Hunting In The Selous With The Vincents August - September 2006

Part IV

Chris and Don being picked up from the air strip a few miles from our camp.

Some of the fish caught in the river

Walter's zebra!

Alan being very brave to let Walter give him a hair cut! Walter kept telling him "anything I do will be an improvement over your present looks!"

This old hippo has been in a few fights as you can see by all his wounds. In fact, he was involved in one as I took this photo. He is facing up to another one just under the water in front of him.

Our croc. We put up our hippo bait for them, and the poachers came and took the lot. We stopped the truck about half a mile away from the river, and walked to where we left the bait. Hoping we might find one of these feeding on it. Instead, we saw a poacher take off as he saw all the birds take off. There was no meat left on the hippo at all, as they have already stripped him. We had to shoot a buffalo and put that one up for bait. That paid off. As we came to look the next morning, we could see several smaller crocs sunning themselves, and this one was on this very island he is sitting on in the photo. I put a bullet into his head. He did not move. Roy suggested I put another one into him, which I was glad to do. At the second shot, he arched his back slightly, so I just fired the other two cartridges I had in the magazine into his neck and head. I am sure none of them was necessary, but,  as Walter put it, I needed the practice.

An African wild dog. We saw several groups of these. This lot seemed to have just fed, as their muzzles were covered in blood

Yours truly filing the daily reports. And it seems no matter where I sat, the smoke always came my way!

Enrique with Dwight and Mama Salama and his zebra

This is a hippo path that has been blocked by poachers as you can see. They then put their snares on an unblocked path, so the animals get caught

This chap was waiting while were cutting up the hippo.

Walter's specialty! We were very lucky to have him agree to cook this for us on several occasions. Nothing like cutting pieces off the meat and eating it at the fire.

Walter wanted to shoot a wildebeest for the past 4 years. We saw a herd of about 15, with a good bull amongst them. Luckily, the bull was standing all on his own, otherwise I would imagine trying to point him out to Walter would have been an impossible task. Anyway, he did manage to shoot the bull. The bull ran off and stood among the trees you see Walter, Roy and Alan looking at. We could only see his hind legs. The rest of him was hidden behind a tree.

Roy "There he is. Can you see him Walter?"

"I see many wildebeest. Which one is he?"

"Can you see him waving his tail"

"Which tail? I can see so many wiggling tails"

I said "Can't you tell a bull's tail from a cow's?"

"NO I cannot! They are too far to tell which one has balls and which one hasn't."

The bull then lay down, and we could just about see the shape of his back and tail as it moved. Walter could not see him.

"Walter, can you see the one lying down?"

"NO! But I can see all the ones standing up! May be the one I have shot is already dead"

Roy "No he is not dead! I can see his tail moving"

"May be it is only reflex action. I am sure he is dead. I know my bullet was deadly"

The bull then got up and moved a few yards. He was standing broadside, with two cows standing either side of him. Trouble was he was in the shadow, and difficult to see.

"There he is. Shoot him again, and make sure you shoot the right one"

"Is he the one on the left or the one on the right?"

"He is the one in the middle!"

"There is nothing in the middle but dark space"

"That is him"

The bull moved slight, and Walter saw him. He shot him again, and managed to end his 4 year desire to shoot a wildebeest.

The wildebeests can be seen under the trees. Walter's bull was lying just to the right of the center tree trunk visible in the photo

Our hero and his wildebeest

Walter and Todd

Hippos having a fight right in front of our camp. There were three of them, and two were ganging up on one. He is the one in the middle of the photo, and as you can see, he is about to get a big bite on his neck. After this we could see blood pouring out of his wounds. He left these two and wondered towards another bunch down the river. As he got to about 100 yards of them, a big bull broke off the pod and came towards him. They stopped about 10 yards apart. Then this one turned tail and went on his own. Somehow he seemed to be in everyone bad books.

This is how we judge buffalo! We find the tracks of a herd, and look for a really big pile! We then try to find who made it. That is a 375/404 cartridge for size

We chased a herd of buffalo after shooting one bull from it. We caught up with them in very thick bush. And after quite a while, we managed to see the head of a bull which was standing broadside to us, but his body was hidden from view. I got ready on the shooting sticks, and waited for him to move forward. Eventually he did, and the distance was about 150 yards. I fired at him, and he dropped in his tracks. We walked up to him, and as we usually do, put another bullet into his chest. After examining him, we found that my first bullet had hit hid going sideways, breaking his spine. We then found this lead wood tree branch, about 1 inch in diameter, which the bullet went through before hitting the buffalo. The branch was about 7 yards from the buffalo.

This bull had a white face, and his body was covered with white spots as well. He had funny looking horns.

I have never seen a buffalo bull that looked like this one

 

The entrance of the bullet

The bullet as we found it under the skin on the opposite side of the buffalo after breaking his spine

There were plenty of waterbuck on this concession, and this is the one we got this year

A WALTERABLE pig that I shot. It would have been perfect for Walter, but, unfortunately for him, he was not with us that day. So I ended up shooting it for him! And all I got was a load of insults! Nothing unusual there.

This bull took offense to us getting close, and chased us. We had to put the truck in reverse to get away from him

Hippos on their way to feed. We have found their tracks very far from the river.

One of a number of bee eaters that came to our camp every day

Another frequent visitor to the river by our camp