Rural Missouri - November 2013 - (Page 36)

N E I G H B O R S The most dangerous game Missouri man bags African Dangerous Seven C by Kile Brewer ameron resident Weston Scott realized late in life that he was and had always been a hunter. So, after a lifetime of adventures outside the realm of hunting, he and his wife, Loretta, headed to the South African bush in search of some of the world's most dangerous game. Weston was born in Galt where his grandfather had been the country doctor for 47 years. His family moved to southern California when he was young, and he was raised there until eventually attending El Camino junior college in Englewood. Then his mother got sick. "My mother had cancer one year, so I dropped out," Weston says. "Eventually, I went into the ministry at the Minnesota Bible College and then went to Lincoln Christian Seminary in Lincoln. Then I went into the Army as a chaplain, where I got a commission in 1965." Weston then attended the U.S. Army chaplain school and was assigned to Fort Leonard Wood. "I did the services in a small Weston Scott stands in front of the hide of church there," Weston says. "There "My wife said, 'You know, I don't were seats for 200 people. Evenknow how long you're gonna live, tually, the congregation grew to but would you like to do some travelabout 345, and it was standing ling?' I said, 'Yeah, that'd be fine.' She room only. I decided it would be a said, 'What about Africa?' I said, 'You, good idea to start a choir, and then wanna go to Africa, like on a safari?' 210 people joined. I had the largShe said, 'Yeah.' Well, she was talkest choir in the Army." ing about a photo safari, and I didn't Weston built a loyal congregaknow it and I said, 'Let's go!'" tion before getting handed a new He began planning for the pair's assignment. first safari and the first hunt of his life. "After Fort Leonard Wood, I "I got about 14 or 15 animals over went to Vietnam," Weston says. He was married there that time and I got hooked," just 17 days before Weston says. "Nobody ever asked me if I'd like to go hunting, so I being deployed and * ended up serving two never knew I liked to go huntCameron tours. But after 1970, he ing, and I went through my was back in the United second childhood." After that, there was States. In 1973, he was no turning back. Weston reassigned to Panama. began planning the next After his Army career, safari almost as soon as he Weston moved into real returned from Africa. He estate and now lives in Cameron. would work awhile, save some money It wasn't until after a major heart and then head back to his professurgery that his African adventures sional hunter in South Africa where would be considered. the game was waiting. "I had a five-artery bypass about After a while, he wasn't just hunt17 years ago," says the Farmers' ing for any old animals, he was after Electric Cooperative member. 36 a zebra that he killed on safari in Africa. the Dangerous Seven: the African elephant, black rhinoceros, Cape buffalo, lion, leopard, Nile crocodile and hippopotamus. "After the second or third safari, I said, 'Well, what about the dangerous game, that's kind of interesting,'" Weston says. "I got three out of the Big Five in 2007. And then I ended up getting all of the Dangerous Seven animals eventually. I had eight different safaris over a period of about five or six years." During those trips, Weston won several coveted awards from Safari Club International, an organization that promotes hunting and conservation in Africa. Some of his records included a Nile crocodile that measured more than 14 feet from head to tail, the biggest taken in South Africa that year. He also bagged an eland, which is the world's largest species of antelope, that weighed more than 2,000 pounds and had 39.5-inch horns, which was a world record for a while. "When they were curing the horns in salt at the taxidermy shop, local WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP people and hunters were coming from all around just to see the size of the horns," Weston says. "It's the largest animal in Africa that I got as far as records go." As size goes, his largest kill was an 8,000-pound hippopotamus, which also was the best tasting animal that he ever shot. "I like to try the stuff, I wanna know what it tastes like," Weston says. "That hippo was delicious. You'd think it would be blubbery and soft, but no, that thing was firm." Though he enjoyed the hippo, it wasn't his favorite meat, however. "The best meat I have ever had over there was crocodile," Weston says. "When I got my leopard, the professional hunter took me out in town to eat, and one of the kabob things that we had on the skewer was crocodile. Oh was it good. It was kind of flaky, between chicken and frog legs." Now that he's killed more than 30 species in Africa, he has decided to hang up his rifle, except for the occasional deer in his backyard. Weston has dedicated his time to curating a "silent zoo" in his basement. The zoo includes mounts for most of the animals he killed in Africa, including a full-body mount of the 14-foot croc. There also is a rug made from his lioness, a mounted zebra, cape buffalo and a rhino that greets you as you descend the stairs into his museum. You also can see some of the rarest semi-precious stones, petrified coral and the numerous Safari Club trophies Weston has brought home, including the coveted trophy for bagging the African Dangerous Seven, the only trophy of its kind awarded to a hunter in the state of Missouri. Now, Weston hosts tours for local schools and community groups and is always happy to show anyone around his zoo. His stories are sure to excite you, from the time he had to kill a black bear at point-blank range to the story of his lioness, who had mauled the landowner the week before he shot her. He may even show you a DVD of his hunts to help you relive his excitement. For more information about Weston's adventures, or to schedule a tour of the mounted animals in his silent zoo, call 816-632-7042. http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2013

Rural Missouri - November 2013
White mules and family wine
Helping our neighbors
A rolling tribute to freedom
Out of the Way Eats
Big man from a small town
Hearth and Home
Best of rural Missouri
Salvaging history
Around Missouri

Rural Missouri - November 2013