October Newsletter


Well, here we are almost half way through another Hunting Season.  It is hope all are enjoying time in the field and the learning experiences it brings with it.  Our hunting season started off with a safari in Zimbabwe the first part of September and all animals sought were harvested.  The trip was somewhat uneventful, except for the unscheduled overnight stopover in Johannesburg, where British Airlines attended to our every need.  Once we arrived in Victoria Falls and were picked up by the Outfitter, things ran well for the duration of the safari. There were two of us on this safari, myself and friend\client Jimmy Crowston.  Jimmy and I hunt together quite a bit and are successful on most outings.


IMG_0960.JPGI was wanting to take a 40+" Sable and a Bushbuck and Jimmy wanted a Cape Buffalo, Waterbuck and Impala. The PH, trackers, Game Scout and driver were all very friendly and worked hard for us.  I was the first one to harvest an animal and took a respectable Bushbuck. These are beautiful animals with very distinct markings and I am having it full mounted and it will adorn my trophy wall beside my full mounted Springbok taken on a previous Namibian Safari.






IMG_0963.JPGNext up Jimmy made a long shot on a huge Waterbuck, one that will certainly add to his growing trophy room. The Waterbuck was spotted climbing a rather steep hill and made the fateful mistake of stopping and looking back at the PH and Jimmy.  A well-placed shot in the neck put this magnificent animal on the ground for good. It took quite a bit of manpower to extract this trophy from where it fell, but soon was aboard the Land Cruiser and on its way to be processed.




IMG_0979.JPGNext we were on to Cape Buffalo and unfortunately, I was a bit under-the-weather and could not join Jimmy & the PH for this hunt. From what I was told later, the stalk went well and culminated with a 100 yard crawl in order to get into a position to take a shot.  The animal fell with one well placed shot from the Winchester Safari Grade 375 H&H. Jimmy had himself a very respectable Buffalo.




IMG_1011.JPGWe were seeing quite a few Impala and they kept eluding us in the thick cover.  As we were both on a rather strict budget for this Safari, Jimmy decided he would be able to harvest an Impala on a future safari and after seeing my Bushbuck, placed his emphasis on trying to find a really good one.  This he did and after lots of miles, finally laid a very respectable one on the ground.





IMG_1036.JPGNext it was my turn to try to take a Sable and after what seemed like forever a herd was spotted feeding in extremely thick cover.  I was not comfortable with the shot as the bull was really protected by thick brush.  After the shot, I was sure the bullet (soft point) could not have made it through the thick cover and I was right.  As this was the last day of the Safari, the Outfitter suggested I take a Cape Buffalo instead of the Sable.  I agreed to this change in plans and soon we were in the midst of a herd of Cape buffalo numbering between 300 - 400 animals.  I was immediately taken by one old bull who was resting his chin on a cow's back.  he was not very wide, but his bosses were massive.  There were other bulls in the herd with wider horns, but none with the mass this old fellow held in his bosses.  A well placed shot at 119 yards (rangefinder in my Leicia Binos), a short 60 yard run and my Buffalo was on the ground and our Safari culminated with all the animals taken.



We arrived back home in Lytton, British Columbia, did laundry and packed for our annual northern BC moose hunt for three weeks.  After a long 15 hour drive we were faced with hauling our trailers (one Toy Hauler and one flat-bed with the ATVS, fuel and a freezer aboard) over extremely treacherous slick, muddy roads for the 34 kilometer trek to our hunting area.  We were able to make most of the journey with tires only, although a couple of the long hills presented definite challenges to our off-road driving skills. Upon reaching the 28 mile marker of the journey, the road deteriorated to such a degree that even with chains on, it would be impassable at points due to the deep mud.  We decided to spend the night beside the road and completed the drive before sun-up as the cold weather during the night would firm up the road surface.  Soon we were in our spot, filthy dirty - vehicles from the drive and us from laying in the mud putting on the chains.

After a day setting up camp, we were ready to start the hunt.  There were four of us in camp and we were in a Trophy Moose area (which meant only bulls with a total of ten points on one side or more than two points on the brow were legal.  Also immature - two point or less on one side were legal). Jimmy's son was fortunate to have drawn a coveted Grizzly bear tag for this area.  Jimmy and his son Bruce were going to concentrate on harvesting the bear first, while Steve & I would be scouring the country-side for moose sign and to see if the rut had kicked in yet. Much to our surprise we found very little moose sign, yet the roads\trails were littered with both bear and wolf scat - not a good sign. #2 found Bruce successful on taking a good Grizzly Bear measuring 6'6".  Boy was he excited, being just 17 this was his dream and it had come true, mainly through the hard work and the hunting experience of his Dad.  Bruce dispatched the bear with one shot from his browning A-Bolt 7 mm Rem Mag. I accompanied them to the area where the bear was and we loaded it in my wagon and drove the 10 or so kms back to camp where we skinned the animal and placed the hide in one of the freezers. It was late by the time of "lights-out".


The next several days passed uneventful, with the exception of Jimmy calling in a bull which only had seven points on one side and six on the other  -  a trophy in most people's mind, but not in this area. Soon we started seeing cow and calf tracks on the trails and roads, which was certainly a positive thing. Around Day#7 or 8 I was in my favourite cut block\swamp area and when I left just before last light, I thought that it would be neat to see a bear on the way back to camp.  Steve had seen two huge Black bears already and I had two tags in my pocket. I had left the swampy trail into the cut block and was on the logging road no more than a couple of minutes when I turned a corner and entered a long straight stretch and suddenly well ahead of me I saw a dot on the road.  A quick look through the binos define the dot as a bear walking the road in a direction away from me.  There was still plenty of shooting light left, so I slowly increased my speed on the ATV.  As I was not driving fast, it did not seem to bother the bear.  I quickly closed the gap to 300 yards and was gaining on it.  Soon it turned broadside in the road and I could see the distinct hump on its back.  Well, this was not a black bear and I did not possess a tag for a Grizzly, so I just followed him for a couple of kms until it started getting dark.  Once the headlights went on and the speed increased, he was not departing the road for the safety of the forest on both sides of the road.  I was soon in camp and wanting to share my experience with the guys, but when I arrived at camp, all was in darkness.  I went about getting fires lit, the generator started and changed my clothes into relaxing camp ones.  I didn't worry as time slowly slipped by, as these guys were all very experienced hunters and very comfortable in the wilds.  A couple of hours later I heard the drone of ATV's coming down the road.  I went out to see who was coming in and to my surprise all three were coming.  I found this a bit as Steve was hunting an entirely different area than Jimmy and Bruce?  Steve was the first one to pull up and I saw the meat on the front of his ATV.  "Great", I said.  He smiled and said "The best is yet to come. We got two moose." Soon Jimmy and Bruce were parking and I could see the moose on their ATV's also.  It seems they were hunting in two different areas, but they each knew where the other one was hunting.  Steve had gone into an old cutline and started calling and was rewarded with an answer right away.  The next thing he knew he was looking at a bull ambling down the cutline towards his position.  he started counting points and did this a couple of times and arrived at the same total every time  -  TEN.  Soon the bull was on the ground and an animal of that size is hard to handle by oneself. Steve removed the insides and went looking for Jimmy and Bruce.  After a short search he found them.  I can only imagine his surprise when he saw that they too were gutting a moose.  Jimmy and Bruce were driving down a hillside towards a bridge which crosses a rather wide creek when they looked down the creek and saw two young bulls standing on the sandy beach.  A quick look through the binos soon determined that one was two points on each side while the other one had at least three on each side.  A short stalk and the immature bull was down.  The good thing was both animals were situated in places easily accessible by ATV for extraction. The two bulls were shot within 15 minutes of each other at midday and one other hunter had spotted a bull (not of legal size) at about the same time many kms away from the area we were hunting.

Well, things were looking up.  Maybe we were going to all tag-out on this trip?  Unfortunately, this was not going to be the case and these were the last moose we were to see on this trip. With Jimmy & Steve out of the picture, Bruce and I started hunting together.  Our second day hunting together we decided to go down a Service road which ended at a small gas plant.  I was traveling behind Bruce and when he approached the opening where the building stood he waved for me to hurry.  I did and when I looked where he was pointing, I saw the largest bear I had ever seen.  I have hunted for Brown bear in Alaska and never had I seen one this large - not saying that Alaska isn't home to the largest bears, just I had never seen one of this size.  The first couple of minutes were tense on both sides.  I told Bruce to be ready to get out of there as fast as we could.  The bear was only 45 yards from us and I knew he could cover that distance extremely fast.  He made a couple of steps in our direction and was "popping" his teeth as he came.  Then he suddenly stopped and sat down and started to scratch himself.  Next he extended his front left leg straight out from his body?  Next it looked as though he was waving at us with his left paw?  I looked over at Bruce and he had this huge grin on his face and was waving back!!  We watched him for about 10+ minutes and he finally seemed to have had enough of our company, as he rose and ambled back into the forest. He had to be close to 9' and the picture certainly does not do his size justice.IMG_1091.JPG

A quick look at the pictures will show that I am absent from all of this portion of the Newsletter and that would be because I personally did not see one moose during the 11 days we were hunting.  I did see two caribou bulls (a fairly rare thing in this area) and two Grizzly Bears, but I always thoroughly enjoy my time in the outdoors and found the trip successful with the sighting of that huge bear.

Sheep season is still open in our local area and we will spend time chasing them around the mountains until that season ends. We have an open season on Bighorn Sheep in our local area, but they must be "Mature" before they can be harvested.  Mature means that the horn must break the nose and as sheep tend to 'broom' their horns, those that do are safe from the hunter. The end of November will see us over in Alberta chasing Whitetail deer and I was fortunate to secure a Mule Deer tag which should produce a good trophy.

Look forward to producing the November Newsletter (although it might be a touch tardy, as I will be in the field until 10 December).

I purchased a hunt in Argentina at our SCI (Safari Club International) Fundraiser which is worth $12,120 USD and I find I cannot use it, so I am looking to sell it for $5,200 USD.  If anyone is interested, please give me a shout at

Also please view our website at    to see some of the great specials we have listed.  Or if you are planning on doing a hunt or safari, whether locally or abroad, please give us a shout s we have Outfitters who are dedicated to providing the best hunts possible. Or just drop us an email as we always love talking to other hunters about our common passion  HUNTING.

Yours in the Field,


D. I. (Ian) Hay


Blue Collar Adventures