Exactly 4 Weeks To My Zambian Dream Hunt

Obi Wan Kenobi

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Gentleman and ladies..... Good day to you all. I hope everyone is happy and healthy and free of Covid or anything else.

This is my 3rd trip to Africa. 2014 father son plains game hunt. 2017 husband wife hunt, she was just an observer. That hunt was for a lion and other plains game. I did a little research on Leopard and put a deposit down for a trip to Zambia. 2020 the world was in chaos, now I'm vaccinated and ready to get to Zambia.

4 of the deadly 7 are in my sights. Leopard, buffalo, hippo and croc. I'm going for 12 days and my PH told me in this area we should be able to accomplish my goals, plus have a crack at some nice wart hogs. I'm taking my .375 H&H..........buff, croc, hippo and my trusted old boring 30.06 for the leopard & warthog hunt.

Any opinions and advice would be well appreciated. I've never hunted any of these animals zebra and warthogs I have. I'm not going to lie as time gets closer and closer I lay in bed at night and just think about being 70 yards from a leopard, or 85 yards from a buffalo or crocodile that can easily kill a man. I live near Florida so I've seen a few big gators but I'm hoping to harvest a something in the neighborhood of 14 feet. I just had a well known "African guru" tell me Zambia produces some huge leopards and crocodiles.

So fellas chime in. I am by no means a rich man, I will tell you this has become a pricey adventure and its taken 3 years to come to this point. I still have reasonable trophy fees. My PH has a good reputation but I always like to talk to guys who hunt in the real world.

First question. What is the best bait for a big cat or does it matter? Is it hippo or Zebra? I've heard leopards LOVE fatty zebra meat. How many baiting sites should be up for a leopard? And for you guys that have shot crocs. Did you spot and stalk them or used bait? Is it true this time of year over there crocs are more prone to sunning on the banks mid day or what? Personally I like to sit and wait in a blind over bait, but I know its Africa, anything can be around the next corner.

Last question. I was told due to Covid Africa overall hunting plummeted to basically nothing in 2020 so there should be an abundance of trophy animals in 2021. Is that a fair statement?
 

Kevin Peacocke

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How exciting OWK, what an action packed adventure. Before my buff my mind ran amok like you, because yes, they can kill you. Get as close as you can, that first shot is your best insurance of everything being alright. I didn't, couldn't get closer than about 130m, it was too far and I buggared it up - dangerous follow up the next day.
I dont know about the trophies being bigger for the extra year, but they will be one year older, and that's what really counts.
 

Obi Wan Kenobi

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How exciting OWK, what an action packed adventure. Before my buff my mind ran amok like you, because yes, they can kill you. Get as close as you can, that first shot is your best insurance of everything being alright. I didn't, couldn't get closer than about 130m, it was too far and I buggared it up - dangerous follow up the next day.
I dont know about the trophies being bigger for the extra year, but they will be one year older, and that's what really counts.
Kevin thanks for answering, what did you shoot your buffalo with?
 

WAB

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Have a great hunt. When I was on the Upper Luangwa ten years ago the PH I was with was 100% on leopard. He wouldn’t take a leopard hunter unless the hunter agreed to a hippo. He swore by hippo for leopard bait.
 

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Exciting! Your ph should know what the best bait for the area is, I think hippo or zebra should do just fine.

Who are you going with if you can say?

Crocs absolutely will love to be sunning themselves and you can set up a blind or spot and stalk. Baiting always works also, just depends on if the big boy comes to play.
 

375Fox

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I took my croc in Zambia spot and stalk. We would have got a bigger one with baiting if it was a primary animal for me. Issue with spot and stalk are there were few places we could hunt and see and still be inside the concession. I took mine from an island. The opposite river bank that was easy to see was a different concession, had we baited and built a blind we could have brought them to our side. My croc was 12 ft 2 inch, I was really happy with it, but they took 14 ft crocs consistently in that area.
 

lwaters

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I have a 450/400 in a No.1. Did you feel comfortable using a single shot? I thought about using mine on buffalo.
375H&H Ruger No1 using A Square Dead Tough bullet if I recall.
 

Kevin Peacocke

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I have a 450/400 in a No.1. Did you feel comfortable using a single shot? I thought about using mine on buffalo.
Yes, no problem at all Iwaters. On the range I have seen lots of bolt actions giving issues, either not feeding or not extracting. I've had trouble with my own o/u double. But never has my Ruger No1 375 mal-functioned in any way. I can reload pretty fast, so that isn't an issue either. Finally, I can shoot it accurately and I have absolute confidence in it. I have ordered a double, not because I needed to, but because I just wanted to - the Ruger No1 can do it all anyway. Beautiful rifle too.
Go and do a buff with that wonderful round, what a combination!
 

cls

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Good luck and shoot straight. Hunted buffalo in Zambia for my third African hunt, take the time to enjoy as Zambia is a wonderful place. Will be watching for your hunt report.
 

sestoppelman

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Have a great trip, Zambia is still on my list of to-go places.
 

godwincp

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Good for you. You’re go to have a great adventure in a truly remarkable place. I hunted Zambia and the upper Luangwa a few years ago and had a great time. Showers from a donkey, camp Staff working frantically to keep elephants out of camp at night and always hippos snorting in the adjacent river and lions roaring in the background! You’ll probably take a hippo first for leopard bait and go from there. I was able to successfully hunt a hippo, leopard, Buffalo ,Puku, bushbuck and impala. I will never forget the camp staff retrieving my hippo from a croc infested river with not a care in the world- crazy. Best of luck and don’t put so much pressure on yourself to shoot everything you forget to enjoy this wonderful place. Cheers
 
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Exciting! Your ph should know what the best bait for the area is, I think hippo or zebra should do just fine.

Who are you going with if you can say?

Crocs absolutely will love to be sunning themselves and you can set up a blind or spot and stalk. Baiting always works also, just depends on if the big boy comes to play.

Hi sounds good but yeah as @cpr0312 asked where you hunting ?
 

npm352

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Wow! Good luck I hope you have a wonderful adventure.
 

Happy Myles

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You are in for a grand time. During a two year period i t had two safaris hunting all over Zambia for a total of 100 days. However, that was decades ago. Make sure you get after your hippo on day one. it is great bait for leopard, lion and croc. Importantly it provides a lot of bait. You do not want to get behind on baiting. They love hippo and its size goes a long ways to fill your needs. be sensitive to the fact Zambia has three subspecies of Lechwe and a Puku. A great opportunity to get these animals. Kindest Regards
 

Happy Myles

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Just noticed I left out zebra for leopard bait. They are widely scattered so sometimes more quickly gotten up as bait. Have heard a couple famous leopard guides say, “ get a leopard on a zebra bait and he will be back”.
 

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Yes, no problem at all Iwaters. On the range I have seen lots of bolt actions giving issues, either not feeding or not extracting. I've had trouble with my own o/u double. But never has my Ruger No1 375 mal-functioned in any way. I can reload pretty fast, so that isn't an issue either. Finally, I can shoot it accurately and I have absolute confidence in it. I have ordered a double, not because I needed to, but because I just wanted to - the Ruger No1 can do it all anyway. Beautiful rifle too.
Go and do a buff with that wonderful round, what a combination!
Totally agree with Kevin, I would have no hesitation in using a No. 1 on buffalo. I've shot a number of them. I have only had an opportunity for a fast follow-up shot once. More typically you put the shot where it needs to go, they run off 50 to a couple hundred yards and tip over. I've only had one drop to the shot, and it was an intentional spine shot.

How is the recoil on the .450/400 in the No. 1?
 

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