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Hunting with the Bulawayo Boys - Charlie Haley

How was your scribe doing in the midst of all this mayhem? You may well ask. I was not exactly covering myself with glory. I had an encounter with the mythical wildebeest previously, where they were spotted during a walk (I actually spotted them, but this turned out to be cold comfort. I would have been better off keeping quiet). It was my turn, and as the quarry were some way off through a patch of twig-laden bush I decided to utilise my superb tracking and stalking skills to send the lot of them skittering off into the sunset. In best Apache style I slithered on my stomach from one patch of grass to the other, and while I was busily engaged in doing this (and picking up no end of devil thorns and spear grass, I may add), the others watched enthralled as one wildebeest after another presented itself in a position that a maladroit six year old could hardly have missed. Of course, when Our Hero condescended to ease his steely eye above a patch of cover that would hardly have concealed a dung beetle (and which sure as heck didn't conceal him), the wildebeest were all back in cover. This farcical situation ended inevitably with a snort of alarm and a thundering of hooves from the wildebeest, and a snort of pain from Our Hero as he squatted baboon-like to remove sundry thorns, ticks and what have you from his person.

Then there were the wart hog. We spotted some in a very open patch, so while the others watched I snuck forth to try and bag one. I homed in on one peacefully rooting away, partially screened by some light and tufty grass, placed the crosshairs in the appropriate lightly screened spot and squeezed off. Of course, it wasn't just grass in the way, but a mound of earth as well. Bullet ploughs into earth. Wartpigs gap it every which way. Our Hero thunders forth, sending an entirely futile bullet after a fleeing hog. Oh dear.

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It was my turn AGAIN when we were driving back to camp and saw some hogs next to the road. Off I hopped, snuck up to a good position and flinched like a good 'un, ploughing up the dirt yet again. (Any of you farmers out there need some ploughing done, just invite me to do some hunting). Score at this instance - warthog 2, me 0. Wildebeest 1, me 0. Oh dear. All I could claim at the end of the day was some warthog which were definitely frightened and a herd of amused wildebeest.

Does this mean I'm giving up hunting as a bad thing? The heck it does! Roll on next year - after all, it's the getting out in the bush which is the main thing, whether you see anything or not. Even if you do see something, stalk it, and ultimately fail, one doesn't necessarily have to have shot anything to have had a memorable and a wonderful trip, which after all is largely made up of just being there, the memories of things which went wrong as well as that which went right and good friends around a campfire at night. Don't forget I also have HOPE - haven't you heard of things which have died laughing?? Well, perhaps if I amuse the next herd of wildebeest so much that they actually start keeling over, I won't have to shoot at all...

Go to Page: 1 2 3 Related Articles: Learn When to Shoot, Sh*t or Go Blind
You might be a big game hunter if you Live to Hunt, rather than Hunting to Live. ~ Brennan Colyer

African Hunter Vol.5 No.3 June1999
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