CAMEROON: Bongo Hunt 2013


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Jan 12, 2010
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Canada, United States, Zimbabwe, South Africa (Eastern Cape; Northern Cape; North West Province, Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo), Namibia, Cameroon, Benin, Ethiopia, Liberia, Argentina
I mentioned a bongo hunt in another thread ( and said that it was the subject of an article in this month's issue of Safari, the SCI magazine. I was asked to post some pictures, so they are below. I had mentioned in yet another thread that this was the most difficult hunt I had ever done, all of which is described in the article.
HSykes6.High Canopy Trees.jpg

Forestry companies have logged many of the high canopy trees in the jungle. The result is that sunshine reaches the forest floor, causing a profusion of undergrowth to spring up. Bongo apparently like this, but it makes walking extremely difficult. Visibility is rarely more than 10-15 feet.

I believe that in CAR bongo are often hunted from machans. That doesn't seem to be the case in Cameroon, where they use pygmy (and taller) trackers, each of whom comes with his own dog. The dogs don't seem to be scent hounds at all - once a track is found, the pygmies follow it, generally holding on to the dogs, at least until they believe the bongo is close. The dog's only job is to hold the bongo long enough for you to get a shot into it. The dogs - which are fearless from what I can tell - take advantage of the fact that the bongo is an aggressive animal, and will stay and try to fight the dogs, at least for a short while. A sitatunga would just run from the dogs and you'd never catch up.

All of the dogs seem to suffer from tick bites, and most have lost all or portions of ears to ticks. They may not look like much, but they work hard!

HSykes3.Hunting Team Taking a Break.jpg
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Now for the bongo. I won't bore anyone with a repeat of the hunt. Here is the bongo:

And this is a picture of the back of one of his ears:
HSykes9.Bongo Are Tick Infested.jpg

The bongo was covered in ticks.

This is a picture of one of the hooves. Thereof the four legs had these marks, one of which was infected. The bongo step into snares set up to catch duiker - the snare won't hold the bongo, but he can wander around with a piece of wire tight around his foot for days or longer. When he eventually gets rid of the snare, the wound eventually heals, and thus the scars.


One last picture. This is the tree my shot went through on its way to the bongo. Fortunately I was using a .375, and the bullet, while it didn't end up exactly where I was aiming, did hit the bongo and dropped him. One of the difficulties of aging eyesight is that it's hard enough to focus on the two sights and the animal some distance away; what's in the middle, at least in this case, can get missed (by my eyes, but not my bullet). Lucky works.
HSykes2.Tree Hit By Bullet on Way to Bongo.jpg
Perfect bongo Hank, just beautiful! Do you have the link to your original report? I don't recall reading it.
Very kind Phil. I submitted an article to Safari, so hadn't put anything on AH. Now don't think I can. They might sue me!
What a great looking Bongo!
Thanks. Tough hunt. Not mentally prepared for it, so really glad it was done - day 12 of 14 days.

Congratulations on getting the bongo. It sounds like you earned it!

Thanks for posting the info and the photos.

Real interesting about the hoofs getting snared. Can understand how the hoof foundered.

The photo of the tree with the bullet through it is neat too. Glad it didn't make a difference on the shot.

All the best.
Nice Bongo Hank.

I have a few tree hole's (2) also, however the bullet did not reach the animal.
Great animal. Sounds like a great hunt. Congrats. Bruce
Thanks. Tough hunt. Not mentally prepared for it, so really glad it was done - day 12 of 14 days.

That is the look on your face in the trophy photo.

Claustrophobia comes to mind.

Great animal, Hank, congrats !
great looking bongo!

I had a bullet deflect off a small branch and still make a good enough shot on a kudu.
Congrats on the nice heavy horned Bongo! You were quite fortunate with that tree being in the way. I had a smaller branch deflect a 300gr .375 into a complete miss at a buffalo at 35 meters!
My dream animal to hunt.
Fantastic report and wonderful trophy. Your PH, Guav, is one of the finest gentleman I have met. Had the opportunity to share a camp with him for a few weeks in 2011.

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