Philip Glass

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Cameroon Savanna Safari

As with any great adventure this one was long in the planning. I booked my Lord Derby Eland hunt with The Hunting Consortium at SCI last year. Plans were made for me to hunt with Faro Coron Safaris in Cameroon on the Faro River. The only thing about using an agent is that you don’t always get to meet your PH until the hunt begins. I flew from Midland Texas to Douala, Cameroon, (MAF-IAH-CDG-DLA) and spent the night. The staff hired by The Hunting Consortium took good care of me clearing my gun upon arrival and then delivering me to the Hotel La Falaise to get some much needed rest. I was up incredibly early in order to check in my gun and luggage and fly to Ngaoundere. In Douala it takes forever to get in and out of the airport with a rifle! In Ngaoundere I was met by my French PH Nicolas Dubich. Nicolas has a lifetime of experience hunting Tanzania as well as Central Africa and of course France. Many great hunting stories were shared on this trip. Evenings in camp were great with an incredible view of the Faro River. We would see hippo, kob, and baboons regularly from camp. This is a very neat safari camp that is in such a great location as it is very cool down by the river compared to anywhere else.

My first hunting day was December 30th. I planned to hunt this early to beat the oppressive heat of Central Africa. It worked and the weather was beautiful! I was hunting Block 15, a 250,000 acre hunting block in Cameroon’s savanna forest area. The first two days were spent like all days, looking for eland tracks and planning. Day 3 found us looking for fresh eland tracks when we ran into some Western Savanna Buffalo. After getting a good look at cows and calves grazing 40 yards in front of us an old bull was spotted bringing up the rear. He was facing us at 80 yards and Nicolas put up the sticks. I immediately saw the shiny, worn horns of a very old trophy bull in my Swarovski scope and I was ready. Or was I? Buffalo are dangerous game and they tell me these buffalo can be particularly nasty. Great care must be taken on this shot. I got my head straight and focused on this all too important opportunity. The shot looked good and I immediately reloaded my R8 for another but the trees obscured him as he turned. We approached carefully. Scope on low, gun on fire, going slowly in his direction. Not more than 25 yards from where he stood the .375 Ruger loaded with Barnes TSX 270gr bullets had done a remarkable job and he was dead as a hammer! He went down so hard and so quickly he was upright, posed and-ready for pics! What a great start to the Safari. The camp staff have a huge celebration when a buffalo or eland is taken and it was great fun for all. Singing and dancing they say “We we’re looking for the buffalo and we found him”!

The Lord Derby Eland spends its day walking many miles browsing and breaking trees to get to the fresh leaves. Finding fresh tracks that can be followed and the eland found in a day is not easy. We were grinding it out day after day following tracks for many miles and looking for fresh sign and it was tough. We would see the Central Kob daily on this hunt and in good numbers. Needing a bit of a break we decided to take an afternoon off from eland tracking and look for a big Kob. We were certainly not going to take anything that was not a real trophy since they were everywhere in this area but I needed to put something in the skinning shed. This was one of the few times we actually spotted something and stalked it. The PH found what we were looking for and a fairly easy but careful stalk was made and we were successful.

Midway through the hunt some stomach bug hit me pretty bad. Bad luck and bad timing as we found a herd of Roan with a big bull in there. I got set up on sticks for a 180 yard shot and just waiting for him to clear a tree when I realized I was shaking all over and extremely nauseated. I tried to concentrate, be still, and squeeze off a slightly quartering shot on this colorful animal. It was not to be. I clearly missed and now really feeling bad. About three days with this bug but I pressed on.

Days passed and I enjoyed the camp, Nicolas, and his hunting stories. I am dreaming of hunting Tanzania with him someday. Day 10 of my 13 day hunt arrived and I was getting frustrated by this time. After a few opportunities on an eland over the many days we were finally in the right place at the right time. A young bull and his massive counterpart were slowly grazing our way. I’m sure the young bull saw us but we had the wind in our favor and we slowly crawled to a kneeling position with the sticks set up. You are always “threading the needle” here as there are trees and tall grass everywhere and a clear shooting path is rare. I was just able to get pointed through a small opening at what was a facing eland bull. I had to calm myself and really concentrate. It took 10 days to get this chance and there is just no room for error. The shot rang out and we found the big bull about 100 yards away. There are simply not words to go any further. The Lord Derby Eland is the most regal animal in Africa as well as possibly the hardest to hunt. The ghost of the savannah was mine!

With only 3 days left on my safari I knew I would not fill my wish list but I was ready to press on. We were concentrating on Roan and searching for tracks and sign when we spotted a male Red Flanked Duiker that everyone thought we should take a look at. Next to Kob these duikers are the most plentiful animals we saw. After a short stalk I was able to get a clear shot off and as soon as I fired Nicolas said “world record!” Thinking he was joking I thought nothing of it until we got over to him. It was the largest Nicolas had ever taken and roughly scored makes #11 SCI.

2 days left and still after the Roan we found very fresh tracks and sign at a natural salt lick. The trackers were not excited as the wind didn’t look to be in our favor but we took the track hoping he would turn and on approach the wind would be ok. Everywhere you go there is tall grass, burned areas, large crunchy leaves, and these little termite mounds that cover acres and all this makes a stalk very challenging. Three solid hours on this track and the PH gets his trackers together and whispers to slow down as he will be laying down or standing under a tree at this time of day. Sure enough another 100 yards or so and there was my Roan! I made a good shot and the celebration was on. We spent the last day and a half looking for Oribi as we had seen a few early in he Safari. Sadly the sun set on my 13th and final day in the Cameroon savannah. As tough as this hunt was I really didn’t want it to end. I had a very nice time with Nicolas and his staff on this Safari.

This hunt is not for everyone. It is mentally and physically challenging but equally rewarding. Cameroon is the only place to hunt the Lord Derby Eland and one of only two countries to hunt Western Savanna Buffalo. Nicolas, unlike all the other companies I looked at, allows you to purchase two hunting licenses and therefore be able to take all of the animals available. I am glad I chose to go with him and highly recommend him as a PH.


Regards,

Philip

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Environ

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all very fine trophies, well done on the LDE
 

gesch

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Wow! Fantastic trophies. What is the political situation like? Is it safe? Is this prime time for a hunt? How hot was it? Cameroon seems so exotic to me. Hence all the question. Thanks for a great report!
 

cpr0312

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Enjoyed the read!! Congrats and thank you for sharing with us!
 

Ridgewalker

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WOW! Another grand adventure! What magnificent trophies! Oh to be young again and know what I know today, so I could pursue some of your same hunts! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to experience them through you!
 

Jeffro

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Well done. A dream my bank balance will never make come true! I am very happy for you.
 

cls

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Well done, congrats. LDE one of my dream hunts. Thanks for the report.
 

BRICKBURN

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Nicolas is a machine and hilarious.
Glad you got to hunt with such a great PH.

Those hunting conditions and getting sick is a very tough go. Congratulations on your success.
 

buck wild

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Nice report
 

CAustin

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Philip,
What a grand adventure indeed. We are the lucky beneficiaries of your informative stories. All of your trophies are great ones. Thank you for sharing with us!
Charlie
 

sestoppelman

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Fabulous hunt and results. Congrats!!(y)
 

Philip Glass

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Wow! Fantastic trophies. What is the political situation like? Is it safe? Is this prime time for a hunt? How hot was it? Cameroon seems so exotic to me. Hence all the question. Thanks for a great report!
It is still very safe there unlike some other countries. The weather was wonderful! Jackets in the mornings and only two days got a bit hot. February and March are much much hotter. IT is a very exotic place and that is one of the reasons I went there. It is a hard hunt but well worth it.
 

Philip Glass

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WOW! Another grand adventure! What magnificent trophies! Oh to be young again and know what I know today, so I could pursue some of your same hunts! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to experience them through you!
You are so welcome. Thanks for the kind words!
 

Philip Glass

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Well done. A dream my bank balance will never make come true! I am very happy for you.[/QUOTE
Like everything now it is very expensive. This is the only thing that can ruin a hunt for me is worrying about the financial side.
 

sierraone

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It appears that it was well worth your time and effort to miss DSC and the AH dinner. Congratulations!
 

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