By Barbara Crown, Editor
Some bright news from Zimbabwe this month: Hunting Report subscriber Matt Bice took a 93-pound elephant! He had just returned from Africa and was still suffering from jetlag when he sent us his photo and an excited message from his iPad about his trophy. "So many people say 45 to 50 pounds is all you get in Zimbabwe," he wrote. "People should see that, even though there are quite a few 50-pounders around, with hard work and some luck, anything is possible."
Bice hunted with PH Mark Ellement of Matupula Hunters (011-263-965026; email@example.com) and promised to send a full report on his hunt later. You may remember Bice took a 65-pounder with Ellement in 2008 (Hunt Report ID 7317) with some assistance from a Jack Russell terrier named Monza. You can read Bice's account of that hunt in our online Trophy Gallery where we posted a photo of Bice, his trophy and the triumphant Monza. It's a real hoot!
Still on the subject of excellent trophies, over in Cameroon, subscriber Rick Steiner says he took what should be SCI's new number one bongo and number two bay duiker, both in the handgun category. The bongo tentatively measures 85¼ inches, and after it dries should comfortably surpass the current record of 84 inches. His bay duiker green-measured 11 3/8 inches, a bit short of the current number one of 11 8/16. Steiner hunted with Faro West, booking agent Premier Safaris (407-889-9778; firstname.lastname@example.org), in their concession near Lokomo and the Sanga River bordering CAR in southeast Cameroon. He was guided by PH Franz Coupe and says he also took an exceptional blue duiker. He says there were plenty of bongo in this concession and that a reasonably fit hunter who can shoot well should have no problem taking a bongo. That said, he says hunters who have not done a forest hunt should know it is inherently tough to see game and get the shot.
Next door in Congo Brazzaville, those safaris Gert Saaiman has been conducting have been put on hold. Subscriber Alden Glidden was scheduled to hunt in Congo in mid-August, but literally as he was preparing to leave, he received word that his hunt was cancelled. The reason was a problem with firearm and vehicle permits. In a telephone call to me from Africa, Saaiman said he'd run into a situation with the local police near his concession. He says that despite having all his paperwork in order, the police confiscated all of his camp rifles, and he has been working to get them released ever since.
Saaiman blames a conflict with a wildlife conservation organization in a neighboring area. He says this NGO is unhappy to see a hunting operation set up shop in Congo and has been problematic, possibly exerting its influence with the local police. Indeed, I had heard that NGOs in Congo Brazzaville were unhappy that bongo had been allocated for hunting and were questioning the process by which Saaiman received his quota.....