Recently there has been much on the media about hunting Africa and especially “trophy hunting” the Dark Continent. I dearly love hunting Africa! I’ve been there numerous times including the west African countries of Benin and Burkina Faso; eastern African in Uganda; southern Africa in Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa and Namibia. How many times, I’ve never really counted. Numbers are not impressive nor important to me, memories are! I’ve made so many great memories in Africa! Every animal I’ve ever taken has been a trophy whether I shot it strictly for meat or for meat and to have the animal’s horns, antlers or skin mounted by The Wildlife Gallery to help me remember every minute detail of the hunt. I mount animals for several reasons, one, to truly honor the animal as a memorial. The Wildlife Gallery’s accurately reproduced mounts too, help me recall every detail involving the taking of them, every time I look a them. I recall the people I shared camp with; the food we ate; the stories we told around the evening campfires; the dust, heat, cold, and wet. I don’t really mount animals to show them off to others, although quite often they are seen by others, which gives me an opportunity to talk about the hunt, those with me and what it took to find and bring down the animal.
August passed quickly, and it had little to do with my wishing my life away anticipating a grizzly/brown hunt in Alaska where fishing might also figure into the equation. A week remained before I was flying to Anchorage, “Going to put you on a place I prefer to call “No Name Creek”. It was here last year we saw four bears that would easily go 8 feet or better as well as several black bear as well. It’s a creek that is pretty well the end of the red, dog and pink salmon run, so there should be some fishing as well, so you’ll want to bring fishing gear. They’ll be pretty spent by the time you and they get there. Probably won’t want to eat them, but there should also be some Dolly Varden as well and you know they’re good to eat.” I was nodding as Clifford Smith spoke as if he was sitting in the same room with me.
“Senor Colorado, macho grande venado, mucho puntas, es del norte presa, con un hembra!”
“Este viejo?” I questioned.
“Si, Colorado, vistante, muy ancho!” replied Hector.
He assured me it was the wide, massive buck with many points one of the bucks I had shown him photos of seen and photographed while doing the ranch’s annual helicopter game survey. The buck was in the mesquite flat where it drained into a stock tank (waterhole for livestock) in the far north pasture. He had left him there chasing a doe about 20 minutes ago.