David Ommanney Professional Hunter

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by monish, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    David Ommanney, Professional Hunter

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    David Ommanney, Professional Hunter, 1957

    David Ommanney was born in Jalgaon in India in 1931, his father was a British Police officer who did settle his family in Nanyuki in Kenya. When young Dave had been close to the famous maneating Tiger Hunter Jim Corbett, who was a living a retired life in town of Nyeri, Kenya. Corbett did impart great influence on young Dave's life to take up hunting as a full time profession.

    Dave joined Lawrence Brown & Lunan in 1952 as an apprentice, with no much of money as salary, he toiled hard under eagle eyed Stan, with long hours of tough working. He was repairing cars, meeting the clients, worked as a tracker, skinned animals and getting the official paper work through. He selected sites to pitch tents for the hunting clients, and managed full thorough arrangements for the hunt routines. He became a Mr. Arrangement for the visiting clients. He was doing every thing except guiding the wealthy hunters for shoots. His dream of becoming a White Hunter seems to have been at the far horizon.

    He qualified as a professional hunter soon and had never looked back to the tough penniless days gone by. The experience made him a strong and erudite hunter. He guided one of his clients named Russel Wailes and hunted a 56 inches African Greater Kudu, which made him win East African Professional Hunters Award in 1958.

    In 1959 he was seriously wounded by a leopard, he had a chunk of flesh torn out of shoulders and arms and was badly clawed all over. He was in love with his dbbl .470 Rigbys and .375 H&H Magnum by Winchester. He was one of the finest of PHs in Africa.


    Monish
     
  2. Popo

    Popo AH Member

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    Monish,
    Nice write up about David Ommanney. What happened to him after the accident with the Leopard in 1959? Is there a book or write up which covers his later years? Would be interested to read more about him.
    Regards,
    Popo.
     
  3. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    David Ommanney, Professional Hunter

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    Published in LIFE Apr 3, 1964

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    Published in Boys' Life Sep 1964

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    Published in Boys' Life May 1964

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    Published in Boys' Life Dec 1965

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    Published in Boys' Life Nov 1965

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    Published in Boys' Life Oct 1965
     
  4. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Popo,

    The unfortunate incident took place in 1959 in Northen Tanganyika in the hilly region known as Pyramids. Dave was hunting on hire as a PH for Safariland Ltd. outfit, to guide one of their clients Baron Boeselager on a dangerous game hunt.Baron had wounded a big leopard who was followed by Dave and took the full charge of his buck shots, and he attacked Ommanney with full vengeance.
    Dave has put forth the incident in the best of manner, here it goes...

    " I was being chewed by a big male leopard. My gunbearer Salim ali, who had my .470 , came to my aid, and jumped on both the leopard & myself & pushed the leopard away. He also tried to knife the cat , but he had on e of the skinning knives which one of my client Harold Dugdale had gifted Ali, the knife had a curved blade . and it did little damage. Salim was certain that the cat was mortally wounded, either by his knifeor by my me when it came for me. I left for Arusha hospital (75 milesaway), Salim & Mutia my other gunbearer went back for the leopard, it was in the same patch of grass where we had left him. The cat jumped on Salim and chewed him up. Mutia shot at it with my 30.06 severing 6 inches of its tail.

    The leopard retreated in the grass whilst the gunbearers retreated to the camp, half a mile away, leaving the cat the victor on the battlefield. Safariland Ltd. sent down Theo Potgeiter(a White Hunter), who at that time was employed by (Harry)Selby & (Andrew) Holmberg Safaris.Stangely enough Potgeiter found the leopard still in the same place.. It went for Theo, who was armed with my shot gun. He missed the first barrel, and clobbered it with te second. The cat still came on now on its three legs. Theo was bending the barrels of my shotgun on the leopard's head when the client Baron Boeselager shot & killed it."( Excerpt taken from Brian Herne's- The White Hunters- The Golden Age Of African Safaris : a must read for all hunters who are infatuated with the Hunters world called -AFRICA)


    So this is how it was one on three, a gutsy leopard though.

    Monish
     
  5. ibie

    ibie AH Veteran

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    shew what happend after the leopard attack,but that leopard is one hek of a fighter
     
  6. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Ibie ,

    Leopard mauled & clawed all the 3 hunters & was evetually shot, leaving Dave in a sordid situation for months during the course towards recovery... The Leopard in question was a fighter ....

    Monish
     
  7. KOmmanney

    KOmmanney New Member

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    My name Katharine (Katie) and David Ommanney is my grandfather. It is wonderful to see that he is still revered as one of the great white hunters of East Africa.

    Monish,
    Your initial post stating "He was one of the finest of PHs in Africa." was very heart warming. He passed quietly in September of 2001 and he is mourned by those who survive him, friends and family, still to this day.
     
  8. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Thank you Katie for joining our community. Do you hunt? Do you have any pictures of your grandfather in Africa that you would share with us?
     
  9. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    hi katie welcome to AH. i had the pleasure of meeting your grandfather david a few times in zambia ,and spent 4 or 5 nights at a camp in the luangwa with him when he was running chibote safaris in zambia. father Jan from the white fathers mission visited for dinner one night, and they kept us entertained with with some interesting stories. two very interesting gentlemen.
     
  10. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Hi Katherine ,

    Welcome to the AH.Com ....

    Very Sad to know about his demise , we all the members would appreciate , if you could share some of his hunting pictures & more on about his wonderful life as a gentleman & a thorough Professional Hunter ....

    Thanks ...

    Monish
     
  11. KOmmanney

    KOmmanney New Member

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    I am not an avid hunter as after moved to the States the opportunities were limited for me, but I have always had a great interest. Here is a photo of David Ommanney, may he rest in peace, with his "arch nemesis". This is not the leopard that mauled him, but as you can see he maintained a wonderful sense of humor towards the incident.

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    We are in the process of going through all of his hunting trinkets from old shells to ads he was in to skins of animals taken by him and there are a ton of pictures. I will post them as I can.
     
  12. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hello Katie and welcome to the forum!,

    Closing in on 60 years of age, I well remember growing up, reading in many magazines about Winchesters "man in Africa", and have read many tales about him. Reading about him and others of the era kept my desire to see Africa going until I was able to make my first trip, to Tanzania no less in 1985. I hope we hear more from you in the future. SES
     
  13. gatortrapper

    gatortrapper New Member

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    I was a neighbor of David's in his later years He had a nice place in the North Carolina mountains bordering national forest .I used to take care of his trout ponds and mow grass for him when i was a kid.
    He still had scars on his elbow from leopard attack. The leopard was going for his throat and he got his elbow up just in time to stop the bite. He was a great man and i have lots of respect for him and his wife Dillis.

    I once wounded a nice whitetail deer on the mountain across from his home and his advice helped me find the deer the next day
     
  14. Upepo

    Upepo AH Member

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    great great stories!!!
    thanks for posting this.

    Upepo
     
  15. Francesco

    Francesco New Member

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    Hi Katie I went on Safari with your grandfather in 1969 (Masailand) and 1974 (Garsen near Tana) with my dad, Giulio Ricci. I was only a little kid but was very deadly with sandgrouse and my 28. David infact only allowed me a box of cartridges / day. Who's daughter are you? Douglas's, David's, Dawn's or Derrick?
    Francesco

     
  16. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Welcome to AH Francesco! Deadly with sandgrouse with a 28, that is music to my ear, these birds are a treat to shoot! Hope you will share some pictures of that time with us!
     
  17. KOmmanney

    KOmmanney New Member

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    Hello Francesco,

    Sandgrouse are formidable prey :) Glad to hear from you. I am Doug's daughter.

    Did you know my father as well?

    Katie
     
  18. Francesco

    Francesco New Member

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    Reply to Katie

    Of course. I've got lots of pictures of the two safaris. We live in Edinburgh now and I'm reading Rushby's No more the tusker where there are 2 letters of David's to my dad!!
    Douglas remembers us for sure. He might have been 17 on our last safari in block 17 (I think!!):
     
  19. KOmmanney

    KOmmanney New Member

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    I am in the states finishing up my wildlife management degree currently. I would love to see the photos you have! Feel free to email me at KOmmanney88@gmail.com. My father is in Tanzania now. I must find a copy of no more the tusker! I have lots of my grandfather's old books and am slowly making my way through them, but I don't remember that one being in there. It's so wonderful to hear/read of people who have stories of my family!
     
  20. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Katie, if you google Bookfinder.com, and enter the info, you will see a number of copies for sale. Pricey though. I believe the least expensive copy I have seen is on Amazon at $200. There is a more common book about GR by TV Bulpin, The Hunter is Death that can be had for much less. I dont recall if there is any info in it of interest to you as to your family but it is a good book.
     

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