Today’s blog comes from one of our country’s most recognized wildlife biologists/outdoor writers/television show host of Trailing the Hunter’s Moon , Larry Weishuhn. Although universally known as “Mr. Whitetail”, Larry trails the “Hunter’s Moon” throughout the world in search of big game hunting adventures.
Many African hunters question why the hippopotamus isn’t a member of the Big 5. More people lose their lives to hippo than any of the Big 5! A couple of year ago I hunted the Limpopo of South Africa where I shot a rogue hippo which had recently bitten the leg off of a young fisherman.
The first time I stood beside my dead hippo, I realized how absolutely huge they are, easily over 6,000 pounds and nearly 12 feet in length!
This time I was in Namibia hunting the Cuando River in the famed Zambezi (previously Caprivi) Strip for a bull hippo, designated a “meat bull”. A “meat bull” is one that the shooter takes and every bit of the animal; skin, meat, skull with tusks, and entrails go to the local tribes. All the shooter (me in this instance) takes home are great adventuresome memories and photos.
Hippos spend most of their daylight hours in the water, but feed on land at night. Occasionally hippos bed on land during daylight. We saw lots of hippos in the Cuando River which they shared with crocodiles, including a 15 to 16 foot monster living in the immediate area where we hoped to take a hippo on land.
After much walking and time on the river we spotted what looked like three hippos bedded on a sandbar surrounded by tall reeds. The only way to get close enough for a shot with my Ruger Number 1 in .450-400 NE 3” shooting 400 grain Hornady DGX and DGS ammo required wading through thigh to waist deep water, a hippo and croc trail through reeds, muck and mire. And e were less the 50 yards of where we had seen the huge croc and three other 10 to 12 feet long.
With the crocs in the area, we also knew my shot had to put the hippo down immediately on ground. If he died in the water he might turn into croc food, rather than badly need protein for the local natives…..
Please watch “DSC’s TRAILING THE HUNTER’S MOON” on Saturdays starting third quarter at 12:30 pm Eastern! Check the www.thesportsmanchannel.com for other airing times…