Can't Shake The Dust
I must hunt more ( said every hunter I know). Here's a short excerpt from a very long article....Universal Hunter was a great mag...but like many printed forms of media...it couldn't survive in todays world.... picking up around day 5...
.......... after the intense standoff I needed to sit down. I leaned the bow against the side of the hide and had a long drink of refreshing water. I was enjoying every moment of the experience. I wanted to drink in every second this all too brief trip to Africa had to offer. I could not have been more content sitting there in the hide munching on a granola bar and washing it down with cold water in the growing heat of the day.
Leaning back and stretching out cramped legs my eye lids began to get heavy. Fighting off the urge to close my eyes didn’t last long. I drifted off to sleep.
Perhaps I heard something. Perhaps a 6th hunter’s sense. Perhaps just plain good luck. I awoke with a start. I peered out through a peek hole in the hide and to my astonishment I saw legs!
I slowly arose from my slouched back position and identified the animal as a nice Impala ram drinking noisily. Still groggy I allowed myself to sit back in the seat to the point where I could still see the tops of the impala’s horns.
Enjoying the close range show I about jumped out of the seat when slowly but steadily I could see the tips of a very big Nyala drifting in behind the Impala’s. Kicking my butt for not being ready and in shooting position I painstakingly reached for my bow, careful not to knock the arrow off the shelf. Making sure I had my familiar grip on the handle and a nice deep hook on the string I again looked out hoping to still see the white tipped horns at 14 yards.
To my complete relief, they were still there almost appearing to float on air. The blackness and height of the ivory tipped horns silhouetted against the blue sky had my heart in my throat. Every movement no matter how miniscule and calculated seemed magnified.
Getting my feet back underneath me in just the right position to stand seemed to be a monumental task. Difficult beyond reason. Nevertheless, at some point I was ready to rise out of the seat. I closed my eyes for a split second, expelled the air I had been involuntarily holding in, said a prayer to whoever might be listening and began to stand up.
The Nyala came into view as I came to full height. Fighting back an audible gasp, my bow arm instinctively came up and the growing pressure on my string fingers never felt so natural and well rehearsed. Practice and muscle memory kicked in. I had no doubt of the outcome. The yellow and black fletched arrow buried deep.
The Nyala wheeled and ran. At about 75 yards it stopped and stared back. Twenty long seconds ticked by and then it began to grow unsteady. The outcome was never in doubt at this point. I silently wished for the broadhead to do its work quickly and humanely.
I’m always a little in awe of how efficient a well placed arrow can be. This shot was no exception. The Nyala fell quickly and never got up. I sat back and had to pinch myself. I’d be lying if I didn’t give myself a little pat on the back. Three record book animals with 3 arrows from a light weight trad bow. All short recoveries with quick humane kills.
I was riding a wave and didn’t want it to end. Once again I was txting Lammie with good news.
The remainder of the week I spent trying to kill a good wildebeest. I had a good bull in at 15 yards one morning but he was protected by cows that were also at the water. I can say though, having a great wildebeest at 15 yards is not something I will soon forget. In fact, there are many aspects of this hunt I will always remember fondly.
More than dust gets into your blood when hunting Africa. It truly has it all. You name it, Africa offers it.
We stopped for pictures at one particularly pretty spot. I think I left a piece of my hunter’s heart on that hillside……I hope to go back one day to reclaim it.