Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by KMG Hunting Safaris, Nov 6, 2019.
Apologies! Keen to hear how it pans out.
Looking forward to the rest of the story!
The day of arrival to camp, the first baits had already been taken care of. Whatever is in abundance in the area, will usually be on the menu. This time, an old Impala female was targeted, just to get the process started. The plan was then to use some of the Cape buffalo as the main source of bait.
After checking rifles, it was already too late to start with the Cape buffalo hunt. We searched for a suitable bait spot, which would also allow us to build our blind in a good position.
Personally, I like to have a wide field of view from the blind, which allows me to see the Hyena coming in, which in turn, allows the hunter to get ready before the Hyena actually reaches the bait. Over the years, we have realized that one needs to take your chance with the Hyena still approaching the bait.
Quick acquisition of the targeted animal while hunting Spotted Hyena is paramount. It could mean the difference between a couple of hours in the blind to a couple of all nighters. All nighters are funny the first time around, but once you get on to night three, the joke is long forgotten.
I have seen time and again, a single Hyena approach the bait at respectable times during the night, and whether it is from a missed opportunity or another factor resulting in not presenting a shot, only for that Hyena to return to the bait between 04:40-05:30 the next morning.
Our preparation was done, with the necessary scent left along the roads in order to show the Hyenas where the kill “had been hidden.”
We knew that it would not take long for them to find the bait, but I don’t think that we expected what transpired.
By the time that we got to check the bait around lunch time the next day, all that was left of the Impala, was roughly 5 pounds of meat. They had devoured everything, including the head. The area around the bait was covered in tracks. Only horns were left lying on the ground. We kept refreshing the bait over the next few days with whatever we could find, as I stuck to my rule of not sitting for the Hyena until the first Buffalo was down. We were already on day 3, and had not connected on a Buffalo yet. Subsequently, we managed to catch wind of a hunted Hippo in the area, and fetched the entire stomach from the bull. The stomach was dropped off at the bait site. This should keep them busy for a while, and it did. We sent the trackers with a vehicle to the bait site for some reason or another, only to get a report back that they had counted 17 Hyena at the bait, as they swung around the corner.
There was a particularly big track that caught my interest. He stood out from the others, and automatically, I switched my attention to him.
Late on day 4, we connected with a nice Buffalo bull, which would undoubtedly carry us through the entire safari as far as bait was concerned. As the day had taken its toll on most of us after many miles, we decided that we would sit the next evening. The Hyenas were coming in every night. On the trail camera, we could see that it was not even dark yet before the first one appeared…..
The bull that we connected on, on Day 4:
Very nice bull! Cool to see the hyena on camera in daylight!!
After our eastern cape safari in 2013 we did a photo safari in Kruger and one night on the way back to the lodge we got to sit and watch/hear a group of 6 spotted hyena hunt a zebra. The calls between the hyena were very interesting to listen to along with the in danger kinda of sounds coming from the zebra. Tried for a hyena last safari (the area we were in had many Brown, only a few spotted) but had no luck. It is at the top of my list for next year.
Looking forward to the rest of your adventure.
Post pics or send them to me when it gets done. I'd love to see them. I've even priced a full mount locally in case i were lucky enough to get one.
Hell of a buffalo! Congrats! Great photo of the hyena!
Do they sit still at the bait, or are they constantly nervous and jittery, moving around? I watched some cool videos on a YouTube channel called Hyena Hitman, and they weren’t staying still for long.
They dont stay still for long at all. They are always circling the bait or moving around. Its almost as if they dont trust it, but will give an opportunity somewhere. They are not a hard animal at all. I like to use a fast, hard hitting round like the 300Mag.
What’s a good distance to build the blind?
Ben, I like to be around 55-65 yards away.
Great pics, gosh leopards are beautiful.
Man this is exciting! Great photos!
I really want a hyena after not getting one on two good tries.
I was planning on finishing the report today, but have to attend a function. Will certainly try and do so tomorrow. In the mean time, here are a few photos from our hunters over the years. Top 3 photos were from 2018 and 2019.
I want one something fierce! After seeing all these pics I really want one
I like the Hyena in the last two trail cam pictures. Interesting markings.
We were actually in the blind when this Tom came in. Have a foto somewhere, where he is sitting looking straight at the blind.
After the day in pursuit of our Buffalo cow, we make the decision that tonight would be the night to sit for my Spotted Hyena. Earlier in the day, passing the blind, we had found that the Hyenas had found our blind the previous night, and inspected it. They were kind enough to chew on the pop-up blind a bit, pulled out the ground sheet, and ate our chairs. Lucky we did not sit last night! We restore the blind quickly, pack some more brush, leaving it in good condition for the evening sit.
As @JPbowhunter asked, I do prefer a big moon when hunting Spotted Hyena. It allows one to see so much more, especially if you are sitting with light coloured sand in front of you. You can even see a Spotted Genet run across. However, it is not the begin and end all of hunting Spotted Hyena, and won't be the difference between a successful hunt and a unsuccessful one.
What will make a difference, is your setup. Going into a Spotted Hyena hunt unprepared, will cost you many long nights, and ultimately the chance to bag one. They are not stupid, whether they are pressured in the area, or not. They are still very high on the food chain, and did not claim their place on this list by making stupid mistakes.
Those who have hunted with me in the past will tell you that there are not much in this world that frustrates me more, than blowing chances while stalking. Whether the situation was in our hands or not.
We leave camp about 18:00, with maybe 20 minutes of day light left. After getting dropped off at the blind, we take our place in the blind, and let the vehicle leave back to camp, waiting for our call.
It had not been 5 minutes, and the first Spotted Hyena was on its way. It was probably disturbed from the bait by the sound of the vehicle. It circles the bait, and walks about 10 yards to stand under a tree. I can barely make it out in the scope. The twilight of the setting sun, makes it very difficult for me to see the entire animal. I can see an outline, but not 100% sure which way he is facing. He is alone, so will be a respectable Hyena.
The Hyena decides that something is not right, and starts walking to our right. He is looking in our direction. Have we been winded? Has he seen us? There was no doubt that there was time for a shot. It was just that the elements were against us.
Not 5 minutes had passed and we pick up eyes coming through the dry river bed. Only the head is visible. I can see its a Spotted Hyena through my scope. Could this be that big track that we saw? Could this be why the first Hyena left or yielded? Did he feel the presence of a stronger individual? The Hyena casually walks towards the bait and stops about half way between the last cover he left, and the bait. It looks like a big head, but he is now staring directly at us. He is staring directly into the blind. He turns around and starts that familiar gallop, peeking over his shoulder every few steps or so. I follow him in the scope. He turns behind some bushes as he is weaving through the cover. He stops in between two bushes to have a last look. He is now quartering towards me. I can see his eyes and the point of his shoulder. I can clearly recall thinking that it was now or never.
The 300 Win Mag, loaded with 180gr Federal Fusions, barked. I can clearly see the eyes following the body, falling over backwards.
I had no idea on the distance, but knew that the 300 would get there easily. No need for compensation. Everything always look much further in the dark. We call the truck, and get out of the blind to inspect the animal. We walk off the distance, it was only 100 yards...LOL
But we managed to take the last available opportunity. After the gap in the brush he stood in, it was over.
As we walked up, we could see that it was an old Hyena. The characteristics of the animal, the head, and thin coat was exactly what I wanted. He was the brute I had always dreamed of.
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