ZIMBABWE: Back To Back Safaris With Lin Stanton

Mbalabala Safaris

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Jim and Ray joined me on Safaris in the Hwange Communal Land and Matetsi ECA. Followed by Steve from USA between the three hunters we would be hunting two elephant and two buffalo.

Jim and Ray arrived first into Victoria falls. We spent the first day sight seeing looking at the beautiful Victoria Falls and taking a game drive up the mighty Zambezi. The following day we had a quick look around for buffalo tracks and found nothing fresh. We then moved on to Hwange Com to scout for elephant, we found several different groups of bulls moving close to a dam in the area so decided that we would hunt there the following morning.

Next morning we left camp early and headed to the dam as we arrived we picked up three bull tracks and started following them. Tracking was easy as it was in the teak Forrest. It took us about three hours to catch up to the bulls they had moved at a steady pace feeding as they moved along. Where we caught up to them was extremely thick and wasn’t until we get about 15 yards we spotted him resting in the shade. Unable to get a good look at him we edged closer until we were eight yards from him. As we were getting into position he must have heard us or smelt us cause he turned and faced us that’s when Jim made a perfect frontal brain shot and dropped him in his tracks. The villagers arrived in a few hours and when we left there was just a blood stain on the floor every single piece of meat from the elephant was taken and distributed throughout the area.

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The following day we found tracks of a herd of about thirty buffalo we could see that there was some big bulls in the herd so we decided to follow. It didn’t take long before we caught up to them resting in the shade. Unfortunately they got our wind and thundered off into the open rolling hills. We followed slowly behind and over the next rise we saw them about two hundred yards ahead of us steadily walking away. We decided to try quickly walk around them and try get them walking into us so we could have a look at the bulls in the herd. We managed to slightly get ahead when we spooked a sable bull that ran straight towards the buffalo and they took off running. We eventually saw them crossing a valley about two kilometers away. As it was getting late we left them and returned to camp. The next morning before we left Camp we spotted a herd of buffalo also around thirty animals or so. We made a stalk to where we thought they were and because of the long grass we could only see the tops of their backs, we moved to our left to get the wind right and came into a lovely bull standing in the early morning sun. I could see he was a solid bull so we crept up to about fifty yards and Ray took the shot,he was quartering towards us when he shot he jumped up and took off directly away from us. We then saw the rest of the herd get up to our right and stampede off. They didn’t go far and I managed to look through the herd before they moved off. The bull we shot at wasn’t there!!! This was a good sign. We went back fifty yards to were the bull was standing and started tracking in about twenty yards we found the first drop of blood then more then we could see a steady dripping on the ground and on the grass. We cautiously crept forward watching carefully for the bull who could be behind any bush. It was pretty open grassland so we could see at least forty yards ahead. After about seventy yards tracking we spotted him standing with his head down in some bushes, I got Ray into position and he hit him behind the shoulder and as he took off Ray hit him in the spine and he went down.

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We spent the next few days looking for a hyena and doing some fishing. Whilst sitting in a hyena blind we had ivory poachers walk past us carrying ivory. I fired a shot in the air to try get them to lay down but they dropped all there equipment and took off never to be seen again. We reported the incident to the National Parks and Wildlife and handed in the ivory.

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The next Hunter to join me was Steve from the states. He was after an elephant and a buffalo.

The first day we did some scouting around and found plenty elephant drinking at the same dam. We took a drive around the dam in the afternoon and spotted a young bull. I took Steve up close to point out where to shoot the bull for a frontal and side brain. He gave us a short mock charge before taking off into the thick bush. The following day we did the same thing and found a group of ten or twelve bulls had drank at the dam. We decided to cut their tracks on the next roads up to save us walking ten miles. We got into the road where we expected them to cross and saw one bull cross the road a few hundred meters away. We got out the truck and started walking towards where he crossed. When we got close we could hear trees and branches breaking. It sounded like there was 50 bulls there. We kept walking in the direction of the sound for two miles until we finally caught up to a big bull feeding broadside to us. We got up to about twenty yards before the bull stopped feeding to listen. Steve fired and the bull collapsed, he wasn’t dead but he was down. As he started trying to get up Steve gave him the second barrel from his Heym .500 double behind the shoulder. With two bullets in him already he still managed to get up and take off running. He didn’t go far before he collapsed from a well placed lung shot. After recovering the ivory and skin we left the villagers to clean up all the meat.

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The next day we went in search of buffalo. At about nine in the morning we picked up tracks of a large herd that had just crossed a river feeding slowly along. We followed and within five minutes we could hear the hooves and belching of the herd of about one hundred and fifty head. We spotted two bulls feeding off to the left of the herd and we were able to get within fifty yards of them as they slowly fed. Steve made a perfect heart lung shot followed up with another shot into the shoulder. The old dagga boy ran 60 yards before he collapsed.

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Congratulations to all three hunters for a great Safaris. Look forward to the next.
 
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cpr0312

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Some great trophies and experiences!! Well done and congrats to you and the hunters!
 

gillettehunter

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Sounds like a great area with plenty of buf and elephants. Congrats!
Bruce
 

BRICKBURN

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Nice job getting these hunters their trophies.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Well done!
 

Luvthunt

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Wayne Stanton my PH in 1997–any relation and if so how is he/
 

IdaRam

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Great job on some very nice animals! Well done! (y)
 

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