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The Great Hunters

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Great Stories by the Great Hunters of Yesteryear

Below is a short list of stories told by those Great Hunters of the 19th and early 20th centuries

Black Mambas ... Highly Venomous African Bushveld Snake Wolhuter had many encounters with snakes. He was temporarily blinded after receiving venom from a Black-necked spitting cobra. Once he rescued his dog by cutting open a python which had just swollen it! But his greatest respect is reserved for the deadly Black mamba.   

Catching Baby Elephants in the Addo Elephant National Park  CJ Pretorius's amusing story of catching "Addo", the baby elephant

A hunt of a different kind C J  In 1915 Pretorius was called to Durban to assist the Royal Navy in tracking a quarry to earth. As his commission unfolded itself, he found that it stretched all his abilities as a hunter and scout.

The Leopard stalks its prey by Victor Pohl | Big 5 Animal Victor Pohl and his brother Eric witness an event few others ever have.

Discomforts of the Pioneer: Parker Gillmore, Rain Hyaenas and Ants Trying to get some sleep in a temporary camp on the borders of the Kalahari Desert, Gillmore found that he had fallen a prey to voracious ants. Then came a deluge of rain and hyaenas to stampede the horses. Fortunately good luck and a sense of humour brought the party safely through to the next morning.

Ready, Aim, Fire by Victor Pohl, Great South African Hunter Eric and I decided one day to go hunting all on our own with the old muzzle-loader shotgun. I was only ten and Eric was younger by a couple of years. I had already fired a lightly loaded charge at a hawk some time previously, resting the heavy weapon on a stone; and, although the hawk went sailing off quietly, practically all we could talk about for days afterwards was whether I had wounded the marauder or not.

Elephant Hunt by Frederick Courtney Selous, Great HunterIn his early career Selous went primarily in search of elephant. In those pre-safari days, ivory was about the only source of income for professional hunters. Such men had a strong feeling of cameradie, and Selous dedicated his book inter alia to “My friends the Elephant Hunters in the Far Interior of South Africa.”

A Boer (Doppers) Hunting Party Parker Gillmore met a party of Boer Doppers and enjoyed the company of this group of people on their way to find their promised land

The Sea Cow or River Horse I thought the huge monster would have leaped into the boat. Indeed its plunge, within two feet of the bows, fairly lifted us three feet into the air, and nearly filled the boat with water.

The Cameleopard as the Giraffe was called was a difficult specimen In 1936 in the neighbourhood of what are today called the Magaliesburg Mountains, Harris and his companion solved what had long been a difficult problem – the successful hunting of giraffe.

The Magnificent and Rare Sable Antelope | Hunted by Cumming  Almost a year later, several hundred kilometers to the north, Roualeyn George Gordon Cumming went in pursuit of the rare Sable antelope.

Vast Herds of Springbok in Northern Cape Province ... Alas No More I had the satisfaction of beholding, for the first time, what I had often heard the Boers allude to viz. a trekbokken, or grand migration of springboks. This was, I think, the most extraordinary and striking scene, as connected with beasts of the chase, that I have ever beheld.

Bushmen Hunters in The Kalahari Desert Fortunately we now caught a Bushman, who, won over by a present of tobacco and beads, became reconciled to us, and promised, as well as we could understand to conduct us to game.

A Great Hunter Remembers | William Cotton Oswell Writing in his nineties, Oswell reflects upon his first hunting trip to Southern Africa a half-century before. In his descriptions of the rhinoceros a species by which he was once almost killed he shows the blend of sympathy and gentle amusement with which he viewed the animal of veld.  In spite of a long, settled life in his mature years, Oswell could never reconcile himself to civilization. Right to the last he betrays a preference for the wild.