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Lions in the Bubye

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2012 at 17:09
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In a lightening quick display of smooth raw power that defies words, she reared up and erupted from the thick waist high grass a mere 14 yards away. Ears flattened against her head, nails extended, yellow flecked eyes boiling with anger and resentment she emitted a blood curdling roar of rage and defiance as she sprang.

“Shoot her”, my PH yelled as he and the willowy Matabele trackers quickly moved to the side….

It was my fifth day of hunting for lioness and cape buffalo with my PH John Sharp out of the Lamulas camp in the Bubye in the lowveld area situated in the south east of Zimbabwe on the old Pioneer wagon trail between the famed Tuli Block and the Shashe River. This is the renowned sweetveld region, purchased by Liebigs (later Lemco) at the turn of the 20th century. It is where the "Great White Hunters" such as Frederick Courteney Selous came to hunt in the late 1800's.

Although we had encountered several lions the previous four days, all were males. We had just examined the bait we previously set out the day before, and determined that a small pride had been feeding and likely still close by. We decided to follow their spoor and hope to encounter a lioness.

The Matabele trackers Isaac and Kevin were attempted to tease out the path the lions took in the thick tall grass and scrub when it happened. Naturally we assumed we had unwittingly stumbled in amongst the pride. While John was scanning the immediate grass and brush with his .470NE expecting another lion or two to pop up, I fortunately made quick work of the enraged lioness.

Without thinking and simply relying on instinct and muscle memory I shouldered my .375 H&H and quickly shot the lioness as she landed on all fours and turned herself towards the trackers (whom were a good 3-4 yards closer to her).

My bullet struck true, and she leapt a good 3 feet in the air and did a half twist in mid-air. Upon landing she ran no more than 10 feet in the opposite direction, and promptly nosed dived and expired.

The next two minutes were quite intense as we waited to see if any other lions were going to appear. Apparently the lioness was alone, or the others has simply buggard off? Everyone sighed their relief, and there were smiles, handshakes and nervous giggles at the close call we had just experienced.


John standing where the lioness made her presence known.










Edited by FOsteology - September/20/2012 at 18:56
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2012 at 17:09
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 Giraffe was utilized for bait. They were by far the most economical PG species to use, as they're extremely large (lots of meat), cheap (relatively speaking), numerous, and relatively easy to acquire. I ended up taking three. One I'll keep as a "trophy" as he was the blackest stink bull I've ever seen.

Here's some pictures to show the process:


















Edited by FOsteology - September/20/2012 at 18:58
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2012 at 17:10
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On the thirteenth day, I shot another lioness. Not quite as dramatic and intense as the first. We caught her out in the open as she was leaving the bait.

She finally stopped long enough at 32 yards away for me to place a certain first shot. As with the first lioness, upon being hit she leapt a good 3-4 feet in the air, however, upon landing made a beeline straight for me. Before I could hit her a second time, she nosed dived crashing into the dirt. I then placed a shot between her shoulder blades for insurance.







No idea on their weight, other than BIG. An attempt was made a few times, but she kept sliding off my shoulder. Couldn't get enough leverage to keep her in place long enough for a picture. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2012 at 08:38
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WOW, that's quite an adventure! Sounds as if a drawer change may have been necessary. Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2012 at 09:53
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What did you do about the lion cubs? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2012 at 10:47
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Originally posted by bugsNbows bugsNbows wrote:

WOW, that's quite an adventure! Sounds as if a drawer change may have been necessary. Excellent


X2  YippeeYippeeYippee

Peddler

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2012 at 18:59
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Bait sights are selected (most often downwind of a water source), and hung with care. Once in place, the bait is covered with branches to hide from the vultures. Stomach and intestine contents, fluids and blood from the giraffe is spread on the bait tree, and a drag from the intestine is made to help the lions find the bait quicker.















 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2012 at 19:00
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2012 at 19:00
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A tremendous amount of bait is required as the Bubye is inundated with lions. They make short work of the bait....

As does a little fox terrier!    :grin:











Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2012 at 19:01
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Mmmmmm.... tasty giraffe.










 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2012 at 19:03
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No shortage of lions in the Bubye.





















Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2012 at 19:04
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2012 at 19:05
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Second giraffe that I took that was turned into bait for lion.






And finally the "Black Beauty". Hopefully the tanning will come out perfect so I can do a shoulder mount and use the back skin for a small rug.





Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/21/2012 at 13:18
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Is there any specific reason for you to hunt a female lion as opposed to a male? Just preference? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/21/2012 at 16:29
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Several reasons.

The Bubye is inundated with lions. Females need to be managed just as much as males.

Lioness are generally much more aggressive than the males. The pride male will typically buggar off leaving the females to defend his back. Same holds true why many are hunting tuskless cow elephant. The element of danger, excitement, and adrenaline is higher than going after a bull.

In addition, a lioness hunt is a heck of lot more affordable (relatively speaking). Hunting a trophy male is serious $$$. In the Bubye, it would set one back more than 65k plus bait, plus airfare, etc... Zambia and Tanzania it would cost even more.




Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/21/2012 at 22:57
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So you manage the surplus population of dangerous game (dangerous or not, really) as hunters do over here. That makes sense, it seems a little strange to me with them being lions and all. Different continent different animals I guess.



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2012 at 15:02
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I agree the black giraffe is just incredibly beautiful!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2012 at 12:48
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Sounds like a hell of a trip! I can't imagine taking shots at 32 yards for game like that! I'd rather stick to the 100-300 yard range Excellent
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