Hunt With Will Smith
By Robert Hoague
Jul 5, 2008 – 8:27:30 PM
My PH today is Will Smith, a Texan who was sent here by Dries Vesser to
help out in the Namibian operation. Will is in his mid 20’s and is as
congenial as he is knowledgeable of the African game. We loaded up in a
Land Rover and went to a different property where we unloaded
everything by a pop up type blind. It was 40 minutes before daylight.
Our blind was in the bed of a small lake that was 90% dried up. The 10%
that was water was 8 yards from the blind. By the time Will returned
from hiding the truck I was just about to doze off. By the time he was
in the blind 10 minutes I was stacking z’s.
Daylight came and I woke up. Will had brought a cooler and there was a
thermos of hot coffee in it. While I fished the thermos out I noticed
some sandwiches. I held one up and Will said, “Ginsbuk.”
Previously, I had the pleasure of eating Ginsbuk and it was delicious. So was the sandwich.
Three sides of the small lake were wooded and the 4th, which was across
the water from us, was an old dam. We saw occasional activity in the
woods but nothing came to the water.
I got out my new Gold series Pro-Ears and put them on, and adjusted the sound so I
could tell noises from the left and right. Then I upped the volume a
little and grabbed another short nap.
The sound of water splashing woke me up. Will pointed behind me and
towards the dam. I looked through a slit in one of the blind’s windows
to see what it was.
Not yet as far along as we were, but on the opposite edge of the water was a Warthog. Will had my camera and he took a picture of me before he handed me the camera.
When I took the first picture the Warthog was directly across from us.
The Warthog plunked down in the mud and looked around the area as he
made himself comfortable. Chrystal clear, through the Pro-Ears I could hear the
squeakish, sucking sound of the mud as he moved around.
I zoomed in a little tighter on the Warthog. You can see he is sure enjoying the mud and goop part of his visit to the water.
Another Warthog came to the water’s edge. This one was much closer to us and within easy bow range.
The second Warthog drank quickly and left the way it had come.
Our original Warthog had showed no interest in the second Warthog and now was busying itself by rolling around in the mud.
Will whispered that he saw two more Warthogs on the edge of the woods
and it looked like their intention was to come to the water. I took a
quick pic of them.
The lead Warthog arrived at the water close to us. Will put the Nikon rangefinder on it and told me it was 15.5 yards.
More splashing and mud suck sounds in the Pro-Ears made me look back at
the other Warthog boar. It was now setting up in the mud and was
looking toward the other Warthogs.
Then the boar lurched to its feet and started around the lake toward
the new Warthogs. Things looked like a shooting opportunity just might
take place and laid my camera down and took the Pro-Ears off, I didn’t
need them now.
When the two nearby warthogs noticed the larger boar coming the lead
one immediately began walking in the opposite direction. The boar sped
up and cut them off.
Bow in hand I got on my knees behind a shooting slit in a
window. All three Warthogs were in the shooting lane, but a little
further away than I would’ve preferred. All three of them stopped still. Just like he had read my mind
Will ranged him and said, “33 yards.”
Like I said, further than I would have liked, but totally do-able with
my flat shooting BowTech General. I put my pin on the
kill zone of the big, muddy one.
Ooops, it charged the other two and they were on the move again. I moved my
pin above the front shoulder on ol’ Muddy and pulled the trigger on my release.
And missed him entirely.
The three Warthogs disappeared into the trees and brush.
Rats. But it happens. Not every time up is a home run.
All the excitement of seeing the Warthogs and getting a shot really
made me hungry. Another Ginsbok sandwich and some more coffee sounded good right now.
And of course I had no way of knowing it at this point, but my next shot opportunity was coming up real soon.
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