SOUTH AFRICA: Cat Scratch Fever In The Kalahari

TOBY458

AH legend
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
2,363
Reaction score
4,526
Location
Madison Georgia, USA
Media
182
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Dust flew up from behind the Land Cruiser, nearly choking everyone on board. A very abrupt stop had left us on the down wind side of a large mouthful of the Kalahari. PH Seun jumped out of the now still vehicle and looked intently at something on the right side of the road. A bit angry, and somewhat tickled at the fact that the tracker perched on front of the cruiser had mistaken Zebra tracks for Lion spoor. He muttered in his broken English, "Fuck William!!! We're not hunting Zebra!!!" Half smiling and somewhat irritated, Seun returned to the Toyota for another spin around the block.

We were dragging a small brushy tree top behind us, in order to cover up any old spoor that was left from the previous days and nights before we arrived for our safari. So far we had "closed off" several blocks, and were hoping to catch the fresh spoor of a Lioness lurking from one piece of land to another. Then.....William spoke something in Afrikaans that made Seun slam on the brakes once again. Fresh spoor! The hunt was on....

Single file, we lined up behind Seun and his tracker, William, a keen eyed African with a quiet demeanor. A tracker with quite a reputation for finding game when the chips were down. This day would be no different.
Not long after we started on the spoor, we heard the call of a loan Lioness, some 300 yards in the distance. We started closing the distance on her, before we realized that she was doing the same for us. Things were starting to feel real. Could I really be hunting Lion? Is this a dream? Well...that one I can answer. It was definitely a dream. A dream I had harbored for years. A dream of hunting animals that can bite and fight back. Animals that require large caliber weapons and the guts to stand your ground once the dance has begun. The cold breeze snapped me back into reality, and we stalked increasingly closer.

After a few more intense minutes of sneaking closer and closer, up came the sticks, and Seun whispered "there she is". I readied my 375 H&H for the shot, but she noticed a movement that she was unsure of, and she was gone like a flash! The chase was on.... We must stay on the spoor so we don't lose her. We must push her out of her comfort zone, so she doesn't lose interest in us. Either way, someone or something had to lose.

After a long, hard push, she began to realize that something was not right. Something was on her trail. She was used to being the hunter.....not the hunted. In a pride she would have none of this. But by herself, she was forced to be elusive, rather than aggressive. Circling us, she tried to figure out the source of her trouble. Half stalking...half hiding...she waited for us.

The wind was blowing abruptly, covering the sounds of our footsteps, and making our movements seemingly flow with the swaying African backdrop. Would she see us again and come? Or, would she see us again and go? She only had those options to choose from. If she chose to go, could we continue to keep up with her? If she chose to come, could we stop her, before she made a mockery of the puny humans that were giving her trouble? We would soon find out.... Win.....Lose.....or......Draw.

William, our tracker, spotted her first. Crouched down behind a particularly nasty stand of thorn bushes....she was waiting. The problem was, for her, she was on the wrong side of the bushes. We had caught her with her pants down. The wind had betrayed her.
The sticks slowly came up, and the forend of the Sako 375 virtually floated into position. Steady, aim......HOLY SHIT!!!! How did she take a direct hit to the vitals, from the mighty 375 and still bounce back up like a rubber ball??? A very pissed off rubber ball!!! Seun yelled, SHOOT HER AGAIN!!!! With a quickness I bolted another round into the Sako and let fly. Three hundred pounds of teeth and claws erupted at the second shot, summersaulting herself into the waiting thorn bushes. Then another shot. Down Goes Fraser again! And just as quickly, she was back on her feet. This time advancing, instead of retreating. For now she had noticed the source of her pain. Revenge, for her, would be sweet, if only she could muster enough strength to cover the needed 20 yards to get her claws into us. If only she could make it to us before the lights began to dim....we would pay. If only.....
As the fourth and fifth shots rang out, the lights, for her, began to fade. As the life and the hatred for us began to leave her body, she laid still. All was calm.

I'm telling you this story because my wish came true. I'm able to tell you this story because hers did not.

Until we meet again.

full
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jfet

AH elite
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
1,372
Reaction score
1,975
Media
68
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
2
Europe
1
Member of
Outdoor Tomorrow Foundation,NRA, Life Member DSC
Hunted
Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Namibia, South Africa, and Now Spain
Animals that require large caliber weapons and the guts to stand your ground once the dance has begun.

That is a marvelous sentence!!!
 

TOBY458

AH legend
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
2,363
Reaction score
4,526
Location
Madison Georgia, USA
Media
182
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
That is one he** of a good story Toby. On your next lion hunt are you still going to be using a 375 H&H?? BTW you are now officially off the "hook."
Thanks! Yes, the 375 will do the job. I actually think it's too much gun for a Lioness. The bullets just blast right through. I'm convinced that a 300 Mag or 30/06 would probably do the trick just as well, if not better. But 375 is the legal minimum. I was using Barnes 270 gr TSX bullets at 2750 fps. This very same load dropped a huge Eland within seconds of receiving a pass through shoulder/lung shot, so I don't think there's a problem in the horsepower dept.
 

cpr0312

AH ambassador
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
9,951
Reaction score
12,422
Location
North Carolina
Media
346
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
6
USA/Canada
1
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA Life Member
Hunted
US (All over), New Zealand, South Africa(Northern Cape, Northwest), Zimbabwe, Zambia
Thanks for sharing this story with us! I really enjoyed it, congrats on the lioness!!
 

Edge

AH fanatic
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
820
Reaction score
1,267
Location
Between dreams and reality
Media
468
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
1
Hunted
PA, NM, ND, Al, FL, MD, Eastern Cape South Africa, Zimbabwe x 2
Well done Toby, on both the hunt and the story behind the hunt!

Do you think a softer lead core bullet would have caused more trauma and a quicker demise?
 

TOBY458

AH legend
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
2,363
Reaction score
4,526
Location
Madison Georgia, USA
Media
182
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Well done Toby, on both the hunt and the story behind the hunt!

Do you think a softer lead core bullet would have caused more trauma and a quicker demise?
Not sure. I did have a failure of sorts with one of the Barnes TSX bullets. It shed all of it's petals. Something I've never seen from a TSX. It hit a shoulder bone at nearly muzzle velocity, so maybe they were a tad to fast. Makes me wonder why anyone would choose a lightweight TSX for buffalo....
 

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
6,749
Reaction score
8,044
Location
Colorado
Media
231
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
Excellent report Toby! Hmm...wonder if I can delete mine? Just kidding! Your writing is like your music, dramatic!

I’ve been hoping you would write your hunt up. It was a bit more exciting than mine.

Bullet wise, it seems to me they didn’t dump enough energy inside since they zipped on through. My 235 grain TSX stayed in the animal. That amazed me! A Barnes that didn’t go all the way through the animal. Lions are nothing but muscle and bone! Very solid animals.

What ever, it was an exciting few seconds!
 
Last edited:

K-man

AH elite
Joined
Apr 14, 2013
Messages
1,785
Reaction score
3,297
Media
71
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
Spain, Alaska, RSA, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, British Columbia, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming
Congrats on your lioness! Lots of different emotions when hunting a big cat, and you captured almost all of them in a quick second or two. Nice job! All the professional people I talked to before my lion hunt said the same thing, a Barnes is too tough for a lion, I use them for a lot of things, but I used a Nosler Partition.
Thanks for the writeup
 

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
6,749
Reaction score
8,044
Location
Colorado
Media
231
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
but I used a Nosler Partition.
I believe you made the right decision. I think the way we hunted them, a 300 grain Nosler Partition would have worked better. Or a NorthFork 300 grain PP designed specifically for cats.
 

cls

AH elite
Joined
Jan 27, 2014
Messages
1,728
Reaction score
1,246
Location
Alberta, Canada
Media
65
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI, AHEIA
Hunted
Canada(AB, BC, SASK, NWT)), USA (WY, MN, TX), South Africa (Limpopo and Eastern Cape), Zambia
Well done, excellent write up.
 

CAustin

Bronze supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
14,366
Reaction score
11,583
Media
258
Hunting reports
Africa
7
Member of
Courtney Hunting Club, NRA Life Member, SCI Kansas City Chapter
Hunted
South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Kalahari, Northwest, Limpopo, Gauteng, APNR Kruger Area. USA Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas
Dust flew up from behind the Land Cruiser, nearly choking everyone on board. A very abrupt stop had left us on the down wind side of a large mouthful of the Kalahari. PH Seun jumped out of the now still vehicle and looked intently at something on the right side of the road. A bit angry, and somewhat tickled at the fact that the tracker perched on front of the cruiser had mistaken Zebra tracks for Lion spoor. He muttered in his broken English, "Fuck William!!! We're not hunting Zebra!!!" Half smiling and somewhat irritated, Seun returned to the Toyota for another spin around the block.

We were dragging a small brushy tree top behind us, in order to cover up any old spoor that was left from the previous days and nights before we arrived for our safari. So far we had "closed off" several blocks, and were hoping to catch the fresh spoor of a Lioness lurking from one piece of land to another. Then.....William spoke something in Afrikaans that made Seun slam on the brakes once again. Fresh spoor! The hunt was on....

Single file, we lined up behind Seun and his tracker, William, a keen eyed African with a quiet demeanor. A tracker with quite a reputation for finding game when the chips were down. This day would be no different.
Not long after we started on the spoor, we heard the call of a loan Lioness, some 300 yards in the distance. We started closing the distance on her, before we realized that she was doing the same for us. Things were starting to feel real. Could I really be hunting Lion? Is this a dream? Well...that one I can answer. It was definitely a dream. A dream I had harbored for years. A dream of hunting animals that can bite and fight back. Animals that require large caliber weapons and the guts to stand your ground once the dance has begun. The cold breeze snapped me back into reality, and we stalked increasingly closer.

After a few more intense minutes of sneaking closer and closer, up came the sticks, and Seun whispered "there she is". I readied my 375 H&H for the shot, but she noticed a movement that she was unsure of, and she was gone like a flash! The chase was on.... We must stay on the spoor so we don't lose her. We must push her out of her comfort zone, so she doesn't lose interest in us. Either way, someone or something had to lose.

After a long, hard push, she began to realize that something was not right. Something was on her trail. She was used to being the hunter.....not the hunted. In a pride she would have none of this. But by herself, she was forced to be elusive, rather than aggressive. Circling us, she tried to figure out the source of her trouble. Half stalking...half hiding...she waited for us.

The wind was blowing abruptly, covering the sounds of our footsteps, and making our movements seemingly flow with the swaying African backdrop. Would she see us again and come? Or, would she see us again and go? She only had those options to choose from. If she chose to go, could we continue to keep up with her? If she chose to come, could we stop her, before she made a mockery of the puny humans that were giving her trouble? We would soon find out.... Win.....Lose.....or......Draw.

William, our tracker, spotted her first. Crouched down behind a particularly nasty stand of thorn bushes....she was waiting. The problem was, for her, she was on the wrong side of the bushes. We had caught her with her pants down. The wind had betrayed her.
The sticks slowly came up, and the forend of the Sako 375 virtually floated into position. Steady, aim......HOLY SHIT!!!! How did she take a direct hit to the vitals, from the mighty 375 and still bounce back up like a rubber ball??? A very pissed off rubber ball!!! Seun yelled, SHOOT HER AGAIN!!!! With a quickness I bolted another round into the Sako and let fly. Three hundred pounds of teeth and claws erupted at the second shot, summersaulting herself into the waiting thorn bushes. Then another shot. Down Goes Fraser again! And just as quickly, she was back on her feet. This time advancing, instead of retreating. For now she had noticed the source of her pain. Revenge, for her, would be sweet, if only she could muster enough strength to cover the needed 20 yards to get her claws into us. If only she could make it to us before the lights began to dim....we would pay. If only.....
As the fourth and fifth shots rang out, the lights, for her, began to fade. As the life and the hatred for us began to leave her body, she laid still. All was calm.

I'm telling you this story because my wish came true. I'm able to tell you this story because hers did not.

Until we meet again.

full

Well said my friend! Great story!
 

cagkt3

AH legend
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
2,926
Reaction score
2,039
Location
Texas
Media
87
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
1
Member of
DSC, SCI - West Texas Chapter, HSC, NRA Life Member, Ducks Unlimited
Hunted
South Africa, Zimbabwe, OK, TX, UT, KS
Well told, and congrats on the lioness man!!!
 

Nyati

AH ambassador
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
7,889
Reaction score
3,334
Location
Madrid, Spain
Media
117
Hunting reports
Africa
6
Europe
1
Member of
RFEC, RFETO
Hunted
Spain, Finland, RSA ( KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, North West, Northern Cape, Free State ).
Congrats Toby, a lion (or lioness) coming up to you is a different experience, one you will never forget !
 

Art Lambart II

AH elite
Joined
Apr 24, 2015
Messages
1,011
Reaction score
1,548
Location
Kansas City
Media
27
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI, QDMA
Hunted
MI, TX, MO, South Africa Limpopo & Northwest Provinces
Great write up Toby, I'm glad you got your lioness. After these last two DG hunts do you regret selling Charlie that 470NE double?
 

Forum statistics

Threads
36,787
Messages
697,649
Members
64,824
Latest member
xiaotiancang2
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

Rob404 wrote on Newboomer's profile.
I,d like to buy some pistol primers if they available,thanks
Rifle57 wrote on Rimshot's profile.
I bought some bullets from Rimshot and he is good to trade with!
Greetings all! I've been a hunter for 50 years, but only now planning a trip to Africa. I was fortunate and successfully bid on a couple hunts for plains game in SA later this year and next. Also a rare Native Texas (5th generation) and USMC Vet. Hunt safe y'all!
uujm wrote on trg's profile.
I am looking for a Safari Express. Was yours made in New Haven or South Carolina? Any other details you can give me? I am very motivated to buy.
pimes wrote on flatwater bill's profile.
Hello Bill - can you tell me that landowner/ranch/outfitter - Thank you!
 
Top