A Memorable Spear Hunt With A Difference...

Discussion in 'Articles' started by observe, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. observe

    observe CONTRIBUTOR AH Elite

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    This experience of mine is maybe not for everyone, and definitely not for chance takers or ego chasers but I do want to share my thought on this hunting topic with you......

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    I want to share with you another [rare lol !] spear hunt success on a warthog that I had a while back.

    I again went solo spear hunting in the Limpopo Bushveld on a friend’s beautiful and huge wild property.

    It is a relatively dry area with lots of thorn-bush and some serious heat.

    One of the indicators that it is a dry area, are the huge ant heaps [termite mounds]-

    Yes, that’s me with my spear behind that big termite heap.

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    On this huge and wild property at my disposal this time, there were also Kudu, Impala, and Waterbuck, other small game, Leopard, Hyena, Jackal, various poisonous snakes, small game and many game birds.

    Then, of course there is my prey for this occasion-Warthog [and even a possible Bushpig].

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    Well, trying to hunt these extremely alert critters on foot are hereabouts left as a secret ‘learning-curve’ for the eager youngsters or 'new' hunters to teach them a lesson to be humble out in the bush. Most of the time they will not succeed, and then that evening around the campfire the ‘experienced’ hunters will impart some hunting wisdom on the weary novices for ‘next-time’.

    Individuals that very-very rarely want to try and hunt them on foot only with a spear [no dogs] are unheard off and are seen as positive and serious asylum cases!

    I rifle hunt warthogs for nearly 50 years and with my spear for more than 10 years now, so I know a thing or two about them.

    For this hunt I took my trusted razor sharp boar spear and my cold steel Recon scout Bowie belt knife. My trusted .357 magnum revolver are always at my side for a back-up just for in case things go south--which can very quickly happen, especially when hunting alone with a spear!


    It is extremely difficult to hunt warthog in thick thorn bush, as they have their 'paths' or tunnels low down to the ground. Human beings tend to walk upright 'above' the tunnels, which of course is not always possible due to the intertwined thorn branches.

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    After an unsuccessful, nine thirsty and hot hours of hunting, I tiredly stumbled back to camp that first evening. I was nearly out on my feet but also felt oddly satisfied and excited to have tried something very few will ever experience or even attempt.

    To walk with that big spear like maybe a bushman or even a caveman of old, observing many wild animals out there up close, some of them even before they could spot me, was pure bliss.

    The knowledge that there are dangerous predators that were maybe observing me, as the bumbling alien in their domain, just add to the excitement of such an adventure.


    For some individuals like me in our busy and modern societies, the romance of a slow paced primitive spear hunt maybe stem from some primal age-old and long forgotten gene in the blood when it was still man against beast, one on one, winner takes it all, adept or die and all that etc, etc...?

    Spear hunting is an up close and personal type of hunt and it sure makes you pay more attention to the little signs around you that can give you away.

    Seemingly insignificant little things like observing the subtle movement of branches in a faint whisper of a ghost of a wind, small branches underfoot etc could mean the difference between success and failure , while hunting with my rifle over much longer distances I would probably have ignored it…


    Well, relaxing back at camp that night and hypnotized by the small camp fire while listening to all the animal sounds in the bush around me, I couldn’t help but to tip my hat to Mr. Warthog.

    He has beaten me yet again on the day, but I promised myself with some steel determination, that tomorrow is another day...

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    Using the knowledge gained of the warthog signs I've observed the previous day, I briskly walked out just after sunrise the next morning.

    I had narrowed down a certain area in my mind, and I want to concentrate my hunt on that location today.

    I've decided to combine walk-and-stalk with some patient ambush hunting.


    After cautiously reaching the selected terrain about an hour later, I started scouting around for a suitable ambush spot while taking into consideration the wind and shadow directions, then camouflaged myself with natural material on the spot and settled in for the patient and long waiting game.

    [Some of my sniper training course info during my army days many-many years ago still came back to help me sometimes ...]

    I proceed to wait for about 7 hours as motionless as possible - not very comfortable I must confess, as my old bones protested about the hard ground, and my legs got cramps and went to ‘sleep’, some bugs became a nuisance etc ...


    Suddenly, just after 2; 00 o’clock, I saw him coming down a narrow game path. His ears were flopping on his neck and his tail was down and relaxed--a sure sign that he was not aware of me.

    I must tell you that that picture of seeing the warthog so relaxed quite near me out in the bush was nearly the highlight of that hunt to me!

    Warthogs are some of the prime food sources of leopard and such, and that I could achieved to 'blend' in so perfectly on that occasion that he had no idea I'm even there, MAN that in itself was a huge achievement for me

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    I had chosen a small temporary mud bath there in the bush as the spot for our dual of wits and maybe muscles.

    At first I gave him some time to scan his surroundings with pricked ears while sniffing the air as I slowly gripped my spear. His ears relaxed again and then he went down on his knees to first have a drink of water.

    With my handgun or even my bow and arrow I could easily have shot him right there and then from my concealed position.


    Not knowing whether he will actually take a mud bath as well, I decided to start my stalk from about 20 m out.

    While slowly and cautiously approaching him from about a 45 degree angle from his right rear- his ‘blind spot’, I intently focused on his ears, which is still lying relaxed backwards.


    The moment his ears start to prick up, while still drinking head down, I took it as my signal that he has picked me up somehow on his survival radar...

    Was it maybe a footstep noise, a slight movement in the corner of his eye, a whiff of a smell or even a sixth sense, who knows?


    I realized that I've just sat stock still and inactive for a couple of hours. The muscles in my arm are probably cold and stiff and not ready for this explosive act with all my strength that must follow ….

    Then suddenly as the warthog starts to lift his head, it all seemed to happen in slow motion, as at about 7 m I hurled my spear….


    That heavy 18 inch boar spear blade flew true and penetrated the warthog a hand span behind the right front leg and the big sharp blade proceed to cut a 3 inch wide exit on the far side...

    It’s any day as deadly and mortal a wound as any big bore rifle could deliver!


    With a survival instinct honed on stealthy predators over many-many generations in his genes, he still jumped away and reaches full speed in 3-5 meters while the spear handle scraped a furrow on the ground.

    After about 8 m that big sharp spear-blade has cut itself loose and fell out.

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    As that warthog start his death-run with the last breath in his lungs I knew that he was done for, but I just couldn't help admiring his will to survive when he still attempt to get away with the last strength in his body.

    I thoughtfully stood there as I watched him falling down not very far away.

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    I had mixed emotions of jubilation [adrenalin rush] and also a sigh of relieve to finally, after so many previous failed attempts, achieved to spear hunt another warthog the true primitive and very ethical way.

    But I felt a little bit sad too.

    Not for humanely, efficiently and ethically killing this warthog, but maybe for my own inability to explain to the ignorant masses our long history and oneness with nature or maybe even the principles of conservation and sustainable hunting concepts.

    Bigger growing city dwelling populations are by the day drifting away from their real roots while being fed misinformation by an increasing liberal media opposed to hunting....

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    That evening around the campfire as I again reflect and philosophized on the last two day's hard and tiring, but also adrenalin pumping hunt, I couldn't help but to have the highest admiration and tons of respect for the warthog, one of Africa's toughest survivors.

    I also again realized the huge responsibility each of us in his/her own small way have to somehow encourage more people to positively experience nature in some way or the other, so that they also will come to realize its long term win-win effect for all Fauna and Flora and Human kind as a whole…

    This was another memorable hunt that I would cherish for ever, and in my old age plans to tell my grandson about it to maybe also kindle in his dreams the flames for adventure, a love for nature and maybe even hunting?

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    Keep well my friends.
     

  2. CAustin

    CAustin BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Great hunt story!
     
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  3. Nyati

    Nyati AH Ambassador

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    Great story Willem, :D Cheers:
     
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  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Great lesson my friend.

    Congratulations.
     
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  5. Jfet

    Jfet AH Fanatic

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    (y)(y)(y)
     
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  6. Kento!

    Kento! AH Member

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    I really enjoyed that story. Thank you.
     
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  7. spike.t

    spike.t SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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  8. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for sharing!
     
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  9. TallGrassHunter

    TallGrassHunter AH Veteran

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    Sounds like you had some practice with the spear before the hunt, well done, no easy task to place the shot. Just want to say very enjoyable read. The forthcoming argument of big, low velocity spears vs. the penetration of small, high velocity spears that is compelled of hunters should be interesting.
     
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  10. observe

    observe CONTRIBUTOR AH Elite

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    Thank you guys,

    Yes, some of you followed these spear hunt adventures of mine for a long time .
    The success rate [for me] of these spear hunts as I do it are very very low , hence a story about even a smallish warthog .

    A smaller warthog maybe ,but to me huge and never to forger hunt!
    This warthog if hunted by rifle would probably border on 'insignificant ' , but to me it is right up there with some of my other rifle trophies.

    I also managed over 10 years to spear hunt a few other bigger warthogs as well .
    These two warthogs on the photos were taken 3-4 years apart with many-many other failed attempts but memory rich adventures in between.

    Tallgrasshunter, an interesting topic you raised there....lol
    No, hopefully this type of hunt will stay pure and not become a 'reality tv' farce where tv- ratings determine the attraction....

    Keep safe all you powder burners and all else in between! lol


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