Can "Big Elephant" still be hunted

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Stalker91, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. Stalker91

    Stalker91 AH Senior Member

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    Hi all,

    I was sitting in my dads trophy room with him the other evening having a whiskey or three, recounting stories as you do and we got to talking about his elephant tusks as they are amazing to look at and a great shape.
    The convocation then led on to how I would love to hunt an elephant for myself one day but I would like to hold out for that one perfect one for me. Then the conversation went on to can big elephant still be hunted, we are not talking about 120lb elephants but good solid 70-80lb tuskers?? I know there are some big famous bulls in some parks but I'm talking hunt able bulls. Maybe if Botswana opens up again they might be some hiding there?? What is everyone's thoughts??
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2019

  2. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    If Botswana opens, that may be the best option. If they don't open, the Nyae Nyae Conservancy in Namibia might be one of the best options if you don't want to hunt park boundaries. I don't know enough about the Caprivi, but they should have some large bulls every year. SE Zimbabwe and NW Zimbabwe usually have some good ivory on the park boundaries every year. Northern Tanzania had a couple of nice bulls this year but they were on park boundaries as well. This is certainly not all encompassing information, might it might give you a starting point on your research.

    Where did your dad get his elephant? Do you have photos of the ivory?
     
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  3. Stalker91

    Stalker91 AH Senior Member

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    I love the shape of Tanzanian ivory, when I was working in the Selous I did see some fantastic bulls that would probably reach the 70lb mark but the price of the hunts there are just unachievable for me!! I have also seen some great bulls in Namibia too but if I'm honest I am not the biggest fan of the shape of the ivory there its very short and thick, which is great and impressive but just not for me, also very expensive like Tanzania. I like Zimbabwean ivory as it is similar to that of the Selous but have never heard of that size bull being taken in a long time.

    My farther shot his in South Africa in a concession next to the Kruger about 8 years ago, he sore some great bulls including a monster that the PH thought would be well in the 80lb mark but it was too big and they were not allowed to take him due to restrictions made by the government apparently. His ivory is 56lb and 57lb I think, I will try and get a picture next time I'm over there and also get the picture of the massive bull he sore!!
     
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  4. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    A few years ago, I purchased and read the book, "Ask the Namibian Guides." (https://www.amazon.com/Ask-Namibian-Guides-Information-Professional/dp/157157364X). The format of the book was a series of questions were asked to about a dozen well known or up and coming Namibian PHs /Outifitters. Each question was a different chapter in the book.

    After reading the book, there were 2-3 PHs I was interested in booking a hunt with and ended up booking a hunt with Joof Lamprecht. Another PH in the book was Kai-Uwe Denker. Denker was well known as the go-to guide for a big elephant hunt and he hunted hard. Reading his reports, every hunt was a forced march and didn't seem like fun, but he got big elephants (70-100+ lbs). Denker no longer hunts elephant or DG. Joof told me that Denker had an accident on his farm (fell off a ladder, I think) and broke some bones. Now just does PG.

    Here's a link to a short article Denker did on a couple of big elephant hunts, circa 2004. http://ezine.nitroexpress.info/NickuduFiles/Africa-PDF/Africa321.pdf
     

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  5. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Tinie Kok, a member here had a client take a 100 lber next to Hwange NP 3-4 years ago. You can contact him and his partner Lin @Mbalabala Safaris
    There are photos on AH but a quick glance didn't find them.

    Nixon Dzingai had a client take a 120 lber next to Gonarezhou NP 1-2 years ago.
    There are photos on AH but a quick glance didn't find them.

    Talk to some Zimbabwe outfitters/ph's. There are a decent amount over 60 lbs taken every year.

    Great. If you can share a photo it would be great.


    In my earlier post I mentioned the Nyae Nyae. This was the area that Denker had for years. @Stan-Elephant Trail used to post here but hasn't for awhile. He hunted the Nyae Nyae 2-3 months a year for a 100 pounder, for a few years. 90+ I believe is the biggest he got. For some reason the following photo is the only photo of the ivory I could find and it is in the skull. There should be others here on AH, but in limited time I didn't find them.


    [​IMG]



    You may also enjoy this thread.

    https://www.africahunting.com/threa...-magnificent-seven-big-tusker-elephants.3415/
     
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  6. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I was responding to the OP. Saw that an additional post was made and glanced and saw lion looking left in the avatar and presumed it was the OP again. Then I included your quote in my original post. I'm loosing it I guess. :D:D:D Look forward to seeing you again in Dallas.
     
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  7. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I did a double take on the similar avatars too!
     
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  8. Stalker91

    Stalker91 AH Senior Member

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    Thank you both for your input on this, its nice to know there are still a few out there. I have ordered the book now for some bed time reading thank you for the link. It would be a dream to hunt something of those sizes but I doubt it will ever happen in my life but one can hope. I will get in contact with @Mbalabala Safaris and see what he can suggest. It will be a few years before I can go on this hunt as I'm off to Africa this year already and have other worldly adventures booked but this might be next on the list. Sorry about the similar avatars
     

  9. Bruce

    Bruce AH Elite

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    There are still 80+lbers around and huntable. The Gonarhezou area of S-E Zimbabwe gets huge tuskers coming in every now and then. Remember the hue and cry when a German Hunter shot a 120lber there in 2015.
    I have personally seen 80+ lbers in both Gonarhezou and the area bordering Hwange National Park( operated by Mabalabala Safaris)... I hunted there in 2016 with Tinie Kok and after shooting a 50 lber, two days later we bumped into an 80+ lber 5m from the dirt track!!
    Had no permit so could only stare and imagine what could have been....
    They are scarce but still there...
     

  10. Foxi

    Foxi AH Elite

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    Denker is still good to walk.But he doesn't hunt elephants anymore, his way became too exhausting for him, he told me.
    For over 10 years (late 90ies-2012) Denker was the most successful "producer" of heavy ivory including 100 pounder.
    He had in Namibia the concessions West of Khaudum and Nyae Nyae, to the border of Botswana.
    Shooting a 60-70 pounder at him was a failure.
    Most heavy tusks are short and very thick.Thats right.
    But can one still be choosy about this today?
    One concession would no longer be leased as a hunting ground, but would be resettled by the government, the other he was the victim of his own success.
    The lease became too expensive
    But the big things in Nyea Nyae are over.
    In two to five years everything there changed fundamentally.
    But still better chances for good bulls than in other countries.
    I wouldn't hope for the luck, that a thick guy from the national park would cheat his way through.
    His book "the being of the African wilderness" (in English,I dont know ??) is the best book about the elephant and its hunt, as it is today.
    Amazing.
    Denker.jpg
    Denker with ivory in the 100 pound class
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019

  11. Jeff Schaeffer

    Jeff Schaeffer AH Veteran

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  12. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I too will one day search for a big tusker but not until imports resume. That may be a while.
    Philip
     

  13. Riksa

    Riksa AH Veteran

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    I'll be hunting Gonarezhou in end of March. I chose the area based on the fact that there is a chance for big elephant. Their realistic expectation is over 50 pounder, but they got over 80 pounders there last year. Another area that you might want to look at is Tsholotsho.

    Also Gonarezhou prices (although high) were reasonable compared to other areas. Based on my search Zimbabwe was way cheaper than Namibia or Tansania for bull elephant. There are big variations in the prices.

    I hunted with Mbalabala in 2017 and can recommend also them.
     

  14. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Legend

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  15. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    I would love to see pictures of your fathers ivory. I too dream of big ivory and the possibilities. As for me getting the ivory home is a must unless I would choose to do a none Exportable sometime in the future. Right now getting elephant home is almost impossible.
     
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  16. Eric Anderson

    Eric Anderson AH Enthusiast

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    Man, I am going to step in it.
    If you constantly take all the big Tuskers, eventually you breed elephants with small, or no tusk.
    Iirc I have read that is why they think more and more elephants are being born w/o growing tusk.

    We did the same thing with fish in the United States with min size limits. It took 50 years to catch a bigger largemouth bass than one caught in a funky dink farm pond.
     
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  17. Nick Jackson

    Nick Jackson AH Member

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    Like your father you can, of course hunt the Greater Kruger on reserves like Timbavati or Klasserie. I have only been on a photographic safari in the area but there were the biggest bulls I have seen. Probably being further from the Mozambique border helps.
     
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  18. WAB

    WAB AH Elite

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    I don’t believe that the big bulls can be hunted in those reserves, only the small ones, sub 30 or sub 40 if memory serves.
     
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  19. Foxi

    Foxi AH Elite

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    The licenses at the edges are infinitesimally small and in Klaserie you have to wait up to 20 months until you get one.You also have to plan thatwhat is possibly the political situation of the ivory import in my homeland? Better ?

    Yesterday I got information from Bulawayo, the whole country was paralyzed by strikes. The internet was switched off, only the phone was still working. The new ruler is even worse than Mugabe (and what have we scolded him for...).
    How should the logistics in a country be maintained (and then the order) if you have to pay more than 3 USD for a litre of diesel?
    If you pull out military, police, party officials, you are already at an unemployment rate of almost 100% ??
    It hurts your soul.
    Foxi
     
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  20. rnovi

    rnovi AH Enthusiast

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    Stalker (*original poster),

    Really, there are two questions you are asking.

    To your original question: can BIG Elephant still be hunted?

    Yes.

    To the second, unasked question...how hard do you need to hunt to find a 100#+ tusker and how much will it cost?

    Yeah...don't ask that. That could get painful.

    Just because you hunt doesn't mean you will see the legend...nor does it mean you will get a shot.

    As a friend of mine once said "that's why they call it hunting and not killing".
     
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