ZIMBABWE: Cape buffalo with Scott Guthrie and Zindele Safaris

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by Upton O. Good, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Veteran

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    I had my first Cape buff hunt in Sept. hunting with Scott Guthrie, Zindele Safaris, Zimbabwe. Having hunted plains game in South Africa twice, I had made the decision to rob my piggy bank, bite the big bullet, and go after Cape buffalo.

    Scott met me in Bulawayo and we spent the next five hours on the road to Matesti 1 getting to know each other. Upon arrival we were informed that the concession manager had given the bushbuck permit I had paid for to another party the week before. No refund was offered, I would be allowed to substitute an other animal of similar price. Needless to say, neither Scott nor I were happy with this development, I had wanted another bushbuck to go on the wall with my Cape specimen. Sadly, this was just the start of our challenges.

    After unpacking at the lodge, I reported to Scott's cottage where we were getting ready to test fire the rifles. This was when we were informed that none of the permits to hunt had been issued and we would not be allowed out of camp except to travel to Victoria Falls. Test firing the rifles was out.

    Scott discussed the issue at length with the concession manager who assured him that the permits would be ready shortly or at the latest, the next morning by 10:00. Of course, they weren't. Nor were they ready by 3:00 that afternoon or 10:00 the following morning.

    Scott explained why the permits weren't ready and it was not looking like there would be any relief soon. Suffice the say, the concession manager was a bit short on his duties and responsibilities. It should be noted at this point that there was another party of two hunters also in camp who had arrived with a different PH and different outfitter on my arrival day and they were in the same boat: no permits being issued, no refunds being offered. I had noticed that the camp was in poor repair, ceiling fans not working, water not running and the swimming pool appeared to be used as part of the sewage system.

    At this point Scott, who had gotten on his cell and made a series of calls, said there were three options: he personally would refund my money and I could cancel the trip, he would arrange for a hunt in another area at HIS expense, or we could stay in camp and hope that somehow the permit mess would sort itself out. Having lost one and a half hunting days at this point, I opted to get the hell out of there and hunt a different area, which we did.

    Scott arranged for us to drive back to his home in Bulawayo, get in his plane and fly to the Bubye Conservancy for the remaining seven and a half days of hunting, all at HIS expense.

    That, folks, is a professional hunter with ethics and honor.

    I spent the next seven and a half days with Scott seeing what Zimbabwe can be. I had up close encounters with dangerous game, shot a gnarly old dagga boy at 30 yards, took an old zebra for the wife's rug, shot a gnarly, old warthog, and an incredible eland after chasing those darn antelope giants around for four days. I fulfilled a dream of shooting sand grouse at dusk in front of a "jeering" squad...(no relief offered to the weak at heart) and paybacks will be hell, Scott.

    I will be writing up the details of the hunt and my other experiences in Zimbabwe and on the Chobe River in my blog. Sorry, I just don't want to write them up twice.

    What I will say here is Scott Gutherie is an incredible man, a wonderful PH and, most importantly, a good friend. In favor of decorum, I will reserve my opinion of the Matesti 1 concession manager, for now at least.

    IMG_3897.jpg IMG_4060.jpg IMG_4129.jpg IMG_3931.jpg IMG_4022.jpg
  2. garyleach

    garyleach AH Veteran

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    Congrates, nice buff and great eland!!!
  3. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Sorry to hear about the problems, glad you got some nice animals though! I really love that eland!
  4. Buff-Buster

    Buff-Buster GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Glad things settled down after a rocky, first few days! Great old buffalo. Looking forward to the full report!
  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    That had the potential to be the worst Safari nightmare possible.

    Congratulations on some nice trophies.

    Scott sure earned the "P" in his "PH" designation!
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
  6. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    You know that old saying right? "bad beginning, good ending". You done good, especially considering the abbreviated hunt, that really sucks. I think that eland makes up for lots of frustration, and an excellent buff as well. Congrats!
  7. Blue Skies Hunting Adventures

    Blue Skies Hunting Adventures AH Enthusiast

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    I know Scott personally and you were indeed in good hands. Glad all worked out so well and great job by Scott for going that extra mile for you.
  8. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    hats off to mister scott gutherie definitely a stand up bloke
    congratulations on your animals upton o good .
    love that zebra and eland mate
    glad it sorted it self out over there for you
  9. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Well, in the end things turned out well, thanks to a good professional.

    Congratulations for your very good trophies !
  10. Stretch

    Stretch AH Fanatic

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    Impressive. Your smile tells the story. Nice.
  11. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    It takes a stand up outfitter and a client willing to roll with the punches to make that pot of lemons into lemonade! Congratulations, that's a very nice set of trophies!!
  12. Bos en Dal Safaris

    Bos en Dal Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    Some great rophies there and hats off to Scott for what he did to make your hunt and dreams come true.:thumb:
  13. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Great Job and Fantastic trophies Glad Scott had your back, That Zebra is going to make one hell of a rug.
  14. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Veteran

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    I want to thank you all for your comments and compliments. It was a true test of grit, choices, and effort, mostly on Scott's part.

    As for my trophies, the Cape buffalo, as you can see, is big and very old, not the widest spread but that has never been my goal. His left boss has a groove worn in it which is really unique I think. The zebra's teeth were worn to the gum line, the warthog was also very old and battle scarred. The old, worn out animals that are no longer breeding are my favorite quarry. The eland? He was just a really special gift after four really long days of hunting them.

    The other part of the trip: two men died from medical emergencies on the flight from Johannesburg to
    Atlanta. Helping move a dead body out of the aisle was NOT on my planned itinerary.

    It was quite a trip, to say the least. Thanks again for the comments.
  15. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Did you buy a lottery ticket yet?

    It sounds like you would have an adventure on the way to 7-11!
  16. drew416

    drew416 AH Senior Member

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    Congrats on the cracker Eland, and other fine trophies. I hope the Matesti 1 manager gets his act together.
    Which camp did you stay in Bubye? It sure is a wonderful area to hunt in.
  17. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Veteran

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    I appreciate your comments and compliments, guys. I'm still going back through all of the photos and re-living the memories, I sure would love to head back to Bubye next year but it will have to wait. Having read a good bit of Zimbabwe history in preparation for my trip and then driving from Beit Bridge to Victoria Falls, spending three days in Bulawayo, I fear that politics and "wovets" will destroy the few remaining areas of that country still worth something. Such a tragic mess and I doubt it will ever recover.

    What amazes me are the Zimbabweans who still live there. Wonderful people, tough, hard working, resourceful, fun, I admire them so much. And I worry for them. I am ashamed with how much the U.S. contributed to the current state of the country thanks to Jimmy Carter and Andrew Young.

    I want to post another photo to show how old my "dagga boy" is. Having limited experience with Cape buffalo, I was amazed at how large his head was. His bosses are worn, he has a groove in the left one, and his life story would be long and rough, I'm sure. I told my PH Scott that I don't measure any of my trophies so I can never be a liar, he walked past me later that evening and just said "38 inches". Scott's a really funny guy when it's time to be funny, if you hunt with him make sure he tells you the hyena story over dinner. It was one of the best hunting camp stories I've ever hear.

    Attached Files:

  18. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Veteran

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    Which camp did you stay in Bubye? It sure is a wonderful area to hunt in.

    Drew, we hunted the Malangani area, unbelievable number of animals there, wild as all get out. We had a hard/great time with stalking the eland due to all of the impala and zebra, the buggers would bust the eland everytime.
  19. Buff-Buster

    Buff-Buster GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Now you gone and done it! You gotta tell us the Hyena story now.
  20. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Veteran

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    Not a chance, there are some stories that can only be told by those who were present during the adventure, Get with Scott, over dinner, and let him entertain you.

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