In Mozambique, subscriber Kendall Kilbourne reports taking a Rowland Ward lion. (See photo in our online Trophy Gallery.) He hunted the Sabie Game Management Area with Sandy McDonald of McDonald Safaris (www.mcdonaldhunt.com), booking agent Ken Moody (800-585-4868; www.kenmoody.com). I first reported on this 70,000-acre area when it opened to hunting back in March 2009 (Article ID 2222). The Sabie lies on the border of Mozambique and South Africa, sharing a 40-kilometer boundary with Kruger National Park, which is fenced. The southern and northern boundaries of the Sabie are created by Lake Carrumane and the Massintoto River, which are completely open. Formerly a failed photo safari concession, the deed holders offered it up as a hunting concession and McDonald took it over. He has been curtailing poaching and working with local communities to keep people and cattle out. According to recent feedback, the efforts are paying off. Kilbourne reports the area is full of large Cape buffalo and cats. He took an old buffalo with a 14-inch boss but says his hunting partner took one just shy of 42 inches with a 15-inch boss. As for the lions, he writes, "We had numerous baits hung and had cats on almost all of them. The hunter in camp before me had three mature male lions on bait. I shot an old, nomadic male with a full, very dark mane, and when I left camp we had two other large males on bait. McDonald was my PH and went the extra mile to make sure I got my cat."
I checked in with McDonald, who tells me that his clients have done well on quality cats in the Sabie. "We are not 100 percent on lion or leopard," he says, "as the dynamics of the populations and the movements change with the time of year. We are still learning. Each year the game gets better&"