The Day I Learnt The Importance Of Proper Information & Preparation

Professor Mawla

AH fanatic
Aug 15, 2020
Reaction score
Tonight , I will relate a story of a hunting incident from the winter of 1976 . It features in chapter five of my book . It highlights the importance of taking proper preparation , when going off to hunt dangerous game . And why failure to do so , can have adverse consequences for not only the hunters but also everyone around them .

Previously , I had written one more story on these forums , which may be found here :

Before I start , I would also like to verify that these are my personal photographs and I own exclusive rights to them as I featured many of them in my book .

The author ( front ) and duck hunting party . Maulvi Bazaar forest , 1976 .
I had graduated from Murari Chand College in the winter of 1973 . And now I was working full time around the various tea estates in Habiganj , Sylhet and Maulvi Bazaar . During the weekends , I partook in many recreational activities . One of which included going on hunts . Sometimes I would go alone . Other times I was accompanied by my close friends , Joy and Niyazur ( both of whom were and still are very passionate hunters , just like myself) .

Wild ducks ( such as Mallard , Teal and tree ducks ) were ( and are ) a common part of the rural Bengali diet . We consider(ed) them to be a delicacy and during the winter the skies near rivers , lakes and streams would ( and still do ) get completely black with thousands of flying wild ducks . This was the ideal time to hunt them , and December 22 , 1976 was no different .

Joy’s wife had gone off to spend the weekend with her parents . Niyazur and I were absolutely free so we resolved to go on a duck hunt in Maulvi Bazaar . After taking the customary permission of the Maulvi Bazaar Forest Department , we all set off in Joy’s jeep . Accompanying us were six of Niyazur’s servants .

We had brought four arms with us :
* My Laurona 12 bore sidelock ejector side by side shotgun
* MY BRNO .22 LR bolt action rifle
* Joy’s 12 bore ( 2 3/4 inch chamber ) modified choke Belgian FN ( Fabrique Nationale ) Browning A - 5 semi automatic shotgun .
* Niyazur’s 12 bore ( 2 3/4 inch chambers ) Browning Superimposed over under shotgun ( full choke over modified choke )

We had also brought three kinds of ammunition with us :
* 200 rounds of Eley Alphamax number 4 birdshot shells
* Ten Eley Alphamax LG shells ( as a precautionary measure against any wild boars , jackals or wild dogs which might try to attack us )
* 100 rounds of Eley Rifle Club 40 grain solid .22 LR ammunition

On Thursday afternoon , we were all having a really good time by shooting tree ducks . In Bangladesh , the standard method of shooting tree ducks is as follows :
You rent a dinghy boat ( or boats ) and each dinghy has four crew members ( a shooter , an oar man and two servants who retrieve the downed ducks ) . As the dinghy gets rowed down the swamp , the shooter downs the tree ducks and the servants retrieve them with nets attached to poles . We had rented three dinghies on that day and Joy , Niyazur and I each occupied one dinghy . Each of shot around a dozen tree ducks and then we came ashore after an hour of shooting .

We gifted 18 tree ducks to the local forest children from the Upojati tribe , because we knew how much these children enjoyed eating wild game . The rest , we kept for ourselves . At night , the three of us have having a pleasant barbecue at the court yard of our guest house . We spit roasted the tree ducks over an open fire and ate them with garlic naan flat bread . Later we washed the meal down with a few tins of Budweiser beer . During this time , we saw a pair of Forest Guards going around the road in a jeep , making an announcement with a mic .

They were telling all locals to stay indoors after sundown , henceforth until further notice . Joy stopped the jeep and asked them what was wrong . The Forest Guards told us that a marauding baagh was operating in the vicinity of this area and that three locals had been killed in seven nights . My interest being piqued , I asked them if any reward was being offered to local hunters for disposing of the marauder . The Forest Guards told us that they were offering 500 Taka to anyone who could dispose of the baagh . Since I could eat for a month with that money back in 1976 , I decided to take them up on their offer .

I asked them what kind of a baagh it was and the Forest Guards told me that it was a cheetah . Cheetahs did not worry me at all . Between 1972 and 1976 , I had already shot and killed nine marauding cheetahs . During the time when the government contractors had begun building an air strip in Dacca ( which is now Hazrat Shah Jalal international airport ) , I had even shot and killed three cheetahs in one night ( I will relate that story as well , on another day ) . Some times , I would see three cheetahs lying down , shoot two of them at close range and simply watch the third one run off in fear . So I told the Forest Guards , “ Yes . Cheetah . No problem . I will do it “ .


Upojati children carrying buckets full of tree ducks shot by author and friends . December 22 , 1976
The next day was spent making preparations . Niyazur and Joy took a great deal of effort in helping me out . We asked the Forest Guards about the locations where the corpses of the marauder’s victims were found . This , they pointed out to us . Niyazur also asked the Forest Guards if we could see the corpse of one of the marauder’s victims . Unfortunately , all of the corpses had already been buried and thus , we were denied this request. I did not think too much about it at the time .

As we visited the location of each attack site , Joy put down the marked the location down on a map . The intention was to triangulate the general area / route through which the cheetah was traveling . Combing through the area , we found one particular spot where the tree barks were full of deep scratch marks . Clearly the cheetah was using these tree trunks as scratching posts in order to clean their claws . Male cheetahs urinate on foliage in order to mark their territory . And this leaves an extremely pungent odor ( comparable to a rodent’s nest ) . Niyazur’s servants found were finally able to pinpoint the general location of the cheetah’s lair . However , it was quite difficult to search for any pug marks as the ground was too soft . It was now time for us to get ready .

Since none of the trees nearby were strong enough to support the weight of a blind , I had Niyazur’s servants dig a pit blind ( which we call “ Gortho “ in Bengali ) and cover it up with a crude “ carpet “ of leaves , after torching the entire blind with kerosene ( so that any snakes or insects under the ground would get killed by the fire ) . It was decided that I would be the one to hide inside the pit blind , while Joy and Niyazur remained in the jeep ( which would be parked about 200 yards away from me ) . I loaded an Eley Alphamax LG shell into the chamber of each barrel of my Laurona 12 bore . And I kept two extra LG shells in the breast pocket of my light green check cotton poplin shirt . I gave three LG shells each to Joy and Niyazur , as a precautionary measure . In case I were to get into trouble , it was their responsibility to come to my rescue .

Joy had gone to the local bazaar and purchased a calf , which I intended to use as live bait . We tied the calf to a tree which was around 20 feet away from the pit blind . As the sun went down , it was time for me to crawl into the pit blind . I did not need to stay there the entire night . If the cheetah did not come to feed by 9 PM or so , then it would not be coming at all on that night . I checked the chambers of my Laurona 12 bore and also the six cell torchlight which was clamped to the fore end . I began to wait . The calf was nonchalantly chewing away on a big pile of grass which we had left for him .

I waited until 9 PM , cautiously peeking out from under the leaf carpet and looking at the calf . However , nothing happened . As I was just about to crawl out of the pit blind , I could hear the leaves rumble nearby . All of a sudden , the calf began to bellow fearfully . It sounded as if a really huge animal was moving through the foliage and coming towards the calf . I could slowly make out a dark silhouette making it’s way towards the frightened calf . Come to think of it now ; even in the dark the silhouette appeared far too big to be a cheetah . I shouldered my 12 bore and put my finger on the switch of the six cell torchlight . When the silhouette had gotten parallel to my pit blind , I leapt up and switched on the torchlight . The illumination showed me something which I never expected to see . Standing about 15 feet away from me , was not a cheetah . But a huge snarling Royal Bengal tiger. Both it and I were utterly surprised by locking eyes with each other . But I reacted first .

I knew that I was going to die anyway , because there is no way by which LG shells can be used to fatally shoot a Royal Bengal tiger . But just as a last ditch effort at self preservation , I pulled both the triggers ; keeping the 12 bore aimed at the centre of the Royal Bengal tiger’s chest . The two concentrated charges of LG slugs caught the animal full on , in the chest . The Royal Bengal tiger simply snarled in rage and I thought that now I was done for . Miraculously enough , it rushed off into the foliage ; leaving me unharmed . Had it chosen to attack me on the spot that night , then I would not be among the living today .

However , things were far from over as I would realize the following morning .

Eley Alphamax LG shells owned by the author .
That night , I related what had happened to Joy and Niyazur . They both told me that God / Allah had protected me , because if that Royal Bengal tiger had decided to charge me ; then I would not have survived . We now realized that the marauder which we were dealing with , was not a cheetah . It was a Royal Bengal tiger . We knew that if we needed to successfully kill it , then we could not use a shotgun . We would be needing a large calibre rifle . Fortunately , Niyazur ( always being the most resourceful one amongst all of us ) knew exactly where I could get one .

The next day , we visited the home of one Colonel Mirza who was the friend of Niyazur and lived in this part of Maulvi Bazaar . The Colonel owned a large calibre rifle , which he had brought into the country after a trip to the United States . This was a .458 WM ( Winchester Magnum) ; a custom rifle built by Flaig’s in Millvale ( Pennsylvania ) on a Winchester Enfield 1917 action with a Douglas Premium barrel and a Turkish walnut stock . Niyazur took us to the Colonel to politely ask if we could borrow his .458 WM and a few shells , in order to hunt down the wounded marauding Royal Bengal tiger . This was much easier than we thought . The Colonel understood our plight , especially since Joy and I were both fellow war veterans while Niazur was a battlefield surgeon . The Colonel let me have the rifle and half a box of shells . These were Winchester Super X shells which were loaded with cup & core 510 grain soft nosed bullets .

After that , the three of us got onto Joy’s jeep and began to comb through the forests in the direction that the wounded Royal Bengal tiger had gone last night . After about 40 minutes of driving , we came across a corpse on the ground . It was the corpse of an Upojati tribal man in his late thirties . The corpse was badly mutilated and eviscerated . However , the buttocks of the corpse were still completely intact . The wound patterns were indicative of a huge Royal Bengal tiger , but it had not actually consumed any substantial part of the man’s flesh . I realized what had happened .

After I had wounded the marauding Royal Bengal tiger last night , it’s aggression had intensified. As a result , it had torn this local tribal man apart as soon as it had crossed paths with him on the previous night . My foolish actions had cost this poor man his life . I now knew that my only shot at redemption , was by finding the marauder and finishing it off before further loss of innocent human life was incurred .




The author with the corpse of the Upojati tribal man which was killed by the marauding Royal Bengal tiger . December 23 , 1976 .


Last edited by a moderator:
Joy and Niazur helped me wrap up the Upojati tribal man’s corpse in a sheet of tarpaulin and put it into the back of the jeep . I told them to drive the corpse back to the head office of the Maulvi Bazaar Forest Guards, and try to find out who the man might have been . Mean while , I was continue my pursuit of the marauder on foot . Both Joy and Niazur were extremely hesitant in leaving me alone in the forest , to contend with the wounded Royal Bengal tiger by myself . So , finally I agreed to let Niazur come with me . Joy reluctantly drove off to the office of the Maulvi Bazaar Forest Guards .

We continued our pursuit on foot . I had the .458 WM , which had the magazine fully loaded with three 510 grain Winchester Super X soft nosed shells . Niyazur carried his Browning over under 12 bore , which was loaded with Eley Alphamax LG shells in both the barrels ( not that it would do us any good , as I had found out the hard way on the previous night ) . It would be three hours before we actually found something . It was a set of Royal Bengal tiger pug marks . The ground in this part of the forest was quite similar to clay and the imprint of the marauder’s paws were clearly visible . We pressed forward , now walking slowly and quietly . I flicked off the safety catch on the .458 WM .

We found the marauder near a pond , lying down and looking from left to right . Unfortunately , it had been able to sense our presence and locked eyes with us . It recognized me immediately as the man who had wounded it . Springing to it’s feet , it charged at us . I quickly raised the .458 WM to my shoulder , took aim at the T zone right between the eyes and pulled the trigger . The rifle recoiled against my shoulder ( albeit not too unpleasantly ) and the 510 grain soft nosed bullet went through the animal’s skull and into it’s brain brain . It simply dropped to the shot . It was dead .

Later during the evening , the carcass of the marauding Royal Bengal tiger was delivered to the head office of the Maulvi Bazaar Forest Guards . An autopsy showed that the Royal Bengal tiger had been impaled through the law by the tusk of a large wild boar . No doubt , this was what had caused it to become a marauder . We found my 18 LG lead slugs lodged against the concrete hard chest muscles of the Royal Bengal tiger ; flattened like clay putty . Not even one had managed to enter the chest cavity of the marauder ; let alone reach the heart . This was completely understandable . What load was adequate for a 72 kilogram cheetah , was certainly not adequate for a Royal Bengal Tiger. The animal measured a total of ten feet and seven inches . It weighed 273 kilograms .


The author with his marauding Royal Bengal tiger . December 23 , 1976 .
I was later heartbroken to learn that the poor Upojati tribal man who had been killed by the royal Bengal tiger , was named Hiram . He had two small children - a seven year old son and a nine year old daughter. My actions on December 22 had indirectly contributed to his death and now these children were orphaned .

The next year , Colonel Mirza ( who was more interested in wing shooting than big game hunting ) was looking to sell his .458 WM . I successfully applied for an N.P.B ( Non Prohibited Bore ) rifle license and was able to purchase the fine large calibre rifle from him for a very trivial amount of money . To this day , it remains in my possession and sees seasonal use on Axis deer and wild boar . In 1977 , it would also aid me in putting down a rogue Asiatic elephant ( a story which I shall also be relating on these forums ) .

For many years , Joy and Niyazur have always tried to comfort me by telling me that it was not my fault that Hiram had gotten killed . They instead blamed the Maulvi Bazaar Forest Guards for misleading us and telling us that the marauder was a cheetah , instead of a Royal Bengal tiger . But I cannot really blame them either . As a general rule , there are / were no Royal Bengal tigers in the Maulvi Bazaar forests in Bangladesh ( they are only found in the Sundarban mangrove forests of Bangladesh) . This Royal Bengal tiger must have come to Maulvi Bazaar from the Indian forest near our border ( such a bizarre incident would occur again in 2010) . If we had been able to examine a corpse of even one of the the marauder’s victims , then we would have easily known that the marauder was a Royal Bengal tiger , and not a cheetah . Joy always blamed the Maulvi Bazaar Forest Guards for ineptness , as they had examined all of the corpses of the marauder’s victims but not not tell the wound patterns of a Royal Bengal tiger apart from those of a cheetah .

Nevertheless , I had to accept responsibility for my negligence . I had the skin and skull of the Royal Bengal tiger sent to Hiram’s family , as a token of condolences . I also agreed to bear the financial responsibility of both the children and Hiram’s widow. Henceforth , for the next 15 years ; I began to send them some money on an annual basis . I wish that I could have provided more, but it was the best that ai could do . It covered both of the children’s school fees and the widow’s groceries . However , nothing that I do can ever bring their father and husband back to them .

When the children up ( sometime in the 1980s ) , I told them about the real circumstances behind their father’s death in 1986 . Strangely enough , they both readily forgave me . I later dedicated the prologue of my book ( which was published in 1999 ) to Hiram’s memory .

To this day , the skin of the marauder and the skull ( which the Upojati tribesmen have preserved with wax in an attempt to make it look more realistic ; as per Upojati cultural traditions ) remain in the Hiram’s family home .


Hiram’s children posing for a photograph taken by the author with their toy . February , 1977 .

Last edited:
This was beautifully written , Anayet . I said it in 1976 and I shall say it again now . You are NOT to blame for what happened to Hiram . You were under the impression that you had to contend with a panther ! If any body is to blame , then it is those loathsome forest department officers ! Those doddering imbeciles could not tell the victim of a royal Bengal tiger apart from the victim of a panther ! Will you be coming to Dacca Rifle Club's crane shikar event , next week ?

The reason why the royal Bengal tiger did not attempt to savage you after you had injured him with LG cartridges was because he was temporarily blinded by the powerful beam of your 6 cell torch light . When he got shot twice in the chest with Eley Alphamax LG cartridges , his " Flight Instinct " took over and he simply strived to avoid the light which was being shone in to his eyes .
Last edited:
Good job finishing off the tiger. I would agree that you are not really to blame. You would of done things a whole lot differently if you'd of known it was a tiger. Please continue to write.
Good job finishing off the tiger. I would agree that you are not really to blame. You would of done things a whole lot differently if you'd of known it was a tiger. Please continue to write.
If anything ... I blame the ineptness of those doddering imbeciles at the forest department , Bruce . These people used to possess very little idea about wild life , despite specifically being assigned to work IN A FOREST .

I met 1 coarse fool , a few years ago ... Who could not tell the difference in pug marks between a Sun Bear and an Asian Sloth Bear . Incompetence at it's very finest .
I hope that people have enjoyed my relating of this incident . If you people have found it interesting , then I will write two or three more over the course of the next few days .

I find your report to be very interesting and look forward to reading more of your adventures.
Wow. What a story. I must agree with your friends that you were not responsible for the man's death. If anything, you dealing with the problem animal likely saved many more lives that might have been lost to the marauder. Your actions after the event, supporting the man's family, highlight your right and honorable character.
Wow. What a story. I must agree with your friends that you were not responsible for the man's death. If anything, you dealing with the problem animal likely saved many more lives that might have been lost to the marauder. Your actions after the event, supporting the man's family, highlight your right and honorable character.
Thank you very much . To my great joy , both of Hiram’s children have grown up to become avid hunters . I consider that to be a great personal accomplishment.
Wow - Great adventure Professor Mawla! Even though I don't think you were to blame for the man's death I think supporting the mans children was very honorable.
Looking forward to more of your writing.

Forum statistics

Latest member



Latest posts

Latest profile posts

in-between all the bush fire, hunting and work on the hunting area its hard to find time for fishing as well
JOHNNY30 wrote on krish's profile.
is the 505 gibbs still for sell? Thanks!
William W. wrote on Grouser's profile.
I ran across a message from you a couple of years ago while I was going through old emails. I have arranged a second bison hunt in Nebraska in September 2024, about 6-years after the first, when my supply of bison meat was exhausted. My email is [redacted].
Labman wrote on Mully's profile.
If those Schells rings fare still available, I could use them. I'm willing to pay for the shipping.
Justbryan wrote on R&M FIREARMS's profile.
Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44 FireDot Duplex Riflescope. I am looking at this scope for a couple new rifles. Cost?