Hippo hunt on land at night

Nyati

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I have been offered to take a hippo on land, at night with a thermal scope. Price is good, but I don´t have any experience with that type of hunting.

I would like to hear the opinion of those who have tried it.
 

Frederik

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Thermal scope on the rifle or thermal to walk closer and spot the hippo?
If the latter very exiting whe it's dark you are completley blind the guide/ph is in front of you and you follow by holding on him very slow. Then when you are in range normally very ckose 20-30 meters he will get you position switch on a light and you have to shoot in a second or two before all hell breaks loose and hope the hippo doesnt charge but heads away from you.

Have not done it myself but have a friend who has guided in clients like that he hunts about 50 buff per year with clients but when talking about these types of hunts his face lights up pure adrenaline.
 

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I have been offered to take a hippo on land, at night with a thermal scope. Price is good, but I don´t have any experience with that type of hunting.

I would like to hear the opinion of those who have tried it.
Its a fun experience. There is just no way to guarantee a bull. These are usually problem animals.
 

Sarg

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Similar to how I waited for some of mine, super exciting & adrenaline pumping, I didn't have a thermal which would of been nice, when I turned on the flashlight/small spotlight the Bull was in full charge & coming up the beam, he was already a killer so that added a bit of spice !

The other Bigger Bull on a different property charged the Cruiser as we went to check if he was out !

I put my name out for any DCA Hippos in our area as it is super exciting, right up there IMO !

Oh you need to keep on your toes when pushing through the reeds near the river to as Bushbuck can be thick in these areas & can charge if spooked at close range !!

Better with thermal again you will know they are there .
 

mark-hunter

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BTW what are regulations in various African countries, about using night vision or thermal scopes?
 

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At night, in the dark, on foot, with or without thermal scope/vision, dangerous game...I'm not sure I'd want this to be my first experience hunting Hippo. Maybe my 3rd or 4th time hunting Hippo on land so I could get a feel for it IMO. And I'd definitely have a .458 caliber or larger.
 

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I love hunting these problem animals at night, it is exciting and adrenaline rushed event! As Marius mentioned, you just never sure if it is a bull or a cow. You can try to determine that during the day by looking at the tracks but it is never a guarantee.
 

IvW

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PAC hunting them at night is a rush in sugar cane fields.
Get between them and the water each tracker carriers a spotlight when that goes on you need to shoot straight and fast....I also use a small light attached to the barrel...
Needless to say it is not for the faint hearted and is a game for big bores not marginal calibers....
 

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One night I shot and dropped a bushbuck on the bank of the Limpopo river and the only way to get to it was walking down a deep Hippo path to the bank. I saw numerous fresh hippo tracks leading from the river out to the fields but none coming back. We hurried and made short work of that game retrieval.

Last day of hunt, we strolled down by the river and saw and heard hippo in the water. I took a picture and the hippo head can be seen but no telling what sex it was. Our PH took my .338 and led us out of the tall grass and away from the river and on the way came across a Croc nest. A good way to end a great 2 weeks of hunting.
 
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My only experience was on my first Africa hunt in Northeast Limpopo near Alldays and next to the Limpopo River. An onion farmer was having crop damage by hippos lead by a big bull. One of the hunters with me jumped on the opportunity. I got to be there and watched a couple of late night attempts to get this old bull.

We only had spotlights. The first night was a no-show. Second night in the pitch black we could hear the hippos making noise. We crept as close as we dared to without lights. The PH and shooter got setup on sticks as we waited and watched a few steps behind. The spotlights were simultaneously turned on.

They started searching around with the lights and sure enough there was the big bull! He didn’t linger a second, but was in high gear heading for the torn down fence and the river’s protection. The spotlighters could hardly keep up and the shooter could do no better.

The bull escaped that night without a shot fired. This went on a couple of other nights until they gave up. The shot placement was just too critical and too much potential for just wounding. The hunter and PHes (and observers) all had a fun time trying though.

A gun mounted thermal should increase your chances. Dry ground hippos are supposedly one of the most dangerous game and at night, YIKES! I would think even more so!
 

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