CAMEROON: Cameroon Hunt With Mayo Oldiri 2019

GA Hunter

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Absolutely. I would never tell Hank this, but Crocs on a plane are what the pensioners from St. Petersburg, FL do - along with their ticket and ID around their necks in the little plastic pouches ....... :whistle:

Well truth be told I don't have a very high opinion of crocs in general. I just couldn't ever warm up to them. However I don't know Hank personally so I didn't want it to seem as though I was passing judgement on his choices in life. Especially since I'm green with envy over this entire adventure. :D
 

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Fantastic report Hank. Really enjoyed it. You have some fantastic animals and memories. Thanks for sharing those memories with us. (y)

BTW, A well known PH hunts in crocs. Wonder if it is the socks with crocs that causes the problem.:D

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Aaron N

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There are definitely spirals....


An interesting question. I'm not really sure. I need two animals to complete the tiny ten . . . but I'm not sure they're enough to generate hunts themselves. And, I need to pay a little more attention to the home front . . .
 

buck wild

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Quite a fabulous trip and story- thanks for taking the time to spin your yarns here.
 

Hank2211

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Hank, which two do you require for the tiny ten?

Has your wife ever travelled with you to Africa? If not, maybe suggest a romantic trip to Capetown and/or Victoria Falls, (with a side trip for the remaining tiny ten while she is shopping or at a spa?). A boat cruise in the Okavango? A houseboat on Lake Kariba? I think I read someplace that there are some exotic little islands off the coast of Mozambique?

I've kind of taken to going on trips with the wife, but trying to fit in some hunting also. Except Hawaii. I've balked at paying their prices for feral animals. With the monetary conversion, a feral goat or sheep in Hawaii equated to two kudu, or an eland. Felt I would rather spend my money in Africa.

I need a Sharpe's grysbok and a suni. Got the others.

As for my wife, she was on the hunt just before this, which was really just a vacation in the Bubble Valley Conservancy. Lovely camp (made her think my talk of roughing it on hunts was made up), and we added time in Bulawayo (Matopos Park) and Victoria Falls. A bit to my surprise, she had a great time. She's not sure she would do it again, though, just because there can be a bunch of sitting (or driving) around for the non-hunting spouse.

Absolutely. I would never tell Hank this, but Crocs on a plane are what the pensioners from St. Petersburg, FL do - along with their ticket and ID around their necks in the little plastic pouches ....... :whistle:

Whoa there @Red Leg! Let's hold on a bit! These are leather crocs, which look more like loafers than the crocs you're talking about. In other words, these are crocs for men in their prime! And as far as clothing goes, I have never been to St. Petersburg (either one), I do not own a polyester safari suit (in any colour), and no white belts or shoes of any description. I have never owned a plastic pocket protector, I have never carried my cellphone in a holster, and my children make sure I always dress in a manner only marginally appropriate for my age. And nothing goes around my neck except my wife's arms!

The newest Bow Hunter to join the ranks?!?
Unlikely. I like loud noises and explosions. Hard to get anything if you're bowhunting that way.
 

Hank2211

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View attachment 268086
There are definitely spirals....
I agree . . . but then looks like a goat to me! Not sure how many spiral horned goats there are in the world, and I'm not aiming to figure it out either! Goats and sheep I will leave to those who love climbing mountains.
 

Hank2211

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A few observations about this hunt.

1. Hunting the spiral horns has provided me with years of enjoyment, both in reading about these fascinating antelope as well as planning for and actually going on hunts. The hunts have taken me throughout Africa, from West Africa, to East Africa to Southern Africa. I’ve tried to hunt each species in its natural surroundings, rather than introduced animals, and each hunt had to be a fair chase hunt. The only exception to this might be the nyala, which I took in South Africa (native country but perhaps at the fringe of its original range) and on a fenced property of about 75,000 acres. So plenty big, but not perfect. I might have to go back to KZN to hunt one in a free range area. All of the other animals were taken in unfenced areas.

The hunts have challenged me physically and mentally. A bongo after 11 days in the jungle was both exhilarating and exhausting, particularly mentally. A lesser kudu in the Danakil desert of Ethiopia was extremely difficult, given the unrelenting heat, but the hunt was mercifully brief. On the other hand, I lucked into one of the toughest spiral horns to find, the forest sitatunga, the day after we took the bongo, so maybe these things balance out.

2. Lord Derby is a tracking hunt. There is always the chance you will find a mature male by driving around, but I believe the chances of that happening are slim. If they see, hear or smell you, they are gone. These animals are less predictable in their habits than buffalo, and can walk just as far or farther. Badly shot, I have no doubt that an eland can outlast a buffalo. Having said that, giant eland hunting is a great opportunity to see some of the best trackers in Africa work their magic.

3. Moving around in Cameroon is very difficult. The roads are a nightmare. The country has very few – usually only one – charter carriers, and a charter, when available, is outrageously expensive. Commercial schedules are nothing more than a hope, it seems. On our way out, we spent an extra day in Douala where we met the next hunters who were supposed to go in to hunt with Guav. Their flight to Garoua had been cancelled, as ours had been, and they were waiting in Douala to get out. You lose hunting days like this, and there’s really nothing you can do – “this is Africa.” But what that means is that you should be ready to spend some time in Douala, or hope you get lucky and your internal flights leave on time. Tight connections or even same day are a challenge. You need to be prepared for unpredictability.

4. Renting a rifle is a practical alternative to bringing your own and is likely the better plan. Bringing your own has at least two downsides. The first is just the time it takes to clear a rifle with the relevant authorities, which is necessary on every flight. I was told that it’s not unreasonable to allow 2-4 hours for this at every stage of a journey. Secondly, Cameroon is one of the most corrupt countries on earth (150 out of 180 on Transparency International’s scale), and every touch point with authority is an opportunity to extract a bribe or “facilitating payment.” You may be able to resist, but if you intend to, you had better have lots and lots of time.

For example, when I arrived in Douala a few years ago to hunt bongo I had my own rifle, along with a permit for 60 rounds of ammo. I had only brought 50 rounds, because regardless of what the permit said, that was the maximum allowed into the country. Even that wasn’t very relevant since Air France had lost my ammo. First, the officer wanted to tear up my permit – both firearm and ammo were on the same permit – because of the 60 rounds. He said that made the whole permit invalid. I said wait just a sec – I only have 50, and even that isn’t relevant since it’s not here. “Not here? Permit invalid." And he stamped it invalid on the spot. It was not invalid, but there was nothing I could do to stop him, and in the end, it cost me over 100 Euros to get my rifle. Welcome to Africa.

5. Getting ammunition is no easier for hunting outfitters than it is for anybody else. What that means is that PH’s will usually be given, or will buy, excess ammo from hunters who have brought their own and have not used it all. The ammo you are given, though, may not be what you need. While the first cartridges I used had Swift A Frames bullets, which is an excellent bullet, they were hand loads from a previous hunter, and these were the loads which misfired. Fortunately, there were also factory loads available. I would ask next time about the ammo.

Having said that, the A-Frames performed as expected. These two bullets were recovered from the the eland.

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6. I can’t think of any particular reason to go to northern Cameroon unless you’re looking for LDE. There is lots of plains game, and it’s good quality (especially the buffalo) but Benin, for example, has essentially all of the West African plains game, is cheaper and, at least until very recently, a bit less fraught with Islamic-related issues. I’d put Burkina Faso into the same category as Benin, but it’s essentially closed now due to Islamic-related violence. I would say that north of Garoua is a no-go area as a result of Boko Haram, but most of the hunting is a bit south of Garoua.

7. Mayo Oldiri runs a good operation. The camps are generally basic, but fine. Meals in our camp were all meat I had shot, with the exception of the first two nights, when they were meat shot by an earlier hunter. The food is simple but generally tasty, and there is plenty of it. If you like snacks, you should bring your own. We ran out of peanuts mid-way and weren’t due for re-supply until the end of the safari. Had I known, I’d have picked up a few things to munch on along the way, but you have to do that in Douala or Garoua, or bring things with you. There’s really very little in between. There are other operators which run higher end camps – some even have French chefs and air conditioning, and if you like that kind of thing, and don’t mind paying, it’s available.

8. Completely unrelated, Guav learned at SCI that he’d been awarded the Matestsi Unit 2 concession in Zimbabwe. I’ve hunted there before, and it’s a great area. I’ve heard recently that poaching may have impacted game numbers. I have no doubt that now that Guav is in charge, things will quickly change for the better.

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With a gun in good country. What more can you ask for. (Note the manly crocs).
 

375 Ruger Fan

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Hank, great wrap up to a great report. BTW, those shoes on your feet look more like loafers than crocs. And what the Hell is wrong with carrying a cellphone in a holster? Youngster don't do it, but manly men have no problem with doing this, as long as it doesn't get in the way of the ammo . Sort of a right of passage. :whistle:
 

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Hank, great wrap up to a great report. BTW, those shoes on your feet look more like loafers than crocs. And what the Hell is wrong with carrying a cellphone in a holster? Youngster don't do it, but manly men have no problem with doing this, as long as it doesn't get in the way of the ammo . Sort of a right of passage. :whistle:

The purpose of man pockets is pocket knives, keys and the 100,000 items your woman asks you to carry for her. Using a holster frees up a pocket for their intended purpose. I’m 27 and use one proudly.
 

Hank2211

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Hank, great wrap up to a great report. BTW, those shoes on your feet look more like loafers than crocs. And what the Hell is wrong with carrying a cellphone in a holster? Youngster don't do it, but manly men have no problem with doing this, as long as it doesn't get in the way of the ammo . Sort of a right of passage. :whistle:
Before this goes any further, I want to apologize to everyone who keeps phone is a holster . . . rather than what should be in a holster. Perhaps you are all from the Sunshine State and I know, because @Red Leg told me, that they do things differently down there.

If that doesn't work, then I will agree to lay off the phones in holsters if you lay off my crocs. Although it's pretty clear to me that in saying that, you phone holsterers are getting the better part of the deal.
 

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@Hank2211 an outstanding report as always!

We have many fantastic writers here, but I dare say you're the best. Entertaining and informative all at once. It's like being there with you. And, you have done things and gone places that few of us will ever get to. Thank you so much for sharing your adventures .

Perhaps one day you'll sit down and combine all of your stories into a book. If so, please put me on the list for pre-purchase. And, I of course would like it signed.
 

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Hank, thanks for a great report on a fine hunt! I try to wait until the whole report is finished so I can read it all at once. It really shows how things can and will go wrong, and how the proper attitude may not "fix" the problem, it sure makes it at least livable. Your ability to convey the whole hunt really brings the rest of us along. Again, enjoyed the read
 

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Thank you for the great report! It was a pleasure (as always) to read it. Hope you'll get back on hunting quickly again so that we can enjoy a new chapter of your hunting stories.
 

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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 . . .!
Great story. I think we are all putting ourselves in your shoes (no pun intended ) as far as what should go in a persons carry on. I always try to plan for the worst and hope for the best when traveling.
Philip
 

mark-hunter

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I already mentioned of this report being great, but cant resist after reading the last overall comments.
Congratulations on full spiral horn slam! And very fine style of writing! And thank you for the time taken to share all this with us.

I do have a question!

Hank, your trophy room must be amazing.
Did you post any pictures of trophy room on the forum, so I (we) could take a look? I tried searching but couldn't find..
 

Red Leg

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Before this goes any further, I want to apologize to everyone who keeps phone is a holster . . . rather than what should be in a holster. Perhaps you are all from the Sunshine State and I know, because @Red Leg told me, that they do things differently down there.

If that doesn't work, then I will agree to lay off the phones in holsters if you lay off my crocs. Although it's pretty clear to me that in saying that, you phone holsterers are getting the better part of the deal.
Hank, you should see them coming off the planes at the major hubs ....... Shuffling along in their crocs, training pants (surely you don't wear a track suit when you fly internationally as well!) :(, shirt tails out resplendent with food stains, and those strange plastic around the neck ID/ticket holder things. Had a friend who retired down there to one of those "communities" in the Tampa area, and when I saw him two years later he had aged twenty. Frightening. I don't use a phone carrier either unless it is toting a small handgun (great little company makes a concealed carry holster built like a phone carrier - armed nerd concept). Got to love Texas. Otherwise, that I-phone is in the back pocket where it belongs.

Great narrative. Interesting how hard Africa can take a bite out of us in different ways. You have achieved a great accomplishment - not from collecting a specific group of antelope, but for assembling a set of experiences to relive the rest of your days. Thank you for the gift of sharing some of them here. For me it is buffalo - I'm thinking Uganda in '21 for a Nile. For others it is the camaraderie of plains game with friends in the RSA or Namibia, or now, even wing shooting. But grab onto us she does. Thanks again -

Oh yeah, for God's sake buy a pair of R.M. Williams boots or even Redback or Blunstone - made in Australia, no laces so great for air travel to the Third World, and can serve for hunting in a pinch (The Williams boots really are special).
 

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Nice reflections. Congrats again and I certainly can’t wait for the next chapter in your adventures. Well done.
 

buck wild

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While I am still in awe of your adventure I must say when I learned you were in Croc shoes and not the Crocs we wear in Texas, my level of admiration waned slightly :D

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............. Thank you for the gift of sharing some of them here. ..............

That sentence captures my sentiments exactly.
 

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