CONGO: Hunting Bongo In The Congo October 2017

Environ

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After an unsuccessful Bongo hunt in the East of the C.A.R in May I decided to book a hunt with Congo Forest safaris through well known PH Christophe Morio.
This would be the last Safari of the season in late October and heavy rainfall looked promising.
It was the second time I have hunted with christophe and he is good fun as well as extremely hard working.

Getting to camp was easy as we flew from Brazzaville to Ouesso then 3 hours or so by road, Tala Tala is on the border of Cameroon in the north of the Congo_On arrival in camp I was greeted by the Pygmy trackers and healthy well fed dogs,l.

Jean luc Damy has opened up the Tala Tala concession to hunting through lots of hard work and determination and the success has been high on Bongo and this year 2 fantastic sitatunga were also taken.As is usual on this type of forest hunt we was to drive the roads looking for fresh tracks which we would then follow to determine the size of the bull from the size of the track and the droppings.On the first day we picked up fresh tracks of a dwarf forest buffalo and almost immediately the dogs started barking so we went into the forest in hot pursuit, unfortunately the bull had met up with a small herd and the dogs bayed a calf with the bull getting away, it was still heart stopping stuff and we got the dogs under control which allowed the calf to catch up with the herd. The rest of the day was spent calling duiker and seeing a lowland gorilla which was fantastic as I have now seen both lowland and mountain gorilla.

The following morning we was up at 4:30am to start hunting and looking for tracks, on the way back to camp a Bayes Duiker appeared on the road in front of us and was the first male taken in the area.It was a stunning animal with a beautiful shiny coat.

Now October is supposed to be the month of the year with the heaviest rainfall in the Congo but for whatever reason the rain was sporadic at best with short rains here and there, the Bongo as well as the other animals were not moving. On day 5 we saw a promising track of a good bull but it was 10:30am which can be a little late to catch up with the Bongo , but Christophe said we must try and everyone was keen to get going.We followed the tracks for 5 hours or so covering around 9km with the tracks moving in a constant arch of a mountainous area through rivers and streams but hadn't stopped to lay down and grazed as he moved.he was a distinctive animal with a large left print and a smaller deformed right hoof where a snare had obviously left its damage.The Bongo was known to both the hunters and trackers alike but no one had managed to catch up with him over the years.

It got to 4:30pm when christophe reluctantly pulled the team out of the forest before it got too dark and we would be in trouble.It was tough in the forest but the guys made it great fun and pointed out all of the interesting things to be found there.

On Day 7 we picked up 2 good sets of tracks which we followed but when bayed where actually Bongo cows, they were huge animals.We called the dogs off and got some wonderful pics of the bongos before they disappeared like ghosts into the forest.It was such an amazing experience and my confidence in the dogs and the team was high but as the days drifted by I was anxious as to whether I would connect with a bongo.We just needed the tracks!

And so the days drifted by until the last day of the Safari and with a little rain and a little hungover we headed off to check roads and the salt licks that had been created by christophe and his team.We found tracks...it was the same bongo that we pursued previously, almost immediately the trackers pointed out where he had laid down, still warm, and again 10 minutes later.The Bongo took us on a windy track through the forest and then out onto a logging road.A mongoose appeared on the road and the pygmies disappeared after it but the dogs were uninterested and followed the tracks of the bongo up the road and then disappeared back into the forest.Within a few minutes the barking started as they had bayed , hopefully, the Bongo.In hot pursuit we caught up with the dogs and we could hear the bongo charging back and forth with horns low to the ground as he attempted to gore one of the dogs.After christophe studied the Bongo he instructed me to shoot which I did as he was charging a dog,the bullet entered behind the ribs and travelled through the engine room dropping the animal.

As you can see in the pics below the bongo was magnificent and estimated at 15 years old with worn down tips, hips protruding through the skin,a bald tail and teeth well worn down.It is doubtful whether he would have seen another year and was in my opinion a noble end to a magnificent animal, I was humbled
image1.JPG
 

cpr0312

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Great adventure and wonderful trophy! Even better that he was an old warrior! Congrats and thanks for sharing!
 
Last edited:

BRICKBURN

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Magnificent!
 

jasyblood

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Congratulations on a beautiful bongo!
 

adgunner

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Congratulations on the bongo and thanks for sharing!
 

ROCKET

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Awesome animal......great hunting place.....magnificent trophie.....!!!
 

gillettehunter

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Congrats on a fine trophy. The ones you work hardest for are the ones you appreciate and remember the most. Sounds like a wonderful trip.
Bruce
 

CAustin

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A Dream hunt!
 

Neale

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Thanks for sharing your story. A great old forest warrior for sure.
 

johnnyblues

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My first hunt after I win the lottery!
 

Ridgewalker

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So handsome a trophy! Congratulations!
 

Redruff

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That's one majestic beast! Congratulations.

R.
 

Upton O. Good

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Excellent hunt and the perfect trophy. Congratulations!
 

MAdcox

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Awesome Bongo and a great hunt. Congrats
 

skizeldick

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Having hunted bongo 2 times I can attest to the difficulty of taking such a trophy!! Congratulations!!!! Such a wonderful, yet difficult, part of the world to hunt in!! I appreciate you taking the time to write your story!!! Brought back many wonderful memories!!
 

laststand

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way to go, beautiful trophy, definetley on my bucket list.
 

rinehart0050

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Wow. Congrats!
 

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