ZIMBABWE: CHIFUTI SAFARIS - Cape Buffalo and Hippo

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by Royal27, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    l was like a bull at the gate ,with 5 days to go .....
    hope you live your dream in Africa, royal.and get to live it again and again ,mate.
    enjoy the sites ,smells and sounds of the African bush .
    travel well ,hunt hard and return safe .
     
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  2. accipiter

    accipiter AH Veteran

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    Great thread!

    I am glad you are fulfilling the dream.
     
  3. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    love the way you can feel your total excitement coming over in your writing , really pleased for you that you are finally getting to live your chilhood dream:)
     
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  4. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Excitement describes Christmas morning this is a whole nother level!!!! It's like Bluey said, a bull elephant, a pacing bull elephant. That's what I feel like. And thanks for the kind words Spike.

    I didn't start packing until yesterday on purpose. I knew it would make the trip real and drive me over the edge. Well, it definitely has. I watched Tracks again today just to see all of the details. How did Richie walk, how far could you see, could I have picked up the animal, how did Richie set up the sticks and where did he move to after etc...

    One thing I know for sure about Richie from watching multiple episodes. After the shot he takes off, well, like a shot. This is a good detail to know and to be prepared for I think. Now I'm just rambling. LOL! I'm just going to do what I'm told. I wasn't in the military, but I like to think that I'm pretty good at following dorections, at least when I know someone knows more than I do (hope my wife doesn't see this post....).
     
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  5. CAustin

    CAustin AH Fanatic

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    Great story Royal127
     
  6. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    So I'm in the Atlanta airport now, with Grant. My sister psoted something to Facebook today that I thought was pretty cool and that I'd share. The coolest thing is that my entire family is as excited about me going on this trip as I am!

    From my sister:

    "We all have dreams. Some materialize and some are just that--dreams. Today, my brother Royal Mowery is fulling a life long dream of his. He leaves today for an African hunting safari--something he has dreamed about since he was a little boy. So grateful to God that this is coming true for him and can't wait to hear about the adventures."

    10340162_10204517371560502_7166887085145918357_n.jpg

    That .22 short rifle is the first gun I ever shot, and knowing my parents that may have been the first time I shot it. I think was around six years old.

    Next stop, Joberg and a quick visit with Loodt!
     
  7. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Sounds like you have a loving sister.

    Have the time of your life!

    All the best.
     
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  8. huntermn15

    huntermn15 AH Senior Member

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    Enjoy the journey, I look forward to the rest of the story. Be well and stay safe!
     
  9. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    A quick post from Joberg. We're in the hotel and will leave for Zim shortly.

    The highlight here was getting to meet and spend some time with Loodt Buchner, He came up from the EC to meet us and we had a wonder dinner and conversation last night, as well as a good breakfast this morning. Thanks to Billc for letting Loodt leave for a bit to come see us!

    Months ago Loodt had offered for me to swing by the EC to see him on my way to Zim, but the airfar difference was crazy and the extra days would have been tough on me as well.... So Loodt, says, "not a problem, I will come to you." I'm so glad he did! And Mhmm..... Biltong....

    No idea if I will have wifi in Zim. If I do, I will post. If not, I will journal and post when I get back. Almost there!!!!
     
  10. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    $%$#%@#$

    Just realized I forgot to take a picture with Loodt!!!! Dang it... Brickburn's words are ringing in my ears right now "take pictures of everything..."
     
  11. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    In the hotel in Joberg, wearing my Tootabi hat!

    20140816_081149.jpg
     
  12. tarbe

    tarbe BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Late to the party....just found this thread! I look forward to your updates!

    Loodt must like airplanes! :) Yikes...flying from EC to J'berg for a dinner & visit. That's commitment.
     
  13. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I think there was shirt that was to be in the pictures to.I can see now only real man can wear pink not some guy going to hunt buff and hippo.LOL
     
  14. All-American Taxidermy

    All-American Taxidermy AH Member

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    Keep us posted and good luck!
     
  15. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Day One:

    Today was simply amazing! It could't have gone any better. Up at 4:45 after a night of very little sleep, due to my excitement and looking for Buff tracks at day light.

    The fist animals we saw were impala, but no shot. And then, it was the animal that started it all for me, a Zebra!!! Richie asked, if I wanted to shoot it and of course I said YES!!!! The stalk was on! To make a long story short, I didn't take a shot, but that was my fault as I couldn't pick him up fast enough from the sticks. But what a perfect animal for my first stalk! I was tickled to death. Oh, and somewhere in this time we saw some elephants as well. They are all over the place.... Did you hear that department of wildlife????

    Then, more Impala and this time I picked up the animal and squeezed off a shot. I hit him, in the shoulder, but low. I saw him run off and wasn't happy, I honestly thought I had missed. A quick tracking job, that seemed like an hour to me, and he jumped up badly hurt. An offhand shot and he was down for good. I won't be shoulder mounting this one.... A base of the neck hit with a 300 grain Barnes made a mess of him, but he was down. I don't know if I pulled high or hit a branch, just glad he was down and the first animal was in the books!!

    The next waterhole brought baboons, Kudu cows, and a young bushbuck. I was in heaven!!! But it was the hole after that where the fun began. Nyati!!!! A quick early lunch and the tracking began. It is like these guys are looking at arrows painted on the ground!!! Amazing.... Within an hour and a half we saw the first buff, bedded down for a mid afternoon nap. So we did the only sensible thing - backed off and took a nap of our own! :)

    Then just before three the fun began - we were quickly in the buff and stayed that way until just after five. Richie said there were roughly 50 animals and what an amazing game of cat and mouse. I much prefer being the cat by the DSC00195.JPG DSC00191.JPG way! We had good looks at several young bulls including a nice one that needed one more year, we were within 50 yards of him with a clean shot, so I would say it was a successful hunt to say the least! It just didn't include a bull at the end.

    Then a double time march of about 4K to get out of the jess before dark. Richie said something about not wanting to bump into an elephant in the dark? LOL

    Then finally, as I'm typing this, I'be DSC00195.JPG been listening to hippos bellow in the Zambezi. As there are hills on the Zambian side it echos. Wow.... Time to go to sleep and do it again in the morning!

    Animals seen: Elephant, buff, impala, bush buck, mongoose, kudu, baboon, zebra, and genet cat.
     

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  16. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Day Two:

    DUGGA BOY!!!

    We picked him up at one of the water holes that we visited yesterday and followed him all day long. The trackers were amazing, especially early on. He had been meandering through out the same area and old tracks were mixed with new. It was like untiring a bad knot and the guys dist amazed me. By just after nine we saw him and I was up on the sticks to shoot. But, the jess was thick and I couldn't get a shot. We were about 50 yards away from him and the only clear piece was part of the shoulder (he was facing us - it was the outside of the shoulder) about the size of a petite filet.

    We bumped him several more times through out the day but never even made it on the sticks again. What a day though. I see why Dugga Boys are such a challenge. It was completely different than yesterday with the herd. The nice thing though is we know who and what he is. So if we see him tomorrow there is no need to see his boss, just need to see a spot on the shoulder to put a bullet in,

    Ended the day with another failed Zebra stalk, but that's fine too I couldn't be happier! One thing I'm going to do though is quit assuming the day is done and that it can't get better.... Last night it was the hippos, tonight on the way back to camp it was LEOPARD. Right at dusk and he ran off the road and crouched hoping we hadn't seen him. Richie stopped and he was within 10 feet of my door, maybe closer. As he walked off I could hear the grass crunch under his feet. Wow....

    By the way, if you ever want to make a game scout laugh try this. Point down to the first buff track you've actually seen yourself in the last 1/2 mile of following, then point to yourself and mouth &tracker.& He will laugh, promise. :)

    Animals Seen: Buff, ele, baboons, zebra, impala, and leopard (also saw a bunch of lion and Hyena tracks. They are everywhere. I want to get a buff down so I will have Hyena bait. I REALLY want a Hyena….) DSC00224.JPG DSC00212.JPG
     
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  17. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Day Three:

    We picked up the Duuga Boy tracks where we left off yesterday. And followed him all day long. We got close a couple of times, but never saw him. Walking through the jess bush I am still amazed at how thick of cover these animals can get through. I think there is barely room for me, but then realize that not only has a buff made it thorugh there, but elephant as well based on the dung.

    Richie is definitely giving me the complete African experience. Yesterday leopard, and today Mopani flies! LOL Man are those things annoying!!!

    The sunrise and set were great today. And as we were walking out not only did we see a Klipspringer, but he was highlighted against the sky in the fading light. What a beautiful sight.... Too bad it was only his head and neck I could see at that point. Oh well, at least I made it onto the sticks!

    Dinner was hippo lasagna tonight, just like momma used to make! ;) It really was quite good.

    Animals seen: bushbuck, warthog, klippie, baboons (those baboons are hilarious to watch as they scurry down the mahagony trees!) DSC00219.JPG
     
  18. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Day Four:

    How does it keep getting better???

    Jimmy is the game scout. I've heard more bad things about scouts than good. Jimmy is a great guy though. He has an infectious smile, is an excellent tracker, and wants to see me do well.... I've bonded with him more than any of the other guys except for Richie, and really enjoy his company. We laugh a lot and he is always showing me something. He has really added to the safari.

    We found tracks crossing the road first thing this morning. Even I could tell they were fresh and we heard them within minutes. They winded us though and the chase was on, straight up a hill, then down, then up the next one, rinse and repeat.... This hunt has been much more physical than I thought. Not the terrain, but the speed. I was SUCKING wind today for sure!!! At any rate, we gave up after about three hours as they were not slowing down.

    So off to another spring we went for a quick look. Since we could see the entire spring Richie didn't even grab the sticks, but his driver Sam did. When I saw that I thought &what the heck, I will load my rifle.& We walked maybe 80 yards, a nice Grysbok walked out, sticks went up, and the Grysbok went down. It took little longer than that, but not much!

    Due to the heat Richie wanted the Grysbok in the salt, so we went down by the river for a little hippo hunting and lunch while the driver went back to camp. We looked at two pods, but there wasn't a good bull. A giant cow that we would have shot except she had a calf. So, we turned it into a hippo photo safari and even snuck up close. I mean within yards of them looking straight down at them. Amazing.... Even saw the calf climb out of the water.

    The day ended with another failed Zebra stalk. 1. They are smart. 2. My color blind eyes have a really hard time picking them up. More than any other animal Ithink. When I saw them there was no shot and when there was a shot I didnt see them. Oh well, that's hunting!

    Animals seen: Grybok, buff, ele, hippo, croc, warthog, impala, bushbuck, kudu, and baboon (I'm not mentioning the baboons anymore unless I shoot one of the buggers!)
     

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  19. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Day Five:

    Back to the springs checking for tracks. We find one, but not what I was expecting, Crocodile tracks! There is a croc stayin in the spring that probably isn't 20x20 and no more than two feet deep. He has overhangs to hide under so we never see him. This is a LONG way from the Zambezi. He mus have come up during the wet season and did some walking as well.

    I also was shown how to get rid of Mopani flys at lunch. You just light an African Citonella candle, also known as elephant dung. It works great.

    We did find buff tracks in the morning, saw a cow, winded shifted, and they were gone. Followed them all afternoon, and caught up to them, but no bull that we saw. We did the job right though and I'm getting much better at picking up the buff in the jess, so I'd call it another great day!

    Richie wants me to get a buff so bad. Me? I'm just enjoying the experience. The buff will come, or it won't, it doesn't really matter. That isn't what this hunt is about.

    Animals seen: buff, impala, warthog
     
  20. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Day Six:

    Back on the tracks of the Dugga Boy from day 2-3. We saw him pretty quickly in the thick stuff. I could make out a little of him, but not enough to shoot. Then he moved, we moved and he came out in the open. The problem was that I lost him and was apperently looking at the wrong open. ARGH!!!!! What I hate is that everyone else did there job and I felt like I blew it. Two more quick sightings and we were done. The last time I actually had him in the scope, but just not quite enough time. We backed off and came back late afternoon, but this guy is way too smart. You get one shot a day with him at best. He likes to turn around and watch his tracks and has more patience than I do.

    During the middle of the day there were a couple of exciting happenings. Richie saw a leopard. I didn't see it, not did the trackers, but a leopard is always worth mentioning. :) And then just minutes later as we were walking down a rocky area with steep sides that looked just like what I've seen klipspringers on Richie points up high above us, I spin to see if Ican get a shot and see, you guessed it, an elephant! LOL It was all the way at the top of that little rudge looking down at us. Amazing....

    Animals seen: Buff, ele
     

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