SOUTH AFRICA: Cat Scratch Fever In The Kalahari

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by TOBY458, Aug 12, 2019 at 6:30 PM.

  1. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    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.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2019 at 6:51 PM

  2. Jfet

    Jfet AH Elite

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    That is a marvelous sentence!!!
     

  3. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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  4. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    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."
     

  5. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    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.
     

  6. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for sharing this story with us! I really enjoyed it, congrats on the lioness!!
     
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  7. Edge

    Edge BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    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?
     
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  8. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    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....
     
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  9. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    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: Aug 12, 2019 at 7:29 PM
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  10. K-man

    K-man AH Elite

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    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
     
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  11. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    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.
     
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  12. cls

    cls AH Elite

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    Well done, excellent write up.
     
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  13. DillonG

    DillonG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Member

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    Appreciate you sharing the story.
     
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  14. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Well said my friend! Great story!
     
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  15. Smitty

    Smitty AH Senior Member

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    Excellent writing! Thank you.
     
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  16. cagkt3

    cagkt3 AH ENABLER PLATINUM SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Well told, and congrats on the lioness man!!!
     
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  17. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats Toby, a lion (or lioness) coming up to you is a different experience, one you will never forget !
     
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  18. Art Lambart II

    Art Lambart II AH Fanatic

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    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?
     
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  19. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    A double would've definitely been comforting on the buffalo follow up! But, I guess I'll stick with bolt guns for now.
     

  20. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    This is one of the articles I'm trying to get published.
     

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