SOUTH AFRICA: Cat Scratch Fever In The Kalahari

jpomazi

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Hi Toby, thanks for the story. Great writer. I was at the lodge in PawPrint when you and Phil arrived. Sitting with my twin girls at the bar. Never had a chance to introduce myself before you left. Maybe we’ll meet again sometime. Congrats on your hunt.
 

TOBY458

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Hi Toby, thanks for the story. Great writer. I was at the lodge in PawPrint when you and Phil arrived. Sitting with my twin girls at the bar. Never had a chance to introduce myself before you left. Maybe we’ll meet again sometime. Congrats on your hunt.
Thanks! Wish I had a few minutes to talk to everyone, but I had to get to the airport. Maybe next time!
 

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Great bit of writing, I’m taking notes ;). Congratulations on a beautiful cat.
 

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Dust flew up from behind the Land Cruiser, nearly choking everyone on board. A very abrupt stop had left us on the down wind side of a large mouthful of the Kalahari. PH Seun jumped out of the now still vehicle and looked intently at something on the right side of the road. A bit angry, and somewhat tickled at the fact that the tracker perched on front of the cruiser had mistaken Zebra tracks for Lion spoor. He muttered in his broken English, "Fuck William!!! We're not hunting Zebra!!!" Half smiling and somewhat irritated, Seun returned to the Toyota for another spin around the block.

We were dragging a small brushy tree top behind us, in order to cover up any old spoor that was left from the previous days and nights before we arrived for our safari. So far we had "closed off" several blocks, and were hoping to catch the fresh spoor of a Lioness lurking from one piece of land to another. Then.....William spoke something in Afrikaans that made Seun slam on the brakes once again. Fresh spoor! The hunt was on....

Single file, we lined up behind Seun and his tracker, William, a keen eyed African with a quiet demeanor. A tracker with quite a reputation for finding game when the chips were down. This day would be no different.
Not long after we started on the spoor, we heard the call of a loan Lioness, some 300 yards in the distance. We started closing the distance on her, before we realized that she was doing the same for us. Things were starting to feel real. Could I really be hunting Lion? Is this a dream? Well...that one I can answer. It was definitely a dream. A dream I had harbored for years. A dream of hunting animals that can bite and fight back. Animals that require large caliber weapons and the guts to stand your ground once the dance has begun. The cold breeze snapped me back into reality, and we stalked increasingly closer.

After a few more intense minutes of sneaking closer and closer, up came the sticks, and Seun whispered "there she is". I readied my 375 H&H for the shot, but she noticed a movement that she was unsure of, and she was gone like a flash! The chase was on.... We must stay on the spoor so we don't lose her. We must push her out of her comfort zone, so she doesn't lose interest in us. Either way, someone or something had to lose.

After a long, hard push, she began to realize that something was not right. Something was on her trail. She was used to being the hunter.....not the hunted. In a pride she would have none of this. But by herself, she was forced to be elusive, rather than aggressive. Circling us, she tried to figure out the source of her trouble. Half stalking...half hiding...she waited for us.

The wind was blowing abruptly, covering the sounds of our footsteps, and making our movements seemingly flow with the swaying African backdrop. Would she see us again and come? Or, would she see us again and go? She only had those options to choose from. If she chose to go, could we continue to keep up with her? If she chose to come, could we stop her, before she made a mockery of the puny humans that were giving her trouble? We would soon find out.... Win.....Lose.....or......Draw.

William, our tracker, spotted her first. Crouched down behind a particularly nasty stand of thorn bushes....she was waiting. The problem was, for her, she was on the wrong side of the bushes. We had caught her with her pants down. The wind had betrayed her.
The sticks slowly came up, and the forend of the Sako 375 virtually floated into position. Steady, aim......HOLY SHIT!!!! How did she take a direct hit to the vitals, from the mighty 375 and still bounce back up like a rubber ball??? A very pissed off rubber ball!!! Seun yelled, SHOOT HER AGAIN!!!! With a quickness I bolted another round into the Sako and let fly. Three hundred pounds of teeth and claws erupted at the second shot, summersaulting herself into the waiting thorn bushes. Then another shot. Down Goes Fraser again! And just as quickly, she was back on her feet. This time advancing, instead of retreating. For now she had noticed the source of her pain. Revenge, for her, would be sweet, if only she could muster enough strength to cover the needed 20 yards to get her claws into us. If only she could make it to us before the lights began to dim....we would pay. If only.....
As the fourth and fifth shots rang out, the lights, for her, began to fade. As the life and the hatred for us began to leave her body, she laid still. All was calm.

I'm telling you this story because my wish came true. I'm able to tell you this story because hers did not.

Until we meet again.

Sir, this was more than a write-up. It was a story, an experience you brought us all along with you. Awesome job. I do hope you get published. Please let me know, so I can buy your book! Thanks.
 

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Dust flew up from behind the Land Cruiser, nearly choking everyone on board. A very abrupt stop had left us on the down wind side of a large mouthful of the Kalahari. PH Seun jumped out of the now still vehicle and looked intently at something on the right side of the road. A bit angry, and somewhat tickled at the fact that the tracker perched on front of the cruiser had mistaken Zebra tracks for Lion spoor. He muttered in his broken English, "Fuck William!!! We're not hunting Zebra!!!" Half smiling and somewhat irritated, Seun returned to the Toyota for another spin around the block.

We were dragging a small brushy tree top behind us, in order to cover up any old spoor that was left from the previous days and nights before we arrived for our safari. So far we had "closed off" several blocks, and were hoping to catch the fresh spoor of a Lioness lurking from one piece of land to another. Then.....William spoke something in Afrikaans that made Seun slam on the brakes once again. Fresh spoor! The hunt was on....

Single file, we lined up behind Seun and his tracker, William, a keen eyed African with a quiet demeanor. A tracker with quite a reputation for finding game when the chips were down. This day would be no different.
Not long after we started on the spoor, we heard the call of a loan Lioness, some 300 yards in the distance. We started closing the distance on her, before we realized that she was doing the same for us. Things were starting to feel real. Could I really be hunting Lion? Is this a dream? Well...that one I can answer. It was definitely a dream. A dream I had harbored for years. A dream of hunting animals that can bite and fight back. Animals that require large caliber weapons and the guts to stand your ground once the dance has begun. The cold breeze snapped me back into reality, and we stalked increasingly closer.

After a few more intense minutes of sneaking closer and closer, up came the sticks, and Seun whispered "there she is". I readied my 375 H&H for the shot, but she noticed a movement that she was unsure of, and she was gone like a flash! The chase was on.... We must stay on the spoor so we don't lose her. We must push her out of her comfort zone, so she doesn't lose interest in us. Either way, someone or something had to lose.

After a long, hard push, she began to realize that something was not right. Something was on her trail. She was used to being the hunter.....not the hunted. In a pride she would have none of this. But by herself, she was forced to be elusive, rather than aggressive. Circling us, she tried to figure out the source of her trouble. Half stalking...half hiding...she waited for us.

The wind was blowing abruptly, covering the sounds of our footsteps, and making our movements seemingly flow with the swaying African backdrop. Would she see us again and come? Or, would she see us again and go? She only had those options to choose from. If she chose to go, could we continue to keep up with her? If she chose to come, could we stop her, before she made a mockery of the puny humans that were giving her trouble? We would soon find out.... Win.....Lose.....or......Draw.

William, our tracker, spotted her first. Crouched down behind a particularly nasty stand of thorn bushes....she was waiting. The problem was, for her, she was on the wrong side of the bushes. We had caught her with her pants down. The wind had betrayed her.
The sticks slowly came up, and the forend of the Sako 375 virtually floated into position. Steady, aim......HOLY SHIT!!!! How did she take a direct hit to the vitals, from the mighty 375 and still bounce back up like a rubber ball??? A very pissed off rubber ball!!! Seun yelled, SHOOT HER AGAIN!!!! With a quickness I bolted another round into the Sako and let fly. Three hundred pounds of teeth and claws erupted at the second shot, summersaulting herself into the waiting thorn bushes. Then another shot. Down Goes Fraser again! And just as quickly, she was back on her feet. This time advancing, instead of retreating. For now she had noticed the source of her pain. Revenge, for her, would be sweet, if only she could muster enough strength to cover the needed 20 yards to get her claws into us. If only she could make it to us before the lights began to dim....we would pay. If only.....
As the fourth and fifth shots rang out, the lights, for her, began to fade. As the life and the hatred for us began to leave her body, she laid still. All was calm.

I'm telling you this story because my wish came true. I'm able to tell you this story because hers did not.

Until we meet again.

I really like your style! Good work, and congratulations on your lion.
 

enysse

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Congrats on the lioness!
 

meigsbucks

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Congratulations on the lioness. You recounting of the hunt was both entertaining and made me feel as if you were telling it to me over a few cold ones.
 

flatwater bill

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Just re-read this report, and really enjoyed it. Congrats, Toby, on a worthy trophy. Regardless of whether you like cats or hate them, they possess courage. From the lowly housecat to the African lion....when they are thoroughly angry, they have the courage to press home a charge to the finish.....happily, you came out on top...............FWB
 

fourfive8

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Excellent story Toby!
That precisely describes cats. Not exactly tough or thick skinned but tenacious as all get out -often jumping and somersaulting around when hit... gives me the heeby jeebies thinking about tracking down a big one or being close to one like that. Great job of capturing that feeling- thanks for sharing!

Spent some time on a young injured male (probably from a fight) a few years ago in Zimbabwe. Wore me out!

Here’s a lioness in Zambia at 20 yds- toooo close!

25C71B4C-BD7B-4AFC-88D1-26BCF1BB4F51.png
 
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