Philip Glass

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After an epic lion hunt in 2016, I knew I would someday return to the Zambezi Valley of Zimbabwe for another safari. At some point, I decided I would begin planning a return to the Omay and take a few others along with me to share the experience. A safari of this nature does take a bit of planning and preparation since it is a long journey into a dangerous game area. Around a year prior to the trip the group was set and shortly thereafter we organized our flights and paid our deposits.
I decided to hunt buffalo and tuskless (cull) elephant with my double rifle on this trip. I would also be taking my Blaser R8 in .300 Winchester to try for a hyena that eluded me on the last trip. I set this hunt up for the dark of the moon dates in August so it was a bit drier and less foliage on the trees than my previous trip. We would be hunting with Dalton & York Safaris. I had hunted with Dalton Tink previously near the end of my lion safari so we knew each other well. Andrew Buchannan would be along to film this hunt for his television program This Is Africa. I love Andy and his work in putting this wonderful hunting program on.

In the months leading up to the hunt I made a text message group for all of us to keep in touch and so that I could field questions about this great adventure. This worked so well and helped us all become very excited leading up to the hunt as we discussed every detail of what was to come. I would have 4 hunters going with me who had never been to Zimbabwe before. Since I had already been there twice I was able to give some direction about our hunt. It has become a pastime of mine to help others realize their dream of Africa whether it be a first time safari or a first time dangerous game safari.
We waited until January to book our flights because of price and schedule concerns. I rarely wait that long and like to have my plans set far in advance. I will have a separate trip report that details all that went on getting to and from Africa.

On arrival in Harare we were met by staff from our charter flight company. All 5 of us would charter in to camp which is a fantastic option and saves a day each way. As we descended into Croc Farm Airstrip in the Omay it was all getting real. We were met by all of the PH’s and we made the short drive to Ume camp which is on Lake Kariba. I was to hunt with York Mare. After a quick unpacking we grabbed our rifles and headed to the range for a quick check. It was already getting late when we finished shooting so we all headed back to camp for cocktails and dinner. The first evening of a safari is always nice since you are meeting new people and talk about the upcoming hunt. Ume Camp is a special place in so many ways.

The first few days were spent hunting buffalo. After a few days it was looking to be a very difficult hunt. The wind was completely schizophrenic and not just swirling around mid-day as usual but blowing one way and reversing immediately in the opposite direction. This was easily the worst wind situation I’ve hunted in. We got in on buffalo and looked at a few the first day but there were either no bulls or the wind busted us. The other challenge hunting buffalo in the Omay were the lions chasing the buffalo. I never saw a buffalo track without an accompanying lion track. This meant they were moving further each day than they normally would.
On the evening of day two an unusual target of opportunity presented itself. As we were passing a burned area there was a jackal of some kind that I could not identify. York asks “would you like a side striped jackal”? You know what my answer was! He grabs the sticks and knowing how predators behave when they see humans I waste no time dropping him with the .300Win. I was a little quick for Andy to get the camera on me but I knew I could not wait.

On Day 5 it was very early morning leaving camp as usual and we happened to see a big Civet cat. I was game and got ready as York shined his flashlight in his direction. It was thick jess in that area and it was going to be hard to get a shot. I found an opening of sorts and bang, he was down. Later that morning we wound up finding tracks of an old buffalo that had been watering in a river by a village. We let the trackers make the first investigation and then a bit later we came along. The river was dry in places and of course some of it was very thick with brush and tall grass. We crept along and that creepy feeling was building that you get when you know something dangerous is nearby and you can’t see ten feet in any direction! Thankfully he was feeding across the dry riverbed and there was a bit of an opening. I got the Kreighoff .470 on the sticks and tried to relax as I waited for him to turn broadside. After some time he turned to be slightly quartering away from me and I let the open sight double go to work. The hit was good and the immediate followup was the classic “Texas heart shot”. This old bull was giving the death bellow before he hit the ground! It was truly amazing. We waited prudently to give the situation some time before approaching my trophy bull. After inspection we found that the first shot entered in the ribs, went through the heart, and landed spectacularly on the opposite shoulder. The follow up was mere inches from the tail and also smashed into the opposite shoulder. To say that shoulder was done is an understatement! 1000 grains of Barnes TSX did dramatic damage on this big animal. This was truly an old dagga boy that measured just short of 41". With the buffalo being so close to a village the recovery would not take long. A group of men, under the direction of our game scouts, began butchering the bull. It was to be cut into several hundred pieces for distribution. As they finished, one of the men doing the butchering made the mistake of giving a nice piece of meat to a child and the group did not approve of this action. Lets just say it was not as organized of a meat distribution as we would have liked but the village was fed very well.
After the successful buffalo hunt York and I turned our attention to my nemesis, the hyena. I was unable to connect on a hyena on my last trip and I was super determined to get it done this time. There are plenty of hyena there but they are crafty and very quick. We set up in an area York liked to hunt at night for hyena and we began calling with a hyena call. One point to consider, is that with this call, no only hyena will show interest but also lion as they hate each other. Calling in the dark and knowing a lion might show up is a little concerning to be honest with you! In no time hyena were on the way but some time passed before one was close enough and clear for a shot. As York turned the light on I fired instantly as the hyena was high tailing it out of there. The quick shot on the run was what was required and I was very fortunate to be able to connect on this icon of Africa.

We left the group and headed for the South Camp, Chifudzi, to hunt for tuskless elephant. It was a couple of hours to get there and it was nice to get the chance to see another area and experience another nice safari camp. We had the chance to glass from some nice high ridges on a couple of occasions for elephant. It is amazing how such a big animal can hide so efficiently in the river jess. We spotted some and decided to go down into the river valley and have a closer look at them. They were likely a mile away when we spotted them. As we got down into the mostly dry river bed we found where the elephants dig for water in the sand. It is amazing to see how they may dig a hole close to water in order to get clean water filtered by the sand. The surface water was pretty nasty so I don’t blame them for working a bit for clean water. We walked many miles looking to find the elephant and their tracks. At one point we were in the middle of them with three right near us. They were not terribly spooked and just walked away not sure of what we were. As the sun was about to set we found more elephants not far away taking a dirt bath. I could not see them but could see their dust. We really hoped they would come down to water about dark but the sun set and darkness came. It was the end of a very good day. The next day was many hours glassing and looking for tracks to no avail. We were now into the 8th day of our 10 day safari yet I was not concerned and I knew somehow it would all work out. In the morning we located tracks in a flat Mopane forest area that was not terribly thick and was very accessible since there were a few two track roads nearby. Our trackers were able to lead us to the elephants without having a track to go by. They just seemed to have an idea of where they might be. We got in on them and were evaluating them and of course the wind swirled. The good thing is that the elephants only got a whiff of us and never saw us and just steadily moved away. The decision was made to come back at 3:00 and hope that the wind will make up its mind by then. So back to camp we went. A nice lunch and a nap would be good after all the miles we had walked on this trip. We were just hanging out after lunch a bit and I went back to my room for something and it seems I had some visitors while I was out for the day. A broken board up high allowed some vervet monkeys access to my luxury chalet. Not being house broke they left a few deposits that my bare feet landed in since the room was fairly dark. After a bit of scrubbing in the shower my feet were somewhat clean and I headed back to the dining area. Later that day I realized the monkeys had stolen my vitamin C. Really, a zip lock of vitamin C? It was whole food vitamin C made from fruits and vegetables so I guess it makes sense. Crisis averted and room cleaned and down for just a bit. Out we went again and had no trouble finding the elephant herd. They had picked up a couple of young bulls by this time. They were on the move and we got ahead of them and set up the sticks. They were dusting themselves and we had the wind right so we just waited for the right opportunity. York identified a big tuskless with no calf but she was behind a tree. Finally after some time one elephant began to move, then the one we were after. She came out and was moving her head to what would be a side brain opportunity then stopped short of full broad side. I took my shot and hit a bit forward of where I needed to be in that football sized target and had to immediately follow up. At the first shot as she was going down I hit her again in the chest and she was down. Another followup shot and I had my second elephant! Thankfully the herd ran away and we had no further issues. We had a great time taking pictures for some time as the sun set. The drive back to camp was epic! The guys were all singing in Shona “ the hunters have hunted and we have meat for the braai”. Over and over they sang as we passed some villages and the cheers and thumbs up were all around. The next day York and the guys organized the meat cutting and distribution. It was all very well organized and I estimated 200 good sized pieces of meat were given out in a very well organized fashion. This part of hunting in a communal area of Africa is unique and is an experience I firmly believe every hunter should endeavor to experience.

York and I spent the rest of the safari hunting unsuccessfully for a Sharpe’s Grysbuck. This is one of the very small antelopes that inhabits this area and one of the Tiny Ten of Africa that I am still pursuing. There are many of them but as York calls them, "the ninja of the jess", certainly eluded us this time. Most of us decided to take the last day to go after the giant catfish in Lake Kariba. We had some good action and it was a fitting end to such a great hunt. The last evening was spent down in a sandy river bed with a nice dinner and entertainment by our own Toby458 and a borrowed guitar. What a last night we had in the Omay!

Dalton & York have done an exceptional job with game management and anti-poaching operations in the Omay. I saw duiker and grysbuck every day on this hunt. These smaller antelopes are a sign of a healthy hunting area as they are the first to be poached out by the meat poachers. Additionally we saw and tried to hunt a group of 11 Kudu bulls. Even York was surprised to see so many Kudu bulls in one herd. I am always amazed to see how the hunters and the community work so well together in Zimbabwe. These guys run a good camp with excellent food and excellent PH's who know how to get the job done and do it in a very personal manner. This makes for a wonderful adventure with wonderful people and memories that will last a lifetime.
I will be back in the Omay next year and look forward to the challenge of safari once again in the Zambezi Valley of Zimbabwe.



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Very nice. Umi camp will always be special to me
 
Awesome, congratulations and thank you for sharing!
 
I’ve been waiting for your report! Well done and congrats!
 
After an epic lion hunt in 2016, I knew I would someday return to the Zambezi Valley of Zimbabwe for another safari. At some point, I decided I would begin planning a return to the Omay and take a few others along with me to share the experience. A safari of this nature does take a bit of planning and preparation since it is a long journey into a dangerous game area. Around a year prior to the trip the group was set and shortly thereafter we organized our flights and paid our deposits.
I decided to hunt buffalo and tuskless (cull) elephant with my double rifle on this trip. I would also be taking my Blaser R8 in .300 Winchester to try for a hyena that eluded me on the last trip. I set this hunt up for the dark of the moon dates in August so it was a bit drier and less foliage on the trees than my previous trip. We would be hunting with Dalton & York Safaris. I had hunted with Dalton Tink previously near the end of my lion safari so we knew each other well. Andrew Buchannan would be along to film this hunt for his television program This Is Africa. I love Andy and his work in putting this wonderful hunting program on.

In the months leading up to the hunt I made a text message group for all of us to keep in touch and so that I could field questions about this great adventure. This worked so well and helped us all become very excited leading up to the hunt as we discussed every detail of what was to come. I would have 4 hunters going with me who had never been to Zimbabwe before. Since I had already been there twice I was able to give some direction about our hunt. It has become a pastime of mine to help others realize their dream of Africa whether it be a first time safari or a first time dangerous game safari.
We waited until January to book our flights because of price and schedule concerns. I rarely wait that long and like to have my plans set far in advance. I will have a separate trip report that details all that went on getting to and from Africa.

On arrival in Harare we were met by staff from our charter flight company. All 5 of us would charter in to camp which is a fantastic option and saves a day each way. As we descended into Croc Farm Airstrip in the Omay it was all getting real. We were met by all of the PH’s and we made the short drive to Ume camp which is on Lake Kariba. I was to hunt with York Mare. After a quick unpacking we grabbed our rifles and headed to the range for a quick check. It was already getting late when we finished shooting so we all headed back to camp for cocktails and dinner. The first evening of a safari is always nice since you are meeting new people and talk about the upcoming hunt. Ume Camp is a special place in so many ways.

The first few days were spent hunting buffalo. After a few days it was looking to be a very difficult hunt. The wind was completely schizophrenic and not just swirling around mid-day as usual but blowing one way and reversing immediately in the opposite direction. This was easily the worst wind situation I’ve hunted in. We got in on buffalo and looked at a few the first day but there were either no bulls or the wind busted us. The other challenge hunting buffalo in the Omay were the lions chasing the buffalo. I never saw a buffalo track without an accompanying lion track. This meant they were moving further each day than they normally would.
On the evening of day two an unusual target of opportunity presented itself. As we were passing a burned area there was a jackal of some kind that I could not identify. York asks “would you like a side striped jackal”? You know what my answer was! He grabs the sticks and knowing how predators behave when they see humans I waste no time dropping him with the .300Win. I was a little quick for Andy to get the camera on me but I knew I could not wait.

On Day 5 it was very early morning leaving camp as usual and we happened to see a big Civet cat. I was game and got ready as York shined his flashlight in his direction. It was thick jess in that area and it was going to be hard to get a shot. I found an opening of sorts and bang, he was down. Later that morning we wound up finding tracks of an old buffalo that had been watering in a river by a village. We let the trackers make the first investigation and then a bit later we came along. The river was dry in places and of course some of it was very thick with brush and tall grass. We crept along and that creepy feeling was building that you get when you know something dangerous is nearby and you can’t see ten feet in any direction! Thankfully he was feeding across the dry riverbed and there was a bit of an opening. I got the Kreighoff .470 on the sticks and tried to relax as I waited for him to turn broadside. After some time he turned to be slightly quartering away from me and I let the open sight double go to work. The hit was good and the immediate followup was the classic “Texas heart shot”. This old bull was giving the death bellow before he hit the ground! It was truly amazing. We waited prudently to give the situation some time before approaching my trophy bull. After inspection we found that the first shot entered in the ribs, went through the heart, and landed spectacularly on the opposite shoulder. The follow up was mere inches from the tail and also smashed into the opposite shoulder. To say that shoulder was done is an understatement! 1000 grains of Barnes TSX did dramatic damage on this big animal. This was truly an old dagga boy that measured just short of 41". With the buffalo being so close to a village the recovery would not take long. A group of men, under the direction of our game scouts, began butchering the bull. It was to be cut into several hundred pieces for distribution. As they finished, one of the men doing the butchering made the mistake of giving a nice piece of meat to a child and the group did not approve of this action. Lets just say it was not as organized of a meat distribution as we would have liked but the village was fed very well.
After the successful buffalo hunt York and I turned our attention to my nemesis, the hyena. I was unable to connect on a hyena on my last trip and I was super determined to get it done this time. There are plenty of hyena there but they are crafty and very quick. We set up in an area York liked to hunt at night for hyena and we began calling with a hyena call. One point to consider, is that with this call, no only hyena will show interest but also lion as they hate each other. Calling in the dark and knowing a lion might show up is a little concerning to be honest with you! In no time hyena were on the way but some time passed before one was close enough and clear for a shot. As York turned the light on I fired instantly as the hyena was high tailing it out of there. The quick shot on the run was what was required and I was very fortunate to be able to connect on this icon of Africa.

We left the group and headed for the South Camp, Chifudzi, to hunt for tuskless elephant. It was a couple of hours to get there and it was nice to get the chance to see another area and experience another nice safari camp. We had the chance to glass from some nice high ridges on a couple of occasions for elephant. It is amazing how such a big animal can hide so efficiently in the river jess. We spotted some and decided to go down into the river valley and have a closer look at them. They were likely a mile away when we spotted them. As we got down into the mostly dry river bed we found where the elephants dig for water in the sand. It is amazing to see how they may dig a hole close to water in order to get clean water filtered by the sand. The surface water was pretty nasty so I don’t blame them for working a bit for clean water. We walked many miles looking to find the elephant and their tracks. At one point we were in the middle of them with three right near us. They were not terribly spooked and just walked away not sure of what we were. As the sun was about to set we found more elephants not far away taking a dirt bath. I could not see them but could see their dust. We really hoped they would come down to water about dark but the sun set and darkness came. It was the end of a very good day. The next day was many hours glassing and looking for tracks to no avail. We were now into the 8th day of our 10 day safari yet I was not concerned and I knew somehow it would all work out. In the morning we located tracks in a flat Mopane forest area that was not terribly thick and was very accessible since there were a few two track roads nearby. Our trackers were able to lead us to the elephants without having a track to go by. They just seemed to have an idea of where they might be. We got in on them and were evaluating them and of course the wind swirled. The good thing is that the elephants only got a whiff of us and never saw us and just steadily moved away. The decision was made to come back at 3:00 and hope that the wind will make up its mind by then. So back to camp we went. A nice lunch and a nap would be good after all the miles we had walked on this trip. We were just hanging out after lunch a bit and I went back to my room for something and it seems I had some visitors while I was out for the day. A broken board up high allowed some vervet monkeys access to my luxury chalet. Not being house broke they left a few deposits that my bare feet landed in since the room was fairly dark. After a bit of scrubbing in the shower my feet were somewhat clean and I headed back to the dining area. Later that day I realized the monkeys had stolen my vitamin C. Really, a zip lock of vitamin C? It was whole food vitamin C made from fruits and vegetables so I guess it makes sense. Crisis averted and room cleaned and down for just a bit. Out we went again and had no trouble finding the elephant herd. They had picked up a couple of young bulls by this time. They were on the move and we got ahead of them and set up the sticks. They were dusting themselves and we had the wind right so we just waited for the right opportunity. York identified a big tuskless with no calf but she was behind a tree. Finally after some time one elephant began to move, then the one we were after. She came out and was moving her head to what would be a side brain opportunity then stopped short of full broad side. I took my shot and hit a bit forward of where I needed to be in that football sized target and had to immediately follow up. At the first shot as she was going down I hit her again in the chest and she was down. Another followup shot and I had my second elephant! Thankfully the herd ran away and we had no further issues. We had a great time taking pictures for some time as the sun set. The drive back to camp was epic! The guys were all singing in Shona “ the hunters have hunted and we have meat for the braai”. Over and over they sang as we passed some villages and the cheers and thumbs up were all around. The next day York and the guys organized the meat cutting and distribution. It was all very well organized and I estimated 200 good sized pieces of meat were given out in a very well organized fashion. This part of hunting in a communal area of Africa is unique and is an experience I firmly believe every hunter should endeavor to experience.

York and I spent the rest of the safari hunting unsuccessfully for a Sharpe’s Grysbuck. This is one of the very small antelopes that inhabits this area and one of the Tiny Ten of Africa that I am still pursuing. There are many of them but as York calls them, "the ninja of the jess", certainly eluded us this time. Most of us decided to take the last day to go after the giant catfish in Lake Kariba. We had some good action and it was a fitting end to such a great hunt. The last evening was spent down in a sandy river bed with a nice dinner and entertainment by our own Toby458 and a borrowed guitar. What a last night we had in the Omay!

Dalton & York have done an exceptional job with game management and anti-poaching operations in the Omay. I saw duiker and grysbuck every day on this hunt. These smaller antelopes are a sign of a healthy hunting area as they are the first to be poached out by the meat poachers. Additionally we saw and tried to hunt a group of 11 Kudu bulls. Even York was surprised to see so many Kudu bulls in one herd. I am always amazed to see how the hunters and the community work so well together in Zimbabwe. These guys run a good camp with excellent food and excellent PH's who know how to get the job done and do it in a very personal manner. This makes for a wonderful adventure with wonderful people and memories that will last a lifetime.
I will be back in the Omay next year and look forward to the challenge of safari once again in the Zambezi Valley of Zimbabwe.



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Great write up Philip and congratulations! Two questions please 1. What was the distance for your shots on your elephant and Buffalo? 2. Did you take your new Blazer sticks or did you just use Daltons 3 leg sticks?

thanks!
 
Heck, I felt that way before I got home and booked my trophy bull hunt while I was still there.
Yes, Me too. The only limiting factor for me is my mom and dad. They are getting old and my dad's mind is slipping badly. Not sure I can leave the country for such a long time again, unless I can find a way to have them seen after in my absence.
 
Great report and congrats on your success. Dalton and York are the real deal.
 
Sounds like it was a great hunt. Congrats
Bruce
 
Sounds like it was a great hunt. Thanks for sharing.
Were you able to put the double and R8 in a short case for travel?
 
A great hunt well told. Thank you.
 
Congratulations, thanks for tge write-up and pictures.
 
Well done and some nice trophies and hard to find ones too especially the side stripe jackal.
 
Congratulations Philip!
 
Congratulations on your hyena, Philip!

I’m always pumped about successful elephant hunts. :A Thumbs Up:
Thanks. Elephant hunts are a very big deal and unlike anything else.
 

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