ETHIOPIA: Northern Operations Africa 2016

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Hank2211, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats on the kudu, awesome! Look forward to the next installment
     

  2. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Beautiful, beautiful animal Hank. My hat is off to you.
     

  3. rinehart0050

    rinehart0050 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Congratulations on a wonderful, old kudu! While the boot to the shoulder may have been a rough wake-up, nothing like a clean kill moments later. Well done!

    Since you mentioned it, is LDE on the docket for next year?
     

  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Fixed. Can't have any kids getting confused in math class.
     

  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Nothing like going from freezing your ass oft cooking yourself.
    Damn, that's a little too much excitement.

    Very impressive trophy. Congratulations and certainly SCI GOLD!
     

  6. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    What a hunt this has been. That is a fine lesser Kudu and is one any of us would be proud of. Congrats on getting him. Bruce
     

  7. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Legend

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    Awesome Kudu!!! That is definitely a dream of mine and after all you have been through I would say you have definitely earned it! What a beautiful animal!
     

  8. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Great way to be woken up from a nap.

    Beautiful old lessor kudu.

    Congratulations!
     

  9. hunting4sanity

    hunting4sanity AH Enthusiast

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    I usually just look at photos and skim the reading, I've read every word of your report so far and anxiously look forward to more. Grand adventure and trophies!
     
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  10. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    When is the publication date?
     

  11. Buff-Buster

    Buff-Buster GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Beautiful old bull Hank! Well done buddy!
     

  12. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks all. It's really a pleasure to write these things for this audience!
     

  13. siml

    siml AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Hank, what fantastic trophies, congrats!! Trophies one can only dream of.
     

  14. Ragman

    Ragman AH Elite

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    That is as good-looking an animal as any greater kudu! Absolutely stunning! Congratulations sir.
     

  15. svinejakt

    svinejakt AH Veteran

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    You don`t often hear about Ethiopia and hunting when talking about Africa, but they have some magnificent places and creatures. The mountain Nyala must be one of the most beautiful creatures. Up there with Bongo :) Lesser kudu is a catch aswell :) Congratulations and thanks for reporting !
     
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  16. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Day16 Nov. 20

    We were up early today to begin our search for the Soemmerring's Gazelle. The Soemmerring's gazelle looks much like a springbok, but with perhaps slightly longer horns (but even that would depend on the springbok). The gazelle is missing the flap or pouch on the back, and that seems to be the main distinguishing feature, along with the configuration of the horns, which is slightly different, and a dark face.

    We picked up our scout in a nearby village and headed out. Within an hour we began seeing the gazelles, in landscapes I can only describe as moonscapes. Seems likely that a combination of over-grazing and lack of water are the main causes. This area is one of the worst hit areas for famine in Ethiopia, and signs of foreign aid are everywhere.

    We looked over a large number of gazelle, trying to find one which met or exceeded the government minimum. About an hour after we started looking, we saw one which fit the bill. Not a giant, but seemingly old. These animals apparently aren't that afraid of people, because they are used to seeing herders. Having said that, they do have a limit, and if you get too close, they will take off.

    We got to within 150 yards of our quarry, and I got up on the sticks. He was walking, and for some reason, I got impatient for him to stop, and decided to take a shot as he was walking. Should not have been a big deal at that distance. The walking wasn't the problem though, as it turned out. I shot beneath him. Clean miss. But he didn't seem that panicked, and ran about 100 yards and settled down. We walked a little closer, and of course, having messed up the first shot, I was flustered and proceeded to miss again! At this point it looked as if he'd be off, but he slowed down, and we stalked again. I should say we are in the open; there are no trees anywhere, and the sun is beating down on us. Jacques is telling me to get my breathing under control, and not to get excited. He's being polite. I'm not excited. I'm pissed.

    We now get to within 120 yards of him again, and I take my third shot. This one hits him, but it's a bit low. Having said that, he walks a few feet, and then stops. He doesn't seem to have it in him to go much further, but we can't be sure. I take a second shot (this is on a springbok-size animal) and again, the shot is low, but I take out a front leg and leave a big hole in the brisket. At this point, he's down, and we get up to him. He's not dead, and I suggest yet another shot, but at this point a local herder comes up out of seemingly nowhere and seems to suggest that he wants no more shooting. He doesn't seem to care much about the animal, but no more gun. So we end it with a knife. I'm not sure what he'd done if we'd shot again - he wasn't armed - but we had little doubt he had armed friends in the vicinity.

    DSC00227 (1).jpg

    There are ays when I can hit anything, and then there are days when I seem to have a hard time with the proverbial barn door. Fortunately the bad days tend to be fewer these days, but it would be great if I could eliminate them altogether!

    That leaves us with only the baboon and the Salt's dik-dik left to get before I'm done.

    After lunch, we head out to look for either a baboon or a dik-dik, whichever comes first! Dik-dik are not terribly difficult to hunt – you drive until you see one, and then continue for a bit, and walk back. If the one you saw is a female, you just need to be patient – the male will be around somewhere. If they see you, they will generally run, but will usually stop behind some cover, turn around and freeze, while watching you. If you move too much, they will take off, but if you’ve taken the time while they were running to set up, you can often get a shot.

    And that’s pretty much how our hunt played out. We drove through some areas of low brush, slowly, and saw a reasonable number of dik-dik, but none that seemed big enough to try for. After an hour of this, we had a bit of a keystone kops routine going with respect to one sighting. There were four of us in our truck, and three of us saw a dik-dik at the same time. Two (one of whom was Jacques) said no, so Ficker started to move away slowly. As the fourth, and the one who hadn’t seen anything, I kept quiet.

    At that point Dean said “I thought he looked pretty good.” Jacques said “he? It was a female.” Dean said “not that one, the male to the left of the female.” At which point Jacques said “there was a male to the left of the female?” So Ficker stopped again, and we all glassed once more, and low and behold, there was indeed a male. Jacques had Ficker drive forward, and once out of sight of the dik-dik, we quickly got out of the truck. We began to walk back, and within seconds, Jacques had the sticks up. I initially had a bit of trouble finding the dik-dik, but he moved behind a bush, and that did him in. He was about 60 yards away, facing us, and while I don't usually like chest shots, I knew that if touched the little fellow with a bullet, that would likely be the end of him. So I took the shot; as a result of the recoil, I really didn't see the result. Jacques moved forward quickly, and there he was, dead. And what a mess. The bullet unzipped his entire lower body, leaving not one organ in him. It appeared to have thrown him back a couple of feet as well, because he was some way from his heart! And one front leg was blown off. A nice little guy, with an impressive set of horns for a Salt's did-dik. This doesn't get me any closer to the Tiny Ten - I have a Damara did-dik which is the one included, but nevertheless, it's great fun to chase these little fellows.

    DSC00247.jpg

    DSC00241.jpg
    The leg missing from the picture!

    I had told Jacques I only wanted the skull from this guy, so no great harm done that the cape was ruined. He died instantly, and that was what mattered. Jacques had said that if I had wanted a full mount or even a shoulder mount, he would not have let me take the head on shot. Fortunately we'd had that conversation in advance.
     

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  17. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Ok, that blown off leg really shows how petite the dik dik really is. Not the purpose of the picture maybe, but I really appreciate it for that.

    My mother has always been fascinated with the dik dik. Should I ever be so lucky as to take one she'll get it full body mount, whether she wants it or not. :)
     

  18. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Nothing like hunting near a war/conflict zone to help you consider other factors. At least in RSA they only charge you a few Rand for a missed shot.



    DAMN!

    As Augustinus, of Ozandjahe fame, once said of a similar result I created in Namibia; "No Taxidermy"


    Congrats on persevering on that Gazelle.
     

  19. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    A couple more nice animals Hank.

    Congrats.

    Everyone needs a lucky dik-dik foot.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
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  20. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    LOL Got my laugh for the night! Nicely done Hank. Bruce
     
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