Today actually began last night. Although it was supposed to be my fiancé’s hunt she said “why don’t you hunt a lion”. Reason being that thanks to the Mental Midgets at US Fish & Wildlife and their complete lack of conservation knowledge they banned the import of lion from South Africa back in 2016. That dramatically dropped the price of lion.
I WhatsApp’d my PH and the process to make it happen was underway.
First light this morning the trackers were driving the 17,000+ acres looking for fresh tracks while another truck was dragging a small tree behind them to wipe out all previous tracks.
At breakfast we got word that they had found some old tracks and were following those in hopes of them freshening.
After a great breakfast we headed out. My plan was that if Africa gave me a lion I’d take it with my double.
We spent maybe an hour on the lion’s track, it getting fresher and fresher.
All of a sudden, while everyone else is focused on the tracks in the road my fiancé nudges me and says “there he is”.
Sure enough not 15 yards from us is the lion in the grass under a tree. The two PH’s disembark, grab and load their rifles. The lion watches. My PH hands me my double, I drop two 475 No 2 rounds in it and disembark as well. The lion watches.
He is facing me straight on. I don’t want to shoot him in the head so I’m waiting for him to get up. The sights are on him and the second PH says something to me. I make the mistake of turning to face him and the lion is up and off.
Running away from me the second PH encourages me to shoot him in the arse. I decline. And he’s gone.
The three trackers get on him immediately and for the next two miles on foot we track the lion. Through knee high grass and lots of brush and trees it was amazing these trackers could stay on him.
It was now a very hot day. Eventually we spotted him in the shade of some small trees. 60+ yards and broadside. A shot I can make with the double.
But the lead PH is unaware of this and attempts to get me closer. The lion has had enough and is off. The tracking continues.
Eventually we need a pee break, stop for that, and I say to my fiancé “this should allow the lion to quit running from us” and it did. Another 15 minutes or so and we jumped him again. No time for a shot.
A while longer and we lost the track. We headed back to the hunting car and started driving the roads. We even pulled into the brush weaving our way through gaps while the three trackers spread out. We hoped we’d come across the tracks again.
After about an hour of this the hunting car sped up dashing its way through the brush no longer looking for aardvark holes.
The truck suddenly pulled up. The three trackers to our right on a hot track.
My fiancé nudges me and says “there he is” pointy to the brush encumbered tree directly in front of us not 20-25 yards away.
“Where” I say, “I can’t see him”. “Right there” she says while pointing. “I still can’t see him” say I. “Right at the base of the tree” she says.
Now I see him, well camouflaged. The trackers are less than 30 feet from him and don’t appear to have spotted him yet.
“I’m shooting” I say as the sights of my 1910 W.J. Jeffery 475 No 2 double line up right between his eyes. Boom! The 500 grain Woodleigh Soft Point hits him in the forehead and he is instantly dead.
You can imagine the shouts of joy from all of us, followed by hand shakes and hugs.
My Zambezi lady, my fiancé, was the first one to spot the lion both initially and at the conclusion of the hunt.
Amazing for a brand new hunter. I’m so proud.
What a team effort the hunt was, and what a fantastic fun hunt.