Hunting, 4th Time Around

edward

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Fourth time around

this hunt was actually never supposed to take place until such time as we unloaded a couple of houses that we have in California that we got stuck with. At the age of 72. I'm not getting any younger. So, my wife decided that it would be a good time for us to do the elephant hunt now rather than wait and just see what happened. In my mind, it looked like the real estate market was never going to improve. So I decided to go ahead and start checking for the proper outfitter to go on the hunt. I had three outfitters in mind, and e-mailed all three of them, but only one responded within 24 hours and so I continued to communicate with them until such time as we had everything basically settled and satisfied in my mind, the hunt was to take place in Zimbabwe at the end of March. It was a 10 day hunt, which would be over and we would be coming home on April 1, we made our flight reservations with Gracie travel agency. When the time finally arrived for us to depart the four flights over were miserable as usual, but we made it safe and sound and were greeted by our outfitter buzz from C&m safaris, who took us to a bed-and-breakfast for our first night there, to be picked up the following morning by our professional hunter,richie tabor, and taken to our camp. in the morning we woke to a beautiful day. We had a absolutely fantastic breakfast and long about noon our professional hunter arrived and we left harari for our camp. After we had arrived at camp, which was a 3 1/2 hour trip, we went to the range to make sure that my handguns were still properly sighted in. my main handgun was a 454 casuall,shooting the 320 gr belt mountain punch bullet with a fiber optic front sight and a express rear,my back up gun was my encore in 450 marlin,shooting a 500 gr.hornady solid.this gun has a 2x-7x scope. After we made sure everything was a go,the pH took us out in the vehicle for a tour of the property. It was at the end of the rainy season and the bush was absolutely green, lush and thick. I could see where we we're going to have a hard time being able to visualize our targets because of the thickness of the bush. Daily routine was pretty much the same each day, a light breakfast and coffee in the morning, go out and look for tracks, back around 10 to 11 o'clock for a light lunch and nap and then back out until dusk, at which time we returned to camp and had an hour or so to relax before dinner was ready. I have to say that the food was absolutely delicious and the South African red wines were the best that I've ever tasted, deena and I couldn't wait for dinnertime. I made it a habit each morning at breakfast and every night at dinner to make sure that my professional hunter knew that my true desire was for him to join in and be part of the hunting team,if he was absolutely not positive that my first shot was a one-shot kill . I wanted him to step in and use that double rifle that he was carrying for something other than just resting over his shoulder. The laws in Africa are quite clear. If you put a bullet hole in your trophy you are morally, legally, financially and ethically responsible for that animal, needless to say, I wanted this hunt to be successful. When I spend this kind of money on a hunt, I definitely want success. Sorry folks, but that's exactly the way I feel about it. I found it to be a very physical hunt for me as I wasn't properly in shape, the kind of exercise that I have been doing at home was definitely not the kind to get you into the shape you need to be in for the amount of walking that we were doing on a day-to-day basis. However, Deena was in perfect shape. She works out on a treadmill and had no problems what so ever maneuvering any and all of the obstacles that we ran into, we hunted for eight days, before we finally were successful, and during those eight days we had stalked at least four separate groups of elephant's. On the eighth day we finally closed in on seven different bull elephants,i knew that this was the time. My professional hunter put up the shooting sticks and I mounted my encore in 450 Marlin on top. I was so excited that I didn't even realize that somewhere along the way, my duffel bag was not with us. This of course would make my shot go at least 3 inches higher than what I wanted it to. I wasn't smart enough to compensate for that, and my bullet went 3 inches higher than it was supposed to and I only stunned the elephant. My pH was on the ball and saw immediately what had happened and he fired one shot. The elephant had staggered with my shot, but regained its footing and turned and started to run away. We never did find out where my professional hunters shot had gone, but he took off in front of me and I couldn't fire a second shot even though I had reloaded. I heard another shot from him and was running after him and when I came out of the bush I saw the elephant was down. As I approached the down bull I noticed that my pH had shot it in the tailbone and had paralyzed it. I thought for a moment that it was finally all over, but my professional hunter was a little antsy and grabbed me by the hand and pulled me around and told me he wanted me to shoot the elephant in the side of the head and pointed to an exact spot, this time he wanted me to use my main handgun, which was my 454 casull. I shot my Bull in the side of the head with my 454 casull and noticed immediately that the elephant was still alive and that with my shot into the side of his head he was now dead, my pH came up to me and slapped me on the back and said," perfect." I realized that I had just achieved my main hunting goal.

.Eight full days of hunting to get on the shooting sticks, and in 3 min. or less. It was all over. Day nine was spent with the elephant retrieval. Some outfitters allow the local natives to come in and retrieved what meat they want from the elephant themselves, but C&M prefers to have the entire camp staff retrieve all meat from the elephant and delivered it personally to the local villages. After we had taken from the elephant the trophies that we desired ,the rest of the camp staff stayed behind and reduced the elephant into four separate truck loads, and personally delivered those truckloads of protein to the individual villagers that had been raided by the elephants the prior night's. When the camp staff had finished doing their job,there was absolutely nothing left of that elephant but a spot on the ground, and to say that the smiles on the villagers faces were as big as our smiles, was definitely an understatement. On day 10 we went out hunting for plains game, but to no avail. Saw plenty of sign,but no sables, so we went back to camp and started getting ready to return home. The return home was as usual 35 hours of hell. My wife and I had a ball on this hunting trip, we would've not missed any part of it for anything in the world. The only problem now is, what do we do for that fifth time around?

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CAustin

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Good report Edward!
 

BeeMaa

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Beautiful bull @edward.

Your question about what to hunt on a 5th safari...
How about Lord Derby Eland?
 

cpr0312

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Thanks for sharing with us!
 

Mort Hill

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Great report Edward! It is really nice to see your wife along. I hope one day my wife will care to go, but that is just wishful thinking!
 

edward

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gillettehunter

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Congrats on the elephant. Nice bull. Sounds like a great hunt. Thanks for sharing.
Bruce
 

BeeMaa

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at 81 i dont thank im tough enough.
Leopard would be a cool hunt...and mostly from a blind.
Combine it with some PG that can be used as bait and you are good.
And you look plenty tough to me with a Bull Elephant next to you.

Sometimes it's not so much the animal, it's the fact that the animal is in Africa.
 

edward

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Leopard would be a cool hunt...and mostly from a blind.
Combine it with some PG that can be used as bait and you are good.
And you look plenty tough to me with a Bull Elephant next to you.

Sometimes it's not so much the animal, it's the fact that the animal is in Africa.
i was 71 on that 4th hunt,did do a 5th in 2014,thought id already posted 4th and 5th hunts.must be getting senile and old at the same time.
 

Ridgewalker

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Another of your grand hunt experiences! So glad you took the time to share with us!
Like Mort, I too am envious you got your wife to go with you!
 

Lenny13

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What an experience! Thank you for taking the time to share.
 
 

 

 

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