Eland in Eden

Red Leg

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
6,578
Reaction score
18,940
Location
Texas Hill Country
Media
285
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
4
Mex/S.Amer
1
Europe
3
Member of
SCI DSC life memberships / NRA Patron Life
Hunted
Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique, Spain, US (15 states)
Eland in Eden

We had been dogging the four bulls for almost five hours. The cold morning had given way to warm mid-day and we finally were getting close. Twice before the tracks had started to meander as the huge animals slowed to feed. On both occasions the stride had again straightened and lengthened as the bulls resumed their purposeful march toward some distant bedding area. A dense band of acacia and thorn brush was just ahead, and I needed no caution from Naude’ to understand that things could happen quickly.

They did. Unfortunately it was the snort and crash of several big cows exploding out of cover a few meters to our right. Probably satelliting off the bulls all along, we had no idea they were near. More noise, pounding, and dust to our front with an occasional hint of blue hide indicated they had taken the bulls with them. Looking at me with a weary grin, Naude’ simply said “that’s eland hunting.” With thirty years on my young PH and my shins flayed by the thorns, I couldn’t help but wonder a little how many days I could sustain this pace. The assembled herd was now on a beeline for the far side of the Kalahari, so we began the long hike back to the rendezvous with the land cruiser.

watermark.php


I went to Africa last summer with the primary goal of taking my first cape buffalo. Jack Atcheson had set up the hunt with Eden in north central Namibia. The buffalo hunt took place in the Caprivi and was an experience of a lifetime. Dries Alberts and I dodged elephant and hippo while wading through miles of riverine marsh country, eventually taking a magnificent, last-light 42 inch dugga boy. After dragging the huge old bull out of the marsh, we loaded up for the long but pleasant drive back down to Eden’s vast plains game concession.

At Eden, I planned to look for a kudu and an eland. I had been to Namibia before, taking a wonderful kudu among other plains game and a leopard. But I had never hunted eland, and had only seen a few at great distances as they vacated the country. Friends had urged me to make a traditional hunt of it, where tracks are cut at dawn, and long stern chases may or may not offer an eventual shot at a mature animal.
Naude’ Alberts, another of Eden’s young PHs, is something of an eland specialist with phenomenal tracking skills. As a result, we didn’t need a tracker, increasing our odds favorably because the two of us would have a better chance of successfully closing with one of the incredibly wary giants than would a larger team.

watermark.php


The second morning dawned cold and somewhat blustery. A cold front had moved in from the South (I will never get my head around that!). My shivers felt justified as I realized that two water bottles in the back bed of the land cruiser had frozen solid during the night. I opted for long pants and leather gaiters in part because of the chill, but principally because of the thought of another long day in the thorns busting brush.
We hit the tracks of three large bulls at the second waterhole. Naude’ took a few minutes to sort out their departure route, and then the chase was on. The cold wind, into which they were thankfully marching, convinced me that they would look for a bedding area sooner rather than later.

We had been on the spoor a little more than an hour, and had probably only gone about three miles when the bulls’ tracks began to crisscross and freshly clipped twigs indicated they were feeding. A large expanse of brush just ahead looked like an ideal place for them to retreat from the still chilly wind.

We entered it moving inches at a time. I hovered off Naude’s right shoulder to the extent I was able so I would have a clear lane if a target presented itself. We had gone no more than a 50 or 60 meters when we both froze in mid-step. Not fifty feet in front of use, a huge bluish form rose in utter silence from the ground. I could see little more than his shoulder and right hip. Naude’ whispered almost inaudibly that he was mature, but that he could see only one horn. I breathed back that I was fine with him, and Naude’ nodded to take him.

Without moving my feet, I leaned a little further to the right to fully clear the shoulder. The Trijicon dot was as bright as a laser in the brushy gloom against his dark hide. The 300gr TSX from my .375 took him on the point of the shoulder. And he collapsed after a half turn and a step.

watermark.php


We walked up to him marveling. The horns were nearly perfectly matched and would later tape 38 inches. The body was simply enormous, and seemed every bit as big our bigger than buffalo I had taken a few days before. His hide and forehead brush had almost a groomed appearance to it.

watermark.php


watermark.php


The buffalo will have pride of place over the fireplace in the gun room. It is after all a buffalo. But it is the eland which I’ll see on the way to bed every evening. And though I hope to hunt buff again; I will hunt another eland.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Firebird

AH fanatic
Joined
May 16, 2017
Messages
812
Reaction score
1,704
Location
Utah
Media
276
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
4
Hunted
South Africa
The lost classics by red leg?- beautiful bull for nhahnguyen11- an interesting post to start my day!
 

IvW

AH legend
Joined
Dec 20, 2016
Messages
3,589
Reaction score
6,967
Location
South Africa
Media
62
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
BASA, CHASA
Hunted
South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia,Zambia
Beauty.....
 

Gemsbok45

AH veteran
Joined
Apr 27, 2020
Messages
106
Reaction score
184
Hunting reports
Africa
1
What a great hunt.Eland are part of every Safari I take. Tracking the best way. Great times!
 

mark-hunter

AH elite
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
1,922
Reaction score
2,446
Media
23
Articles
2
Hunted
Namibia - Kalahari, Namibia - Khomas highland
From where this good old articles are coming from?
Great story, fantastic hunt!
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,359
Messages
712,528
Members
66,595
Latest member
ToryBrumba
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

degoins wrote on Treemantwo's profile.
I have a like new VC .450 I might part with. I had it built in 2013 and it has served me well. Also have a VC fitted leather trunk case for it along with the plastic case it came with. I'll take 14000 for all of it.
Matt W wrote on Jody's profile.
Hi Jody,
I have been looking for ideas on the best way to display my European mounts from Africa. I came across some of your shield work and was wondering if you would be willing to make one for me? If so, please let me know the cost. I like the shield with the two spears that you built for a member years ago. Thanks.
cal pappas wrote on Mnelson2's profile.
Nelson. Is this message a PM format. I want to send you my email, but don't know if this is the cirrect way to do it. I'm at <pappas@mtaonline.net> Send me an email with your phone and I will call you about a skull I have. I went to school in Boston and am from Bernardston in the west part of the state. Moved to Alaska in 1984 adn never looked back.
BeeMaa wrote on Justbryan's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. He was a pleasure to do business with.
BeeMaa wrote on 375Fox's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. Was a pleasure to do business with.
 
Top