J. Justus hunted lion in Mozambique anticipating that USFWS will soon issue import permits for that country.
By Justin Jones, Assistant Editor
Back in January, subscriber J. Justus stopped by our booth at the Dallas Safari Club convention to tell us about a successful hunt for lion, leopard, buffalo and more in Mozambique with McDonald Safaris (www.mcdonaldsafaris.com
; 011-27-82-900-2460). Justus hunted the Sabie Game Park with PHs Alex McDonald and Simon Evans during the first half of November.
"My primary goal on this hunt was lion, having been unsuccessful on two previous lion hunts in Tanzania. I have hunted quite a bit with PH Simon Evans, who has worked with McDonald Safaris before, and he suggested this operation for my next lion hunt. I was not able to get a lion import permit from the USFWS in hand before the hunt (more on that later). We were also after leopard, Cape buffalo and the big kudu and waterbuck in the area.
"The McDonalds' main Mozambique hunt area, Sabie Game Park, borders Kruger National Park in the Maputo Province. It is not a typical five-year concession; McDonald Safaris holds hunting rights for 99 years. This allows them to take a long-term view on the management of the wildlife. Manager and PH Alex McDonald has taken over most of the operations from his father, Sandy McDonald, and he has big vision for the area.
"The hunt itself was an experience of a lifetime with success on all desired species despite some challenging conditions. We started out in the northern area of Sabie in one of the park's two camps. The first seven or eight days were very hot and dry, and we weren't seeing tracks. Cats would feed a little at the baits and be gone. I had the good fortune of taking a big kudu and a waterbuck that green-scored #3 SCI. There was some concern about getting stuck in a big rainstorm, and we moved to the other camp beforehand. After the rain, it greened up and more zebra and impala came into the areas with the cats close behind.
"I killed a 44-inch buffalo and saw one two days later that was easily 48 inches. A big leopard started coming to one of the baits we set out, and I took him the next night. I hunted with Evans, sometimes accompanied by McDonald, who was present during the cat hunting to age any lions....