ETHIOPIA: Northern Operations / Collect Africa / Dean Stobbs Safaris 2024

What a wonderful adventure, enjoyed it tremendously! Considering everything that is going on that part of the world, did you ever feel unsafe, or had that "what Am I doing here" moment? Any additional pictures?
I never felt actually unsafe, but I did wonder from time to time, especially when in the desert, what I was doing there.

If you look at a map, Ethiopia is bordered by Eritrea in the north (with which it is intermittently at war and currently has an active conflict); Somalia to the north, east and south (which is run by terrorists and provides a home for al-Shabaab); Kenya to the south (inter-ethnic conflicts as well as issues with the Oromia Liberation Army); and South Sudan and Sudan to the west (both in a constant state of war, and with South Sudan bordering on being a failed state). I could go on but you get the picture.

Then you’ve got the internal issues, most recently around Tigray (which burst into open warfare only a year ago) but also in Oromia and the Danakil. US personnel are not permitted personal travel to certain parts of Oromia (including where we were hunting) or the Danakil (which they refer to as the Afar and Amhara regions) for any reason.

That’s the big picture. On the ground, when everyone around you is armed (only the desert area), and they aren’t particularly friendly (just about everywhere), and you’re the only white face for some hundreds of miles, and you know the history of the place, etc., you’d have to be pretty unaware not to think about your safety from time to time.

As I write this, I’m tempted to think I was an idiot for going! But on the other hand, you rely on people who know the areas and the people to look after you and make sure you don’t get into dangerous situations. I had been to Ethiopia once before and I knew my team. In addition, I did bring a ZOLEO with me (probably not permitted but they didn’t know what it was), which I used to send my location home daily, and I promised my wife I’d have an AirTag with me at all times. In other circumstances, I may well have postponed the trip (although there’s no reason at all to think that things will improve in the future.

As for pictures, let me see what I can come up with. It’s a tough country to take pictures in (as if you needed more reasons to question the sanity of anyone who goes). People do not like having their pictures taken at all (I think heavily touristed areas might be an exception, though there people expect payment) and they don’t even like having pictures of their livestock taken (got into a bit of trouble for taking a picture of a herd of camels). Almost every structure or road seems to be strategic in some way and taking pictures of them could get you arrested (or so it seemed). A phone is about the only real way to take pictures outside of hunting areas - I would not walk around with a camera around my neck, other than perhaps in Addis.
 
Thank you @Hank2211 for the details! I'm sure you are aware we US has a military presence in that area. When Trump was president, my son was going to deploy to Somalia, Mogadishu out of the places in the world. I was scared sh*tless of him going to that part of the world, but I guess is one thing to go as a "tourist", vs. a "military tourist". LOL!

How difficult is it to get the mounts out of that part of the world?

Again, thank you for taking us along, enjoyed your report tremendously. (y)
 
Congrats and thanks for sharing, enjoyed the ride along!
 
Thank you @Hank2211 for the details! I'm sure you are aware we US has a military presence in that area. When Trump was president, my son was going to deploy to Somalia, Mogadishu out of the places in the world. I was scared sh*tless of him going to that part of the world, but I guess is one thing to go as a "tourist", vs. a "military tourist". LOL!

How difficult is it to get the mounts out of that part of the world?

Again, thank you for taking us along, enjoyed your report tremendously. (y)
For those who have hunted (or travelled) in the various parts of Africa, one of the unique features of travelling in Ethiopia is the presence and proliferation of governmental and non-governmental agencies at levels I’ve never seen elsewhere.

USAID, the EU, the UN, all have major presences in the country and whenever you see a new vehicle, you can be virtually certain it will have one of those, or similar, logos on the side. This may be due to the need in Ethiopia, although I’d argue that the needs elsewhere are just as dire, if not more so. What attracts all of this money to Ethiopia is, I’d suggest, its strategic importance to the West on the Horn of Africa. And that explains why there is also a military commitment by the West (by which I mean the US, which is about the only country with the resources and capability to be there). I wouldn’t be happy either if one of my children (all of whom are US citizens, even if I’m not) ended up there in a military role.

As for mounts, I don’t think there is an issue with bringing them out. Just takes time - everything ends up in Addis and waits until the government is done with sexing, aging and measuring. But it does come out eventually. A great mountain nyala graces a wall at home!
 
Thanks Hank for another adventurous hunting story. Congratulations on your great trophies. :D Beers:
 
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Thanks for the adventure
I don’t blame you for being “ uncomfortable “ around the locals
the pictures alone give me PTSD from being in North Africa, I don’t think I would ever want to return, after being there in the 1990’s
your pictures sum up the crazy Northern Africa is, was , and forever
 
View attachment 602816View attachment 602817Thanks for the adventure
I don’t blame you for being “ uncomfortable “ around the locals
the pictures alone give me PTSD from being in North Africa, I don’t think I would ever want to return, after being there in the 1990’s
your pictures sum up the crazy Northern Africa is, was , and forever

That's the African carry, with an AK-47. :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
 
Thank you sir, as much as I love hunting with my guns and have confidence in them, I am starting to believe there is a value to being able to not drawing attention to oneself.
I've posted many replies on threads regarding things like the legality of camo clothing, and other rules and regulations which sound odd to Western ears. My perspective is the same as yours: When you're in a foreign country, particularly an African country where rules can be arbitrary and if not arbitrary, be applied arbitrarily, you should always look to minimize your touchpoints with authority.

Being right can often be very small comfort when you're dealing with someone in uniform or in authority who couldn't care less.
 
It’s always a pleasure to read a Hank write up! Did you ever get your Nyala? If you did I must have missed or forgotten. I’m glad you had a good hunt and made it back to Canada safely!
 
It’s always a pleasure to read a Hank write up! Did you ever get your Nyala? If you did I must have missed or forgotten. I’m glad you had a good hunt and made it back to Canada safely!
Thanks Arron.

I did get the nyala last time I was there - a bit of a long story, again punctuated by some poor shooting (although I had scope issues there). I really am not such a bad shot . . .

 
Thanks Arron.

I did get the nyala last time I was there - a bit of a long story, again punctuated by some poor shooting (although I had scope issues there). I really am not such a bad shot . . .

2016 it was that long ago?! How time flies
 
Well written and fascinating. I once had an unscheduled stop over in Addis and had to stay the night, upon reentering the airport they tried to confiscate my Leica Binoculars!
Look forward to more Story! Thank you
 
Great report and congrats on getting both species of bushbuck available in Ethiopia although I agree with your assessment of getting the mountain species on one hunt and desert on another. That's a lot of driving on African roads! And I felt your pain getting out of and into the country with firearms... my flight landed at 1 am and I didn't get out of the airport until almost 4 am with my rifle due to "delays", only to get a shower and 30 minutes rest in my hotel before heading to the Bale Mountains! I keep thinking about a trip back to the Danakil but just can't wrap my head around the logistics right now... but good on you for seizing the opportunity and thanks for taking the time to put together such a well thought out hunt report!
 
What an adventure - it actually reminds me of some of the challenges I've read about back in the days of Bell and the like, having to negotiate with tribes and kings, etc. for passage and hunting permission... Thanks for the report!
 
My trip to Ethiopia was planned more than two years ago. I had originally planned to go in 2023, but my outfitter couldn’t guarantee the availability of a Menelik’s bushbuck. He believed we’d be ok, but rather than risk going to Ethiopia and not getting one of the two endemic bushbuck, I chose to wait another year. (That had one negative consequence - gerenuk, which was available in 2023, turned out not to be available in 2024, at the last minute. But gerenuk can be found elsewhere). This was my second trip to Ethiopia and I didn’t really want a third - Ethiopia is one of the most expensive places to hunt in Africa.

A lot of prep goes into any hunt, but Ethiopia has a few extra levels. First, and this is a recent change, you need a permit to take your binoculars into the country. Not a huge deal, but just ensures more time spent clearing guns and ammo. Second, and this is a change as well, satellite phones and gps devices are prohibited. I haven’t asked why, but I expect it has something to do with the 2022-23 war in Tigray, in northern Ethiopia, as well as the usual unrest and conflict with neighbors such as Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan, not to mention Al-Shabab along the southern border with Kenya. Having said that, iPhones are GPS devices and I brought a ZOLEO device, but no one asked about those. Thirdly (and this is not a change), unlike almost all other hunting countries in Africa, you can’t “take what Africa offers” in terms of game. You have to choose the animals you want to hunt in advance and pay the trophy fee. If you don’t see an animal in respect of which you’ve paid a trophy fee, there are no refunds. Lastly, the hunting areas for the different animals are vastly different not only in terms of biome, but also in terms of distance. Highland species (like mountain nyala and Menelik’s) are only found there, and desert species (like lesser kudu and Abyssinian bushbuck) are only found there, and the distances, while not vast on a map, are very long by road, and these areas require much different hunting styles as well as clothing. And there apparently isn’t the option currently to fly between areas.

It was the two bushbuck which drew me back to Ethiopia. I have already taken a number of Cape, Chobe, Limpopo and harnessed bushbuck [others] and this would add the Menelik’s and the Abyssinian. That would leave the Nile and East African bushbuck to finish the available bushbuck species. And since I was going, and I’m goal oriented, I decided to add a giant forest hog, giving me three of the four pigs of Africa, as well as the gelada, which some people count as a baboon and which would help if I ever lose my mind and decide to get all of the baboons of Africa (not a lot of competition for the “baboon slam”?!)

I have to say that no one - including my wife and children - was wild about my going to Ethiopia at this particular time. The US State Department in its travel advisory puts Ethiopia at Level 3 “Reconsider Travel” and gives Oromia and the Bale area in particular, where I would be hunting the highland species, and Afar, where I would be hunting the Abyssinian bushbuck, as Level 4: “Do Not Travel”. Canada and the UK say much the same thing. As an aside, I had a cab driver a week after my return who it turned out was from Ethiopia, and upon hearing I’d just come back, asked me how safe it was. His family in Oromia had told him it was too dangerous to visit! In fairness though, things are always fine until they aren’t, so I’m not judging those who might exercise more prudence.

Once again, consider this your health warning. This hunt report goes through just about every aspect of the hunt, including the prep, flying, etc. It’s been my experience that I tend to get messages from people who want some information on whatever, and so I’ve come to just include the whatevers in my report. You can skip over these parts, or even the whole thing…Or, if you suffer from insomnia, have at it.

In brief:

Location and time of Hunt: Ethiopia. Highland hunt: Bale mountains; desert hunt: Danakil Depression, near town of Talalak. March, 2024

Outfitter: Northern Operations/Collect Africa, with Jacques Meyer and Ficker Makonen as PHs, booked through Dean Stobbs Safaris.

Animals sought: Primary - Menelik’s bushbuck and Abyssinian bushbuck and secondary - giant forest hog, colobus monkey and gelada baboon. I had hoped to add a gerenuk, but the one concession which holds those has been closed so far this season.

Firearm: Martini Gunmakers Canada .300 Win Mag, with a Swarovski 1.7-10x Z6i scope

Ammunition: Federal Premium 165 gr. Barnes TSX

March 3… Departure Day

Departure day finally came, and it was -17 deg C. in Calgary, and it had been snowing for the better part of the previous night and day, resulting in accumulations of 6” of fresh snow, with more in areas exposed to the wind. But that wasn’t the reason my flight to Toronto was delayed. Air Canada had had mechanical issues with the airplane - a 787 Dreamliner - and had delayed the flight no fewer than 4 times before we finally boarded, some 4 hours after our original departure time. And though I travel quite a bit, what happened next was new to me. After an announcement that the cabin door was closed and we were finally ready to push back, nothing happened. Some 15 minutes later we were advised that one crew member had timed out and wished to stay in Calgary, so we got the jetway back, re-opened the cabin door and let the flight attendant off. And then we had to wait for the airline to find a new one! Unbelievable.

Fortunately, I had planned for delays, as you have to these days. My flight to Toronto was originally scheduled to arrive around 10 pm, and my flight to Addis was to leave at 10.20 the next day. So no stress, other than the fact that I was losing time I could have been sleeping.

I had checked my bags through to Addis, after making sure that I didn’t need to re-check the firearm with Ethiopian Airlines in Toronto. No, I was told, all good. I also received an email from Air Canada confirming I would next see my bags in Addis. Then, while flying, the in charge flight attendant approached me and asked if I’d checked something “special” which he said he’d call ‘golf clubs’ for the purposes of our conversation. No need to upset other passengers I guess! I confirmed that I had indeed checked ‘golf clubs’ and he said he had been told to tell me that I had to pick them up in Toronto, notwithstanding what I’d been told. Fair enough. Once in Toronto though, the baggage people told me that there was no way the bags would come out, given that the tags showed them checked through. I waited around anyway, not having anything better to do at 1 am. Not long after, both my bags came out on the belt. I picked them up and went off to the hotel to try to get few hours sleep before my morning flight to Addis. I did manage a quick wave to the baggage desk and a point to the bags, and got a wave in return. Friendly. Not helpful, but friendly.

March 4-5

I arrived in Ethiopia on time and clearing immigration and customs wasn’t an issue. Immediately after passport control I was met by Mesfin who would help me with formalities, and we went to look for my baggage. It wasn’t coming out on the priority carrousel so he went to look into the matter, and returned a few minutes later with my bag (containing my ammo), my rifle, and someone in uniform who was holding onto everything as if his life depended on it.

We went to put everything through the X-ray and then more uniforms got involved, as well as some without uniforms. Mesfin had all the necessary paperwork, but it seemed no one wanted to say “OK’, so we stood around for a bit. I was asked to open the rifle case, they checked the serial number, asked to see my binoculars, and then stood around some more. I think everyone got tired of doing nothing after a while (surprisingly), so they motioned that we could leave, so off we were to meet my PHs, Jacques and Ficker (every hunt needs an Ethiopian PH).

A quick stop at a mini mart to get a few necessities, like Pringles, for the journey, and we were off to camp just past Bale National Park. The roads were no better than 7 years ago and likely worse, so while we made good time, we only reached the town of Goba by 5 pm and Jacques said we’d stay the night in a hotel there. No driving, least of all on minor roads, in the dark. For both safety and security reasons.

It rained overnight so we waited a couple of extra hours the next day to let the mountain roads dry up a bit. A smart move - I was to see a few days later just how dangerous those roads (if you could even call them that) could be when wet and muddy.

March 5

A two hour drive took us from Goba to our camp, ascending as high as 10,000 feet and eventually settling in camp at about 7,000 feet. It was a good thing we waited for the roads, (which really dignifies what they are) to dry out. The smallest rain turns them greasy and slippery, with ruts which, once in, can be hard to get out of except for the largest trucks (which made the ruts in the first place).


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We arrived at camp around mid-day and got settled in. This is probably a good place to say something about hunting camps in Ethiopia.

It’s very rare that the Ethiopian government allows permanent camps in any hunting areas. It’s even rarer that outfitters set up permanent camps. A permanent camp would only be used for a small number of hunts and is at risk of being “dismantled” by local people when unoccupied, even if security is paid and on site. This was the unhappy end of the camp I had stayed in seven years ago.

As a result, camps are entirely mobile and move as often as necessary. This means you are generally sleeping in a tent, showering outdoors and using a short drop toilet. None of this was a problem for me - Northern Operations’ tents were new, clean and well kept. Electric power is supplied by a generator, and all fuel has to be trucked in and frequently carried uphill substantial distances in highland locations. There was always more than ample hot water for showers though and my experience was that toilets came with a view!

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The view from my "throne"

This mountain camp had been set up the day before I arrived and all trace of it would be removed until next fall once I left. This adds to the number of people required to run a good operation as well as to move the camp from site to site. In fact, while there is generally only one hunter in a camp at a time, there can be up to 15 staff looking after that one hunter. That number is generally reached in highland locations where a number of staff are ‘spotters’, keeping a lookout for game in areas other than those being immediately hunted. This is especially critical when hunting mountain nyala, but also for giant forest hog, where you can spend a lot of time in areas where the game isn’t if you don’t have scouts out observing.

After getting settled, we went to sight in the gun. The vegetation here is very dense and the only convenient place where we could get 100 yards of runway was off the road not far from camp. We set up the target box and then waited for a truck loaded with people to go by. But the truck showed no signs of moving. We sent someone to investigate and it appeared they wanted to see me shoot, and were content to wait. We sent our scout back to tell them that the crazy white guy was never going to shoot as long as they were around and they seemed to accept that and moved on. Two quick shots, within a half-inch of each other, a little high and to the right. A few quick clicks of the scope later and we were good to go.

We moved off to an area known for giant forest hogs and spent the afternoon sitting, but saw nothing other than lots of evidence of the hogs. It rained again, but the canopy is dense enough that if you find a good tree, you can often sit under its branches comfortably and not get wet.

We returned to camp at last light for a hot shower and a filling dinner. It began to pour again at around 8 pm, so off to bed we went - no sitting around a campfire tonight.
Missed this when first posted! Can't wait for the rest.
 
Instalment 2.

There was a thread recently where people were a little annoyed that someone showed a poor shot, and I admitted that I'd made some poor shots in my time. Mistakes happen, and this instalment is evidence of that. We learn, and we commit to do better, but I believe we need to be honest about our mistakes, so here it is, in all its embarrassing glory.

March 6

We were up at 5 am the next day and after a small breakfast we headed up to a lookout. We hadn’t been there long when one of the spotters came running to say that hogs had been spotted a bit further up the mountain. We raced to the new location - if you can call going uphill at 8,000 feet racing. High altitude running isn’t necessarily my thing . . .

We quickly saw the dark outline of a hog in the bushes, but it equally quickly became apparent that this was a sow, with six little ones in tow. It was fun to watch them, but we never saw a male.

We then took a long walk back to camp, up and down another valley. We saw two bushbuck during this walk, and while we tried to go after them, they had seen us early enough that they were able to escape quickly.

March 7

The next day we headed out at 6:30 to the same spot where we’d seen the sow yesterday. This morning we saw nothing, although we did see a couple of nice bushbuck while we were spotting. Jacques didn’t want to shoot bushbuck in an area where we’d seen the giant forest hogs, since the noise and commotion would drive them away. He was confident that we would find a nice Menelik’s in another valley once our hog hunt ended.

At about 9 am, we gave up and went to look for bushbuck in a different area, walking slowly through the same valley we had walked through the day before. At one point, Ficker was showing someone a bushbuck track, when the fellow looked up and saw a bushbuck less then 100 yards away, staring at them. By the time we got there it was gone, but as we waited and glassed, we saw it emerge into a small clearing. Jacques said it was a good one, and to shoot the “white spot.” I couldn’t see the “white spot” (by which he meant the white flash on its neck). I used my binos and finally spotted it. Back to the scope and, worried that it would leave the clearing and we wouldn’t see it again, I did what I keep telling myself I won’t do anymore. I took a quick shot, and that with fogged up glasses. I did see it run off to the left but didn’t see any other reaction. I asked “Did I miss?” (Not the best reaction for a hunter). Jacques thought I hit it, but perhaps a bit far back.

We moved to where the bushbuck had been standing, with Jacques telling everyone to look for blood. Not to make sure I paid if the animal was wounded - this being Ethiopia, I had already paid - but to determine if it was hit and if so, that we had some means of tracking it. My experience is that when you have lots of people in your hunting group, chaos can pretty easily become the order of the day if you don't have someone to keep the trackers focused. People say they saw something and everyone rushes to that spot, but it's a false alarm, and then they rush to the next spot (sort of like watching your kids first playing soccer).

Jacques is a strict taskmaster though, and he insisted that the focus stay on the blood and wouldn't allow any distractions.

The guys immediately found the blood, with some of it being lung blood. A good sign. Now we had to start tracking through some of the thickest bush and in the most humid temperatures I’d seen since the Cameroon forest. Dean and I went around, rather than through, much of the bush, and each time I heard yelling I hoped they’d found the bushbuck. But the yelling proved to be nothing more than distractions. The tracking was exceedingly slow and painful (not just for me - for those tracking through dense thickets of thorns as well).

Well, eventually we did find the bushbuck, thoroughly dead and piled up against a tree. He’d run about 60-70 yards, and it had taken us perhaps 20 minutes to cover that distance and find him. The Barnes-X bullet had left a big exit wound and he had essentially bled out in the time it took him to run the distance. So a good shot after all.

A beautiful Menelik’s bushbuck. This one is quite dark - the Abyssinian is much lighter (like a harnessed) and the Menelik’s has longer horns that the Abyssinian.

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This means I now have taken Cape and Limpopo bushbuck in South Africa, Chobe bushbuck in Zimbabwe, harnessed bushbuck in Cameroon and Benin, and the Menelik’s in Ethiopia. Three more to go (Abyssinian, Nile and East African) to be done that list.

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After that shot - which turned out to be far better than I had a right to expect given how I took it, the afternoon went downhill very quickly.

We had spotted a nice big male giant forest hog that afternoon, but as we approached to get a shot, the wind shifted and he caught a whiff of us. We saw bits of him as he crashed through the bush running to our right up the other side of the valley from where we were. One of our spotters said he had slowed down and if we moved quickly, we might catch up to him. So off we went.

At one point Jacques set up the sticks and said “be ready; he may come into that small clearing” on the opposite hill, some 150 yards away. I was watching through the scope and saw a black shape walking at a reasonable pace come through the clearing. I felt I had a good shot and a short window before he disappeared into the thickets again, so I took it. The hog stopped in his tracks, and then rolled downhill, coming to rest against a tree. Dead. A perfect shot.

Except that it was a perfect shot on the wrong hog. As soon as I pulled the trigger, Jacques said “Why did you shoot?” “Because I thought I was supposed to.” “But I didn’t say shoot.” “No, you didn’t.” In all my years of hunting and more than two dozen safaris, I’ve always waited for the command to shoot before pulling the trigger. I didn’t in this case, and my only explanation is that I assumed the hog coming out of the bushes would be the hog we had agreed to shoot 20 minutes before. A stupid assumption to make, a rookie mistake, and one I knew better than to make.

Ethiopia has strict rules about what can be shot. No females at any time and only males above a certain size. This male was way below the minimum size for a legal trophy.

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There were three consequences to what I did. First, I couldn’t take the “trophy” home. Not a big deal, since I wasn’t taking any trophies home. Second, you pay a double trophy fee, so that shot cost me $1,000. OK, I can deal with that. Thirdly, Ficker, our Ethiopian PH, gets a black mark on his record, and two of those in a year means his license is suspended for a year. This was potentially devastating, and I felt terrible that I’d put him in this position. He was pretty good about it but it was apparent then and later that he was worried about his license and his ability to earn a living. When I got back to Addis I drafted and signed a letter to the Ethiopian authorities explaining my mistake, and saying that none of the fault should fall on Ficker. He was happy to get the letter, but time will tell if it makes a difference.

We were a bit somber when we got back to camp, so Jacques suggested we try for a colobus monkey, a troop of which had taken up residence in some trees close to camp. The colobus money is almost entirely arboreal, rarely descending to the ground. It isn’t terribly easy to approach them - they tend to move around when you try to get close to any tree in which they’re perched - but that’s not the biggest difficulty in hunting them. The biggest difficulty is - see above - you can only shoot a male. And there’s almost nothing to distinguish a male from a female. The males are - sometimes - slightly bigger - but not always. The only sure way to distinguish them is by looking at the black patch between their legs. The male has a white spot the size of a dime (no prize for guessing what that is, although if I were a colobus, I’d be embarrassed about the dime size) in the middle of the black patch, while the female doesn’t.

To make things tougher, the monkeys don’t sit still for long and once you’ve identified a male, a process which can take some time, he often moves, mixing with others, and you have to start all over again. And in this case, after the one black mark for Ficker, I wasn’t going to get him another, and my team wasn’t either. So we had to be doubly sure, and that meant that at least two people with binos had to agree we had a male. And I had to see him and get a shot before he moved. And “the one on the right” wasn’t good enough when there were monkeys spread out in and among trees.

As it turned out, we just couldn’t get comfortable on which was a male before we lost shooting light, at least not for long enough to get a shot, so the monkeys were spared for another night.

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Making bushbuck biltong
I once shot two nearly identical reedbuck. We were in Mozambique and spotted one in pretty tall grass. He was calmly looking at us broadside at eighty yards or so when I fired. His only reaction was to walk forward three steps behind a large tuft of grass and few moments later step out the other side. I immediately shot and dropped him in his tracks. My PH chuckled and said "they'll make nice bookends." Sure enough, two were lying ten feet apart. Stuff happens.
 
I once shot two nearly identical reedbuck. We were in Mozambique and spotted one in pretty tall grass. He was calmly looking at us broadside at eighty yards or so when I fired. His only reaction was to walk forward three steps behind a large tuft of grass and few moments later step out the other side. I immediately shot and dropped him in his tracks. My PH chuckled and said "they'll make nice bookends." Sure enough, two were lying ten feet apart. Stuff happens.
Honesty is important. Yes stuff does happen.
 
I mentioned something about a clip of the (second) gelada shot. I think I’ve figured out the problem I was having with YouTube, so here it is.

A bit of lead-in for those who haven’t read the story. It helps to listen to the conversation in the clip, but without the background it won’t help. I missed the first shot some hours before. The “kids” (lots of adults as well) were waiting for us to come back and when they saw us get set up on the flat, they began to come down off the overlook (from where I had taken the first shot) and were heading towards us. Some of us thought the monkey was sitting on the edge of the cliff, and if I shot him he would fall over the edge, making recovery difficult if not impossible. Others (including me) thought he was actually sitting on a ledge with at leat a few feet between him and the cliff edge. You hear the Ethiopian guide saying it’s Ok to shoot if you kill him, but if you wound him we have a problem. (He likely said this last bit because of how ell I had shot the first time!)

With that, here is the shot:

 
Another great report Hank! Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge of hunting the remotest of places.
 

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