ZIMBABWE: Elephant & Leopard In Zimbabwe - Cancellation Hunt Report

Many of us share those mixed emotions after taking the life of a mature animal. Because as you say, they have survived all those years. And experienced so much. And we ask ourselves if we are worthy of taking such a noble animals life.
I answer that for myself by remembering the way we hunt must give the animal more than an equal chance to win the match.
They must have more of the advantage than not. If not it’s not a worthy trophy.
 
Which area in Zim are you going to in '24? Tuskless, non-exportable or exportable ivory?
 
Omay is a good area. D&Y? I'm told on this trip by numerous sources that the ivory permits are starting to flow again. There was quite a backlog to work through but guys are getting their permits. One just posted here yesterday about theirs being approved. I'm going to contact Conservation Force about getting their help on my permits.
 
Many of us share those mixed emotions after taking the life of a mature animal. Because as you say, they have survived all those years. And experienced so much. And we ask ourselves if we are worthy of taking such a noble animals life.
I answer that for myself by remembering the way we hunt must give the animal more than an equal chance to win the match.
They must have more of the advantage than not. If not it’s not a worthy trophy.
Well said. I love fair chase hunts for DG. Every trip includes that DG element for me (so far). I love the little antelope and night critters and all that but Africa for me will always be about DG. I truly love them all but the most awesome, humbling, inspirational member of the big 5 to me is the elephant. The lion isn't king of the jungle...ndlovu is the king.
 
Elephant recovery

One of my favorite things related to elephant hunting is watching people come in from all over to carry meat back to their homes. We had people come walking in from 20 miles away with canvas bags and buckets and knives, axes, etc. Once we got a few things done with the elephant, we backed up and let them get after it. Believe me, you don’t want to be in the middle of it! Nothing goes to waste and nothing is left afterwards except a greasy spot on the ground. They even get a fire going to throw some meat on it while they are working on it all and throwing meat strips all over the bushes to dry into biltong. I especially liked seeing the older people come in to get their share. Most of them were quiet but happy to get some protein. The younger guys come in with their music and big attitudes just like anywhere in the world. I enjoyed watching all of it and knowing that the locals would have meat again for awhile.

Here's a few photos to get a sense of it...

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I have been looking forward to your hunt report. @Mark Biggerstaff is a great guy to work with!
Love your choice of rifles. Did you get a chance to inspect the body damage the CPS caused?
Looking forward to my elepant hunt in 2025. I like the way you are breaking up the report. Keep them coming.
 
Nice bull. I’m guessing 56lbs on the long tusk and 48 on the short.
 
Thanks Dave. I look forward to calling you after getting some work cleared out this week to discuss it further.

Good question on the bullet...we offered a reward to anyone who could find the bullet and it didn't happen. Due to impact position, we know it caught the top of the heart. It was a big topic among the PHs when they saw the elephant visibly stumble to the right after being hit on the left side. Both of them said they thought the ele was going down right there. He ran about 30-40 yards and actually fell in his run and slid forward. He never moved after that but I still paid the insurance. Because he fell on his left side (where he was shot), we had trouble getting more info. We also don't know where the hit was on the PH's .470 shot. The ele was turning to leave and it was somewhere on his left side also. Neither bullet was recovered. We do feel based upon penetration of some things to come (ah, more foreshadowing!) that a side on brain shot with the .416 Rigby and that solid, might have exited the off side. Perhaps we find out down the road on that subject. I will say this caliber and bullet combo was as much penetration as I have ever seen in Africa. Also, each hit was an audible slap sound. The PHs commented on it numerous times.
 
Omay is a good area. D&Y? I'm told on this trip by numerous sources that the ivory permits are starting to flow again. There was quite a backlog to work through but guys are getting their permits. One just posted here yesterday about theirs being approved. I'm going to contact Conservation Force about getting their help on my permits.
Yes I’m hunting with D&Y
 
Nice bull. I’m guessing 56lbs on the long tusk and 48 on the short.
Ahh, our first guess! We will see where it goes as the hunt progresses. Believe me, we were all dying to know the answer to that and there were many guesses from the trackers, PHs and myself! What we did NOT know was how big the nerve pocket was but we were thinking smaller nerve on this older bull. More ivory photos to come later...well, just one more photo now. This was an awesome approach to getting the ivory out besides chopping them out of the skull. You put the skull in the ground and literally water it in the heat. In a few days, they will pull out by hand and we will see the results.

skull in ground.JPG
 
Awesome elephant! Congrats and thanks for taking us along!
Twelve to 15 bulls feeding in front of you!! Had to have been awesome!!
Yes it was an awesome sight to have the bulls keep coming forward into view, literally about 10-15 yards from us...at least 12 of them. We weren't entirely sure how many but 12-15 was the consensus. Part of you also thinks...hey, did we really see ALL of them? Part of the fun and experience!
 
That is a great bull, congrats !
 
Yes it was an awesome sight to have the bulls keep coming forward into view, literally about 10-15 yards from us...at least 12 of them. We weren't entirely sure how many but 12-15 was the consensus. Part of you also thinks...hey, did we really see ALL of them? Part of the fun and experience!
Right, there could have been even more in the brush that were unseen. Elephant is on my bucket list for sure!! Thanks again for sharing the details with us.
 
Congratulations. Great bull. In my opinion, nothing compare like hunting elephants. The most incredible animal of the world. If I could, I would hunt them year by year.
 
Right, there could have been even more in the brush that were unseen. Elephant is on my bucket list for sure!! Thanks again for sharing the details with us.
Yea, you keep hungering to check and check to make sure but then when that wind started to shift we QUICKLY got into decision making mode. It's time...NOW. Take the big bull in the back. It was now or never.
 
Nice bull. I’m guessing 56lbs on the long tusk and 48 on the short.
Bourbon, I wish you are right in your prediction.
In my humble opinion, considering we don´t know how big is the nerve I would stimate 45lbs long tusk and 40 the short one. Anyways, it´s a great Zim elle wihtout a doubt, so congratulations.
 
Yea, you keep hungering to check and check to make sure but then when that wind started to shift we QUICKLY got into decision making mode. It's time...NOW. Take the big bull in the back. It was now or never.
Oh I bet shit got real serious real quick hahaha. Excellent!
 

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