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Normal Topic An Unguided Big Game Hunt in Northern Cameroon (Read 3083 times)
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An Unguided Big Game Hunt in Northern Cameroon
Feb 22nd, 2010 at 1:08pm
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This is friend from Alberta hunt report.

Preamble: My great amigo Phill  booked this hunt a couple of years ago with Cam Greig who advertises unguided big game safaris in Cameroon. Phill and another chap were to go on this hunt but an illness in the family forced Phill to postpone and his friend went without him. This guy  busted his achilles tendon in the hotel the day before he was to go into the bush - went anyways and somehow knocked off  a couple of the animals ... Sucker must be one tough hombre. Anyways .. a year or two later I met Phill in Calgary and we began the long long journey to Northern Cameroon.

I will speak only of my part of the trip.

Rifle: Ruger left handed Hawkeye 375 .. laminated stock ... Burris illuminated Euro Diamond scope. It was mostly impossible to get factory shells in Canada for the 375 Ruger so I took mostly reloads .. (Hornaldy) with a few solids brought along in case an elephant tried to take me out.

Airlines used: Air Canada (who charged me $50 for having a rifle along) and Swiss Air from Montreal/Zurich/Doula/Yaounde.  Phill and I damn near got off in Douala that night ... that would have been soooooooo bad ...

Eventually we got to Yaounde and Daniel (the manager) met us at the luggage and took us to get our rifles cleared. This involved two sets of officials and bribe money was involved. We were told that the airports are a cesspool of humanity and some sure fit that category ... Other officials were very nice. From there we spent the night at a $55 hotel (Xavier) that must have been something about 50 years ago but it was obvious that no money had been spent on upkeep since the fifties.

From there we had about a 15 1/2 hour train ride north. We had sleeper accomodations and it was fine. The train seemed to stop often and there were always folks hawking stuff. The bananas were tasty. I had never ridden on a train before and thought that it must have been a little like sleeping during an earthquake ..

I looked on this trip as an adventure and a chance to see a culture that was certainly different than what I had experienced in such places as Angola, Zim, Namibia, and South Africa. In the first 14 days we saw a total of about 11 white folks, half a dozen albinos, and smokers were so rare that they must number 1/500 ... amazing, really. Also saw a traffic cop go nuts and kicked the hell out of some poor loser's car .. front and side.  :eek:

Later there was a three hour automobile drive which eventually ended in a village. After spending the night there and getting our guns blessed by the chief .. we drove another five miles (GPS) and got out for the hunt.

I wanted a savannah buffalo and that was all I needed to make me happy and content. I have earlier shot cape buffalo, Australian water buffalo, and a different kind of water buffalo in Uruguay.

We had ten porters/skinners/trackers waiting for us and eventually most of our gear was loaded into blue barrels for packing .. along with food and all kinds of other stuff that a person would need on a walking safari .. far from any road or (hopefully) people.

That first day we set off in the hot sun late in the morning and walked hard for a couple of hours. It actually took a bit longer than that and I must admit that I was bagged by the time we reached the spot where we would put up camp. Cam had suggested that we bring hammocks so I did that very thing . Everyone else seemed surprised in my choice and I never really enjoyed it very much. It was great to rest in but tough to enjoy sleeping ...

The way the trackers hunt was to walk at top speed for hours and hours .. They called it hard walking . Much of the ground was totally covered with golf ball sized termite mounds that were very tiring. Luckily I had some great boots (Titanium ... ) with strong ankle support and that helped. Back at camp we immediately took our boots off and put on sneakers .. we spent a lot of time making sure that our feet were doing well and we did O.K. there. Daniel was surprised that we weren't bothered all that much by blisters as he said most folks are. The trackers had nasty little tight .. almost plastic type runners and seemed to do just fine. Although they seemed to lack traction on the rocks.

That afternoon I got a 60 yard shot at a huge bushbuck ram that was bedded behind a giant rock. I could see 1/3 of his body and using my new fancy bog pod ... steady as hell .. I slowly squeezed off a shot and .. to my immense amazement - I hit the damn rock .. about 6 inches low on it, too !!!  :mad: The lucky ram boogied and I was left to ponder on that one.  :confused: I do not remember pulling the shot and have come up with the wild supposition that one of the legs gave out when I shot .. that it wasn't screwed tight ...  I felt bad that the men would have no fresh meat from me that night but it was O.K. to miss. I already have a big bushbuck on my wall ... so I'll get over it.

On the way back to camp .. around 5:30 p.m. with darkness soon to follow .. I was about three feet behind the tracker and as I was stepping forward I saw that I was about to step either on or inches away from a viper !!! Aaarrghhh ! The tracker had not noticed it. I leaped so violently to the immediate side that I got a temporary side ache !!! Smiley So I came within inches of getting myself killed that first day in the bush ... The water guy took his panga, cut down a small tree for a club, smucked the snake, cut off its head with the panga, buried the head, and took it back to camp for vittles.

The men had told us that there were plenty of roan and plenty of buffalo. I was to  later understand that 'plenty' meant any number larger than 0 but not discounting the fact that it could be 0.  :rotflmo:

Over the course of the hunt we would walk 8-10 hours a day .. They walked fast and when we hunted in the 'mountains' - well, I felt that I was being given day long beatings every day ... We would often walk for two or three hours without seeing a fresh track or even much for old sign. There was a lot of poaching activity with lots of snares being found .. one day we came on 3 poachers and five dogs up in the mountains where we were told that the game had all gone. There wasn't much sign there either as I am sure that poachers with dogs would move game out in a hurry.  I saw another poacher another day and there were lots of old camps. Another day we came on a herd of zebu cattle in the concession. The herdsguy ran off and for a while the damn cattle followed us around.  :rolleyes:

We were told that there would be few animals and that the locals hunted. This was all true and when later we were told that there was in fact a  lot of game - well, we never saw that at all.

One of the guys in camp was our cook and we ate some wild game .. rice and spaghetti .. and a few freeze dried meals that I had brought.

Our clothes were washed daily - good job ! We bathed daily and used Bond medicated powder to avoid getting chaffed .. it was great advice and worked perfectly.

I wore loose baggy clothes and we would wet our hats and sometimes our shirts in assorted springs to keep cool. We were also told to drink a minimum of one gallon of boiled water a day  .. I did, Phill didn't and he chose - poorly.

Eventually I got onto a small herd of five buffalo and the first animal I saw was the old bull. Broadside ... in a little clearing .. at about forty or fifty yards ... I shot him in the shoulder, he went down, got up, shot him again in the shoulder, went down, tried to get up and I whacked him in the neck ...

For the last year I had been having some rather lousy luck on my hunting trips ... it all changed right there !!! :beer: I was ecstatic !!!

Sadly my damn memory card had gone to hell in my camera. Luckily the tracker then ran five miles back for a replacement card that I took another 530 photos with .. (I shall try to salvage the other card tomorrow ???)

The only part of that buffalo not used was part of the lower jawbone ... everything else including hoofs and hide (hair burned off and then cut into strips and smoked)  was either eaten or taken back to the village later.

I also watched the men eat a confiscated baboon that we took off some poachers ... and when they got a monkey from somewhere .. well, it was tossed into the fire to get rid of the hair ...

All very interesting ,,,,

There was one hartebeest dragging a snare around that three of our men eventually took their spears and ran it down and killed it .. it was tasty.

Game:

Lord Derby Eland - a few tracks

Roan - two spotted from far off ... we tracked roans four or five times but were unable to come up with a sighting.

Buffalo- one herd of five

Elephant - some ancient sign

Small game:

Oribi - a few small ones .. maybe ten in total over the hunt

Duiker (rouge) - a couple of fleeting glances

Bushbuck - maybe 6 or 8 in total .. one good ram spotted that I missed.

Waterbuck - no sign

Warthog -  a few tracks

Red River Hog - one track

I got my second wind about day four or five and that really helped.

For me ... and I have been to Africa on 12 or 14 safaris ...so I have something to compare... it was a great adventure ... I loved it ... loved our 'staff'.. they were hard working, honest, cheerful and respectful ...

The hunting was very hard .. very little game .. but since I came for buffalo .. it worked out perfectly for me.


I saw many many interesting sights ... and it was the perfect culmination (for now) of my African hunting that began in 1977 in South Africa back when things there were a bit less groomed ..

I would rate it ... as an adventure/hunting trip ... for a guy who wanted to experience remote Northern Cameroon without a guide or vehicles ... a walking safari... a 9/10. More game would have been nice.

I doubt if my amigo would rate it much higher than about a 3/10 .. Just a guess.

My lady asked me last night who I would/could recommend the hunt to .. actually, no one ... But for me it was perfect ... Everyone is tougher than me physically (actually I am tied with the Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man) but I try hard and that counts for a lot ...

I am glad that I did it ...

   

Richard trying to recover his breath during the hunt..

   

Breakfast (or dinner ?)

   

Black hands because of the burnt grass and trees

   

Zebu cattle following the hunters

   

The game scout rifle, circa 1928 ??

   

The guy who speared a hartebeest :eek:

   

Richard's bed  :rotflmo:

   

Poacher's camp

   

Supper  Cheesy

   

Phill's face says a LOT about the tough hunt these two crazy men went into..

   

Endless fields of termite mounds the size of golf balls makes the walking very difficult

   

Richard using his vest to protect his face from the sun while tracking roan.

   

Waterboy and courious ant hill..

   

Richard with the rest of the safari members

   

Natural viagra made of roots by the staff..

   

Richard and his ol'bull. To tired for "posing"

   

A close look from the buffalo horns

   

Meat drying on racks...yummy Cheesy

   

The only thing that escaped from being eated, the buff under jaw.

   

A tough and happy guy...

   


  

To my deep mortification, my father once said to me, ‘You care for nothing but shooting, dogs, and rat-catching and you will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family.’ Charles Darwin
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Re: An Unguided Big Game Hunt in Northern Cameroon
Reply #1 - Feb 22nd, 2010 at 3:31pm
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Sounds like one hell of an adventure.
  

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Re: An Unguided Big Game Hunt in Northern Cameroon
Reply #2 - Feb 22nd, 2010 at 7:09pm
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Just sounds like a bloody tough trip.  And man, you'd have to be healthy.
Thanks for the post TP.
  

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Re: An Unguided Big Game Hunt in Northern Cameroon
Reply #3 - Feb 22nd, 2010 at 8:28pm
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I didn't realize you could do that sort of hunt.  That would be the way to do it.
  
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Re: An Unguided Big Game Hunt in Northern Cameroon
Reply #4 - Feb 22nd, 2010 at 8:44pm
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Cool Cool

Sounds like a very hard hunt.

Thanks for posting TP, nice to see some pics as well
  
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Re: An Unguided Big Game Hunt in Northern Cameroon
Reply #5 - Feb 22nd, 2010 at 10:08pm
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Cool
  

It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right.
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Re: An Unguided Big Game Hunt in Northern Cameroon
Reply #6 - Feb 23rd, 2010 at 12:05pm
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epic
  

Full tit. Nothing else.
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Re: An Unguided Big Game Hunt in Northern Cameroon
Reply #7 - Feb 24th, 2010 at 3:29pm
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true hunting the way it should be
no #^%$@ tree stand with a farm raised deer eating from a pile of corn at a 100yrds shot with a 300 ultrs mag
maybe not the most game but alot to remember
not sure i could eat monkey for dinner
but the rest sounds great
  

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Re: An Unguided Big Game Hunt in Northern Cameroon
Reply #8 - Feb 27th, 2010 at 2:35am
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demanding hunt but rewarding moments
Cool

^..^
  

My tool is a " Stiletto"...
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Re: An Unguided Big Game Hunt in Northern Cameroon
Reply #9 - Feb 27th, 2010 at 9:54pm
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Great story there TP- read it start to finish- but please tell what a bunch of guys out in the bush would needing viagra for?
  
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Re: An Unguided Big Game Hunt in Northern Cameroon
Reply #10 - Feb 28th, 2010 at 6:17pm
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"but please tell what a bunch of guys out in the bush would needing viagra for?"

There are Women in Africa Wink
  

To my deep mortification, my father once said to me, ‘You care for nothing but shooting, dogs, and rat-catching and you will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family.’ Charles Darwin
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Re: An Unguided Big Game Hunt in Northern Cameroon
Reply #11 - Feb 28th, 2010 at 10:11pm
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enjoyed that immensly and yes was wondering about the viagra roots too
  

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