My Lord Derby
Hunting Africaâ€™s largest antelope
Thereâ€™s only one First Safari Hunting Zambia
Giant Sable in Angola 4th Trimester Palanca report
Make a Plan
The useful black plastic bag
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contents 4 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE APRIL 2011
8 My Lord Derby
Hunting Africa’s largest antelope
25 There’s only one First Safari Hunting Zambia
58 Giant Sable in Angola 4th Trimester Palanca report
68 News, Reviews, and Press Releases 94 Make a Plan
The useful black plastic bag
99 True North
Treating Our Heart for the Treasure It Is
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My Lord Derby Hunting Africa’s largest antelope
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he Lord Derby Eland is the most majestic of animals. He goes by the forbidding scientific name of Tragelaphus derbianus. Living in an inhospitable habitat and sporting a wandering nature, he has become the Holy Grail of African hunting. The fact that he sports a colossal set of horns does not diminish his desirability. Herds of these supreme ungulates wander the dry reaches of the sub-Sahara Africa in constant search for sustenance, which consists mostly of fresh, tender shoots and leaves. Maintaining a body mass of close to one ton by simply browsing is an all-encompassing task. Although known to inhabit certain reaches of the scrub bush, they are not permanently residents of any particular part of it, instead preferring to be constantly on the move. To a nimrod bent on closing quarters with these creatures on foot, it becomes a game of burning out shoe leather, in company with a very good tracker. Being as this creature, also known as the giant eland, was on my life list of desired achievements, I was willing to suffer to achieve that end, and suffer I did.
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A lick is a spot where the animals have eaten away the earth in search of minerals. It is often a good place to find tracks that can be followed. These are my porters and trackers.
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My personal quest for the Lord Derby began when I was thirteen years old and my father came back from his hunt to tell me he had lost his eland as it crossed into a national park. He had been the guest of the Lamido of Rey-Bouba, a king living in the northern part of Cameroun. It was a real heartbreaker for him, as well as for his son, who hero-worshiped his father and could not imagine his not killing anything instantly with his famous .375 H&H magnum. Fast forward 41 years and this very same son was now battling extreme heat and dehydration while pursuing the distant progeny of the eland that had managed to elude his father. The merciless sun beat down on my tracker and me as we painstakingly unraveled the string of tracks left in the plain in front of us. I actually liked this part of the quest. It gave me moments of pleasure to help trace the elusive tracks through the scrub as the bull meandered ahead of us pausing to take in a few delicate morsels before he found a shady overlook to rest for the day. It was now myself who was the guest of the Lamidoâ€™s son. The new king had recently ascended to the throne as the ruler after the demise of his father. He now ruled over an area larger than several European countries. In his kingdom he is absolute monarch over some 50,000 inhabitants of this sparsely inhabited semi-desert of northern Cameroon. As his guest I had exclusive privileges to hunt in his royal estate, but alas, the estate had been poorly managed for the last four decades and the wandering eland had all continued their wandering off into safer quarters. Where they had taken refuge was a series of rocky ridges as far from humans as they could get, but not so far that a good bit of suffering could not close the gap. It just required that you have a good set of shoes, a lot of water and a good tracker. I was hunting a range of rocky plateaus in northern Cameroon. My preferred style of hunting was to take a string of local porters and march into the roadless back country while looking for fresh tracks. The local trackers knew where the few remaining water holes were and we went from watering point to watering point trying to pick up fresh tracks.
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After several days of finding only old tracks and buffalo we jumped a nice bull roan and were in hot pursuit. We were so close in fact we had already jumped him once. He was in full flight, so we were just slowly picking our way along an easy to follow, deeply rutted set of tracks. Suddenly my tracker stopped and pointed. “Eland” he said in a whisper. Now I had been hunting with this exceptional tracker for several years and he had always shown great decision making skills. He no longer pointed things out to me unless he thought they would be of significant interest. Most of the time we just communed with hand signals and kept silent. Well these tracks were of interest, as they consisted of a solitary bull eland meandering along as he browsed the new shoots. This same tracker had been into the area a month before to burn the old thatch grass and this had promoted the growth of the new shoots and buds on the trees, which the eland was now enjoying. Many people claim their trackers are “the best,” but I think each set of trackers gets to know a certain local area and a set of animals intimately. Only after they have spent countless hours in their particular habitat are they prepared to make it to the next “level” of tracking. At this point they no longer seem to actually track the animal, but sort of “become” the animal, intuitively knowing where it is going, and take short cuts to allow the hunter to catch up to fast moving animals. They know when to slow down to a crawl if the animal is looking to rest. They can “feel” when the animal is hurt or looking for a place to lie down and then seem to know exactly where he will do that. Rene was just this kind of tracker. I had, on a number of previous trips, followed a specific animal for 2 days in a row before we caught up to it. On more than one occasion that meant cutting leaves for a
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All meat is dried including the intestines which are usually eaten on the spot. Rene - is my tracker in this story.
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bed while sleeping between two fires to ward off the surprisingly cold chill of the night. A head net to ward off mosquitoes and the sweat and salt encrusted clothes sufficed for blankets as we waited for dawn to pick up the track again. On other occasions Rene simply suggested we give up after we jumped an eland a couple of times saying that this animal was never going to be caught by tracking and would make it to the nearby boundary before we caught it. That very thing had happened the year before. We had picked up the tracks of a solitary eland bull fairly early in the morning. It was feeding and moving slowly so we knew we were catching up with him. Then the meandering tracks indicated it was looking for a place to lie down and we slowed to a quiet crawl. It chose a place below the crest of a fairly steep hill and settled down. When we got to the bed it was still fresh, but the animal had already moved off. A hurried whispering conversation took place, as our time was running short. Then the number two tracker, Patrick, told me I needed to backup to where he was, because he could actually see the bull. Unfortunately for me, the bull had relocated his bed only about 50 yards. Our whispering alerted him to our presence and he was just standing there in all his magnificence. Fortunately for him he had chosen his second bed wisely and with two steps he was up and over the ridge and gone. As pre-arranged, I tossed my rifle to the tracker and threw all my personal gear down so I could run. The number two tracker was to collect my backpack, bringing water and my gear, allowing me to run more freely. Being the oldest and least fit of the group I hoped this would help, but after a mile it was clear it was fruitless. The big bull was not going to stop and he was headed directly into the neighboring concession. He was also headed directly away from home, so we called it off and headed back. The Lord Derby continued to stay in control of our grudge match. On other occasions my tracker Rene has been tenacious, refusing to quit even when I explicitly told him we had to. In every case where he insisted we follow, we got our animal, occasionally not that day, but usually the next. We had successfully hunted almost all of the local species, except the Lord Derby. Now as he insisted that we should consider following the eland tracks I was in complete agreement. We had left the porters a dayâ€™s walk away and APRIL 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 17
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The porters will carry every bit of meat back for miles, carrying huge loads - all with a smile.
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Cam Greig was born and raised in Cameroun where he conducts and helps others conduct self-guided hunts on an annual basis. He can be reached at +(USA) 650-948-4560
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so it was just the two of us. We could move quietly and the eland was moving into the wind, feeding on the fresh shoots coming from the burned shrubs. It seemed a perfect set up. As we followed along it was clear we were getting closer. We found wet mud that had stuck to the eland’s hooves from where he had watered. The urine was still moist on the sandy soil, but he was still moving and even at a walk I knew an eland can simply slide into the distance like so much smoke. Suddenly the eland changed course, and at the same time the wind shifted with the coming of the noonday heat. Rather than risk disturbing him, Rene called for a water break. I was hesitant, but bowed to his superior knowledge, knowing he had as much craving for a successful conclusion to the hunt as I did. By now our water was the temperature of tepid tea, but better than it would be in a few hours, when it would actually be hot. We sipped and rested in some sparse shade while we shared a bit of a snack. When the wind died down we took back the trail, like a long string, and started to wind it back up into a ball. Rene knew if we just patient we would catch up, and rushing things at this point in the game would be a mistake. When it did happen it was quite sudden. Rene could suddenly see him from his position in front, but I could only see movement and bush. I was afraid to move up the couple of feet separating us, but afraid if I did not move I would have a repeat of the previous year where all I saw was a disappearing dream. I anxiously waited and Rene signaled that the eland was moving to our right and I needed to be ready. I was more than ready, I was 41 years ready and when the magnificent bull walked out into a small clearing I put the .375 where his massive neck met his body and pulled the trigger. He did not run any further; he did not take even one more step, much less make it into the National Park, many miles away. I was elated. This was truly the most magnificent animal I had ever had the honor of following and matching wits with in my hunting career. He was not
the best of his species, in fact I would only put him as a solid representative, but he was My Lord Derby and I was on foot, two day’s walk from the nearest road. It represented a massive amount of homework and dedication to finally collect a Lord Derby Eland. I had spent years, tracking and following the species, but had always been disappointed. Now that demon was laid to rest at my feet and I could only hope my departed father was able to rejoice with me. We walked to camp in about five hours and sent the porters back for all of the meat, while we worked on the cape, which we took with us. The porters made excellent time and all the meat was brought to camp and prepared as jerky in the dry climate. To cap off a great hunt my Danish companion was also able to collect a magnificent eland in the same general area. He also collected buffalo, western hartebeest, harnessed bushbuck, duiker and passed up on a nice roan while tracking eland. To say that we were both pleased with ourselves would be a vast understatement. While snapping a few commemorative photos I felt more of a hunter than any time before or after. The only possible exception was perhaps when I shot my bongo, as I had no tracker or companion with me at all on that trip. There is something about doing it yourself, with no PH to scout it out for you and tell you what to do and which one to shoot. To have organized the porters, found a place to hunt and kept at the language and all that it took to make it happen was extremely fulfilling. I felt back in touch with my ancestors, not only my father, but my grandfather who came to Cameroun in the early 1900’s, on beyond to all our common ancestors who hunted as a means to live, not as a supplemental aspect to their lives. Society has lost track of our true heritage among all the high rises, and asphalt. For now I could just enjoy the great environment I was immersed in, heat and all. I know I had provided meat for a substantial portion of the village, just like my ancestors. I knew I would be back to suffer again.
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CLICK HERE APRIL 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 23
There’s only on
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ne First Safari
wo years of planning finally turned into two long days of flying. After leaving their home in Anchorage, Alaska, Jim & Joyce Wojciehowski found themselves being greeted in Lusaka by Teresa, Muchinga Safari’s logistical genius. Following a flawless escort through customs, rifle clearance, and assorted document checks, we found ourselves heading across the city to John & Laura du Plooy’s lovely homestead, beautifully designed to accommodate visiting clients, friends, and guests. After a delicious dinner it was on to bed in eager anticipation of an early wake-up and flight into Waca Waca airstrip in the Luangwa Valley. The goal: to fulfill Jim’s childhood dream of hunting Cape Buffalo in the wilds of Africa. The reality of the trip far exceeded the boyhood dreams. APRIL 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 25
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Extinction of a Dinosaur The hot Zambian sun baked the sands along the banks of the Luangwa River. The 13 foot armored ambush predator absorbed the heat while keeping its head only inches from the protection of its aquatic refuge. With excellent vision and extraordinary hearing the Reptile kept vigil for any threat to its wellbeing. It did not think. It did not plan its day. It did not enjoy the sounds of the birds, or the smells of the riverine environment. It merely existed. The design had not changed for millions of years because there was no need for improvement. The golf ball sized brain processed what was necessary to carry out the simple functions to survive and grow. For warmth the sun baked sands provided. For food a slip into the water and a shoreline vigil with only eyes and nostrils visible would provide the eventual opportunity for prey coming to drink from the Luangwa. Life was simple but not easy. To reach this length took many years and to do so with its full length of tail and all its toes was testament to this Reptile’s attention to instinctual detail. The PH stopped the cruiser and asked the hunter, “Do you want a Croc? There’s a big one back on the bank.” The hunter told himself before coming from the long light of the Alaskan summer to the bright and hot light of Africa that if he had a chance for greater than a 12 foot Crocodile he would consider attempting to take one. He also knew success would not come easy. Finding one would probably be easier than getting within range. Then there was the fact that the only two targets to prevent the loss of the trophy to the waters of the Luangwa were the size of golf balls. As he exited the cruiser the hunter cycled the bolt on his 1938 Winchester M70 actioned .375 H&H safari rifle. The hunter’s thumb tested that the safety was indeed on. This beauty had spent most of its life in suspended animation within the dark confines of a few owners’ safes. Now the weapon would be called on to do what it was made for. Some thought the hunter was crazy for bringing the exhibition grade Turkish Walnut stocked 72-year-old beauty to this potentially unfriendly location. The hunter thought otherwise. The rifle was given to him by a friend, so he would have a proper safari rifle for his first trip to Africa. Irony at its best considering the generous man that passed the gun on has at least 10 safaris in his past and never took the weapon from his safe. As the PH and hunter walked slowly back down the
dirt track, thought to be a road in this bush location, the PH leaned toward the hunter and asked, “Do you know where to shoot it?” The hunter replied, “Just behind the smile”. The PH smiled himself. “Proper! That way you wont ruin the skull should you wish that as your trophy”. The hunter walked slowly while following the PH. He tried to have his feet hit the Earth at the same time as the Professional. The less noise the better. They walked the dry dirt tire rutted path parallel to the river but far enough inland to be out of the Croc’s sight. The hunter started to feel nervous. This would be his first attempt at prey in Zambia and it just happened to have the smallest possible lethal target area. The hunter had practiced off sticks at home. He practiced other shooting positions as well. He thought of himself as at least an average marksman but now he needed to prove it to himself and the professional and not to a piece of paper. He had practiced getting his rifle to the sticks with no noise. He practiced shooting and keeping the rifle to his shoulder while cycling the bolt and simultaneously reestablishing his target acquisition. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast was the mantra he mumbled to himself on the range. He had read about others who, in the excitement of the moment, short stroked their bolt and either caused a jam or failed to chamber the next round. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast he repeated to himself as the PH stopped walking. No words were exchanged, but the PH’s eyes said it all. They left the quiet dirt road and headed straight towards the Luangwa. The dry leaves made stealth difficult. The foot falls slowed. The PH lead the way with the bamboo homemade shooting sticks in his right hand held parallel to the ground. The hunter carried his rifle at port arms with his right thumb comfortably resting against the threeposition safety and his index finger along the front of the trigger guard. Johnny du Plooy has guided hunters for over twenty years. He has not lost his enthusiasm for his profession. He has seen those that can shoot well and those that do not. He knew even a good range shooter sometimes loses control to the jitters of hunting. Call it buck fever, call it nerves, the result is never good. The hunter noticed the footfalls became even slower. The PH seemed to shrink in height. The hunter mimicked the bent-over stride. The PH never looked back as he ever so slowly raised the sticks to their tripod APRIL 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 27
position. He then turn his head and with his right hand slowly gave a signal for the hunter to advance. The hunter crouched lower as he closed the two paces to the sticks. His eyes were lower than the top of the shooting platform and he could not see the Reptile. As he ever so slowly raised the rifle to the rest he saw the Croc for the first time. The survivor of the age of Dinosaurs neither heard nor saw the pair stalking him. He lay facing the water with his body straight but at a 45-degree angle to the liquid safety. Luckily for the hunter this gave him a totally broadside shot from his position. Unluckily for the hunter the bank sloped towards the water and even with the perfect shot the rhythmic motions of the Reptile could still carry it into the water. The PH very quietly whispered, “Two behind the smile, one in the shoulder”. The hunter had four Barnes X in the rifle. The PH carried no gun on the stalk. It was up to the hunter alone. The rifle quietly fell into the V of the sticks. The Croc did not move. The hunter and rifle became one, but the hunter saw through his Swarovski scope that the cross hairs moved far too much to hit a golf ball at this distance of 80 yards. Nerves!! Two deep quiet breaths and a third let out halfway and the crosshairs found the smile and locked on. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast he thought as he quietly moved the safety to the right. He did not remember the squeeze on the trigger. He did not feel the recoil. He did not hear the shot but he heard the “thunk” as the monolith projectile hit home. The rifle never left the sticks or his shoulder as he smoothly cycled the bolt. The second Barnes was on its way. The third hit the Reptile just behind the shoulder and a gallon of blood erupted from the quivering Crocodile’s mouth. This surprised the hunter but he again smoothly cycled the bolt and put a fourth round in the end of the smile. All motion stopped. The Professional exclaimed in a rather loud voice, “Nice shooting Bwana, that’s a big Croc.” His hand extended to slap the hunter on his shoulder and shake his hand. The hunter finally relaxed and started laughing with the PH. “Well done Bwana” he heard again. The hunter practiced shooting before this trip. He practiced multiple shots as quickly as accuracy would allow. He also practiced one other thing, which he was sadly neglecting in the afterglow of success. The hunter did not reload his rifle. The celebration continued until the PH suddenly said 28 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE APRIL 2011
excitedly, “Shoot him again he’s moving”. The hunter thought the statement to be a joke at first and then he looked at the Reptile. The creature’s instinct was telling his right rear paw to push against the sand. How could this be? The hunter quickly pulled bullets from his belt. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast had been forgotten with the tension of the Professional’s urgings, “Shoot him, you are going to lose him”. The first round fell to the ground as the hunter attempted to place it in the magazine. The next two found their way in. Quickly back on the sticks the hunter fired behind the smile twice, with the second round causing the Reptile to start a death roll. It landed on it’s back shaped like a crescent with the tip of the tail and end of the snout touching the water. All motion stopped. The hunter loaded four more rounds into the rifle and cycled the bolt, returning to the sticks. The Croc did not move. “Put one more in the chest for me”, the Professional requested. Another shot rang out and the Dinosaur did not move. “He’s dead again” Johnny exclaimed while smiling. Jim did not believe him and never left the sticks. “It’s dead Bwana. That was fun eh?” Jim smiled knowing this week with Johnny du Plooy would be special.
The Arcade Game The radio crackled loudly with a message in a language of the locals. The PH driving the rutted dirt tracks stopped the cruiser to respond. After a short garbled dialogue the Professional turned to the hunter and asked, “Do you want to shoot some Hippo?” “Some Hippo?” the hunter questioned. As luck would have it some local resident hunters had two tags for Hippo to fill. Unlucky for them the rifle they had could not be considered remotely accurate. The seven bullets they brought did not find their mark and now the hopes of an abundant supply of protein seemed an impossible goal. This sad turn of events became a bonus for the hunter. He now had the opportunity to shoot two Hippo, help out some locals with much needed meat, and do it all for the cost of two Barnes X loads. The cruiser carrying the PH, hunter, his wife, Lamec the tracker, Freddie, Alpha and Boston, the Game Scout made it’s way to the Luangwa River. On arrival, a dozen men sporting broad smiles and offer-
ing thankful handshakes greeted the PH and hunter. “Thank you Bwana” one was heard to say in his heavily accented voice. After some conversation the PH checked the residents paperwork and reviewed the documents with the game scout. The relentless African sun beat down like a tanning bed run amuck. The air was still and the dominant sound was that of grunting Hippos. The deep pool of water, thought to be a refuge by the Hippos, had no visible current. The dark brown heads would appear and disappear. Sometimes only revealing some eyes and nostrils and at other times almost an entire head. The PH set up the shooting sticks 20 yards from the water’s edge. “Wait for me to pick out a bull and wait for him to turn sideways. Aim just below the Ear”. The hunter nodded understanding. After the Crocodile this should be easy he thought. Taking a Croc first earlier in the day, with it’s tiny lethal target area, gave the hunter calmness. He now had confidence in his ability to put the bullet where he wished, especially with ample time available. While the hunter welded the sticks, rifle and his body into one useful unit, the Professional used his Swarovski binoculars to pick out a suitable quarry. “See the Hippo third from the right facing us?” he was heard to exclaim. “Yes”, the hunter replied while placing the crosshairs seen through the scope on the Hippo’s forehead. “Wait for him to turn, and take him under the ear. Take your time, there’s no rush”. The huntsman watched with fascination the show that unfolded through the magnification of his scope. As the head all but disappeared circular ripples of water moved uniformly away from the glistening target. The head came further out of the water and slowly rotated. The hunter waited. When the ears lined up the cross hairs found a spot an inch below the left ear of the Hippo now facing to his right. The 3 pound trigger pull on the beautiful 72-year-old rifle made accurate shooting easy. The report from the rifle echoed down the river. “That’s one,” the PH said as the head disappeared with the thunk of the projectile. The sticks were moved 25 yards to the right. “Wait for them to settle and pop back up and I’ll pick the next one for you,” The hunter returned the rifle to the Bamboo rest. He waited. “Second from the right” the PH exclaimed. When the hunter placed the Hippo’s head in his scope it was already sideways. The head went back
under the water but came back up facing the rifle holder. He waited. The head again slipped below the cloak of the murky water. He waited. Up came the head quartered to the left. It slowly turned and the ears again told the tale of alignment. The shot rang out and the thunk was heard. “That’s two,” the hunter said. The happiness on the bank was palpable. The locals would have a over a ton of much needed protein after the gases built up in the Hippos and they floated to the surface like big brown balloons. Appreciative three part handshakes followed. All the hunter thought was how much it felt like an arcade game.
The two for one sale The light brown antelopes leapt and scurried across the dirt track as the cruiser approached. The riverine environment along the Luangwa River provides shelter for multiple species including the Impala and Puku that just disappeared to the left of the truck. The PH braked hard. “That’s the one I’ve been chasing all season”, he said referring the large Impala male in the group. “Let’s give him a try”. The Hunter stepped quietly from the vehicle onto the crushed leaves in the tire tracks. The bolt was cycled carrying the 300-grain TSX hand load into its ready position. A quick thumb check confirmed the safety’s position on the Winchester action. This would not be the first stalk into the Riverine undergrowth. The previous attempts at stealth had failed. The dry leaves made a sound like cornflakes on steroids whenever you tried to walk. Silence was out of the question. “Let’s take our time and see how it goes”, the professional advised. The pair slowly made their way into dappled brown landscape. Impala and Puku could be seen milling around about 100 yards away. The sticks went up. As the hunter placed the fore end of his rifle into the V of the sticks the PH whispered, “The big guy is to your right at 2:00”. Sure enough an Impala, larger than any seen to this date, walked cautiously towards thicker cover. Even the antelope’s footfalls sounded loud. The Impala stopped. It was the last action of its life. The projectile took the antelope mid shoulder and down it went. Puku and Impala scattered in all directions. The PH grabbed the sticks and ran left 40 feet and threw them back up. The hunter followed. “Take the Puku” APRIL 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 29
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the Hunter heard as he saw the professional point left. As the rifle bonded with the sticks a male Puku filled the scope standing broadside left. The shot was fast but true and down he went. Johnny gave a bellow of laughter. “You got both Bwana. You’re damn lucky”. The hunter thought, “Luck? I practiced”. His wife, known in camp as Madam, came up to the scene. “I thought hunting was supposed to be hard,” she said aiming the jab at the PH. He just smiled instead of answering. The morning yielded a Crocodile and two Hippo, the afternoon an Impala and Puku. Either hunting in the Luangwa was easy or Johnny was right the hunter was Bwana Freaking Lucky.
The long time dream came true The skinny blond haired boy of nine reread the article again. Outdoor Life provided escape for the youngster and brought daydreams of hunting the tall grass of Africa. Stories of Black Death, the Big Five, Fred Bear and the game that submitted to his arrows consumed every extra minute. The lad was already quite good with his 30# longbow passed down from his older Brother. Oddly enough, except for one cousin, no one in his family hunted. He knew someday he
would. The opportunity came at sixteen. He traveled to a Pennsylvania Deer camp with a group of men known from work. The archery season preceded rifle and the men used the excuse, escaping their wives and families, to half-heartedly hunt deer. None in camp, save the young man, could shoot a bow accurately. He had his deer at dawn the first morning. This brought not praise but ridicule. “It’s a doe (legal)”, he heard from one. “That thing is small enough to still have spots”, he heard from another. The archer ignored the comments. He did what he came to do. 25 years later he was living in the Alaskan Bush and filling the freezer with Moose and Caribou. Rifles replaced his archery equipment. The dreams created with the reading of magazines may have faded but they didn’t disappear. The thought of hunting Africa and Cape buffalo in particular did not reemerge until the hunter moved to Anchorage. His new employer has hunted the world, including Africa many times. The seeds planted long ago began to germinate. One look at the Natural History Museum his boss called home, with all the full body dioramas, only fanned the fires of past dreams. The planning began.
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Two years later the noisy Beechcraft Baron touched down on the dirt runway known as Waca Waca International. The hunter stepped out onto the wing and absorbed the scene before him. The African sun heated his face. His eyes burned slightly from the smoke of the bush fires. The hunter found the smell comforting; after all, he heated with wood in Alaska. The light tan cruiser approached with Johnny driving. They had met in Reno at the SCI convention almost two years ago. During the week, humor would help build a bond. A couple of days past and Crocodile, Hippo, Impala, and Puku were all taken. The laughter that came with the frantic double death of the Croc helped the PH/ client bond to grow. Johnny has guided for over 20 years and it still seems like his enthusiasm and joy experienced from a fruitful stalk remains strong. “Buffalo”!! One word spoken and the day changed. The cruiser stopped and the hunter jumped out and cycled his bolt. He was drawn towards the tall grass by an unseen force. “Bwana, you might want to wait for the PH”, Johnny muttered with a smile. “Might be a good idea to put on your ammo belt”. The hunter realized his adrenalin was flowing and he hadn’t even entered the grass. The group of four made up of the PH, the Hunter, Lamec the tracker, and Madam (the Hunter’s wife Joyce) formed into a single file slow moving unit. The PH carried his 470 Nitro Express double on his right shoulder; the hunter had his trusty old .375 H&H. The rifle had one in the throat and three in the magazine with the safety on. Fifteen rounds on a cartridge belt ought to cover any other needs. The grunts could be heard through the tall grass. The 7 foot high optical barrier did not stop sounds. “Big herd”, the PH whispered. The hunter had yet to see a Buffalo. The yellow/tan grass formed a maze of sorts. An English Labyrinth if you will with pathways that ended and others that offered a change in direction. The constant was the lack of long-range vision. The grunts continued. The PH confirmed the favorable wind and the group continued towards the sound of the herd. Some cows were partially seen at 80 yards and the PH had the group drop back out of sight and move forward paralleling the bovines. After three bumps of the unaware animals a potential shooting lane was found. The sticks went up as the sound of hooves came closer. 32 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE APRIL 2011
Two cows appeared in the six-foot wide clearing standing now seventy yards away totally unaware of the group of four. As the hunter, already on the shooting sticks, watched a Buffalo head with obvious bosses appeared following the cows. He looked good to the untrained eye of the Hunter. The PH leaned close and whispered, “Nice bosses but maybe 36 inches”. The Hunter and PH had previously discussed goals, species wanted and what makes up a good Buffalo. The Hunter left the tape measure home. He wanted merely a mature Bull, but nice bosses would be a plus and more desirable than width. The Hunter felt surprised by his own calm. He watched the Bull as it made its way forward totally revealing his body and a perfect broad side presentation. “Bwana, it’s up to you. You might find better in 6 days and you might not. Some cows are feeding towards us. We need to move back or shoot”. Jim heard a voice of reason in his head. Something told him he’d be a fool for not taking this Buffalo broadside at 70 yards. The creepless trigger gave way under three pounds of pull and the shot rang out. Although he shouldn’t have been surprised by the result, the Hunter watched the two Cows and Bull spin 180 degrees and disappear immediately into the grass. Dust could be seen and the thunder of hooves heard as the herd distanced itself from the perceived danger. Another round was already cycled, but no target was seen. The safety went on. “Now we wait”, the PH said. To the hunter that meant 45 minutes or a death bellow whichever came first. He had been watching too many “Tracks Across Africa” episodes. Ten minutes later, no death bellow and the Professional said, “Let’s go! Madam you stay here, Bwana and I will go sort this out”. With the shot Freddie and Boston the Game Scout had come from the truck. They stayed with Madam. The trio of PH, Hunter and Tracker moved slowly across the opening in the grass. A very small amount of blood was found where the Buffalo were standing when the shot was taken. The tall grass formed circular tufts with visibility limited to 20 yards at best. The threesome moved ever so slowly senses on full alert. The hunter still felt strangely calm. With 30 yards covered Lamec climbed a six foot termite mound. The hunter saw a smile. “Thank you Bwana, thank you Bwana”, Lamec repeated as he
climbed down. The verbal exchange between Tracker and PH took 30 seconds. “Your buffalo is on the other side of this grass” the PH said as he pointed at the opaque wall of yellow/tan, which swayed rhythmically in the light breeze. As the hunter circled the grass he saw the Buffalo clearly for the first time. Laying on its left side motionless the black mass looked calm. Lamec threw a stick hitting the hulk on its hindquarter. No movement. A second test followed the first, still no movement. Lamec moved forward and kicked the hulk on the butt while the PH and Hunter held their guns to their shoulders. The Hunter leaned in with his rifle barrel and touched the lifeless eye of the Buffalo. Lifeless it was. The hunter thought, “Is that all there is”? The PH and Tracker were happy. “Thank you Bwana”, Lamec said while doing the three-part handshake. Johnny simply said, “Perfect shot Bwana”. Later at the skinning shed the heart revealed the path of the bullet. The top half of the heart had exploded with the impact, thus the Bull went down in about 40 yards and never had time to bellow. It was dead before it hit the ground. Madam advanced slowly with Boston the game scout. Her smile exuded relief. “Wow, look at this thing. Nice bosses.” She always knew the perfect thing to say.
Kamikaze Bushbuck “Of all the antelope here these little suckers can be the most dangerous. Stay close”. The words whispered by the hunter to his wife were not comforting, but they were the truth, as time would prove. Bushbuck had turned out to be difficult to score in the sanctuary of the riverine growth bordering the Luangwa River. Each previous stalk ended with the small antelope running away at blinding speed. The Bushbuck did not share the dash and stop mentality of the more plentiful Impala and Puku inhabiting the same area. As the PH, Hunter, Tracker and Madam started into the shade from the dirt track the sounds of crushed cornflakes returned. “Damn leaves”, the hunter thought. “We don’t have a prayer”. A troop of Baboons made a ruckus a few hundred yards ahead. Luckily this provided much need auditory cover for the foursome as they advanced slowly. The light orange/tan Bushbuck moved anxiously as
the Impala & Puku near him also looked on edge. His instincts sensed danger but his eyes, ears, and nose could not find it. The PH led the way with bamboo shooting sticks in his right hand. The Hunter followed with his rifle at ready, safety on, a round in the chamber. Lamec the Tracker came next carrying the Professional’s .470 NE double on his shoulder. Madam stayed close behind the Tracker armed with a digital video/still camera. The crunching of the leaves made a relentless racket as the group walked slowly towards the crisscrossing game. The air smelled dry. The last rains were a distant memory of months gone by. The PH froze. No words were spoken. He looked back and gave a signal for Lamec and Madam to stay still. The Professional then signaled the Hunter forward. They slowly covered fifteen feet of uneven ground and the sticks went up. The Hunter saw Impala but did not make out the Bushbuck until the PH pointed at a group of Mopani trees. The Bushbuck, unaware of the duo’s presence, walked back and forth slowly, while luckily staying behind the scrub cover. The Hunter, now on the sticks, had no sure shot. As if he was playing hide and seek, the Bushbuck walked left and stayed obscured by branches a mere 75 yards distant. The shot looked tempting through the 1.5 x 6 scope but to take the chance of a deflected bullet would be foolish. The antelope turned 180 degrees and headed again behind the Mopani. He exited to the right this time and again there was no clear shot. Another course change and the Bushbuck emerged from cover walking directly at the Hunter unaware of any danger. The small antelope grew larger in the scope. A clear frontal shot was offered but the hunter chose to wait for the Bushbuck to turn and present a shoulder. The huntsman waited, the Bushbuck continued to grow as he advanced. The hunter shot right handed but was left eye dominant. This meant he kept his left eye shut while on the scope. When the Bushbuck, still heading directly for him, grew even larger in the scope, the Hunter opened his left eye. The critter was less than 20 yards away and a clear frontal shot. He was so close that the hunter felt as if he was shooting down hill. He took the shot. T-minus five, four, three, two, one, Houston we have ignition. The Bushbuck rocketed five feet straight up APRIL 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 33
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turned ninety degrees right while in the air and hit the ground running thirty miles per hour on three functional legs. The antelope ran a sweeping arc to the right past the Hunter and PH trailing blood like a fountain. The orange/ tan furry missile seemed to be 12 inches off the ground running with head lowered. 30 feet and 3 seconds later he ran headlong into a tree. Bouncing back five feet and landing on his side, jaw broken and face slashed, his horns covered with bark, he got back to his feet. This is when he noticed Madam. With a new target locked, the Bushbuck charged. Lamec stood behind Madam with the EMPTY .470 held by the barrels stock overhead like a club. He ran forward. The Bushbuck died eight feet from his final target with a sliding crash into the noisy leaves. “Madam, video, Madam, video” was the call repeated by Lamec. Madam stood with eyes like saucers, mouth agape, and digital camera at the ready. Unfortunately it was turned off and the lens cap remained on. A strange noise brought Madam back to reality. What is that she thought? The PH and Hunter had trouble controlling the spasms of laughter. “Madam, I will never forget the look on your face”, Johnny offered. Jim simply continued to laugh. Madam joined them. “What’s so hard about hunting “, she thought to herself and laughed some more.
The Zambian Circle of Life She only snarled once, the message was understood. The two males, smaller in size, backed away from the rancid stench of the rotting reptile. She was covered in healed scars received when she was younger and not the Alpha ruler supreme. Her teeth hurt; they were worn from long use. The Matriarch could still crush bone to extract the marrow. Many times in the past while pack hunting she would grab prey as large as Zebra. Once a locking bite was made, others in the clan would close on the melee and multiple tearing bites later they would share the fresh kill, in the proper pecking order.
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She always ate first with her living young. Life is not easy for a spotted Hyena. Sharing territory with Lions makes life interesting for both. The cruiser carrying the PH, Hunter, Madam, Trackers, Game Scout, and Alpha, tire changer extraordinaire, bumped down the dirt track heading for camp. Light was fading fast. The Professional stopped the cruiser short of the location of the bait. The previously killed Crocodile found new use after being wired to the base of the tree. Other than the small pieces of tail meat eaten by the Hunter and Madam as an appetizer, the carcass remained intact. No one else would eat the Reptile. Perhaps it was bad Juju. It had been rotting in the Zambian sun for two days now. Seems like the sound to the flies could be heard a hundred yards away. The Hunter and PH approached from downwind walking quietly. As they closed on the bait the smell approached intolerable levels. Surly nothing on Earth would seek this as food. The Spotted Hyena is a strange animal that always looks angry. Perhaps the appearance of being made of leftover parts, with a low slung hindquarter, and an affinity for rotten meat as well as heartless prolonged kills of its prey, gave it the hated reputation it received here in the bush. Their design is actually perfect for function. Stamina beyond its prey allows the predator to simply wear out an animal and then kill it. She heard the snap of the twig first. With a sudden turn of her head from the meal to turn towards the sound, the two subservient males lunged forward for a bite of Reptile. The distraction was all the Hunter needed. He was already in range but the light was low. Looking through his Swarovski Scope the light seemed enhanced like only great optics offer. There was no time for shooting sticks, the two Males ran right the Alpha Female ran left. The hunter tried to track her in the scope holding offhand. Her arrogant dominance became her downfall. She stopped behind a log worried more about the meal than her survival. Hunger was a fateful flaw. The shot took her full in the chest and down she went. “You missed her Bwana”, the PH exclaimed. “I did not” the Hunter replied. His scope showed him movement behind the log. They advanced. “You are so F%&%ing lucky”! The Hunter now heard that phrase for the third time on as many downed animals. He didn’t respond. They both looked down at the spotted carcass. The Hunter could only imagine how many animals had succumbed to those jaws. APRIL 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 39
The neck appeared the same size as the chest. “She’s huge”, the PH remarked. “She must be the Alpha. Thank you Bwana. You don’t know how many young newborn these things take come October. I’m always happy to see one die.” Madam walked up as the Ph asked the Hunter, How do you want it skinned?” Madam answered for the Hunter, “Full body! That thing is ugly”
Bad Week for a Wildebeest The silver copper colored Bull had fought for the right to pass on his genes many times before. Being the dominant male in the herd meant defending that position. He was a close match for his rival over the entire year but now he lost ground. It was the way of aging and the Wildebeest, although he didn’t understand it, the beast was about to learn that lesson. Kicked out of the herd by the stronger male, and being a herd animal his whole life, standing alone was not in his nature. He tried to solve that problem over the last week by joining a scattered group of Impala. The small antelope did not care about their larger new found friend. He seemed to have better senses for danger. They began to look at him as the alarm bell. The Wildebeest Bull on the other hand remained confused by the Impala’s penchant to run a short distance from perceived danger and then stop.
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Slap!! “Have I mentioned how much I hate Tsetse Flies”? The question from the Hunter brought only a smile and no verbal response from the PH. It was obvious the Professional found himself bothered by the biting insects as well. Why else would he have switched from shorts to long pants in the sweltering heat? The Hunter, used to the cool air of Alaska, now found himself in long sleeve shirts, long pants, gaiters over his socks, and hiking boots with two pair of socks. The heat was oppressive but the insects were worse. No form of commercial repellent seemed to work. Tsetse Flies are made of sterner stuff. Madam sat on the upper seat of the safari cruiser and felt like a Queen. Lamec, Boston, Freddie, and Alpha picked the flies from her as they lit. Wonder if the hard candy she’d been distributing helped her garner the attention? “Warthog Madam”, Lamec pointed. They kept her entertained with their ability to see animals long before you could find them. She enjoyed their help. She asked about their children and wives, how many of each.
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They seemed to appreciate her interest and answered with pride. This would be the second day of cruising the inland Mopani woodland in search of the herd of Cookson’s Wildebeest. Johnny had seen the herd before and knew it had two shootable Bulls but also knew if they saw the cruiser before anyone on the cruiser saw them the hunt was over for the day. Found only in the Luangwa Valley, few Cookson’s are available on hunting quota and many times they are saved for the cat hunters with their longer booking. The Hunter felt fortunate there were two remaining on quota and that Johnny offered an attempt at one. “Bwana, I’ve had clients come back five years in a row just to get one of these Wildebeest”, Johnny related. “They are hard to find and even harder to stalk. If they see, hear, or smell you they seem to run forever. There’s no catching up to them and there’s multiple eyes and ears in a herd”. “Great”, the Hunter thought, “That’s the way hunting should be”. Up until now the huntsman had enjoyed incredible luck with shot opportunities and already had memories well worth the high price of an African Bush Safari. He already mentally planned how he would make it back for the next. What could he sell? He was warned of the African hunting addiction. He read as much and now he knew why.
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They had driven close to fifty kilometers across bumpy tracks that shouldn’t be called roads. They crossed dry rivers with steep banks. The group made new trails through the scrub occasionally knocking down or driving over small trees in order to advance deeper into the hunting grounds. “Hartebeest”, the Ph exclaimed and stopped the cruiser to watch the rare sight through binoculars. “That’s a rare sight here”. The truck started rolling again. The air still held the smell of smoke from the many bush fires. Shame it didn’t bother the flies. The cruiser stopped so hard the Hunter nearly hit the dash with his rifle barrel. He held the gun vertically between his legs the entire trip. One must be forever vigilant. Johnny spoke in a hushed voice. He seemed the most tense the Hunter had seen during the trip. “Lone Bull” was his only statement. The pair slid from the truck as Lamec quietly dropped from up top. Madam climbed down the ladder steps. The foursome again found itself slowly advancing into the woods on a stalk. The wind was perfect. Luck was holding. The lone Wildebeest sensed danger before the Impala. He bolted before the group of four was even 300 yards away. The Impala scattered at the warning sign. “Damn”, the Ph muttered, “Come on”. He and the hunter headed out at a fast, determined walk. Later the PH would concede he doubted at that moment they would see the Wildebeest again. The group of four split into two groups of two. The PH and Hunter walked deliberately and steadily in the direction the Cookson’s departed towards. Three different 150-yard surges and the duo had reclaimed visual contact with the loner. The Impala stopped and the Wildebeest, wanting to continue running, tried to reconcile his need to flee danger with his need for a herd. He milled back and forth nervously. His long black fly swatting tail twitched from nerves. He looked straight at the duo. The sticks went up. The distance had to be less than 200 yards but not much less. The .375 was sighted in for 100 yards making a 3-inch drop at 200. An acceptable shot. The hunter had killed game in Namibia at close to 300 yards with the same rifle. The Hunter saw the Wildebeest but only parts of the animal through the dense cover. No clear shooting lane existed. The advancing darkness was also an enemy as light was retreating rapidly. Sunsets in
Africa occur quickly not like those the Hunter knew from Alaska. The animal stood broadside but milled back and forth nervously. The hunter found a one-foot circular branch free shooting tunnel; unfortunately the Wildebeest stood a full body length away from it. The PH whispered, “If you have any shot take it”. As much as the Hunter wanted to risk a branch deflection he resisted the urge. The Cookson’s moved slowly forward. As soon as his chest reached the branch free one-foot circle the Hunter took the shot. Thunk!! The bullet’s impact could be heard but the Wildebeest transformed himself into a rocket. The beautiful Silver striped beast disappeared grunting loudly with every step. “You broke his leg”, the PH exclaimed. The hunter knew the shot hit lower than he would have liked given a clear shot but he felt confident he caught the bottom of the lungs. Lamec was already advancing Madam trailed close behind. Lamec needed no instruction to do his job. The reunited foursome reached the site at which the Wildebeest stood when shot. Two small drops of blood were found. The ground was like concrete. How could anyone read tracks on concrete? Lamec did not speak. He simply looked down and pointed with an index finger at invisible marks two feet apart. The Hunter looked down and saw nothing. The sun was fading. He felt fear the animal would be lost. Lamec continued. Three hundred feet later a huge dead Cookson’s Wildebeest lay on its side. Not a drop of blood on it. The bullet had entered exactly where the Hunter thought. Johnny just looked at him for a minute smiling, “I know, Bwana Freaking Lucky”, the Hunter muttered. After an explosion of laughter Johnny started with an excited exclamation, “Do you realize how lucky you are? If he wasn’t hanging out with the Impala we would have never gotten near him. This animal is beautiful. Look at the copper hues on its hindquarter. He gorgeous. He’s a big old boy. They only live here in the Luangwa. You are very lucky” Jim knew he was lucky. Nine animals in three days. The seven top ones on his wish list and two bonuses in the form of Hippos. But he felt even luckier with the fact he shared this trip with his wife and he was able to hunt with Johnny du Plooy. APRIL 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 43
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Jim felt that Johnny was everything you could ask for in a Professional Hunter. He was calm, patient, he treated his staff well, but most importantly he still had a passion for hunting. With the bag complete Johnny turned that passion for hunting in Madamâ€™s direction. He took Joyce on mock stalks of Crocodiles, Impala, Puku, and even some Buffalo. He gave her a taste of blown stalks and she experienced the challenge of placing a rifle on shooting sticks within range of prey. No shots were fired but Joyce now knows more intimately what hunting is about. Maybe the next trip she too will hunt. We hung Leopard and Lion baits for the Cat hunter that arrived in camp so we also enjoyed that experience. Damn Flies! Yup!! I am Bwana Lucky!!
Jim Wojciehowski is a Physician Assistant living in Anchorage, Alaska. He spent 8 years living in the bush region of Bristol Bay, Alaska. He hunted initially with a bow as a teen in Pennsylvania and now uses rifles to fill his freezer as well as sport hunt. He has been married to Joyce, a Registered Nurse whom he describes as fearless, for 36 years. They plan a return to the Luangwa Valley in 2012 for Lion & Leopard. APRIL 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 45
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The BorderLine Walk is in support of antipoaching efforts for Black Rhino in the SavĂ¨ Valley. Initiated by Hunters for Zimbabwe, the walk will be 3066 kilometers long: 813 kilometers along the Botswana border, 797 km. along Zambia, 225 km. along South Africa, and finally 1231 km. along the Mozambique border. The BorderLine Walk will be widely covered by the media and progress will be published on the African Expedition Magazine and tracked on Google Earth.
The BorderLine walk will support anti-poaching efforts to prevent this from happening again: a young black rhino caught in a poacherâ€™s snare. This baby died a few days after this photograph was taken. 48 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE APRIL 2011
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David Hulme is a Zimbabwean writer and professional wanderer who spends most of his time searching for new stories and country, never staying too long in any one place.â€™
FOLLOW THEIR PROGRESS ON GOOGLE EARTH
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Giant Sable in Angola 4th Trimester Palanca report
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o The y
nce feared extinct, Angolan sable wins new hope for survival. The Angola Field Group works at Cangandala National Park and we will give updates on what’s happening with Angola’s national symbol, the Palanca Negra Gigante or Giant Sable. Pedro Vaz Pinto rediscovered the Palanca Negra Gigante after Angola’s 30 decades of civil war and heads up the Conservation Program trying to protect this animal which is on the list of the world’s critically endangered animals. Pedro is the Environmental Advisor for the Catholic University Centre for Scientific Studies and Research
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Here is the 4th trimester report: 2010 wouldn’t end before we received more good news. In late October, one of the two females that looked very pregnant in September (Luisa – nº12) started behaving differently than usual, much more wary and nervous (she used to be one of the most relaxed females), and abandoning the herd often. These we immediately interpreted as probable signs of calving. And because Luisa is one of the females carrying a VHF collar, we were able to track her down occasionally, when she was away from the herd, and not surprisingly her signal led us to the thickest clump of forest inside the sanctuary. We decided it was best not to disturb her then, so we had to wait a few more weeks, till mid-December, to confirm and see the second calf born in Cangandala. So far it wasn’t possible to determine the sex, as the calf is very small and the vegetation is now too lush too allow us reasonable observations. Until the sex becomes obvious we decided to treat it as a she – positive thinking! In several photos we can see her standing next to her proud and protective mother and older half-brother. Not only the older calf is healthy and developing fast, but somewhat surprisingly, the seriously limping female made an impressive
recovery. She is still limping, but she put on some weight, the coat looked shinier than a couple months earlier, and she seems better accepted within the herd. When in September she appeared to be in a desperate condition. Possibly the recovery is simply due to the change of season, with more and better quality of food available to the ani-
mals these days, and this affecting primarily the injured female, but in any case it was a bit of a relief. As for the bull, he also looks as strong and healthy as ever. On a less positive note, the female that disappeared in July is still missing, and we must face that she is probably a casualty on our breed- ing program. She either managed to crawl under the fence, or more likely, she died discretely. The fact that she was the oldest female in the herd can’t also be seen as encouraging… We’ll keep an eye open for her, but until proven otherwise we’re down to eight potentially breeding females. As for the calving success, and in spite of the joy of facing the second APRIL 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 61
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newborn, it was disappointing not to have had more calves in the sanctuary in 2010. Females that at one point seemed to show pregnancy signs ended up not delivering the goods. All in all and concluded the first year, we were left with a bitter-sweet taste… there was breeding but below expectations. Or maybe we set the standards too high, as a first year of breeding of wild antelopes held in semi-captivity is always risky and unpredictable. Anyway, we are focusing in the new year, and now that they are fully adapted, the animals should have a much better breeding in 2012. We have now established an ambitious plan for 2011, which includes building a third enclosure where all the hybrids could temporarily be relocated to, and then bring more sable, females and males, from Luando, so that we can establish at least two breeding herds in Cangandala. Still early days, as the activities are still being discussed among the various stakeholders. In any case, 2011 will probably witness a lot of action and constitute another landmark for the species’ conservation. The trap cameras in Cangandala are still located in natural salt licks, both inside the larger enclosure (Sanctuary 2 – where we have the hybrid herd) and outside the fences, where we know to have roan but need to keep an eye for any surprise. Well, the record from the last trimester gave us some nice photographic sequences, but these simply confirmed what we already knew. In the referred enclosure we only found hybrids, in a total of ten individuals (Photos 31 – 44). These include one dominant
bull (Photos 31, 38, 39) and the two young males born in 2009 and 2010 (Photos 34, 37, 40, 43); the rest are females of different ages, and two of them carry VHF collars (Photos 32, 33). We still can’t say who is the father of the younger calf and why he looks so sable-ish, but it is really interesting to note the contrast with the other young male as the later looks very roan-ish indeed! Surely sooner or later our study on the genetics, will shed some light on this subject. At least now we are pretty sure that we have a hybrid herd inside the enclosure that totals probably ten animals (maybe up to eleven or twelve maximum), and we still couldn’t find any evidence of something else, like a roan bull. This is important data to assist us in the planning to sort out the problem later this year. Outside the enclosures we also only obtained photos of roan, as this roan bull sharing a salt lick with a bushbuck (Photo 30). We still have no evidence of hybrids or sable outside the fences. It really looks like somehow we managed to fully and perfectly separate and fence-off the three “species” in Cangandala! The pure sable in sanctuary 1, the robles in Sanctuary 2 and the roan outside. Truly amazing indeed… The remaining photographs showed the usual customers, such as duikers, bushbucks and warthogs, and for last a surprising newcomer – a white-headed vulture.
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Support Hunters for Zimbabwe by buying David Hulme’s great new book, Shangaan Song. Proceeds from the sale of this book will be used to support the BorderLine Walk – a foot journey of approximately three thousand kilometers along Zimbabwe’s border. The BorderLine Walk is an initiative aimed at raising awareness for Hunters for Zimbabwe, an organization whose primary objective is the advancement of Zimbabwean people and wildlife.
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JimmyJimmy and Anne Whittall on the day I found him 64 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE APRIL 2011
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News, Reviews, and Press Releases Mossy Oak® Camo Finishes Now Available on Leupold® : VX®-I and UltimateSlam® 3-9x40mm Scopes
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Exclusive Camo Application Technology Enhances Durability
The VX-I camo riflescopes have the time-tested Duplex® reticle, micro-friction dials marked in ¼-MOA increments for easy windage and elevation adjustments, and Leupold’s classic lockable eyepiece for a secure focus. UltimateSlam scopes are designed to enhance accuracy with muzzleloaders and shotguns. Each UltimateSlam pairs Leupold’s exclusive Sabot Ballistics Reticle (SA.B.R.®) with an innovative power selector ring that allows hunters to synchronize their gun with their preferred load.
BEAVERTON, Ore. — Utilizing an exclusive camouflage application technology for superior durability, Leupold® now offers the popular Mossy Oak® Break-Up® and Mossy Oak Treestand® hunting patterns on VX®-I and UltimateSlam® 3-9x40mm scope models. Leupold’s advanced anodization process bonds the camo pattern directly to the scope body, ensuring an extremely tough and long-lasting finish, without adding thickness to the maintube diameter. The VX-I and UltimateSlam scopes are the first to feature this process. One of the most versatile camo patterns, Mossy Oak Break-Up is effective in various hunting environments, from flooded timber to deep woods. Mossy Oak Treestand is designed specifically for whitetail deer hunters who shoot from an elevated position, providing concealment among the bare limbs of a tree in late fall. “With these field-proven camo patterns, our VX-I and UltimateSlam scopes are a great choice for deer hunters concerned with concealment, whether they use a rifle, muzzleloader or shotgun,” commented Pat Mundy, communications manager for Leupold & 68 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE APRIL 2011
In addition, VX-I and UltimateSlam scopes feature Leupold’s Standard Multicoat lens system for a bright, clear image. Like all Golden Ring® scopes, they are waterproof and fog proof, and tested under extreme conditions to ensure ruggedness and durability. VX-I and UltimateSlam scopes are backed by Leupold’s Full Lifetime Guarantee. For more information, visit a local dealer, go to www.leupold.com or call 1-800-LEUPOLD. Leupold & Stevens, Inc., the preeminent Americanowned and -operated optics company, employs more than 700 people in its state-of-the-art facility near Beaverton, Ore., where rugged, dependable, high-performance Golden Ring® optics, Mark 4® riflescopes and Redfield® Revolution™ riflescopes
are designed, machined and assembled. Leupold is a fifth-generation, family owned company whose products are sold worldwide to hunters, competitive shooters, American military warfighters, law enforcement personnel and wildlife observers. The product line includes rifle, handgun and spotting scopes; binoculars; rangefinders; trail cameras; flashlights; mounting systems; and optical tools and accessories. Leupold & Stevens, Inc. is a Charter Supporter of the Hunting and Shooting Sports Heritage Foundation. Leupold & Stevens, Inc., P.O. Box 688, Beaverton, OR 97075-0688, U.S.A. Phone: (800) LEUPOLD or (503) 526-1400 • Fax: (503) 352-7621 • www.leupold.com
THE NEW M107A1™ (Murfreesboro, TN) Barrett, a company internationally known for providing high-end firearms, optics, and training, introduces to the commercial market the next generation of the US Army’s M107 rifle—the Barrett M107A1. At four pounds lighter, the M107A1 offers all the performance of its predecessor and is now suppressor-ready from the factory. This rifle is built on decades of success with the Barrett Model 82A1/M107 rifle and feedback from users operating these systems on the battlefield around the world. Initial visible differences of the M107A1 include the flat dark earth, ultra-hard PVD coating that increases protection from the elements and decreases the need for lubrication. Also distinctive is the round muzzle brake that is designed to interface with Barrett’s new .50 BMG Suppressor which reduces firing signature. Also distinct is the thermal-guard cheek piece added to increase the user’s comfort during extreme heat or cold. An all new aluminum upper receiver and select tita-
nium components contribute to the M107A1’s lighter weight. A new advanced bolt carrier group and recoil system have been designed to handle the dynamics of firing the M107A1 with suppressor attached. A four-port muzzle brake accepts the new quick-attach Barrett .50 BMG Suppressor. Barrett is proud to add this product to its line of .50 caliber rifles. Barrett is a family-owned and operated company specializing in high performance rifle systems and accessories. Barrett manufactures rifles, ammunition and optic accessories in addition to training for civilian sport shooters, law enforcement agencies, the US military and over 63 foreign allied militaries worldwide.
Mossy Oak® Camo Finishes Now Available on Leupold® VX®-I and UltimateSlam® 3-9x40mm Scopes Exclusive Camo Application Technology Enhances Durability BEAVERTON, Ore. — Utilizing an exclusive camouflage application technology for superior durability, Leupold® now offers the popular Mossy Oak® Break-Up® and Mossy Oak Treestand® hunting patterns on VX®-I and UltimateSlam® 3-9x40mm scope models. Leupold’s advanced anodization process bonds the camo pattern directly to the scope body, ensuring an extremely tough and long-lasting finish, without adding thickness to the maintube diameter. The VX-I and UltimateSlam scopes are the first to feature this process. One of the most versatile camo patterns, Mossy Oak Break-Up is effective in various hunting environments, from flooded timber to deep woods. Mossy APRIL 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 69
Oak Treestand is designed specifically for whitetail deer hunters who shoot from an elevated position, providing concealment among the bare limbs of a tree in late fall. “With these field-proven camo patterns, our VX-I and UltimateSlam scopes are a great choice for deer hunters concerned with concealment, whether they use a rifle, muzzleloader or shotgun,” commented Pat Mundy, communications manager for Leupold & Stevens, Inc. “Our unique anodization process, combined with the ruggedness typical of all our scopes, will deliver years of reliable performance, season after season.” The VX-I camo riflescopes have the time-tested Duplex® reticle, micro-friction dials marked in ¼-MOA increments for easy windage and elevation adjustments, and Leupold’s classic lockable eyepiece for a secure focus. UltimateSlam scopes are designed to enhance accuracy with muzzleloaders and shotguns. Each UltimateSlam pairs Leupold’s exclusive Sabot Ballistics Reticle (SA.B.R.®) with an innovative power selector ring that allows hunters to synchronize their gun with their preferred load. In addition, VX-I and UltimateSlam scopes feature Leupold’s Standard Multicoat lens system for a bright, clear image. Like all Golden Ring® scopes, they are waterproof and fog proof, and tested under extreme conditions to ensure ruggedness and durability. VX-I and UltimateSlam scopes are backed by Leupold’s Full Lifetime Guarantee. For more information, visit a local dealer, go to www.leupold.com or call 1-800-LEUPOLD. Leupold & Stevens, Inc., the preeminent Americanowned and -operated optics company, employs more than 700 people in its state-of-the-art facility near Beaverton, Ore., where rugged, dependable, high-performance Golden Ring® optics, Mark 4® riflescopes and Redfield® Revolution™ riflescopes are designed, machined and assembled. Leupold is a fifth-generation, family owned company whose products are sold worldwide to hunters, competitive 70 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE APRIL 2011
shooters, American military warfighters, law enforcement personnel and wildlife observers. The product line includes rifle, handgun and spotting scopes; binoculars; rangefinders; trail cameras; flashlights; mounting systems; and optical tools and accessories. Leupold & Stevens, Inc. is a Charter Supporter of the Hunting and Shooting Sports Heritage Foundation. Leupold & Stevens, Inc., P.O. Box 688, Beaverton, OR 97075-0688, U.S.A. Phone: (800) LEUPOLD or (503) 526-1400 • Fax: (503) 352-7621 • www.leupold. com
ANNOUNCING THE NEW REC7® PDW (PERSONAL DEFENSE WEAPON) IN 5.56 NATO AND 6.8 SPC (Murfreesboro, TN) Barrett announces the newest configuration of the REC7 piston-operated rifle line; the 8-inch REC7 PDW (Personal Defense Weapon) is now available. Our REC7 PDW was developed to meet the needs of military and law enforcement customers, and it has caught their attention by offering rifle-cartridge power and precision in a submachine gun-sized package. The REC7 PDW comes in 5.56 NATO or the 6.8 SPC cartridge, and it is available with either a mil-spec single-stage trigger or select-
fire trigger group (agency/export only). The REC7 PDW offers all the refinements of its full-size counterpart, such as the 9310 steel Barrett Enhanced Piston Bolt, which is proofed and magnetic-particle tested to ensure reliable performance. The anti-tilt bolt carrier with integral piston strike face is machined from 8620 steel. The gas block is chrome– lined, forward venting and has a fluted gas piston cylinder. This increases reliability by eliminating carbon buildup. Forward venting also keeps the operator’s hands clear of hot gasses. REC7’s piston is made of 17-4 stainless steel and is the strongest on the market. The piston is easily accessed for cleaning without needing to remove the rail system. This enables optical sights or laser devices to maintain their zero after routine maintenance. The Barrett PDW piston system eliminates issues experienced by ultra-short rifles, increasing reliability with or without a suppressor. Designed for suppressed operations, the PDW has a two-position (suppressed/unsuppressed) nitride finished gas plug, which is easily manipulated with gloves. The REC7 PDW’s upper supports a free-floated, hammerforged, chrome-lined barrel that is proofed and magnetic particle tested for quality assurance. Barrett is a family-owned and operated company specializing in high performance rifle systems and accessories. Barrett manufactures rifles, ammunition and optic accessories in addition to training for civilian sport shooters, law enforcement agencies, the US military and over 63 foreign allied militaries worldwide.
Winchester Archery Line Introduced In 2011, Winchester® Archery introduces its new product line of compound bows and crossbows. The compound bows will feature patent pending eccentric technology and ultra quiet and vibration free shooting. The crossbows will feature new trigger, optics and cam technology. Winchester Archery will introduce the following bows: • Quicksilver 31 (compound) • Quicksilver 34 (compound) • Vaquero (compound) • Tracker (compound) • Thunderbolt (compound) • Destiny (compound)
• Stallion (crossbow) • Maverick (crossbow) • Mustang (crossbow) Winchester Archery manufactures compound bows and crossbows that bring with them the confidence of more than 100 years of producing some of the world’s finest outdoor hunting and shooting products. Designed and made in the United States, Winchester Archery products represent the finest bowhunting tools available and are covered by a lifetime warranty. “Archery is a sport enjoyed by millions of people,” said Johnny Grace, vice president of sales and marketing for Winchester Archery. “Whether stalking for a majestic elk, hunting from a blind for a longbeard gobbler or patiently waiting on a trophy whitetail from a treestand, bowhunters have two things in common, passion for their sport and the challenge of hunting with a bow.” Winchester Archery products are available through a network of qualified sporting goods retailers. For more information about Winchester Archery products, visit www.winchesterarchery.com.
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Uberti Introduces Matching Two-Gun Sets in Limited Edition ACCOKEEK, MD-For 2011, Uberti is offering the Cattleman in matching, two-gun sets chambered for .357 Magnum. Destined to be a must-have among the cowboy action shooters, Uberti’s matching Cattleman sets will also be treasured by collectors. Matching singleaction army revolvers, often sought-after and rarely found, are now available, new in the box, directly from the Uberti factory. Historically, matching sets of single-action army revolvers were most often presented to high-ranking military and government officials, presidents and other heads of state. The matched sets share the same serial number, but are distinguished from each other by an R or an L preceding the serial number. Uberti is offering the matching Cattleman sets in four different versions, all of which are New Model (NM) steel Cattleman revolvers. Two versions come in standard blued finish with color case hardened frames and a one piece walnut grip-both with a 5 ½ inch barrel. “Holding a pair of Uberti’s matched-set Cattleman revolvers is like holding a pair of Aces,” said Stephen McKelvain, Benelli’s VP of Marketing & Communications. For the latest news and product information visit www.uberti.com
Trijicon®, Inc. Introduces New TrijiDot™ Fiber Optic Shotgun Sight- The Ultimate Hi-Visibility Sight For Any Shotgun Application Wixom, MI – Shotgun shooting isn’t always a pointand-shoot proposition. Many scenarios require a careful sight picture, leaving standard bead sights in the dark! New for 2011, Trijicon, the world leader in Brilliant Aiming Solutions™, is excited to offer its first fiber optic bead sight specifically designed for ribbedbarrel shotguns.
Designed to deliver the ultimate in brightness and durability, the TrijiDot™ Fiber Optic Shotgun Sight features proprietary Trijicon fiber optics that magnify and focus ambient light to provide a brilliant aiming point in a wide range of lighting conditions. The moderate-sized 4mm fiber optic is available in Red or Green and is capped with a protective sapphire lens that helps distribute light and provides protection from damage and solvents. The TrijiDot fiber optic is housed in a protective base that’s constructed of aircraft-grade 6061-T6 aluminum and features a hard anodized black oxide coating to withstand heavy shotgun recoil, intense barrel temperatures, and years of extreme use in the field. Installation is easy, and the sight is mounted using a system of magnets, bead locating pocket, and set screws that provide the most secure and rugged user-attachment method available. The TrijiDot is available in a variety of sizes to fit most popular shotgun models with rib widths between .230” and .400”. Perfectly suited for a wide range of applications, Trijicon’s new TrijiDot provides a bright reference point for upland hunters, waterfowlers, turkey hunters and all clay-target shooting disciplines. The TrijiDot is also the perfect addition to ribbed-barrel shotguns for tactical and home defense applications. For more information on Trijicon’s new TrijiDot Fiber Optic Shotgun Sight, and the complete array of Brilliant Aiming Solutions™ for the hunting, shooting, military and law enforcement markets, contact Trijicon, Inc. ® at (248) 960-7700 or visit www.trijicon. APRIL 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 73
Under Armour Launches New Line of Outdoor Footwear for Hunters Baltimore, MD - The wait is over! Under Armour, Inc., leading developer, marketer, and distributor of branded performance apparel, footwear, and accessories, has unveiled a new line of outdoor footwear for 2011. This new line of highly technical footwear represents the company’s first offerings in the hunting category and will include twelve initial styles. Under Armour will unveil the new footwear in Booth #11044 at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. World known for unmatched quality and innovation, Under Armour has quickly set the benchmark for performance hunting apparel. Now, hunters of all disciplines can experience the Under Armour advantage in a versatile new line of outdoor footwear. Constructed of the finest materials available, this new line of performance footwear will allow hunters to pursue their game in style and comfort. “Our goal was to provide hunters and outdoorsmen with the most technologically advanced product available without sacrificing comfort and protection,” said Kip Fulks, Executive Vice President of Product, Under Armour. “We aligned ourselves with the most trusted names in the industry to provide a superior product worthy of the Under Armour brand.” Outdoor Footwear for 2011 will include: UA SIBERIA, UA RIDGE REAPER, UA SPEED FREEK, UA CALIBER, THE H.A.W., UA BREECH, VALSETZ, UA MIRAGE, UA CHETCO TRAIL, UA CHETCO WOMEN’S TRAIL, UA ANTLER ECLIPSE and UA ANTLER INTENSITY MSRP ranges from $22.99 to $269.99 All products feature a one-year warranty and will be available at retail starting August, 2011. For more information on Under Amour’s new line of 74 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE APRIL 2011
outdoor footwear, and their complete selection of performance apparel, footwear, and accessories, please contact Under Amour® Inc., at (888) 727-6687 or visit www.underarmour.com.
Smith & Wesson® Introduces New Self-Defense Handpgun - the Governor™ SPRINGFIELD, Mass--- Smith & Wesson Corp., the legendary 159-year old company in the global business of safety, security, protection and sport, announced today the introduction of the Governor™ - a new firearm engineered as the ultimate self-defense package. Offering multiple caliber capabilities along with a lightweight scandium alloy frame, the Governor carries forward Smith & Wesson’s rich history of revolver manufacturing and dedication to the personal protection market. Named the Governor for its authoritative appearance and specialized features, this new revolver provides discerning consumers with an essential tool for selfdefense needs. At the core of this revolver is Smith & Wesson’s patented heattreated scandium frame for superior strength and reduced weight. Capable of chambering a mixture of .45 Colt, .45 ACP and .410 gauge 2 ½-inch shotshells, the Governor is suited for both close and distant encounters, allowing users to customize the load to their preference. The shooter’s choice of ammunition is housed in the revolver’s six-shot stainless PVD-coated cylinder, which adds an extra level of protection to this already rugged platform. On top of the revolver’s compact 2 ¾-inch barrel, Smith & Wesson has added a dovetailed Tritium front night sight for enhanced accuracy in low-light conditions, while the Governor’s fixed rear sight is aptly suited for this self-defense handgun.
The Governor measures 8 ½ inches in overall length along with a width of 1 ¾ inches. Carry ability of this revolver has been further enhanced with the Governor’s unloaded weight of 29.6 ounces and standard matte black finish designed to reduce unwanted glare while adding an all-business like demeanor to this self-defense handgun. On the lower portion of the frame, the revolver will be packaged with either shock absorbing synthetic grips or with factoryinstalled laser grips from Crimson Trace®. Accurate, rugged and reliable, the Governor is further enhanced by Smith & Wesson’s renowned smooth double-action and crisp single-action trigger pull. The new revolver will also come standard with 2-round and 6-round moon clips. “For 159 years, Smith & Wesson has been at the forefront of revolver manufacturing with its advanced techniques and ground-breaking designs,” said James Debney, President of the Firearms Division for Smith & Wesson. “With the advent of the new Governor, this pioneering mindset continues as does our unyielding commitment to produce and bring to market self-defense orientated products that match the needs of consumers. Along with our broad range of personal protection firearms, the new Governor will take a leadership role that will give consumers a distinct advantage when defending themselves against unwanted dangers.” For more information on Smith & Wesson and its companies, call (800) 331-0852 or log on to www. smith-wesson.com; www.usrgrab.com; or www. tcarms.com.
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Make a Plan
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. 94 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE APRIL 2011
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The useful black plastic bag A truly handy item, the unassuming black bag. The heavy duty type is better. Here are a number of alternative uses. • Backpack: Put two, three or more bags into each other. Place small round pebbles in the two corners and fasten the ends of a rope around the pebbles in the corners, The rope must be long enough to be used as shoulder straps. Make a slip knot in the middle of the rope, push the open side of the rucksack through it and pull tight for a third fasten point. • Sleeping bag: Two bags can serve for an emergency sleeping bag. A bag over your usual sleeping bag helps a lot against cold and rain. Or, put your sleeping bag loosely in a black bag outside in the sun. Keep the bag open so that any moisture can escape.. Your sleeping bag will get nicely warm, ready to crawl in • Hammock: Use four bags or more – depending on your weight – and cut bottom open. Push two strong ropes through and tie onto two trees. Push sticks in between the ropes to spread it out and then slide the bags over each other to form a hammock. • Shelter: Cut a bag open and use it for shelter. You can also spread it over rope or branches • Flotation device: Put two bags into each other, swing it around to get air into it and tie the end tightly shut. It is something that floats to hold onto in deep water • Washing machine: Put your dirty clothes with soap and water in a double or triple layer bag and tie it tight. Let it roll around in the back of the vehicle or let the kids play with it. Soon the clothes will be washed and ready for rinse. • Geyser: Put water in a bag, not more than half full, and tie the opening tight. Leave it in the sun and the water will be warm. You can also hang the bag in a tree, make a hole underneath and you can shower. Use chewing gum to seal the hole between getting yourself soaped and rinsed, • Water Container: Place a plastic bag inside your hat or rucksack to use as water container. • Water collection: Cut a bag open and spread it out to collect dew. Or, if available, spread a transparent bag (black bag does not work) over a non-toxic green, Dr Wallace Vosloo juicy branch or shrub. If it is in the sun the whole day water is an Engineer and vapor will condense within and will flow to the bottom where it Scientist by profescan be collected. sion. His family has lived in Africa since • Raincoat: Cut holes for head and arms. For a poncho, to cover 1696 and he has rucksack and gun, cut a hole for your head and leave the sides a deep love for the open. continent. He is a • Rope: Start at the opening of the bag and cut a long strip, about practical outdoorsman and loves 2 cm wide, in a circle. With this you can braid a strong rope. traditional hunting, axe and knife throw• Preparing Food: A plastic bag can serve as a water, dust and ing, longbow shooting, black powder insect free food container, marinade bowl or plate. You can even rifle- and cannon shooting, salt and fresh boil water in it. 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.
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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.
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Know how to administer 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.
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True North Treating Our Heart for the Treasure It Is
“Above all else, guard your heart.” We usually hear this with a sense of “Keep an eye on that heart of yours,” in the way you’d warn a deputy watching over some dangerous outlaw, or a bad dog the neighbors let run. “Don’t let him out of your sight.” Having so long believed our hearts are evil, we assume the warning is to keep us out of trouble. So we lock up our hearts and throw away the key and then try to get on with our living. But that isn’t the spirit of the command at all. It doesn’t say guard your heart because it’s criminal; it says guard your heart because it is the wellspring of your life, because it is a treasure, because everything else depends on it. How kind of God to give us this warning, like someone’s entrusting to a friend something precious to him, with the words: “Be careful with this-it means a lot to me.” Above all else? Good grief-we don’t even do it once in a while. We might as well leave our life savings on the seat of the car with the windows rolled down-we’re that careless with our hearts. “If not for my careless heart,” sang Roy Orbison, and it might be the anthem for our lives. Things would be different. I would be farther along. My faith would be much deeper. My relationships so much better. My life would be on the path God meant for me . . . if not for my careless heart. We live completely backward. “All else” is above our hearts. I’ll wager that caring for your heart isn’t even a category you think in. “Let’s see-I’ve got to get the kids to soccer, the car needs to be dropped off at the shop, and I need to take a couple of hours for my heart this week.” It probably sounds unbiblical, even after all we’ve covered.
Seriously now-what do you do on a daily basis to care for your heart? Okay, that wasn’t fair. How about weekly? Monthly? (Waking the Dead , 207-8)
My Lord Derby: Hunting Africa’s largest antelope There’s only one First Safari: Hunting Zambia Giant Sable in Angola:4th Trimester Palanca r...