I know all that because I just got back from a safari to Congo on June 23. With me on the safari were Hunting Report subscriber Charlie Rothe, whose name has appeared in these pages before as a devotee of chasse libre (or free hunting) in Cameroon and Central African Republic, and his cousin, Ed Dunn. My own hunt lasted two weeks while Rothe's and Dunn's lasted three weeks.
The bad news first. None of us on the exploratory safari into the Oshwe area northeast of Kinshasa took any game at all. I personally hunted 11 days and not only took nothing, but I clearly saw only one live animal - a bay duiker that darted across an abandoned logging road in front of me on day four. As for dead animals, PH Nicky Blunt and I did see three dead chevrotains one day, all females, killed by local hunters using spears and small hunting dogs.
As this issue goes to press, I have just spoken to Rothe and Dunn at the airport in Kinshasa, where they are awaiting their flight back to Paris, and thence on to the US. Their experience was almost as bad as mine, though they did see four dwarf buffalo one day, three cows and one calf.
The problem is intense local hunting of all sorts. Most of it is done by locals who fasten flashlights to their heads and hunt at night using shotguns. There is also significant evidence of game-snaring, not to mention the use of dogs by an indeterminate number of local hunters. Another problem is the thickness of the forest. With all of the elephants long since killed, there is no way to get around in the thick brush except on human........(continued)