The Appeal of Dangerous Big Game Hunting

| 2/24/2009 3:58:00 PM

A portrait of the author, Caleb ReganOne of my very favorite books is Ernest Hemingway’s Green Hills of Africa, a story in which Hemingway chronicles a hunting safari in Africa and uses the story to illustrate his love of, and opinions about, hunting, nature, writing and life in general. Big game hunting is of another realm in outdoor pursuits, and while I’m perfectly content chasing whitetail deer in the heart of America, stories of hunting things like lions in places like the Kalahari Desert in South Africa do get my blood pumping.One of Hemingway's finest

While looking at hunting stories over the weekend, I ran across an Outdoor Life story, “Bowhunting Africa's Killer Cats,” that blew me away.

In it, the author is hunting lion in Africa, with a bow. I read a lot of hunting stories, and hunting big cats with a bow borders on insanity.

To summarize, the author is using a pack of dogs, which chase and apparently bother the lion. According to the story, the lion will initially run from a pack of dogs, until it has had enough. When that encounter takes place, the lion is so distracted by the pack of dogs, the hunter is able to get in bow range.

In this case, which is a fascinating story, the author sinks an arrow into the lion’s heart from 10 yards, but the lion doesn’t immediately die. It turned on him and as it approached, one of the dogs, a Jack Russell-hound mix named Speck, lunged and momentarily occupied the lion – in a courageous and honorable, yet fatal, way – giving the hunter enough time to notch a second arrow and send it into the lion’s vitals.

The author then goes on to talk about a few others of his big cat hunting experiences. To help you avoid confusion, the “Following the Hounds” section is repeated in the Outdoor Life online version.

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