Safari 2018 #27 Recovery

by david on August 14, 2019

Trying to keep as dry as possible. The cold water felt great on some parts not so much on others. Trying to keep as dry as possible. The cold water felt great on some parts not so much on others. Very nice, mature ram. Very nice, mature ram.

 

Only problem was and unbeknownst to us, there was water and a good bit of it between us and him.  My shoes were off and I was wearing shorts, so the water itself was not the problem. The problem was the water was full of reeds and grass, perfect cover for crocs and hippos.  Open water, where you can see things coming, is one thing but this was another. Rifle at chest level, we waded in and made our way towards the ram. We made it across with me having a very wet and very cold bottom half.  How the air temperature could be so warm and the water so frigid, I’ll never know, but danged if it wasn’t. When we got to the ram there was no shrinkage. He was magnificent. After wading through the frigid water and the cool breeze, I am not sure I can say the same about me.  The ram, not at all. Not only did he have heavy bases, but the mass went way up the horns like a waterbuck. He was also big-bodied, perhaps a 120 kilos (260 pounds). Best of all, the ram was old, very old. A true trophy in every sense of the word. After some more smiles, handshakes and a few pictures, it was time to head back to the boat.  His size and weight about kicked the three of our collective backsides, but we made it to the water hazard. The water proved to be a blessing this time as his body floated and made covering the distance much easier. I can’t say I was thrilled about being in the water with fresh blood though. We made it through uneventfully and went back to struggling on dry land.  After reaching the riverbank I retrieved my backpack and camera and posed for another round of pictures. After our early start, the hunt was over and my ram in the boat by 9:00 AM.

We had launched the boat at a small campground.  Since there was a possibility of non-hunters there, we beached the boat about a mile up river and off loaded me and the ram.  Byron and Wallen then continued back to the campground to return the boat to the conservancy slip. They would then bring the Landcruiser back to my location, reload everything and continue on to deliver my ram to the conservancy office.  Even though I had paid a handsome trophy fee for the privilege of hunting the ram and taking him home, the meat he provided still belonged to the locals. Once delivered to the office the lechwe would be skinned and my trophy prepared for the taxidermist and the meat would go to needy local families.  Not only were my dollars going to pay for Wallen’s salary and community improvements, I was providing much needed protein for the local people.

 

Still cold but the water helped float the lechwe. I was not too wild about blood in the water though. Still cold but the water helped float the lechwe. I was not too wild about blood in the water though.

 

Very happy Very happy

 

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