Scott and Frank's Buffalo Hunt
Mozambique: High Game Populations and Trophy Quality in Marromeu’s Coutada 10
By Barbara Crown
Scott Perkins (left) and hunting partner Frank Fowler say buffalo like this one are abundant in Coutada 10.
Last month I updated you on Coutada 10 in Mozambique based on a hunt report from Eric Schell, who works with Safari Outfitters and is representing the operator there. Now I have a report from subscriber Scott Perkins who hunted Coutada 10 this past September and confirms much of what Schell told me. Perkins hunted Cape buffalo in the swamp and reports seeing herds of 300 to 600 buffalo daily over the seven days he hunted them. Waterbuck herds numbered in the hundreds. Plus, he reports "quite a few great" eland, plentiful reedbuck, abundant and good nyala and the best sable he has ever seen anywhere in Africa.
Perkins' safari was organized by Gordon Stark of Nhoro Safaris. Perkins says Stark has an arrangement with concession operator Paul Ferreira of Marromeu Safaris to hunt Coutada 10. Ferreira obtained access to the area in 2012. Perkins' hunt was in late September when, he says, the waterholes were dry and the buffalo concentrated around the main channel that feeds the delta. Like Schell, Perkins' hunt employed eight-wheeled ARGOs to travel 10 to 12 miles into the swamp. When they sighted cattle egrets, which follow the buffalo, Perkins says they climbed a palm tree to glass the herd over and proceeded to stalk on foot. He reports finding good to above-average buffalo, including several over 40 inches, but says they were tough to get on for a shot. He ended up taking an askari bull with a broken horn traveling with a very old dagga boy. He says it was the most intense 3½-hour stalk of his life, starting with 35 to 45 minutes on the sticks waiting for a shot. Just as he touched off the shot, the bull moved, and the bullet hit about four inches behind the heart. They tracked the bull through a dense thicket so dark Perkins says he and Stark had to wait for their eyes to adjust. Although the bull did not charge them, Perkins says it absorbed several more shots before finally dropping.
Impressed with the diversity and quantity of game in Marromeu, Perkins also took this excellent Chobe bushbuck early in the hunt.
In addition to the buffalo, Perkins also took what he describes as an "above average" reedbuck and, on the third day of the hunt, an exceptional Chobe bushbuck, completing his spiral horn collection. Perkins was impressed with the area. "You will see a lot of pristine miombo forest, wide open Zambezi Delta swamps, miles of reeds and elephant grass. Basically, an untouched part of Africa," he says. He gives Marromeu Safaris high marks for the quality of the camp, meals and staff. "You will not want for anything there," he says. He has already rebooked for next August.
Perkins warns that the heat at this time of year was 114 to 124 degrees. Describing himself as a "mountain boy from Wyoming," Perkins says, "I damned near passed out from heat stroke." He also warns of humidity upwards of 80 percent and compares it to steam bath conditions. He advises older hunters and those with heart-related conditions to go earlier in the season (June and July) when the conditions are not as hot or humid. "You can hunt the buffalo in the miombo at that time," he says. "It is a different hunting experience then and temperatures are cooler."