I was talking with a colleague the other day and he asked, “So Hanback, when’s your next trip over my man?”
”To Africa man!” he roared.
I explained that I had never been on safari and had never really wanted to go all that much. He looked at me like I was the village idiot.
“Ah, there is nothing like it,” he opined, a touch of British high-brow creeping into his voice. “I was bitten by the bug several years ago and I hardly want to hunt anywhere else.”
The guy is not alone. Have you noticed all the safari stories in magazines and African hunts on TV lately? Facebook and the Internet are packed with pictures/posts of hunters with African game they’ve felled.
I was talking with another man who shot his first elephant. Voice cracking, he told me how he’d dropped the magnificent beast with a brain shot at 20 yards and that it was “a life-changing experience.”
Always one to ask deep and poignant questions I blurted, “Did the ground shake when he went down?”
“Ah, yes,” he replied, speaking some Brit too. I find it strange that people start talking like that when they come back from Africa.
From what I understand this fascination with Africa is largely economic. They tell me you can hunt Africa for a week or 2 cheaper than you can go to Alaska, which I consider the world’s top hunting destination (been there 6 times). But I bet they are leaving out all the taxidermy bills and the trans-oceanic shipping fees.
If this deer hunter ever goes over, what would I shoot? Not an elephant or a zebra or a giraffe or a leopard or a lion. I have only marginal interest in a buffalo. I’d carry my .30-06 or 7mm Remington Ultra Mag and whack some plains game like kudu and impala. That should be fun.
What about you people? Ever been to Africa? Do you want to go? What animals would you like to hunt?
BTW, all the stories are not so fine. I know a guy who went on a bowhunting safari one time and shot a baboon at a waterhole. “Worst hunting experience of my life,” he said. “Damn thing screamed like a person and ran off. Go, just don’t shoot a baboon.”