Ian Harford Ian Harford

Date: April 8, 2011

An unusual waterbuck with Sparks Outdoors at Bubiana Safari

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I’ve had quite a bit of a mixed bag so far here with Sparks Outdoors at the Bubiana Safari area in Zimbabwe!

Yesterday afternoon we finally bagged the waterbuck we’ve spent the last 3 days searching for. It was a mature bull, but had a broken horn.

It’s not unusual to find animals with broken horns, although the policy is always to take them out of the herd.

Animals with only one horn invariably have an unfair advantage when it comes to sparring during the rut, and can cause their opponents some serious injuries.

It’s always more difficult to hunt one animal in particular, rather than just picking one out of a herd. The tracks all look the same and you have to spot the animal you’re looking for before stalking into it.

This bull had proved very elusive, and had done his best to keep his head down. However we had a plan!

The Bubiana Safari area covers some 33,000 hectares of thick mopane bush. But the bush is littered wth granite coppies that can provide superb vantage points, from which you can see for miles.

Luckily I’ve also brought a Zeiss Dialyt Spotter with me on this safari, so we had all of the tools we needed!

Keith and I climbed one of the higher granite cliffs in the centre of the area we’d seen the bull previously. We sat for a little over 2 hours before seeing a herd of waterbuck around 800 yards away moving towards us.

I used my rifle as a ‘monopod’ to steady the spotter. At 45x mag every little wobble is magnified!

We couldn’t quite make out if our bull was in the herd, but we were pretty sure he would be. He didn’t appear to be unwell or suffering from his injury, so was able to stay with the herd.

We climbed down from our perch and made our way towards the area they were moving into. Once we we’re within 350 yards he was easy to make out using my Zeiss 10×45 RF range finding binos.

After a somewhat challenging stalk and a wait that seemed like an eternity for him to offer a clean shot, my Stiller Predator .300 Win Mag and March 2.5-25×42 Tactical scope found its target at 206 yards.

It’s the first animal I’d taken with my new Predator resplendent in it’s sexy Realtree AP stock, coated by Hydrographics, and all I can say is WOW!

The round developed specially for the rifle by Mike Norris performed flawlessly. I took a shot through the front shoulder as the waterbuck quartered on to me and it dropped on the spot.

All that was left was to to was to skin and quarter the bull to provide rations for the staff on the Estate. From their reactions it would appear that everyone likes waterbuck!

Here’s a short video of detailing some of the features you’ll find on the Zeiss Dialyt Spotter.

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Posted in: Hunting, Rifle

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One Response to “An unusual waterbuck with Sparks Outdoors at Bubiana Safari”

  • Eddie Jones

    April 8, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Fantastic buddy , i cant say anything els that could better it.