A Double Barrel Rifle, A Gaur & A Very Unpleasant Surprise

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Kawshik Rahman, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2019
    Messages:
    963
    Video/Photo:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1,466
    Screenshot_20191006-203431_01_01.png
    I have already provided my dear readers with the picture of the Gaur Shikar , as the unpleasant surprise is much more terrifying


    Due to the immense amount of support shown by my respected fellow forum members about my accounts of Shikar in Darjeeling , India , from 1962 to 1970 , l have decided to provide my dear readers with an account of one of the more unusual Shikars in my career , albeit one which l look back at now and consider very interesting . Any professional hunter will tell you that they occasionally have some quite unusual experiences in the field and today l will relate you the account of a large double barrel rifle , a Gaur and an unpleasant surprise. So let us begin .
    It was an afternoon of 1966 and Karim and l were sitting on the veranda outside Sundar Raj Shikar. We were reloading 12 bore cartridges cases with SG pellets and treating them with molten wax from bees. During bird shooting events , our clients would often leave behind a large quantity of expended shot-gun cartridges behind . Given that these were invariably 12 bore and could usually be recycled , it is safe to say that we always had an ample supply at hand.
    There is also something very strangely peaceful about reloading your own cartridges , l find.
    A model T Ford car ( which belonged to Sundar Raj Shikar for transporting clients and their possessions ) came and stopped right outside the veranda. The chauffeur opened the door and a gentleman came towards us. It was a favorite repeat client of ours , an English gentleman. We immediately went up to greet our client and we all walked into Sundar Raj sir's office. The gentleman had brought two beautiful leather gun cases with him which Karim and l carried for him into the office. The rest of the gentlman's luggage was transported by the chauffeur to Darjeeling Circuit House , where he would be staying. As Karim and l walked with the two leather cases in our hands , we wondered eagerly what fire arms the gentleman had brought. He was a gentleman of extremely refined taste. We knew that he had a decided preference for the beautiful English double barrel rifles. In one of his previous Shikars with us , he had used a most magnificent .400 bore double barrel rifle built by the firm , Jeffery and a stock of cartridges from the manufacturer , ICI Kynoch.
    Sundar Raj sir laid out our duties for us. Our client wanted to engage in some bird shooting and he also wanted a Gaur Shikar. Even though client was king and we treated every client like royalty , this English gentleman was a person whom Karim and l were both genuinely fond of , as he would always follow our advice and would provide us with most generous tips. We agreed at once , to guide him. It was at this point that we finally got an opportunity to examine the fine fire arms which this gentleman had brought for his Shikar with us. His fire arms were indeed of very high quality , but were a little unconventional for a the English Gentleman's tastes.
    The shot-gun was a beautiful 12 bore over-under with 70 millimeter chamber . It was made by a firm called " Boss"which sounded very American , but had the unmistakable feel and ornate nature of an English gun. Infact , knowing the tastes of my client , l dare say that it was an English over-under . How strange , indeed. The upper barrel and lower barrel were choked as a half choke and a quarter choke , respectively .
    The gentleman's rifle was an excellent double barrel rifle built by my favorite English firm , Holland and Holland. However , the choice of calibre was quite unusual for our English patriot of a client. It was a magnum .458 Winchester. This was an American calibre and l could not help but wonder why he would replace his excellent .400 bore double barrel rifle by Jeffery for a magnum .458 Winchester. We were very friendly with this client and l even asked him , " Shahib , did your .400 bore rifle break ? " . The client explained that cartridges for the .400 bore double barrel rifle by Jeffery were no longer being manufactured and lamented that American mass produced fire arms and cartridges were pushing the fine hand made English fire arms and cartridges into obsolescence ( please note , my dear fellow forum members , that l am speaking of the respected client's views and certainly not my own ).
    The 12 bore cartridges came in boxes from the firm , Eley and he had brought cartridges in the shot sizes of number 6 , and number 2 .
    The magnum .458 Winchester cartridges came from the firm , Winchester and weighed 500 grains for the metal envelope bullet cartridge , while weighing 510 grains for the expanding nose bullet cartridge. These were certainly most interesting fire arms and so , our Shikar was to commence after two days.
    And so it would , but everything does not always work the way we imagine it will , as the next three posts will elaborate.
     

  2. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    4,498
    Video/Photo:
    22
    Likes Received:
    3,561
    Location:
    Grosse Ile, Michigan
    Member of:
    NRA
    Hunted:
    Michigan, Texas, Missouri, Limpopo Province South Africa
    Kawshik, I just looked up "Boss" shotguns. They were and perhaps still a reputable English manufacturer of quality firearms.
     
    Kawshik Rahman likes this.

  3. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2019
    Messages:
    963
    Video/Photo:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1,466
    Two days after this , we were all out in the forests of Darjeeling with our client and our loyal coolies to shoot jungle fowl. Our loyal coolie , Rishi carried the gentleman's over- under 12 bore while the other coolies carried our other equipment. I had my 12 bore Ishapore Arms Factory side by side shot-gun with me loaded with SG cartridges in both the barrels. Karim had a similar arrangement. This was because wild boars were common here and they were known to injure travellors . This , naturally could to be allowed to happen to our most respected client , because client is King .We took our client near a stream near the Poojari caves , a place where jungle fowl were abundant. I was to serve as the gentleman's hatiyaaar ( the person who loads the client's shot-gun for him ) . It would be the first time in my life , l had seen an over-under shot-gun being used to such devastating effect . The client was an unmatched shot with with that " Boss" over-under. With 16 cartridges of number 6 shot , he had laid low 13 Horel ( red jungle fowl ) . That was certainly a feat . We praised our client about his excellent shooting skills. As Rishi and the other coolies picked up the downed fowl , l thought mother would certainly like some Horels for our dinner table tonight . Normally , it was an act of insolence to even suggest to the client that we Shikaris be permitted to engage in personal hunting during his grand Shikar . However , this client was very informal with us , as Karim and l had been his professional Shikaris for two years already and he was more of a close personal friend. I asked him " Shahib , may l be allowed to shoot two or three Horel for my family , please ? " The gentleman immediately and considerately obliged. Thus , l replaced the SG cartridges in my shot-gun with number 6 shot and l let fly at the Horels.

    I have already spoken about the unethical side effects of attempting to hunt fowl with a shot-gun that has no amount of choke. I hesitate to think of how many of those poor birds , l had wounded , which managed to escape , only to die a painful , lingering death somewhere in the wild. I truly regret these sickening and inhumane acts now especially as l would shoot birds like this every week. Why did l , at that age only think about the birds which l had killed, and not the ones which were hit , but had escaped ? I certainly bothers me now. If only such sensibilities came to me earlier.
    Let us now proceed to the part about the Gaur Shikar.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2019

  4. Pondoro

    Pondoro AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2014
    Messages:
    697
    Video/Photo:
    59
    Likes Received:
    737
    Hunted:
    Norway, Sweden, Namibia and Botswana
    Boss are certainly alive and well, making shotguns and double rifles.
    As we speak they currently are making several of these for a wealthy aussie customer..

    https://bossguns.com/
     

    Attached Files:


  5. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2019
    Messages:
    963
    Video/Photo:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1,466
    The next day , we were off to the Sampani forests , looking for a large , male Gaur. I have already spoken highly of the efficiency of our loyal Garo trackers in tracking beasts across any terrain and have described their method of tracking . In a short period of time , we were following the spoor of a heavy male Gaur. Karim and l had our shot-guns with us. Rishi carried the client's beautiful magnum .458 double barrel rifle by Holland and Holland . In fours hours , we were finally able to catch a glimpse of the Gaur. He was a very large fellow and very old too. Rishi handed the magnum .458 double barrel rifle to our client and we began to slowly close in , to get out client in position to shoot the Gaur from the side. The client's left barrel was loaded with a soft nosed 510 grain cartridge. The right barrel was loaded with a 500 grain metal envelope blunt nose cartridge. Our client was at perhaps fort yards or less , when he raised the rifle to his shoulder , always keeping the two customary additional cartridges in between his fingers for an emergency re-load. Taking careful aim , he fired his left barrel and it hit the Gaur , piercing both lungs. As the Gaur turned , our client fired his second barrel , aiming for the area behind the shoulder. The solid metal envelope bullet pierced area the fore leg of the beast and it ran fifty yards , coughing blood heavily , before it dropped to the ground , dead . It was a very successful Shikar.
    Screenshot_20191006-203431_01_01.png
    He was a 2000 pound heavy fellow .

    Fifteen minutes later , our loyal coolies were cutting open the Gaur . The bullets did their excellent work. The animal had been hit in two lungs and also the heart. What a decidedly different experience from our last client who had brought a magnum .458 Winchester calibre Birmingham Small Arms bolt operation rifle for shooting a Gaur. However , the sun would set soon and we needed to get back to the town by our jeep.
    Leaving the coolies there to finish the work on the Gaur , Karim , Rishi , our client and l got into the jeep and began making our way towards the town.
    However , the lane must have been uneven , because the jeep crashed and got over turned. By the grace of God , none of us were hurt , although Karim had sustained a very painful blow to his head. Fortunately , our client was unscathed .
    We got to the work of quickly getting the jeep in working order again. Screenshot_20191006-203705_01_01.png
    Even though Indira Gandhi's government used to spread false propaganda about Western hunters mistreating locals , this was a lie. Most of our clients were excellent specimens of humanity and our English Client even helped us to get the jeep in working order again, despite our requests that he rest under a tree. Photographs do not lie and neither do l.

    We got the jeep in working order and we managed to reach the town .
    However , when the coolies came , they were empty handed and white with fear. Our client was taking a shower in Darjeeling Circuit house after the long , trying day and he did not know what was actually happening. That the loyal coolies of Karim and Kawshik did not bring him back his hard earned Gaur Puroshkaar.
    I immediately asked the coolies where the Gaur was . They replied that they had left it in the forests and run for their lives. Hearing this , Karim lost his temper and began taunting them , saying " Shala , tora bhoot er bhoye palaisish ? " ( You imbeciles , did you leave our client's hard earned trophy in the forest out of fear of ghosts ? ) . Our lead coolie , Vishnu replied " Bhai , bhoot na . Baagh " ( Brother , it was not a ghost. It was a tiger ). Hearing this , l began taunting them as well . I said " Shala tora ajkaal gool beshi khaish " ( you idiots have been drinking so much local palm wine , that you are imagining things ) . I regret mistreating them this way and it was very wrong of me . However , a Royal Bengal tiger coming to that part of the forest during that time of the day was very unusual . But it was not unheard of. Finally , Karim sent me and Rishi with the jeep to go to the area where we had left the Gaur's corpse to check. True enough , there were the unmistakable tracks of a Royal Bengal Tiger.
    The final part of this most unusual account shall follow.
     

  6. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,996
    Video/Photo:
    57
    Likes Received:
    3,242
    Location:
    South Africa
    Member of:
    BASA, CHASA
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia,Zambia
    I sincerely hope you do not run out of hunting stories as I find your accounts of your hunting experiences most entertaining....straight forward and thruthful just the way it happened.
     
    rinehart0050, Tra3, TOBY458 and 4 others like this.

  7. Wyatt Smith

    Wyatt Smith AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    May 9, 2019
    Messages:
    339
    Video/Photo:
    4
    Likes Received:
    296
    Location:
    Pike county
    I agree
     
    Kawshik Rahman likes this.

  8. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2019
    Messages:
    963
    Video/Photo:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1,466
    I know that l have said that Royal Bengal tigers are not scavengers , but this Royal Bengal tiger was certainly an odd one. He had clawed and bitten the dead Gaur in several places. Our client’s hard earned trophy was desecrated. The next day , we gave this news to Sundar Raj sir and our client. Sundar Raj sir was furious at us for leaving the cookies unattended . He said “ Tora ki ato boro opodartho je tora coolie derke eka rekhe jabi ? “ ( Are you incompetent buffoons so stupid that you will leave the coolies alone ? All they had to do , was kill a Royal Bengal tiger and they could not even do that ) . He immediately told our client that the percentage of his payment which comprised Karim and my fees , would be forfeited and returned to him. Karim and l hung our heads down , in shame. However , our client felt for us and gave a new proposition. Karim and l could keep our fees. He wanted to shoot the Royal Bengal tiger which had damaged his Gaur trophy. Since we now saw a possibility of keeping or fees , Karim and l had immediately agreed. Sundar Raj sir would obviously need to handle some formality with the Nilgiri Wild Life Association , to allow our client to have his Shikar license amended to allow a Royal Bengal tiger. But that was his work , not Karim’s or mine. Our work was to guide our client to hunt that Royal Bengal Tiger.
    So , after two days, a massive macchan was erected on top of a dead tree , to allow our client to safely shoot the Royal Bengal Tiger from above. This was done with the assistance of our coolies and our redoubtable Garo trackers who were able to narrow down the area where the Royal Bengal tiger would frequent Karim and l were to wait in a nearby tree with our Ishapore shot-guns , loaded with SG in each barrel . We made Rishi purchase a goat and tie it to a tree , as live bait . Everything was arranged . We were all ready . It was a very long and quite night . Occasionally , we would quietly call out to the macchan to see if our client was alright. However , he was a perfectly accommodating gentleman , no stranger to the sport. His magnum .458 double barrel rifle was loaded with 510 grain soft nose cartridges. It was at 1:30 at night that the goat began bleating more and more intensely. I have often read that animals have a sixth sense. I do not know how true that is , but experience certainly seems to indicate so. We knew that the Royal Bengal tiger was nearby . Rishi had a very powerful torch light in his hand. It was a big model. It was a moonless night and our client was relying on us , to illuminate the tiger long enough for him to shoot it. Rishi was , perhaps the best accustomed out of all of us to seeing in the dark. He pointed at a figure in the foliage slowly creeping towards the goat . It was the tiger. What happened next , occurred in maybe three seconds , but was unforgettable.
    Rishi suddenly turned the light on and the destroyer of our client’s beautiful Gaur was visible. In the fraction of a second , our client let off a quick right and left , at the great cat. It was over. Those two 510 grain soft nose bullets completely made short work of the creature . What is more remarkable was that he had hit the animal in the base of the chest between it’s two fore legs, penetrating it’s heart.
    Screenshot_20191006-203448_01_01_01.png
    Happy client with 486 pound Royal Bengal tiger



    And thus , comes the conclusion of this account of a most eventful two weeks of 1966. Our client came to India , looking for a Gaur and went back with a fine Royal Bengal tiger. Karim and l got to keep our fees and l was able to see what an over-under can do. Nevertheless , l still do not picture an over-under shot-gun or a magnum.458 Winchester calibre rifle , when l think of a visiting English Hunter. But , perhaps many of my brother sportsmen feel differently
     

  9. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,996
    Video/Photo:
    57
    Likes Received:
    3,242
    Location:
    South Africa
    Member of:
    BASA, CHASA
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia,Zambia
    WOW great ending for the client and the “ Tora ki ato boro opodartho je tora coolie derke eka rekhe jabi ? “

    By the way if I said coolie in my country now I would face charges of racism...
     

  10. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2019
    Messages:
    963
    Video/Photo:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1,466
    IvW
    I apologize for my late reply. I never reply while writing an article until all the posts are complete , as l wish to maintain chronology. Thank you so much for your kind words. I only wish l was able to shoot an elephant in my career myself.
    I intend to contribute on these forums and add some more accounts . And of course , l hope to keep reading yours. Your assessment of clients with video cameras and celebrity statuses causing problems is disturbingly and sadly accurate. They focus more on the show and less on the sport.
     
    rinehart0050, TOBY458 and IvW like this.

  11. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2019
    Messages:
    963
    Video/Photo:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1,466
    IvW
    You understand Bengali ?
    You are fortunate in one way. In our time , one of my close colleagues was hung to death , because he could not protect a client who attempted to kill a Royal Bengal tiger with a Winchester rifle in calibre .220 Swift and who got killed. The Nilgiri Wild Life Association could even hang professional hunters if they let their clients die. Luckily , times have changed.
     
    TOBY458 and Ridgewalker like this.

  12. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2019
    Messages:
    963
    Video/Photo:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1,466
    Shootist43
    I apologise sincerely for the late reply.
    I never reply when l am writing an article to keep a clean chronological order until l complete it. So Boss is an English firm ? My speculation was fortunately correct , then.
    There is something about these English fire arms which allows you to identify them , just by touching them and feeling them. An instinctive sort of thing.
    I am a little surprised though. I did not think that the English would manufacture over unders until fairly recently. How interesting. I hope they are open today and in business.
     
    Shootist43 likes this.

  13. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2019
    Messages:
    963
    Video/Photo:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1,466
    Pondoro
    Thank you for the information. That is most fortunate. It was a good shot-gun
     

  14. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2019
    Messages:
    963
    Video/Photo:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1,466
    Wyatt Smith
    I am nothing without the support of kind members such as yourself
     

  15. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2016
    Messages:
    848
    Video/Photo:
    12
    Likes Received:
    1,036
    Location:
    Nevada
    Member of:
    NRA, SCI, American Legion, Freemasons
    Hunted:
    RSA, Maine, Montana, Colorado, Texas, Alaska, California.
    Kawshik,
    Another spellbinding edge of the seat story. They get better all the time. A nice twist at the end.
     
    Kawshik Rahman likes this.

  16. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2019
    Messages:
    963
    Video/Photo:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1,466
    Newboomer
    Thank you so much for your kind words and support. I certainly was surprised that the coolies were not imagining things. I still regret verbally abusing them . They were my equals and not my inferiors.
     
    TOBY458 likes this.

  17. Ironhorse375

    Ironhorse375 AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Messages:
    195
    Video/Photo:
    18
    Likes Received:
    174
    Location:
    Colorado
    Member of:
    SCI, RMBS life member, NRA, DU
    Hunted:
    South Africa, New Zealand, United States
    Sir thank you for the remarkable account of a fantastic hunt.
    The pictures are certainly a very nice touch. I love the old black and white photos.
    You painted such a vivid story with your words,the photos were almost not needed.
     
    Kawshik Rahman likes this.

  18. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2019
    Messages:
    963
    Video/Photo:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1,466
    Iron Horse 375
    Thank you so much for your kind words . I wish color cameras were available in India back then.
     

  19. cls

    cls AH Elite

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,293
    Video/Photo:
    56
    Likes Received:
    843
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Member of:
    SCI, AHEIA
    Hunted:
    Canada(AB, BC, SASK, NWT)), USA (WY, MN, TX), South Africa (Limpopo and Eastern Cape), Zambia
    Enjoyed the article, thanks so much for all the stories.
     
    Kawshik Rahman likes this.

  20. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Messages:
    4,828
    Video/Photo:
    194
    Likes Received:
    4,555
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hunted:
    South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
    Another exciting story! Thanks!
     
    Kawshik Rahman likes this.

Share This Page

 
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice