A year earlier, Brenda and I hunted Bongo, in the rain forest, of the southern part of this West African country of Cameroon. Now we were back, this time in the northern, savanna area of the country. The primary reason for this safari was to hunt Lord Derby Eland – the granddaddy of the Eland and antelope family. At this time, the Cameroon is the only place in Africa to hunt this species, although just a couple of years earlier one could hunt them in the C.A.R.
Now, there were other interesting animals to hunt in the area, and we shot 15 trophies between the two of us, including reedbuck, warthog, western savanna buffalo, roan antelope and the red river hog. There was lots of walking on rough ground, and this was my first serious exercise since breaking my left femur in an accident the previous October.
While most of my shots in Africa have been routine, on this safari there were three interesting shots. The first was at a bedded reedbuck that you couldn’t see with the naked eye. He was quartering slightly toward us at 150 yards, with a female standing nearby. From the sticks, I aimed carefully and hit him in the left side of the neck with the bullet stopped against the skin of his right hip. The shots at my warthog and red river hog were both offhand at running animals – shots I don’t normally take.
Certainly, the most interesting hunt was for the red river hog, which we pursued for a couple of days at the end of the safari. Picking up tracks crossing the dirt road, we followed the group to a wooded drainage about a mile away. The PH and I set up and waited quietly, while the trackers pulled back, moved down drainage and then scared the hogs past us. It was a quick, running shot at 50 yards and my aim was low, breaking the off-side front leg. We then tracked him to the next drainage for the final shot.
An interesting incident was walking into a group of “gold” poachers, digging and panning for gold in a nearly-dry riverbed. We spotted one and the trackers gave chase, but around the corner was their camp and three other poachers, so our trackers backed off. That night the game scouts raided their camp and arrested them for being in the game reserve.