Buffalo North Cameroon

Today we have a plane. We need time to round out all urgent matters may drop in for an hour to work and not to be late

Things packed the night before, even with a shotgun in advance rubbed dry with a barrel already resting in the case. It begins «countdown» before departure.

Since Namibian saga took nearly two years. As a new site was chosen by Cameroon, with its northern part, there is a more suitable climate, and the issue price may with good reason be considered acceptable. In contrast to the German-speaking Namibia, where, however, every second passable explained in English, Cameroon — a former French colony, where to find the «anglospikayuschego» interlocutor — a rarity. So my brother and I reacted to with gratitude the kind invitation of Seva fly out with our group as a voluntary interpreter and companion. However, the population of this country is quite a motley contingent of themselves and one another usually communicates in a certain vigorous mixture of Swahili, Afrikaans and French, which even Showa fully disassembled was not able to.

So finally we airport. Our native «Sheremetyevo» shamelessly robbed us fake «margin» in the reconciliation of domestic balance and the airport «Charles de Gaulle» showed that the balance in the «Sheremetyevo» to adjust exactly 20%, which contributes to the corruption of girls on reception. 4:00 to Paris flew like a flash.

Taught by bitter experience of someone else, we insist on getting their luggage and weapons, although in a few hours early in the morning, we have the next flight, «Cameroonian airlines.» The four-hour rest in broken-down room «Sheraton» Airport facilitates our wallets further EUR 300 per person. Yes, the guys do not strain yourself, one named «5 *» — and they were good live by «free» passengers delayed flights. In all the French felt relaxed. Our trunks with arms and ammunition, after a thorough Moscow «with a taste test» here do not matter. You can even jump around town, but do not uncover. Cameroon flight without explanation flew 4 hours later. I managed to sleep for a few minutes, but they were enough to see the dream.

…Crosshair pokes in search of at least some of the lumen among the branches, it is expected somewhere around the shoulder joint is a monster, but the whole chest is closed leaves. Time is running out for a few seconds, and the left hand can start treacherously tremble. At this point the bull goes one step further and opens up almost the entire right side, or rather, his back, including the edge of the blade. I’m waiting, I do not want to make a wounded animal, I only need one hundred percent guaranteed shot. Well, well, just a little … Well, my shoulder is open, the monster! He takes a step and stops, obviously noticing us. Its massive chump nearly fused with wide horns on his forehead covers the entire front part of the body, it can be seen only under the lower edge of the sternum. I myself feel like his head almost imperceptibly grows cold. Treacherous morning breeze changed direction, and this impulse in the back of my mercy shall not be much smell! ..

Between Paris and Garoua, where we landed, there is no time difference with Moscow is only two hours, so addictive is not too difficult. Dilapidated airport with fly-bitten posters «Merry Christmas» and uninvestigated plastic trees (this is the end of January!) Suggests a serene measured life. «I can dig — I can not dig» not to recall from our folklore, … Our plane — the only one he flies in a circle between Paris and several cities in Cameroon. If Italy is called «boot» and Africa can be compared to the abstract, «boots», the country is located in the «rise» boots, grabbing a small piece of the Atlantic coast. This is the northern hemisphere, where the winter time, when we do, and we found the peak of the low temperature: 30 … 33 in the daytime, with a decrease to 20 in the evening till 10 in the morning, before dawn.

Plain can be called only a small part of the territory to the north mountainous area more, including a huge mountain range that separates National Park from private land on which we had to hunt. In the capital — Yalunde — we visit and it was not possible, and Garoua takes about third place, behind and Douala, where we were brought later. One is struck by abject poverty. I could not help remembering the straight and smooth as glass, Namibian motorway. Here, the road surface is more like Russian provinces: even if the road is repaired, the hole closes up this type of patch, suggesting past «Terminator.»

However, there is much more small villages off the road. Dwellings Aboriginal deserves a separate description. Obviously, the first phase of construction is the instillation of a few stakes, on which rests a thatched roof. The walls form a long mat, woven from local cane or dry grass, tall as a man and a thickness of 1-2 cm, wrapped around the outside of the stakes. In this section «house» is typically a circle with a diameter of 2.5-3 m, rarely square. Probably richer, peasants improve your home, replacing a mat on the wall of the local brick size of an average building block, which is extracted from a certain mixture of clay, earth and even afraid to think of what, and dried, displaying rows in the sun. As prirastaniya composition of the family home, standing side by side, can already connect to a common fence sheaves of reed mats (in any case, performing the function of the gate), and later, at the very rich — from the same brick.

A road usually sell bundles of firewood collected curves that can be carried on the head or to take on a moped, as well as a brick. However, in one advanced country people went further — there have arranged a paid fare.

Perch, replacing the barrier raises for the passage of a trained citizen after receiving a coin from the driver. The village seemed particularly rich, it was possible to observe even a semblance rynochke. The trash grazing goats, sheep and chickens. The sole of the cultivated crops near each village (perhaps in this time of year) seen cotton. Mountains and hills in the fields of raw white here and there. All that can be worn by huge enameled cans and laundry baskets up raw meat and firewood, are usually worn directly on the head, without any improvements or layers. But we have already moved out of any of asphalt and deepened in the park. Then only the primer. Here are the first animals. The Beast is a lot different and not frightened beasts.

Antelope standing 10-20 meters away from the road when approaching the car to run back 80 meters, where they continue to graze peacefully. Those who are in the 40-60 m, feel safe, and only escorted technique gaze not moving from the spot. A great many strange bright blue, blue, green colors on the feathers of birds able to turn the head of any artist. From hunting species present guinea fowl and partridges are rather large, black «stone» chicken (like grouse in miniature), and uparhivayuschie literally escaping from under the feet or the wheels of the machine. From the most numerous predators vulture, although seen some similar to the spotted eagle, birds.

Among terrestrial predators — mongooses, civet, gorget (possibly inaccurate name) and larger — gray jackals, spotted hyena, leopard and lion. Most diversity — antelope. The biggest — Hyland Lord Derby, different size and color of a red from gray Namibian Hyland.

The second largest — roan or roan antelope, in the local parlance, «cob». Third, I would put Cob de Fassa, a local subspecies of the waterbuck. Bubale Major or General hartebist also differs from its Namibian counterpart in size and red color. Kobe de Buffon — local variety of impala, less elegant than in Namibia, having here is the mass distribution. There Cob de Gib — local subspecies bushbuck with twisted horns, «Hyland in miniature» and Cob de Roseau with forward curved horns, like a chamois. A lot of «melkopuzikov» as Oribi, red (Sefalop Roux) and green (Green Sefalop) Dyker, which originally were not going to shoot, but then could not resist. I understand that the word «cob» here means «goat» and is present in most of the names of ungulates. Swinish livestock, oddly enough, is small, given the lack of water scarcity and presented as familiar to many warthogs (Fakosher) and a rare kind of «forest capybara» (Potamosher, Bushpit), very similar to our boar, but with hair almost orange color, with a dark stripe on top. Last Chance glimpsed only once, failed to fire. However, the hippo to taste more like it lean pork (not really understand why local people squeamish about eating it).

On arrival at the base — a quick lunch and once in the pampas, hunting. Over 4.5 hours of shaking in the front seat, «cruiser» I sat up. In addition, it is necessary to «keep in shape» (not to poison the body antimalarial prophylactic drugs, it was decided to maintain continuous levels of 0.4 per mille of alcohol, which gives exactly the same result). Shock was the fact that is not only not forbidden, but even recommended to shoot straight to stop the car. At the local abundance is clearly unnecessary.

In the dark of the morning team of, in addition to the hunter, white PiEycha (PH — Professional Hunter, responsible for compliance to shoot a trophy, for the safety and for communication with assistants), two rangers and the driver leaves in designated area. Because the local host Allan territory is more than 800 thousand hectares. Walk such distances in a day will not do.

In the course of motion trackers directly from the machine study the extra trace setting for last night, if necessary, driver braking and dismounting. Once found traces of less than two hours ago, the whole team throws the car and begins to trail, constantly referring to the wind. Sometimes it is possible to see the beast on the go, and then begins to decrease the distance sto- len. But I had to shoot and the hood and from the board. In particular, this was taken as a jackal on the first night, and 3 out of 4 of my baboons, including record a shot across the river to 238.5 m from the hands of sitting in a tree. Baboons are bred so that in the absence of young antelope eat up the fruit, so the owner was requested to shoot them for free whenever possible. Among the insects, the most noteworthy legendary tsetse fly, apparently representing our normal flies, a little longer sting, stick insects and interesting look, mimicry which makes it perfect like a dry blade of grass.

So the first night I came back with a great local male impalas and jackals, and Maxim hartebistom. The hunt is on. We are waiting for a gala dinner. His dark-skinned cook Allan brought from France, and every time he tried to surprise us any delights. List all possible, from frog legs and chicken with special sauce to baked fish-captain, casseroles and fruit salad from 6 or 7 kinds of fruit, plucked less than an hour ago.

One disadvantage — the generator as the sole power source, which include 2 times a day to pump water in the fixed high up on the tree, a hefty tank and allow us to get dressed / undressed yes attach their chargers for equipment. On its own repair shops, including a welding machine and a pit, everything is under control. Of course, this is not the favorite in Namibia civilized showers and European sanitary ware, but if you have time to catch the sun-warmed vodichku in the soul, it is quite possible to live. Surprisingly, there was no support our wish to eat meat every day, we caught the animals, as it was in Namibia. Those. the second time, of course, we have become delicacies in addition to apply twice a day for a good slice of roasted meat, but attributed this claim to the whim of the guests rather than the norm.

At night I dreamed again, buffalo …

Here’s the shiny bump — is that the bones or muscles? I need a bone with my caliber is the only chance to stop the edifice on the spot … The crushed the joint hobbled, would deprive the animal mobility and allow to shoot more, and bone fragments will cause secondary damage, if you’re lucky, the lungs and the heart, which are now located just behind this joint … Oddly enough, I wake up easily …

It starts the new day. Even at dusk, examining fresh tracks of elephants, we stumble upon a herd hartebistov. Silly, but beautiful animals grazing lazily, slightly hidden from us rare trees. I explain that it is necessary to shoot the one that now goes our way, walking down the hill, but I do see that it’s a bull with the long horns. As luck would have it, he gets behind a tree, but a large part of the body I can see. Only the thick branches in front of his shoulder blade. It is impossible to think long, that’s crosshairs, just behind the branch … After the shot fly off the chips, I realize that I missed, and hit well. Rogach tumbles on the ground, and the other in the confusion scatter in different directions.

The chamber is the next cartridge, and the time — strong animal staggered to his feet and tries to hobble away. The next shot drops him forever, bullet smashing cervical vertebra, entered the back of the skull. I must say that initially we were prioritized. Brother like elephant, lion, hippo, buffalo, and the rest, beginning with Roan. For me the most important thing seemed buffalo, lion, Roan, etc., elephant and hippo shoot I did not refuse, but «slonyatkov» it was a pity. However, both wanted a lion and a lion had to do bait, which was done with me Freshly hartebista in the area of ​​detection of fresh tracks of a predator.

Peculiar looks woods frequented by elephants. This is similar to the orchard, the trees thinned evenly, completely absent as the underbrush, which, thanks to more tender leaves completely uprooted in the diet, and large trees that break for fun. Therefore, all about the same, the average and equidistant from one another. Meanwhile, every day we were looking for buffalo. Fresh footprints and waste products were, but then the wind suddenly began to turn, without giving us closer, then something else hurt.

Once, having made the five-hour shift on the «smoking» should be almost full circle closing in the mountains, I had to say in the care of the flock jungle, where over the reed beds could see only the back of a big elephant trunks and occasionally rising less.

By the way, there was an interesting case. Trail led to the almost vertical 100-meter descent from the mountain, trampled as the buffalo and elephants. It might seem that they both rolled head over heels here, many trees broken and uprooted, two-meter grass trampled. Conductors strayed deal, more than an hour walking around one place, and crawling on all fours, until finally, the picture is not clear. It turns out that a small baffalenok fell and rolled down to the ledge, where hit his head and lost consciousness. Herd came to him and encircled around, staring heads at him in disbelief of what happened until he returned to life and everything did not go together. With elephants, it turned out quite the opposite. As the largest mammal that has no natural enemies, the elephant does not walk around the mountain, and overcomes it directly. At this point they’re at it climbs, and Allan (with the help of Seva), who has lived in this area for over 40 years, told me how to do it. First, a few elephants strong push from the bottom of one’s ass until he huddled on some ledge, where he then drags their trunk. And so, helping each other, clasping the trunks and tails, they climb together. Very young mother trunk puts into his scruff and raised in this form, together with a calf. For that is ever seen, I would have agreed to settle here …

In general, all the cool kids. Once 5 minutes before the machine ran on the road 2 pig warthog, each the size of a kitten, a battened vertically tails antenna. A young antelope the size of a little more awkward but very long legs and huge glazyukami, like all children, are worn and play among their mothers. One such, rushing like mad parallel rate car suddenly decided to jump across the street. I do not know whether he had seen the machine at least once, but his wide-eyed surprise when he stopped three feet from the hood, rooted to the spot, no words can not convey. It seemed to me that he still had all his lips were white with milk. In the eyes involuntarily rolled tears of emotion, and the heart is poured something warm … And in a second he had raced in the opposite direction … One darker stumbled upon three cubs size of a large sheepdog. Adults instantly dumped in undergrowth in the headlights, and the fulmars blinded for some time hanging out on the road until figured out where to go.

Interesting observations concern the persistence of African animals. I had to shoot the bull oribi elderly. Zhivotinku very small, half a meter tall, horns, like pencils, and did not want to break it in half from .375 second. The sight below the shoulder blades, in the middle of a chest in the left side. The shot — and I do not believe your eyes, get out jogging! Really miss with 60 m? We found a drop of blood, then the other. Further more. Lies … a hundred meters! Brought out all the light with the edges of the through-hole diameter, it is possible to look through …

Once we found a waterfall — or rather, a cascade of two waterfalls, is not marked on the map. Unusual in my mind kind of local rocks. Unlike our subject to periodic ravages of microcracks in the freezing water, boulders are the size of a two-storey house is in perfect condition for them.

Volcanic rock, rearing or prikopat million years ago, in the same manner and left. No you talus, gravel, pebbles … It is a pity that due to the common cold could not swim. Under hvatanul old age, as a boy, in one gulp of water from the fridge, very much steam out … I had to swallow even an aspirin at night, there was nothing to measure the temperature, but, I think, get a light from me you can …

…Again sleep. Bull takes another step and opens to me almost his entire right side, or rather, his entire back, including the edge of the blade. That’s it, come on, honey, show me your shoulder … So, come on, come on, little by little …

Yeah, that’s concave on the site of the tendon, left thalamus, indicating muscle … How would podlamyvayas, turned in his right leg while he makes a giant dull roar, full of pain and hatred. He falls, pulling on the front.

We have all six of us, including the driver, slowly begin to approach, weapons ready. Suddenly, making an incredible effort, the bull gets up again. On the lips of blood is not only on the right shoulder, it’s bad, it means that the lungs are not damaged, we froze. I’m trying to catch sight of something other than the base of his horns, and at this point, having made incredible, it makes a giant leap, have pushed back legs and hiding in the bushes. Our bullets break branches and twigs, but the climb is now in the bushes — madness. I try to go on the side, but one of the Rangers shows a hand somewhere in the side, and I see a massive receding cereals. Shot after, the store is empty, we all run, and I reloaded on the fly …

The first bait completely spoiled, no one came. Circling the neighborhood, we find the cause. Traces show that this is a good male householder. He pulled a female impala and totally devoured it in some kilometer from the bait. The lower jaw is unfortunate, gnawed ribs on the spine so the front part of the foot, coupled with all the «composition» of the skin flap — that’s all that’s left, and it is — fresh. Further analysis shows that the lion is hungry again, he chased a herd of buffalo with calves. It is necessary to make a new bait. For her good carcass only with guts, so the decision to shoot extra, unplanned, impala.

One shoots brother over the other day I was. The first evening at the bait Maxim tracks the evening he sits in an ambush, the construction on the ground 50 meters from the bait in the form of the same mat, but without a roof, a little embellished with green branches. And I still do buffalo. I still got it eventually, but it was not as it seemed in dreams. Why did I fool your head with your dreams? And then, it’s a big and serious beast, and it is necessary in advance exactly to the millimeter, imagine the point where it should shoot. Either shoot stoppers and any soft point bullets, or shoot .375 from the place, every centimeter in the direction from which can lead to serious trouble. Because the legendary superb .375 second — it’s just a junior African caliber, conventionally enough, even an elephant. Only. How, for example, shoot a brown bear from our 7,62h39. If you have behind them has about fifty bears, flag in hand, but to begin with, I would not recommend to anyone. So here, «conditional sufficiency» does not guarantee success, if not the major bone broke at a right angle from the point of view of further wound channel.

It seems that these handsome, like buffalo, lion, elephant, hippo, rhino, strongly, and Rohan, Hyland, leopard — the best would be desirable to gauge, starting with .458, .465, .470. Then, even in the absence of a good angle, immobilize the animal, breaking the shoulder or hip. About familiar to many of our hunters’ meat spoilage «here should forget completely, objectives and issue price are quite different.

So, in the evening, when his brother sat on the lion, I was on pins and needles. No joke … But after 19:00 of the car drove up to the camp, a shot rang out in the air and there were songs of Aborigines. This could only mean one thing — it’s time been broken and any branch, waving it like a flag, screaming with delight to run to meet the winner. Leo — this is serious. This event. The lion taken my youngest first shot in the shoulder, it turned out to be worthy of this event.

According to preliminary measurements of the skull clearly has to get in the Guinness Book of Records SCI, and not on the second page. The initial confusion caused shag lack of predators. However, as it turned out, guaranteed mane have only Abyssinian lions, among others, as it is rather rare. Either way, the trophy will certainly put forward Maxim for the title of King Chevy in this race. Among others, he had already superbaffalo (Allan, by his own admission, at least for the last 5 years have not seen anything like it, the bull for more than 15 years) and hippopotamus. For hippo chased them for about a kilometer until he periodically ducking, moving down the river. Then, when he was tired, vylezanija demonstrative attempt to shore at them with aggressive actions ran cheerfully yield to attack from small places. Here finally matured confidence that is male, the two well-aimed shots to the head and two on the blade changed pachyderm intention to hide on the other side, and his strength left. Information — visible part of the tusks is generally less than half their actual length. The total number of harvested animals was the result of about 16 units each, including baboons.

With my buffalo summarized as follows. Not finding anything worthy of attention, we returned for dinner on base, just in case, glancing around. Then Allan crashed his fist on the cab roof, which is a signal to the driver to stop immediately. We see through the vegetation at a distance of about 350 m from the road something big and brown. Watching through binoculars confirmed — a buffalo. Next comes dismounting and sto- len deep coverage in the lee of the ravine and undergrowth.

I shot at the same shoulder at a distance of 70 meters, but it turned out that the bullet has not touched the bone, and went right through him, breaking his leg a second, the younger of the buffalo herds, which I have not even seen. Hike along the trail caused bewilderment, blood was present on two tracks. Persecution took more than four hours on chernotropu. When I saw his bull, he was lying in the shade. Then I shot him four times, and one Seva and Allan were noted, and the beast was trying to get up periodically to attack. Second, the young, too, had to finish because amputee chance of survival he had not so much. According to it, a point put Seva. Thus, we are left without dinner, or rather, the dinner was moved to the dinner, cutting also took more than two hours. And in the forest can only stomach contents production, and everything else is taken into operation.

The return flight was without incident, except for the fact that, since our plane broke down and the flight was canceled, we threw a small airplane in the Douala to plant there on flying ayrfransovsky flight. It is not so much to the south, but at night there were 28 to 100% humidity, this is one more sport … As you get into the bath, sweat gushing streams from the entire surface of the body at the same time … And so — okay, more importantly, have not lost anything (well, on the way back to Paris rechecked properly loaded piece of luggage, and that would not have received had). Paris — Paris is, there will always be to get the luggage and re-submit it for the next flight, if you want that all cried down.

What can be said in conclusion … Better hunting may be just another … hunting. I know exactly what the other hunting — that Tanzania and southern Cameroon, and many other places. I want to go everywhere. But in any case, in Africa, I now just sat down, would be enough to have Pan Ataman gold reserves … The error this time only got a gun, hunt with the Namibian version zasidochnym 8h56 came not the best. But I hold in their hands before going 1,1-4h28 sighted and left in Moscow …

Vadim Semashev5 November 2008 at 15:20

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