American Hunter - June 2013 - 38

Every day was a new adventure as the
author covered ground glassing and
stalking the game he'd always dreamed
of hunting, starting with the zebra
below. Opposite page: Icing on the cake
was this fine kudu, left, followed by the
gemsbok as he posed with daughter
Kelly and son-in-law Dave.

best, most supportive wife in the world,
who always told me my dreams of hunting kudu and gemsbok would come true
someday. We raised our family and after
30 years I decided to hang up my badge
and retire. We discussed my options for
making a journey to Africa and I spent
hours researching hunting safaris on the
Internet. When I came to the conclusion
that a 10-day plains-game hunt would be
no more expensive than a four- or five-day
trophy elk hunt here in the states, I realized maybe I could afford this trip after all.
I read everything I found on the subject. In late 2010, I found an advertisement
for an African hunting show scheduled
for Atlanta in January 2011, so my wife
and I made a reservation at the Hyatt
Atlanta where the show was taking place.
My daughter Kelly and her fiancé, Dave,

began expressing an interest in going to
Africa, so in January they joined my wife
and me on the trip.
I spoke to numerous outfits during this
two-day show. We focused our attention
on plains game and spent most of our
time talking with outfitters from South
Africa and Namibia-two countries that
appeared to be very stable with good
road systems and were relatively easy for
American hunters to access. I decided I
really did not want to hunt a high-fenced
concession, regardless of its size, in favor
of pursuing free range animals like the
ones Ruark and Peter Hathaway Capstick
hunted. However, I learned at the show
that most plains-game hunting in South
Africa is high-fenced hunting. Though I
have no problem hunting those areas-as
some concessions measure thousands of

Get Set for Safari

If you're planning a first trip to Africa, my
"must have" gear starts with a rifle with which you are confident, a quality binocular
and a pair of good, well-worn boots-especially if you want to spot-and-stalk. Of course,
next on the list should be your camera and an adventurous spirit.
From my experience, don't assume Africa is out of reach. For reference, the cost of my
adventure was $6,400, including: 10 days in camp, a night at Etosha National Park, a night
at a guest house in Windhoek for the return trip, six trophy animals, luxury accommodations and the best food in the world. Book flights early for the best deals. You also may
save money by having some or all of your trophies mounted by a taxidermist in Africa.
Do your research and make a plan. One less soft drink from the convenience store each
day, for example, can save you $500 a year. A safari can be the best hunting experience
of your life as well as a wonderful family vacation. Non-hunting family members can take
day trips and enjoy excursions riding ATVs in the desert to watching area seal colonies
on the coast and visiting Estosha National Park. To book your own safari in Namibia
with Johann Veldsman of Shona Hunting Adventures, visit shona-adventures.com.
My entire life, each time I would speak to someone who had hunted Africa I was told,
"No one goes to Africa only once." I never understood why that was the case until I took
my own trip-and now it's crystal clear. I will return someday. Africa is most definitely
within the average guy's reach with a little preparation and planning.
june 2013 ❘

36 ❘  americanhunter.org

Photos: Author

When I was about 10 years old, I found
my first copy of Horn of the Hunter by
Robert Ruark, which was heavy reading
for a boy that age. As I read of his safari,
my mind raced at the thought of all those
exotic animals. I knew that one day I,
too, would make my way to the "Dark
Continent." Until then, I would have to
be content hunting squirrels, rabbits and
the deer that filled our Virginia woods.
After high school I began my career in
law enforcement. Family and work obligations kept me busy but I always found
the time to escape to the woods every
hunting season. The years passed but my
dream of hunting Africa was ever present.
I spoke to everyone I could who hunted
Africa but believed the cost of such a
hunt would be far beyond a cop's budget.
I am very fortunate to have married the


http://www.shona-adventures.com http://www.americanhunter.org

American Hunter - June 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - June 2013

American Hunter - June 2013 - 1
American Hunter - June 2013 - 2
American Hunter - June 2013 - 3
American Hunter - June 2013 - 4
American Hunter - June 2013 - 5
American Hunter - June 2013 - 6
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