Crocodile Hunt in Limpopo

rooihond

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Smart. We don't get into the disagreement phase. I just present my proposals as she holds majority share in the decorating department. It certainly would be more affordable. That croc skin expense could go towards plains game.
 

rooihond

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I sent an email to Steve Kobrine as he may just not follow AH anymore. Maybe there is some additional trick to help ensure recovery after the lung shot. Standing by for info.

Is anybody here acquainted with him or spoken with him about his croc hunting tactics?
 

rooihond

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Fritz Rabe also recommends the lung shot if not using a float. Like Steve, he doesn't seem to be active on AH anymore. I could be wrong, but it appears that he may no longer be affiliated with Askari Adventures. He hunted with Pieter but don't know his last name. Anybody acquainted with these gentleman and heard of any further details of their croc hunts?
 

rooihond

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It appears that I have harvested all available information for the moment. It is now time to get down to the business of final prep. Thanks again to all for the advice and encouragement on this thread and others regarding this hunt. It has helped more than I probably know just yet, and made the wait time very enjoyable. A report will follow my return.
 

enysse

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We are all pulling for to have the trip, you have always dreamed about.
 

rooihond

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Wow! AH has changed since I left. I will post here since it seems appropriate and I need a little more time to familiarize myself with the new site. The new AH is looking good!

The hunt was a learning experience to say the least and I am still reeling. The hunts all changed as I was able to actually see the environment, wildlife, and changing conditions. The crocodile hunt changed as the floods altered the landscape and location of animals. The areas where I may have had a chance at recovering an arrowed croc were not what I was looking for in my hunt. The crocs were acceptable but these ponds and surrounding environments were not elements of my dream experience. My PH and the outfitter was aware of this and brought me to a large body of water adjacent to the Limpopo River. After scouting the area I could see that there was no way for me to send a responsible shot with an arrow. I was able to get within bowhunting range on two but it was obvious that they would have surely been lost. It sure is different making an on scene assessment. This water was way too big and these crocs, about six feet long, were something to see. They look a lot more powerful in person.

I used the remainder of time at this location scouting and looking for a larger trophy. It was very enjoyable just soaking up the scenery and some very large looking eyes and "horns" were seen surfacing at a distance. One croc in particular caught our interest. He was basking on a flat rock at a small island ranged at just over one hundred yards out. He was estimated at seven or eight feet. I thought he was beautiful.

I got back to the lodge and made the final decision to leave the bow behind and return the next day with a .308. The thoughts of rifle hunting a croc with a rifle being too easy were set straight by what I had seen that day. Some time was spent at the range getting locked on with the borrowed rifle.

The next day was a bit gloomy and I wondered if the same croc would be basking on that rock. The hour long journey made the anticipation and excitement build. When we finally got around to the water, we could see that a sizeable croc was out sunning himself. I proned out and crawled to the nearest bank on our side of the water. The whole time, some kind of vicious plant was giving me puncture wounds to the chest and belly. I didn't dare waste any movement that would risk alerting the croc just to see what the heck it was. I cautiously flattened the tall grass obstructing my line of sight. All but two blades that were near the waters edge, on my side. They were swaying from a moderate left to right breeze. I got lined up and and got a better look at my target. He seemed different from the one seen yesterday but still beautiful. The crosshairs were now resting at the top of his smile. A considerable amount of time was spent waiting for a break in the breeze. I allowed my body to rest from the crawling around. Finally, the breeze eased up and I had a shot between those two blades of grass. My breathing and heart had slowed by then and I began the squeeze. The round was finally sent. I reloaded and got back on. He was perfectly still except for the tail which was swinging back and forth. What relief! My PH advised me to send one into the neck and one into the shoulder. I placed those shots and the croc was still in the same position. YES!

Now it was time to recover him. We made our way to the opposite side of the lake. The island was about fifty yards away from this side. We ditched our shirts and shoes and got to it. This was undoubtedly a significant part of the hunt. I had no idea that the real experience would be like this. What a thrill. We didn't see any hippos(just tracks) but there were other crocs in the area. For some reason, for a moment, I was concerned with the numerous puncture wounds in my torso and the unknown microbes in the water. The lapse of concentration was interrupted with excitement as we made our way to the little island. I couldn't see him until some reeds were parted and I climbed onto one of the rocks. Holy moly! It is a lot different seeing these guys up close. I took a quick pause to look for movement. Nope. We finally celebrated. Yeah!!!

After some difficulty, we made it back to shore with him and took some photos. After looking at the photos taken while scouting, it was obvious that this guy was a different croc. He was a bull that measured at 10'8".

I am sure that I have missed a lot in this post and I doubt that I could do the real experience justice by my words. I hope that I conveyed a decent likeness. It was a great day. Little did I know, I had chosen another animal that was full of surprises. The klipspringer would turn out a different, but just as exciting experience.

I wanted to include the name of my PH but I forgot to ask permission. I always ask before putting anything like that on the Internet. I will get back to that.

You guys were right! I remembered the advice given and I have great memories for it. Thanks!

Photos were taken at multiple locations. What a workout.
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The island where he was recovered is in the background.
2014-05-06 21.46.41.png

My wonderful girlfriend who is allowing the rug in the house.
 

rooihond

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012.JPG

Immediately after the shots. Notice how much the posture changed by the time photos were taken later. He was stoned with the first shot but still had that reptilian habit of muscle contraction even when we got back to the shed.
 

enysse

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Congrats, awesome hunt!

I'm glad you had a great adventure! There is always next time for the bow and arrow.

To get him with a .308 Win makes me proud. You didn't use power as much as accuracy!
 

bluey

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kicked the big goal bloke ,
well done mate .
congratulations
I never even seen one on our queensland adventure , but I seen the look on a mates face when he nearly stood on a little one while barramundi fishing ,one evening .
a photo of his face would of been a trophy in its self .
 

enysse

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I'm also glad you took the high road and did not chance losing your croc to non ideal water conditions
 

rooihond

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Thanks, enysse! My PH was sure to be clear on shot placement with an old croc skull and we worked it out at the range. The .308 trajectory was working for me and I was familiar with the system. It also pays to be lucky.

I will definitely be returning with the bow. I passed on a nice kudu that I had in my crosshairs. We saw him from the vehicle and the circumstances didn't feel right. Maybe I will be lucky with an arrow and find him again.

Thanks, bluey! Barramundi is on my fishing list. Maybe one day you guys will open up to crocodile hunts and I can get one of each! How is that croc line/arrow working out? I think that idea is the way to go.

Real life assessment removed all doubt about switching to rifle. It would have taken more than luck to recover an arrowed croc here. Maybe with bait and blind but that didn't seem appealing in this environment. It was a little difficult to back away from but that was quickly erased by a new and exciting challenge.
 

rooihond

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A word about shot placement and bullets. I trust that my taxidermist will repair the skull but the damage may have been mitigated with the use of a solid. The bullet entered at the top of the smile(right side), broke the maxilla, and caused considerable damage between the horns. It appears that this is common with this type of shot. A bone or bullet fragment also deflected down towards the mandible, inside of the smile. You can see the hole it caused in one of the pics. I don't think that this will require much repair, but it's something else to consider.

I usually don't like sharing too many photos depicting specific injuries. Somehow it seems disrepectful to the animal. I don't knock anybody else for this, it's just another one of my idiosyncrasies. I am posting these so that anybody else thinking about this hunt can learn from my mistakes.

The round(.308, 180g soft) entered at the maxilla and quickly dispersed its energy. Notice how close the second hole, between the maxilla and mandible, is to the entry wound. The bullet must have fragmented immediately to do this. Also see how close the exit wound between the horns is to entry. A solid may have given better penetration and less work for the taxidermist. I could be wrong and maybe I wouldn't have a trophy if I had used another round.

The shots placed at the neck and behind the shoulder were very difficult to see. The bullets seemed to have slipped between scales and caused no obvious damage. The only sign was the bleeding from unnoticeable entry wounds. These shots were only placed as insurance and I was happy to see that they did not cause excessive damage. Maybe those that choose the neck shot don't have to worry as much about bullet type.

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141.JPG
 

PeteG

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rooihond,
congrats on a great hunt and trophy.
you have raised an interesting question on whether to use solids or softs.
I would personally be sceptical of using a solid, I have always used softs on crocs and would worry about placement with a solid, the soft gives a bit of room with the expansion and the conventional softs really do send the shrapnel flying which all contribute to a clean efficient kill on an otherwise difficult target.
maybe some here have used solids and can share some info
 

rooihond

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Thanks!
They were highly suggested. It sure did do the job.
 

PeteG

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out of curiosity, what ammo was it that you used?
 

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congrats on getting your croc. i am with pete in only having used softs but will be digging out one of my meagre supply of solid 9.3x62 for experimental purposes. ;)
 

rooihond

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Thank you. It looks like soft is preferred.

Kyne Edwards was my PH. He did a great job.
 

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