ZIMBABWE: My Recent Hunt With Dalton & York Safaris

Boone, I am far from an expert. My 100 Gr raptors were traveling at 3200 fps.

what twist is the contender barrel. what speed are you getting from the 10" barrel.
 
Boone, I am far from an expert. My 100 Gr raptors were traveling at 3200 fps.

what twist is the contender barrel. what speed are you getting from the 10" barrel.
I-10 and I haven't put them across a crony yet, but am hoping for 2600fps
 
Day 10

Sat the leopard blind this AM. No sighting

We were on buffalo that led us on a very tough walk through many canyons, Arroyos or draws. whichever you prefer. unseasonably hot temps at 104 degrees during this fast paced walk and then my wife aggravated her knee meniscus. This ends up being the toughest mid day stalk. we get close to a road and call it quits to let her knee rest.

We sit this evening and no leopard.
 
Day 11

We get settled into the blind and he is on the bait. Dalton is watching thru his Flir device. Then :10 before shooting light he leaves the tree. This disappointing, but also the boost we needed.

My wife is going to take the day off from walking and stalking due to yesterdays heat and sore knee.

We get into five different groups of cows throughout the day. often walking at a quick pace. Its another unseasonably hot day. over 100 again. One group had two tuskless without calves but we never get a clean shot. It still amazes me how close you can get to such a huge animal, but still have no ethical shot. A young bull got a little cheeky with us and we humbly withdraw.

The Fifth group and stalk of the day had a different result than all others. After tracking for some time and this being most likely just another stalk. I am going through the inner dialogue that we have lost the herd and am not fully in the moment, just blindly following along. Its hot and this is the 5th herd of the day.

Then I am shocked back into the present moment. We are in a small narrow creek bed with water and I look to my left at perhaps 30 yards and I see a handful of impala acting very nervous. at the same time my teams excitement level has risen. The trackers are pointing and getting very excited. Dalton is on high alert also. The sticks go up and I am thinking cool. I get to shoot something with my .505 Gibbs. one of the impala.

I think I raised my rifle towards the Impala. I don't remember which pointed out the huge grey beast at 25 yards, the tracker or Dalton.

An Instant shot of adrenalin hits me hard. I go from thinking I am shooting more bait to a huge Tuskless standing broadside at 25 yards apparently not knowing we were there. Dalton later shared how since the herd we were tracking was still ahead and she was off to the side and behind them. she was on that high creek bank listening to the herd ahead and also perhaps listening for us.

Dalton whispers for me to take the heart shot. I whisper back I can see the side brain shot. He says too many sticks and branches and to shoot her in the chest. I do as I am told and fire free hand from approximately 20-25 yards. with her being much higher than us on the creek bank it seemed further than 20 but I don't think it was.

She goes down immediately. (thru all the stalks I kept telling myself countless times. after the first shot rack and get a second shot off no matter what). (Dalton told horror stories of brain shot elephants' running away). So unconsciously I fire a second round into her falling body. Dalton and I both hit her with shots two and three before she hit the ground. More of a testament to my rifles very smooth action than my skill.

This all happened very quickly as it usually does. We walk to the majestic animal and Dalton ask me to put another insurance shot in the front of her chest. What a moment. She is ancient and now I
feel remorse and happiness that she died very quickly.

We all re tell the story over and over. Then Dalton calls our driver and says to me you want to know the best part of this is the the road is 20 yards away. Of course I had no idea. but what are the odds of tracking all those miles. and some stalks taking us miles and miles from roads. I am still shocked how they track the quarry anywhere and worry about how to get it out later.

I think back and am still shocked how the 525 grain CEB solid knocked her down immediately with a heart shot. She didn’t take one step. Definitely good elephant medicine. She is so old there isn’t even enough hair on her tail to make a braclet.

Dalton will have the tractor and wagon pickup the cow in the AM. All the meat was driven by tractor 50 miles away to the closest people and it’s donated there. It was nice that D&Y would spend the time and money to move that meat that far. a lot of time, labor and cost.



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Day 11

We get settled into the blind and he is on the bait. Dalton is watching thru his Flir device. Then :10 before shooting light he leaves the tree. This disappointing, but also the boost we needed.

My wife is going to take the day off from walking and stalking due to yesterdays heat and sore knee.

We get into five different groups of cows throughout the day. often walking at a quick pace. Its another unseasonably hot day. over 100 again. One group had two tuskless without calves but we never get a clean shot. It still amazes me how close you can get to such a huge animal, but still have no ethical shot. A young bull got a little cheeky with us and we humbly withdraw.

The Fifth group and stalk of the day had a different result than all others. After tracking for some time and this being most likely just another stalk. I am going through the inner dialogue that we have lost the herd and am not fully in the moment, just blindly following along. Its hot and this is the 5th herd of the day.

Then I am shocked back into the present moment. We are in a small narrow creek bed with water and I look to my left at perhaps 30 yards and I see a handful of impala acting very nervous. at the same time my teams excitement level has risen. The trackers are pointing and getting very excited. Dalton is on high alert also. The sticks go up and I am thinking cool. I get to shoot something with my .505 Gibbs. one of the impala.

I think I raised my rifle towards the Impala. I don't remember which pointed out the huge grey beast at 25 yards, the tracker or Dalton.

An Instant shot of adrenalin hits me hard. I go from thinking I am shooting more bait to a huge Tuskless standing broadside at 25 yards apparently not knowing we were there. Dalton later shared how since the herd we were tracking was still ahead and she was off to the side and behind them. she was on that high creek bank listening to the herd ahead and also perhaps listening for us.

Dalton whispers for me to take the heart shot. I whisper back I can see the side brain shot. He says too many sticks and branches and to shoot her in the chest. I do as I am told and fire free hand from approximately 20-25 yards. with her being much higher than us on the creek bank it seemed further than 20 but I don't think it was.

She goes down immediately. (thru all the stalks I kept telling myself countless times. after the first shot rack and get a second shot off no matter what). (Dalton told horror stories of brain shot elephants' running away). So unconsciously I fire a second round into her falling body. Dalton and I both hit her with shots two and three before she hit the ground. More of a testament to my rifles very smooth action than my skill.

This all happened very quickly as it usually does. We walk to the majestic animal and Dalton ask me to put another insurance shot in the front of her chest. What a moment. She is ancient and now I
feel remorse and happiness that she died very quickly.

We all re tell the story over and over. Then Dalton calls our driver and says to me you want to know the best part of this is the the road is 20 yards away. Of course I had no idea. but what are the odds of tracking all those miles. and some stalks taking us miles and miles from roads. I am still shocked how they track the quarry anywhere and worry about how to get it out later.

I think back and am still shocked how the 525 grain CEB solid knocked her down immediately with a heart shot. She didn’t take one step. Definitely good elephant medicine. She is so old there isn’t even enough hair on her tail to make a braclet.

Dalton will have the tractor and wagon pickup the cow in the AM. All the meat was driven by tractor 50 miles away to the closest people and it’s donated there. It was nice that D&Y would spend the time and money to move that meat that far. a lot of time, labor and cost.



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Congrats on the tuskless! I to am a fan of the 505 Gibbs. That combination of caliber and bullet makes some good medicine!

HH
 
Congrats on the ele! Look forward to more!
 
Day 12

After celebrating the teams success with the Tuskless after a lot of effort. With too many beverages and for too long the night before, we are up at the normal time and are after Buffalo for my wife.
We find tracks and are in and out of them all morning until they bed to chew cud. We leave them and return to camp. Which is a nice break since I'm suffering from the night before with a slight spark knock.

We return to where we left the buffalo this morning and drive around the next block to check if they have crossed a road. they have crossed but turned and went back into the same block they were in this morning.
Dalton finds a well worn game trail that is heading for a river. The trail allows us all to quietly circle around the herd. The brown recently fallen leaves are very noisy. We quickly hear the buffalo ahead. they are facing in our direction, left and right. so we advance one step. Freeze, wait, take a step, freeze. we don't make good time. then they eventually head off back towards the road. We are in and out of the herd until dark. Never seeing a bull worthy of taking. But it was an exciting day with Buffalo.


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Day 14

We work a large herd and mid morning finally work into position in front of them. They come out on the opposite open hillside. They are feeding from right to left. The mature bull Dalton directs my wife to shoot is in and out of cows. He’s finally clear but about to walk into the brush. He tells her to shoot. She says it’s walking. I think we all feel the pressure of two weeks of hunting and she shoots when she knows she shouldn’t. 150 yards on a walking Buffalo.

We watch the herd feed up and over the ridge. Dalton, Tongai and Gums start searching for blood. The trackers come back after scouring for an hour. Guns says it’s a clear miss he is confident he saw the bullet hit the dirt under the bull. Dalton comes back from 120 degrees from the direction the herd went and says he say the broomed white faced bull uphill. Let’s go.

We are on them quickly and within :30 we have to old bulls within 80 yards. We close and one turns and is facing at 60 yards. She is on the sticks. We are all waiting for the shot. It stands there facing us for 30 seconds. He isn’t the broomed white bull but still one of the old separate bulls.

After here recent miss she is now very reluctant to shoot and wasn’t confident in to frontal at 60 yards. That was a tough couple hours on the teams attitude. But thankfully no wounded bulls were a result.

We check leopard baits and jackpot !! We find another Tom hit another bait. We build a blind and sit the new blind that evening.
He does not show until after we leave
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Day 15

Last day of our hunt it’s been a great hunt and even if we do not get the bull Buffalo or cat we are satisfied.

We go back to find the old bulls from the day before. My wife tells me to go for the bull. She will concentrate on the new leopard on bait. So now I am up to bat for the Buffalo. Carrying my .416 Taylor.

We follow the bulls which are tagging along with the herd. Dalton thinks the old bulls go in and out of the herds for the added security from all the lions in the area.

I’ll post pictures of a couple male lions that stole one of our baits. We saw lion tracks quite often.


So, after many attempts one of our circles around and in front of the herd panned out. Here comes the first few cows. We are position perfectly. For their feeding direction. But the wind is marginal. But it holds. Cows feed through my shooting lane and here comes a bull. He is not the target bull but it’s the last day and Dalton says shoot him as soon as he’s clear. I track him as he moves from my left to right. I’m squeezing as I follow his shoulder with the crosshairs. The shot breaks and I instantly know it’s a fatal shot.

We give him a bit and close in. The bull is dead within 10 yards. The 400 grain safari raptor did its job very well.

A little too well. Tongai tells Dalton he thinks he saw a cow behind the bull in the trees. He thinks it was hit. Neither Dalton or I could see the cow from our position.

When examining the bull we see the Raptor went through the off shoulder. UhOh.

We move in the direction herd went and quickly find blood. Then 60 yards away a dead cow.

We are very fortunate that he has another cow on quota.

It takes over an hour to hack a trail in for the landcruiser. It takes two trips to get the bull and the cow loaded and out.




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Excited for the conclusion of the leopard adventure. Congrats on the buffalo and especially that ancient tuskless!
 
The leopard shows just before legal hours are up. Dalton tells her to shoot when she is ready.

Since I am behind the chairs and can’t see. Dalton and my wife tell later that the cat has pulled the Impala out of optimal position. It allows the cat to feed without being in the intended broadside position.

He is wrestling the Impala, pulling, he is up and down. angling towards her not broadside. She is reluctant to shoot. The light is fading, the angle isn’t great and he won’t stop moving.

I’m sitting behind, completely clueless on what’s going on. And BOOM !

We are all silent. No sound from the cat. Or anything.

We wait about :20 and Dalton calls for the truck.

My wife tells me she thinks she missed and is very upset that after two weeks of work she didn’t make a good shot. I remind that no matter the outcome. We all shared in adding the pressure and she wasn’t given the optimal shot.

After well over an hour of looking for blood. It’s determined that it’s a clean miss.

the cat was back on the bait an hour after we left. She is relieved the Tom isn’t wounded.

So two weeks of labor and no cat. the upside is. We got all the excitement without a trophy fee.
 

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