. You haven't truly lived until you sit like this and you are surround by the smells and sounds of Africa begining a new day like it has for thousands of years. Scott had said that our only chance to get a crack at these nocturnal predators was to catch them "just as the dawn is begining to bring things into focus". I strained to make out shapes under the tree, through the binoculars. As each minute ticked off, I could see more and more....nothing. The pack had come and gone already. We waited until the sun began to break through the trees to no avail. No matter, my senses where alive in such a way that no situation back in the states could compare. It was a good morning! We arose from our hide and walked a short way to the edge of the dry river bed. Scott was studying the rib cage to try and determine if it indeed was hyenas that fed or possible a pride of lions. As he did, I walked a few yards to look around the bend in the dry river bed. Just then, three lion cubs came running down the river bed, chasing each other, rolling and wrestling at about a hundred yards distance. I was in awe. Just then a low growl was heard and the cubs bolted into the reeds as momma came flying out of them on a dead run at us. Talk about adrenelin!!! Scott put his hand on my shoulder and wispered "Don't move". She covered 70 yds of the 100yds in a flash, then abruptly stopped. Her tail was wipping back and forth as she stared a hole in both of us. This lasted about a minute but seemed like alot longer! She turned her head back to check the cubs, looked back at us, let out a deep low growl, then turned and slowly walked back to the opposite river bank. Every 20 yds or so she would stop and look back at us. I will never, ever forget her eyes as she stared at us. It's things like this that the "anti-hunter" crowd will never understand. It's not just the taking of game that drive us to do what we do. It's experiences like this that make us feel alive in no way that anything else in this world can.
     
  8. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,513
    Likes Received:
    148
    My Photos:
    23
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    USA, S. Africa
    Well that's just great....... I'm going to have to go change my shorts! That's a memory that I'm sure will be vivid for the rest of your life.
     
  9. Buff-Buster

    Buff-Buster GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,083
    Likes Received:
    98
    Location:
    Hempstead, Texas
    My Photos:
    78
    Member of:
    Houston Safari Club, Gulf Coast SCI, SCI International. Rowland Ward, NRA, RMEF, Nort American Hunting Club - Life Member, Texas Trophy Hunters
    Hunted:
    Mozambique, South Africa, (Kwa-Zulu Natal & East Cape), Zimbabwe (Charisa & West Nicholson), U.S.(Texas, New Mexico, LA, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Wyoming & Montana), Canada (Alberta) & Argentina (Cordoba)
    Phoenix Phil.....You should hear my wife's version of a white rhino "treeing" us in Kwa Zulu Natal. After shoving my wife up the tree me and the PH were fighting over who was going up next! LOL....fun times
     
  10. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,513
    Likes Received:
    148
    My Photos:
    23
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    USA, S. Africa
    Alright BB, now I'm going to have to clean Coca-Cola off my computer monitor. Immediately a vision of someone's fanny within striking distance of a rhino horn came to mind......ouch!
     
  11. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,060
    Likes Received:
    5
    My Photos:
    7
    Hunted:
    Hunted Zim, RSA (2), Namib(2), going again, Calif, Oregon, Arizona, Texas, Virginia, Idaho, South Dakota, Montana, Nevada, MO
    Holy Cow! I'll bet those eyes burned a hole right through you.
    Africa, it get into you like nothing else can Let's keep this going, it sure beats watching TV
    Come on, more stories guys! This is like sitting around the campfire

    IF YOU GO ONCE, YOU WILL RETURN- DEAL WITH IT!
     
  12. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,914
    Likes Received:
    23
    My Photos:
    74
    Member of:
    NRA,Missouri hunters ed, SCI, Owensville Gun Club, Quail Forever
    Hunted:
    USA, South Africa, France
    Most vivid,

    So many in such a short time frame. I would have to say the most vivid in my mind was the 3 failed stalks on impala then going back for lunch then saying I really want a Wildebeest, Ph said then that's what we will do, off we go pursuing my Blue Wildebeest. Up the mountain we go, I was told. Up we went. We found them, got busted on two stalks and on the third, Successful stalk, through the scope was "my" Wildebeest mixed in with other Wildebeest and Red Hartebeest, Blesbok and two Giraffe, with the landscape behind. All of which I could see through my scope prior to squeezing the trigger. Would have made the most beautiful photo. Thanks again Willem.

    The sunset on the last day in Joberg would have to be another, amazing....
     
  13. iamyourhuckleberry

    iamyourhuckleberry AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    118
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    Australia ( Northern Territory), New Zealand ( both the North and South Island), Namibia, RSA, England, Scotland, Argentina, Canada (Northwest Territories, Quebec, Alberta, Ontario), United States (WA,AZ,CO,NM,WY,NE,TX,OK,KS,SD,LA,MO,IL,KY,MI,OH,PA,NY,MD,NC,FL,AK)
    The first arrow struck an unseen tree limb and deflected high, over the gemsbuck's back. The group of seven split into two. Three animals went north. The other four ran south. I quickly unquivered a second arrow and loaded it onto my string. My attention was on the four gemsbuck moving south. They arced out of bow range. I turned back around to locate the other three. To my surprise, they were running directly at me-they were hurrying to rejoin their southbound friends. Their approach was swift! I took four steps forward; my eyes were locked onto the bull I missed moments earlier. I came to full draw as the bull maneuvered around a thorn bush six yards in front of me. I released! The arrow slammed into the ground directly in front of but beyond the bull. He had slammed on the brakes when I anticipated he wouldn't. It was a clean second miss. I glanced down and immediately shot straight to the moon. In the heat of the hunt, and with eyes on the prey, I failed to notice the Black Mamba I had been straddling (the 9 foot snake was coiled in a barrel roll in an attempt to stay warm). Had the morning been any warmer I'd be writing this from Heaven. Certain death was 12 inches from either leg.

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  14. safari gal

    safari gal SPONSOR AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    7
    My Photos:
    41
    Member of:
    Safari Club International, Dallas Safari Club, Wild Sheep Foundation, Boone & Crockett Club, PHASA
    Hunted:
    Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania, New Zealand, Argentina and throughout North America
    Nice thread Cliffy and I love your tag line "IF YOU GO ONCE, YOU WILL RETURN - DEAL WITH IT" - so true!

    Hard to pick the most vivid as there are so many but mine is probably in the Kilombero of Tanzania in 2003 when I shot my Cape Buffalo (first animal but not the last with the .375) and lunged him good but off he went in the tall grass at a pretty good distance. There were seven of us in the field PH, hubby, two friends (one with video cam), tracker and game scout. We followed him up for about 15-20 minutes as there was an incredible blood trail in the long grass. We came to an open area with some low swells and I think the PH sensed he was nearby so he motioned everyone to get behind him and all of a sudden here came the buff flat out and he covered 40 yards in a matter of seconds. My husband got one quick shot in his shoulder and he turned to the PH who shot him in the mouth at arms length and then dove at his feet and the buff rolled over the top of him. We pulled the PH out from under him and he jumped up and shot him again in between the bosses just for insurance! We only learned several months later that the PH had actually cracked some ribs and the cook was wrapping him up every day. Guess that's why he was asking for ibuprofen the next few days when we were in the field. The friend with the camera got the shot on film but not the charge - that would have been something but I still relive it all the time. The next day we were charged by a Hippo . . . .

    [​IMG]
     
  15. mudslinger

    mudslinger AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    1
    My Photos:
    17
    Member of:
    NRA, RMEF, NAHC. LSBA
    Hunted:
    USA, New Zealand, South Africa
    Mine would have to be on my second safari with Harry Nel at African Arrow Safaris. I was on cruise control by having taken a 54" Kudu, 26" Impala, 16" Tsessebe, Zebra, 28 3/4" Waterbuck and a 15 7/8" Warthog by the 8th day of the hunt. I figured my hunt was basically over, but I still want ed to go out and see the animals and collect some pictures and possible get a shot at some thing I had not shot yet. Unfortunatley the weather took a trun for the worse and was cold, windy and cloudy and nothing moved. We drove around that morning and saw a few animals, all hunkered down in the brush and we sat in a hide that afternoon until 5pm when Harry suggested that he, my wife and I take a walk and stalk down by the river to possible see if we could come across a Warthog, Bushpig or possible see a bushbuck. What happened about an hour later was what dreams are made of. We had walked a couple hundred yards with the wind cutting across from our right when Harry motioned to freeze. I peered over his shoulder and immediately knew I was looking at a monster Nyala. To make a long story shot, Harry got me close enough to this bull for a 20 yard shot and I managed to shoot just a tad high through the river reeds and spined the big bull. To have done this on a walk and stalk with my wife along was unbelievable. While Harry went back to get the truck to load my Nyala, my wife and I both sat beside him admiring his 29" horns and polished tips and listening to the hippos on the river bellowing and groaning. A hunt that i will never forget as long as I live. It will be hard to top this. The Nyala this moment is being full body mounted for display in my home.

    Doug's Nyala.JPG
     
  16. mudslinger

    mudslinger AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    1
    My Photos:
    17
    Member of:
    NRA, RMEF, NAHC. LSBA
    Hunted:
    USA, New Zealand, South Africa
    Safari Gal, beautiful Cape. Congrats. That is one animal on my list hopefully in 2014, but with a bow!
     
  17. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,420
    Likes Received:
    332
    My Photos:
    396
    Member of:
    KZN Hunters Assoc
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Canada, USA, Mexico
    There would be a good reason why I'll hunt in the winter time!!!
     
  18. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    2,625
    Likes Received:
    119
    My Photos:
    68
    Member of:
    NRA, NA Hunt Club
    Hunted:
    Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe (2), Namibia, South Africa (2)
    That is a really pretty buff for sure. Very symetrical and tight boss.
     
  19. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,122
    Likes Received:
    48
    My Photos:
    29
    Hunted:
    Norway, Sweden, England, South Africa
    I have only been once to Africa and that was to SA last year.
    I am going again this year, so I hope I will collect lots of great memories then too:)

    My most vivid memory is the hunting of Impala.
    Impala was the animal on the bottom of my wish list for the animals I wanted to hunt when I went last year.
    But after trying to stalk them in thick bush for many hours(12-15), the Impala turned into being the animal I wanted the most.
    Videos and pictures just don't do this animal justice at all in my opinion.

    We had lots of unsuccessful stalks because of swirling winds, spooking other animals that took the Impalas with them and thick bush making a shot impossible.
    I don't know if it is common, but the Impalas in the place I hunted was much more alert than most of the other animals there.
    Finally I got my ram in the morning after first stalking one without getting a shot, turning down shooting a about 30" Waterbuck and then stalking another small herd of Impalas in very thick Kampfer bush(not sure about the spelling) for about 1 hour with the weak wind in our back all the time.
    We stayed within 30-80 meters away from them all the time and we were sure they had smelled us every time they were out sight for more than 2-3 mins till I finally got a shot with my 30-06 at about 60 meters.
    I couldn't care less about how big he was. And it is his horns I am looking most forward to to hold in my hands and look at again when I get my crate home soon:)

    I can't wait till I am going to stalk Impalas with my bow this year:D
     
  20. Buff-Buster

    Buff-Buster GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,083
    Likes Received:
    98
    Location:
    Hempstead, Texas
    My Photos:
    78
    Member of:
    Houston Safari Club, Gulf Coast SCI, SCI International. Rowland Ward, NRA, RMEF, Nort American Hunting Club - Life Member, Texas Trophy Hunters
    Hunted:
    Mozambique, South Africa, (Kwa-Zulu Natal & East Cape), Zimbabwe (Charisa & West Nicholson), U.S.(Texas, New Mexico, LA, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Wyoming & Montana), Canada (Alberta) & Argentina (Cordoba)
    Phoenix Phil - Believe it or not.....it was pretty close to that! My wife laughs about it now, but she wasn't then!!
     

Share This Page