Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Hank2211, Feb 4, 2019.
Enjoying the report! Congrats on the Kob!
The Wild west is coming to mind!
Yep, pretty good troops. Back when I was working North Africa and the Middle East, we were very dependent upon the French almost anywhere west of the Nile. That has gradually changed. Son of an old friend is a young SF captain who has been deployed that way a couple of times over the last few years (when not in Afghanistan or Iraq). He is a French speaker, and was upbeat about the capability of Cameroon's QRF (Quick Reaction Force) or BIR "en Francais". As you note, they were created and trained as a force to provide national-level counter terror capability primarily against Boko Haram. Would make sense to deploy a team to deal with armed poachers as well - particularly a group that already demonstrated a willingness to shoot a game scout. Besides, as Bismark so astutely observed, one can do anything with bayonets except sit on them.
But, I am really taken with and encouraged by your pan- North Americanism! Next thing we know, you'll be having two fingers of Bourbon.
That's a pretty fancy black gun your BIR buddy sports. They don't appear to be under equipped!
I was so looking forward to this report and you have not disappointed. You have taken some great animals, this is a bucket list trip for sure.
Hank2211 - you are great story teller!
Your report is like "hunters thriller"!
Keep it up Hank!
Hank, Thanks for taking the time to write your reports. They take us right there along with you. The poacher and Boko Haram really adds to the excitement! Just curious if you soaked your clothes in permethrin and why you didn't take your hunting boots and clothes in your carry-on bags or did you already have too much stuff in them? I'm packed for two days in my carry ons and have all my sunscreen, meds and bug repellent stuff in them also. Those tse tse flies would give me the creeps.
What a fantastic adventure! Superb trophies and stories to share for a lifetime. Thank you for taking us along.
A good question. I guess we all pack differently. In my case, my carry on was restricted in size mostly by the internal flight in Cameroon. Still, I had a pretty packed carry-on, with the medication I normally take as well as what I might need in Africa; travel kit including things like travel sizes of soap, shampoo, etc., a travel pillow, reading material, camera, iPad, lithium batteries for just about everything, headphones, electrical converters, documents for the trip, extra pair of glasses; hearing protection (expensive to replace); sunglasses (ditto), etc. The bag is actually a Westley Richards Sutherland mid-size bag, so a decent size. What I guess I could have done is tried to bring a small roll-aboard suitcase but I'm not entirely sure I'd have gotten much more into it. So everything is a compromise. Some suggest that I should have carried my binos, but they're both heavy and sizeable (Leica HD). A change of clothes takes room, and laundry is done every day in camp, so it seemed like something I could do without. Traveling in hunting boots would have been helpful, but inconvenient. On and off at every airport, off for sleeping and then back on every time I go to the washroom, and so on.
Every time you travel there's a risk your luggage won't show up, and you try to plan for that, but "not show up" usually means a delay of a day or two, which is something most of us could live with. I'll tell you here that my luggage showed up on the day I returned from camp to Garoua for my departure. So effectively I did the entire hunt with only my carry on and the clothes I had on me.
As for permethrin clothing, it's illegal (really) in Canada, but I have a large can of the spray, which was in my luggage and which I intended to use once I got the Africa. Then I leave the can in camp for the next person who may not have some. But I don't think it would have helped very much. I hunt in shorts for a bunch of reasons, and it was my legs and arms which bore the brunt of the bugs. If the permethrin would have stopped the tsetse flies, my guess is that they would just have gone more for bare skin than clothing. I think it's more effective on ticks, and I only picked one of those off of my legs. There really aren't very many ticks in this area. In tick infested areas, I have been known to spray my legs with the stuff, but that's not recommended (in fact, they strongly urge you not to put it directly on your skin, so I'm not encouraging others to do it).
I don't want to make too big a deal about the tsetse flies. Without a doubt they are annoying, and the bite (it's really a sting) is like a needle going into your skin, but it's nothing like a bee or wasp sting. And even where there are lots of them, there aren't clouds of them. Lots means that there may be a few always flying around you. I wouldn't let them stop me from hunting in an area I otherwise wanted to go to. But they can transmit diseases, so you need to have your shots up to date and be aware of the symptoms of sleeping sickness, for example, so if it happens, you can tell your doctor. But this really isn't any different than any other African diseases you might pick up (I had to educate my doctor on African tick bite fever a few years ago . . . and I got that in South Africa).
I do appreciate all the comments telling me what I should have had in my carry on though . . .!
Thanks, that laugh helped get blood flowing back into my frozen ears.
After recalling other LDE hunt reports about the ground/surface cover, as you have repeated here, you are to be commended for rolling with the punches and getting your hunt done. I think you set a new record for minimalism.
I believe you are right. I should be put up for some sort of award. If you asked my PH, he would suggest an award for "most complaining on a hunt."
My reply to the PH
You're going to have to give me that reply in words . . .
Day 6, Jan 25
Out looking for buffalo tracks again this morning. Walked about 7 kms (4 miles) on my poor blistered feet (looking for sympathy here!). At this point I’m just hoping the crocs make it for the duration.
We had found buffalo, and the wind was more or less playing ball, but they seemed to be walking with a purpose, and that pace was too fast for me. Every time we’d make contact, it would be with the tail end of the herd, and there were no good bulls there. We’d back off and try to get ahead of them, but then make contact again, and find that we were looking at the same buffalo. This happened at least 6 times, and each time it became more frustrating, given the heat and the difficulty I had in walking with the blisters. We finally decided they weren’t going to slow down, and Guav had an idea where they might bed down for the day, so we decided to come back after lunch and try to find them again.
On the way back to camp we came up on a Nigerian bohor reedbuck which for some reason was just standing about 40 yards from the road, staring at us. Guav said he was a fine specimen, so without really thinking about it, I grabbed the gun and took a shot off-hand (this can happen if I go too long without taking a shot. It’s a disease, one I’ve given up trying to cure). Dropped it where it stood. I think eland is the best tasting venison, but reedbuck isn’t far behind.
When we got back to camp we found that the Cuban had left. I assume that means the poachers have been brought to heel, if only for the time being. He was an interesting person to have in camp, though, so we’ll miss him at dinner.
After our siesta, we headed back out to the area where we had left the buffalo. We began walking, without tracks, towards the area where Guav thought they might have rested up. Within an hour - so about 5 pm – we spotted the herd, moving to our left. Once again, we were in a game of backing away, and trying to get ahead of them. We had much the same frustration as in the morning – it seemed every time we saw the herd, we had to pull away, move as quickly as possible (not that fast for me at this point) and then slowly move back in. The only advantage we had this afternoon was that they were feeding, not walking with a purpose.
After a good 45 minutes of this, we were looking at losing our light. We were a bit north of the equator, and at this time of year, the sun goes down around 6.10 pm, and you can likely shoot for another 10 minutes after that. So it would be soon or never. Guav had seen a black buffalo which he thought met the criteria so put the sticks up. But as he continued to glass the herd, he saw a roan coloured bull which seemed both older and bigger. It took a few seconds for us to both agree on which buffalo he was referring to, and for one behind it to clear. The buffalo we wanted was feeding and had his head down, but he was broadside. I had switched bullets since the mis-fire and was now using 300 grain Federal loaded with Triple Shocks, a bullet I have complete confidence in.
I took an extra second this time, because of the position, but thought I had a pretty good line on his vitals. Everyone was ready, and I took the shot. The buffalo jumped and ran, milling with others, but I think we had completely surprised them, and they hadn't seen us yet, so they really didn’t move far. But of course that only made it harder to see which one was the target. Guav glassed for a couple of minutes, while I tried to stay ready for a second shot. The first shot felt good, but I was so tired it was hard to be sure.
After a minute Guav said “I think that’s him by that tree, but I need to be sure.” I took aim at the shape in any event, so when he said “yup, that’s him” I wasted no time and took the shot. This time the entire herd ran off, with my bull heading in a different direction. We closed quickly, but equally quickly saw that he was down. We slowed down, got to about 15 yards, and could see he was trying to get up, but couldn’t. He didn’t have long to go, but I put an insurance shot into him, and that ended things.
It was now after 6 pm, and we’d tracked a total of about 6.5 miles today looking for a bull just like this one. I thought he was magnificent, but I have to admit that he was quite a bit smaller than the eland, which is normal for Western savannah buffalo.
Guav, Dean and I settled down for a bit of a rest and some water while our trackers went back to get the truck and swing by camp to get some additional help. It was quite dark by the time they came back, and it took even longer to get the truck to the buffalo. But once the crew arrived, short work was made of the “halving” him and he was loaded on the truck. The only thing we had left behind was the stomach contents.
I was looking forward to a long hot shower when I got back to camp, and that was topped off by spaghetti with reedbuck sauce for dinner. Fantastic!
Congratulations on the buff! Unbelievable that your boots and clothes haven't made it yet. Maybe you can write a short recommendation letter to Crocs once you arrive home. Send them a pic of you hunting wearing them with an explanation about how many days and the rough country you were in, but no animals included in the pics. Then they may offer you a new pair every year for the remainder......
Congrats on the buff and reedbuck!! Enjoying the ride!
Got admire you tenacity I wear crocs around the house and yard I would not want to do what you did. Congratulations on a successful hunt, some nice animals and what I’m sure will be good memories
Thank you for taking the time to share this adventure with us. and boy what an adventure.
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