Page 1

Hunting

Blind to

Blood

Can you read a blood spoor?

Botswana with a pocket battleship

Kayak Sailie

Catching sailfish from a kayak

Graduating to Buffalo

Take a Rest

Hunting Africa with your son

Hunting with shooting sticks

Reloading the 303 BRITISH

Blaser

S2 Safari

Keeping the legend alive

Rookie Writers

Revolutionary Double Rifle Design

The Journeyman

Make a Plan

Out of brake or hydraulic fluid www.africanxmag.com


Published by Safari Media Africa Editors

United States of America

Editor: Alan Bunn editorusa@africanxmag.com Associate editor: Galen Geer ggeer@africanxmag.com

Europe

Editor: Hans Jochen Wild editoreurope@africanxmag.com

Africa

Editor: Mitch Mitchell editorafrica@africanxmag.com

Financial Thea Mitchell Layout & Design Xtasis Media and Digital Wind Contributors & Photographers A. Bunn, C. Cheney, D. Edgcumbe, G. Geer, L. Grizzaffi (Reloading), Dr. K. Hugo (Medical) D. Hulme, C. Mitchell, Dr. G. Swart (Medical) 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

Disclaimer While all precautions have been taken to ensure the accuracy of advice and information provided, the Proprietor, Publisher, Editor, or Writers cannot accept responsibility for any damages, inconvenience or injury whatsoever that may result from incorrect information. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher or its agents. African Expedition Magazine assumes no responsibility to return graphics unsolicited editorial, or other material. All rights in unsolicited editorial, letters, emails, graphics and other material will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and material will be subject to African Expedition Magazine’s unrestricted right to edit and editorial comment. All material and/or editorial in African Expedition is the property of African Expedition and/or the various contributors. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the prior written consent of the Publisher.


contents 4 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010


8 Blind to Blood

Can you read a blood spoor?

20 Graduating to Buffalo

Hunting Africa with your son

30 The Blaser S2 Safari

Revolutionary Double Rifle Design

36 Hunting Botswana with a pocket battleship

48 Kayak Sailie

Catching sailfish from a kayak

66 Take a Rest

Hunting with shooting sticks

74 Reloading the 303 BRITISH Keeping the legend alive

79 Rookie Writers The Journeyman

92 News, Reviews, and Press Releases

116 Make a Plan

Out of brake or hydraulic fluid

121 True North

We’ve Bought the Lie


6 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010


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Blind to Blood

Can you read a blood spoor?

8 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010


Cleve Cheney

W

e have the tendency to take things for granted usually for about as long as we have them. It is when we start to lose, or lose completely, what we have that we are brought to the sudden realisation of what we once had which we have no more. Consider hearing as an example. Those of us who love the bush appreciate its unique sounds. The plaintive cry of jackal ushering in the African night, the haunting call of night jars or the hair standing on end effect brought on by the sound of lions roaring close by, elephant trumpeting and leopard sawing. JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 9


To lose one’s ability to hear is a tragic loss for one becomes cut off from so much that makes life worthwhile. And what about going blind – how awful that must be. Our ability to see as with hearing is a very, very precious gift the value of which often only becomes apparent when we lose it partially or completely. Those who are deaf say they would gladly give up their sight to hear and those who are blind are often heard to remark that they would be willing to lose their hearing if they could only see again. The fact of the matter is that to lose any or part of one’s sensory abilities is indeed dreadful. Sometimes loss of hearing or sight is progressive. My hearing is not what it used to be. After all my years of shooting (mostly without hearing protection!). I have lost some hearing – especially in my left ear and I struggle to hear high frequency sounds. As we get older many of us end up having to acquire spectacles to read or to see at a distance as visual acuity begins to wane due to natural aging processes. Sometimes loss of a sensory faculty can be caused by disease or by inheritance. I recently came across an interesting case and realised what effect it could have on ones hunting ability. I had been conducting the tracking module as part of a bow hunting course when I became aware of the problem. One of the exercises given to students is to follow a prepared blood trail for a distance of about 100m. Exercises begin with an easy to follow trail with a lot of bright red blood sign indicating an animal bleeding profusely from an artery and then follow up exercises become progressively more difficult with infrequent and tiny drops of blood sign. Most students follow the first trail with ease and arrive at the finish point within 5-10 minutes. On this particular day I noticed one individual really struggling. 10 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010

After half an hour he had made no progress at all but was ferreting around aimlessly and not making any headway. I joined him and asked if I could help. He replied in the affirmative. I took him over to where the first splash of blood was that was easily visible and pointed it out to him and told him to carry on. A few minutes later he had made little if any progress. Either the individual had no ability to track whatsoever or else there was a problem. I took him to the next blood sign on the trail – once again easily visible and asked him to point it out to me. He could not and then the penny dropped – he was colour blind! This is a genetic visual defect which can manifest itself in the person not being able to see certain colours in the visible light spectrum. The student was red green colour blind. What we could see as a bright red colour against the background of green grass he perceived as grey on grey and it was invisible to him and hence his inability to be able to follow the trail. Now the implications of this to the hunter are obvious. He will not be able to follow the blood trail of a wounded animal and will have to rely on a second person, guide or tracker to assist him. Being red green colour blind will also make it difficult to spot wild animals that have a rufous (reddish) colouration. An impala will stand out starkly against a summer green or winter straw coloured background to someone with normal vision but will be more difficult to spot in a person who has a red green colour blindness defect. Most herbivores are also red / green colour blind. Hunters know how important it is to be able to track a wounded animal from blood sign. We try our best not to wound animals but being fallible human beings we do occasionally “botch a shot” and end up having to try and locate a wounded animal. When an animal runs off after having been shot the hunter will always scout around the spot where the animal was last seen to search for some sign of


Some examples of what blood sign would look like to a red green colour blind person

JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 11


CLICK HERE

12 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010


blood which will confirm that the animal was indeed hit and will then look for the trail of blood sign which in some instances might be quite profuse and in other cases very scant, small and far apart, which will lead him either to within sight of the quarry to allow for a follow up shot or to the downed animal. We should also be able to follow up on wounded animals by observing other sign such as tracks, broken vegetation etc. But the substrate does not always lend itself to this type of tracking and this is where the contrasting colour of red blood against a background makes things a little easier – for those that can see the colour red that is. If you are “blind”

to the colour red, tracking blood sign becomes a virtual impossibility. How do you know if you are red / green colour blind? A Japanese researcher developed what are known as Ishihara charts which help diagnose the defect. The charts to diagnose red / green colour blindness are shown in Figure 4. If you are unfortunate enough to be colour blind to certain wavelengths of the visible light spectrum you will have to rely on someone to assist you when tracking blood sign. The lesson to be learned from this article? Give thanks – every day – for the faculties that you do have.

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. JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 13


Are you color blind? Color vision deficiencies can be classified as acquired or inherited.[3][4] Acquired Inherited: There are three types of inherited or congenital color vision deficiencies: monochromacy, dichromacy, and anomalous trichromacy.[3] Monochromacy, also known as “total color blindness,�[5] is the lack of ability to distinguish colors; caused by cone defect or absence.[6] Monochromacy occurs when two or all three of the cone pigments are missing and color and lightness vision is reduced to one dimension.[5] Rod monochromacy (achromatopsia) is an exceedingly rare, nonprogressive inability to distinguish any colors as a result of absent or nonfunctioning retinal cones. It is associated with light sensitivity (photophobia), involuntary eye oscillations (nystagmus), and poor vision.[6] Cone monochromacy is a rare total color blindness that is accompanied by relatively normal vision, electoretinogram, and electrooculogram.[6] Dichromacy is a moderately severe color vision defect in which one of the three basic color mechanisms is absent or not functioning. It is hereditary and, in the case of Protanopia or Deuteranopia, sex-linked, affecting predominantly males.[6] Dichromacy occurs when one of the cone pigments is missing and color is reduced to two dimensions.[5] Protanopia is a severe type of color vision deficiency caused by the complete absence of red retinal photoreceptors. It is a form of dichromatism in which red appears dark. It is hereditary, sex-linked, and present in 1% of males.[6] Deuteranopia is a color vision deficiency in which the green retinal photoreceptors are absent, moderately affecting red-green hue discrimination. It is a form of dichromatism in which there are only two cone pigments present. It is likewise hereditary and sex-linked. Tritanopia is a very rare color vision disturbance in which there are only two cone pigments present and a total absence of blue retinal receptors.[6] Anomalous trichromacy is a common type of inherited color vision deficiency, occurring when one of the three cone pigments is altered in its spectral sensitivity. This results in an impairment, rather than loss, of trichromacy (normal three-dimensional color vision).[5] Protanomaly is a mild color vision defect in which an altered spectral sensitivity of red retinal receptors (closer to green receptor response) results in poor red-green hue discrimination. It is hereditary, sex-linked, and present in 1% of males.[6] Deuteranomaly, caused by a similar shift in the green retinal receptors, is by far the most common type of color vision deficiency, mildly affecting red-green hue discrimination in 5% of males. It is hereditary and sex-linked.[6] Tritanomaly is a rare, hereditary color vision deficiency affecting blue-yellow hue discrimination. Unlike most other forms, it is not sex-linked.[6]

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14 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010


The colors of the rainbow as viewed by a person with no color vision deficiencies,

The colors of the rainbow as viewed by a person with protanopias, in which the green retinal photoreceptors are absent, moderately affecting red-green hue discrimination. The image to the left contains the number 37, but someone who is protanopic may not be able to see it.

The colors of the rainbow as viewed by a person with deuteranopia. which there are only two cone pigments present and a total absence of blue retinal receptors. The image to the left shows a number 49, but someone who is deuteranopic may not be able to see it.

The colors of the rainbow as viewed by a person with tritanopia where of the three cone pigments is altered in its spectral sensitivity. The image to the left shows the number 56, but someone who is tritanopic may not be able to see it.

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CLICK HERE JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 17


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Graduating to

Buffalo Hunting Africa with your son

20 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010


Lt. Col. Patrick Munn, U.S. Army, Retired

W

hen my son Michael was in high school he went on safari to South Africa with me. He wanted to return and I told him if he did well in college, a Cape buffalo hunt would be his graduation present. He complied, and then was accepted to law school. So, the summer after graduation found us in Zimbabwe, with Professional Hunter Graham Chatham. We were eight days into a ten-day hunt and Michael had shot a sable, but no buffalo, so we returned to camp early that day to rest and regroup. As we approached camp I spotted two black specks across the grassy plain, but they barely registered with me—probably just wildebeests—and I looked away, toward camp and a soft bed. Michael slowly climbed down from the Land Cruiser’s raised observation seat. “You doing OK?” I asked. “Sure,” he said, “But should we have come in so early? We haven’t seen a decent buffalo since the first day.” “It won’t hurt to take a little break and rest up,” I said. “Let’s have some dinner and turn in early.” I hoped another day without success hadn’t discouraged my son. On our first day a cheeky but immature bull charged the Land Cruiser. A great start—followed by many days of pursuing herds only to find no shootable bulls, and then all buffalo seemingly disappeared overnight. JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 21


We’d seen lion tracks within a mile of camp. Graham said the tracks belonged to a big male. Michael wondered if we should have included lion on the license, but I told him we needed a buffalo before discussing the high cost of lions. Our lion track discovery brought us to the eighth day, another of searching without success. I had just laid the Steyr 458 Winchester Magnum on the spare bed when Michael burst in, followed by tracker Albert. Kuntu , our other tracker, had remained with the Land Cruiser to help unload. Michael wore his brush-proof pants but was bareheaded and had traded his hunting shirt for a college T-shirt, his boots for a pair of soft elk-hide camp moccasins. “Quick, give me the 458! Kuntu saw two buffalo by the waterhole, and Graham wants to go after them.” I handed over the 458 and mentally kicked myself— the two black specks I had seen when we drove into camp were the buffalo Michael was on the run to overtake.

22 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010

“Are you coming?” he asked as he headed out the door. I pulled on my clothes but by the time I made it out the door Michael was nowhere in sight. A couple of hunters and their PHs were already firmly ensconced around the fire ring, nursing their first sundowners. One, a doctor from New Jersey, looked up as I approached. “I saw your son and Graham and the trackers tearing out of here. What’s going on?” he asked. “Buffalo,” I answered. “They’re going to try to get close enough before it gets too dark.” George Parkin and fellow PH Monty Wilkinson approached, libations in hand. “Not to worry,” Monty said. “Graham’ll put him on that buff if it’s a good one.” “Right,” agreed George. “They’ll sort it out in short order. Probably be back before dinner.” Moments later—Ca-ra-wong! —a gunshot rang out, closer than I’d expected.


“Sounds like your boy got his buffalo,” the New Jersey doctor said. “Hope it’s a good one.” Out of the stillness that pervades African twilight, there was another Ca-ra-wong! and almost immediately, a third. “Well, that ought to do it, I expect,” George Parkin offered, and we heard the familiar eerie death rattle that marks a Cape buffalo’s final moment. Then all was quiet. George was spurred to action. “I say, shall I run you up there in my ‘Cruiser? You’ll want photographs, won’t you?” We traveled the well-worn trail out of camp and stopped just around the first bend when we saw headlights bouncing in the off-road growth. It was Kuntu, working Graham’s vehicle into the bush, while Albert chopped small trees ahead of the hunting car. We walked ahead and soon came upon Graham and Michael, standing over a very dead Cape buffalo. “Quite a fine buffalo your son’s killed,” Graham

said. “He’ll go thirty-eight or thirty-nine, I should think. Has a good drop and I think Michael is happy”. I looked over at my son, who was kneeling beside the buffalo, examining its boss. “So, is that true— you’re happy with your buffalo?” “Absolutely.” I turned back to Graham. “What happened?” “We followed the road to the point the two buffalo crossed, then pursued them on foot. They doubled back, we got within about thirty yards, and the better of the two turned—he was about to charge. Michael dropped the buff with one shot. A nice piece of shooting, by the way.” I surveyed the scene. “You know, I outfitted you in the best safari gear I could afford, including madeto-order boots. You walked for days, and now you shoot a perfectly fine buffalo five hundred yards from camp in a T-shirt and a pair of bedroom slippers.”

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“Give me a break and just take some pictures, will you?” Michael replied. I decided I had teased him enough. Two days later we left for that incredibly long trip back home. During the flight I pulled the stereo headphones off Michael and asked him how he felt about his accomplishments. “You’ve graduated from college to law school, and from plains game to buffalo,” I sagely observed. “Will that hold you for a while?” “Maybe,” he said. “But I still want some other plains game. And then, there were those lion tracks . . . .” “You didn’t spend all your money on this trip, did you?” I settled back in my seat and made a mental note: Push retirement back another five years.

JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 25


Help us stop those poaching bastards. Donate quickly and securely with PayPal

The BorderLine Walk is in support of antipoaching efforts for Black Rhino in the Savè 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 poacher’s snare. This baby died a few days after this photograph was taken. 26 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010


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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.’

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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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Jimmy and Whittall Jimmy onAnne the day I found him 28 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010


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The Blaser S2

30 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010


2 Safari

Revolutionary Double Rifle Design My first impression of the S2: that rifle fits me very well! To test this I usually close my eyes and then point the rifle at some target. If I then open the eyes and the sights are properly aligned at the target, I know the gun fits me. The gun is big and heavy but well balanced with the weight right between the hands. The S2 comes up to shoulder like a dream – an impression everybody I had I let handle the rifle. And the weight helps to reduce the recoil, of course. Being heavy it also provides a very stable shooting platform if you shoot it offhand. My S2 has a very nice crisp trigger pull adjusted to about 3 pounds (front trigger) respectively 4 pounds (rear trigger). The S2 Safari allows the usual Blaser scope mount. And since I own a lot of scopes with Blaser mounts this means that theoretically I could use any of those for the double. Practical considerations, however, limits this to my Leopold’s 1.5 – 5 x 20 because only they have a long enough eye relief. The open sights are excellent. They are the best I have ever seen on a big game rifle. Since buying the gun I’ve shot several hundred rounds with the .470 NE. The gun doubled not once and there were no other problems whatsoever.

Basic facts: ●● available in calibres .375 H&H, .500/.416 NE, .470 NE, 500 NE ●● weight (my .470 NE) 5.3 kg (= 11.7 pounds) ●● barrel length 62 cm (24.4 inches) ●● overall length 105 cm (41.3 inches) ●● price here in Germany for my “deluxe” model is 6656 €, standard model: 6072 € (published by Fankonia and Triebel, July 2010) ●● straight British type stock ●● Blaser kickstop. That is a kind of pipe filled with tungsten granuJULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 31


late imbedded in the stock that counteracts recoil) ●● Gun has no ejectors.

Free Floating Barrels. The barrels of the Blaser S2 are kept like insert barrels in two outer barrels. These outer barrels are held at the muzzle by a kind of double interconnected “O” – rings a feature that gives the double rifle a somewhat unusual look. The inner barrels are free floating and can expand independently from each other. This means that if the rifle heats up from shooting the barrels are not bending sideways as they do in a conventional DR. Sighting in a conventional DR can be very annoying and

license fees because Jäger certainly took out a patent on his invention. In 1986 Blaser revived the tilting block lock, using it in their famous K77 UL (“Ultralight”) break open single shot rifle. From then on it has been a design feature of Blaser rifles, single shot, combination, drillings and doubles. As mentioned before it is one of the strongest DR locks. The .470 NE develops a maximum pressure of 2700 bar (ca. 39200 psi). Lutz Moeller reports on his website that Scheiring from Ferlach built a break open single shot tilting block rifle in cal. .300” Pegasus. Due to a loading error this rifle was fired with a .300 Pegasus cartridge that developed ca 6000 bar (87,000 psi). Result was quite a loud boom, but the rifle survived this without any problems. You might therefore assume that with the Blaser S2 there should be no problems with “hot” loads. But even in a rifle with a tilting block lock, you would be well advised NOT to use overloads! Aside from the fact that any load going beyond max pressure is unsafe, you might get extraction problems. Even should the lock of your DR take the overpressure, your cartridge cases might stick to the chamber. This would slow down reloading and that could be fatal during a big game hunt.

time consuming process. You have to wait until the barrels have cooled enough to continue shooting. With the S2 you can just go on shooting and it doesn’t matter in which sequence you shoot the barrels. Due to the free floating barrels concept you do not have to observe any specific time interval between the shooting of the two barrels. It is also irrelevant whether you shoot the right or the left barrel first.

Blaser’s S2 has no ejectors In my eyes this is no shortcoming. Please read Taylor’s or Boddingtons comments on this topic. I tend to agree to their opinion that you don’t need ejectors.

Tilting block lock The tilting block locking system was invented in the early years of the last century by Jäger, a gun maker working in the famous gun making town of Suhl. It is immensely strong and locks directly into the barrel(s). During the years it was used on and off by several German and Austrian gun makers. British gun makers never copied it, I don’t know why. Perhaps it was the “NIH” (Not Invented Here) syndrome. It might also have been a question of 32 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010

Keeping the pressure within the barrel/ tilting block is one of the main advantages of this locking system compared with any other DR lock. Conventional DR’s are kept close by the under barrel lugs. There is usually an additional device to resist the barrels tendency to pull away from the standing breech when firing. This could be a “dolls head” or a “Greener” cross bolt passing traversally behind the standing breech and through a matching hole in the rib extension. This conventional kind of design is much more pressure sensitive. Each firing of the rifle pushes the barrels away form the breeches face. Therefore there is an inherent tendency of conventional DR’s to “shoot loose” and to “come off the face” of the breech - depending of the quality of steels used, the quality of workmanship and the frequency of use, of course. With the Blaser tilting block design the forces of the pressure is kept within the barrel/tilting block system. There is only the force of the recoil and it pushes the barrels plus tilting block against the standing breech not away from it. To further explain the implications of the tilting block lock: you could take the barrels out off the rifle, put cartridges into the barrels, fit the tilting block onto the barrels. Now, holding the barrel plus tilting block in your hand - you could hit the firing pins with a hammer and fire the cartridges. That is certainly not something I would ad-


vise you to do because the recoil would certainly rip the barrels violently out off your hand! I mention this only to explain that even under this condition the cartridges explosion would be contained within the barrel - tilting block system. The tilting block would not be ripped out off the barrel just because the action is not closed.

Reloading a double rifle goes in two steps. Step one is getting rid of the empty cases. This is easy if you have an ejector rifle. Opening the rifle the ejector catapults them out off the rifle. The Blaser is a non ejector. You don’t have to pick the empties out - just lift the barrels after opening about 45 degrees and the cases will drop out of the barrel.

I am often asked: “Does the barrel overhang hinder a fast reloading?” My experience is: no, absolutely not! Funny thing is: when I was using double rifles of conventional design nobody ever inquired whether the dolls head or the rib extensions of a Greener lock hindered reloading!

Step two is inserting new cartridges. Do not carry your cartridges in your pockets or in a cartridge holder that is closed with a flap. This slows down the reloading process considerably. Instead carry them in a cartridge belt or a cartridge holder in your front where you can easily grip two cartridges side by side ready to insert them into the rifle.

Reloading Double Rifles

The magic recipe here is to experiment with cartridge holders or cartridge belts to find the one that fits you best. The other “secret” is training. If you fire your double only a few times each year do not expect to be a fast reloader. To build up your reloading speed you have to repeat the act using dummy cartridges until a muscle memory develops that allows you to do it automatically.

This is a good opportunity to talk about reloading double rifles. Sometime ago I saw a video issued from a German hunting magazines. The topic was “Big Game Hunting”. It showed a sequence where a hunter shot an elephant. With his first shot he tried a brain shot. That, however, had not the intended effect. The elephant turned and ran away. He was then able to anchor the elephant with his second shot, a hipshot. Now he had to reload, because the elephant was not down yet. He opened his double rifle (a non ejector) picked the empty cases out one after the other and then started to scrabble around in the pocket of his hunting jacket for new cartridges. After sometime time he was able to locate them and to inserted them into his rifle. This reloading sequence is interesting because the hunter did almost everything wrong. He was lucky that the elephant did not turn around and attacked him.

The Blaser’s S2 manual cocking system Both barrels are cocked by pushing the cocking device forward that sits on the top of the receiver. This means that you can safely carry the DR uncocked with cartridges in both barrels. If the rifle is opened, both locks are automatically uncocked. This is a very useful feature because this way you are always positive about the state of the rifle. Load the gun and close it and it is NOT cocked and on safe. By the way: JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 33


cocking the action is completely noiseless.

“Black velvet” barrel finish. The S2 shares this feature with other Blaser guns. This finish is very corrosion resistant. I have used Blaser guns since about 15 years. Here in Germany I hunt in all kind of adverse weather. Many times I go out in rain or snow. Coming back home from a hunt late in the night usually I just put the gun away. Next morning I wipe down barrel and lock and apply some gun oil. I have to confess that due to business pressures I sometimes forgot to do this. But even with this somewhat negligent way to take care of my guns I never had the least bit of rust on any of my Blasers. The black velvet finish also has the advantage of not being light reflecting. That is an important feature for any African hunt. One of the most stupid Big Game rifle designs I ever saw was a gun that came with a highly polished stainless steel barrel and action. This may look very pleasing to the eye, but using such a gun in the bush is like carrying a lighted signal wand around, advertising your presence to the game.

How does the Blaser Safari DR shoot? When I started testing the S2 the immediate result was that the two barrels didn’t group together, but each barrel for itself produced very thigh groups. I was told that it would not be possible for my local gunsmith to regulate the gun and that it had to go back to the Blaser factory at Isny. There it was regulated for Wolfgang Rommey ammunition with 500 grains Woodleigh soft nose bullets. The regulating was done by exchanging the double “O” – rings which keep the barrels together in such a way that a thigh group was achieved. After regulating the rifle Blaser sent it back to me. It came with a test fire report (please see below) The size of the test-group is 1.2 inches – at 100 m (109 yards) – that is almost minute of an angle precision! Boddington in his book Safari Rifles I (1990) 34 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010

mentions on page 167 that two shots with a DR into two inches are “exceptional” and four inches are “acceptable accuracy”. Compared to this the Blasers regulation is sensational. However I decided to even improve on this result! My objective was to develop my own ammunition and to find an optimal load. Starting point were loading data published by DEVA (“Deutsche Versuchsund Prüf-Anstalt für Jagd- und Sportwaffen” = the German test-center for sport- and hunting guns). They published the following load: Woodleigh 500 grains SN bullets with 113.0 grains of N 160 (Vithavuori) powder with a muzzle velocity of 2238 fps. The advice of Graeme Wright from his book “Shooting the British Double Rifle” turned out to be very helpful. Graeme Wright points out that the center of gravity of a double rifle is lower than the barrels. “Hence … the effect is that each individual barrel will move away from the other barrel and upwards. The right barrel moves upward and to the right and vice versa. When a cartridge is fired the bullet starts to move in the barrel and at the same time the barrel starts to move in recoil” (Graeme Wright, page 80) “For the hand loader this knowledge can be used to adjust the ammunition for a particular rifle … if a bullet is going too slow (right barrel) it will stay in the barrel too long and receive too much upwards and right movement and therefore should land high and right to the aiming mark.” Conversely if the bullet goes to fast it will not stay long enough in the barrel and will impact below and to the left of the aiming mark. So by changing the amount of powder it is possible to change the point where the bullet lands on the target: if you increase the velocity the impact points of the barrels move together. If you go on increasing the velocity the barrels “cross


each other” i.e. the left barrel hits to the right of the right barrel. Graeme Wright warns that this process may not always work as described but with my Bla-

of the professional hand loaders could help you. With such precision there should be no problem to use the S2 on plainsgame on distances up to 150 yards. So it seems that Blaser is quite right when claiming on their website that S2 can be used on a “single rifle safari”. In other words when you are hunting with the S2 for big game you don’t have to take a second plainsgame rifle along. (However I do admit that using a .470 NE on a klipspringer might be a little extreme…) The above mentioned optimal load is not too hot: the spent cartridge cases just fall out off the barrel. When I increased to loads to DEVA published maximum of 113.0 grains N 160 the cases were extracted but did not always easily fall out of the barrels chambers.

The barrels crossing over

ser S2 double rifle it worked beautifully (see below) For my test loads I used Vithavuori N 160 powder, Federal 215 primers and Woodleigh 500 grains roundnose bullets. Distance was 100 meters (109 yards). Scope was a Leupold Vari XIII (1.5 – 5 x 20) set at five times magnification. I started with a load of 112.0 grains N 160. With this load the right barrel produced a tight group to the right of where the left barrels shot. Diameter of both groups taken together was 5 inches. My next load was 112.2 grains of N 160. Now the left barrel printed to the right of the right barrel. In other words the barrels “crossed over”. According to Graeme Wright the ammunition was to fast. So I reduced the load to 112.1 grains – and bingo, both barrel shot perfectly together. (See picture). (Scale on the left side is in centimetre, 1 cm = .39 inches) L1 and R1 are the results of the first two shots from the left and right barrel, L2 and R2 are third and fourth shot immediately after L1 and R1. One week later I tried this load again; and the results were sensational! However, one word of caution: since double rifles can act very temperamentally we have to assume that other S2 with this load may not shoot equally well. If you would use a scope that is not so heavy like the Leupold or heaver than it, the S2 might react differently. So I suspect that each S2 owner has to find an optimal load for himself using the same procedure that I employed. This should be no problem for hand loaders – but if you use factory ammo you have to take what they sell. Perhaps one

One week later I tried this load again; here is the result:

The final step. The final step of a “Dangerous Game Rifle” test is to take the gun to Africa and try it out on big game. But this is another story – to be told in future.

The intrepid Hans J. Wild is 74 years old and has been involved in the IT industry for 40 years. He is a veteran safari hunter and has been on 12 African safaris so far including safaris to Zimbabwe and Namibia. He plans to continue his safari career this year…

JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 35


Hunting Botswana

Hunting

Botswana with a pocket battleship

36 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010


Russell Wilkin

I

guess this story starts when Holland & Holland kindly reminded me that I was approaching 65; I had clocked up 45 years of service and they wished to thank me in some way. I was asked if I had any thoughts on the matter. Frankly, I did not but I thanked Daryl Greatrex (my MD) and promised to let him know. However, I soon realised what I would treasure most would be a special memory rather than a keepsake, but of course maintaining a direct link with H&H. Since my first air rifle, I have favoured hunting with a rifle, most memorably in Tanzania, which had left me longing to hunt in Africa again. I had done so in the hope of taking a Cape buffalo and was lucky enough to do so. This left me pondering that if I was to return to Africa for something extra-special then what would I be looking for? To my mind, hunting in Africa is synonymous with big game, offering excitement and notionally some risk to the hunter. JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 37


However, having a fine 43” buff rather narrowed the field until I came to the obvious: an elephant hunt would surely do the job. Once this seed had been sown I needed to check with H&H: no problem. The choice and type of rifle was easy. I have been involved in the making Holland’s double rifles since the late 1960’s and used a 500/465 ‘Royal’ in Tanzania. This time I moved up a notch to use a demo model of a new ‘Round Action’ double in .500/3” Nitro Express. A veritable pocket battleship of a rifle, and what better example of first-hand product testing! Next where to hunt and with whom? For many years H&H have been attending the annual Safari Club International conventions in either Reno or Las Vegas. Although these venues sound incongruous, be assured that these shows have to seen to be believed with hunting professionals and their many clients travelling from all over the world to book hunts with the gunmakers hoping to supply some of the hardware. Some years ago Hollands opened a sporting agency and quickly established a most successful relationship with Peter Holbrow, who was organising and guiding predominantly elephant hunts in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. This was a very fruitful association with Peter joining us on our booth at SCI. The idea of hunting for elephant with Peter sounded marvellous. However such hunting is very special and restricted. Just as Hollands offer the very finest in guns, so elephant hunting in Botswana also represents about the best there is. Naturally, and just like Hollands guns, exclusivity and quality come at hefty cost. To be honest my wishes were more than a little unrealistic. However situations change. Firstly, the sharp downturn in international business and travel, and then the unexpected closure of all hunting in the Delta, had left Peter with a changed situation. Perhaps there 38 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010

was a way we might hunt together. Never one to vacillate, Peter struck out and took a lease on two huge areas in the northeast of Botswana bordering the Chobe National Park. Peter was back in business and with his generosity, me smashing my piggy bank, plus H&H’s kind contribution, the trip was on. We would have eight days hunting elephant, meaning we could undertake a thorough search before making any decisions and squeezing any triggers. As is now the case, everywhere travelling with firearms and ammunition involves volumes of paperwork and a determination not to balk at the many obstacles. Although airline staff usually wishes to be helpful, they too are tied and frustrated by the layers of bureaucracy. To make matters worse, the airport authorities have now ganged together, levying the shooter with special firearm handling charges at every stage of the journey. I had four such stages. My trip with British Airways would be from London/ Heath Row to Johannesburg and then onto Kasane; returning ex Kasane via Jo’burg to L/HR. This rolled up neatly to £100 for so-called special security handling. What can you do? Botswana even charges import tax on the commercial value of the ammunition you take in with you. My request for a refund 10-days later for the unused balance of the twenty rounds I arrived with was a big mistake, as it only served to cause the Kasane ‘rebate system’–surely a joke–to crash without hope of a fix, until I was forced to run empty-handed for my flight! Looking back, I am glad I took advice and engaged an agent to clear the rifle at Jo’burg, as there are anxious moments before finding your guns in the special firearms custom post, tucked away in a corner of the terminal building and which cannot be reached until clearing immigration and regular customs. These are an


anxious moments!

and failure. More on this later.

Peter met me at Kasane with all the necessary documents and licences needed to clear the various local hurdles. However, all the botheration was soon forgotten as we motored off to his camp. The first order of business, a tour around the spacious and purposeful camp and introductions to Peter’s marvellous and welcoming staff, to be followed by a truly excellent dinner and an early night in readiness for the days to come. Throughout my stay all the staff helped to increase the enjoyment of my stay with Peter’s colourful Rastafarian chef excelling himself.

Often extending beyond the horizons, we searched and explored the vast area for four or five days until we began to find a pattern of elephant movement. Whilst we were doing so, I was amazed by the profusion of species that we encountered. I had assumed that the uninspiring bush offered limited habitat… wrong! In addition to his elephant quota Peter can offer much, much more. It is important to mention that Chobe had experienced exceptional late rains that meant many pans were still ‘wet’, and crucially that the trees and shrub were also still in leaf, ensuring that the elephants remained well spread out and not easy to locate. Much of the vast hunting area had once been forests of teak that had been cleared of all but a few large trees many years ago. The forests are regenerating in a random manner, with literally millions of shrubs and saplings extending for miles in all directions. The elephants graze on this young growth with sufficient frequency to cause its re-growth to resemble coppice of about 15 feet in height with the lower leaves and branches reaching down to knee level. This meant that you could neither see over, nor peer under them.

My daily routine would be wake-ups at 06:00, breakfast of choice at 06:30–I soon copied Peter’s choice of porridge–and out of camp by 07:00 prompt with the morning sky still pink. (First light revealed that a lioness had walked past my tent during the night… moral being; keep it zipped up.) In fact, most nights the hyenas made quite a racket wailing and whooping, no doubt drawn to the camp by the ripe smells emanating from the skinning sheds. One night some kudu disturbed the night, as they sought protection from hyenas, only to be chased out at dawn by wild dogs. Africa is very harsh. Each day seemed to pass quickly, but with ample time to discuss everything relating to elephants, how they survive, and of course, how best to hunt them. Peter provided some very useful articles for me to digest illustrating the physiology of an elephant and what must be done to ensure a 100% successful outcome. I dutifully re-read them every day, and Peter added much of his 30-years of experience to help me achieve the desired outcome. It is worth emphasising that things can go awry suddenly when stalking up very close to these huge beasts, therefore having a prepared drill of ‘what to do next’ may prove to be the telling factor between success

The food consumption of elephants is huge requiring them to feed some18-hours a day, however I was not aware that they must also drink with near equal frequency, commonly travelling long distances to find water and then retracing their steps in an almost daily pattern. From time to time we dragged some branches behind the hunting wagon to clear old spoor marks so that when returning we knew that any new marks were fresh. Occasionally one of our trackers would shin up a tree to spy the land, but mostly it was down to hours of searching for spoor in the sand, making an educated guess on their freshJULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 39


40 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010


ness (very clever), determining the direction of the wind, and then to start walking. Commonly, the spoor faded as elephants often keep moving whilst grazing, but managing a faster pace than you can keep up with. Likewise the copious quantities of dung, sometimes huge in diameter, fuels expectations, only to become less interesting as the flies colonise it as it cools and dries. But, it’s not always disappointment for as the sun gets hotter the elephants eventually begin to slow and seek deeper shade. I guess over the first six days we made several close-in stalks to 20 yards and less. This is when the fun really starts. Needless to say, the very first time you start to get close to hopefully unaware elephants, your own senses become enhanced– a reaction that must be primeval. The closer you approach the elephants the more exiting it becomes, much heightened by the sounds of breaking branches, their deep stomach rumbles, and the whoosh of exhalation as

they fling sand across their backs. However, getting close does not always mean a clearer view, as the biggest surprise is that the nearer you are in heavy cover, the more their features merge into a huge and amorphous mass with often only the flapping of the ears indicating which end is the head. The brilliant sunlight streams through the leaves and branches to produce amazingly effective camouflage, and pools of near black shade under the larger trees. (See the photos). The dense vegetation continued to be a considerable hindrance but conversely it was also very helpful when needing to conceal our advance. However, the noncontact stalks we made taught me lots… Male elephants are usually found in small groups often a little separated and out of sight of each other but remaining alert, meaning that in time you will be discovered. On one such occasion, we experienced a spectacular threat by a big bull, his trunk fully raised, shaking JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 41


his head, and flapping his ears, and taking a token few steps towards us. At Peter’s command we held our ground–although admittedly with rifles at the ready. The bull stopped, appearing to take stock of the situation he might be getting into, and then spun round and stampeded off with his mates. (Peter had rejected the tusks). It’s so difficult to convey just how big the older bulls are when you’re close and on foot. When stalking, our party always numbered six. Firstly, Peter’s tracker and his number two, then Peter and myself–the only ones with rifles–followed at the rear by a Wildlife Service Game Scout, and lastly a representative of the local Community Trust. The observers are charged with ensuring that everybody keeps to the rules. A day or so after the mock charge, we encountered yet another typical all-bull group at close quarters, which resulted in a more scary threat when we were spotted by an immature– but big enough–bull which advanced towards us quite rapidly, forcing us to back-off sharply with rifles ready and sending our wildlife scout running off. Whilst all this was going on, I noted the grin on Pe42 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010

ter’s face indicating that after 30-years in the bush he still enjoys every moment of close contact with these magnificent creatures. However, the majority of the fully grown bulls that we spied or stalked proved to have only one tusk, or one tusk good but with the other broken, or simply ‘not worth taking’. Although we were not after the ultimate trophy, nice tusks were on the wish-list. No problem; we had ‘plenty of time’. However, being selective meant still clean barrels after six of the eight hunting days, suggesting that perhaps it might be prudent to be less selective on day seven. Elephants have a very acute sense of smell on which they rely heavily. If one of a group gets even a slight whiff of you, most likely it will raise its trunk to confirm that something is amiss and then flee, causing the rest of the group to follow in considerable haste. Their sense of hearing, when they pause and stop crunching up branches, seems normal but their eyesight is evidently less so. Therefore our tracker, who is either smoking or using a fine-dust puffer, checks our ‘wind’ every few yards and moves forward cau-


tiously. The gentle breeze seems to swirl unpredictably as the temperature climbs and the elephants seek deeper shade. (See the shadows falling on me whilst sitting on and holding his tail.) When creeping up close, your responsibility is to follow your PH and tread with great care so as not to snap the tinder dry twigs and leaf-litter. This is not easy. From time to time an elephant may stop feeding, as if to take a careful look around itself. Suddenly all goes very quiet often revealing the presence of others in the vicinity. At this point the only thing to do is stand motionless, but if the elephants eventually resume feeding, all is well. It’s very exciting. Mindful of only two days left, we were off and out of camp for day seven at 06:30 with the sky still barely light, and with my breath steaming in the surprisingly cold air. As if predestined, the first spoor we spotted crossing a clear sandy area looked very new, definitely all males with at least one being a good size. Our tracker went forward into the undergrowth

re-emerging quickly with good news. He had found fresh dung and several green leaves on the ground with one leaf fragment still wet with saliva: elephants commonly spill a few leaves as they browse. Off with the warm fleece, on with the cartridge belt, don’t forget bino’s (an essential aid for peering through the shadows), camera, hat, get ready (i.e. take a pee), rifle out of its sleeve, load up and go. This time a relatively short stalk got us in on three bulls. As usual, one was immature, one average, the third very large. The big bull eventually showing us his two chunky and decently matched tusks. The decision was soon made: this was to be it. As on previous occasions the cover was very dense ‘coppice’ that forced us to close to about 15 yards for a careful look, but he was not presenting a side brain shot as he was slightly in front of us and slowly feeding and circling to his right. We followed, keeping station with his left hip as best we could, until we were eventually forced to stop when our wind must have shifted and alerted

JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 43


the young bull which raised its trunk for a better sniff. We stood stock still for what seemed minutes until the young bull relaxed… However at this moment our big bull suddenly swivelled nearly180°, firstly to face us, and then began to move towards us, but with a clear view of his forehead obscured by brush and vegetation. This was not what we had planned. He was now a towering dark mass. I caught a glimpse of an eye, took aim and fired through the brush at less than 15-yards. On the booming report of the 500, the bull reared but did not collapse, instead spinning away to start a headlong run in pursuit of the other two bulls. Just as instructed by Peter ‘in case of’’, I rapidly touched off the second barrel aiming behind his ribs, angling the large bullet forward, seeking to penetrate the heart, lungs and arteries. The three bulls disappeared rapidly in a cloud of dust with the sound of their escape fading rapidly. Peter, who had been a few paces to my right when we were all forced to freeze, had put in a couple of .470s with his lovely Westley double immediately after I fired my second barrel–the first a solid hit, the second not known. Our trackers picked up blood spots within a few metres that rapidly increased to a copious quantity–only to appear to stop suddenly. OK, relax a little, it had only changed direction. A few yards on and our tracker crouched and pointed through the undergrowth to a very large indistinct shape on the sand. He was down and motionless. We approached carefully, but it soon became evident that he was stone dead. Not quite a classic kill, but all was well in the end. As they say ‘he’s in the salt’. If ever there was doubt about the efficacy of a big double rifle, this was surely the perfect answer and a vivid example of what they can do in a pressured 44 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010

situation. The crashing run that we had heard fading into the distance had obviously been the other two bulls. My first shot had been misdirected to the left–I thought he was slightly angled to my right: he was not–and I was also too high. At such close range I should have aimed below the line of the eyes as the brain is way back and quite low in the massive head. The bullet had smashed straight through the top of his skull–no wonder it reared up as if to collapse backwards. As to my second shot I have seen many beasts sprint off in a death rush with their hearts completely destroyed and then suddenly collapse stone dead. My bull had done similar. The slaps on my back, the handshakes, and the congratulations all went a little unappreciated as I was somewhat dazed with what had happened in the last few minutes. Lucky for us, the bull had fallen in a relatively clear area, reducing the work to clear a large working area, for the carcass would be butchered for its meat where it lay as tons of elephant cannot be moved easily. It was interesting to note the care the guys took when chopping down saplings so as not to leave dangerous spear-tips just waiting to be trodden on. As luck would have it, we were still within a few miles of our camp and only an hour or two from the village that was next up on the meat distribution roster. Three hours later, we had Peter’s camp skinners plus a tractor and trailer full of helping hands. During the wait, we started taking photographs whilst already under the watchful eyes of the first ambulance-chasing vultures. Meanwhile Peter and the two ‘monitors’ began filling in forms, entering the date, the time and GPS co-ordinates, the shooter, the rifle, the shots fired, the hunting licence reference, and much more. All these details would establish my title to the trophies so that they could be legitimised and shipped


home at a later date. It is essential that the bona fide of the ivory is established for the grant and issue of a CITES permit, and also to satisfy the various veterinary services in Botswana, South Africa, and the UK that the trophies have been dipped and examined in accordance with various health protocols. Having selected the pieces I wished to keep, it was Peter’s skinners who were the first to start and to secure the trophies. Naturally I chose the tusks, both with damaged tips but thick–typical of the area–and probably quite heavy, then the tail and one lower foreleg would suffice, removing the latter requiring many blows with a heavy axe. The bull was huge and in no need of trick photography to enhance his bulk. His well-worn molar teeth, the battered tail, and wear to the soles of his feet indicated he was getting on in years. The huge muscular trunk, requiring at least two men to lift it, was quickly removed and the skinning commenced. There is nothing romantic about this process with the most effective tools being box-cutters, which penetrated the hide and fatty tissue to enable the first giant skin flaps to be grasped and teased away from the flesh below. Working in three-man teams on different areas of the

carcass, favoured joints, or simply 15-20kg lumps of meat, were detached and loaded in the trailer. The work was kept up until one side of the carcass was picked clean, requiring the tractor and chains to roll it over for the process to be repeated on the other side. Meanwhile the vultures, now in their dozens, gathered and wheeled high above. The head was skinned and detached and taken to our camp to be buried in an earth pit leaving only the tusks protruding. Decomposition only takes a few days in the heat, allowing the tusks to come free from the skull avoiding possible damage by attempting to chop them free. To satisfy my curiosity I requested the heart be removed. It was truly colossal, all solid muscle, and roughly the size of a man’s torso. The arteries are significantly larger than a hose on a petrol pump and the whole thing is heavy enough to make it quite difficult to lift. Other than the feet and lower legs, which are all bone and ligaments, there only remained the ribcage and abdomen which being full of chewed up wood was left for nature’s clean-up squad to take over. Some of the choicer cuts went back to our camp, with the large trailer full of what is very lean

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meat being taken away and distributed to the local villagers. Most of the meat is sliced into long strips, heavily seasoned and made into biltong for future use. Still the vultures kept coming: they would wait... Later that evening and in the days that followed, I went over the crucial last minutes before taking the first shot. Peter had, of course, been absolutely correct in planning for a side-on shot where the distinct features of the eye, the ear-hole and the cheekbone serve as constant reference points that do not change regardless of how the elephant happens to be carrying its head. Obviously, the point of aim for a frontal shot needs to be dead centre, but the angle upwards varies considerably with the attitude of the head, particularly when so close. I was sure that the elephant had sensed our presence after it turned towards us and began advancing. Peter said afterwards that it probably had not picked us up but would have done so, at most in another step or two. I guess that had I waited just a second or two longer, or perhaps moved a pace to my right to obtain a clearer shot through the twigs and leaves, I may have had a better picture of the entire forehead. I will never know, but next time ...

Russel joined H&H in 1963 as a mature trainee where his maths and physics skills accelerated his progress to managing manufacture and progressing to Director of Gunmaking. He has always been a proud man to state his trade

JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 47


Kayak

Sailie Catching sailfish from a kayak

48 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010


Brian Jacob

I

t was the perfect place: Ponta Malongane Mozambique, a spectacular sunset and great live African music - and the story of a once-in-a-lifetime fish. Piet Botha (son of Pik) and his band “Jack Hammer”, started playing their relaxed African music at sunset on the beach. They carried on well into the night marking the start of a four-day music festival called “STRAB” - 30 of Southern Africa’s best and up and coming bands. But for us diehard fishermen, STRAB was only an added bonus in this already perfect setting. Ponta Malongane is one bay north of the southern tip of Mozambique, which is Ponta do Oura. JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 49


The launch at Malongane is slightly trickier than D Oura but is a more popular fishing destination because of the numerous reefs in the bay. Traditionally kayak fishing tactics have involved trolling artificials as fast as possible, or slower trolling or drifting baits. Recently vertical jigging has become more possible for us paddlers. We had planned to jig on a reef called Cloud Break, which is 2.8km offshore and goes from 32m down to 41m. Of course, in our small, specialised craft it was all dependant on the weather. The jigging lures we used were 1.5 ounce to 3 ounce Berkley Nitro jig heads accompanied by 5 or 7inch Berkley soft baits, as well as bucktails and the very new squid jigs. On our 1st launch the weather was immaculate and this allowed us to explore the deeper reefs extensively. It was not long and Derek, the wetbiker in our party was stuck into something solid. He was using light tackle, and after a 30 minute battle landed a stunning Ignobilis of 13 to 15kg. His day and week were made! Between the 3 kayakers out there we only managed a few bottoms, which was rather disappointing. The second day and we were on the water before sunlight. We trolled articficials straight to the same reef, without success. The westerly was blowing and with it us off the outside of the reef. So after 4 or 5 downs with your jig, you would have to paddle toward the shore and back onto the reef. Again we only got some stunning swallowtail rockcods. After 3 hours of hard work against the wind we decided to put 2 baits out and head out to shallow water. My plan was to pull a mackerel behind a pink skirt with a baitswinner and a sardine behind a pearly duster on the top. As expected, within seconds of putting the sardine out, the ever-present Remora took it. I rebaited, got some distance between me and the “suckers” and let my lure out again. To my disgust another “tekkiekop” ate my last sardine. So my mackerel was to swim solo back to land. With the figures on the beach growing ever clearer, I started to plan my my beaching, but the great blue ocean had other plans. Loud splashing behind my kayak, and my 6 foot 6 Ugly stick is doing a frantic dance! I looked back and something with a bill was viciously shaking its head above the water. I accelerated by giving 5 deep dug strokes, hoping that this time the hooks would set properly. This time they did, and my Penn Torque 200 confirmed this when my 30-pound big game started stripping off at blinding speed. After a surging run, the fish came back to the surface to do a majestic tail walk. When my adrenalin pumps I loose track of time and the tailwalk felt like 10 minutes - but was probably only 30 seconds. It dived back into the water and this time its run was straight to50 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010


JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 51


wards me. For a split second the headline for the next day’s newspaper flashed in my brain. “Kayaker impaled by angry billfish”. Fortunately the Toque’s high cranking speed got me back into contact with the beast. My fishing partner, Rudolf, was about a kilometre away from me, being certain that I wanted to release this fish if I landed it, I shouted and waved like my life depended on it. Rudolf put some back into his strokes and the fish pulled me slightly north and then out towards Rudolf. “I saw something jumping, is it a Dorado?” Rudolf asked me. “It’s a Sailie”, I screamed, “Please come get my camera”. So like a professional photographer and a true fishing partner, Rudolf paddled after me while the fish towed me around. After some serious pulling on the fish, I got my first glimpse of it. “Is it a sailie?” The sail was not up - but this was a big boy. It might even be a small marlin. After giving me a real run for my money this beautiful creature came up glided next to my kayak. Using my cap to grab its bill, it gave 2 more tired shakes of its long body, before I rested its head on my lap. The perfect hook up, the 4x strong treble in the top of its mouth and the single in the top of its bill. For once everything had gone right on that big fish, and it didn’t get away. After removing the hooks and a couple of photos, I put his big eye back into the water world it knows. I used its massive sail to turn it upright and straight away it started to swim again. I pulled it forward and let it go. The magnificent fish was free and would live to fight again! Thanks to STRAB, to our team “Hunter Ski” from campsite 11, to Ponta Malongane and mostly to the great God up above, for giving me this experience I will never forget!

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Brian Jacob is a passionate kayak fisherman and owner of Hunter Ski kayaks. He has been fishing from the day he could walk and has not stopped since. The new challenge of fishing from a kayak has inspired him to new heights, “there is nothing quite as rewarding as landing a fish from a kayak, totally solo!� JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 53


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Take a Rest

Hunting with shooting sticks

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Koos Barnard

S

hooting accurately under field conditions can be a challenge. It is fairly easy to cleanly “kill” a paper target on the shooting range because you are relaxed, have a stable shooting bench and the targets wait, obligingly and motionless to be perforated. Although it is generally agreed that hunters should use some kind of support for the rifle when they shoot, many do not give this issue much thought – until they actually need a rest. Nature provides anthills, branches and big rocks, etc but these are often not in the right place or too high, low or just too awkward to use, when you need them. One of the biggest problems with natural rests is that many hunters are not accustomed to using them and are therefore so uncomfortable when doing so, that they take too long to settle in and get a shot off. To get familiar with and use natural rests with confidence you have to use them during practice sessions. Unfortunately shooting ranges do not have conveniently placed natural rests as shooting aids but where there is a will, there is a way. Most of us have shrubs and trees in our gardens and these can be used during dry-firing sessions. Just make sure you are out of the public eye when practising in your back yard. When hunting in dense African bushveld or even in the more open savannahs, the hunter is more often than not obliged to take shots from the standing position because long grass and other vegetation make it impossible to use the more stable sitting position. For that reason, homeor factory-made bi- or tripod “shooting sticks” are very handy. The most versatile, lightweight rests are factory-made aluminium ones with adjustable legs which make them suitable for standing kneeling and sitting shots. Stoney Point’s tripod and the BOG-PODS from BOGgear have three-section telescoping legs that rank among the best available today. Unfortunately these tripods are quite expensive.

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Some people prefer to use bipods from the standing position but a tripod is more stable and can stand on its own. I have seen many types of homemade shooting sticks fashioned from wooden dowels, bamboo, broom sticks and aluminium tubing. Any material that is strong and stable enough will do and if you have to carry the sticks yourself weight is an important consideration. I always hunt on my own and therefore have to carry whatever I use in the veld myself. Broom sticks are too heavy so DIY people should use bamboo, wooden dowels or aluminium tubing. Such homemade shooting sticks normally are not adjustable for length and it is important to use material that provides enough stability when using the sticks from the sitting position. The legs are normally bound together by inner tubing or joined by bolts and nuts and the rifle is then rested in the web or wedge that is created where the legs are joined. Factory-made shooting sticks have purpose-made, user-friendly wedges (see picture). However, when the hunter is sitting, he uses only

one of the legs and uses his hand to support the rifle. If the leg is too thin it will be wobbly (not sturdy enough) and accurate shooting off it will be difficult. Many overseas hunters who come to Africa have never used a tri- or bipod from the standing position and a good number of them find it very challenging. However, once you have mastered the shooting sticks you will realise that it is in many ways better than most natural rests. In the African bushveld I’d say about 75% or even more shots are taken from the standing position (more shots can actually be taken from the sitting position but that requires more movement and adjusting the shooting sticks). Practise with those long shooting sticks until you are familiar with them. Hunting in Africa does not always require bull’s-eye accuracy at long ranges - getting into position fast and shooting quickly is more often than JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 69


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not far more important that hitting a small target. In the African bush a 150 yard shot is regarded as a long-range shot. If you can place your shots inside a six inch circle at that distance form a standing position off a rest you will be OK. In more open country shooting distances are often longer, especially if you go after plains game such as springbuck or blesbuck or mountain dwellers such as the elusive vaal rhebok. For longer shots one would preferably use the sitting or even the prone position. A Harris or similar bipod that attaches to the fore-end of the rifle is a good option. The biggest problem with such a bipod is that it makes the rifle bulky and adds weight. For those who ambush game and stay stationary for long periods a heavy, bulky rifle is not a problem, but walk-and-stalk hunters find such rifles awkward and a schlep to carry. Attaching a bipod can also make your rifle shoot to a different point of impact (usually lower). I have found that the shorter, lightweight bipods meant for prone shooting (the ones that adjust from say six to 13”) normally do not have an influence on the point of impact. The longer, heavier ones (adjustable from about 13 to 27”) which are used when shooting from the sitting position often cause rifles to shoot lower when they are attached because they add weight to the fore-end. Always sight your rifle in with the bipod attached. For shooting from the sitting position I carry Stoneypoint’s Safari Stix, a very lightweight, collapsible bipod. When folded up it rides comfortably in its pouch on my belt. Whenever I hunt in terrain that allows the use of the prone position I carry a second short bipod that rides in the same pouch. The legs of this bipod are 36cm (just over 14”) in length and I have bolted them together about four inches from the top. A spacer between the legs where they hinge allowed me to pad the V-rest. When using this bipod the non-shooting arm provides a third leg and the elbow acts as the third anchor point. I added a retaining string to this short bipod to prevent the legs from opening wider than my preferred position. That also negates the necessity of holding onto the bipod where it hinges with the non-

shooting hand to control the leg positions. When I hunt in terrain where standing and sitting shots are the norm, I carry long sticks and my collapsible bipod on my belt. In open country where sitting and/or prone shots are the norm, I carry the lightweight sitting and prone bipods in my belt pouch. With these combinations I have the right shooting sticks for any situation at hand. I often shoot from the sitting position over sticks because it provides a stable platform. Used correctly it elevates the shooter above fairly tall grass. I always sit flat on my bum and face away from the target at an angle of between 30 to 45 degrees. At times I draw both my knees up and either keep my feet flat on the ground or dig my heels in while resting my elbows on my knees with the non-shooting hand holding the bipod. My favourite position, however, is to draw up only my right knee and, with my foot flat on the ground, rest the elbow of my right arm (my shooting hand) on it while my left leg is held flat on the ground. I can sit very long in that position without getting tired and putting tension on my leg muscles. When your muscles get tense you start to shake. To get into a comfortable sitting position quickly, settle down and shoot is not so easy – you need to be fairly flexible and you must know in an instant what position you are going to use. That only comes with regular practice. I have, for some reason never felt comfortable and very stable when using the kneeling position (with or without shooting sticks) and never attempt it. Find out what position your body is comfortable with and then practice regularly. I have basically given up using my rifle sling for steady aiming because it really only works well when you shoot from the prone position and only when it has been modified to resemble a target or deliberate sling. A target sling has a single loop that fits around the upper left arm. With the sling correctly adjusted for length and in place around the upper arm, grab the fore-end and move the hand forwards or back to remove any slack. Increasing the angle between the biceps and the forearm - pushing the forearm away from the body JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 71


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– allows the shooter to put the right amount of tension on the sling. The leverage afforded by your arm will brace the rifle in place. Proper target slings are of course useless for carrying because they only attach to the rifle at one point. There are, however, carry slings on the market with integral, fully adjustable loops. With the loop correctly adjusted for length you simply slip your arm through it in the same way as you would a target sling. In-

stead of buying one I made my own from leather and it works just fine. Of the thousands of animals I had shot, I can probably count the times when I had used a sling on one hand. Take a rest whenever you can but remember; if you really want to get the most from a shooting rest, practice by using different kinds of rests from a variety of shooting positions.

Koos Barnard is an ex-professional hunter and a full time gun writer, having published hundreds of articles. He was born in Namibia and has been a keen hunter since his youth.

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Reloading the

303 BRITISH Keeping the legend alive

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Terry Blauwkamp

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y first experience with the British .303 was on a recent to trip to South Africa, where the ranch we were hunting on had one with a problem. The “problem” they said, was that it didn’t pattern so well anymore. I always figured rifles grouped, and shotguns patterned. So, we took this rifle to the range and they were right, it did indeed pattern. So back at the house, I went to work on it. First, I soaked the bore in bore cleaner for a while, and then I tried to get a bore brush down it. “Tried” is the correct word, as I had to resort to a worn out .30 cal brush for the first few passes, followed by a new .303 brush. I can see already that the biggest problem was a dirty and fouled barrel. After a couple more hours of soaking and brushing, things were going much better. Now, I gave it 50 strokes of Remington 40X bore cleaner which has a mild abrasive in it. By golly, there really is rifling in the bore and it does not look too bad! Next, I took a good look at the muzzle’s crown, and decided that needed fixing too. I always carry my Brownell’s crowning tools with me, as there always seems to be a rifle that needs work. If a rifle won’t group well, quite often it is just the crown that needs repair. JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 75


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The next step was to replace the old scope that was on there. It looked like something left over from the Boer War had ended up on this rifle. After a bit of undoing, we finally got the scope rings loose and replaced it with a 4X Leupold that I had brought along as a spare. We might as well know if the scope is also contributing to the poor performance. Finally, we are ready to take our newly fixed up .303 to the range. All we had for ammo was some military FMJ, and a few PMP 150 gr. Soft Points. We used the FMJ to get the scope on the paper, and then tweaked it in with the PMP’s. Finally we are ready to really check out our work. Glory be, it now shot those 150 gr. PMP soft point into nice 3 shot 1½ groups. This a far cry from what it was doing, so we surely have improved something. I like the nostalgia of the .303, as the Boers shot everything in sight with it back in the old days. When I got home I set about finding a .303 I could play with. I wanted to use the .303 next year hunting plains game, and I wanted to have some proper bullets and loads. The gun I rounded up came with a very nice Weaver style one piece base on it, and I attached a Leupold 3-9X compact scope to it. The scope fit perfectly and I had high hopes of making a deer rifle out of it for this fall. The first time I took it out to the range, it ran out of windage adjustment. I shimmed it and tried it again. My little shims did the trick, and I got the rifle zeroed in perfectly. Had I been using a standard size scope, rather than a compact, I suspect I would have had enough windage adjustment. First, I tried some more handloads all with 180 gr .311 dia Remington RN Core Lokts. The results were as follows: All were in R-P cases with CCI 200: 48 gr of AA 4350 42 gr Rel 15

= 2458 fps ¾ “ 22 fps ES group at 50 yards = 2408 fps 1” 9 fps ES

43 gr IMR 4064 42 gr Ball “C”

= 2486 fps ¾” = 2451 fps ¾”

“24 fps ES 47 fps ES

I then tried some factory loads: WW 180 Power = 2409 fps ¾” Points Federal 180 = 2441 fps 1” gr SP

“33 fps ES “38 fps ES

It sure looks to me like the .303 will nicely do 2400 fps with 180 gr. bullets and will be a fine deer rifle. The .303 British is very close to the 30-40 Krag, and a lot closer to the .308 Winchester than I thought, except it doesn’t operate at as high a pressure as the .308 does. I took one case of each caliber and filled it with Ball C powder, and weighed it to see what the capacity difference was. The .303 Case held 58.0 gr., the 30-40 Krag held 59.5, and the .308 Win case held 58 gr. just like the .303 did. This tells me, that I can use 30-40 data as .303 data is a bit hard to come by. The next “trick” I had up my sleeve, was to rethroat the barrel, as it has surely seen a lot of use. I secured a .303 throater from Dave Manson Reamers, www.mansonreamers.com and the results were great. Simply put, I now can shoot the same size groups at 100 yards, which I was shooting at 50 yard before rethroating it. I only pushed the throat forward about .025, which was just enough to clean up the lands. I had occasion to harvest a nice whitetail deer with this gun so far, and used a .311 dia 180 gr. Remington RN Core Lokt bullet at 2440 fps. The deer was facing me at about 75 yards, and the bullet struck him squarely in the brisket, and went right thru the heart and lodged somewhere behind that. The buck dropped right where he stood like he had been hit with a .300 Weatherby. He never knew the difference. The heart had a huge hole through it, and internal damage was extensive. Maybe Remington’s ad is correct when it says their Core Lokts are the “Deadliest mushroom in the woods”. If you would care to share any of your experiences with the .303 or have Terry Blauwkamp is a lifelong hunter and questions, a veteran of many feel free to African safaris. His write anyreloading expertise time to tbextends beyond the lauwkamp@ standard American calibers to metric superiorand classic African sales.com calibers.

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Get our RSS feed CLICK HERE Don’t you just hate it when large international magazines refuse to publish the work of budding new authors? “Give us a list of where your articles were published and we will consider you.” they write in their demoralising emails. Everybody has to start somewhere. Talk about Catch 22. Well, enough is enough. We feel rookie writers need to get a chance to strut their stuff, so we negotiated with The Ultimate Field Guide to sponsor a Rookie Writer article in our next couple of issues to help those authors who are not famous - yet. So here it is - the first Rookie Writer article. Read them and vote for your favorite. You may just help to launch the next Wilbur Smith on a writing career. 78 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010


Rookie Writers

We never knew there were so many budding authors out there. The overwhelming response from the rookies made it clear: they want to be read! They may be new to the writing world, but they are gutsy and they can write. And now your article can be read too. If you had an African experience, put it on paper and we will publish it free of charge. Come on - you never know whether you can write until you try! Your article will be judged by fellow African hunters and adventurers like yourself who have no motivation but to tell it like it is and you will get the truth about if you really can write. Here are this issues’ rookie articles. Be sure to vote for them JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 79


The

Journeyman

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Leon-David Viljoen

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e all journey through life, for it is life that presents to us a constant process of traveling from one goal onto the next. For some the journey is easy and the road map through the journey clearly defined, for others the map has images and keys missing and the journey itself is cumbersome and downright difficult. As an African, conservationist, hunter and businessman I have learned to travel with my senses. In this culturally rich and diversified continent I have learned to use the gift of sight to see the ruby-red sunsets against the thorn tree lined horizon, I have smelled the first heavy raindrops that splatter on the sun baked earth in the late summer months and have I felt the misery that poverty and hunger can bring to the soul of all humanity once they have lost hope and the will to live. I have also experienced the emotions that laughter can bring to a country rich in eleven different languages and have seen the joy of children that run endlessly with a football at their feet, oblivious of the journey that they still have to travel through life. We live with the fickleness of nature as God has blessed this continent with abundance as well as scarcity as He has clearly defined Himself as the beacon that we have to travel toward. We have learned to use nature as well as to protect her resources for generations that have to follow. JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 81


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I have used this rather long-winded opening parable to illustrate what a privilege it is to enjoy the journey of life. To a large degree we travel the journey alone and in isolation as we only have ourselves to provide the impetus to get going. In my travels abroad I have seen a similarity in how we as humans venture on the life passage as we all recognize the importance of family, community and friends in our life journey. Some of us are however not so privilege to have a long life journey and we only experience these individuals for a fleeting moment as they drift in and out of our own lives. I am writing this short pre-journey entry about a young man I have not yet met, but who has already influenced the way that I look at life and the steps that lay ahead. This young man from a town called Manassa, Southern Colorado was sent my way through the Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation, a non-profit organization established to make the dreams of young terminally ill patients come true. Steeped in a history of success and overcoming the odds, Tina Pattison and her Foundation had to battle prejudice, disbelief and stubbornness to grant her own son, Matt his dying wish to hunt. You can follow the trails and tribulations of the Foundation on their website at www.huntofalifetime.org. I do not know to what degree Jonathan Rodriguez has been struck by his illness nor do I know of the battles that he has fought to date or the battles that he still has to face. What I do know is that in the plentiful blessings that I have received, I have also been given the opportunity to give back. I have also been in the privileged position to have joined a young man, sponsored by the men and women behind the Foundation, previously on a journey to Africa. This young man not only caught my attention but left a lasting imprint on me. I tried to construct my thoughts down after our experience and the following is a brief extract of that experience and the journey I managed to share. “I recently penned a few thoughts on what it takes to be a child of Africa. The thoughts and emotions were formulated away from the rhetoric of politics and race, as I deliberately avoided getting caught in a topical debate that I do not enjoy. My thoughts and emotions were rather captured by an experience in July 2004 that not only has left an imprint on my soul, but also has left me feeling a better person. The story that I am narrating had its beginnings in a rural hospital in Greybull, Wyoming. A remarkable young man, Nick DeWitt, has been battling leukemia for the last 13 years. A hunter in soul and body, he knew the rigors of fighting for what he wants, in his

case it was a basic and simplistic quest - a normal day away from the smells and sounds of an intensive care unit. Our paths were about to cross away from that hospital, and together we were to rekindle the feeling that hunt unleashes within our soul. This story is an ode to courage and triumph. I am a child of Africa. Her mountains, open veld, savanna’s and rugged bush remain an integral part of who I am. The continent has shaped me and has left me with believing that there is a bit of Africa in every one of us. We all long to see the unspoiled, uncomplicated world where nature remains supreme. It was with this philosophy in mind that I started the Hunting Network two years ago. My business philosophy is based on a realization of the privileged position that I have to be part of one of the most misunderstood of continents on the one hand, and our ability to share our world with a number of sportsmen and hunters from all corners of the globe on the other. A few months ago I made contact with a nonprofit organization called Hunt of a Lifetime. Through our initial discussions and long-distance telephone calls we talked about sharing the vision of making near-impossible dreams a reality. I was mildly surprised when I received a phone call during May 2004 in which I was asked to facilitate and arrange a hunt for a young man from Wyoming. To me, the name Nick Dewitt did not say much, and at first he was just another client on our books. However with the first of our e-mails exchanged between Nick and myself, I came to realize that when life has dealt you a few dud cards, you need to play your hand when the cards have fallen in your favor. I came to realize that this was no ordinary young man, and after sitting down with my colleague, friend and professional hunter of the Hunting Network, Glaeser Conradie, we decided that we need to pull out all stops to make this African Safari truly a hunt of a lifetime. The wheels were set in motion and we started wheeling and dealing to get a representative package for Nick going. The odd phone call here and the cashing in on long-overdue favors resulted in a structured plains package of game that we believed would provide Nick with a taste and feel for Africa. It was with great anticipation that we awaited the arrival of the Dewitt family into Cape Town International Airport. After the usual customs and immigration paperwork we managed to get the all settled for their first night in Africa. I met Nick at the guesthouse in the university town of Stellenbosch, and I was immediately taken back by his size. He was a small compact young man and I thought that there is no way JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 83


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that he could be 18 years old. I was again struck by his gentleness, sincerity and the appreciation expressed, while I kept on thinking that I was the one who had to say thank you for providing us with an opportunity to show him our world. We talked about the hunt, the animals and the small things in life, and it was with these thoughts that I sent them in the care of my colleague to the hunting concession. I cannot write about the hunt itself as I was not the one who accompanied Nick. Unfair work pressure and deadlines to get a project completed meant that my colleague had to do the hard work in the field. As I stated in my opening line, I am a child of Africa and I know that in order to hunt the plains you need to be strong in mind and body. Nick rose to the challenge, and listening to the stories of his training on the wrestling mat, I had no illusions that he took to the African hunt with the same ease that he would face an opponent on the mat. Hunting the Karoo you need to be sure of shot placement and distance. A good guide will be able to keep the guessing work to the minimum, but with the combination of low shrub and keen eyesight the game will maintain the advantage of the hunter. The cold winter mornings and hot midday sun all add to the mix of the hunt, Springbok used to roam the plains in numbers over one million, and choosing a big male does take time and patience. Impala on the other hand are skittish in behavior and the slightest of noises and movement will cause them to dart away from perceived danger. We knew that this is the basis of what his memories of the hunt would be and we hoped that the challenge will be part of those memories. A telephone call during the hunt confirmed the trust that I had in Nick’s prowess in the hunt. Nick soon bagged all his trophies with the exception of a Kudu. Somehow the old master of the thorn thickets did not present an opportunity for a clean shot and we decided to let the Kudu be this time around, and rather, to focus our attention on a Black Wildebeest (Gnu). It was an inspired choice as a well-placed shot meant that Nick is now the proud owner of one of the biggest trophy bulls ever shot on the Karoo plains. We are still awaiting the official results from the Rowland Ward Guild, but judged on measurements made in the veld Nick’s trophy cabinet can be dusted to make provision for a record. Reaching records and new highs tend to be part of his remarkable life. I could go on and on writing about him, but it would not do his life or the love of his parents any justice. I am struggling to find words that will outline my feelings as I reflect back on a memorable experience of meeting a fighter and a companion. I have four kids of my own and they are blessed with good health. Looking at Nick I realized how much I take them for granted. Nick made my think about the gift of health and for that I am grateful. He might have taken a bit of my Africa with him, but he has left a lot of him in me. I salute you my friend. I need to draw a concluding line in my story. As I have stated in my opening line we all journey and for some the journey is smooth and a road well traveled, for others the road has a number of obstacles. Jonathan, in advance, we are looking forward to the journey. May the road be smooth. JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 85


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A cutting word is worse than a bowstring, a cut may heal, but the cut of the tongue does not. A fool looks for dung where the cow never browsed.

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News, Reviews, and Press Releases TACM3 Announces Lightstalker II AL PALM BAY, FL - TACM3 Inc. announces the release of its LiteStalker II AL™ flashlight in Mossy Oak® Treestand® camouflage and new 220 Lumen Multi-Function LED Bulb Module. Specifically designed by hunters for hunters, the LiteStalker II AL™ is manufactured in the USA out of solid bar stock aerospace grade aluminum. Using state-of-the-art machining processes and equipment, each LiteStalker II AL™ flashlight is manufactured with precision tolerances and O-Ring sealed to prevent water intrusion. Take it from us, this is one strong flashlight. The LiteStalker II AL™ is powered by two CR123 3-volt Lithium batteries which provide you, the sportsman in the field, with an unbelievable 220 Lumens of extremely bright and focused ultra-white LED light. The LED module is multi-function capable by providing a solid beam of 220 Lumens with the first switch activation, 220 Lumens strobe with the second push of the switch and then a 40 Lumens low power solid beam with a third push. The LiteStalker II AL™ in our NEW 220 Lumen LED will never leave you in the dark! (Also available in 105.5 Lumens Xenon lamp) At approximately 5 1/4 inches in length, extreme light weight, recessed on-off-momentary push button tail cap switch, USMC Ka-Bar knife inspired grooved and diamond cut knurled grip, 10 year battery shelf life and an average continuous run time of 1.5 hours, the NEW LED LiteStalker II AL™ flashlight is ready when you are! During these financially challenging times, we at TACM3 Inc. take great pride in offering the world great products at fair and realistic prices. Paying less does not mean you’re getting less. Our family owned and operated company motto has always been straight forward; Keep it simple and produce durable products that work. Premium quality, lightweight, 92 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010

high-intensity flashlights and common sense flashlight mounts for firearms, combined with the worlds finest camouflage patterns from Mossy Oak. It doesn’t get any better than that! TACM3 produces official licensed products of Mossy Oak/ Haas Outdoors Inc. Haas Outdoors Inc. is headquartered in West Point, Miss., was established in 1986 and is home of Mossy Oak (www.mossyoak. com). Mossy Oak specializes in developing and marketing modern camouflage designs for hunters and outdoorsmen. Mossy Oak patterns can be found on a multitude of products worldwide. Haas Outdoors Inc. is the outdoor industry leader in modern camouflage design, international licensing and marketing. Haas Outdoors Inc. markets its services and products under widely recognized brands including: Mossy Oak, BioLogic, Mossy Oak Productions, Mossy Oak Interactive, LLC, Nativ Nurseries and Mossy Oak Properties. For more info contact: Mark Fell Ph: 321-726-0644 mfell115@hotmail.com

Epic Announces EPIC HD Camera EPIC, the leader in action sports video cameras, brings you into the world of YouTube with a self-contained, light weight digital video camera that records stunning 720P HD (High Definition) Video with crisp clear audio. Ideal for capturing your hunting, fishing, shooting and other outdoor activities. Weighing just three ounces, the New Epic HD can be mounted virtually anywhere for any outdoor activity. The EPIC’s high resolution HD video delivers high quality footage for posting online or watching on your TV at home. The SD compatible memory, with up to 200 minutes of video at 30 frames per second, along with audio makes this an ideal tool for capturing those unforgettable experiences. And if that’s not enough, The EPIC HD doubles as an 8 Mega Pixel camera with


Burst Mode Technology™ for multiple still images. Optional waterproof housings and multiple mounting adaptors enable the user a multitude of applications from mounting high in the treestand or on your hat, capture POV footage like never before. Epic Features: ●● * HD 1280x720 Digital Video (total of 3 resolution settings) ●● * H.264 Video Compression ●● * 30 Frames per second ●● * 168 degree wide angle lens ●● * 4x digital zoom ●● * Accepts up to 16GB SD memory cards ●● * 8MP Still Cam with 1-9 Burst Mode ●● * 10-30 second self timer ●● * Audible guide ( can be turned on or off ) ●● * Upside Down mode ●● * USB Out ●● * Operated on 3 AAA Batteries (Energizer Lithium’s included) MSRP $269 For more information, contact: Stealth Cam, LLC, 3385 Roy Orr Blvd. Grand Prairie, TX 75050, Phone: 877269-8490 www.epicstealthcam.com

IRIDIUM EXPANDS REACH WITH SOUTH AFRICAN LICENSE MCLEAN, Va. and JOHANNESBURG – June 22, 2010 – Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) announces the establishment of “Iridium South Africa,” under which Iridium has licenses to operate, provide and sell mobile satellite services (MSS) in the country. The authorization was provided by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), the regulator for the South African communications and broadcasting services. This authorization enables Iridium partners the ability to better address the growing government and commercial enterprise market demand with Iridium products, services and applications in the country. The Iridium low-Earth orbiting (LEO) satellite constellation provides mobile voice and data commu-

nications over the entire planet, offering service where no other means of communication exists. As a result of the new communications licenses, the government, business and consumer sectors in South Africa now have greater access to the world’s only truly global MSS. “Iridium has grown its commercial service revenues between 2006 and 2009 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 27 percent, primarily through the introduction of new products and services, attraction of new distribution partners, and expansion of its geographic sales reach,” said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. “This announcement continues to demonstrate the demand for Iridium’s MSS around the globe. South Africa is an important and growing market that requires Iridium’s broad, reliable, dependable, mobile communications services.” Iridium anticipates its MSS can be utilized by the South African government to provide backup communications in urban and rural areas, and in emergency situations, as is the case in many regions of the world. Iridium’s global low-latency, two-way machineto-machine (M2M) communications are ideal for markets such as transportation, logistics, security, oil and gas, and mining where there are requirements to deliver continuous, intelligent communications on valuable assets in real time. In addition, there is significant demand from global companies looking to expand their operations in the country. Iridium voice and data services are particularly ideal for South Africa because of its coastal access to the South Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean, as well as its large rural land mass and significant mining operations. The country’s established and emerging industries, growing infrastructure and adventure tourist industry also make Iridium an essential service in South Africa. “A satellite communications service such as Iridium’s, with service covering the entire globe, as well as all corners of our country, including her shores and areas that may never be served otherwise by current service providers, is an enormous development for South Africa,” said Dr. John K. Nkadimeng, patron of the John Kgoana Nkadimeng Foundation, and one of the champions of the liberation struggle for freedom in South Africa. Nkadimeng, along with Nelson R. Mandela, is one of the original 1956 Treason Trial JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 93


anti-apartheid defendants. In addition to the existing partners with export operations in South Africa, Iridium anticipates opportunities for its more than 200 global distribution partners to form new partnerships to deliver a range of innovative voice and data applications that will connect the South African market to the global reach of the Iridium network. Demand for truly global MSS has helped fuel the company’s international expansion as well as plans to build its next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT. Iridium continues to pursue licenses in other significant geographical markets, such as Russia and China, which represent the opportunity for further expansion of the company’s products and services.

Nikon Beefs Up Monarch 42mm ATB No other group of hunting binoculars has such a distinguished record of success or such a large legion of followers as the Monarch ATB™ Series binoculars. Nikon is raising the specification bar even higher in 2010, with advanced prism coating technology previously found exclusively in its much higher priced offerings. The new Monarch ATB 42mm with Dielectric High-Reflective Multilayer Prism Coating features brighter, sharper colors, as well as crisp and drastically improved low-light performance. A new body style provides unparalleled strength and ruggedness in a package that is comfortable to carry all day. With rugged rubber armor for added durability and a firm grip even in the worst conditions, Nikon guarantees every ATB to be 100% waterproof and fogproof. Each is backed by Nikon’s 25 Year Limited Warranty and No-Fault Repair/Replacement Policy. The new Monarch ATB 42mm with Dielectric HighReflective Multilayer Prism Coating binocular is available in 8x42, 10x42 and 12x42. It is also available in Team REALTREE models with the REALTREE APG HDÒ camouflage pattern. MSRP $279.95-$349.95. Nikon Inc. is the U.S. distributor of Nikon sports and 94 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010

recreational optics, world-renowned Nikon 35mm cameras, digital cameras, speedlights and accessories, Nikkor lenses and electronic imaging products. For more information on Nikon’s full line of Riflescopes, Binoculars, Spotting Scopes, Fieldscopes and Laser Rangefinders, contact: Nikon Sport Optics, 1300 Walt Whitman Rd., Melville, NY 11747-3064, or call 1-800-645-6687www.nikonhunting.com.

SureFire Back to its Roots With X400TM Weapon Light & Laser Combo Fountain Valley, CA -- SureFire, LLC, manufacturer of high-end illumination tools and tactical products, has announced the release of its long-awaited X400 WeaponLight. The X400 is a rugged LED WeaponLight with a powerful, fully integrated red laser sight. This is the first new laser product in more than 10 years from the company that manufactured the first fully integrated small-arms aiming laser thirty years ago. The versatile beam and highly visible laser of the X400 make it an excellent choice for both close- and longer-range applications. Its solid-state LED, which has no filament to burn out or break from the effects of recoil, generates 170 lumens of blinding light and continues producing tactical-level light (enough to overwhelm the night-adapted vision of an aggressor) for 2.4 hours on a set of batteries. The X400’s Total Internal Reflection (TIR) lens gathers virtually all of the LED’s light and forms a tightly focused beam that reaches far into the darkness but has enough surround beam to accommodate a user’s peripheral vision. At 635 nanometers, the X400’s laser sight is one of the most powerful available to the public. Its shorter wavelengths make it nearly twice as bright as the nearest competitor’s laser sight, which means it’s more visible to the human eye and easier to track at longer distances. The X400’s laser sighting adjustment uses Nylok® screws, which won’t “back out” or loosen from the effects of recoil, so it rarely needs to be re-zeroed-even after extended use. Ambidextrous switching makes it easy to operate X400 with either hand, and optional remote switching for many weapons offers precise control without altering your grip on the weapon. The X400 slides


onto most handguns with Universal Standard accessory rails and fits many handguns without rails via a SureFire rail adapter. It can also be mounted on long guns sporting a Mil-Spec Picatinny rail.

guarantees shooters will always have their dot ready for action. Additional features include: * Anti-reflective coating on exterior lens * Waterproof / shockproof / fogproof performance

A tough, hard-anodized aerospace-grade aluminum body protects the X400’s electronics and a tempered window offer more of the same for its TIR lens and LED. O-ring seals and gaskets keep out dust, dirt, propellant residue, and moisture. MSRP is $460. For more information call 800-828-8809 or visit www. surefire.com.

Weaver Adds Red/Green Dot to Optics Line ONALASKA, Wisconsin - Weaver® Optics, one of the most trusted names in optics, rings and bases and an industry mainstay for 80 years, welcomes a new addition to their comprehensive line of riflescopes and binoculars. Available now, the new Red/Green Dot Sight (MSRP: $307.49) is a perfect optic for a variety of shooting applications. Ideal for turkey and big game hunts as well as the fast action of tactical shooting, the Weaver Red/Green Dot continues the legendary Weaver performance. Backed by Weaver’s 80 years of optics expertise, this new dot complements Weaver’s existing line of optics and serves as the perfect choice for both young shooters and seasoned veterans alike. Weaver’s new Red/Green Dot is loaded with the modern advances of today’s premium optics. This true 1x sight offers five red and five green brightness settings for various light conditions, four illumination modes and instant, accurate target acquisition. Removable front sunshade and adjustable rear hood ensures performance and comfort in all weather conditions while the spare battery compartment

* Rugged 30mm tube with one-piece construction * Adjustments are 1 MOA and parallax is set for 50-yards * Four different illumination modes: Micro dot, dot, circle and circle with dot * Integral adjustable mounting system mounts to a Weaver® Base For more information and product images, visit www. weaveroptics.com.

Sharkfin Spinning Reel Designed for More Distance, Fewer Tangles

definite sound of friction.

The Sharkfin “fins” are tapered underneath much like the wing of an airplane. So as the line exits the spool during the cast there is the least amount of friction on the line as possible. Line exiting the Sharkfin spool during casting is near silent while on a standard round spool you will hear the

Casting farther is a major component in catching more fish, just ask Thomas Maire, 7x World Casting Champion . . . “The more water you can cover, the increased JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 95


chance to reel in more fish. The Sharkfin reel gives fishermen the edge by enabling them to make longer and more precise casts. When tournament fishing, casting distance is one of the most important factors to having a successful day. The farther a fisherman can stay away from schooling fish, the better the chances for success. Being able to cast farther into shallow water where the boat can’t maneuver is always a plus. The Sharkfin also provides less drag, contributing to a more accurate, easier cast to obtain more distance,” says Maire. The Sharkfin spool has shark-like fins, uniquely designed to minimize up to 80 percent of the friction on the line during the cast, allowing anglers to cast farther. During the retrieve, the “fins” catch and retain excess line or “loops” that can create tangles, and freely releases them on the next cast. The Sharkfin is used like any standard spool, is braid-friendly, and works with all reel-recommended line diameters. The reel was invented by Guenther Burk in Germany, where he has engineered, crafted and tested the technology since the mid-90’s. The new Castalia Sharkfin Reel won Best of Show at the 2010 International Trade Show “ChinaFish” in Beijing. The trade show featured buyers and manufacturers from more than 85 countries. The Sharkfin has received patents throughout Europe, the United States, United Kingdom, Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Two reel models are available, the FD 2000 for freshwater and inshore saltwater; model FD 4000 for inshore and light offshore. MSRP $119.99 and $149.99. Castalia introduced a Sharkfin Rod/Reel Combo during ICAST 2010. The Sharkfin Combo uses the worldwide patented Sharkfin reel spool, with 4 + 1 ball bearings, a 5.2:1 gear ratio and 400-yard line capacity. The Combo is available in a sharp “gun metal” color with matching 2-part, 7 ft. rod. MSRP $97.00 For more information, visit www.castaliaoutdoors.com or call 1-800-558-5541

ASAP Survival Gear Adds Natural Disaster Modules Williston, VT- The 2010 hurricane season is underway and weather experts are predicting a very active season of tropical storms and hurricanes this year. The ingredients for a hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center, include pre-existing weather disturbances, warm tropical oceans, moisture, and 96 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010

relatively light winds. If these conditions persist long enough, they can combine to produce the violent winds, enormous waves, torrential rains, and massive floods. ASAP™ Survival Gear takes hurricane and emergency preparedness to a new level with its line of emergency starter packs and two Natural Disaster Modules: the Evac to Shelter Module and the Shelter Unavailable Module. Designed as add-ons to any of the ASAP Starter packs these two modules will enhance your ability to manage an emergency situation caused by a major natural disaster such as a hurricane, wildfire, or earthquake. ASAP™ Survival Gear has enlisted the expertise of Dr. Bob Arnot as Chief Education Officer to their products and program. Dr. Arnot is one of the most recognized names in medical and health professions, having served as the former chief medical editor for NBC News. In the last two decades, he has been on site of the world’s worst disasters, helping as a physician, humanitarian and foreign news correspondent. According to Dr. Bob, when a major natural disaster hits, the reality is that most people will evacuate to a shelter until conditions settle. The ASAP Natural Disaster Module I provides items to help make your stay in an evacuation shelter more comfortable. However, sometimes major natural disasters strike without warning and prevent you and your family from evacuating to a shelter. When you are forced to ride out a storm in your home or office, you must assume that basic needs like water, gas, and electricity will not function. The ASAP Natural Disaster Module II, when combined with any ASAP Starter pack, gives you the essential tools to treat water, cook and pro-


vides other basic elements for survival. ASAP™ Survival Gear currently offers 13 different need or situation specific modules. Each ASAP module contains pre-packed essential items stored in a grab-and-go stuff sack or waterproof case that are easily added to any of the ASAP™ starter packs as seen on www.asapsurvivalgear.com.

Z2-S CombatLight is First SureFire Flashlight with Strobe Mode SureFire, LLC, manufacturer of high-end illumination tools and tactical products, announces the release of the Z2-S, the latest addition to their popular line of “CombatLight” flashlights. It’s the first stroblng flashlight from the same company that invented both the tactical flashlight and the CombatLight. The Z2-S’s ultra-high-output LED generates 160 lumens of light, eight times the light output of a standard two-D-cell flashlight. The Z2-S utilizes a micro-textured reflector to shape and blend the beam so it has plenty of reach for searching-and enough peripheral light to maximize situational awarenesswith no rings, spots, or other defects. The Z2-S also features a strobe mode programmed to blink at a specific frequency to effectively disorient an attacker, a feature that has been continuously requested by SureFire customers. CombatLights feature tactical-level output (enough to overwhelm night-adapted vision), ergonomic tailcap switching, and SureFire’s patented CombatGrip-a stepped-down body and rubber grip ring that makes pairing the light with a firearm easier, as well as providing a secure hold in wet or cold conditions or while wearing gloves. At five inches long and under five ounces in weight (with batteries), the Z2-S is designed to be portable

and powerful. Its sophisticated electronics-an internal microprocessor regulates the LED to maximize output and runtime-are protected by a rugged aerospace aluminum body that’s hard anodized with black Mil-Spec finish. Press the tactical tailcap switch for momentary-on, press three times rapidly to activate the strobe, or twisting it for constant-on in either mode. The Z2-S has an MSRP of $139.00 and is available for purchase from an authorized SureFire dealer or directly from SureFire at www.surefire.com.

Maruto Introduces New Semi-Barbless Treble Hook Barbless hooks have been around for some time, with anglers hesitant to use them because of the fear of losing fish without a barbed hook. Some fisheries even require barbless hooks. Enter the era of the semi-barbless hook. The all new and patented Maruto Semi-Barbless Treble Hook provides a unique “lock/unlock” feature. With positive hook-ups and less harm to fish (and fishermen), the Semi-Barbless hook is the hook that will change the mind of even the most skeptical angler. Maruto Semi-Barbless Lock-Unlock FeatureNo matter how sharp a traditional barbed hook point is, the barb greatly increases resistance on the hook while penetrating - reducing positive hook-ups. With the Semi-Barbless Hook, there’s no barb to create resistance, and the “lock/unlock” feature helps keep the fish on until you’re ready to release it. A consistent pressure on the retrieve will keep fish on; simply reverse the pressure on the hook’s point to release it easily and harmlessly from the fish. As a bonus, this hook will also exit non-rubberized netting much easier than a barbed hook, saving time and aggravation. The hook point offers a razor profile and the Maruto Semi-Barbless Treble Hook is currently offered in sizes 8, 6, 4, 2, 1, 1/0 and 2/0. For more info ontact: Pam Richards (800) 558-5541 or pam@castaliaoutdoors.com\ JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 97


WaveSpin Introduces ZTR Tangle-Free Economy Reels at ICAST

• Folding Soft Grip Paddle Handle

LAS VEGAS, Nev. --- Fishing writers and retailers will be among the first to see two new 2011 model year WaveSpin reels --- both at suggested prices below $50 and guaranteed tangle free --- at the ICAST fishing tackle trade show, July 14 - 16 in Las Vegas.

• Light Weight Graphite Body (ZTR 1500 is 8 oz, ZTR 3000 is 10 oz)

WaveSpin’s two new ZTR (Zero Tangle Reel) 1500 and 3000 models are built off the same popular and award winning “radical” design developed by Doug Hannon. Known far and wide in the industry as The Bass Professor, Hannon patented a “waved” spool making loops irrelevant by eliminating tangles and bird nests that have left millions of anglers frustrated since the invention of the modern spinning reel 60 years ago. Despite the down turn in the economy WaveSpin has continued to grow and now tens of thousands of “tangle-free” anglers are making more and longer, effortless casts. “We hope to bring in even more anglers of all ages with these two lower priced reels,” said Hannon. “WaveSpin has helped introduce many families to trouble-free fishing fun.” WaveSpin’s newest lightweight models resemble the beveled styling of the DHxL reel introduced two years ago. Three predecessors will also be featured at ICAST including the DH3000 which has won many accolades and awards, among them the 2008 Field & Stream Magazine’s “Best of the Best” for spinning reels and TackleTour.com’s Innovation Award. WaveSpin’s Patented Tangle-Free Technology makes them the only reels of any kind or category in the history of the fishing industry that has ever guaranteed tangle-free operation. Many fishing writers and editors have stated in their reviews it’s one the most important performance features to ever be added to a fishing reel in decades. It’s also why WaveSpin was chosen as the “Official reel of Walt Disney World’s guided fishing excursions.” Both new WaveSpin ZTR reels feature: • 4 stainless ball bearings 98 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010

• One Year Warranty

• Same great performing spool design and drag system that’s made WaveSpin a success. • WaveSpin’s Tangle Free Guarantee Internally each has tough multi-disc drags for more tension and smoother operation in fighting the big fish. Hannon said the ZTR 3000 is ideal for largemouth bass, walleye, northern pike and larger panfish; the smaller ZTR1500 is for finesse fishing like trout, smallmouth bass and panfish. Line weights range from 2 -12 lb mono and up to 50 lb braid. Suggested list price for the ZTR 3000 is $49.95, the ZTR 1500 is $45.95. The newest 2011 additions to WaveSpin’s growing family of reels will be available in stores like Cabela’s, Bass Pro, West Marine and independent tackle stores across the nation well in time for Christmas. WaveSpin is marketed by XXX-Stream Tackle through major sporting and fishing goods stores. For more on WaveSpin go to its website at www. wavespinreel.com or contact Russ Riley, VP of sales and marketing at: 989-967-8426 or via e-mail at russ@ wavespinreel.com.

Bushnell Adds Two Models To The Legend Ultra-HD Binocular Line Overland Park, KS - The Legend Ultra•HD binoculars have quickly become a favorite of serious outdoorsmen since their introduction in 2009. The combination of high quality optics and premium ED Prime Glass with the new Ultra Wide Band Custom Coating lens technology provides the ultimate in high definition performance. Two new mid-size roof prism models have been introduced for 2010 - the Legend Ultra•HD 8x36mm and 10x36mm. Their anti-reflective Ultra Wide Custom Coating delivers the best available light not only during the peak of the day, but also at dusk and


dawn when optics matter most. Premium ED (Extra Low Dispersion) glass delivers optimal color performance and edge-to-edge sharpness.

offering the advantage of elevation and concealment, however do not over look the effectiveness and convenience of a good ground blind.

Compared to similarly price optics, Legend Ultra•HD binoculars deliver a wider field of view and are also more comfortable to use. Longer eye relief means less eye strain. The new Legend Ultra•HD binoculars are built on a lightweight, durable magnesium chassis. As a bonus they come with a deluxe binocular harness with pre-attached neckstrap lugs that distributes the weight of the binoculars more evenly across your back.

Excalibur has been successfully and safely using ground blinds for decades from the plains and prairies of the west to the boreal forests of the north. Here’s a couple tips to make sure you have a successful and safe hunt.

The new mid-size Legend Ultra•HD binoculars provide all weather performance with their 100 percent waterproof construction and new RainGuard® HD highdensity permanent coating, which scatters less light by minimizing or eliminating moisture on the lens surface.

●● Only open 2 or 3 shooting windows over- looking your shooting lanes, the less light entering the blind the better

– the better!

●● Set your chair at the back of the blind, shooting through the window, almost every good quality blind will allow plenty of room so the limbs will not contact the sides. many new hunters make the BIG mistake of trying to get their crossbow out of the window or too close. The more concealed

The 8x36 version comes in RealTree AP camouflage and the 10x36 model in black. Both come complete with a premium carrying case, neck strap and custom binocular harness. Suggested retail prices are: 8x36 - $249.99 and 10x36 - $249.99. They are available at Bushnell dealers nationwide

Perfect Concealment Excalibur in ground blinds As the laws change legalizing crossbows to be used in the archery season, so too are the methods in which crossbow hunters are using to take big game. Tree stands are a great way to hunt JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 99


●● Keep your shots close , ideally you want to set your blind 25 -30 yards away from your expected target. So next time you’re thinking about a perfect set up, give ground blind hunting a chance , I’m sure the Excalibur & blind won’t let you down. Click on an image below to view some exciting ground blind action with Excalibur.

Benchmade Knife Company Wins 2010 Knife of the Year Model 741 Onslaught Captures Second Straight Knife of the Year Award OREGON CITY, Ore. - The Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence presented its 2010 Knife of the Year Award to Benchmade Knife Company for the model 741 Onslaught™. The awards were presented at the Shooting Industry Masters event on July 23rd in Grand Island, Nebraska.

690 Elishewitz (2001), 720 Mel Pardue (2000), 710 McHenry & Williams (1999), and the 910 Stryker® (1998). For more information on previous winners, please visit: http://www.benchmade.com/shooting_industry/ recap/

Bushnell Introduces New Spotting Scope To The Legend Overland Park, KS. - Bushnell introduces the Legend® Ultra HD 15-45x60 spotting scope. This spotter fits easily into a backpack making it perfect for backcountry hunting trips, and is light enough to use on car window mounts. It has twin dual speed focus controls which provide both rapid focus for moving subjects or low power use, and the ability to slowly fine tune focus when viewing at higher power or closer distances. The mid size spotter has a wide field of view, and a straight eyepiece with a zoom range from 15-45 power. The new Legend 60mm scope features the patented Bushnell RainGuard®HD lens coating for better moisture dispersion and easier cleaning.

“Benchmade is honored to receive such a prestigious award and be recognized for our American-made products and high-quality manufacturing,” says Les de Asis, CEO and Founder of Benchmade Knife Company. The 741 Onslaught features Benchmade’s patented AXIS® Locking Mechanism, contoured G10 handle scales with 420J stainless steel liners, and 154CM stainless steel blade. The knife was designed by renowned custom knife maker, Bob Lum. For more information on the 741 Onslaught, please visit: http:// www.benchmade. com/products/741 Benchmade has now won Knife of the Year twice in the past two years and ten times since 1998. Previous Benchmade Knife of the Year winners include 585 Mini-Barrage® (2009), 610 Rukus® (2006), 425 Gravitator® (2005), 921 Switchback® (2003), 556 Mini-Griptilian® (2002), 100 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010

Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass is employed on the Legend Ultra HD spotting scope to give the sharpest and clearest image available by ensuring that all colors in the light spectrum are focused to the same plane. The 15-45x60mm Legend Ultra-HD spotting scope also features a retractable sun shade, twist-up eyecup, and rotating tripod mounting collar. A soft case and table-top tripod are included.


Legacy Sports Announces HOWA Fluted Barrel Rifles RENO, NEVADA: Legacy Sports International, LLC announces the availability of their popular HOWA® rifle with fluted barrels. Fluting increases the surface area of the barrel, which aids in heat dispersion - and ultimately - keeping the barrel cooler during shooting sessions. The Howa Fluted barrels will be available in six popular calibers: .270 Win. and 30-06 Spfd. in standard blued barrel, .300 Win. Mag. and 7mm Rem. Mag. in blued magnum barrel and .223 Rem. and .308 Win. in heavy barrel. These Fluted Barreled actions are being pared with the ever-popular Hogue Overmolded™ Stock, as well as the new Talon thumbhole stock from BLACKHAWK! Industries. Pricing is set at between $599.00 to $865.00 MSRP. These rifles are available to the shooting press NOW for test and evaluation! See specifications and pricing under separate document, included. Legacy Sports International, LLC is an importer of firearms and shooting accessories. Bringing in high quality, reliable and affordable products for shooting and hunting enthusiasts is the mission of Legacy Sports’ business. With well-respected brands including Howa and Puma rifles, NikkoStirling optics, Escort and Verona shotguns, and the new Citadel brand, Legacy Sports is committed to offer today’s shooting sports enthusiast performance on the range and in the field. Legacy’s track record proves - without a doubt - that they have consistently provided accurate rifles and shotguns as well as award-winning optics for sportsmen on a budget. This is why Legacy Sports is known as “The Most Trusted Name in the Shooting Industry”. Contact: Rick Homme, Legacy Sports International, LLC (775) 828-0555 or rhomme@legacysports.com

Konus Fast Becoming the Optics of Choice By Professional Hunters, T.V. Personalities, and A Multi-Million Dollar Gun & Accessory Company Miami, Florida, July 21, 2010 – The hunting community is abuzz with talk about Konus and everyone agrees that Konus offers high-quality, reliable optics at an affordable price. That is the basic principle behind Konus, which has been praised by hunters, critics and press nationwide as being the best value for your dollar. “Konus means quality and dependability to me,” says O’Neill Williams, top outdoorsman and host of TV’s O’Neill Outside. “As an avid outdoorsman, I hunt and fish all over the world, and I know that there is no substitute for quality optics in the field.” Chad Shearer, world champion elk caller and host of Shoot Straight with Chad Shearer agrees and now recommends Konus to his viewers and fellow hunters. “I am very impressed with the quality of the Konus optics. They are clear, bright and durable. As our viewers know, we demand a lot out of our optics, and Konus makes great products at reasonable prices.” Konus is also the exclusive brand of optics for CVA, the muzzle-loading division of Blackpowder Products, Inc. (BPI). After decades of using other optics, CVA brand muzzleloader guns are now matched and sold with Konus riflescopes. “The Konus line of riflescopes have emerged as one of the most durable and reliable scopes on the market,” said Dudley McGarity, Chief Executive Officer of BPI. Based on the feedback from all of these pros, Konus is highlighting some of their finest products for this upcoming hunting season. First up are the critically acclaimed Konus M30 riflescopes, which in a single unit combine the most advance features and the professional specifications on the market to date. JULY 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 101


Valencia, Spain.

The hunting community is also raving about Konus’ selection of spotting scopes, calling them “unbelievable,” “the clearest” and most “affordable” spotters on the market. Put to the test in the range or in the field, Konus’ powerful spotting scopes are ideal in either environment. In the area of red dots, Konus recommends their “Sight Pro Atomic”, the smallest and lightest traditional red dot sight currently on the market with all of the features and durability of a full-sized unit in an extremely compact footprint. The Sight Pro Atomic is the perfect companion for rifles, shotguns, handguns and a great compliment for carbines, or for mounting on top of traditional riflescopes and/or night vision devices.

Exclusive NRX Technology Offered In 16 Fly Rods From G. Loomis WOODLAND, Washington USA - ICAST Show 2010 Introduction - Anglers around the globe realize G.Loomis is a long-time leader in graphite rod blank technology. It started with IM6 and GL2, then to GL3 and IMX, and then GLX more than 16 years ago, the only graphite made strictly for use in the construction of fishing rods. The next breakthrough is now here with G.Loomis’ new NRX fly rod series, offered in 16 four-piece models in weights and designs for trout, salmon/ steelhead, saltwater and twohand/spey techniques. The rods have already received international recognition by being honored with the ‘Best New Fly Rod’ award at European Fishing Tackle Trade Expo (EFTTEX), held this past June in 102 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010

Calling on the talents of chief rod designer Steve Rajeff and the support of the entire G.Loomis team worldwide, anglers “will uncover a series of rods that are at least 15-percent lighter than equivalent power GLX rods, plus we’re able to offer a durability feature to make them up to 20-percent stronger and more impact resistant,” said Rajeff. “And as anglers would expect from G.Loomis, we bring the best in components - from reel seats, grips and guides - selected specifically for the NRX fly rod series. At G.Loomis, we have never settled for just good enough. These NRX rods are the best at every level in terms of graphite, resins and components to provide anglers with the most dynamic, lightweight and sensitive rods we can make.” According to Justin Poe, brand manager for G.Loomis, the NRX construction method is completely unique to rod manufacturing. “By utilizing a stiffer, lighter and higher density carbon married with Nano Silica resin systems, we can provide Steve and his design team with a material that provides all kinds of positive benefits to anglers. The rods are lighter, yet more durable, extremely sensitive, and yet stiffer. Obviously we simply think they are the best fly rods out there.” Within the NRX series, trout anglers are addressed with four 9-foot rods offered in 3, 4, 5 and 6 weights. For salmon and steelhead action, G.Loomis offers 10-foot NRX rods in 7, 8 and 9 weights. For both lighter action inshore and heavier tarpon and tuna use in the salt, NRX rods include 9-foot 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 weight models, while two-hand casters are provide with NRX spey rods in a 13-foot 8/9, a 14foot 9/10, and a 15-foot 10/11. All the NRX fly rods feature black Ion coated REC Recoil guides. Each rods custom reel seat - proprietary to G.Loomis - has no exposed threads so as to make it easy to lock the reel to the reel seat. The grips feature G.Loomis’ ‘HD cork’ design, where the cork transitions to provide more sensitivity where needed, and more durability in where needed. “What fly anglers will experience with NRX is line on the water sensitivity through the rod blank that they have never felt before - either in a G.Loomis rod or any other,” Poe states. “And with our NRX trout rods, it could be the difference needed on whether you fish


with an indicator or not. At G.Loomis, we say these rods have life. Fish one and you’ll quickly feel what we mean.” As with all G.Loomis rods, the NRX models are manufactured in the USA. For more information on the new NRX fly rods (and bass rods), visit gloomis.com, call 800/GLoomis, or stop by your nearest G.Loomis tackle dealer. Contact: John Mazurkiewicz/Catalyst Marketing 574/289-1331 - jpmazurk@ameritech.net

Canon U.S.A. Expands Its VIXIA Lineup With The New VIXIA HF M32 Dual Flash Memory Camcorder New Camcorder Features 64GB of Internal Flash Memory and Provides SDXC Memory Card Compatibility for Super-Expandable Capacity Up To 2TB LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., July 14, 2010 – Canon U.S.A., Inc, a leader in digital imaging technology, today introduces the new VIXIA HF M32 Dual Flash Memory camcorder. The VIXIA HF M32 is an easyto-use, movie-making tool capable of hours upon hours of high-quality HD video recording, ideal for the aspiring family documentarian or social-networking fanatic. Equipped with 64GB of internal flash memory, the new camcorder can record up to 24 hours of HD video and also includes an SD memory card slot that is fully compatible with latest generation SDXC memory cards. The new SDXC memory card specification increases storage capacity from 32GB up to 2TB and enhances data transfer speeds. Like it’s predecessors in the VIXIA HF M-series (VIXIA HF M31, HF M30, HF M300), the VIXIA HF M32 offers stunning HD video in an ultra-sleek, compact and lightweight body. The VIXIA HF M32 retains Canon’s proprietary imaging technologies – a Genuine Canon HD Video Lens, HD CMOS Image Sensor and DIGIC DV III Image Processor – and like other VIXIA HF M-series camcorders, features a Touch Panel LCD and a host of features that make capturing and sharing stunning HD video easier than ever before, including: • Smart Auto: Makes shooting great video even easier by utilizing Canon’s DIGIC DV III Image Processor to intelligently detect and analyze brightness,

color, distance and movement and automatically select the best setting for the scene being recorded. ●● Touch & Track: Enables users to select a subject on the Touch Panel LCD which will then be recognized and tracked. This sophisticated technology recognizes faces, objects, and even animals, ensuring the subject will always be in focus and properly exposed. ●● Relay Recording: Allows users to capture uninterrupted video when the primary recording media is full. The camcorder will continue to record a scene by switching from one memory source to the other as it fills up, so that a moment of action will not be missed. ●● Powered IS: In addition to Canon’s Dynamic SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization, Powered IS provides an even higher level of compensation for subtle hand movement at the telephoto end of the zoom range. This new enhancement can be engaged by pressing the Powered IS button on the LCD panel. ●● HD-to-SD Downconversion: Enables users to convert recorded HD video to standard-definition files while preserving the original HD video. These standard-definition files make it even more convenient to share video online or create a DVD. ●● Advanced Video Snapshot: Provides the flexibility of capturing two, four, or eight second video clips while recording or during playback. The VIXIA HF M32 is compatible with Eye-Fi SD memory cards, which makes it easy to wirelessly transfer video content and photos to a computer or sharing site. Eye-Fi SD memory cards feature a built-in Wi-Fi that uses your wireless network to effortlessly transfer photos and videos directly from the camcorder. The VIXIA HF M32 is also compatible with Canon’s WPV2 Waterproof Case allowing users to capture exciting HD footage underwater at depths up to 130 feet. The VIXIA HF M32 Dual Flash Memory camcorder is scheduled to be available in September for an estimated retail price of $999.99. The Canon WP-V2 Waterproof Case is currently available for an estimated retail price of $599.

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Blackhawk launches composite toe boot BLACKHAWK!’s new Composite Toe Boot was designed to meet the ASTM F2413-05 safety standards for impact and compression resistance and additional protections such as metatarsal protection, conductive protection, electric shock, static dissipation and protection against punctures. Now, this is a BLACKHAWK! boot so you know it comes with features that are carefully considered and tested such as a Vibram® “Multisport” oil resistant TC4+compound outsole with large, open lugs for traversing debris and providing excellent traction on irregular surfaces. Water, water everywhere and if you are working in a life and death situation, you need boots that won’t slowly drown you. The Composite Toe boot is made from water-resistant Cordura® and a high-abrasion full grain leather upper with an additional SympaTex® waterproof barrier. A Dri-Lex® inner lining wicks away moisture and dries quickly and the midsole is made from long-wearing, water-friendly polyurethane. The footbed is a custom molded Ortholite® footbed that is washable and antimicrobial. The steel shank provides additional support especially when carrying the load of a full pack. Full grain leather heel and toe reinforcements are abrasion and scuff resistant and let’s not forget the composite toe! You’ll have on-thejob comfort all day long. Just remember to take them off when you get home! MSRP $159.99.. • Water-resistant Cordura® and high-abrasion full grain leather upper for rugged durability. Cordura® panels breathe for comfort and help to reduce weight • Additional SympaTex® waterproof barrier • Vibram® “Multisport” oil resistant TC4+compound 104 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010

outsole has large, open lug for traversing debris and provides excellent traction on irregular surfaces • Fully gusseted tongue prevents debris from entering boot • Extra shinable layer full grain leather heel and toe reinforcements provide abrasion and scuff resistance • Steel shank provides additional support needed when under the load of a full pack • Dri-Lex® inner lining wicks away moisture and dries quickly • Washable, antimicrobial, Ortholite® custom molded footbed • Composite toe • Meets ASTM F2413-05 safety standards • LONG-WEARING, WATERFRIENDLY POLYURETHANE MIDSOLE • 2” ANKLEWEBBING ENHANCES STABILITY • Washable, antimicrobial, Ortholite® custom molded footbed

Magellan Launches Next Generation of eXplorist Outdoor Handeld GPS SANTA CLARA, California - Magellan has unveiled the next generation of its award-winning, rugged eXplorist handheld GPS devices for the outdoor recreation market. The new eXplorist 510, 610 and 710 devices allow adventurers to navigate to outdoor destinations worldwide, capture geotagged photos along the way, and share their experiences online when they return home. Each eXplorist model combines highsensitivity GPS, an intuitive user interface, easyto-read mapping and accurate navigation. The new series of handheld GPS units are being revealed at


the OutDoor Trade Fair in Friedrichshafen, Germany, and will be available to consumers inNorth America, Europe, and many other countries worldwide in the 4th quarter, 2010. “With the popularity of social networks, the GPS industry is shifting towards more online experience sharing,” said Justin Doucette, Director, Outdoor Product Marketing, Magellan. “There are many sites that allow for geographic and multimedia data to be posted and shared with others. The eXplorist series allows users to bring their adventures home with them, catalog for future reference, and share online with family and friends.”

tion, accurate elevation information, and enables for weather pattern tracking. Each model in the eXplorist series also includes several innovative features, such as Magellan’s awardwinning OneTouch™ favorites menu, enabling users to instantly access bookmarked locations, searches, and functions. The industrial design incorporates silent proximity alarms. And, to complement the 3.0inch touch screen, each device has two customizable hard buttons to take a photograph, mark a waypoint, or provide quick access to a number of other preferred features.

All three new eXplorist handheld GPS units come equipped with a camera, microphone, and speaker to enable users to record and share their adventures with friends. Each eXplorist device features a 3.0-inch color touch screen, a 3.2 mega-pixel camera with auto-focus, microphone and speaker to record geo-referenced images, videos, and voice notes. All products in the eXplorist series are waterproof (IPX-7) and come preloaded with the most detailed worldwide map in the industry. Magellan’s World Edition map includes a complete road network for the U.S., Canada, Western Europe and Australia, as well as water features, urban and rural land use, and a realistic shaded relief background. The top-of-the-line eXplorist 710 combines the best of on-road and off-road navigation. Built-in maps get adventurers from doorstep to trailhead to summit and back. The eXplorist 710 includes both Magellan’s highly detailed Summit Seriestopographic map and its City Series turn-by-turn map which allows users to navigate their vehicles through busy city streets on their way to their outdoor adventures. The eXplorist 610 and 710 feature a 3-axis electronic compass and a barometric altimeter that provide precise orienta-

lation.

The new eXplorist devices also include essential outdoor features such as expandable memory, paperless geocaching, GPX compatibility, 16 hours of battery life, high sensitivity GPS enabling 3-5 meters of accuracy, vertical profiling, a digital almanac, track summary statistics and area calcu-

The Magellan eXplorist 510 GPS device will be introduced at an M.S.R.P. of USD $349.99, the eXplorist 610 at an M.S.R.P. of USD $449.99, and the eXplorist 710 at an M.S.R.P. of USD $549.99. The units will ship with a standard mini USB cable and 2 lithium disposable AA batteries. With the purchase of a Magellan® eXplorist GPS device customers will receive a 30-day free premium membership to http:// geocaching.com. The new generation of eXplorist GPS handheld devices joins several other new introductions by Magellan this year in the outdoor navigation market. The eXplorist GC, a device 100% dedicated to geocaching, and the ToughCase™, a device that transforms your iPhone or iPod Touch into a rugged, handheld GPS device, were launched earlier this year. For more information, visit magellangps.com

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Make a Plan

Here in Africa, we Boers are pioneers and survivors - and we always make a plan. We got Wallace to share come of them with you. He continues his new series.

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 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE JULY 2010


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Out of brake or hydraulic fluid There is a serious leak in the brake system of your vehicle – you step on the brake and pump until it is later flat on the floor board. The brake fluid holder is empty and you are in the middle of nowhere. The same thing can also happen with the hydraulic coupler. If there is no other option, then you must drive further without brakes and rely on your mechanical hand brake or by using lower gears for the engine to brake the vehicle. You can also rather succeed to drive without clutch. With my old 1962 Series 11 Land Rover I change gears easily without clutch (don’t know if it is that easy with the modern vehicles) and we could, for a long time, manage in Botswana, when the clutch failed there. • To start an emergency plan to fix the brake or clutch system, you must first stop the leak. Look out for moist spots, and if you cannot fix the leak, close the relative part of the system down. You can, if need be, squeeze the problem pipe closed with pliers if it is not the main supply pipe. With only two or three wheels that can brake you can still, with care, go on. • Now the system is shut again but there is still no fluid – what now? Well, emergency is emergency. To get you out of the dilemma, you can use dish washing soap, the very well known green Sunlight Liquid. Dilute it with a little bit of water, but do not let it foam. Just remember it is just for an emergency. You will have to clean the whole system and check everything when you are home because rust can easily start in the pipes or brake cylinders. • To start without a clutch you must get into second gear, switch the key on to get it to start with the starter. Confine it only to emergencies because the starter will work overtime in the process. • To change gears you must drive the vehicle until Dr Wallace Vosloo the engine revolutions are higher than you noris an Engineer and mally would use for that gear. Gently remove your Scientist by profesfoot from the petrol and slip the gears in neutral sion. His family has when you feel the vehicle has little torsion power lived in Africa since 1696 and he has on the wheels. Allow the engine revolutions to go a deep love for the still lower until you feel the vehicle move at the continent. He is a speed of the gear you selected and get it then in practical outdoorsto gear. In the beginning things might be a little man and loves traditional hunting, axe and knife throwscratchy, but you will get the feeling. Don’t even ing, longbow shooting, black powder try to change gears like that when you are on a rifle- and cannon shooting, salt and fresh gradient or when the vehicle is pulling heavily. water fly fishing and tracking. The art of Rather stay in a lower gear and take it easy. 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 hunting 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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John Eldredge

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True North We’ve Bought the Lie

After his resurrection, Jesus sends us all out to do what he did: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20:21 NRSV). And he gives us his authority to do it: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go” (Matt. 28:18-19). Why else would he have given us his authority if we weren’t supposed to use it? The attitude of so many Christians today is anything but fierce. We’re passive, acquiescent. We’re acting as if the battle is over, as if the wolf and the lamb are now fast friends. Good grief-we’re beating swords into plowshares as the armies of the Evil One descend upon us. We’ve bought the lie of the Religious Spirit, which says, “You don’t need to fight the Enemy. Let Jesus do that.” It’s nonsense. It’s unbiblical. It’s like a private in Vietnam saying, “My commander will do all the fighting for me; I don’t even need to fire my weapon.” We are commanded to “resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). We are told, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him” (1 Peter 5:8-9); “Fight the good fight” (1 Tim. 1:18); “Rescue those being led away to death” (Prov. 24:11). Seriously, just this morning a man said to me, “We don’t need to fight the Enemy. Jesus has won.” Yes, Jesus has won the victory over Satan and his kingdom. However, the battle is not over. Look at 1 Corinthians 15:2425: “Then the end will come, when he [Jesus] hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” After he has destroyed the rest of the Enemy’s works. Until then, he must reign by bringing his enemies under his feet. Jesus is still at war, and he calls us to join him. (Waking the Dead , 167-68)


African Expedition Magazine Volume 3 Issue 1  

Blind to Blood: Can you read a blood spoor? - Graduating to Buffalo: Hunting Africa with your son - The Blaser S2 Safari: Revolutionary Dou...

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