Cape buffalo, Kalahari Desert
‘It’s hot now. The bush doves began their insistent throbbing before sunrise. Now, four hours of steady walking into the trail, they are drowsy in the shadows. The two old bulls moved away from water last night at a steady pace, covering ground. It surprises nobody that the bush is growing dense, the spoor winding through thickets of thorn. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve done this, the clichés will run through your thoughts. M’bogo. Inyati. Hemingway, Ruark and Capstick. Black Death. The .375 that felt so good on the bench now feels – as H.G. Wells would have it – like bows and arrows against the lightning.
Suddenly they’re right there, twenty paces away. If you shoot he’s so close there will be almost no time for a follow up. But if he turns just a little and sees us with those bloodshot eyes the distance is so short that he may just drop into a flat charge anyway.
The seconds before opening the game with a true dagga boy are a precise hunting moment. He can run faster than you, much faster. Out here, on the vast empty Kalahari, there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to climb. In a moment or two you’ll bring the rifle to your shoulder and nobody knows what will happen…’
from Hunting Life – Moments of Truth
Peter P. Ryan www.faraway.co