Jack Brittingham's 2003 African Hunt
Field Report #1 - July 2, 2003
Greetings from Tanzania!
We arrived two days ago in our Mbono River camp and have had an action packed time since our arrival. After checking our guns on the first afternoon we were ready for an early start yesterday morning. Not more than half a mile from camp we spotted some cape buffalo and quickly got off the vehicle to begin our approach. The closer we got the more buffalo we saw, until we finally estimated more than 200 head. We had to move to the East to keep the wind in our favor, and eventually were able to move around the herd until we were in front of them. I can't tell you how exciting it was to have these unbelievable animals feeding towards us at less than forty yards!
One bull in the lead group was very mature with close to a forty inch spread. Because we needed to get our cat baits up and going, as well as needing camp meat, I decided to take him. Just as I was about to shoot he spotted us and whirled to run. I held my shot with the .375, thinking I was going to have to pass the opportunity. Just then he stopped and turned for one last look, and I promptly popped him in the neck putting him on his back. Doug Mcneil and I immediately ran around the back side of him and as he was regaining his feet, I was able to hit him again from the front. The shot entered his neck and traveled the length of his body putting him down for good. the last shot was up close and personal at about ten yards ... not a bad way to start a hunt!
The balance of the day was spent butchering the bull and hanging leopard and lion baits.
This morning we went straight out to check the baits and saw two leopards feeding from the first bait. After checking the second bait with no action we returned to build a blind at the leopard spot. We finished the blind a little too late to move in for the afternoon so we will return tomorrow, PM for first official cat hunt.
My hunting partner, Ray Murski, killed a nice Zebra (as I write this there is a hyena whooping about a half mile from camp) and made some baits of his own. Last night, one of the baits was hit by a lion but, from the tracks it is not a mature cat. He will check the baits again tomorrow to see any new action.
Best regards from the Mbono camp,