I'm sure you'll enjoy it - South Africa's Magnum magazine has an excellent full page review for their November issue, which I was given an opportunity to peruse in case personal corrections were needed.The Hunting Game. Thanks for the opportunity, looks like a good read.
The Hunting GameI will be giving away Two signed and inscribed copies of my book The Hunting Game, including shipping to fellow members of AfricaHunting.com. This is a new updated edition with an additional chapter (Chapter 25). If you are not already a registered member you can join by clicking here.
For a chance to win one of the two free copies of my book you must enter by leaving a post on this thread that says "The Hunting Game", that's all it takes. Post your entry below by clicking the "Post Reply" button.
Entries must be posted between September 19, 2018 to October 10, 2018 (at midnight Central Standard Time). After the close of posting an AH moderator will hold a random drawing to select the two winners. The two winners will be announced and posted by October 12, 2018 in this thread.
To learn more about The Hunting Game by Kevin Thomas or to purchase this book you can visit www.kevindthomas.com.
We ask that the prize winners post a book review after reading the book in the Hunting TV Shows, Books & Video Discussions at the following link: https://www.africahunting.com/community/hunting-tv-shows-books-video-discussions/. Also if any of you have already had the pleasure of reading this book you can post a book review as well.
Thanks to everyone who will be taking part in this contest and best of luck.
Best personal regards,
Kevin Thomas (@Kevin Thomas)
After retiring as a Professional Hunter at the end of 2013 I've been focusing on writing and my books can be seen on my website at www.kevindthomas.com
Kevin Thomas was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1950.
When he was 17 he joined the Rhodesian Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management. Following six years' service and with the escalation of The Rhodesian Bush War, he left the game department and became a charter member of the Selous Scouts. After three years as an operational combat non-commissioned officer, he transferred to the unit's training wing as a counterinsurgency instructor.
Upon leaving the Rhodesian Army he turned to full time professional hunting and safari guiding across most of southern Africa.
At the end of 2013 he retired from the safari industry and he and his wife Brenda relocated to the UK. They currently live on a narrowboat where Kevin continues his writing, photography and painting.
The Hunting Game
The Hunting Game is a collection of hunting stories gleaned over the four decades the author has spent as a professional hunter in Southern Africa.
Whilst many of the chapters are stories about specific hunting safaris there are also chapters covering rifle calibres, bullet performance and other logistical subjects.
The author also includes a historical chapter on the hunting of crop raiding elephant (circa 1935) in Mozambique (what was then Portuguese East Africa). Another interesting chapter is about the author’s experiences in dealing with tribal African superstitions when he was still a young game ranger with the Rhodesian Department of National Parks & Wildlife Management. Another chapter is a rather tongue in cheek humorous look at the often contentious gratuity issue in the safari hunting industry.
There is also a sombre warning about the critical situation in some of Zimbabwe’s once great state-owned hunting safari concessions, where rampant poaching, greed, gross corruption, and horrific mismanagement have led to a sharp decline in wildlife numbers, probably now well beyond the critical tipping point.
The Hunting Game is a 'campfire read', which will be of interest not only to sport hunting enthusiasts, but to anyone with an interest in the sustainable consumptive yield of Southern Africa’s wildlife resources.
“I can think of no one better qualified to tell the true story of southern Africa’s game country, the wonder of its wildlife, the violent political conflict in its recent past, and the tragedy that has ultimately resulted for the land, its wildlife and people alike. And elsewhere, Kevin has a genuine love for Africa and its wildlife, and this unmistakably comes through in his writing. This book comprises a series of personal and informative stories about hunting in southern Africa and related issues covering the author’s lengthy career in the safari industry. Anyone who considers themselves hunter conservationists will find the book a worthy addition to their library.”
- from the foreword by Gregor Woods, Hunting & Rifles Editor for Magnum magazine, South Africa’s premier hunting and shooting magazine.
A quick note about the new reprint:
Originally, only 100 copies of The Hunting Game were published and quickly sold out. This new reprint now also includes an additional chapter about Crawford Fletcher ‘Chimpongani’ Jamieson, a legendary Rhodesian hunter from a bygone era.
The Hunting Game can be ordered directly from my website at www.KevinThomas.com.
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The book: The Hunting Game - NEW EDITION
A Few Chapter Excerpts:
Chapter 1: A Bias towards all things Kudu!
If it’s called a bias I certainly won’t contest it, and if it’s the correct term, then I’m guilty because if ever I have an addiction, its guiding on and hunting kudu, be they here in the Eastern Cape, or to the north across the Limpopo River in a land called Zimbabwe.
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Caption: Jamie Cox with his good Bubye River southern greater kudu taken on the BVC (Bubye River Conservancy) in Zimbabwe
Chapter 3: Problem Animal Elephant Hunting – Marromeu, Mozambique, circa 1936
‘I ran as I’d never run before, leaving my trackers behind, and about half a mile away I came upon the elephant all facing me with raised trunks questing the air. I slowed down to still my heart and catch my breath, and from twenty yards, fired at the wounded one’s temple, and was thrilled to see him collapse. Pandemonium broke loose as two of them, trumpeting loudly, came searching for me in the long grass, with lowered trunks and widespread ears. They looked as large as houses and presented an awesome
and terrifying spectacle, one on each side. I got the one on the right with a brain shot.’
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Caption: A proud Harry Flederman with his ivory.
Chapter 8: Warts & All
They’d been fighting broadside on to me, and the one I shot dropped like a stone, and it was then that I witnessed a somewhat comical scenario. The survivor seemingly thought he’d personally trounced the dead warthog and so he proudly strutted round his fallen comrade, with mane bristling as if expecting applause and complimentary cigars. However, and because he’d neglected to run off at the sound of the shot the oversight cost him dear, I was shooting for rations so I killed him too.
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Caption: Croatian client Ivica Katavic with his BVC warthog, which initially wounded had covered considerable ground before we accounted for it.
Chapter 9: The Noble warrior
Moving further into the thorny thicket the tension became palpable, we were on edge, and the trackers body language conveyed that they felt we were extremely close to the buffalo. It was deathly silent with not a hint of life, or bird song, a foreboding quiet that seemed out of place, and helped fuel the tension.
As a PH I was fully aware of my responsibility towards the trackers safety, and had to keep a firm control of my own imagination – two days previous, highly respected Zimbabwean gentleman and veteran PH Owain Lewis had been killed by a wounded buffalo in the Chewore under similar circumstances – African safari is a small world, and we’d heard of the tragedy in camp shortly after.
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Caption: On the third day after we’d finally tracked and killed the wounded buffalo, from left; myself, tracker Barnabas and Sgt Magocha (BVC).
Chapter 14: Of Common Duiker & Blue Duiker
At times they can also be called in using a commercial brand handheld predator caller, or a rolled and flattened mopane leaf, or as is used to good effect by Makua tribal hunters’ in Mozambique’s Niassa Province, a modified dry stalk of elephant grass. All of which when blown into, closely mimic the distress bleating of a duiker, and if done correctly bring them in fast and determinedly (not to mention a few other species like jackal!).
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Caption: A Makua tracker in Mozambique’s northern Niassa province calls in a common duiker using the stalk from a piece elephant grass.
Chapter 16: Big Cat on the Bubye
As if to rub it in, on our penultimate morning in camp, and at about 06hr00 we were sitting by the fire having an early morning coffee, when we heard either a young waterbuck or a wildebeest bleating in distress while being killed in the dense bush beyond the waterhole in front of the camp, and in the vicinity of where we’d hung the ‘free’ impala bait a season prior. Given the amount of noise, I thought it was a lion doing the killing, but that evening we heard a monstrous leopard grunting down at the waterhole, just to the immediate right of my chalet. This went on for a while, before he moved off, grunting all the while, back towards where the morning’s kill had been made, and it was obviously the same big leopard that’d done the early morning killing.
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Caption: An extremely proud Jamie Cox with his superb ZPHGA award winning leopard.
Chapter 17: Giraffe Reminisces
A fully mature giraffe bull stands at up to 19 feet in height and weighs about 2,600lbs, and whilst a lot of sport hunters are a bit queasy about killing giraffe, I’ve even had clients saying they don’t show non-hunting friends any of their dead giraffe photos for fear of a seriously negative reaction!
The above observation aside, from an ethical perspective and if it is wildlife management related, I don’t see any difference whatsoever between the shooting of an impala or giraffe. This unease about hunting a giraffe no doubt stems from their overall Disney image, and portrayal on celluloid and in kiddie stories, not to mention the fluffy toy industry.
Personally, I’m not entirely comfortable seeing a giraffe shot either, however, one has to be both objective and pragmatic, and when it comes to wildlife management on enclosed properties, whether they’re 1 million acres or 8,000 acres, the rifle at times has to become the regulator – when this happens, there is no room for emotion – and be it a wildebeest, zebra, impala or giraffe the numbers have to be regulated. Giraffe only have two predators to worry about, man and lion and on many properties where giraffe are found, lion no longer roam.
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Caption: My good friend Brian Spradling of Denver, Colorado, with his magnificent giraffe bull taken on the BVC while hunting with my Zimbabwean PH colleague Dean Kendall.
Chapter 25: Crawford Fletcher ‘Chimpongani’ Jamieson - a Rhodesian Hunting Legend
In 1929, at age 24 he decided to embark on a professional hunting career, and after working in the construction field as a plasterer, he soon earned enough money to set himself up. It’s probably as well to mention here, that a ‘professional hunter’ of that era earned a living by hunting elephant for himself. Unlike a professional hunter of today, who guides paying safari clients to shoot trophy animals. With his hard-earned construction money Fletcher bought two heavy doubles. A .500/.450 Holland & Holland Royal, which became his favourite. And a Manton .577 to use as back up in the Zambezi Valley jesse thickets.
Thereafter, and throughout his professional hunting career Jamieson kept meticulous daily journals. Unfortunately, for those seeking an exciting read, there’s little reference to narrow escapes and charges! Rather, there are numerous references to one-shot kills, which certainly indicate he must have been a proficient and controlled hunter, not given to panic when near elephant. One such entry partially reads, ‘We halted, and suddenly, without warning, a large bull broke cover about six paces from me. A hasty but well-placed shot at that short range brought him down. The herd stampeded, but I managed to get in another two shots, bringing down two more elephants’. It’s possible too, that like Taylor, Fletch didn’t record too many close shaves with wounded game – feeling perhaps, that wounding game rather than killing it cleanly was a mark of inefficiency. In Taylor and Jamieson’s minds, something no proficient hunter should allow to happen.
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Caption: Fletcher Jamieson sitting at rear, with his .500 Jeffery Rimless, and closer to the camera, his brother Norman.
Chapter 26: At the Going down Of the Sun
A foolproof barometer of the buffalo decline in Chirisa is trophy quality, in 2012 competent and experienced PHs were telling me how difficult it was to find a hard boss buffalo. And although I couldn’t confirm it, PH talk in the Chirisa had it that six back to back safaris had failed to find a hard boss buffalo. This too, was the first time I was hearing stories about clients leaving the Chirisa without having shot a trophy buffalo – in the 1990s and later, that was unheard of – the annual buffalo bull quota used to be 45, in 2012 it was 30.
Perhaps my sage tracker and bush wise colleague Barnabas Nyati put it best when he remarked to me as we sat high above the Sengwa River bemoaning the lack of game. ‘How can a father arrest his son or brother?’ – His implication being that the Zimbabwe Wildlife Authority’s practise of employing local tribesmen as game scouts was hugely flawed.
What also concerns me deeply from the long-term sustainability perspective, was that of recent I have also been getting told by PHs with both long time experience, integrity, and established client followings, that some young newly qualified PHs were being instructed by certain operators to get clients to shoot soft boss buffalo, on account of the hard boss bulls in their areas having all but been shot out. Failure to do this would mean being dismissed from employment. A young PH has to work extremely hard to establish a reputation and to build a client base and not many want to lose their job, so they comply with the instruction, the long-term losers being the buffalo because if it continues it won’t take long before the soft bossed buffalo are also no more.
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Caption: A mere seven years on in 2012 the same Sipani springs – totally underutilized by wildlife due to heavily depleted populations, as compared to the 2005 photo – my trackers search for spoor in the far background centre.
WHAT TO DO TO ENTER THE BOOK GIVEAWAY BY RANDOM DRAWING
For a chance to win registered members must simply post "The Hunting Game" in this thread. Each individual post will be a single entry.
Post your content below in this thread. If you are not already a registered member you can join by clicking here.
Entries must be posted between September 19, 2018 to October 10, 2018 (at midnight Central Standard Time). After the close of posting we will hold a random drawing to select the winner. The winner will be announced by October 12, 2018 in this thread.
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Each post has a post number which is your entry number. At the end of the competition one number will be randomly selected and awarded the @Kevin Thomas book giveaway prize. The website RANDOM.ORG, a true random number generator, will be used by moderator @AfricaHunting.com and a witness to randomly draw the winning post number from amongst the valid entries.
Random Drawing Contest Rules
1. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. Giveaway entrants must be over 18 to participate. The winner’s age will be verified and a new winner will be selected if the original winner does not meet the age requirement.
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4. Entries must be posted between September 19, 2018 to October 10, 2018 (at midnight Central Standard Time). After the close of posting an AH moderator will hold a random drawing to select the winner. The winner will be announced and posted by October 12, 2018 in this thread.
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6. Any prize unclaimed after twenty-one (21) days from the date of notice of the winner will not be awarded to the original winner.
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