Any mature kudu bull is a trophy to be proud of.
By Craig Boddington
The greater kudu is perhaps the most recognizable of Africa’s antelopes, certainly one of the most impressive, and for most first-time African hunters, near the top of the wish list. Today the “plains game safari” is the most common African hunt, and the majority of plains game safaris are conducted in Namibia and South Africa. Despite his reputation as the “gray ghost” the greater kudu is the most plentiful and most widespread large antelope in southern Africa, so most hunters will get a chance at a greater kudu during the course of their safari.
However, their chances of actually getting that long-dreamed of kudu are much better if their expectations are realistic. In this terribly trophy-conscious world of ours, too many hunters are running around with measuring tapes in their pockets and their heads filled full of particular dimensions. This seems to apply more to some animals than others, and it certainly applies to the greater kudu.READ MORE
Less can be more when it comes to the right calibers and cartridges for Africa’s antelopes.
By Craig Boddington
The zebra stallion was about 125 yards away, quartering slightly toward us. Donna was steady on the sticks, and when her shot broke we heard the solid thunk of the bullet striking. So far that was according to plan, but then things got interesting. The zebra reared up on his hind legs, fell over backward—and that was it.
A big zebra can weigh 800 pounds; it is, after eland, probably the largest of what we consider “African plains game.” Zebras are also very tough. I’ve spent some long days following poorly hit zebras, and I’ve seen relatively few drop to the shot like that. PH Karl van Zyl, of course, has seen a lot more zebras shot than I have, and probably spent a lot more long days following them. We both wanted to be diplomatic, but our immediate conclusions were exactly the same: Donna must have pulled the shot a bit high and it caught the spine…or drifted left into the neck.READ MORE
Phototourism has its place, but in terms of benefit to wildlife, there's no substitute for going afield with a rifle.
by Diana Rupp
The rifle is the primary tool of the hunter. A few hunters consider their rifles just that—tools—and nothing more. Most of us, though, also enjoy rifles for their own sake: the fine lines, craftsmanship, that peculiar combination of wood (or synthetics) and metal that turns a simple, powerful tool into a valued possession, a cherished heirloom, an old friend.
People who don’t hunt sometimes ask me why I can’t “just take a camera” into the field, instead of a rifle. I try to explain that carrying the rifle changes my experience in nature from one of an observer to one of a participant, intimately involved in the cycle of life in the natural world. As much as I enjoy observing nature, participating in it is, to me, far more rewarding.