ZIMBABWE: 2018 Cast & Blast x2 With Nyamazana Safaris

cpr0312

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Congrats on a nice kudu!! Great sunset pic also!
 

AfricanEclipse

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Congrats on a nice kudu!! Great sunset pic also!

Thank you. This was actually the 4th bull I had seen. The first one I had a misfire. The second one I took a hail Mary shot as it went up through a narrow pass between two hills amongst trees. The third was very distant glimpse. I have a hard time remembering all of the incidents during the safari and paring them with the correct days! Now when did we see that Grysbok?? There were two different occasions! See?

Thanks again! :D
 

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You may have been in kudu utopia, but I would have been in nightcritter heaven! Oh am I jealous! A bunch of fine critters! Congratulations!
 

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You may have been in kudu utopia, but I would have been in nightcritter heaven! Oh am I jealous! A bunch of fine critters! Congratulations!

I was thinking this morning that I forgot the first attempt at a Hyena. :oops: Thank you for the segue to add this! :)

Jeff and Dana: Day 5, Evening
(Sunday, 22/7/2018)


As it turns out, the day before - the day we had a picnic in the bush - Mike asked if we wanted to try the Hyena bait with a caller. Sure! Just as the sun started going down we set up the truck at the side of the new bait area. Using a large speaker, audio amp, bluetooth receiver, and downloaded hyena, rabbit in distress, and a couple other sounds we started calling.
Within a short period of time we heard an answer! And another, and another. They were getting closer! Dana was in awe at the sound these critters make. I assured her these were not game to be taken lightly. They are dangerous and wary.

By now it was pretty dark and my Nikon Monarch 2.5-10x was good at gathering light but this was getting beyond its capabilities. They Hyena were at the perimeter of the opening and their calls were loud. Dana was freaked out by the sound and scared! A big one was crossing between two groups of trees at our 5 o'clock. "Can you see him?" Mike asked. I wasn't sure... A few moments went by and he said he was going to hit the hyena with a spotlight. Half a second later the Hyena was lit up like daylight and I quickly tried to put the crosshairs on him. At the sight of the stark, white, light the Hyena took flight and I let loose a round. A miss in the dark. The shot went high.

That was pretty exciting and Dana calmed down pretty quickly. She was NOT going to go behind a bush THERE! :LOL:

We packed everything back up and headed for camp and dinner. In my mind I was thinking, "The shot at the Wildebeest the day before went high, missed the baboon, second Kudu shot was a little high... Hmmm..." This was not sitting well with me.

***and the next day I have already posted.***
 

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The hyena report was very exciting! You’re right about them being very dangerous from what I have always read!
 

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Tuesday 24 July, Day 7 of Safari:

Breakfast sandwiches to go in the cool box, we are heading into the area of the poached giraffe to see if we can see the wild dogs and check out the waterhole for any signs of buffalo. Arriving at the closest point to the giraffe before sunrise we set off into the gloomy bush. The cursed/haunted man keeping a close eye over us as we pass through the bush below him.


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We head further into the bush with Sunday pointing the way towards the natural waterhole, with still plenty of water and animal sign around.

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There is also a strong odor of death and decay in the air and we soon find the snared giraffe, what a terrible waste. You can see the cable snare was set high for a giraffe.


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We pressed on about 100 yards and heard a deep rumbling growl and the bushes moving just a few yards up the hill from us, I will never forget that sound. Wayne whispers he thinks the dogs are harassing a leopard. All goes quiet and we continue on down the game trail and can see the wild dogs surveying us from atop a large granite boulder. We were treated to their presence for just a few seconds as the dogs swapped positions on the rock and then departed the area with a few more growls, around 6 or 7 in total. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get the long Olympus lens in play and only have a grainy pic from a cell phone to share. A magical moment just minutes after seeing the giraffe, the lows and highs of Africa.

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We continued on searching for signs of buffalo or eland, logging almost 5 miles before Sam collected us on the other side of the hunting block, still early in the morning. We saddled up in the Toyota and began driving the roads looking for sign and came across some fresh buffalo sign. Wayne and trackers survey the sign and Wayne says we should follow them up and have a look. We head off into the bush following the trackers and Wayne as they untangle the tracks as the buffalo pushed through deep grass and thickets.

About 35-40 minutes into our stalk, Wayne and I were standing together and we both were looking up at the granite mountain beside us that had some deep dark shadows. We both agreed we need to come back and explore the hillside for evidence of bushman.

The small group of buffalo are wandering around, looked like they had been feeding early that morning. At approximately 1030, 1.5 hours since leaving the truck, all hell broke loose to my left. I could hear the thumping of heavy hooves and the breaking of branches. I turn to my left and see Cowboy and Sunday in front of me, slowly moving down into a crouch with me just behind Wayne’s left shoulder. Wayne tells me to shoot the one on the left as I take in the seen and see a bull raise his head and look towards us. Was that the one on the left as I do a quick scan, yes it must be as he looks big at 40 yards.

I was conflicted, two guys in front of me that I could no longer see, Wayne’s left ear where my muzzle would end up. I wasn’t comfortable with the situation and stepped behind Wayne to the right trying to find what I believed was a safe shooting lane. I hear Wayne again, shoot him, as the bull turned to our right and the three were off in a cloud of dust and thundering hooves. By stepping to his right, I ended up blocking my view of the buffalo behind some trees and as they crossed in front of me I was on them, the cow and calf flash through my scope but I never saw the bull again.

I replay the events over and over, what should I have done. Taken two steps forward and taken the shot over or very close to the trackers? Wayne said I may have a chance at a buffalo and I felt bad I let the guys down as we had worked very hard all week long to get in position. Oh, the bull was very nice with good drop and width, a proper bull.

We track the small group of buffalo for the next five hours without catching up to them again, covering another 7-8 miles, collecting more snares along the way.

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We finally all collapse on one of the roads as we hadn’t eaten since dinner the night before. Sam fetches the truck as we hydrate and let our weary muscles recover. An orange never tasted so good! Sam brings the truck around and we scarf down our breakfast sandwiches. Its late afternoon now but Sunday believes the buffalo are not that far ahead of us.

We take off again after them, moving quickly as the shadows are growing long. Another 30-45 minutes and it appears they have slowed, moving close to a steep hillside with chest high grass and bush. We bust a group of francolins and they make a noisy retreat, we didn’t need that to happen. We take a few more steps around the side of the hill and I can see buffalo, but the francolin has given us away, hooves thundering down and across a valley headed up the next hill and through a gap in the hills as we run after them. We aren’t going to catch them and there isn’t much light left. We have a few Km to travel to hit the next road and move out smartly.

We did see a cow and a calf that must have split from the main herd after a few minutes of walking but didn’t see a bull with them. We finally reach the next road and Sam picks us up in the truck as the sun is setting. Everyone is sweaty, thirsty and our muscles are spent. My phone shows 16 miles walked today, Wayne’s phone and Michelle’s phone have logged 18 miles.

We load up in the truck and I take my spot in the high seat between Sam and Cowboy, we are all very quiet. We don’t drive for long and run into a big group of Impala feeding along the grassy roadside between heavy thorn thickets. I see a big ram, the biggest I’ve seen so far and whisper to Sam. He also thinks he’s a good one and Wayne gives the ok. No time for a stalk, as I’ve already got the red dot on the shoulder across the top rack. He steps clear and I shoot him in the shoulder with the -06 hoping to drop him on the side of the road. We don’t need to be crawling through a thorn thicket chasing a wounded impala after the day we have had!

No, he jumps into the thicket and disappears. We climb down out of the truck and the guys look along the road for a few minutes, its dark now and I hand my headlamp to Cowboy and head back to the truck to get my 1000 lumen torch. The trackers are looking and looking and Wayne gets out and starts searching, finally some blood. I hear a shout of good news and wind my way through the thorns and over the arch of the hill, nice impala. How he ran 100 yards without any plumbing I’ll never understand! By the time we get the impala up out of the thorn thicket its pitch dark.

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He would end up measuring out at 22 ¼”.

It was a long cold ride back to camp that evening but a cocktail sure did hit the spot! Dinner was Zebra meatballs in gravy and was delicious, although I probably would have eaten shoe leather at that point!
 
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BRICKBURN

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After a day like that I'm impressed you did not cook the Impala on the spot.
 

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That is a fine Impala. One of the better ones I have seen from Zim. You had a long day. Nice to get something for your efforts.
Bruce
 

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Jeff and Dana: Day 7, morning
(Tuesday, 24/7/2018)


*Alarm going off*

It was getting easier to get up now as the hunt seems to have gotten over a rough patch and things are starting to happen.

At breakfast we decided we were going to head out and try to find an elusive Bushbuck. We loaded up and off we went down the road. I expressed to Mike my concerns about where my rifle was hitting as opposed to where I was aiming.
He looked at me and we altered our plan almost instantly. He said, we are going to shoot your gun and see exactly where it's hitting. You're obviously not confident with it and we have got to fix that! We veered left and headed to the aircraft landing strip on the property.

There were a number of Giraffe on and around the field and we had to wait for them to clear away before we could get set up to shoot.
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Pizza made a quick target and Mike used his range finder to set it proper at 100 yards. Finding the most comfortable position I calmed my breathing and slowly squeezed the trigger. Gee, that was a bit loud and my shoulder let me know Newton's laws of motion were in effect! Funny how you don't notice those things when the adrenaline of shooting an animal is coursing through your veins...

Pizza ran back down to the target to verify the hit. About 8 inches high! Mike looks at me and asks if I was confident with the shot. You bet I was. I open the vertical scope adjuster and crank it down 10 clicks. I tap the adjuster with the cover (a habit my brother and me learned from our father when we were little) and put it back on. Pizza had come back and I was steady on the sticks again. Ka-boom! Down Pizza went again to get the target. Just a little high at 100 yards. Perfect. Confidence reborn.

(I have all the faith in the world in the Plano Field Locker I used to ferry my rifle from the USA. The rocks, bouncing in the truck, climbing through brush and trees, etc. however must not have been as kind to my weapon!)

Well, it's now past 7:30am and prime Bushbuck time is just about over. I still have plenty of animals on my list and we set out to find them.

Not more than 5 minutes later we happen upon a herd of Wildebeest ahead of us on the road. They spook and move to our right. We halt and glass. There is a nice bull still on the left side of the road. “Get ready!” says Mike. The bull trotted across the road to follow the herd which had angled towards our 4 o'clock and into some brush. He stopped and stared at us. During this I had gotten out of the truck and gone around the front of the truck to meet Mike on the side away from the herd. We set up the sticks at the back of the truck just in view of the bull. He trotted off a little and stopped again looking at us nearly straight on about 70 yards away. “He's a good one,” says Mike. I aimed just below the muzzle and a touch right. “Take him if you...” BOOM! I wasn't waiting around for him to find a bush to stand behind – not again! The 'Beest wheeled around and took off for cover.

We take off chasing him through the bush. About 50 yards into the chase we hear a crash. He's down!

We climb through some thick brambles and there he is.
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After pulling him out to a clear area we set up for some photos. He measured around 28-1/4 inches across. I'm all good with that!
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We get him loaded up into the truck and head for the skinning shed.

At the shed we can see one of the skinners finishing up a Genet of Ed's. Looking at the 'Beest the entry hole can be seen right where I aimed. The exit hole is in the far side rib cage. Judging by the amount of trauma that can be seen this guy wasn't going anywhere after that shot and was running on borrowed time.

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Okay. Still have to find a Bushbuck, Warthog, and maybe another Impala so off we go. We head back to Cave Rock to view the valley floor below and do some glassing.
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We weren't' there long when we hear a sound. The best I can describe it is a barking bleat. Mike says it is a Klipspringer. One of the younger trackers laughs and says it is a rock rabbit. They confer among each other over what the sound was while I continue to glass the area at the base of the massive boulder we're on. “Um. Hey guys.” I've got the binos up to my eyes and pointing down into the trees some 65 yards below and making a motion with my left pointer finger. “I see them. Down there!” Mike quickly comes over and I show him the legs and hooves I'm looking at. Sure enough. Klipspringer(s)! And there is a ram... a nice one. I can't see him so Mike moves me over a couple feet. There! I still can't see his head but I've got the body in my crosshairs. “He's a big one!” he says. “Do you have a shot?” I say, “Yep. I've got his shoulder.” “Shoot him.” (I hadn't planned on taking a Klipspringer as I didn't do much research at all on them. They ARE cool little animals so why not?)

By this stage of the game I trust my PH and without seeing Klippy's head, at around 9:45 am, I let the 300 WM rain down upon him. KA-BOOM! I see smoke, hooves, belly fur, and possibly even blood spray. Two or three females scurry away from the immediate area.

“You got him!” Mike exclaims with excitement. Pizza and Tiger head down to bring him up.
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When they get him up on top of the rock they both have huge smiles on their faces. Mike looks down at the Klipspringer and claps me on the back saying that this is the biggest Klipspringer he's ever seen taken! I didn't know how monumental this little guy really was until I looked up the record. The world record, to the best of my knowledge, is 6-3/8 inches. This one unofficially measured about 6-1/4 inches on one side and around 5-5/8 on the other.
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(There is no photo-shop action here folks! Those are REAL.)

We head back to the skinning shed. Weren't we just here??? The skinners were amazed to see my Klipspringer saying it is the biggest one that has ever been taken on this property.
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As it turns out, the guy that will be coming to pick up our trophies to prepare them for transport to the USA is a Master Measurer and will officially measure it after a month or so.

Leaving the skinning shed with a big bucket of guts we headed to another area to do a bait-drag for Hyena. We found a spot that Mike liked and got to work making a trail for the truck and setting up the area for evening shooting. I should say “they” got to work since the preferred place for Dana and me was in the truck and out of the way.
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When that was completed it was about time for lunch and a nice nap after such a busy morning. After a brief nap, Dana and me took a few photos of the grounds surrounding the lodging compound.

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The plan made during lunch was to get back out there around 3:15 and see if we could find a Bushbuck or some other critter to bag. Just before dark we would head to the new spot and try again for Hyena.

During our travels around the property we saw a number of interesting things but they can be used for filler on days not as busy as this one. (Besides, I can't remember exactly where they belong in the story! )

Jeff and Dana: Day 7, afternoon.
(Tuesday, 24/7/2018)


So far today: Wildebeest, Klipspringer, new Hyena spot, Lunch, nap, and... ??

The day quickly wound down without seeing much of anything and we headed for the Hyena bait. The truck got parked in a position so as to be as inconspicuous as possible when camouflaged yet provide us with good viewing and shooting angles. The truck was prepared as a blind that we sat on top of with matting and concealment netting surrounding it. The electronics were prepared and the sun was just about down.

Everything was in order: Dana on my left and Mike on my right (we were in the bench seat behind the cab in the bed). Pizza was behind us with his eagle-eyes as spotter. Tiger and Crank were somewhere behind the truck either sitting on the ground or keeping the bumper from floating up and away. The calling started around 6:30.

A fair amount of time passed by before we got a response to the game calls. The return calls sounded a little different and farther away than they did two days ago. They weren't as frequent either but the beasts were getting closer and closer. We constantly scanned the shadows and shapes in the gloom. Ahead at 1 o'clock It seemed a shape had appeared under a bush that hadn't been there before. I kept an eye on that spot. Soon we heard them at the edge of the clearing at our 6. Pizza spotted something moving from our 6 towards 4 on the outskirts of the clearing. It seemed to pause, then dart into the bushes never to be seen again.

Another call on the left and close! Dana, being on the outside of the bench, started freaking out because of the sheer volume and eerie sound they made. Mike whispered to Dana that she might have to bend over while I shoot. Maybe even use her as a shooting bench. Either way she needed to plug her ears! She was more scared of the Hyenas than me shooting across her back!! I really thought she might go berserk from fear...

There he is about 65 yards away at 9 o'clock. Pacing back and forth between bushes and trees. “Dana, bend over and plug your ears! You're going to be ok. JUST DON'T MOVE!” I whisper. I laid my rifle on my forearm across her back and looked through the scope. I can't make him out clearly enough for a shot in the gloom! Mike has his fancy, high power, LED spotlight for which he had a red lens made. He's going to light him up. “Ready?” “Yes...” The light goes on and I acquire the target. He starts to move and I squeeze the trigger. For a brief second the immediate area around the gun barrel is lit up by the fiery blast. The sound of bullet striking body is heard. He's hit!

Dana is tugged upright and she looks both terrified and relieved. “Did you get him?” “I think so. We'll see.” We climbed out of the truck and hurried over to where he was. Okay... Here are his tracks... Now we use extreme caution. A little further on: “Here's blood!” It was bright and contained tissue. A little further it looked like he stumbled and went down in the loose dirt then got up. More blood. Mike tells me these things are tough animals to kill and this isn't a surprise. I'm thinking to myself if this is a wounded animal Dana might be in danger. Searching for a wounded Hyena in the dark – yep, that's ideal! I kept her out in the open or near me – away from the bushes! Then one of the trackers calls out. He is found about 10 feet away. This beastie went some 30 yards with a 30 cal bullet through both lungs before going down for good!
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He isn't very old but that doesn't matter to me! What a way to end the day - today was a great triple header day!!!

I have to give Dana an immense amount of credit for being such a trooper and a very stable shooting rest!
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Later, after we all talked, Mike saw the shape in the bush too. He is sure it was a leopard. That explains why that first hyena disappeared the way he did. Interesting!

What will tomorrow hold? Hopefully drinks tonight first!
 
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BRICKBURN

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Holy hell that is an incredible Klippie. Congrats.
Nice team work on the Hyena.
 

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Just getting caught up on your report. Man o man what an adventure you had! Great report, photos and animals. Thanks for sharing!
 

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Congrats on the nice Klippy and hyeana!!!
 

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WOW just wow. What a day. Incredible Klippie. Congrats!
Bruce
 

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Lots of great pics fellas. Looks like the gals are having a good time hanging with you two yahoos

Dana seems to prefer Jack Daniels with her water - frozen water that is! :D Barman::D Beer Bottle:
She also has taken a liking to shooting my guns... and would happily shoot game given the chance...
I just have to make sure those two things don't get mixed because I can't run as fast and as far as I used to!!! :E Fear::S Sos::S Rip:
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Wednesday 25 July, Day 8 of Safari:


Breakfast sandwiches to go once again, we aren’t giving up on the buff or eland. We checked out a watering hole that some local intel said a buffalo bull was drinking below the dam, bad intel but a beautiful cold sunrise that morning.

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We drive the roads in the blocks where we have seen the most sign and find some buffalo sign that had not been there the day before. We grabbed the big rifles and set off on the spoor a little before eight am. We walked and walked and walked with the buffalo never stopping. The buffalo wound through thickets, walked up through the narrow mountain passages, crossed open terrain and kept on going and going and going.

I’m such a great guy and always keeping an eye out and thinking about my wonderful wife, I found her a new rock for her finger!

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We did run across some recent Sable tracks, looked to be a bull, cow and calf. This is the first signs we had seen of these free range sable and added a little excitement. At 1:30 in the afternoon now hot and sweaty, we took a break in the bottom of a dry creek bed providing us a bit of shade. A bottle of water and an apple to replenish some energy. We weren’t the only ones in the creek bottom and tried to entice Mr. Tortoise to come out and have a bit of apple. From what I can gather on-line, it appears to be a young leopard tortoise.


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We continue on for another hour and reach one of the roads and the buffalo spoor continued on across. They must have walked all night and morning without stopping! At times we thought we were getting close to them but in reality, they were most likely still hours ahead of us. Wayne mentioned a few times these buffalo aren’t normal! Sam went and fetched the truck as it was now after 3pm, a cold Coke and some water helped wash the dust away. Eleven miles covered and those buffalo were still going.

I was still after a good waterbuck and Wayne headed us in the direction of the rivers and lakes. We ran across a Warthog that was obviously in distress. I dismounted from the truck and Sam and I put a stalk on the sick hog and dispatched him quickly, I was glad to end its misery. The 165gr Peregrine penetrated the skull through and through.

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The shadows were growing long and we spotted a Waterbuck and after a few moments Wayne gave me the OK to shoot. He was in the middle of a thick thorn patch and I had no shot, I didn’t realize until we returned home that Michelle was able to snap a photo of a waterbuck in the thorn thicket, not sure this is him but you can see the maze I had to find a hole to shoot through.

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I picked out a spot ahead of him, hoping when he bolted I was in the right spot. Everything worked to perfection and we soon found the bull about 80 yards from the shot. Full penetration of both shoulders with an exit, impressive performance from the -06 and a little ole 165gr bullet.

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After chopping a road to the waterbuck for retrieval, we headed to the skinning shed and dropped off the warthog skull and waterbuck. A delicious dinner of Warthog Chops tasted mighty fine that evening!
 

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Jeff and Dana: Day 8
(Wednesday, 25/7/2018)


Redemption

Mmmmmmm... Strrrretchhhhhhh... and a smile creeps across my face as I open my eyes. I can't possibly think about trying to top yesterdays triple. But I can try! Ed and I both have tripled at least one day this safari – awesome!

At breakfast there is no slacking. I still have the elusive Bushbuck to find, Warthogs to cull, and Impala meat to put on the table!

The Bushbuck is #1 on the list now and after breakfast we pile in the truck and we set out to find him.

Turning right out of the compound we head downstream of the dam. It is thick with a lot of vegetation with high rocky hills on either side. (Everything is rocky here in Africa! ) A troop of baboons is about the road as we go by. We continue on for a little while not seeing much so we turn around and start heading back towards camp and the main portion of the property.

We approach the area where the baboons were and we see that they have gathered on the very steep and high rocks to the right. They were enjoying the warmth of the morning Sun. Mike looks at me and I see a slight grin... Yes. It's baboon time. Time to redeem myself for the miss last week.

We stop the truck and watch a little. Okay. There is a good male way up top. We get out of the truck and stretch a little. Mike and I discuss using the “white sticks” (truck) or setting up the shooting sticks. Too awkward of an angle to use the truck so the sticks it is. By now I had become pretty used to shooting off those sticks and I liked them.

I put the 300 in the crook and we watch the male up top. He is at 165 yards. There are a couple other younger males around, females, and little “tree rats” (young ones).

(At this point, the only way to properly describe the course of events is for you to watch the video.)
Make sure your speaker volume is all the way up. Seriously, it is very quiet.


The result is something I never would have thought of nor will I ever forget! If you listen carefully, right after the gunshot you can hear the bullet hitting the baboon. It is a “thwack” sound then the baboon disappears! I can only imagine what the female thought... You can also hear Pizza groan in the back of the truck. He said, “You couldn't have waited ONE more minute for him to finish!?” Well, no. The owners DO NOT want any more baboons! They want them eradicated.

Mike sent Pizza and Tiger up that rock to retrieve the baboon. Upon their return they told Mike that the top of that rock pile was covered with... “population paste” from the baboon activities. Good golly we laughed.
He had an upper and a lower incisor missing on one side. Probably from fighting. You can see the exit hole in his neck. The entry hole was in his shoulder on the side facing me.

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We laughed, and we laughed, and we laughed. Watched the video again. Good grief we laughed and we laughed some more. We drove to the skinning shed and we laughed. While at the skinning shed we saw the Hyena skull. Those are some nasty teeth! Ouch...

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We left the skinning shed and we laughed and we laughed. We tried looking for more game but we laughed and we laughed. Dana thought it was prime time for her mid morning beauty nap.
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The terrain varied greatly across the property ranging from pretty much open plains to thick, impenetrable, brush over very uneven ground to lush creek beds and wetlands to boulder mazes and granite mesas.
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We came across some Zebra and Giraffe. One of the Giraffe, a bull whose spots had mostly turned dark indicating it is likely around 9 years old, was sleeping when we found him under a tree.

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Stopping by another body of water, Dana and me were told not to linger at the waters edge because of a large crocodile that was known to be nearby. (I'm not sure if this was a gag to get Dana worked up or if it was truth. Given the location it may very well have been factual.) We spotted some fisherman across the lake and eventually bought some fish from them for our lunch. They had permission to be fishing in the private lake.

We gradually started making our way back to camp for lunch. It may have been this day that we came upon a Sparrowhawk that had gotten a medium sized rock rabbit. The Sparrowhawk was munching on it while perched atop a 3' diameter rock on the side of the road. It wasn't very happy we disturbed his meal!

After lunch we needed a nap. And take one we did.

We continued our search for game after lunch and returned to the remote reservoir. We sat in the tall grass above the earthen dam waiting for something to come to the waters edge for a drink. Nothing did. The moon, almost full, was rising and quite visible in the late afternoon sky. With Mikes help, Dana was able to capture a photo through the binoculars.

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We headed back to the dam near camp close to where I shot the baboon in the morning. We crossed the dam carefully and started into the steep woods on the northwest side. We followed a game trail along the edge which was more like an obstacle course designed to injure people. Coming out a couple hundred yards East-northeast next to a boulder we paused to have a look around. We were about halfway down the reservoir when we see... We spot fish poachers! A plan is formed. Dana and me are to follow Tiger back along the shore through the obstacle course and across the dam to the truck. We will return to camp and shower-up for dinner. Mike, Crank, and Pizza would sneak over a couple hundred yards and surprise the poachers hoping to capture them.

The sun went down and it was near pitch black going through the obstacle course but we made it. The shower felt so good! Dana, a registered nurse, was needed to pull needle-like thorns out of my hand. I had reached out in the gloom on the trail and grabbed a sapling. The sapling was covered with tiny, hair-like, thorns that easily penetrated skin.

We watched the baboon video and laughed and laughed.

Dinner was served but Mike was running a bit late. I wanted to help them but that was a big no-no for a guest. Eventually he showed up and told his story. At first there were only two or three poachers seen and they were caught red-handed. When one of them started to flee the grasses erupted with people. Apparently there were over a dozen poachers over there! They were in the process of setting up quite the campsite intent on taking any fish and game they could get their hands on. They all scattered like cockroaches when the light is turned on. I was just relieved Mike, Pizza, and Crank were unscathed!

Dinner was delicious! I don't remember what it was but I do know it was GOOD! The drinks were tasting mighty good too. It had been a while since Ed, Michelle, Dana and me gathered to discuss our thoughts and relax in each others company. (There wasn't much time for it. Hunt, eat, and sleep.) We carried on for quite some time after everyone else retired for the evening and moved our festivities to their bungalow. “Hey, lets get some cheese from the kitchen stores!” The girls went off with headlamps (the generator power was off hours ago) and raided the kitchen. It was a great time and well needed.

Time for bed. Morning is only a few hours away! Yeah, that's gonna hurt...
 
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