ZIMBABWE: Elephant Hunt With Nyamazana Safaris

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by mrpoindexter, May 26, 2017.

  1. mrpoindexter

    mrpoindexter AH Fanatic

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    Just to let you see what I got to see today. Here is JUST A SAMPLE of some of the comments!

    upload_2017-6-19_21-54-18.png

    I actually responded to a lot of these comments, saying things like "Attacking me is fine, but attacking my daughter is crossing the line" or "hoping my kid gets killed - way to keep it classy" and stating that these photos were not even from a trophy hunt but a meat hunt.

    ALL of my comments were deleted and I was banned from commenting. NONE of the death threats were removed. This is how they roll and call it compassion.
     

  2. IdaRam

    IdaRam SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Could not agree more!

    So sorry that you and your family have to deal with these pieces of human trash.
    Here's who you're probably dealing with
    IMG_0627.JPG
     

  3. edward

    edward GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    that would keep a crock happy for a few minutes.puke,puke.
     

  4. siml

    siml AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Those comments are totally disgusting. Sick people.
     

  5. SWARA

    SWARA AH Veteran

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    Sorry you had to go through that... I suppose it takes all kinds of people to make up this world. A threat is a threat and there are Laws that should protect you for such threats and intimidation. You did nothing wrong. Take heart that in the knowledge that there are many who support you. What you see in that post is the vocal minority. Do, and follow what you believe in and love.
     
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  6. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    A few thoughts on this : to the extent that they target your child, I thought the USA had internet bullying laws now? Also, as they cross state lines, like committing a crime through the mail, doesn't it become an issue for the FBI? With the website taking down your response I think it shows their promotion of hate and violence to a minor. Maybe worth a call to the authorities. I am sorry to see this.
     
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  7. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Legend

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    Let us know if there is anything we can do. There are truly sad, disgusting people out there. So sorry you have to go through that.
     
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  8. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    @mrpoindexter ,

    Sorry you had/have to endure this. Sad that many hunters have to endure this. Its truly unbelievable to me that one person can wish such heinous and disgusting things on another human!

    Kind of a joke and totally agree.
     

  9. Ole Bally

    Ole Bally AH Fanatic

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    I worked at and ran Malindi Station Lodge as a relief manager when it was a photographic safari camp in the mid 90's.. Lots of good memories! Great christmas's spent there!
     
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  10. MMAL

    MMAL GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I don't have facebook for this exact reason. But i am curious, was it facebook that deleted the comments or the Care International buttjobs?
     

  11. jacques smith

    jacques smith AH Fanatic

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    I also refuse to use Facebook but I'm assuming you posted pictures of hunting on their nonsense. So they then hijack pictures to different thread or is this vile crap just responses to your own pictures. I guess I'm lost like normal. Back to ele hunt I hope
     

  12. mrpoindexter

    mrpoindexter AH Fanatic

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    CompassionInternational deleted my comments. I reported the post to Facebook, but nothing was done, or nothing yet anyway.

    I did not post anything on their page. I made a comment on a posting on Trophy The Film's Facebook page where they asked if feeding a village made it OK to hunt an elephant. I said yes because elephants are not finite but more are born each year and so there is a sustainable offtake, much like it is possible to chop down some trees each year and still have a forest. They then went to my Facebook page, took those photos and shared them, saying it was a trophy hunt I took my daughter on and that I was so stupid that I said it is ok to kill elephants because they grow back like trees. Then the flood of comments came in.

    It looks like not only did they delete my comments, but they also seem to have deleted others who commented that it was actually not a trophy hunt they were claiming it was.
     

  13. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    @mrpoindexter,

    Can you please post the link to the FB page where this is. If FB gets bombarded with reports of this, it may come down. I saw this happen when an image of Theunis Botha under the elephant that killed him was posted on another page.

    If all who have a FB page report this, maybe something will be done. And I'll also post the link on other websites to hopefully gain that many more reports.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
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  14. mrpoindexter

    mrpoindexter AH Fanatic

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    Zim hunt – Day 8 (May 31, 2017)

    May 31.png
    [Lots of activity in the top part of this picture. I wonder what happened there...]

    It is more of the same today, but with an added sense of desperation. I have a total of nine full days hunting scheduled. There is simply not enough time on day ten, a travel day, to hunt an elephant. With the extreme thickness of much of the land and how remote we are, it will likely take most of a day to recover any elephant we shoot unless it happens to stroll into our camp (where we unfortunately don’t even have permission to hunt anyway). I realize that crunch time is here and now.

    We have Cannan with us again today, which makes for much more efficient running down of leads, but it is hard to even find a good lead to follow. We are trying to find fresh tracks, but there just are not that many. Cowboy is sent off with Cannan to follow a lead while the rest of us forge on looking for any signs of elephant activity we can see.

    By 9am, we reach a waterhole and find a big track – a true BFE (Big Fucking Elephant). As we try to follow our BFE, Cowboy continues to trail his elephant. Now I have two good leads, but only one protein bar left. I guess my diet is over now. I am probably more than 30 pounds lighter than I was when I started my diet. To keep my energy level up and stay hydrated, I have been drinking a lot of soda and if I have lost any weight in the last week, it has probably come from blood loss from the thorns that abound in this bushveld.

    IMG_5257.JPG

    9:30 am rolls around and it is time to move. Cowboy and Cannan are back with us and bring great news. The elephant have not left the area. They estimate there are three or more elephants in the group they have been tracking. We grab our guns and head in loaded.

    Within an hour, the party is in striking distance of the small herd. We can hear them and check the wind, trying to find the best angle to approach. Making some adjustments, we move to the right first and then press forward. It is now 10:50 in the morning. Finally, I can see the broadside of an elephant. Sam quietly slides over and sets up the shooting sticks. I place the foregrip of the gun into the “V” and grab the grip and the sticks with my left hand, pulling the stock firmly into my shoulder. My thumb slides up and pushes the safety off. I draw a deep breath, exhale slowly, pause and hold. I can see the crease of the elephant clearly and pick out the exact point I want, just a few inches forward of the crease, mid way up the body. I angle my wrist a bit to get a more comfortable grip that won’t pull my shot as I squeeze the trigger. I take another deep breath, exhale and hold. I have had this elephant in my sights for over thirty seconds now but still have not seen his head. “Don’t shoot” I hear from my left. Wayne has managed to get a good look at the ivory and it is thin – indicating a young bull.

    I slide the safety back on and pull the gun down off the sticks. We discuss with the guys as quietly as we can. There are a couple bigger bulls but they are on the far side and we don’t know how we will be able to move into position on them without getting too close to this younger bull who is probably only 25 yards away from us at this point. All of a sudden, I hear the freight train leaving the station. The elephants are running and we can tell there is more than one of them. I glance at my watch and check the time – 11am. Feeling the breeze, we can tell they have smelled us and ran.

    Wasting no time, we head towards their last position and look to pick up their trail. It is not too hard to see where they ran – a freshly toppled tree is a dead giveaway and hard to miss. We move after them as quickly as we can without making too much noise, knowing eventually the elephants will stop running and will be able to hear us trying to keep up well before we get into range.

    IMG_5261.JPG
    [Hmm, which direction do you think the elephants ran?]

    Within fifteen minutes, we see signs of fresh spoor. There is a standing puddle of urine, and we know they are close. The stalk is on.

    Continuing to close with our quarry, we move as silently as possible. The elephants have smelled us and are going to be wary. We do not hear them feeding, but expect that they are trying to keep a watchful eye and ear out for us. Five minutes into the stalk, the party stops and listens. We hear a new sound, or new to me at least. No branches breaking but… breathing. The bush is so thick we cannot see him, but I can hear his deep breath and know he is close – maybe 40-50 feet away. We are now totally silent and don’t move a muscle. At this range, if the elephant decides to move our way, it could turn out very, very badly. There is very little wind – not enough to give a good idea of which direction we can move forward to get a better angle on our friend.

    I look at my watch. 11:30am and I hear the elephant fleeing again. The trackers move towards his last position and get a fix on his trail. It does not take long and at 11:43am, we are on the stalk again. 8 minutes later, we hear them. The excitement is intense and the pulses are certainly racing now. Our party moves along to get into position, but a gust of wind comes up. We can see the smoke from the wind checker swirling around in all directions and the elephants are gone again.

    This time, unfortunately, they have run downwind. There is no way for us to track them without alerting them to our presence long before we get into position and without a trail to follow, it would be very difficult to get in front of them and mostly be guesswork as to where they are.

    Finding his last known position, we can see that he was big. Based on the mud from a nearby tree, he was probably over ten feet tall at the shoulder. We look to pick him back up as this is a good bull. He went through a big area with a lot of tall grass and many exit points. Hopefully they have turned in a direction that will allow us to trail them upwind. We leave the trackers to sort it out and break for a quick lunch.

    At 1:10pm, the Sam informs us that the elephants have returned to a spot we saw them at earlier. We head back there and work to pick up their trail. At 2pm the trackers inform us that the elephants have gone back into the brush where we were earlier that day. It is good for us that they have not crossed the Shangani River and out of our area. Had that happened, we would need to scour the roads for signs of fresh tracks and would likely run out of daylight before we could catch up to the elephant. All these thoughts start to race through my mind as I try to figure out what I can do to complete the mission and seal the deal on my elephant. The bad part of this is that we will have two sets of tracks to follow – both relatively fresh and can easily make the mistake of following their path from earlier in the day instead of their new path should they take a different route through the brush.

    The trackers know this and head back into the thick brush and try and pick up their trail and follow to make certain they are on the right tracks. They come back in a couple hours with word that they have sorted it all out and found the elephants. We head in and push hard, knowing full well that we are going to be racing daylight soon enough and any time we waste now, we won’t be able to make up for later. We come to find the elephants and hear them but before we can get into position, they have smelled us and are off again. We pursue, but cannot keep up with them and have a quick meeting to devise a game plan. Cannan feels he can get us on the elephant and we follow his lead.

    It is now past 5pm and although darkness will fall soon, we push on with a confidence that today, we will not be denied by the setting sun. We continue to follow the trail, seeing dung that is fresh and green. Occasionally, we can see a partial footprint when there is a slight bit of soft dirt. The cracks on the pad of his foot show him to be an old bull. We don’t know the size of his ivory – he may even be a tuskless bull, but at this point, he is an old bull that we have played cat and mouse with for several days. I don’t hunt with a tape measure nor a scale and am really in it for the adventure and excitement of the hunt. If he gets away, he will win but I won’t feel as though I have lost. That said, it isn’t over yet. I ponder over this as I creep through the bush. My thoughts are interrupted by a crack that I have become all too familiar with. I can hear him just up the hill a little bit. All my attention focuses on the here and now with laser precision. We are running out of time.

    Wayne heads in first, followed by Sam holding the shooting sticks and then myself. Henco is behind me and the rest of the team keeps their distance. The wind is in our favor and as I peer through the thick vegetation, I can understand why they have returned here. There is so much to eat that we truly cannot see 20 yards and in many places, our visibility is perhaps only half that. I see Wayne with the binoculars, looking as best he can to see through the brush and assess the elephant. He motions towards me, informing me that he is an old bull and the trophy quality is in the eye of the hunter. I immediately decipher that as code for “this elephant’s ivory isn’t as big as the other one we saw” but size doesn’t really matter to me as long as we have a mature old bull that is a worthy adversary and this one has definitely been. Wayne tells me he will follow up with an insurance shot after I shoot just to be sure. I nod.

    Sam sets the sticks up. I set the rifle into the “V” and get a good firm hold of the sticks and rifle. I push the stock firmly into my shoulder, expecting that a good kick will come and I want to be prepared for a quick follow up if necessary. I see the elephant a mere 20 yards in front of me. I drop my head behind the rifle, putting his trunk right in the middle of the sight picture. I hear the click of the safety coming off my gun as my body seems to know the drill already. The old bull was looking in Wayne’s direction and then turns his gaze towards me.

    I know that this is happening fast, but it feels like time has slowed and that I am there looking for a while. I have studied the shot placement images for a frontal shot on an elephant and believe I know where I am supposed to hit. We will soon find out if I am correct. Unsure if he is aware of our presence, I am just enjoying the position I am in after over a week of hard work. Then, I see the elephant start to turn his head towards Wayne. I adjust my shot to the right of centerline, compensating for the angle as I am now not aiming at the front of his head but through the skull and towards a point further back where I imagine his brain to be.

    BAM! The gun goes off. I watch the old bull’s head get thrown back and his body begins to collapse, starting with his hind quarters and then his front legs. Half a second later, Wayne’s insurance shot is fired but the elephant is already dead. All that has to happen now is for his body to hit the ground. He falls, creating a crashing sound as the trees around him give way for the massive dead weight that hits them like five and a half tons of bricks.

    The shot.jpg
    [This is how thick it was. Screen cap from the GoPro on Sam's head. Three seconds before the shot. Vantage point perhaps 2 feet to the left of mine. Can you see the elephant?]

    We reload but there is no follow up shot from either of us. The trackers come forward. They could see the elephant go down and come to give the congratulations. Cowboy sticks out his hand, but I just reach over and hug him. We head over to see the elephant, who now has disappeared behind the thick foliage. I walk up and look closely at him and find where my shot hit – just to the right of the center. Looking all over the elephant, we cannot find where Wayne hit his shot. He tells me that it was so thick all he could see was a gray shape and it fell so quick, he might have missed him. I ask Wayne how long he has been a PH. I already know the answer – it was rhetorical but Wayne tells me and before he can finish, I state “You have been a PH for over 20 years and expect me to believe that you missed a freaking elephant at 20 yards? No way!!” Still, we cannot find where he hit the elephant.

    IMG_5262.JPG
    [My shot, just right of centerline, between the eyes]

    IMG_5272.JPG [Rear foot pads of the elephant, showing signs of wear that indicate it is an old bull]

    IMG_5273.JPG [Front foot pads, also heavily worn]

    Cowboy comes over to me and hands me his knife so that I can cut off the tail. This is the old proof of ownership that a hunter would take with him in the event that the following morning, when coming to recover the elephant, another party is there claiming ownership over the carcass. Possessing the tail will do nothing against lions or hyenas, but will convince a game scout who really shot the animal should there be a controversy.

    IMG_5274.JPG

    This is my first experience trying to cut elephant hide. At first, I think Cowboy’s knife needs to be sharpened, but I am told you won’t find a sharper knife than what you get from a tracker/skinner. The elephant skin is like body armor and I really do wish I had my knives with me now. Not only were they crazy sharp, they were also seriously big to give some good leverage. It takes a while but eventually I am able to get the skin cut around the tail and then stick the point in and cut all the tendons, allowing me to fold the tail and break it off. We take some photos and then head to the truck. Light is fading fast now.

    We stop at the scout camp and pick up a couple guys to sit out as night watchmen and guard our elephant. It would be terrible if hyenas or lions came during the night and tore up the carcass. It would be even more emotionally devastating if some ivory poachers came and took off with the tusks. They take some axes and will work on clearing out the area around the elephant so that we can skin it and butcher the meat from him the next morning.

    Finally, we head to Gwayi Station, so that I can buy all the trackers and guides some well deserved beers. I buy each of them a six pack. Henco has a beer as well and I buy a Coke. All the drinks cost a dollar each except for my Coke, which is fifty cents. I pay and get a coin back. I look at it and ask what it is.” Zimbabwe currency,” I am told by the bartender. “No thanks” I say and push the coin back towards him. “Give me another Coke.” He looks at the other patrons and they all laugh, realizing that even the foreigners know that Zimbabwe currency is going to be worthless at some time in the very near future. Having over $187 billion Zimbabwe dollars from a previous currency iteration at home in my safe that can’t even buy a stick of gum today, I have no desire to own any money backed by Mugabe’s government.

    We head back to Malindi Station, have a late but delicious supper and get some well deserved sleep. Tomorrow is still going to be a long day as we have to recover the elephant and that is nearly a full day’s job in and of itself.
     
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  15. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats!

    Great story.
     

  16. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats!!! Look forward to more pics and the recovery day
     

  17. jasyblood

    jasyblood BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Congratulations!! Can't wait to see more pics!
     

  18. whitetail

    whitetail AH Veteran

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    This is such a great story of a truly amazing jumbo hunt!! Wayne, Sam and Cowboy are all fantastic men that know what they're doing for sure (I didn't hunt with the other trackers mentioned). Can't wait to see more pics!!! I'm salivating at the mouth- want to go back and hunt with them soon!
     

  19. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Great story and a well earned bull! Please put the FB link into this post.
     

  20. edward

    edward GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    outstanding hunt and report,congratulations!job well done.
     

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