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Africa 2017

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/29/2017 at 22:41
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Optics Apprentice
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Traveled to Mozambique at the beginning of the month to enjoy some time with my father. We were fortunate enough to take some pretty fantastic trophies.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2017 at 04:23
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Thanks for sharing ūüĎć.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2017 at 07:59
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Wow, appears to have been a successful excursion. Please share the details if you don't mind. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2017 at 10:08
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We flew into Tete from Johannesburg. A visa is required to enter Mozambique, and it's not an easy process to get one. Their embassy in Washington is only open in the afternoons for a couple of hours. They don't answer their phones. Their voicemail is full. Their website is down. I used a visa expeditor.

The rifle import permits are handled by your outfitter. They are VERY interested in the number of rounds you enter the country with. You are allowed 60 at the most. When you exit the country, they count the rounds you are leaving with and charge you $2.00 per round expended while in country.

The first thing you notice in Mozambique is the poverty. They have nothing. Absolutely nothing. I've seen poverty in lots of this world but not like this. US dollars are widely accepted, and there is a robust black market for them with much better exchange rates.

Much of the plains game in the country has been poached. The country still suffers greatly from the revolution with Portugal and the ensuing civil war that lasted for decades. There are still areas with lots of land mines. Soldiers on both sides killed much of the game for food. Whatever was left is often killed by poachers when they have the opportunity. All of the weapons hung on the wall in croc camp were taken from poachers they come across. All of the metal work was done by hand in the bush. No rifling - just smooth bore barrels.


Here are some pictures of a Catholic mission and hospital where we actually sat in for baboon one afternoon. All mission workers were killed during the war, and there were still bullet holes in the walls.





We were in the Cahora Bassa lake created by the Zambezi river - just west of Tete. We spent four hours in the truck and another hour by boat to get to camp. Three total travel days from Texas to get there.

You hunt croc by boat. The bays and inlets of the lake offer calmer water, and the crocs have to get out of the water midday to warm back up - typically between 11:00 and 3:00. They are incredibly wary. They hear, see and smell incredibly well. They also sense vibrations in the soil from a long way away. Once you spot them from the boat, you beach the vessel - preferably about 800 yards away - and stalk on land. It's a tough stalk, and we were busted several times before closing the deal.

We stalked my croc to 143 yards, and that wasn't close enough. Croc is the most often lost trophy in Africa. Your first shot is absolutely critical. You work like hell to get broadside for a brain or spine shot. I didn't want to jack up the skull (part of the trophy), so I took the spine shot about 5" behind the "smile." I used a 300 Win Mag with Barnes TTSX 180 grain rounds. Our back up gun was a 375 H&H with 300 grain expandable rounds. With a round in the central nervous system, the croc twitches. To stop him from wiggling back in the water, the back up gun puts a round in the spine while the primary gun reloads. Then the primary gun shoots while the back up reloads, etc. We put 6 rounds into his spine and a final shot into his lungs behind the shoulder. My croc had been in a fight with another beast who took some of his forearm. You can see the white flesh in the wound in the picture.

The animal is so heavy that you have to skin it where it sits. You can see from the belly skin that this is not the critter to make handbags, wallets, belts, etc. from. Those products are made from 2-3 year old crocs from a farm. This thing was estimated to be about 80 years old. Teeth are the best way to estimate age.



Once you shoot, local fishermen arrive to help with the skinning. This gentleman's name was Cuthebert. He is originally from Zimbabwe, but was in Mozambique poaching fish to feed and support his family. He was absolutely MASTERFUL with the homemade chopper tool he had fashioned. To thank him for his help, we gave him all the meat for his village. He said they would have a BBQ that night - and lay the rest of it out to dry in strips to make a product akin to jerky.



You'll notice from this picture that the shore is not a slow and steady incline. There is a 12-15 foot dropoff very quickly in the water. Big crocs only crawl out at a spot where they have this drop off for a quick and safe get away. They aren't stupid.

Once back at camp, the skinners scrape the fat off the skin. They then put the skin in salt for two days. They remove the skin from the salt and scrape the fat off again. Then back in the salt. Four days later, they remove the skin from the salt and scrape again. Then back in the salt. The fat is very similar to the yellow fat you see on alligators or zebras. It becomes more visible in time, and they have to make sure all of it is off. The skull is not removed. The skin on the skull actually falls off largely on its own. The taxidermist does the finishing touches.




After the hunt, we spent a little time fishing for Tiger Fish in the Zambezi. October is the best time for Tigers, so the water was still a bit to dirty and cool for them. I was able to connect on a couple of smaller ones. Fought like hell! This was a bucket-list item for me. I'm not the world's biggest angler, but all of my buddies who fish say they'd give their left nut to catch a tiger. Nasty teeth. You wouldn't want to lip one of these. Use pliers.



I shot the giraffe in South Africa on the way home.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2017 at 12:11
cheaptrick View Drop Down
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Outstanding!! Wow, what a hunt of a lifetime! 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2017 at 12:57
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Wow.  Thansk for sharing.  I had no idea crocks got that old, amazing. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2017 at 13:09
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Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:

Wow.  Thansk for sharing.  I had no idea crocks got that old, amazing. 

I wouldn't want to be close enough to a LIVE one to ascertain his age by looking at his teeth. Stare
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2017 at 13:30
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Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/02/2017 at 19:21
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Like the Crock pretty impressive trophy.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/02/2017 at 20:16
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Must have been a great experience….
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2017 at 15:17
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Good stuff, Remf! Thanks for sharing! I too didn't realize crocs lived that long.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2017 at 02:26
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Thanks for sharing. And unfortunately we share a border with these guys (Mozambicans). They poach in our game parks. Rhino and elephant. And vehicles in the towns. They are very brazen about it and steal even vehicles parked in the police compound. 
Unfortunately they are war time buddies of our ruling Government, so there is no political will to do anything about it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/09/2017 at 05:34
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Super excellent account of a remarkable trip!  Excellent  

A hundred years ago it was thought that crocs could live to be 200 years old...but now I guess the scientists say about 70-100 years is all.....
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