where and when
as i read a few interesting threads like the big fallow in wales , the indeference in weights of the hummel ,munjac as heavy as a good roe then sikamalc's european red ,now duggers stag, what else is about and where they were shot ?.my heaviest roe was a cull buck seven pointer from gloucester with jacket off was 49 1/2 lbs 5years ago
fallow buck 185 lbs other side of stratford upon avon last year
red stag in my members gall this october 370lbs with head and cape off shot by maccelesfield(head weighed 50lbs by its self)i am not interested in who shot the biggest or best, more the fact that in who has shot wot and where? Does not matter if it is a munty which was 15 lbs or sika hind from argyll weighing upto 70lbs i like a good story and im sure other stalkers would like to hear about it
I am surprised at the number of Roe that have now moved into central Kent. This year I have had 4 Roe bucks and one doe when last year I only saw one buck all season. I have had 2 fallow prickets, 2 hummels and 3 does. Not too bad for a recreational stalker in a county that is not well known for its deer.
there are some big reds up around that way stone well done.
I shot a Roe Buck in Gloucestershire this Autumn. Didn't get to weigh it but it was bloody heavy and everyone who saw it thought so too! I reckon it was at least 40lbs gralloched. My personal best!
One of the most memorable moments of my stalking/hunting career was the trip I organised to Zimbabwe in 1998 for Cape Buffalo. I took 2 american friends, who had stalked on many occassions with me in the Highlands of Scotland, and they had wanted to do a proper African Safari for dangerous game.
We touched down in a single engine plane, after a 2 hour flight out of Victoria Falls. Just landing on the dirt strip was fun, we had to buzz the landing area to move a herd of Elephants off before landing just prior to sundown. We were hunting a huge tribal area, with no infrastructure, no roads, no lights, nothing, it was Africa in the raw.
Our mission was to take 3 Cape Buff in 7 days, which we achieved, but that is s story for another time. On the Thursday we had a radio message that a rogue Elephant had been causing problems about 25 miles away, and I was asked by my good friend and PH if I wanted to take it. It was something I hadnt planed on, and I already had a nice Cape Buff in the bag on the first day. I decided to sleep on it as I had never given it a thought that I would ever be able to take an Elephant, and really never had a desire to do so either.
There is a great deal that goes through ones mind when confronted with a proposition like this. Not only are you putting yourself in danger, but it could also have serious consequences for those with you as well, if things go wrong, Elephant, particularly cows are not the friendliest of creatures especially if they have young. The Cow Elephant that we were after had reported to have only half a trunk, but we were unsure how many more were in the herd.
Our first excursion led us into some thick jesse, where belive it or not we were only a matter of 15 to 20 foot from a herd of cows and young bulls. Even Sam our black tracker was uneasy, and I kept my finger on the safety of my 375, expecting a sudden change of wind to give us away, and then all hell would have let loose. Luckily the wind held and we crawled back out slowly, leaving the herd to their siesta.
My mouth was so dry, as whilst laying almost underneath these Elephants you are concious of your own breathing being lowd and even your heartbeat seems that it will give your prescence away.
The end of the day saw us without success, and it would not be until the next day that we would catch up with the herd we were looking for. Next day saw us leave camp well before sun up. The Africa dawn is a wonderful specticle, so many different sounds and smells, the air is sweetly perfumed by the remains of the mopane campfire from the previous evening, and the new day can bring so much adventure.
Checking your rifle and the bullets for this type of hunt is essential. I had hand loaded every round before leaving home. Federal 300grain solids, had done the job on the Cape Buff, I just hoped it would go smoothly on the Elephant, particularly as this one was reported to be in a bad mood.
By about 9am we cut spoor, and started tracking, by 10.30am we were very near what we hoped would be the right herd. Climbing up a steep but fairly dense covered hill, we were suddenly suprised to see a cow Elephant run off with its ears out. Sam the tracker pulled out his bag of fire ash and shook it, bugger the wind had changed. We descended the hill and cut round hoping the herd would have not gone too far.
As we neared the crest of the hill we picked up movement about 40 yards away in the screen of dense undergrowth that was in front of us. The herd were uneasy, and knew we were there, but were unsure of our exact location. Both Paul the PH and myself moved slowly forward to the only small tree which put us 20 yards from the edge of the bush and the herd. Having sensed that we were there the herd peeled off into the bush, but first passed a small opening besides which grew a small baobab tree. The whole herd were now on the move, but as the last Elephant came into the gap, we could see it was the rougue cow with only half a trunk.
She had no intention of following the rest of the herd and instantly wheeled around to charge, with her ears fanned out and what remained of the trunk held up trying to get our wind. The cross hairs on my Burris Signature scope rested between the eye and the ear and as she turned her head one more time, I squeezed the trigger. The report of the rifle echoed across the hill and she fell without taking another step, the 300 grain solid went straight through the brain and out the other side, death was instantaneous.
For a while I thought we would have to take another animal, as part of the herd came back and were not happy, but after some hand clapping and shouting they moved off.
After collecting my thoughts, I moved towards the animal, rifle ready and safety off, but there was no need, she lay on her side, with the pathetic piece of trunk that she had tried to scrape a living with, that some poachers snare had taken the valuable prehensile tip off. We made our way back to the vehicle which the PH had called up on the radio, and quenched our thirst as we had not stopped walking for some 4 hours or more.
After collecting our thoughts we went back to the fallen beast, and there before me was a sight that I have never seen in all my life. The local village had turned out, and apart from the tusks and skin which had almost been removed by several game scouts, the remaining 40 to 50 people were hacking the carcase up, some especially the children had already lit a fire and were eating it semi raw. It was a sight which very few people get to see, and I was humbled by the village chief who came up the hill with a pushbike with just the rims and no saddle, which was his status symbol, who took both my hands and shook them vigorously and thanked me for the meat.
I have never seen people so hungry, especially the children, and my mind skipped back for a brief moment to my own children, and how lucky we all are compared to these people who in front of me were gradually devouring and cutting up a 3 ton cow Elephant.
I will not go on any more, as this is taking up a great amount of space on the site. You may ask was I not scared? the honest answer is no! would I do it again? Yes if the same circumstances occured, do I regret it? No, Did the adrenaline kick in? Well it did, but not until I got back to camp, I dont know why, but that drink of whisky sure tasted good.
It was an extraordinary day in my life, in an outstanding and extraordinary Safari that saw me take two of the big Five in 5 days. Something I never ever dreamt I would do, I am thankfull to have done it, and am still doing it.
BUT I still get just as much, if not more pleasure seeing a novice hunter/stalker take his first deer, or his first new species of deer, because I know it means so much to them, and as stalkers and hunters this is something that we all share.
Long may it continue.
Hello Captain, I found that new site, very interesting! Teeth are getting better already too! I'm going to have to work hard in Scotland to post some big deer on this thread!
Thanks Captain that sounds great! Any chance one of you could cut the dinner up into small pieces for me so I don't have to chew with my remaining teeth!
Really enjoyed the elephant story - well written - I was right there with you Malc.
that is how i felt after shooting that manchurian red stag .
we sat ther for nearly 2 hours never saw it once just could see the trees moving as it thrashed its antlers about every now and again it would roar , we new it was about 40 yards away then suddenly it appeared chasing a hind, it stopped, the stalker said shoot it ,shoot it quickly, i took aim and fired , it just stood and roared a seconed to the engine room it stumbled forward , worried it was going to fall into the shallow but steep valley a further neck shot dropped it on the spot,totall of 34 yards.
it was only walking back up the hill to find some help in the way of a tractor did the thought of what had just happened finally sink in ihad just shot my first stag to me it was a monster