ZAMBIA: Lion Safari With Strang Middleton

cpr0312

AH ambassador
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
10,704
Reaction score
16,060
Location
North Carolina
Media
355
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
7
USA/Canada
1
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA Life Member
Hunted
US (All over), New Zealand, South Africa(Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Northwest), Zimbabwe, Zambia
Congrats on a nice buff after a lot of days looking!!
 

JES Adventures

AH fanatic
Joined
Mar 7, 2015
Messages
836
Reaction score
2,590
Location
Texas
Website
www.ranchinvestments.com
Media
213
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
15
USA/Canada
3
Mex/S.Amer
1
Member of
Life Member of DSC, NRA and SCI
Hunted
Botswana, Cameroon, CAR, Ethiopia, Namibia, RSA, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia. US, Canada, Arctic, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, U.K., Romania, Tadjikistan, Nepal, China, Australia and New Zealand
Strang and me with the Bull
82726661-45EF-47F4-9DA9-168C7A74F6B1.jpeg
 

gillettehunter

AH legend
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
3,909
Reaction score
4,724
Location
WYOMING
Media
106
Hunting reports
Africa
7
USA/Canada
5
Asia/M.East
2
Australia/NZ
1
Hunted
Namibia, Kyrgyzstan(2) South Africa(4) New Zealand Zambia(2)
Nice buffalo. Congrats and good shooting.
Bruce
 

JES Adventures

AH fanatic
Joined
Mar 7, 2015
Messages
836
Reaction score
2,590
Location
Texas
Website
www.ranchinvestments.com
Media
213
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
15
USA/Canada
3
Mex/S.Amer
1
Member of
Life Member of DSC, NRA and SCI
Hunted
Botswana, Cameroon, CAR, Ethiopia, Namibia, RSA, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia. US, Canada, Arctic, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, U.K., Romania, Tadjikistan, Nepal, China, Australia and New Zealand
Did any
Day 9

Well it’s a good thing they did not move my bed outside yesterday as requested. Sometimes late in the night, an odd noise woke me up. I realized then I should use the bathroom, so I glanced out of my open door and there in the moonlight was a young Elephant bull feeding on the grass 40’ from me! I did my business and went back to sleep while he finished eating.

The generator came on and I go up and started getting ready for the new day. After coffee and biscuits, we were headed to the Plain to look for Buffalo. Shortly after we arrived (about 5:20) we could see a massive cloud of dust in the distance and the binoculars confirmed a huge herd of Buffalo 500-600+ animals. We drove to the check the bait and keep an eye on the Buffalo to make a plan after we can determine their direction of heading. Before we could round the corner of the bush to check the bait a Leopard ran out in front of us, went about 300 yards and stopped to look at us. What a beautiful sight in the early morning light! The trackers and scout said it was a female.

Strang checked the game camera while I watched the Buffalo herd moving about. I told Strang some of the herd was moving right and some moving left. The herd on the right broke and ran while the ones on the left continued to walk and feed. Strang said “something is not right out there; they shouldn’t be splitting up maybe the Lion’s are harassing them”.

We stayed in place right by our bait and watched the Buffalo herd moving about so we could decide whether to move further in and make a plan to get on them. All of the sudden Darrison the tracker said “Lion”, there were two males! They had been trailing the Buffalo and caught the scent of our bait and were coming in for an inspection. We backed out of there and got into position for them to come in and feed and they followed the plan to perfection. We were able to watch, video and record these two males feed for nearly half an hour. One is clearly more mature and has all the signs of a legal cat such as a a black nose, stained teeth and the mane is past his shoulders.

Strang wants to be absolutely sure the cat is of adequate age to harvest so we raced back to camp so he could email pictures and video to the head of the Lion research department within National Parks for their confirmation.

Once again, as always with cat hunting, we are in hurry up and wait mode. As you can imagine, the anticipation is grueling. After 6 days of hunting, checking baits and having on again off again lioness hitting the baits and now a mature male in front of us and we cannot shoot! Fortunately, the lions were calm and laying down in a bit of heavy bush behind the bait when we left them so we are optimistic they will be there when we return.

Ibi Nkonde (the Concession Holder) came back to Strang and said we have the approval so its game on! As we race back to the bait, my mind runs so many scenarios and Debra seems to remain calm and collected. She studies the kill shot picture on her phone, so she is certain to make the correct shot when the time comes.

We arrived at Chipuka Plain at 8:22. As we approached the thorn bush where we last saw them, they were still bedded down but the younger male quickly got up and was off. The larger male slipped off into the thick bush behind, so we backed off into some shade and waited.

We are watching the bait and some vultures have gotten interested. If they decide to work over the bait, our Lions will be up and on them in no time. While we were talking through various scenarios of how the day will go, we feel like the Lions will come and feed late afternoon. Debra said, “look the Lions are up”! We glassed and identified it to be the younger male, most likely going for water.

We took the opportunity to prepare the machan while the Lion was bedded in the thicket and the other off to water. Patiently we wait as the day grows hotter. Fortunately, we are Blessed with a steady breeze but when it dies down the Mopani flies hammer you.

The temperature on the Plain is in the mid 90’s now at 10 o’clock. and we are mentally prepared for a long day. By noon it’s over 105. Fortunately, the breeze has stayed with us most of the day. The next 3 hours will be the hottest time of the day.

Shortly after one, a fair number of vultures had arrived and their racket agitated the lion and he came to run them off. It was quite a sight as he came in and they all backed up some flew off, he laid down under the bait with most of his vitals hidden by the large base of the tree. You could see his nose and mouth, occasionally one eye and he would snarl and growl at the vultures as they approached the bait.
View attachment 370846


This lasted for only a few minutes and when the vultures finally retreated, he was up and did an about face and disappeared into the bush never presenting a shot.

It took a while for the vultures to gather enough confidence to try again but slowly they returned.

About 3:30 the Lion had enough again and out he come and protect his meat. After he dispersed the crowd of vultures, he did almost the exact same thing and lie down behind the bait tree with the massive trunk blocking all of his vitals. What seemed like an eternity but was probably only a few minutes of waiting he finally stood up to run the vultures off and then lie back down. This time he was showing enough shoulder for a shot.

Debra settled in for the shot and squeezed the trigger on the 375. As the shot rang out the Lion rolled over almost instantly. Strang told her to reload and put another shot in right below the first one for insurance.

We watch for movement, any sign of life to be sure that he is completely dead before we approach. One of the trackers gets out to approach within a few yards and throws a stick at the lion, he didn’t move. The flood of emotions that ran across everyone was intense as we have been waiting for this Lion for nearly nine hours today after first seeing him.

Congratulations, hugs, thanks and handshakes ensued as we approached the monarch.

View attachment 370852

View attachment 370854


A spectacular old male, battle scars on his hip from a buffalo most likely and evidence of a poachers snare around his neck at one time. His lower right canine what’s broken and worn down about 1/3 his upper left canine was completely broken off at the gum-line as well as missing several teeth. A beautiful old trophy, and the ideal animal to take out of the population.
View attachment 370855
I thought to myself and commented what a huge loss it would’ve been for this stately king of the beasts to die a grisly death being hung by a snare and most definitely eaten by hyenas. Now he will be preserved in perpetuity for people to observe, admire and respect. In my humble opinion, the Lion is without a doubt the finest big game animals on the African Continent.

The jubilant ride back to camp was lively with the trackers singing their song of a successful hunt today. Once in camp, all of the staff came out and celebrated with Debra while Strang promptly distributed cold beers. A toast to the huntress, and a toast to the hunted.

After the commotion settled down, one of the staff told Strang the fisherman had reported seeing a big Elephant Bull the last two days drinking at a lagoon where they were fishing. He sent the trackers to vet the story and they came back and relayed the information. We will go there tomorrow morning ourselves and talk to them.

After hippo stir-fry for dinner what’s that under the canopy of trees in camp, sipped champagne and we love to hunt over and again.

What an honor and a Blessing it has been to be back in the Luangwa Valley, a truly magical place. The experiences that we had with the Lions today is one that was absolutely priceless.

Lights off at 10, we’re back to Chipuka Plain tomorrow in search of Buffalo and drop the baits.
did anyone take note of the temperature on the game camera pic?
 

cpr0312

AH ambassador
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
10,704
Reaction score
16,060
Location
North Carolina
Media
355
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
7
USA/Canada
1
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA Life Member
Hunted
US (All over), New Zealand, South Africa(Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Northwest), Zimbabwe, Zambia
Did any

did anyone take note of the temperature on the game camera pic?


I did! I cringed when I saw it, but knew the sting was taken away with that incredible lion and a few ice cold Mosi!!!
 

JES Adventures

AH fanatic
Joined
Mar 7, 2015
Messages
836
Reaction score
2,590
Location
Texas
Website
www.ranchinvestments.com
Media
213
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
15
USA/Canada
3
Mex/S.Amer
1
Member of
Life Member of DSC, NRA and SCI
Hunted
Botswana, Cameroon, CAR, Ethiopia, Namibia, RSA, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia. US, Canada, Arctic, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, U.K., Romania, Tadjikistan, Nepal, China, Australia and New Zealand
BTW - I was talking with Strang about Covid in Zambia. Seems not to be so bad. The indigenous people have told him “this is a white mans disease, we aren’t worried”.
 

Nyati

AH ambassador
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
8,232
Reaction score
3,812
Location
Madrid, Spain
Media
135
Hunting reports
Africa
6
Europe
2
Member of
RFEC, RFETO
Hunted
Spain, Finland, RSA ( KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, North West, Northern Cape, Free State ).
And now a very nice buff, congrats !
 

Dee S

AH enthusiast
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
Messages
443
Reaction score
583
Location
San Antonio, TX
Media
55
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Member of
Nimrod Rifle Club, DSC, SCI, NRA
Hunted
Texas, Wyoming, Kansas, Alaska, Namibia, Botswana
Great bull, impressive. Congratulations.
 

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
7,317
Reaction score
9,206
Location
Colorado
Media
244
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
4
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
All exceptional trophies! I am enjoying this vicarious escape a lot!
 

huntermn15

AH fanatic
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Messages
845
Reaction score
545
Location
Anchorage, Alaska
Media
8
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA, SCI, AK SCI
Hunted
U.S.A. NJ, TX, AZ, AK. Limpopo and the Kalihari in South Africa. Eastern Cape RSA 2017.
Congratulations to all on a fantastic lion, and what a wonderful bull you got yourself!! Looking forward to the rest of the report. Thank you for sharing!
 

Philip Glass

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH legend
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
4,348
Reaction score
7,858
Location
Texas
Website
www.dorper.net
Media
101
Articles
13
Hunting reports
Africa
9
USA/Canada
2
Asia/M.East
2
Member of
NRA, Life SCI, Life DSC, Life EWA
Hunted
RSA, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Austria, Australia, TX, NM
Many thanks to all of my colleagues on the forum, I’ve always appreciated the support and professionalism of the members. As hunters we are conservationists, and our moneys and efforts permeate throughput our sport to perpetuate these great species that we pursue around the world
Yes and engaging in a lion hunt is one of if not the best act of conservation we have today.
 

Philip Glass

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH legend
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
4,348
Reaction score
7,858
Location
Texas
Website
www.dorper.net
Media
101
Articles
13
Hunting reports
Africa
9
USA/Canada
2
Asia/M.East
2
Member of
NRA, Life SCI, Life DSC, Life EWA
Hunted
RSA, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Austria, Australia, TX, NM
Day 11

I woke this morning just before the generator and felt great. A quick cup of coffee and we were on the road. We arrived Chipuka Plain at first light and made our rounds searching for the Buffalo.
Once again, we came up empty as the herds mist still be in the park.
We hit the main road that separates Luambe National Park from the concession and Strang had just got up to cruising speed when Darrison said “Buffalo”.
Strang came to a halt and reversed to where we could see them. A small group with some nice bulls. The Buffalo were about 120 yards into the concession and disappeared into the bush.
Quickly we offloaded and we’re on the tracks. It took us about 15 minutes to catch them and we could see several bulls. It is a small group with 8-10 bulls and an equal amount of cows and calves.
It was hard to get a good look as they were in and out of the dense bush. Several times we button hooked to get back in front of them. On about the 7th or 8th time we got to a place we could see them Strang set the sticks as we glassed.

The bulls were scattered amongst the group but we both saw the biggest bull at the same time. I got my rifle up on the sticks trying to locate the Bull - they are about 80 yards out.

Strang said “there he is by that white tree”. I struggled to find the white tree. Then he said “another bull just passed in front of him” and when he did I was on the bull.
I slipped the safety off and as he stepped forward quartering away I saw my shot and took it.
The 375 jumped and I reloaded. The herd thundered off into the concession with my bull far at the rear. We started heading towards the tracks and Strang stopped and said “listen” he had heard the bull. As we picked up our pace a loser bellow was heard. Strang pointed and we turned towards the noise and shortly thereafter was the final death bellow.
As we approached we could see the Bull was down and not breathing. Strang brought me around and told me to put an insurance shot in him along the spine. The rifle went off and the bull didn’t move, he was dead.

When I walked around front and saw him fully for the first time I was ecstatic. A beautiful bull with nice bosses, character and width.

After handshakes and congrats the boys got him cut in half and loaded so we could get to camp. Our plan is to have a good breakfast and go wait for the Elephant.
View attachment 371034
Great one shot kill on the buff! Where did you hit him? On the shoulder, behind the shoulder? What ammo did you use. Again well done.
 

Philip Glass

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH legend
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
4,348
Reaction score
7,858
Location
Texas
Website
www.dorper.net
Media
101
Articles
13
Hunting reports
Africa
9
USA/Canada
2
Asia/M.East
2
Member of
NRA, Life SCI, Life DSC, Life EWA
Hunted
RSA, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Austria, Australia, TX, NM
BTW - I was talking with Strang about Covid in Zambia. Seems not to be so bad. The indigenous people have told him “this is a white mans disease, we aren’t worried”.
True. The native peoples, or anyone who lives like them, have a better immune system than modern society with all its antibacterial soaps and sanitizers!
 

JES Adventures

AH fanatic
Joined
Mar 7, 2015
Messages
836
Reaction score
2,590
Location
Texas
Website
www.ranchinvestments.com
Media
213
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
15
USA/Canada
3
Mex/S.Amer
1
Member of
Life Member of DSC, NRA and SCI
Hunted
Botswana, Cameroon, CAR, Ethiopia, Namibia, RSA, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia. US, Canada, Arctic, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, U.K., Romania, Tadjikistan, Nepal, China, Australia and New Zealand
Day 11

With the Lion and Buffalo in the salt, we are focused now on the Elephant and he typically does not come to the lagoon until after noon. So we slept in (6AM) and enjoyed coffee on the banks of the Luangwa watching Puku start the mating season. With the rains starting to fall, all the animals know the season is changing.

We pulled out of camp about 11 and got to the lagoon by 11:35. When we turned off the road we could see another vehicle at the lagoon. It was the Chief, he was out fishing this morning. The scout and head tracker Stanley went over and explained to the chief why we were there and since he has a vested interest in me taking the Elephant (meat for his community) he packed up and left within a few minutes.

As the afternoon grew hotter, a steady flow of game came to water including two cow/calf herds of Elephant, Waterbuck, Bushbuck and Puku. By two it was hot, 98 degrees in the shade but there was a nice breeze across the water and it was comfortable. The fisherman said they have never seen the bull after 3PM so we packed it in shortly after and did a drive along the river.

Back at camp for sunset, a fantastic meal of Buffalo tenderloin with mashed potatoes and mixed veggies. A storm was brewing late afternoon and we got a bit of rain so the temperatures have dropped a bit. We are all looking forward to a cool night sleep as we are up at 4 tomorrow. Strang said with these rains in the area, the Elephant will be moving around so we are going to make the best of our last day.
 

JES Adventures

AH fanatic
Joined
Mar 7, 2015
Messages
836
Reaction score
2,590
Location
Texas
Website
www.ranchinvestments.com
Media
213
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
15
USA/Canada
3
Mex/S.Amer
1
Member of
Life Member of DSC, NRA and SCI
Hunted
Botswana, Cameroon, CAR, Ethiopia, Namibia, RSA, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia. US, Canada, Arctic, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, U.K., Romania, Tadjikistan, Nepal, China, Australia and New Zealand

JES Adventures

AH fanatic
Joined
Mar 7, 2015
Messages
836
Reaction score
2,590
Location
Texas
Website
www.ranchinvestments.com
Media
213
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
15
USA/Canada
3
Mex/S.Amer
1
Member of
Life Member of DSC, NRA and SCI
Hunted
Botswana, Cameroon, CAR, Ethiopia, Namibia, RSA, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia. US, Canada, Arctic, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, U.K., Romania, Tadjikistan, Nepal, China, Australia and New Zealand
Great one shot kill on the buff! Where did you hit him? On the shoulder, behind the shoulder? What ammo did you use. Again well done.
Thanks Phillip, I was using Barnes X 300 gr out of the 375 H&H. The bull was quartering away and the instant I saw the shot I knew to take it. He ran less than 100 yards.
 

375 Ruger Fan

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
Jun 14, 2015
Messages
4,337
Reaction score
7,189
Location
Shreveport, Louisiana
Media
237
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
7
USA/Canada
4
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA, DSC
Hunted
Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa (Eastern Cape & NW), Canada, New Zealand, Alaska, TX, LA, MO, OH, MT, ID, WA, WY
Did any

did anyone take note of the temperature on the game camera pic?

Several years from now, when you are re-telling the story of this hunt.........113F in the shade........

1602189185292.png
 

Bill116

AH senior member
Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
61
Reaction score
146
Location
Frankfort
Media
5
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA
Hunted
US: NY, PA, Alaska, Texas, Colorado,Kentucky, Ohio, CanadaL Ontario, Quebec: South Africa
Excellent story of a fantastic hunt. Congrats to the Mrs on a beautiful lion. Am enjoying going along for the ride, as many on here are. A well written hunt report. Thanks again.
 

Philip Glass

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH legend
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
4,348
Reaction score
7,858
Location
Texas
Website
www.dorper.net
Media
101
Articles
13
Hunting reports
Africa
9
USA/Canada
2
Asia/M.East
2
Member of
NRA, Life SCI, Life DSC, Life EWA
Hunted
RSA, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Austria, Australia, TX, NM
Thanks Phillip, I was using Barnes X 300 gr out of the 375 H&H. The bull was quartering away and the instant I saw the shot I knew to take it. He ran less than 100 yards.
Barnes is the bomb! Incredible performance.
Philip
 

Forum statistics

Threads
39,391
Messages
765,973
Members
72,137
Latest member
CharlesTef
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

Rare Breed wrote on USMA84DAB's profile.
1631552006164.png
elkhunter77 wrote on Mark Biggerstaff's profile.
Yes, I am interested in some A Frames to load, if they are the 300 grain or other that will work for Cape Buff. I need enough to work up a load and sight in, then carry over there
KKovar wrote on AfricaHunting.com's profile.
Wow, great response regarding the title of a thread and an amazing site.
Jerycmeach wrote on Bullet Safaris's profile.
I am interested in hearing about your wild lion hunts.
Daniel Cary wrote on Thomas Rutledge's profile.
Greetings Mr. Rutledge. My apologies for the latent reply, cell/email prohibited during working hours, apx 72 a week, yikes! I just wanted to thank you for keeping me in mind for possible 577 loads. I actually purchased a few rounds, however, the firearm is still on the fence at this point.
Many Thanks, again. Regards, Dan.
 
Top