TDK Safaris Blog
Monday, 27 August 2012 11:48

TDK Safaris - Zimbabwe - August 2012

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It is 12:20 pm August 1 2012, Harare Airport, Kevin and I waiting for our dear friend’s aircraft to land. Dakota McArtor is flying in on a connection flight from South Africa from the States; he is joining us on a 14 day hunt. Finally he is at ZIMRA’s desk clearing the Rifle; great is the joy when we shake hands, upon asking him if he is looking forward to this he responded “more than you guys could ever imagine”

Dakota is our American partner and dearest friend; he will be with us for the next 16 days to conduct a hunt with Colorado Buck – from the Television program Where in the World is Colorado Buck.

The drive out to Lake Chivero, just outside Harare on the Bulawayo road, where we will be staying the night, is a pleasant short drive as Dakota is talking about how he looked forward to this trip. We decided to stay overnight before we head out to the hunting area, as the rest of the hunting group will only join us later that evening.

What a pleasant surprise when Gary the proprietor of the lodge we staying at offers to take us with later that afternoon for some Falconry over dogs... I have seen this before but never part took in it... Love it, as Gary said hunting is hunting.

Back to Harare, 21:20 pm, awaiting our client’s arrival...we are relieved, when I see them walking through customs. After a brief hello and hand shakes ... oh almost forgot photo session, we headed out to the overnight accommodation we arranged for the clients.

5:45 am, clients having breakfast and trying to connect to the Internet, in order for clients to check mail etc. before we head out... Packing the two vehicles proved to be not as difficult as we anticipated, all lending a hand, which is what is great about our clients – not scared to dirty their hands. We brought both our four door hunting vehicles on this trip as the road trip down to the hunting area is roughly 4 to 5 hours drive and we needed our clients to travel in comfort.

Kevin arrived in Makuti a little while before we did, Dakota; Andrew – Colorado’s cameraman and I had to stop and run some errands. When we arrived Clients were sitting on the porch enjoying the view. We had a late lunch and lounged around for a while before heading out to pick up the game scout and to the area set out to sight the rifles. This we believe is very important as the airlines are not as careful as one hope they would be with the gun cases.

We stayed in a lodge in Makuti, this is adjacent to area where Kevin and Dakota will hunt with Chris and Christine Woods, Chris is the proprietor of Cross Canyon Arms in Utah, for Buffalo, Leopard and some plains game. Colorado and I will be hunting lower down in the valley in the Nyakasanga area for Buffalo and Tuskless Elephant.

Wake up call at 04:30 am – Day One, breakfast before we headed out. Kevin and Dakota set out with the clients to check on some previously identified areas where some Leopard tracks have been spotted and activity identified, also to set up trail cams. The rest of the day was spent looking for fresh bait. Leopard hunting over bait requires you to keep the Leopard in the area with fresh bait.

We on the other hand set out to Nyakasanga, where we met up with the local PH, trackers and game scout. The areas that we hunt is within Zimbabwe’s Wildlife Management Areas (Parks) and this is a requirement that an authorised game scout accompany you on your hunts to ensure hunts are conducted in a fair and ethical manner.

We drove a while looking for fresh Buffalo and Elephant tracks, the morning did not yield any good tracks and we decided to stop under a group of trees on the bank of the Nyakasanga River (dry this time of the year) and proceed on foot looking for an Elephant herd spotted there earlier in the week. After about an hour and half’s walking we got onto fresh tracks and followed however the wind was not in our favour and as we were about to adjust our strategy we spotted a small group of young Elephant but we were winded and they took off. We still pushed ahead to see if we can find more tracks, we came across a fresh Buffalo track, only one set of very large tracks... definitely an Old Daggaboy.  We followed the tracks, at one stage we were so close to the Daggaboy I could smell him however he did not get to be this Old by being stupid.... we saw where he actually laid up... got up and were feeding again... we got closer but the Jess were thick and got his tracks where he actually turned to look back at us... then the next tracks indicated that he got out of the area... with some speed... next time Old timer... we returned to the vehicle a few miles back and had a well deserved late lunch...

PRESS RELEASE

20 June 2012

Issued by the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa

Pretoria – At a press conference in Pretoria today, PHASA once again expressed their concern regarding the increased numbers in rhino's lost due to poaching or related illegal activities. The association acknowledges that it is unfortunate that a small minority group of professional hunters and other professionals are involved in pseudo hunting and illegal activities which directly tarnish the reputation of the professional hunting industry as a whole.

It is unknown to the general public that the professional hunting industry has played a major role in the conservation success story of South Africa through sustainable utilisation which directly creates a value for wildlife. This historical philosophy which is still relevant today, was implemented by Dr Ian Player in the 1960's during "Operation Rhino". Through the private ownership and sustainable utilisation of rhino, resulting in a massive increase in its value, the population of rhino increased from two small populations in KZN to almost 20 000 rhino in South Africa today. PHASA, as organisation, has also contributed substantial funding to various rhino conservation and protection projects and will continue to do so.

Recently various charges have been laid against Hunting Outfitters and Professional Hunters in South Africa who are continuing to exploit loop holes in our legislation to pseudo hunt rhino which are destined for the illegal trade. Hans Vermaak, president of PHASA said: "Pseudo trophy hunting of rhino is a massive threat to the reputation of all legitimate trophy hunters, clients, Outfitters and Professional Hunters alike." As president of PHASA, the nationally and internationally recognised mouthpiece for the professional hunting industry in South Africa, Mr Vermaak has extended a plea to all outfitters and professional hunters to refrain completely from any activities involving pseudo hunting for the illegal trade. He also urged all professional hunters and outfitters to report any suspected illegal activities.

The diverse wildlife industry in South Africa is made up by various stakeholders. PHASA, founded in 1978 is the largest organisation of its kind globally. PHASA members host thousands of international hunting tourists annually. The association values the important roles of their counterparts in the industry, WRSA representing wildlife ranching and CHASA and SAHGCA representing local South African hunting. Together, the wildlife industry contributes an estimated R7.7b annually to South Africa's GDP.

Issued by: PHASA Chief Executive Officer, Tel: 012-667-2048; Cell : 083-650-0442; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.