Double Non Trophy Elephant with Lindon
PH. Lin Stanton
Area. Hwange Communal Land
Dates. 25/4 - 4/5 2018
Species hunted. Elephant hyena.
Species seen. Elephant,hyena,impala ,kudu, bushbuck,warthog,crocodile,hippo and buffalo.
Jo and Christine had hunted with me on several previous occasions. They both love the tracking and getting up close to elephant. We would be hunting for two elephant bulls with broken tusks or bulls that were considered to be non trophy.
Due to the heavy rains that we had in the Barotse flood plains in Zambia, the Zambezi river was in full flood making it impossible to get to camp using the cruisers so we had to ferry ourselves across everyday. The first morning we decided to head three hours from camp and work our way back looking for tracks and sign of elephant. Asking the villages was also a great help (sometimes often they would tell stories so we would hunt near their village so they could get meat.) after several hours of not finding much at all we decided to have a lunch break on one of the bigger rivers in the concession After having lunch the trackers spoke to a villager who confirmed that five bulls had entered his field during the night. He took us to the field and sure enough there was tracks of five bulls that had demolished his sorghum and maize crop. We decide to follow them and see how far they would go.
Being midday we packed plenty of water ready for a long walk. It wasn’t long before the bulls found a big path and began to pick up the pace. It took us three hours of fast walking to eventually start to hear the branches braking in the distance.Being early season we got pretty close before we could actually see them. We never really saw all the bulls but there would have been at least ten to twelve bulls there I assumed they joined another group. Having the wind right we got set up on the shooting sticks and waited for two bulls that fed towards us. It seemed forever before the bull we wanted cleared a big bush and gave us a clear frontal shot. Jo’s .450 dropped him in his tracks,hind legs collapsing first. After photos we marked the spot on the gps then had to walk two hours back to the nearest road. It was to late in the evening to recover so that was done the next day.
After a day of recovering the elephant and some evening fishing we headed out in our Stateland block about three hours from camp, we had heard from one of our workers that there was some big bulls moving around a dam in Stateland. On arrival we found that there was several bulls moving in the area, it was almost impossible to track as there was so many tracks of bulls and cows moving in all different directions. We spent the morning and most of the afternoon checking various water points and looking for fresh sign. It wasn’t until we were in our way back to camp when the tracker tapped on the roof and said he had seen an elephant. We decided we would have a look and see what was there. We grabbed our weapons and backpacks and headed off in their direction. We quickly found there tracks and followed them there were five bulls 4 younger ones and one old bull with broken off tusks which is what we were looking for.we were fortunate enough to get in pretty close. The bull must have heard us as he turned and faced us with his ears spread out. At twenty paces Jo made another perfect brain shot and the bull went down.
We spent the next few days relaxing and fishing. We also managed to bag a beautiful big hyena that was feeding off the scraps of the elephant.