ZIMBABWE: Huntessentials and fishfantastic zimbabwe

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by tap, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    I recently returned from a hunt in zimbabwe with huntessentials. While there were a few hickups due to the personell at doddieburn ranch I will state the following and let the viewer make their own choice.

    I booked a 14 day leopard hunt. I personally booked my hunt with Louis Beukes the owner of huntessentials. I booked 2 leopards with one ph over dogs to be done in a 20 day time period. In addition I booked buffalo and croc. The end results were that we shot two very nice toms in 19 days and were on cats almost every day. The place is absolutely covered with leopard and we had a blast chasing leopard. I ended up not shooting a buffalo as I didn't want my first buffalo to be shot under a high fence. I don't know why I feel that way but I just want my first buffalo to be free ranging. Don't bother asking me why its just ingrained in me for certain animals to be open concession. My wife ended up shooting a sable just shy of 40" and the ph's managed to put me on a monster free range eland they knew of in the area.

    The cooks we were supplied with were all phenominal and the dog handler and the ph's supplied to us were honestly some of the best I've every dealt with. Their knowldege and expertience in their fields I could honestly rate as second to none. We ended up traveling to botswana after our hunt to hunt in the tuli block at which point we hooked back up with Louis. We had an absolute blast hunting with Louis and he took care of us all the way.

    The only negative was that Louis had one parner I was convinced was trying to sabatoge us to make Louis look bad. All I know for certain is that I booked with Louis and Louis hooked me up with the most knowledgable people I have met for leopards to date. We shot some incredible animals and had the safari only dreams are made of. Louis promised me to hunt giant leopards in the best areas with the best people and all I can honestly say for Louis is that hes definitely a hunter and will make your trophys happen. If he can't he will tell you so ahead of time. I passed some incredible buffalo on the doddieburn. Most people would die to shoot the buff I passed. So to say I didn't get my buff would be a lie as I passed them for other reasons I couldn't forsee when I booked my hunt. I hunted with all the rest of Louis staff at huntessentials and all the staff and ph's there are top notch. I'm not going to let one bad apple having a bad day spoil what was an awesome safari and am planning returning to wakerstroom next year after my kanana safari with my uncle for some r&r and some great fishing after our hunt. Thanks for the leopards Louis and thanks for the good times.

    Tony
     
  2. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks Tony thats good to hear. Glad for the most part that it all worked out.
     
  3. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    tap

    Times are changing and you need to change with them...

    If you shoot a leopard behind a high fence what is the difference with the cape buffalo or eland?

    Eland can go over most high fences and cape buffalo will and can go through them.
     
  4. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    You got that right James the only reason a Buffalo is inside the fence is because they didn't feel like walking through it today. I know of one at Huntershill Safaris that went through the fence and a few neighbors cattle fences and refused to be captured so it got a special invitation to dinner by way of a 458. course I half ass believe he just wanted to shoot the trouble maker if they go through the fence once they'll do it again.
     
  5. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    Guys dont get me wrong, I'm not complaining about being sold a free range hunt and ended up finding it was behind a high fence. Louis told me it was a high fenced hunt up front and I was all in. For some reason I have a longing to shoot a buffalo I may never see again. Its the thought you are shooting a total ghost that may possibly dissapear into the bush never to be seen again. as for the leopard, once i was done with my hunt I would have gladly shot the leopard we named bolt even if he was chained to a tree. That piece of crap has done nothing but cause everyone grief that has dealt with him. He kills sable calfs in the breeding pens for fun. He beats up dogs because hes bored. He made me chase him for 20 miles a day for weeks on end because Im fat and to top it all off he's still alive. I can honestly tell you I hate bolt! The leopard hunt on the other hand was by far the most memorable hunt I've ever been on. Louis told me he had big cats and that we would find cats. Well he lied! He has big cats and he has lots of big cats. That place was crawling with cats. Louis set me up with the most knowledgable personell in the area of cat hunting that anyone could hope for. I've never in my life seen such a slew of pros in one area. I would like to thank Rob Timcke and Peter Dreyer for helping me to obtain the leopards of me and my wifes dreams. We went 2 for 2 with full on leopard charges and those were memories that only alzheimers will steal from me. I just cant think of a better way to spend my 14th wedding anniversary date.

    As a final note on this subject I would like to state that Louis didn't work me over even once on that entire safari. He made things right and held through on the word he gave me in Las Vegas at the SCI convention. I would like to say that if anyone books with huntessentials and you talk with Louis that he will honor his word. Even if his staff is having a bad week and taking it out on clients which will happen with the employee of any business, Louis will make it right at the end of the day. Louis even offered to give me money back on the original bill I paid to make up for his staff letting us run out of fuel. He simply told me to tell him what I wanted and it would happen. I think it speaks a lot for a man when he's ready to refund a succesful leopard hunt just because he had one bad apple who was to lazy to run to town to resupply fuel. I've had my operations shut down here in the states for fuel problems before and I wasn't about to give the entire day to the customer for free. Thanks Louis
     
  6. Dinsdale

    Dinsdale AH Senior Member

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    Interesting.

    Posted by tap on another forum- "My zimbabwe safari"

    I have had several PM's asking me who I hunted with and as of now I have had no desire to talk about my hunt with anyone. Lets just say I've been extremely worked up. I hunted with huntessentials & fishfantastic. They keep taking mcmillan river adventures with shaun michaels hunting and ray bunny and jim burnsworth. I figured with guys from tv going i couldn't go wrong right? wrong! did you guys know that shaun michales shot his croc with his bow out of a damn pen? yep thats right a 70 yd by 70 yard heavy guage sheep wire pen cemented about 3 feet into the ground. How do I know? Because I fell for the same thing. We were told the so called small high fence area was open in the reeds in the back and thats how the croc got in. Terra shot him through the fence. Upon further investigation I discovered the entire pen in tact and that I was lied to. In addition I paid my emailed contract in full before I left. I paid $54,000 for 2 leopards, a croc, a buffalo, and 23 nights of accomodations. I know the daily rate is usually included in the price of 2 14 day leopard hunt packages but I wasn't arguing at the time. well when I discovered the buffalo were in a 3000 acre high fence area I decided not to shoot one and to allow my wife to trade it for a sable. Well she got her sable and we ended up shooting 3 zebra, 2 impala, a bushbuck, and 3 kudu in addition to what we originally paid for. Well I was expecting about a $8,000 additional bill for the extra animals. What I got was an extra bill for $30,000! We had excesive fuel use charges, administrative fees, bait fees etc... I was told each leopard will have baits included. We shot a total of 11 baits. 3 of those were trophy zebra I was willing to pay for. In addition we sat in camp 5 days total for lack of legal hunting permits and 3 separate days because we ran out of fuel. I paid for the leopard permits out of pocket and started handing my ph's money for fuel just so we could hunt so to charge me $1,000 for excessive fuel was a joke. In addition all ph's were told we would only be hunting leopards 5 days as we were using dogs and we would be out. Well it turned out that we were there 19 days. They thought I should pay extra because they hadn't planned on 2 cats taking that long. we didn't know every cat we chased would cover 20 miles and then hide in caves. Lets just say I told them to eat all my trophies and never contact me again.

    Now about the hunt. I can honestly say the houndsman they hooked me up with was the only good thing about that safari. He's going on his own next year and I will be staying with him. He was the only knowledgable person in the cat hunt. He treed cat after cat while chasing the big toms we were after. on July 4th we cornered my cat in a cave and as you can see from the pics I posted earlier in another thread and the youtube video that he was a very big cat. Had a 16" skull and weighed 160 lbs. On july 19th my wife shot her cat a mere 7ft in front of me out of mid air in the process of jumping on me. I can't say enough about peters expertise in the cat area and his ability to find monster cats. He has me a giant tom located for next year and he has already signed and sent over a contract stating that for $14,000 he will provide me with everything needed to kill a cat with a minimum of a 15" skull. He states all older toms will have at least this and that we wont shoot small cats. He also state that no other charges will be added after the hunt for anything that hasn't been shot or wounded that wasn't agreed to previously. Anyways please steer clear of huntessentials as they are a total bunch of crooks. At this point I don't know if I will ever see my trophies and right now its the least of my concerns. I did tell peter I would love to hunt with him and that I'm not sending any money until I know if i can swing another hunt next year. at this point Im seriously thinking about sticking to the us as I have some great outfitters over here I have used extensively over the last couple of years and I have never once got screwed. If you guys can't find the pics or the vidoe let me know and I will post them here.
     
  7. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I 'll give Tap a break.

    It's interesting reading Dinsdale to say the least. Who says it doesn't pay to read the forum pages? They say you can skin a cat many different ways? Yep, I suspected Tap got stuck with a lot of excess charges. In some ways I feel really sorry for him, I think people that sell hunts sometimes give you a line of lies that makes a guy want to quit hunting. Everything has to be taken with a grain of salt.
     
  8. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    As with all business every customer has a different experience...further investigation would be needed on this one...

    I do know that fuel is a hugh expense in Zimbabwe...and the outfitter has to transport his own to camp...plus this has to be done a few times a week...i was really surprised that they do not use in-line fuel filters or see through bowl filters to clean the fuel before putting in vehicles...moisture and rust are a great fuel line filter plugger.
     
  9. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    I have heard that these guys had another issue recently with a crossbow elephant hunt in Zim. More details to follow.
     
  10. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    well its official. i just got my final correspondence from the owner. he is requesting i send him $20,000. he included a charter flight in these charges. i had scheduled a return flight out of bulawayo in order to save money. louis told me not to worry about it as he wanted to fly me to another property to hunt my last two days. i told him i didnt want to pay for such an expense and he tol me it was on him. i ended up shooting another $8000 worth of plains game. well the final bill jncluded this over priced flight my host insisted i take on him. in addition it included a bow retreival fee for them to retreive my seized bows in bulawayo when in fact i got them back when i flew into bulawayo to check out of the country. $750 for retreiving something that got confiscated cuz they didnt do the proper paperwork as they had stated they would? anoter fee was $900 for excessive fuel usage another $500 for a leopard permit which i paid for out of my own pocket. and what about the $200 i paid out of pocket for fuel because we kept getting stranded in camp due to no fuel. im not going to be extorted and i will not pay that bill louis. i told u before i owe u $8500 for the extra animals i shot and thats it. i will do the right thing but u will not extort money from me. keep the leopards croc and sable i paid $54,000 from. i refuse to do business with people like u.
     

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