Boddington's Adventures

When it comes to handling loaded guns, it is absolutely impossible to be too careful.

By Craig Boddington

We talk endlessly about the relative dangers of one member of the Big Five versus another. Statistically, even hunting dangerous game is a whole lot safer than a lot of other popular pastimes—but I am convinced that the most dangerous creature of all is another human with a firearm. For a guide, who is often in front, the risks are obvious. I am not resentful of guides who are anal about checking chambers and not allowing rounds to be chambered until permission is given. This just makes sense, and I was that way back when I was doing a little guiding. I’m the same way with my kids, but it’s actually worse when you’re hunting with a stranger with unknown safety habits—and a level of excitability that is also unknown.

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You never know if opportunities at game will come easily or not at all, so don't pass up a gift when it's given.

By Craig Boddington

I’ve often written that goat country starts where sheep country stops, and that goat hunting is thus generally tougher than sheep hunting. This is true, but it always depends on your luck and the exact circumstances. Just recently I did a spring hunt for Beceite ibex in southeastern Spain. Realistically, because of intensive and effective management in somewhat restricted islands of habitat, hunting any of the four Spanish ibex is generally less demanding than hunting the other races of ibex. The Beceite is often the least strenuous of the four Spanish ibex because their country is lower, wooded hills that usually aren’t especially steep…although locating them when they’re in the trees can border on impossible.

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Sometimes you can't use your own rifle on a hunt. What then?

By Craig Boddington

Many hunters are also serious rifle nuts. I guess I’m one of them, because one of the great pleasures in planning any hunting trip is figuring out the exactly perfect rifle, scope, cartridge, and bullet for the upcoming event. Some of us agonize over this endlessly, and it’s truly not only part of the fun, but part of the satisfaction to take that perfect combination and use it effectively on game animals we have long dreamed about.

On the other hand, there are many extremely successful hunters who are not “gun guys” at all. To them the hunting firearm is simply a tool, only slightly more complex and interesting than a shovel. Sometimes I envy them, because it’s easy to get caught up in the nuances when all that really matters, within very broad parameters, is to “hold ‘em and squeeze ‘em.”

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