MOZAMBIQUE: Buffalo Hunt October 2014

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Hutch01, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. Hutch01

    Hutch01 AH Veteran

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    My apologies for not posting this hunt report sooner. But it's Easter Sunday and I have some time. After my first PG safari in East Cape, May 2013, my hunt buddies started planning a Moz buffalo hunt for the next year. The appeal of this hunt was 'free range' and it was in every sense of the word. I don't usually mind the fences too much as long as we only see them entering and exiting and that was the case on my first hunt, but I wanted to experience both types of hunts. So the daily rates go from $350 to $1K which was hard to stomach. But after thinking it over I forwarded the deposit to JP Kleinhans bank contact in Missouri.

    My first hunt was with his older brother Adolph near their home. Adolph insisted on accompanying us to Mahimba and only asked we pay his airfare.

    On these 'big boy hunts', the daily rates are higher mainly because the outfit leases the concession from a government and this drives up the cost. Plus the logistics can be a nightmare. For instance, from Quelemaine, the Mahimba concession was a 7 hour cruiser ride, but a 12 minute charter flight.

    After 36 hours of travel, we drive into camp and frankly I'm beside myself from all the travel and not sure what to expect. We had everything we needed. It was the perfect amount of primitive I suppose. The night before, Mahimba staff had discovered a large croc's drag marks that had visited camp. They like to hunt reed bucks at water holes during the night. So apparently the camp was on the way.

    We woke at first light to corn muffins with peanut butter and Sanka coffee. Good enough for me. We usually came back in for brunch once it got too hot to hunt.

    This hunt was planned at the end of their rainy season. The first four days of the ten days was high around 80, but the last days reached in the nineties. And of course not as pleasant, lying around in the heat of the day and then heading back out for evening hunt.

    So we get our rifles and get shot in near the airstrip without issue. And I'm hunting with the third Kleinhans brother Mel, who is the youngest. Also along is Mel's boy Carlo who is about ten and delightful to have along on the truck everyday. BTW Carlo shoots a .375.

    Reedbuck is first and not long after we get out of camp,we had collected a nice ram. We drove back to camp, dropped off the critter and had brunch and learned crocodile was scheduled for the afternoon.

    Back track...On the way into camp, JP mentioned the staff had left the croc boat tethered to the bank. It was basic aluminum 17 foot but had a new Yamaha stick drive outboard, probably 50 HP. Some bull hippoes had been frolicking about and upset the boat, submerging the new engine. So we had to use the 'backup' engine. More on that later.

    For the croc possie, there's three trackers, two apprentice PHs, me , Mel and Carlo. We load our gear down this rickety cat walk. I think the hippoes had smashed it also. This is quite possibly the nastiest river I've ever seen. So we get under way and look down river and two hippoes are trying to kill each other. It was one of those experiences you get for $1k daily rate! And was worth it. I couldn't believe what I was experiencing. The animals submerge after sensing us and we motor on by as close to the slimy clay mud bank as we could get as we were using the backup engine.

    We motor along for hour or so, the river splits, we get out and throw a 12 foot wooden gang plank across the mud to the bank cuz the tides out. Sneak thru mosquito infest mangrove jungle few hundred yards and get set up on this monster lizard who Mel had spied off the tip of the panga. The beast looks to be sleeping off a hangover. I've got my 375 and I give Mel green light to back me up on report with his. We're about 80 yards out. So I'm sitting there in the mud, skeeters having a pic nic on my neck and temples, trying to get my breathing in order. So after quite some time, both of us arse in mud with big bores on sticks, Mel says to me..'so buddy, are you going to take the shot'? Keep in mind, I'm trying to hit an area the size of a pingpong ball at eighty yards. More later...

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2018

  2. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    JP has one of the great reputations in Africa and a great Moz concession. I am also told it is maybe the nastiest place to hunt a lizard on the continent. Glad you are getting the full Delta experience and it is living up to the advanced billing! :sneaky:
     
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  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Better late than never.
     

  4. BenKK

    BenKK AH Elite

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    I’m looking forward to reading more! Sounds awesome!
     

  5. Bruce

    Bruce AH Elite

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    Damn...when do we get the rest???
     

  6. Hutch01

    Hutch01 AH Veteran

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    So I get settled, BTW Mel's breathing was as heightened as mine. I could hear him. We joked about it afterward.

    I squeeze off best I could, $2600 is on the line, and connect then Mel fires. We get off the wood and look over the optics and then get back on and both fire again and it's appears to be done. I don't recall the tail wag, but we could see blood in kill zone. We sat for minute and let the smoke clear...

    So I says to Mel, ' you were breathing harder than I was'! He didn't disagree!

    We quickly made our way back to the boat with the backup Yamaha, scurry our way across the slick muddy 12 foot gang plank. The crew was very excited as we said ' we go him, we got him!'

    So we get under way, Yam sputtering, and pull up to this river dinosaur that was estimated to be at least 60 years. The three tracker bail off in balls deep mud, to me and I'm 6'2", waist deep,for them. The croc begins to move his front legs and trackers panic and start to climb back in the boat so I fire an insurance shot and we wait a while and get comfortable with the situation.

    Back in go the trackers and then begins the 'heave hoe' process. We placed ropes,around the forelegs and finally with the help all men slide the beast into what was near being the whole length of the boat.

    Mel, awesome PH, was more excited than I was. Or maybe I just got a kick out of his amazing and endless enthusiasm. IT WAS a big deal! Croc was SCI Silver at 13.3 feet and not quite as long as the vessel but when we slid him in it sure as hell seemed like it!

    I will continue with the buffalo when time allows. I appreciate the interest. Turns out the buffalo wasn't as cooperative...

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  7. BenKK

    BenKK AH Elite

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    Love the jetty!

    Nice lizard!
     

  8. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Yep that is a big lizard!
     

  9. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Looking forward to the rest of this report, nice croc!
     

  10. Hunting Sailor

    Hunting Sailor SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Congratulations!

    Cannot wait for the next update.
    Thanks for bringing us along.

    I’ve hunted with JP Kleinhans a few times and he is a great guy and have been an excellent host. Lots of fun around him. Great to hear stories from Mahimba from a client of his.

    //Gus
     

  11. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Fanatic

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    Thank you for report, looking fwd to next part. Good memories can not fade away, so its not late!
     

  12. Scott CWO

    Scott CWO AH Enthusiast

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    Congrats! Waiting to hear the rest!
     

  13. jacques smith

    jacques smith AH Fanatic

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    Great start, keep it coming
     

  14. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats on the croc, looking forward to more!
     

  15. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats! Can't wait to hear more of your hunt report!
     

  16. Gerry Addison

    Gerry Addison AH Member

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    I hunted buffalo with JP two years ago and just getting there is an experience in itself. Hunted the first of November and it was the hottest place I've ever been for sure but we were on buffalo every time we left camp. Also took a nice Waterbuck there and Reedbuck. JP is certainly fun to be around and it was a trip I'll never forget.
     

  17. MMAL

    MMAL GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Awesome, keep it coming.
     

  18. Hutch01

    Hutch01 AH Veteran

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    Over the next couple days I collect a nice water buck and an older Chobe bush buck. The camp sets on the edge of a large swamp. So from time to time we are able to glass the occasional bushbuck or reedbuck. But the most fantastic thing about the swamp fauna was the Fish Eagles and the marvelous sounds they made every morning while we sat by the fire waking up.

    So towards mid week we learned it was time to hunt buffalo. I guess JP wanted each of us to warm up first on some PG and croc. So we get our truck loaded for buffalo and head out southwest of the camp area, lighting fires all the way. We cross some fresh buffalo spore in the road and offload and take up the track, two trackers in front, me, Carlo and Mel trailing.

    About 45 minutes later we close,the distance on the herd and they are,within shooting distance. From a hunting standpoint im first and foremost a Texas quail hunter. So a shotgun guy. I've shot off sticks on my first safari and had practiced much so that hunt went very well. And we were hunting individual bulls or Rams, usually separated from the herd.

    Prior to the trip I had purchased a .375 Ruger Safari Express and had prolly shot a box of DGX shells through it. I love the gun and have several smaller M77s.

    Well this herd had several bulls and we certainly weren't after Dugga boys
    . So the point is how difficult it was to pick out the,correct bull. We got our glass up and Mel is standing in my ear speaking his English/Afrikaans.

    I'm trying to decipher which was going to be th recipients of my Hornady 300 grain DGX bullet that doesn't like to,stay together. After I understood the bull we wants was the one next to the oxpecker, I let the first round fly. Mel in his glass saw the bull stumble. It was a straight on brisket shot and a little high.

    Funny side story, while at D.SC., Prior to the hunt I stumbled into Leupold booth and I told the attendant my Moz buffalo hunt plans. He highly suggested the red dot sight on the VX whatever. So that's what I mounted on the Hawkeye.

    Guess I should have turned on my red dot sight! But throughout all the excitement I didn't remember it. The herd turns tail and all take off with my bull straggling behind in great cloud of dust. We discussed the shot. We were,within 100 yards. It felt good. And so forth.

    So we make our way up to where the herd was and find a small smattering of blood. I had negative feelings at that point since the amount of blood was small.

    We take up trail and learn he had split from the herd which is a good sign. So jumping the bull twice we finally get enough lead,in him that he almost,appears to be done. So the tracker,begin to,walk in on him and he tries,to get up and they all take off running. Two more,shots ended the hunt.

    Later that night after dinner, JP dropped by my hut and dropped of a separated DGX bullet. On the other hand, the water buck I dropped at 150 yards in his tracks with the same ammo. All in all the bull gave us a thrill and we had oxtail soup that night.

    I describe hunting buffalo like standing Supermans cape. You better have good ammo and be on your A game in all respects. If I'd shot slightly lower in the chest, I think the hunt wouldn't have been as exciting. You never know.

    Next day We carried a couple of buffalo quarters up to the coconut plantation headquarters to feed the hands and stopped in the village market and bought Cokes to wash down the dust, took photos of the old well preserved church and toured the well built Portuguese plantation owners lodge/fortress on the river bend. He had a great view whoever he was!

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2018

  19. Bruce

    Bruce AH Elite

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    Keep going brother!!!!
     

  20. Hutch01

    Hutch01 AH Veteran

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    I'm on an iPad mini and struggling with the photos and typos. However actually received an A in English Composition at University. We had an experience chasin poachers that I will share soon. May thanks fellow AH Members...
     
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