Page 1

The .416 Remington Magnum The New Old Soul

Making an Ash Bag

The Essential bush tool

Rigging up for

Marlin Fishing

The Tactical Tomahawk in Africa The ultimate new bush tool

Preparing for swordplay

The Maneating lions of Tsavo THE FINDING OF THE MAN-EATERS’ DEN

Make a Plan

Making fire with a “Tonteldoos”


contents 2 | Volume 6 Issue 4


10 The .416 Remington Magnum The New Old Soul

30 Making an Ash Bag The Essential bush tool

41 Rigging up for

Marlin Fishing Preparing for swordplay

58 The Tactical Tomahawk in Africa The ultimate new bush tool

91 The Maneating lions of Tsavo THE FINDING OF THE MAN-EATERS’ DEN

116 Make a Plan

Making fire with a “Tonteldoos”

120 True North An Intolerable Rest

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AFRICAN

Published by Safari Media Africa Editors United States of America Editor: Alan Bunn editorusa@africanxmag.com Associate editor: Galen Geer ggeer@africanxmag.com Europe Hans Jochen Wild editoreurope@africanxmag.com Africa Southern Africa: Mitch Mitchell editorafrica@africanxmag.com Central Africa: Cam Crieg cam@africanxmag.com Financial Thea Mitchell Layout & Design Xtasis Media and Digital Wind Advertising and Marketing South Africa: T. Mitchell adssa@africanxmag.com Phone +27 13-7125246 Fax 0866104466 USA: Alan Bunn adsusa@africanxmag.com (706) 2762608 African Expedition Magazine is an independent bimonthly publication promoting fair, sustainable hunting, a protected environment and adventure sports in Africa. The African Expedition Magazine is published by Safari Media Africa

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Volume 6 Issue 4 | 9


The .416 Remington Magnum

The New Old Soul

“Cocoa� the Winchester Model 70 Safari Express in .416 Remington Magnum, with Leupold VXIII 1.5-5 in QD detachable mounts 10 | Volume 6 Issue 4


Volume 6 Issue 4 | 11

Phil Massaro

T

he first .416” diameter bullets saw the light of day in 1911, in John Rigby & Company’s proprietary cartridge, the .416 Rigby. The case that Rigby designed was huge, capable of holding well over 100 grains of today’s powder.


Author with his prized .416 Remington Magnum Model 70

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It was initially loaded with cordite, the popular propellant of the day in early twentieth century Britain, and a large ring Mauser receiver was necessary to house the voluminous case. Truth be told, the bullet diameter and cartridge didn’t catch on immediately.

Well, almost. Initial reports didn’t bode well, but I believe that had more to do with the ammunition than the design. I will go on record saying that the .458 Winchester suffers from a lack of case capacity, but some of our modern powders have solved that problem.

It sort of clambered along, despite being praised by John ‘Pondoro’ Taylor in his famous African Rifles and Cartridges. The .416 Rigby and the all of today’s .416” bores owe their sustained existence to Robert Ruark’s 1953 safari gem Horn of the Hunter, in which he documents Professional Hunter Harry Selby’s proficiency with the left-handed .416 Rigby he was using due to the fact that his double .470 was in the repair shop. Hunters quietly collected the .416 Rigby, and even Jack O’Connor, renowned for his love of lighter, speedier cartridges, used one with great effect in Africa.

This left hunters of the 70s and even 80s with two affordable choices for a big game rifle: the .375H&H and the .458 Winchester. While both of these are irrefutable classics, the difference between them left a gap. The .375 H&H has a milder recoil than the does the .458, but it is traditionally loaded with 300 grains bullets as the heaviest available. The .458 has the bullet weight on its side, but comes at the price of heavy recoil; so heavy that few visiting hunters could effectively shoot it well, and numerous PHs recommended sticking with the .375 bore.

Wildcatters started to tinker with the .416” However, the 1960s saw the demise of diameter bullets in different cases. My Kynoch ammunition, which produced friend Enrique adores his .416 Taylor, most of the ammunition for the British which is a .458 Winchester case (2.500” classic cartridges, and that created a seri- long) necked down to hold the .416 bullet, ous problem: many cartridges that were and it is a great cartridge, yet remains a most useful against African dangerous wildcat. Developed in the 70s by Robert game were simply unavailable. The .450 Chatfield-Taylor, it is a .30-’06 length .416 Nitro-Express, the king of the doubles, that is fully capable of taking all dangerbegan to fade quickly, as did many of the ous game. Likewise, a forward thinking other flanged double rifle cartridges. gentleman by the name of George Hoffman, one of the few American ProfesThe American firm of Winchester ansional Hunters in Africa, had the brilliant swered the call (at least in theory) by developing the .458 Winchester Magnum. idea of mating the full length .375 H&H Designed to propel a .458” diameter 500 case with the .416” diameter bullets, and thank goodness he did! The wildcat .416 grain projectile at 2,100 fps, in a case Hoffman was born. based on the .375 Holland and Holland Belted Magnum shortened to 2.500”, their It propelled the 400 and 410-grain bulintention was to mirror the performance lets of the .416 Rigby to a velocity of of the .450 Nitro. The cartridge did that. 2,400fps, exactly on par with Rigby balVolume 6 Issue 4 | 13


listics, yet out of a simple to manufacture rifle using a very common case head diameter and length. The .375 Holland uses a case length of 2.850”, plenty long enough to give ample capacity for driving .375” 300 grain bullets to their famed velocity of 2,550fps, but change the bore diameter to .416” and case capacity is just about maxed out. The good Mr. Hoffman had excellent results with his brainchild, having no lack of killing power or penetration on the toughest and biggest game that Africa has to offer. However, his wildcat remained just that: a wildcat that few people embraced. It was, and still is, a perfectly viable cartridge. I have clients that ask me to load .416 Hoffman for them, and they enjoy using their rifles to this day. Remington, a company who has made a reputation out of legitimizing the bastard children of the shooting world, picked up on the Hoffman concept. In 1988, the year I graduated high school, I remember the buzz about Remington’s new baby: the .416 Remington. Based (loosely) on the 8mm Remington Magnum (which was a derivation of the .375H&H), the new Remington case bears a very strong resemblance to the .416 Hoffman. In fact, they are so close in dimension that .416 Remington ammunition can be safely fired from the slightly larger .416 Hoffman chamber, but the reverse is not true. The Hoffman case has a slightly larger case capacity than the Remington variety. This commercially produced cartridge closed the gap by blending the trajectory of the .375 H&H with the high kinetic energy of the .458 Winchester. Ballistics are virtually identical between the Hoffman and the Remington; both 14 | Volume 6 Issue 4

driving the 400-grain bullets at a speed of 2,400fps. What Remington does different is use roughly 80% of the powder charge required for the Rigby. My .416 Remington, which is a bolt action Winchester Model 70, uses 78.0 grains of powder to arrive at 2,400 fps, while my .416 Rigby needs an even 100 grains to get to the same velocity. This is simply explained, and both have their benefits and downsides. Allow me to compare and contrast for a bit. The new Remington design uses a 25-degree shoulder and headspaces off the belt; the Rigby case is beltless and headspaces off the steep, almost 45 degree shoulder. The Rigby case, designed for and developed with cordite, a powder made in long, spaghetti-like sticks, was designed to be so large to combat the high pressures that the tropics can generate. I should note that the extreme heat of the African tropics has a much, much more pronounced effect on cordite (now completely obsolete) than it does on our modern smokeless extruded single and double based powders. In 1911, with only cordite available, John Rigby and Co. designed the .416 Rigby to be overly huge so that the temperature variant wouldn’t give any trouble while extracting a cartridge. Having a cartridge stuck in the chamber while facing a charging elephant or buffalo is a great way to destroy a company’s reputation! The designers at Rigby solved the highpressure problem by using an oversized case; and to this day the Rigby case operates at a much lower pressure then the Remington case does. But, that lower pressure comes at a cost.


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Top: CZ550 in .416 Rigby - Bottom: Winchester Model 70 in .416 Remington Magnum

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With today’s powders, when you have to fill a case as large as the Rigby to get the necessary velocity, the felt recoil ramps up accordingly. Because the Remington case uses roughly 80% of the powder that the Rigby does, the felt recoil drops off significantly. In order to get the same velocity out of 80% of the powder, the Remington case must run at a higher pressure. That pressure was the initial criticism of Remington’s .416, but in my humble opinion the blame should have been laid at the feet of Remington’s Model 700 rifle instead of the design of the cartridge. You see, the Remington 700 action utilizes the “pushfeed” design; that is the cartridge is not picked up by the bolt as is the case in a Mauser style action, it is simply pushed out of the magazine and upon closing the bolt a small spring loaded extractor grabs the cartridge case head by the rim. The dilemma? When you get a case that runs at high pressures, that tiny extractor can show itself as the weak link in the chain. Horror stories reared their ugly head. A PH stands helpless as a buffalo charges, the cartridge stuck in the chamber and the extractor ripped off of the bolt face. Once the rot sets in, it is very difficult to right the ship. But, the .416 Remington continued to defeat the odds by performing perfectly in rifles equipped with a controlled round feed setup, like the classic Mauser design or the Winchester 70 and Dakota Model 76. In these rifles, pressure isn’t a problem and extraction happens every time. To be honest, I feel that any rifle that is headed for use in dangerous game coun-

try should have the strongest extractor possible. I know, the fans of Weatherby and Browning rifles are making little bald voodoo dolls of me, and I understand the point that they very seldom fail. I also understand that problems can arise in controlled round feed rifles. But, I sleep better knowing I’m headed afield with the strongest gear available, to hedge my bets against failure or a tragedy. My personal favorite rifle for dangerous game situations is the aforementioned Winchester Model 70 .416 Remington in the Safari Express configuration, which I’ve nicknamed ‘Cocoa’ due to the darkstained stock, and it is equipped with the controlled round feed “pre-‘64” claw action. I have left ammunition in 95 degree Fahrenheit heat all afternoon, and never ever had a problem with a stuck cartridge. My handloads operate at the same velocity as the factory stuff (400 grain bullets at a measured 2,400 fps), and I’ve yet to have an issue with them either. So, where exactly does the .416 Remington fit? Is it a flexible rifle like the flat shooting, easy recoiling .375 H&H but beefed up? Or is it on the bottom end of the stopping rifles? The answer, in my opinion, is yes to both questions. Or, perhaps better put, it is a wonderful compromise between the two. Almost all available factory ammunition is loaded with a 400-grain bullet of some variety, which has a good sectional density of .330, perfect for deep penetration on dangerous game. It is generally accepted that the best bullets for dangerous game have a S.D. of greater than .300, so penetration doesn’t suffer. When comparing it against of bullets of similar nose profile, using the 300-grain in the .375, and Volume 6 Issue 4 | 19


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.416 Remington Magnum cartridges, loaded by Massaro Ballistic Laboratories with Swift 400 grain A-Frame bonded core soft points

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the 500-grain in the .458, you’ll find that the 2,400 fps muzzle velocity of the .416 Remington generates 5,116 ft.-lbs. of energy at the muzzle. Compare this to the .375’s 4,250 ft.-lbs and the .458’s 5,084 ft.-lbs. As you can see, the Remington has either equaled or beat the competition. However, at 300 yards (which is as long a shot as many will ever attempt with this sort of rifle) the .416 Remington has retained 2,500 ft.-lbs., while the .375 has 1,875 ft.-lbs. and the .458 has 2,267 ft.-lbs. So it seems that in terms of energy that the .416 Remington has an advantage over the .375 H&H and is on par or slightly better than the .458 Winchester Magnum. When it comes to trajectory, the lighter and faster .375 H&H bullet has an advantage over its larger and heavier counterparts. But, the advantage is not as much as you’d think with respect to the .416 Remington. Using a 100 yard zero for comparative purposes, the fastest of the three, the .375 H&H drops 18” at the 300 yard mark, the .416 Remington drops 22” and the .458 Winchester drops 30”. The .416 bullet is only 4” lower at 300 yards. That’s not a huge difference at all! What we have here in the .416 Remington is a relatively flat shooting cartridge, fully capable of making a distant shot on a kudu or gemsbok, yet perfectly able to confidently drop a buffalo or elephant when things get up close and personal. So, here we are with 5,000 ft.-lbs. of energy in our hands, with the capability of reaching out to 300 yards and beyond confidently. How does it translate into the real world? What real-life scenarios can be related to confirm the performance of

the .416 Remington? I’m glad you’ve asked. My first safari, in The Republic of South Africa, saw me afield with a .300 Winchester and a .375 H&H Magnum. It was a plains game safari, with no real threat of bumping dangerous game, with the exception of the gigantic white rhino that scared the wits out of me on day two. Things went swimmingly, and I was invariably hooked on Mother Africa. I rebooked for a Cape buffalo hunt in the Selous of Tanzania, and upon arrival, PH Terry Calavrias, my Dad and I set off for a week of fun. I had won a raffle for a rifle and chose the .416 Remington in a Winchester Model 70, and was very eager to try it out. I had settled on the 400 grain Swift A-Frame bonded-core soft point for my handloaded ammunition, and my pet rifle would (and still will) put three shots in a group that measured less than one inch at 100 yards. I chose some of Hornady’s 400-grain solids for backup, which printed similar groups, and was feeling confident about hunting the great black beasts. True hunting comes with no guarantees, and the buffalo I wanted didn’t present himself. We saw hundreds of them, but that old hard-bossed bull eluded me in Tanzania. However, I did get an opportunity to test the accuracy potential of this big stick. A very fine Lichtenstein’s hartebeest bull was feeding on the far side of a pan of water, just over 300 yards away, while we were checking for spoor one morning. Terry was confident I could take the bull, so I laid down across a log, settled into the rifle, and after a few unprintable words of encouragement from Dad, tickled the trigger. I had the proper holdover, and the bull was in the salt! Not bad Volume 6 Issue 4 | 23


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for such a large rifle with only a 5x scope.

just possible but probable, I hunt everything with a rifle capable of getting me It took me four years to get back to the out of a scrape. My .416 Remington has Dark Continent, and this time it was my been the only rifle I’ve brought with me on honeymoon. I had decided to explore safari to Tanzania and Zambia. The perZambia’s Luangwa Valley, as the area has a great reputation for buffalo. It took a formance on plains game, when using the bit to convince my bride that venturing off proper bullet, has been stellar. on a hunting safari was definitely what the The great thing about those Swift bulcool kids were doing, but I sweetened the lets is that they are very versatile. When pot with three days at Victoria Falls, and they hit large game, like eland or Cape got her to agree. Upon arrival in camp, buffalo, the size of the animal forces my new friend and PH Nicky Wightman the bullet to expand and mushroom. On was enamored with my .416, because smaller game, like bushbuck or impala, it drilled the bullseye while checking the they tend to whistle through, acting much zero. This usually pleases professional like a solid. The kill is quick and humane, hunters! but meat damage is minimal. Pretty good tradeoff if you ask me. A Chobe bushThe next morning we cut buffalo spoor buck dropped as if pole axed, with an exit early, and after a tracking job of over wound smaller than a fifty-cent piece. My three miles, we found the herd. The bull warthog was hit on a dead run, with what I was after took a bit of time to present the shot, but when he did that Remington is the best offhand running shot of my career. Trackers, game scout, driver and cartridge showed it true colors. The bull crew came jumping off the truck when rocked at the shot, which hit him on the they saw the shot that flipped that hog very point of the front shoulder, and carinto midair, and landed him on his back in ried on to the heart and lungs. He didn’t go more than 50 yards, but I still paid the a cloud of dust, dead before he landed! The congratulations in Nyanja and handinsurance with a backup shot. Both bullets were found resting against the offside shakes from gentlemen who see all sorts of shooting caused me to walk away with skin, retaining over 90% of their weight, an unprecedented sense of pride. and perfectly mushroomed. My bull was in the salt on day one, and my wife got to experience the entire hunt alongside me. Priceless! The .416 Remington did its job flawlessly, and I couldn’t have chosen a better rifle/cartridge/bullet combination.

That safari also saw several head of plains game fall to the .416 Remington and the 400-grain Swift A-Frame. Let me explain a bit: when I go hunting in a dangerous game block, where the presence of elephant, buffalo, hippo and cats is not

There are many good, even great bullets available to the shooter who likes the .416 bore. The aforementioned 400-grain Swift A-Frame has served me well, but Hornady’s new line of DGX soft points and DGS solids is a great choice as well. The Barnes TSX is available in .416” diameter, in 400 grain, 350 grain and 300 grain for those who want to increase speeds and flatten trajectories. Barnes’ lines of banded solids have long proven themselves, and any .416 shooter would Volume 6 Issue 4 | 25


RIFLES Winchester Model 70 Remington Model 700 BULLETS Swift A-Frame Hornady DGX soft points Hornady DGS solids Barnes TSX Barnes Banded Solids Nosler Partition Nosler solids Northfork Woodleigh Weldcore Woodleigh Hydrostatic solids Cutting Edge Bullets POWDER IMR4064 powder Varget powder Reloder 15 powder CASES Hornady cases Remington cases Norma cases

CLICK on the cover to buy Philip Massaro’s new book from Amazon

26 | Volume 6 Issue 4


be well served when armed with a 400 grain Banded Solid. Nolser’s famous Partition is offered in a 400-grain configuration for those enjoy using the classic premium bullet design, and Nosler has a great solid for backup shots. Northfork has their wonderful bonded-core semispitzer, and a line of flat point solids (designed for elephant and other pachyderms), and the new cup point solids, designed as a backup shot on buffalo. The cup solid will give a small amount of expansion on the front end of the bullet, while giving the very deep penetration of a traditional solid bullet. These are just about perfect for the buffalo hunter. Woodleigh Weldcore bullets have a great reputation on the Dark Continent, and are available in .416 diameter. Their new “hydrostatically stabilized” solids are a new interesting concept, being constructed of solid brass. I haven’t had a chance to experiment with them yet, but my colleagues report good results. Cutting Edge Bullets, from Pennsylvania, USA, has a line of all brass hollow points that should prove themselves in the .416 Remington. Turned on a lathe and held to very tight tolerances, my experiences with these bullets have been very good. As with any monometal bullet, they are longer than their lead and copper counterparts, so bullet weight tends to be

lower than standard. The 370-grain Cutting Edge would be a great choice for the travelling sportsman. The .416 Remington works best when loaded with a medium burning powder, such as IMR4064, Varget or Reloder15. Good cases are available from Hornady, Remington, Norma and others. Should you opt for factory-loaded ammunition, the popularity of the .416 Remington has resulted in many good factory loads. Federal, Hornady, Norma, Remington and others offer well ammunition with good choices of projectiles, which can serve you well the whole globe over. The .416 Remington Magnum has cemented its place in the shooting world. While I am completely respectful of the nostalgic position that the .416 Rigby holds, I think that much like the .30-’06 v. .308 debate, there is plenty of room for both of them. I firmly believe that due to the affordability of the Remington ammunition in comparison to the Rigby, and the lesser cost of building the rifles, the Remington will eclipse the Rigby in the next decade. Not that the classic Rigby will fade away, I don’t see that happening, but I think more hunters will base their choice on the efficiency and affordability of the .416 Remington. Spend some time with your .416 Remington, and you’ll find you have a friend for life!

Philip P. Massaro is the President of Massaro Ballistic Laboratories, LLC, a custom ammunition company, comfortably nestled in between the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York. He has been a handloader for 20+ years, a veteran of three African Safaris and dozens of North American hunts. He is a Licensed Professional Land Surveyor by trade, a musician by choice, and usually reeks of Hoppes No. 9. His web site is at http://www.mblammo.com/ Volume 6 Issue 4 | 27


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Volume 6 Issue 4 | 29


Making an

Ash Bag The Essential bush tool

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S

imple tools are often the most effective and the most overlooked. An ash bag is a good example. A hunter must constantly be monitoring wind direction if he wants to be successful in his endevours. Allow the slightest waft of your human scent to blow towards your quarry and the chances are it will run off leaving you with a southern view of a north headed animal. Volume 6 Issue 4 | 31


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Wind is easy to detect if it is blowing hard enough. Even a slight breeze can be felt on your skin giving you an indication of its direction. It is then relatively easy to be aware of wind direction and to plan your stalk and approach. It is when the breeze drops to a level that is almost impossible to feel on your skin or to move objects like leaves and grass that you need some help. One mistake a hunter must never make is in believing that there is no wind. There is always movement of air. Air movement is caused by differences in temperature and there are always differences in temperature between objects and between different areas.

4. Get hold of some strong twine and a large needle and thread a drawstring around the circumference of the cloth disc leaving a border of about 1cm. 5. When the drawstring is pulled tight a bag is formed 6. Now get hold of some ash from a wood fire (preferably from a lead wood fire if you are lucky enough to have access to this type of firewood) and sift it through your wife’s kitchen sieve. Coarser pieces are caught up in the sieve and only the finest powdery ash falls through which you can collect and keep in a container for future use.

Take for instance the temperature differ7. This ash also has some other useence between a patch of grass in direct ful applications but we will leave sun and a patch of grass in deep shade. this for another article. For now it There will be a distinct temperature differwill be used to fill our ash bag. ence between the two areas and the tem8. The neck of the bag is drawn perature gradient will cause air to move. closed with the drawstring. I like An ash bag is one of the best friends a attaching the ash bag to a leather hunter can have and with a quick shake thong which I hang around my neck or flick of a finger will quickly indicate the so that it is readily available if I want direction of air movement even when to test the wind. you cannot feel any wind on your skin or when object appear motionless. Alternatively you can sew a hook onto the bag and hang it on your belt. A slight You can buy a squeeze bottle with a fancy label filled with some odorless pow- shake of the bag or flicking it with your finger will release the finest cloud of wood der which works well with a squeeze but why waste thirty bucks when you can ash which will visibly drift in the direction of the slightest breeze making it easy make an ash bag for next to nothing. for you to determine the direction of air 1. Get hold of some material that is movement. reasonably porous like cotton or Without a doubt this very simple tool is cheese cloth. one of the hunter’s most valuable assets. 2. Take a tea saucer and trace a circle onto the material. 3. Cut out a round disc and Volume 6 Issue 4 | 33


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1. Trace the circle on cloth using a small plate

2. Cut out the circle.

3. Cut out the circle.

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4. Mark the outline and thread a drawstring through the dotted line.

5. The finished bag

6. Sift fine wood ash

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7. Fill the bag with the fine ash ..

... and here it is in action

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Cleve Cheney holds a bachelor of science degree in zoology and a master’s degree in animal physiology. He is a wilderness trail leader, rated field guide instructor and the author of many leading articles on the subjects of tracking, guiding, bowhunting and survival. Cleve has unrivalled experience in wildlife management, game capture and hunting, both with bow and rifle. Volume 6 Issue 4 | 39


Rigging up for Preparing for swordplay

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Marlin Fishing

M

arlin Fishing, the Holy Grail of Sport Fishing. Trolling Lures for Marlin is technical and attention to detail is of critical importance if you want success, it is also one of the most effective ways to target all the Marlin species. Volume 6 Issue 4 | 41


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In our Indian Ocean waters we get 3 species of Marlin. ●● Blue Marlin - Makaira mazara / nigricans ●● Black Marlin - Istionpax indica ●● Striped Marlin - Kajikia audax We also get another 3 species of Bill Fish in our waters: ●● Short Billed Spear Fish - Tetrapturus angustirostris ●● Indo-Pacific Sail Fish - Istiophorus platypterus ●● Broad Bill Sword Fish - Xiphias gladius In this article I will focus on hunting the 3 Marlin Species A “Grander” is considered to be a Marlin 1000lbs (455Kg) and over, although they have been caught in our waters it is not the norm as most our Marlins are smaller, in Autumn we do have Grander size Blue Marlin around in our waters. Trolling is what we call pulling lures behind the boat, Trawling is dragging nets behind the boat and I grit my teeth every time I hear someone call this kind of fishing trawling, if you going to do it at least know how to say it and spell it correctly, otherwise you are insulting the art. I have very simple rules for fishing: ●● You cannot catch a fish if your line is not in the water. ●● Don’t lose a good fish because of a bad knot. ●● Attention to detail, as success is always in the smaller details. ●● Be completely aware of your surroundings and environment at all

times. ●● Keep it simple. ●● Know your routines well.

Blue Marlin The Indo-Pacific Blue Marlin commonly referred to as a “Blue” found on our waters are usually referred to as Makaira mazara, however there are many arguments that this species is in fact the same as the Atlantic Blue Marlin Makaira nigricans. I am not a Marine Biologist or Scientist and to me it is simply a Blue Marlin. A female Blue Marlin can grow to be four times the size of the male, and the Blue Marlin is the largest of all Marlins. The bill is fairly thin, and the head is higher compared to other marlins, the dorsal fin has a fine point and its height is about half that of the width of the fish. The pectoral fins can close and fold flat against the body. Blue Marlin can light up when you get them to the boat, and this often gets them confused with Striped Marlin. The Blue Marlin is an open water fish and one will find them at depths of over 400m and passed the continental shelf, they mostly feed near the surface. Blue Marlin will often fight deep and then tire themselves out quicker than other Marlins.

Black Marlin The Black Marlin, Istionpax indica commonly referred as a “Black” is the fastest of all the Marlins. The pectoral fins are rigid and curved, and it is the only Marlin whose pectoral fins do not fold flat Volume 6 Issue 4 | 43


Australian Plait (Aussie Plait) for making the loop in mono-filament

10 Turn standard Cats Pawl for connecting Braid loop to Mono-Filament loop

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against the body. The Black Marlin has a somewhat stocky body which is shorter and thicker than the other Marlins. It also has a shorter bill which is thicker. The Dorsal fin is short and rounded on top. The body is dark on top and very light under with a very distinct line between the two colours. The Black Marlin likes to hunt around reefs and structure and is usually caught in waters from the shallows up to 200m deep.

Striped Marlin The Striped Marlin, Kajikia audax commonly referred to as a “Stripey� is a leaner fish, and has a much larger tail in proportion to its body when compared to the other two Marlins. The dorsal fin is very high and its height is approximately that of the width of the fish and it tapers towards the back fin. The Striped Marlin has the thinnest and longest bill of the three Marlins, and the body has very wide bright blue vertical stripes. A Stripey can really light up when you have him next to the boat.

to tackle up correctly for Marlin, because when you fishing for Marlin you should be doing just that. On our coast line 80lb tackle is the standard tackle used when Marlin Fishing and so I will give a run down on these requirements. One of the things I have noticed is that guys go to the shop looking for Marlin tackle and come back with 1 or 2 rigs and usually they are not the same, this is not good enough, what one needs is a matched set of 5 to 7 rigs, all with the same reels, all with the same rods and all with the same line.

Rods A short strong rod rated for 80lbs (37Kg) with roller guides. I use the Okuma Makaira 80lb Big Game rods on my boat. You will need 5-7 of these depending on your spread and even consider 1 extra for pitch baits if you can afford. I service the roller guides all my rods at the beginning of each season, re-grease all the bearings and replace any bearings that are suspect. I also remove the steel covers from all the bearings and pack them tightly with low viscosity grease.

Striped Marlin are usually the first Marlin to arrive in our waters in the summer, and can be found anywhere from the shallows Reels to deep water, they mostly hunt in the top An 80 size 2 speed lever drag big game 100 metres of the water column up to the reel is the standard along our east coast; surface. however more and more anglers are now using a size 50 reel for this job. I use Equipment and Rigging Okuma Makaira 50 Reels on my boat. Standard Game Fish tackle is just not going to cut it when going out Marlin Hunting, and whilst Marlin have been landed on Game Fish Tackle, it is not going to happen consistently and so one needs

You will need 5-7 of these. I service and re-grease all my reels at the beginning of each season and also replace any bearings that are suspect, I also apply fresh Cal’s drag grease to the drag washers Volume 6 Issue 4 | 45


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Tuna Knot to connect your double leader to Snap Swivel

50 stitch Braid Splice to make loop in braid

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Setting the drag at 1/3 of line breaking strain

Captain Morgan rigged with a Single hook Stiff Rig

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to help keep them dry. Don’t cut corners with reels made from graphite or hybrid reels; go for the reels that are machined from solid aircraft grad aluminium as these will withstand the pressures of long heavy fights and maintain their integrity.

Lines An 80 size reel can take about 800-900m of 80lb mono filament line which is more than sufficient for most Marlin you will encounter along our coastline. A 50W size reel will take about 550m of 80lb mono filament line, on the size 50 reels it is the norm to use a braid backing and mono filament top shot, where you can spool about 500-600m of braid backing and then 200-250m of mono filament top shot. On the backing braid you stitchsplice a 600mm loop and on the main line you make a 600mm loop with an Aussie Plait, then you join the 2 loops with a standard 10 turn cats paw connection. My line of choice is Berkeley IGFA Big Game in Electric Blue and Berkley Whiplash for the backing. I re-spool all my reels at the beginning of each season with new mono-filament line, I also re-spool the mono-filament on a reel after we have fought a large Fish. The braid used for backing is good for 10 years.

Leaders For 50lb line class and above IGFA rules allow you a total of 40ft (12.19m) with combined double line and leader, the leader may not be longer than 30ft (9.14m). One must also consider that your line can remain permanently stretched after fighting a big fish and so 50 | Volume 6 Issue 4

when measured it can be up to 30% over what it was when you originally tied it up and so one must factor this in when making up your leaders, especially if you are fishing in a competition or looking to claim a record. I like to use the following dimensions: Leader 5m (16.4ft) and double line 4m (13.12ft) giving me a total of 9m (29.52ft) allowing me 26% overall stretch which is a safe margin. NB: The total length is measured from the start of your double line knot on the main line side to the end of the last hook. I use 4 metres of doubled line tied with an Aussie Plait, and to this I connect to a 240lb Stainless steel snap swivel. I do not like using a wind on leader at any time. Disadvantages of using a wind on leader are as follows: ●● You lose almost 30% of the line capacity on your reel making space for the wind on; this is a huge amount of line capacity. E.G. Approximately 250m - 300m of line when using 24Kg (50lb) line on a size 50 Big Game Reel. 300m is the average amount of line that the average fish takes on its first run before you turn it. ●● By the time your leader is off the reel you have already reached a stage where the drag settings on your reel are affected and your line capacity is already reduced significantly and is at a level where you should be backing off the drag thereby reducing your chances of landing the fish significantly. ●● The wind on leader connection to


your main line is subject to high wear and tear and can fail easily. ●● The long thick line in the water creates unnecessary line drag in the water and affects the swimming of your lures. ●● The snap swivel you use to connect to your lure leader is oversized, one can use smaller ones when using doubled line and this also reduces drag in the water.

Lure Rigging and Leaders I rig my lures with 5 metres of 150lb - 400lb (1.3mm - 1.7mm – 2.0mm – 2.5mm) mono filament leader line depending on the size of the lure and the hook used. As for hook sets, I have tried many different types of hook sets and for a while was a fan of chain gangs, but on a charter boat I have found these to be far too dangerous and so discontinued using them. I much prefer the KISS (Keep it simple stupid) philosophy and nowadays I use a single hook stiff rig with and larger hook than that of double hook rigs. One can easily make these up at home and size them to the exact desired length for each specific lure. A single hook rig has an excellent hook up rate, it is not dangerous compared to a chain gang, and it is easy to get your lure running true in any sea conditions. I like the entire gape of my hook to stick out past the back of the shirt with only the hooks eye inside the skirt keeping the rig IGFA legal. I like to fix my hook-set position to the lure so it cannot spin; the hook must be facing up which then acts as a natural keel keeping your lure running

true. I like to use the Mustad Big Game stainless steel hooks from 8/0 up to 12/0 to match the lure size; the gape of the hook must always be at least 20% larger than the diameter of the lure head. Hooks on single hook rigs must also be larger than that of double hook rigs, so if you had 2 x 9/0 hooks you would now use 1 x 10/0 hook. I use the following leader lines on my lures and use the hook size to determine the line size: ●● 6/0 - 7/0 I use 1.3mm leader line. ●● 8/0 - 9/0 hooks I use 1.7mm leader line. ●● 10/0 - 11/0 hooks I use 2.0mm leader line. ●● 12/0 hooks I use 2.5mm leader line. I also let the hook size determine the wire on my rigging to make my stiff rigs: ●● 6/0 – 7/0 hooks I use 1.0mm multi strand stainless steel cable ●● 8/0 - 10/0 hooks I use 1.5mm multi strand stainless steel cable ●● 11/0 - 12/0 hooks I use 2.0mm multi strand stainless steel cable I always use good quality copper crimps to do this and use 2 crimps on each end. 6/0 – 7/0 hooks may seem a little light for Marlin fishing, but when specifically targeting Striped Marlin, Sailfish, then one requires finesse fishing with lighter leaders and smaller lures on many occasions and even the use of some bait strips. One can also go down to 50lb class tackle in this case.

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3 turns forward and 3 turns back on the rigger clip

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Rigging your Boat for Marlin Fishing You will need to rig your boat for Marlin fishing in order for you to run a decent spread and get your lures swimming properly and effectively, so rod holders, out-riggers, up-rigger and a fighting chair are a must for Marlin fishing.

Rod Holders You will require 7 strong gunnel type rod holders, and plastic ones are simply not going to cut it, these need to be the stainless steel type. The cheap thin metal ones from China are no good, they must be the proper ones made with the thicker metal to be able to withstand the pressure or a Marlin strike and run.

ing as they are not rigid at all. There are graphite riggers that are available on the market and they are reasonably rigid, however they are also serious lightning conductors and in the open sea when your riggers are up they are the highest point leaving you in a dangerous position if you are out there and lightening is about. Aluminium rigger poles are the best. Out riggers are not only used to get your lures out past the side of the boat, but also to elevate your lines to get a better angle of entry into the water, so it is no good to have them laying flat down, they must stand out at a 30 degree angle from the surface, you must also mount as high as possible on your boat.

I run 2 lines off my riggers, but I do not All these rod holders need to be mounted like running 2 separate riggers lines and firm and secure, and you may even rerun both my rigger clips of the same cord quire to reinforce the mounting area if you 600mm apart. The reasons for doing this boats gunnels are too thin. Don’t fit them is that when you need to clear lines it in with self tapping screws, use stainless is much quicker to do so, and also lure machine screws with counter sink heads tangles are greatly reduced and you lure and nylock nuts right through the gunnel is also running wider out in the strike with washers underneath. zone. One can make use of fancy rigger A standard Marlin spread requires 5 lines, release clips that are available on the and this is the minimum you will require, I market, but again I prefer the KISS philosophy and run the old tired and tested prefer to run 7 lines. rubber bands.

Out Riggers and Up Rigger Out-riggers are a very important part of getting your lures into the correct positions in your spread, and soft and floppy rigger poles are of no use at all. Rigger poles need to be stiff and rigid. The cheap white fibre glass rigger poles that are available on the market are useless when it comes to Marlin Fish-

When attaching the rubber band to the line I use the 3 turn method where we wrap 3 turns forward and then we wrap 3 turns back over the first 3 turns. This will keep your line straight and then we clip the 2 ends of the rubber band into the snap swivel clip on the rigger line. You may have noticed that I have made no mention of using Tag lines on my out riggers, and this is because I do not use Volume 6 Issue 4 | 53


them as I see no advantage and they are more trouble than they are worth and they bring your lines too close into your wash putting your lures outside the strike zone. You also will not run 2 rigger lines successfully using tag lines.

and dark and if you can cover this in your spread you are already on your way to success. ●● Dark Colours would be Black/ Purple, Red/Black, Black/Pink and Black/Orange ●● Light Colours would be Blue/White, Fighting Chair Blue/Silver, Pink/White and Red/ Although a fighting chair is not completely White essential, and one can make use of har●● Bright Colours would be Greens, nesses and fight stand up, it certainly Orange/Yellow and Fruit Salad makes fighting these large fish much easier and I highly recommend that you There are 4 main colours that one should install one on your boat if you are serialways have in their spread as these ous about Marlin fishing. Fishing stand up colours have proved over time to be the with anything larger than a size 50 reel is best Marlin producers worldwide and extremely awkward and clumsy. have proven themselves in specific positions time and time again, it has also been scientifically proven that Marlin can About the Lures see and distinguish colour, whether they There are thousands of lures on the marsee it the way we do is unknown. These ket and thousands of colour combinacolours represent most bait fish, and in tions; there is however no need to go by most places around the world the bait fish a thousand lures in a thousand different are all similar. colours. You are far better off sticking to a core set of lures in a core set of colours I prefer to run a parallel spread, but one can go the short side/long side route as and have more than 1 of each and learn how to get them working properly than to this has always been successful try using 10000 possible combinations. Red/Black, Black/Orange, Black/Pink or Like any fishing, confidence is a key fac- Black/Purple - On the Inside Right Rigger tor and once you know how to use what and is your largest lure (Traditionally the you have properly you will already be Right Corner) confident and well on your way to a hook Blue/White, Blue/Silver, Blue/White/Pink up. The lure design and colour is secondor Pink/Blue - On the Inside Left Rigger ary to having a lure that is swimming and and is your second largest lure. (Tradiworking properly. Again I like my KISS tionally the Left Corner) philosophy and like to keep things simple. Black/Purple or Blue/Purple or Black/Blue on the Outside Right Rigger Colours A variation of Green on the Outside Left Lure colours on their own can make one confused but to keep things simple there Rigger are 3 main lure colour groups, light, bright In our waters my most successful colour 54 | Volume 6 Issue 4


on my shot gun has been Orange/Yellow or a Fruit Salad variation, generally a bright colour works well in this position. Keep your core 4 colours and lures and learn to get them working perfectly. Like Bruce Lee said “I fear not the man who has practised 10000 kicks, but I fear the man who has practised 1 Kick 10000 times�. The same goes for your lures, you are far better off perfecting how to use a small range of core lures, than trying out 1000 combinations. I have my lure sets in a few different sizes, and whilst they say big lures equals big fish, I can assure you that small lures also get big fish, one just needs to rig the smaller lures to handle a big fish. It is also important to have similar head shapes for your lure sets so that they can all run properly together. If you keep on changing lures and colours all the time whilst you on the water, you are significantly reducing your fishing time by keeping your lures out the water, and in doing so you are breaking fishing rule number 1. When running my 5 line parallel spread I use 2 small birds on my inside rigger

positions along with the bird on the shot gun, I do not run any rods off my corners and prefer my all my lines running off the riggers as the lures have a steeper angle of entry into the water and they run in clearer water on the edge of the wash, and I have had much better success this way with many more hook ups in these position as opposed to running a rod off the corner, having said this I fish a 7 line spread on my boat and cover all positions. I also prefer running a parallel spread in our waters as we mostly have bigger seas and more often than not they are choppy and this spread has worked better for me than the traditional long/short corner spread. I mostly use Hot Pink, Orange/Black or Red Head/White birds for these inside positions and a Green/Chartreuse or Red bird on my shot gun. You never place larger lures behind smaller lures as this creates a blocking effect in your spread and the fish will not pass a large lure to take a smaller one, always go with the largest lure closest to the boat and then go smaller as the lures go further back.

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CLICK HERE Volume 6 Issue 4 | 57


The Tactical Tomahawk in Africa

The ultimate new bush tool

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W

hen talking about bush gear in Africa, the discussion hardly ever turns to a tactical tomahawk. Some hunters think they do not need an axe, others think that a camp ax is all you need - and still others think that the best choice is to have a tactical tomahawk.

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Custom Tactical Tomahawk with top cutting edge and spike. Gemsbok horn and ivory handle by Mitch Mitchell.

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A tactical tomahawk is a great choice for the bush because they come in several different configurations, styles, and sizes which gives it an advantage over the common axe. History The name “tomahawk” comes from Powhatan tamahaac, derived from the ProtoAlgonquian root *temah- ‘to cut off by tool’. The Algonquian Indians in Native America created the tomahawk. Before Europeans came to America, Native Americans would use stones attached to wooden handles, secured with strips of rawhide for everyday uses, such as chopping, cutting or hunting but was typically used as a weapon. Pre-contact Native Americans lacked iron making technology, so tomahawks were not fitted with metal axe heads until they could be obtained from trade with Europeans. The tomahawk’s original designs were fitted with heads of bladed or rounded stone or deer antler. Tomahawks sometimes had a pipe-bowl carved into the poll, and a hole drilled down the center of the shaft for smoking tobacco through the tomahawk. There are also metal-headed versions of this unusual pipe. Pipe tomahawks are artifacts unique to North America: created by Europeans as trade objects but often exchanged as diplomatic gifts. They were symbols of the choice Europeans and Native Americans faced whenever they met: one end was the pipe of peace, the other an axe of war. The ceremonial tomahawk usually was richly decorated with feathers and paint.

Some Native Americans had the custom of ceremonially burying a tomahawk after peace had been reached with an enemy. This custom is supposedly the origin of the colloquial phrase, “to bury the hatchet.” In colonial French territory, a very different tomahawk design, closer to the ancient European francisca, was in use by French settlers and indigenous peoples. In the late 18th century, the British Army issued tomahawks to their colonial regulars during the American Revolutionary War as a weapon and tool. When Europeans arrived in North America, they introduced the metal blade to the natives, which improved the effectiveness of the tool. Metal did not break as readily as stone and could be fashioned for additional uses. Native Americans created a tomahawk’s poll, the side opposite the blade, which consisted of a hammer, spike or a pipe. These became known as pipe tomahawks, which consisted of a bowl on the poll and a hollowed out shaft. These were created by European and American artisans for trade and diplomatic gifts for the tribes. During the Revolutionary War in the late 18th century, the Continental Congress required the military men to carry either a tomahawk or cutting sword. Guns were unreliable and took a long time to reload so the tomahawks served as a weapon for hand to hand or melee combat. A few American soldiers used the tomahakws during the World War II and the Korean War. But as technology progressed, the use of guns also advanced, causing tomahawks to lose its prominence. Tomahawks resurfaced again beVolume 6 Issue 4 | 63


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tween 1966-1970 when Peter La Gana, a World War II veteran of Mohawk – descent, crafted and sold thousands of tactical tomahawks to the American troops serving in Vietnam. These tactical tomahawks were sturdier and featured a penetrating spike for the poll.

ful in camping and bushcraft scenarios and is often used as an alternative to hatchets, since it is lighter and slimmer. Modern tomahawks are now made of drop forged, differentially treated, alloy steel. This allows the blade and the spike to be harder and shock resistant.

The U.S. military is adopting the Tomahawk for use in hot spots such as Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. Army Stryker Brigade is employing Tomahawks in Afghanistan, and the device is used by several American reconnaissance platoons in Iraq. A Tomahawk is also included in each Stryker vehicle as part of a “tool kit.” A Stryker is a 4 x 4 armored fighting vehicle. Soldiers are using Tomahawks for hand-to-hand combat and for taking down doors and entering buildings.

American Tomahawk Company’s VTAC was used by the US Army Stryker Brigade in Afghanistan, the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team based at Grafenwöhr (Germany), the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division out of Fort Lewis, a reconnaissance platoon in the 2d Squadron 183d Cavalry (116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team) (OIF 2007– 2008) and numerous other soldiers. The VTAC was issued a national stock number (4210-01-518-7244) and classified as a “Class 9 rescue kit” as a result of a program called the Rapid Fielding Initiative; it is also included within every Stryker vehicle as the “modular entry tool set”. This design enjoyed something of a renaissance with US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan as a tool and in use in hand-to-hand combat.

The Tomahawk is proving to be a diverse instrument with multiple applications with the U.S. military. In addition to its use in combat, soldiers are also using Tomahawks to open crates, dig trenches, remove road obstacles and knock out improvised explosive devices and detonate landmines. The Tomahawk’s used by the U.S. military are manufactured by the American Tomahawk Company based in Byesville, Ohio. Tomahawks for self defense Today, tomahawks are manufactured on a large scale in Europe or created by individual makers and companies in America. There are also some Indian blacksmiths who are expert in creating the tool. Tomahawks come in different shapes, designs and purpose. It is use-

The tomahawk has gained some respect by members of various law enforcement tactical (i.e. “SWAT”) teams. Some companies have seized upon this new popularity and are producing “tactical tomahawks.” These SWAT oriented tools are designed to be both useful and relatively light. Some examples of “tactical tomahawks” include models wherein the shaft is designed as a prybar. There are models with line/rope cutting notches, cuts in the head allowing its use as a spanner, and models with broad, heavy heads to Volume 6 Issue 4 | 65


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assist in breaching doors. For serious tomahawk fighting techniques see https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=m7Ki-J8ykOY

Tomahawks in Africa Battle axes were used by both the Shona and KwaZulu. However, in neither tribe were they commonly used as weapons but were carried into battle by commanders as insignia of rank. To the Shona the battleaxe or gano also symbolises the legitimate ownership of the land and is used in modern ceremonies to denote the nation’s independence. A gano was presented by the Shona to Joshua Nkomo at Harare Airport after his founding of ZAPU, the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union in 1962. The Zulu battle-axe - the Imbemba was a fearsome weapon. A curved, slightly asymmetrical metal blade was set on a long wooden shaft. The battleaxe could be used as both a chopping and slashing weapon. It was not a common weapon because of the general preference for spear and club.

Tomahawks on safari Few hunters use tomahawks today. The reason for that probably is that us African love knives and spears – and axes are used for chopping wood. This is rapidly changing. New materials and designs have resulted in superb cutting instruments and tomahawks have advantages over knives in skinning game. In addition, a well-handled

tomahawk is a deadly self-defense weapon. 1. Starting a Fire Although full-size axes work better for splitting logs, a tomahawk can be used just like a knife would in cutting small shavings in wood to start a fire using a bowdrill. It will also assist in the essential tools/sticks needed to create a bow drill. 2. Defense against Attacks from predators or humans If you are stranded in the wild, you may come across predators of all kinds. If you are ever up against a hyena in the velt, you will not regret having a vicious blade at hand. 3. Cutting Wood for a Splint A tomahawk can be used to chop wood into a splint for broken bones. 4. Weapon for Hunting or Field Dressing Animals You can also use your hatchet, axe, or tomahawk for hunting animals and field dressing them. Should you be in need of food out in the wild you will want some type of blade to cut the animal to get access to the meat. You can take the tomahawk or axe head off of the blade and use it as a knife for field dressing. Using a tomahawk as a weapon as a last resort maybe be the difference maker in a survival situation. We recommend this small axe for performing this function.

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5. Use the Metal of the Tool to Reflect Light for a Signal You can use the metal side of the head of your tool as a reflector. Soma tomahawks have a special hole in the blade just for this purpose. a plane or helicopter comes by then you can use the reflection of the sun to signal to them.

day. The broader stainless steel head and fiberglass body are intended for use in heavy bush. The vicious spike on the poll side can go in deep and won’t come out easily. Web site

Omnivore 3B

6. Static edge If the tomahawk has a sharp edge on top, chop the spike into a tree and use the tomahawk as a static cutting edge. 7. Digging. Dig holes for traps or bulbs for water or food - or get that spring hare or porcupine out of that hole for dinner.

Top 12 Tactical Tomahawks SOG F01T Tactical Tomahawk

The scout is intended to be the all-inone outdoor tomahawk. It handles chopping, breaching, fighting, and slicing up the perfect onion blossom before the game. Its light weight and versatility make it best for survival needs. This is the tactical choice for the hiker, backpacker, or extraction and evasion specialist that needs to live through the day rather than the entrenched soldier or battle-hardened field operative. The 3B Tomahawk is derived from Anubis: The Ultimate Tomahawk. With the removal of a single feature (the sharp edge under the spike “Anubis edge”) they have transformed a battlefield weapon into a less menacing multi-purpose axe.

Based on the Vietnam Tomahawk, the Tactical Tomahawk is an extreme evolution of the original which was considered one of the more unusual weapons of its

This tool is designed for heavy duty work in the field. Because it has three distinct cutting edges, the 3B can accommodate tasks Volume 6 Issue 4 | 69


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not normally suited to a camp axe. It’s finer than average axe edge makes cutting chores less tiresome.

CRKT Kangee

The mohawk edge is useful especially when the spike is driven into a stump to create a fixed cutting edge (both hands can control the work piece, allowing for safer, faster chip removal. The hooked edge can be used to quietly cut small trees and branches with a single, controlled pull. Features: ●● Badger Claw spike for aggressive penetration ●● Sharpened hook under beard of axe edge for pull cutting chores ●● Sharpened Mohawk edge: With spike embedded into a stump, the Mohawk edge can be used as a fixed knife blade to make carving chores safer and faster. Specifications: ●● Material: .25″ thick 1095 Carbon steel Austempered 50-52 HRC ●● Overall Length: 18.5 ●● Weight: 2.2 Lbs ●● Options: ●● Mirror polish one blade face for signal mirror (+20) ●● Large or small handstop ●● Additional sheath

The CRKT Kangee T-Hawk Axe by Ryan Johnson Design builds on 30 years of tactical tomahawk design experience. Designer Ryan Johnson’s work has become a favorite of special forces troops and others who need a versatile, powerful tactical tool, and the axe from CRKT is no exception. This field-tough tomahawk has a range of uses from manual utility tasks to emergency selfdefense. The CRKT Kangee T-Hawk Tomahawk is formed from a single piece of steel, with a curved handle and grip choils along the front for a stronger grip. Your grasp is further enhanced by the full-length checkered handle scales, which can be removed for cleaning. The CRKT Kangee T-Hawk Tactical Tomahawk has a distinctive bladed head shape which provides exceptional utility and toughness. The axe comes with a MOLLE equipped, form-fitting Kydex sheath that fits over the head and secures with a buckled strap. The Columbia River Kangee T-Hawk Axe is very well balanced and easily controlled, and robust enough to handle most any tactical or field situation. If you need to dig through consumerVolume 6 Issue 4 | 71


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grade metal, the Kangee will allow you to do so with speed and precision. The smaller design gives you high penetration while the shape pulls apart your target with every swing. The hammer on the poll side keeps the weight low and gives an effective blunt instrument not common in tactical tomahawks.

when you need to ventilate something with a quickness.

Benchmade Killian Forged 172

Hardcore Hardware LFT01

This is the heavy breachers dream. The full tang head is perfect for prying open the toughest of obstacles. Picking it up, it feels more like a heavy-duty crowbar than a tomahawk. Unless you want to blow out your shoulder, you wouldn’t try to do much chopping or fighting, but when it comes to getting through a door or a wall, the 172 has few rivals. The standard rule is that with high impact power and force, you need to use a larger hawk. That is usually true, but the LFT01 breaks the mold by giving dominant penetration and destructive performance without excessive size. The large head works well for digging as well as busting open locks or those pesky brick walls. As far as tactical tomahawks go, this gives you all the “Hulk Smash” capability you need while not wearing you down as you use it. The multiple grips improve combat performance for hatchet and knife fighters, while also allowing for dual-handed wielding for those times

Gerber Downrange

The Downrange goes through wood, drywall, and glass like a champ. It is lighter to reduce muscle and carry fatigue and chews up most urban and residential maVolume 6 Issue 4 | 73


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terials. The blunt poll is handy for knocking out hinges or locks. This is much better used for those that work enforcement or policing rather than full-blown combat. Though you still wouldn’t want to be on the business end of it.

force grip, the handle is 13 inches long

Sayoc Winkler RnD Hawk

Browning Shock n Awe

It has multiple grip positions, a lightweight design, impeccable balance, and a vicious head clearly designed with a singular purpose. Make no mistake about it, this is a weapon, not a tool.

The Browning Tomahawk tactical tool will make you one tough customer when serious trouble comes calling Capable of anything from splitting kindling at camp to hacking your way out of a crashed helicopter

A collaboration between edged weapons expert Rafael Kayanan and Daniel Winkler. The goal was to exceed the standards of what a tomahawk could be- a practical application tool of exceptional craftsmanship. Despite its sleek appearance, the Sayoc-Winkler R&D Hawk is made with edge awareness, economy of motion and mobility in mind. Designed so that the heaviest area rests at the head, the hawk’s full tang is tapered, reducing overall weight to an approximate 1 1/2 lbs. Featuring an upward curve to rein-

It offers a black powder coated swordgrade blade forged from 1055 stainless steel and the handle has spiked pommel hand-wrapped with black nylon paracord and has a lanyard hole Curved penetration spike puts a serious hole in hardened targets This is the “standard sidearm” of the tomahawk world. Like the RnD it has a singular, deadly purpose. It’s a nasty little customer with a long puncturing spike on the poll side that is meant to go in and pull out cleanly. It isn’t quite as fancy as the RnD since it is best employed as a fightVolume 6 Issue 4 | 75


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ing hand axe rather than a multiple-use close-quarters combat weapon. You won’t need to learn as many special skills, or spend as much money, but for what it does, it does with violent efficiency.

Smith and Wesson EE Tomahawk

United Cutlery Black Ronin

Ordinarily, you wouldn’t want to throw a tactical tomahawk since the end result is usually that you have to go out and buy a new tomahawk since yours is now lost, dull, or in the hands of someone else. If you absolutely must have a tactical ‘hawk to chuck around for fun or competition, then the Black Ronin is going to be your best bet. They are inexpensive and the multiple protrusions, long poll spike, and spiked handle mean that even on half turns and partial throws, you’re likely to get it to stick somewhere.

The Extraction and Evasion model by S&W doesn’t specialize in any particular area but rather gives you better than average usage in all arenas. It is light enough for combat, sturdy enough for some breaching, and able to punch and pry thanks to the full tang head. Basically it is the standard fallback for those days when you aren’t sure what you’ll face. The E&E will prepare you to face any challenge. ●● 15.9 Inch overall length ●● 1070 High Carbob Steel ●● TPE & Steel Handle ●● 2-lbs, 11.0 ounces

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RMJ Tactical S13 Shrike

●● Handle is hard rubber over molded onto the full tang ●● Hardened 4140 end cap unscrews to provide access to the provided sharpening stone ●● Bottom-eject kydex scabbard with choice of belt loops, shoulder strap or RUMP Molle platform ●● Cerakote finish

Custom made Tomahawk The full tang design makes the head and shaft one piece. It is good for breaching, prying, digging, and combat uses, though its weight makes it tiring for any long periods of swinging. ●● Length - 13 1/2 inches ●● Weight - 21 ounces ●● Differentially heat-treated ●● Designed to pierce a kevlar helmet ●● Hammer forged all chrome-moly 4140 steel construction ●● Handle tang fixed into an insulated, non-conductive grip

If you can afford it, specify the steel, design, specifications and get a professional to make you the tactical tomahawk that makes the military drool.

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African hunters of yesteryear

The African hunters of days gone by have had experiences few hunters have today. In those days, the game was much more plentiful and regulations were non-existent. Hunting was more dangerous in those days - no chopper evacuation when clawed up by a wounded leopard and no protection against marauding tribesmen. We can learn something from them. 90 | Volume 6 Issue 4


The Maneating lions of

Tsavo

THE FINDING OF THE MAN-EATERS’ DEN

by Lieut.-Col. J. H. Patterson, D.S.O.

T

here were some rocky-looking hills lying to the south-west of Tsavo which I was particularly anxious to explore, so on one occasion when work had been stopped for the day owing to lack of material, I set off for them, accompanied by Mahina and a Punjaubi coolie, who was so stout that he went by the name of Moota (i.e. “Fattie”). Volume 6 Issue 4 | 91


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In the course of my little excursions round Tsavo I gradually discovered that I was nearly always able to make my way to any required point of the compass by following certain well-defined animal paths, which I mapped out bit by bit during my explorations. On this occasion, for instance, as soon as we had crossed the river and had struck into the jungle, we were fortunate enough to find a rhino path leading in the right direction, which greatly facilitated our progress. As we were making our way along this path through the dry bed of a nullah, I happened to notice that the sandy bottom sparkled here and there where the sunbeams penetrated the dense foliage. This at once filled my head with thoughts of precious stones, and as the spot looked likely enough, I started to dig vigorously at the gravel with my hunting knife. After a few minutes of this work, I came across what I at first took to be a magnificent diamond sparkling in the damp sand: it was about half an inch long, and its facets looked as if they had been cut by an Amsterdam expert. I tested the stone on my watch glass and found that it cut my initials quite easily, and though I knew that quartz would do this as well, it did not seem to me to have either the general appearance or angles of any quartz I had ever seen. For a moment or two I was greatly delighted with my discovery, and began to have rosy dreams of a diamond mine; but I am sorry to say that on closer examination and testing I was forced to the conclusion that my find was not a diamond, though unlike any other mineral I had ever come across. My hopes of rapidly becoming a millionaire having thus been dashed to the

ground, we proceeded on our way, getting further and further into the depths of a gloomy forest. A little distance on, I noticed through a break in the trees a huge rhino standing in full view near the edge of a ravine. Unfortunately he caught sight of us as well, and before I could take aim, he snorted loudly and crashed off through the tangled undergrowth. As I followed up this ravine, walking stealthily along in the delightful shade of the overhanging palms, I observed on my left a little nullah which opened out of the main channel through a confused mass of jungle and creeper. Through this tangle there was a well-defined archway, doubtless made by the regular passage of rhino and hippo, so I decided to enter and explore what lay beyond. I had not gone very far when I came upon a big bay scooped out of the bank by the stream when in flood and carpeted with a deposit of fine, soft sand, in which were the indistinct tracks of numberless animals. In one corner of this bay, close under an overhanging tree, stood a little sandy hillock, and on looking over the top of this I saw on the other side a fearsome-looking cave which seemed to run back for a considerable distance under the rocky bank. Round the entrance and inside the cavern I was thunderstruck to find a number of human bones, with here and there a copper bangle such as the natives wear. Beyond all doubt, the man-eaters’ den! In this manner, and quite by accident, I stumbled upon the lair of these once-dreaded “demons�, which I had spent so many days searching for through the exasperating and interminable jungle during the time when they terrorised Tsavo. I had no inclination to explore the gloomy depths of the interior, Volume 6 Issue 4 | 93


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but thinking that there might possibly still be a lioness or cub inside, I fired a shot or two into the cavern through a hole in the roof. Save for a swarm of bats, nothing came out; and after taking a photograph of the cave, I gladly left the horrible spot, thankful that the savage and insatiable brutes which once inhabited it were no longer at large.

and the blood allowed to flow. This custom has often caused me great annoyance, for Mohammedan followers rush in so quickly when an animal is shot and cut the head off so short that it is afterwards quite useless as a trophy.

Not so Moota, however, who rushed up in ecstasy, and before I could stop him had cut his throat. This was done, as he remarked, “to make the meat lawful,� for Moota was a devout follower of the Prophet, and no true Mohammedan will eat the flesh of any animal unless the throat has been cut at the proper place

across nothing save here and there a paa and a few guinea-fowl, until, just as I was about half-way round the hill, I saw a fine leopard lying on a rocky ledge basking in the morning sun. But he was too quick for me, and made off before I could get a shot; I had not approached noiselessly enough, and a leopard is

By the time the zebra was skinned, darkness was fast approaching, so we selected a suitable tree in which to pass Retracing my steps to the main ravine, the night. Under it we built a goodly fire, I continued my journey along it. After a made some tea, and roasted a couple of little while I fancied I saw a hippo among quails which I had shot early in the day some tall rushes growing on the bank, and which proved simply delicious. We and quickly signed to Mahina and Moota then betook ourselves to the branches to stay perfectly still. I then made a care- -- at least, Mahina and I did; Moota was ful stalk, only to discover, after all my afraid of nothing, and said he would sleep trouble, that my eyes had deceived me on the ground. He was not so full of courand made me imagine a black bank and age later on, however, for about midnight a few rushes to be a living animal. We a great rhino passed our way, winded us now left the bed of the ravine, and adand snorted so loudly that Moota scramvanced along the top. This turned out to bled in abject terror up our tree. He was be a good move, for soon we heard the as nimble as a monkey for all his stoutgalloping of a herd of some animal or ness, and never ceased climbing until he other across our front. I rushed round a was far above us. We both laughed heartcorner in the path a few yards ahead, and ily at his extraordinary haste to get out of crouching under the bushes saw a line danger, and Mahina chaffed him unmerciof startled zebras flying past. This was fully. the first time I had seen these beautifully The rest of the night passed without inmarked animals in their wild state, so I cident, and in the early morning, while selected the largest and fired, and as I the boys were preparing breakfast, I was quite close to them he dropped in his strolled off towards the rocky hills which tracks stone-dead. When I stood over the I had seen from Tsavo, and which were handsome creature I was positively sorry now only about half a mile distant. I kept for having killed him. a sharp look-out for game, but came

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too wary a beast to be caught napping. Unfortunately I had no more time at my disposal in which to explor these hills, as I was anxious to resume work at Tsavo as soon as possible; so after breakfast we packed up the zebra skin and began to retrace our steps through the jungle. It was an intensely hot day, and we were all very glad when at length we reached the home camp.

The shortest way of reaching the Athi river from Tsavo was to strike through the jungle in a north-westerly direction, and here there was luckily a particularly well-defined rhino path which I always made use of. I discovered it quite by accident on one occasion when I had asked some guests, who were staying with me at Tsavo, to spend a night on the banks of the river. As we were making our way slowly and painfully through the dense Most of my little trips of this sort, however, were made in a northerly direction, to- jungle, I came across this well-trodden wards the ever-interesting Athi or Sabaki path, which appeared to lead in the direcrivers. After a long and tiring walk through tion in which I wished to go, and as I felt the jungle what a pleasure it was to lie up convinced that at any rate it would bring in the friendly shelter of the rushes which us to the river somewhere, I followed it with confidence. Our progress was now line the banks, and watch the animals easy, and the track led through fairly open come down to drink, all unconscious of my presence. I took several photographs glades where traces of bush-buck and water-buck were numerous; indeed once of scenes of this kind, but unfortunately or twice we caught glimpses of these animany of the negatives were spoiled. Ofmals as they bounded away to the shelter ten, too, on a brilliant moonlight night of the thicket, warned by the sound of our have I sat on a rock out in the middle approach. In the end, as I anticipated, of the stream, near a favourite drinking the old rhino path proved a true guide, place, waiting for a shot at whatever fortune might send my way. How exasperat- for it struck the Athi at an ideal spot for a ing it was, when the wind changed at the camping ground, where some lofty trees close to the bank of the river gave a most critical moment, and gave me away to grateful and refreshing shade. We had a the rhino or other animal I had sat there delightful picnic, and my guests greatly for hours patiently awaiting! Occasionally I would get heartily tired of my weary enjoyed their night in the open, although vigil and would wade ashore through the one of them got rather a bad fright from a rhino which suddenly snorted close to warm water, to make my bed in the soft our camp, evidently very annoyed at our sand regardless of the snap, snap of the intrusion on his domain. crocodiles which could plainly be heard from the deeper pools up and down the In the morning they went off as soon as it river. At the time, being new to the counwas light to try their luck along the river, try, I did not realise the risks I ran; but lat- while I remained in camp to see to breaker on -- after my poor Wa Kamba follower fast. After an hour or more, however, had been seized and dragged under, as I they all returned, empty-handed but very have already described -- I learned to be hungry; so when they had settled down to much more cautious. rest after a hearty meal, I thought I would Volume 6 Issue 4 | 97


sally forth and see if I could not meet with better success. I had gone only a short distance up the right bank of the river, when I thought I observed a movement among the bushes ahead of me. On the alert, I stopped instantly, and the next moment was rewarded by seeing a splendid bush-buck advance from the water in a most stately manner. I could only make out his head and neck above the undergrowth, but as he was only some fifty yards off, I raised my rifle to my shoulder to fire. This movement at once caught his eye, and for the fraction of a second he stopped to gaze at me, thus giving me time to aim at where I supposed his shoulder to be. When I fired, he disappeared so suddenly and so completely that I felt sure that I had missed him, and that he had made off through the bush. I therefore re-loaded, and advanced carefully with the intention of following up his trail; but to my unbounded delight I came upon the buck stretched out dead in his tracks, with my bullet through his heart. I lost no time in getting back to camp, the antelope swinging by his feet from a branch borne by two sturdy coolies: and my unlucky friends were very much astonished when they saw the fine bag I had secured in so short a time. The animal was soon skinned and furnished us with a delicious roast for lunch; and in the cool of the evening we made our way back to Tsavo without further adventure. Some little time after this, while one of these same friends (Mr. C. Rawson) happened to be again at Tsavo, we were sitting after dark under the verandah of my hut. I wanted something from my tent, and sent Meeanh, my Indian chaukidar, to fetch it. He was going off in the dark 98 | Volume 6 Issue 4

to do so, when I called him back and told him to take a lantern for fear of snakes. This he did, and as soon as he got to the door of the tent, which was only a dozen yards off, he called out frantically, “Are, Sahib, burra sanp hai!” (“Oh, Master, there is a big snake here!) “Where?” I shouted. “Here by the bed,” he cried, “Bring the gun, quickly.” I seized the shot-gun, which I always kept handy, and rushed to the tent, where, by the light of the lantern, I saw a great red snake, about seven feet long, gazing at me from the side of my camp-bed. I instantly fired at him, cutting him clean in half with the shot; the tail part remained where it was, but the head half quickly wriggled off and disappeared in the gloom of the tent. The trail of blood, however, enabled us to track it, and we eventually found the snake, still full of fight, under the edge of the ground-sheet. He made a last vicious dart at one of the men who had run up, but was quickly given the happy despatch by a blow on the head. Rawson now picked it up and brought it to the light. He then put his foot on the back of its head and with a stick forced open the jaws, when suddenly we saw two perfectly clear jets of poison spurt out from the fangs. An Indian baboo (clerk), who happened to be standing near, got the full benefit of this, and the poor man was so panicstricken that in a second he had torn off every atom of his clothing. We were very much amused at this, as of course we knew that although the poison was exceedingly venomous, it could do no harm unless it penetrated a cut or open wound


in the flesh. I never found out the name of this snake, which, as I have said, was of a dark brick-red colour all over; and I only saw one other of the same kind all the time I was in East Africa. I came upon it suddenly one day when out shooting. It was evidently much startled, and stood erect, hissing venomously; but I also was so much taken aback at its appearance that I did not think about shooting it until it had glided off and disappeared in the thick undergrowth.

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If a child washes his hands he could eat with kings. If you don’t work you shall not eat. The egg shows the hen where to hatch.

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We are the green revolution. We do not print many thousands of copies and have hundreds stay on the shelves or come back to us. We distribute digitally and print on demand only. This is negates the necessity of the cutting down of trees to make paper - which will never be used.

Viva la Revolution!

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Make a Plan

Dr Wallace Vosloo is an Engineer and Scientist by profession. His family has lived in Africa since 1696 and he has a deep love for the continent. He is a practical outdoorsman and loves traditional hunting, axe and knife throwing, longbow shooting, black powder rifle- and cannon shooting, salt and fresh water fly fishing and tracking. The art of survival is Wallace’s main field of interest and his passion is to transfer these old forgotten skills to young hunters.

CLICK HERE to buy your copy of Make a Plan now for only $8.50

Hints and advice are given in good faith to be of help in emergencies. The writer as well as the publisher, personnel and agents concerned does not accept any responsibility for any injury, accident or damages that might arise from the use of any of the hints. 116 | Volume 6 Issue 4


Making fire with a “Tonteldoos” As with all good things, a person must prepare, and this is how: ●● Clean an working area properly, with a slight cavity in the middle for your place to make a fire ●● Collect tinder like fine grass, woollen waste, “ouman se baard”, dry tinder bush, cottonwool or leaves - anything that can easily catch fire with a small coal. Then form a bird’s nest with it, the rough tinder outside and the finer on the inside. A genuine bird- or mouse nest will also work best. This now is your natural fire starter ●● Collect a bunch of dry wood and separate it into 3 heaps: ●● Fine sticks: - thinner than little finger thickness and about hand length ●● Sticks - little finger thickness and half an arm length ●● Fire wood - wrist thickness and logs as thick as your thigh. Keep them ready to feed the fire We are now ready to start the fire ●● Arrange the broken sticks in a pyramid shape with opening towards the wind and big enough to put the birds nest inside ●● Now we are going to use the tinder-box to get a coal to light the bird’s nest without matches or a lighter ●● Take a piece of the charred material out of the tinder-box, about as big as a small coin and keep it on the side of the flintstone with your thumb. Beat sparks with the steel on the flintstone right next to the charred material. Warm pieces of the metal or sparks that land on the charred material will make it smoulder ●● Blow softly to form a smouldering coal Now we have our coal to start the fire with. ●● Very carefully put the smouldering coal inside the bird’s nest, close it around the coal while softly blowing on it. It will start to smoke,. Keep on blowing and the lot will catch fire and burn ●● Place the burning bird’s nest in the small sticks pyramid. Place some of the broken sticks on top and keep on feeding it until it burns properly ●● The rest of the broken sticks now comes in handy to stoke the fire. Just remember that a fire needs three things: fuel, oxygen and heat. Therefore, don’t chocke the fire with too much wood. When things are going smoothly then place logs on it one at a time for a long, sociable chatting-type fire Volume 6 Issue 4 | 117


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Your African safari is a unique experience. Now you can document your hunt day by day and revisit those exciting times for years to come. 31 Full days of journaling space with vital information: ●● safari clothing ●● personal item checklists ●● health and first aid ●● mammal identification information with photographs, tracks, dung and SCI and Rowland Ward qualification minimums.

CPR. Deal with dangerous animals up close. Identify and treat bites from snakes, spiders and scorpions. Know the right emergency numbers to dial in an emergency – it’s all there. A must-have item for every serious hunter. Sturdy PlastiCoil binding for durability and easy opening, 110 pages, 6.0 x 9.0 in. Full color covers and cream interior printed in black and white.

Know how to administer

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True North

JOHN ELDREDGE

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An Intolerable Rest In order to learn who we really are, we must have a place in our lives where we are removed from the materialism, entertainment, diversion, and busyness that the Vanity Fair of our society and culture immerse us in. The things sold at the booths in the Fair are tranquilizers that separate us, and protect us, from the emptiness and need of our heart. As we leave these less-wild lovers behind and enter into solitude and silence in our own desert place, the first thing we encounter is not rest, but fear, and a compulsion to return to activity. In The Ascent to Truth, Thomas Merton says: “We look for rest and if we find it, it becomes intolerable. Incapable of the divine activity which alone can satisfy [rest] . . . fallen man flings himself upon exterior things, not so much for their own sake as for the sake of agitation which keeps his spirit pleasantly numb . . . [The distraction] diverts us aside from the one thing that can help us to begin our ascent to truth. . . the sense of our own emptiness.” Our emptiness is often the first thing we find when we face honestly the story going on in our heart. It is the desert’s gift to us. George MacDonald encourages us to embrace it as a friend by “leaving the heart an empty cup,” and proceeding. But what do we do with our emptiness if we stay with our heart? If we try to pray, our minds fill with busy, disconnected petitions that start with the words, “God, help me to do this or that better, have more faith, read the Bible more.” The busy petitions of our minds seem to leave something inside our chest cavity unexpressed, something that is trying to tell us about the way things are.


African Expedition Magazine Volume 6 Issue 4  

The .416 Remington Magnum: The New Old Soul • Making an Ash Bag: The Essential bush tool • Rigging up for Marlin Fishing: Preparing for sw...

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