May/June 2016 Issue – Cover Stories

May/June 2016 Issue – Cover Stories

The Hunter’s ImageMay_June cover story_hunters image_bigIvan Carter explains how powerful the anti-hunters have become and how important it is for hunters to realise this and to take action to portray a positive image of hunting and hunters.

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African explorers: Savorgnan de Brazza and the French CongoMay_June cover-story_african-exploreBrazzaville, situated in today’s Republic of Congo, is the last African capital still bearing the name of the white explorer who brought Congo, Gabon, and Oubangui-Chari into the embrace of his adopted country, France.

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.416 Rigby – a very proper British bolt rifle

May_June cover story_416 rigbyA .416 Rigby rifle dating from before World War II that has had the holy water sprinkled over it by Mr Rigby himself, is indeed a thing of beauty and a joy to behold.

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Bowhunt above the clouds …

May_June cover story_bowhunt The grey rhebuck poses a great challenge to the hunter. Danie Geel accepted the challenge and hunted a fine specimen with bow and arrow in the Eastern Cape mountains – no mean feat!

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Damaraland – a place forgotten by time

May_June cover story_damaraland_bigAndries de Klerk and his father experienced the hunt of a lifetime in the remote, vast, barren landscape of Damaraland, Namibia – a region famous for its ancient welwitschia plants and magnificent springbuck.

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Also in this issue

Close calls with capture drugs

Working with potent capture drugs can be very dangerous. Despite the necessary precautions, accidents can happen. Cleve Cheney tells the story of his close calls.

 

.458 Express – an African cartridge in Alaska

Chris Bekker and Dave Campbell share with us the wanderings of this African big-game cartridge while hunting dangerous game in Africa as well as Alaska.

 

Hunting the Damara dik-dik

Benand Els provides useful information on hunting a Damara dik-dik trophy. It will assist the hunter with planning a successful hunt.

 

Road rage of the elephant kind …

Seasoned PH Geoff Wainwright tells the story of a close call when he and his crew were charged by a herd of elephant in Tanzania

 

The life of a young game ranger and PH

John Coleman reminisces about his experiences and adventures when working as a young game ranger and PH in the then Southern Rhodesia

 

Nature’s Newspaper – Wilderness

Colin Patrick beliefs the best way to learn about the wilderness is with a backpack trail on foot in one of Africa’s untouched wilderness areas.

 

A story of two leopards

While working as a game ranger in Matopos National Park in the then Rhodesia, Ron Thomson often had to deal with stock-killing leopards.

 

Hunting in the Doma safari area, 1998

Owen Connor relives the days when hunting buffalo, elephant and other game in Zimbabwe’s Doma area, which teemed with wildlife then

 


From the Editor

 Sterile freaks

For the last couple of months I have been standing quietly on the sideline, observing the “amazing investment opportunity scheme” unfold and mature. Yes, I am referring to the colour variants bred all over South Africa …

We have passed yet another breeding season with many an investor anxiously inspecting his 2-hectare “farm” every morning, hoping to spot some black newborn lambs. When he finds nothing, he blames it on the drought. No Mister Investor, it is not the drought, but it could be because your R500 000 black impala ram has only one testicle, or does not produce any sperm, or perhaps has an underdeveloped scrotum.

This is of course the result of intensive inbreeding, year after year. Not even to mention major other anatomical deformities that can only be observed from a dead specimen – over- or underdeveloped organs, such as lung, liver and heart. Recently I was told about a kraal buffalo with a heart three times the size of a normal one. He might have a 47″ spread, but can he be regarded as a good representative of the species?

All of the above is the result of a very limited gene pool of these freaks, like the black impala or golden gnu, which these investors originally found in the wild. The thousands of colour variants found on farms today basically all descend from only a couple of individuals that originally occurred in the wild. Then there are also new freaks bred from the original ones by investors, such as “royal impala”, “king springbuck” and many others. As all these animals are related, it is to be expected that anatomical deformities will be the order of the day.

But let us look at Mister Investor who still refers to a “kudu ram and ewe” or a “nyala ram”. He also talks about his “roland ward” impala and, my personal favourite, his “roland award” impala. Sir, please familiarise yourself with the basics like Rowland Ward before you call yourself a game rancher. Also take note of the following:

  • Males in the wild need to compete before mating, thus ensuring that the best genes are passed on; it also helps with the production of more and healthy sperm. You offer none of these benefits to the animals on your 2-hectare “farm”. Your females have to make do with what you offer them, even if it is a black impala ram with one testicle.
  • You may even find that your females refuse the male (the one with excellent genes that you specially selected from a top breeder), as they sense what you cannot – he is utterly useless! But what do they know; you have paid a fortune for this male and that is all that counts.

I have even heard of new “top investors” developing game pellets that will bring females into season earlier – yes, three impala lambs in two years! When all the breeders have bought from all the other breeders, Mr Investor, who are you going to sell to? Yes, I know, us hunters, but that is your story and you stick to it. With all the pellets and vitamins you feed your freaks, I am sure an impala ram in the thick Dwaalboom bush tastes much better than the black impala from your 2-hectare “farm”.

It is still early in the auction season but one can already see the trend – two years ago a bargain black impala ram sold for R800 000; now you cannot give it away for R150 000.

Happy hunting!

Neels Geldenhuys

Chief Editor

(You are welcome to join the African Outfitter group on facebook!)

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