I have passed up many opportunities to hunt and fish over the years
I lost one of my oldest friends to prostate/bone cancer last year. It profoundly affected me and reminded me of my father’s recurrent warning to go hunting, fishing, trapping while I was still young?
Ignoring my father’s good advice for most of my life, I have passed up many opportunities to hunt and fish over the years, pursuing various careers instead, until I found myself no longer young.
So, I felt more than fortunate to hunt Africa and lucky that the hunting did not include much mountain climbing, fording of rivers, or deep jungle excursions. In fact, on the last day of our 10-day hunt, cloudy weather turned into a light steady rain. Since we were south of the equator in April, the weather was cool, dry, and calm.
My African Hunt – Cape Bushbuck
Brother Thomas lamented that the forecast did not bode well for our last day as he was still short one Cape Bushbuck, having given up an earlier chance, which I took for him :-). But the next morning, after a good sleep and quick breakfast, we all loaded into the truck for a short trip around the farm.
It wasn’t long before we heard a tap on the roof and a soft voice telling Nick my Mountain Reedbuck was waiting for me right up the hill. Sure enough, Nick, with his laser vision, spotted the small herd of Reedbuck just north of the road and high up on the hill. It took a minute more for him to find the buck lying down in the perfect cover of rock and veld.
“Reedbuck”, Nick says, while sliding out of the driver’s seat.
“Reedbuck,” Nick says while sliding out of the driver’s seat. Binoculars in hand, he whispers, “Nice one,” my cue to get armed and ready. In another second, the dreaded “sticks” were up. As I mounted the 280, Ackley asking out of the corner of my mouth, “how far” Nick relayed “190”.
In the two minutes it took us to set up, the lovely little, 50lb buck had gotten up from his “comfortable” bed and slowly walked up the hill, just cresting it for a perfect silhouette in the overcast drizzle, and then it happened.
Without my usual pause and seemingly endless “aiming,” I found the relatively small shoulder and squeezed that trigger like Adam finally touched God. I knew when the buck’s head reared up, and his hind legs slipped out from under him that the 160 grain Nosler Accubond hand worked as advertised. Nick could not hide his surprise, but he did smile. Back to the farm for a nice lunch, requisite nap, and on to the afternoon hunt!
Perfect start to a great day! Stay tuned for the Final Chapter of our African hunt.