TANZANIA: Bullet Safaris - Nathan Askew - Leopard/Buffalo Hunt - October 2020

M Whitley

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Day 9:
We enter the blind in the dark this morning and sit for this no name cat, right as you could start to see good we identify a leopard in the tree. Nathan says there is a cat in the tree we just have to wait and confirm it is the right cat. My excitement is through the roof as this no name cat was sleeping in the bait tree the previous morning very comfortable. As the cat is walking down the bait limb to exit Nathan confirms it is our cat but he never stops and exits the tree. We wait and stare at the bait branch for hours, the cat never returns.

We head back to fly camp #2 and take a needed shower and nap. Sit this evening again with no activity.

Day 10:
We sit again for the no name cat this morning with no activity on the bait, we hear a leopard grunting this morning not too far away. When the truck picks us up we circle wide around the back of the mountain to try and get a bait animal on the way back to fly camp. The tracker snaps, there is impala and we exit the truck. We make a short stalk into the bush and I shoot an impala ram as a bait animal. Some pictures and back to fly camp for a nap, shower, and refresh for tonight’s sit.
We sit tonight and no activity on the bait limb, what a mentally exhausting roller coaster.
Photo Oct 11, 2 15 32 AM.jpg
Photo Oct 11, 2 15 49 AM.jpg
 

M Whitley

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Day 11:
We sit again for the no name cat, we have a female and a half grown female cub on bait all morning at the tree. I did get a good picture out of the blind of the female on the bait. Today when the truck picks us up we take the same route back to fly camp #2 and I shoot an impala ram for another bait animal. When we get back to fly camp after the evening sit the other bait truck gives Nathan the SD cards and there is a new male on the bait where the “jack” cat was originally. I am assuming the lions ran “one eyed Jack” off several days ago. Nathan says he is a shooter but not as big as the cat we are hunting.

Day 12:
We sit again this morning for the no name cat with no activity. Each morning when the truck picks us up they crew refreshes the bait and changes cards. The no name cat is getting in the tree about 10-15 minutes after we leave each evening. Nathan is going to have the other truck park under the bait tree tonight in hopes of keeping the cat out of the tree to make him show in the morning after we are dropped off. We hunt our way towards the “Jack” bait in hopes of picking up another zebra for bait and sit for the new arrival cat this evening.

We spot zebra and off the truck, as we are stalking you can see the dark clouds starting to roll towards us. Then the rain and wind starts, needless to say no zebra. We only have 6 sits left on the safari so we sit in the rain for the new arrival cat at the “Jack” bait with no activity.

Day 13:
The truck was under the bait tree all night and we sit in hopes the cat will feed this morning. We do hear grunting rather close by again however the cat does not get in the tree. We sit with no activity and when the card is pulled the female and young female were feeding all night with the truck under the tree and the driver shining his flashlight on them! These cats are relaxed and not worried about Askew’s Army one bit! We dedicate our last two sits to the new arrival cat.

We nap at fly camp and the Army will pack it up while we are sitting in the blind tonight. Back to main camp after our sit tonight. The new arrival cat is more consistent in the morning but we still sit this evening in hopes of a shot. No activity tonight, it’s a long 2.5 hour drive back to main camp thinking about my final sit of the safari tomorrow morning. I do find the strategy and brain work enjoyable though.
Photo Oct 12, 12 40 06 AM.jpg
Photo Oct 13, 3 57 47 AM.jpg
Photo Oct 14, 5 37 57 AM.jpg
 

Ridgewalker

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What a grand time! I am really enjoying this adventure with Bullet Safaris! Fly camps and moving around so much to different areas...exciting!
 

MMAL

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I know this already happened but the suspense is killing me. I am gonna wish you good luck even though it makes no sense to do so. Good Luck!
 

M Whitley

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What a grand time! I am really enjoying this adventure with Bullet Safaris! Fly camps and moving around so much to different areas...exciting!
In my mind this is how it was done 100 years ago! Nathan has an outstanding operation in Tanzania!
 

Art Lambart II

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Great report, I cant wait to read about the rest of your adventure
 

M Whitley

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Day 14:
The truck got us to the blind about a half hour before light this morning and dropped us off. Once in the blind Nathan radioed the truck to leave. As the truck pulled forward the headlights barely hit the bait limb. Nathan and I both looking at the limb saw a cat in the tree at the bait. The cat let the truck leave and went back to feeding. We could hear him crunching bones and feeding in the tree in the dark. My biggest fear was he would feed and leave the tree before it was light enough for Nathan to confirm the cat and get a shot.

As the limb became easier to see in the light so did the cat. It seemed like days but in all reality about 30 minutes or so. Nathan confirmed this is our cat and when he stands he will give me directions on where to aim and tell me when to shoot.

The cat stands and Nathan explains the aiming point, the cat lays back down. No shot. This happens at least three times, my nerves are about shot at this point. The last day, the last sit, and the start and stop is mentally exhausting.

Finally the cat stands and Nathan says on the crease half way up the body based on how he is standing. Nathan says “shoot, shoot” and I hold my breath and squeeze the trigger. The cat nose dives off the bait limb and a loud thud is heard when he hit the ground.

My last day leopard is down! Hugs in the blind and a cautious approach to the expired cat. More hugs and here comes the cruiser honking the horn and yelling in celebration! Lots of pictures and a fast drive back to camp to get the cat skinned out.

Back at camp we had a morning whiskey celebration and packed as we would drive out for Arusha at midnight. Completed some paperwork, early dinner and off to bed.

Travel Day:
Leave at midnight for Arusha, about 4:30 am we finally get to a dirt road… yes 4.5 hours driving in the bush to get to a dirt road.

We drop our game scout off and drive another 11 hours to Arusha. Everyone should drive it out I think to see the villages, towns, and cities along the way. Makes you realize how lucky we are in the states.

Boarded the plane from Kilimanjaro at midnight headed home.

The Bullet Safaris team is outstanding, from planning to the moment I got to airport on my way home everything was top notch and I always knew what was going on. Cannot recommend Nathan Askew and Bullet Safaris enough.
Photo Oct 14, 11 04 49 PM.jpg
Photo Oct 14, 11 04 56 PM.jpg
Photo Oct 15, 12 41 12 AM.jpg
 

Jfet

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An Outstanding Adventure!!!!
 

cpr0312

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WOW! What a last day! Congrats and thanks for sharing!
 

cls

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Well done, congratulations on all your animals. Thanks for posting your hunt
 

MMAL

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Nicely Done! and Congrats on a great cat.


Stay tuned day 14 is the best one!


If I didn't always use my iphone to look at AH I would have noticed your avatar and realized you did get the cat. Awesome trip.
 

WAB

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Great safari, thanks for sharing it with us!
 

huntermn15

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Thank you for the great report and congratulations on your successful safari!!! Beautiful trophies and memories.
 

CAustin

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Great report and congrats on a fine cat!
 

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