Bierley says Julia, who is of European decent, is a native-born citizen of Burkina Faso and has long-standing relationships with government officials. That allows him to get access to prime concessions, including a privately-managed game park of 100,000 hectares (247,100 acres) near the Benin border about 200 kilometers southeast of the capitol of Ouagadougou. This reserve is actively patrolled to prevent poaching and features a number of watering holes and salt licks that attract animals, especially during the dry season. Huntable species here include lion, buffalo, warthogs, roan and several other species of antelope. The place is so well maintained Bierley says, that even the graded dirt roads crisscrossing the concession are in good condition.
Bierley describes the numbers and trophy quality of game here as excellent. He took a 27-plus-inch roan and a western savannah buffalo during his hunt this past January. He says the buffalo move through the concession, requiring a lot of tracking. In fact, he says they searched for a herd of 175 animals for two days before he finally caught up to them and took his bull. The concession is a transition zone between forest and desert, so he says there are not many thorn bushes here. He says the section he hunted in the southeast had plenty of trees.
Bierley was personally guided by Julia, and says he was well-organized and very much in control of the hunt. He says they used a safari vehicle to access the area, spot game and check waterholes. Whenever they found tracks, however, they followed up on foot. He describes the operation as professionally run with good equipment and a very high standard of safety. The trackers and spotters were all indigenous people, who are quasi-government employees. They all seemed to regard the........(continued)