Kalahari Springbok

Posted by on Jul 17, 2014 in The Faraway Blog | Comments Off

The Hunting Blog Elegantly decked out in terracotta, chocolate and cream, springbok stand out vividly against the arid landscapes of southern Africa. Whether travelling in an elegant trot, or ‘pronking’ stiff–legged with their white dorsal flag out, they are always a delight to see. They are often very skittish, and long shots are more common than not. If springbok have a fault it’s that they still exist in such numbers that many people take them for granted – and that’s our problem, not theirs. There are various color phases and subspecies, but the one I’ve always hankered...

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The little tusker – Part II

Posted by on May 29, 2014 in The Faraway Blog | Comments Off

The Faraway Blog - It’s early afternoon on the Rooipoort Wildlife Reserve in South Africa, 106,000 acres of arid acacia thorn paradise. The heat has been building, the kind of heat that puts big pigs on the lookout for a lovely mud bath. Mad dogs and warthog hunters go out in the midday sun – time to go scouting. I’m with Hans ‘Scruff’ Vermaak, former president of the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa, lifelong DSC member and general good guy. It’s scorching, but a scrape of the boot shows that we have the wind on our side. After twenty one...

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Shooting Sportsman reviews ‘Wild South’

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in The Faraway Blog | Comments Off

  Shooting Sportsman is a seriously good US magazine, if fine shotguns and bird hunting float your boat. (I have to keep wiping drool off mine.)   Here are some nice things they had to say in the latest...

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Ultimate light African sporter – Part II

Posted by on Feb 15, 2014 in The Faraway Blog | Comments Off

The Hunting Blog A while back I promised an update on a light rifle for Africa. Well, it’s built now, and while it may not suit everyone, it suits me just fine. The heart of any rifle is the action, in this case a small ring, double square bridge Mauser built in 1949 by BRNO. Why that one? Well, it has integral scope mounts milled into the receiver, making a QD mount very easy. Alaska Arms makes a beautifully machined steel model that locks on like a limpet but flips off in a second, perfect for those occasions when a scope isn’t needed.  I grew up on open sights, and sometimes...

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Bushbuck – the solitary warrior

Posted by on Feb 8, 2014 in The Faraway Blog | 0 comments

The Hunting Blog - Lots of guys go to Africa with a bushbuck in mind, but many give up on them when they find out what’s involved. Some get plumb lucky and simply chance across a nice one…but more often than not a good ram will mean days spent spooking around thick riverine growth and pussyfooting through gloomy thickets. Challenge is the name of the game with the little bushbuck. There are many species and subspecies, ranging from the dark, almost black specimens of the Cape to the exotic Menelik’s bushbuck of Ethiopia. They survive in patches of cover and on farms long after the more...

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Impala – the colours of Africa

Posted by on Jan 22, 2014 in The Faraway Blog | 0 comments

The Hunting Blog – Impala are a common game animal in any safari that involves savannah, and that means many hunters take them for granted. It’s a mistake, because those tan skins shaded with cream and black are among the most lovely to be found in Africa, and the rams (a male impala is a ram, not a buck) are elegance personified. In early winter when the rut is in full swing their hoarse croaking never fails to raise a tingle of excitement. During this frenetic time males are dazzled by hormones but ewes remain alert, so while you make your moves on a trophy, some canny old girl...

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Posted by on Jan 14, 2014 in The Faraway Blog | 0 comments

The Hunting Blog - There are phases in understanding Cape buffalo. At first the fearsome reputation makes them intimidating to anyone on foot and up close. Then the penny drops that undisturbed buff are not that different from flighty cows. Eventually – and this is the bit that takes some luck to get through – the third stage kicks in. Yes, left to themselves buff are mostly like cows…except for the odd psychopath with issues. Trouble is he’ll look just like all the rest, and when things go downhill they go down fast. Bottom line is when you get the nose in the air...

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Pulling the birds

Posted by on Jan 6, 2014 in The Faraway Blog | 0 comments

The Hunting Blog - In Argentina the provinces of Cordoba, Buenos Aires, Entre Rios and La Pampa have the eared dove, the torcaza, in numbers beyond counting. Cordoba is the famous one and may have more than twenty-five million doves, while the total across the continent probably runs into the hundreds of millions. The breeding cycle in a warm climate can run up to six times a year. They are often mixed up with larger wild pigeons, the spot-winged and the picazuro. Compared to doves the latter seem heavy in flight, with a slower wingbeat, but it’s deceptive. There are the usual feral pigeons...

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