ZIMBABWE: Elephant Hunt In Matetsi October 2015

Environ

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Just back from a 10 day elephant hunt in the Matetsi unit 3 area of zim, this borders both the wankie NP and the Botswana border. I had an elephant hunt in March this year with Rusty Lambushagne and we failed to connect with a bull so he recommended we give HHK and the Matetsi a try.
An average days game count on the unit would include 900 kudu, 50 impala,70 sable, 25 Roan, 300 elephant, buffalo, tssesebi, LIONS, CHEETAH, hunting dogs, warthogs, giraffe, reedbuck, grysbok, bushbuck, duiker and lots of zebra.I have never seen so much game outside of a national park it was incredible and a credit to hunting conservation.
image.jpg


The elephant population consisted of mainly cows, young calves and young bulls with the occasional bigger satellite bull amongst them. I had established with Rusty that we wouldnt take anything under 40lb , not because I wanted big Ivory but a big, old elephant. We saw on average 1-2 bigger Bulls a day and we would get in amongst the herds to look them over( easier than it sounds and took some getting used too! They ALL looked big to me). We was seeing Bulls around the 30lb-35lb class and many had one tusk and Rusty explained that when we see a big bull we would just know and not have to use binoculars to look at him, he would tower over everything else.We just did not see tracks of big Bulls.
On the 6th Day of the hunt we saw a huge bull and got after him but our hopes were dashed as he was a one tusker estimated at 45lb or so and Rusty turned him down...Day 8 and I told Rusty that if we see him again we should get after him...it was getting close to the end of the hunt and I really wanted to connect.
Rusty constantly looked skywards to the clouds and he hoped for rain as the Bulls began to move in the rain away from the pans and would be attracted to the fresh shoots budding from the abundant Mopani....it began to rain in the evening of the 9th Day.
The last day of the hunt began like the others as we started to look for tracks of big Bulls and at around mid day we came across some huge dustbin prints in the gushu sands, 3 Bulls had crossed over into the unit...and then left again! Rusty was right about the Bulls moving in the rain but we now had 6 hours left of the hunt.
image.jpg


5pm rolled around soon enough and as we was bouncing around in the truck we came across a big fresh track, we wasted no time and got after him and as we came around a bluff we saw the bull.He was a huge old bull striding along and we quickly determined that he was good , 45lb on one side 35lb on the other, nervously I said lets go and started to walk after him, no one followed.It had walked into the national park and our game scout Rex just smiled at this strange man with the bad luck.
Ill never forget those last 10 minutes of the hunt as the boys got there jackets on and the rifles came into the cab in anticipation of the journey back to camp, talking to Rusty about our bad luck but the great time we had......and then we saw him.....to be continued, I have to go to work

image.jpg
 

thriller

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That cliff hanger is cruel I need MORE!!o_O
 

enysse

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Wow, pressing it to the last minutes of the end of the hunt.
 

Hank2211

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Hunted elephant in Unit 2 three years ago . . . Great area, and can't wait to see how you did!
 

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Nothing like using up every minute of your hunting time.
 

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Good looking bull. That left tusk has some very nice markings on it. Congrats sir!
 

ActionBob

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Ok you get the award for the all time best (or worst;) cliff hanger I've seen and suffered on AH!

Although that photo speaks a thousand words:)
 

Powdermaker

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I'm assuming the elephant in the last photo is yours, so congratulations! The best hunt is getting your animal on the last day on the last hour......It is cruel and unusual punishment to keep us waiting to hear the rest of the story.
 

BRICKBURN

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I've waited 8 hours now for some more of this tale...... stop working and get back to story telling! :A Whistle:
 

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I've waited 8 hours now for some more of this tale...... stop working and get back to story telling! :A Whistle:

You obviously don't have a 9-5 job.:rolleyes:
 

Bobpuckett

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Awesome! You should be back from work by now get to writing,hahaha Great start. Congrats!
 

BRICKBURN

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You obviously don't have a 9-5 job.:rolleyes:

Certainly not.
It's been years since I worked those type of hours.
Oh, yeah; Never! :D
 

Wheels

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Certainly not.
It's been years since I worked those type of hours.
Oh, yeah; Never! :D

I completely misspoke like I periodically do.:oops:

When I mentioned the 9-5 thing I was meaning Eviron, not you Wayne.;)

Maybe its past my bedtime.:whistle:
 

BRICKBURN

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Members volunteer their time, effort and energy and I never "expect" anything.
I know you were teasing, as was I.

When members fit AH into their day to share their tales I'll be waiting to read it.
 

Environ

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Apologies I am not one for cliffhangers, I really did have work to do! ....So it was getting dark, 10 minutes until the end of the hunt and the roof of the cab started thumping with the urgent protestations of the tracker, Englon, "elephant! elephant!", we looked to our right and there was 6 elephant about 400 yards away, and as Rusty previously stated we did not need binoculars to see that there was a big bull amongst them .The trackers jumped off the truck straight away and we started fumbling to get the rifles out of there slips, it was surreal and I couldn't believe what we was seeing."Its a one tusker" I thought "a young bull..too thin, too small, its in the park" going through the list of disappointments over the 10 days.
As we got closer we could see that there was 4 cows and 2 bulls, the second bull was smaller, a satellite bull and we had a diagonal breeze to contend with.That magical moment in the hunt occurred, a place where we have all been before, the trackers just disappeared and we was seemingly alone with the elephants.
The elephant were 75 yards away and there ears had stopped flapping as they tried to work out what we were, it was getting darker, coming close to a loss of shooting light.The bull stood straight on but the cows where already on the move ,diagonally away from us.There was an urgency in Rustys voice, "head shot ,hit him!" the cows were yards away from picking up our scent,if they did they would start running and the bulls would follow ,I didn't realise it at the time, "too far" I said aloud in my head? I don't remember, the sound of my heart beat was deafening. I was using an open sight .375 and the bull slowly turned to follow the cows. We had talked at length about bullet placement around the campfire and I put the bullet above the crease of his shoulder where I had been told e ran towards us, not charging, and followed it with 3 more ,breaking his shoulder, Rusty also opened up.
The elephant was mortally hit but still standing and we was out of ammo, suddenly there was shouting behind us and the boys ran passed us in confusion, the cows had turned and the matriarch charged full on trumpeting as she came,we was in trouble as she was easily catching up on us. Our game scout ,Rex ,(sitting on the ele in the photo) realising the predicament we was in stood alone and and bravely faced down the charging cow.With his AK47 raised he began calmly firing over the head of the matriarch and at the last minute she turned and ran back into the mopani, crisis averted.
We then turned our attention back to the bull and Modrich magically pulled out 2 bullets from either side of his woolly hat and handed them to me and I placed a bullet behind the monarchs ear and he went down...we all looked at each other in amazement and the elephant song began.I cried.
 

Environ

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Hunted elephant in Unit 2 three years ago . . . Great area, and can't wait to see how you did!

How did you find unit 2? was there good numbers of elephant there? did you do a report? if not how did you get on there Hank?
 

CAustin

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Environ that's a good story and I'm glad you told us! You made us wait long enough! Ha!
 

Environ

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Environ that's a good story and I'm glad you told us! You made us wait long enough! Ha!
...well reading your posts about your great hunt certainly pushed me to book my hunt
 

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