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Thread: My true outdoor stories out of Africa....

  1. #231
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    2 Peanuts too far.....

    I hope this is not a duplication.....
    Makes you think--enjoy

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    He came in from the far side of the crop circle.
    Dust flew from under his feet, as he walked with a purposeful sway of his huge, muscular body. Even from a distance from out of the hide I could see that he was powerful.

    Powerful and mean with supreme confidence in himself.
    As he passed some smaller males and females, he bullied them and chased them for a short distance before resuming his chosen direction. Directly in front of him lay the remnants of heaps where peanuts had been stacked. A multitude of nuts lay scattered in a circle, where the stacks had been.
    He was making a bee‐line for the prime feeding spot.

    A sure sign of his status was that those already at the stack, immediately fled when he arrived.

    He flopped down, and sitting on his buttocks, immediately started feasting.
    Willem and I carefully considered our options. A quick count revealed that there were in excess of a hundred baboons in the circle at that moment. And that was just one of three troops that raided their daily! They had become aware that something was amiss the previous day, when we each shot a big male from our position hide that Willem had skilfully erected in the tree line next to the crop circle.

    They had not discovered us, but kept a good distance between them and the edge of the field where death had overtaken some of them the day before. We knew that they would not be coming closer. It was almost a stalemate situation. After some time we decided to work out the distance to some of the furthest heaps by calculating against the segment wheels of the huge pivot system. We had identified a particular heap as about 400 meters from us.
    The very furthest shootable distance for my .280, and now the big baboon male had sat down smack in the center of it.


    My .280 Remington was sighted in to zero on 250 meters. I had no difficulty with the steel targets at 300 meters at the local Crocodilespruit shooting range where we usually prepare and check the sight in for our hunts. I had developed the loads carefully and anticipated a drop of about 12 inches at the estimated distance to the baboon.

    I settled the crosshair on his head and squeezed off. As the Ruger settled after the recoil, I saw him still sitting, with scores of baboons running in all directions. Incredibly, they could not make out where the danger came from! And their king was still sitting on his bounty. Then he very slowly toppled forward, falling on his face. We tried to pace the distance to him in as straight a line as possible.

    It came out at 440 paces.
    When we reached him, I was amazed at his size, his long fangs and human‐liked feet. His fur was beautiful, with a yellowish tinge. I removed my hat in reverence, and spend a silent moment beside him.

    I noticed that two perfectly shelled peanuts had fallen out of his mouth when he fell forward. They were unbroken, but wet with saliva.

    The 162 gr. Hornady had struck him in the centre of his chest, destroying the heart and snapping the spine on exit. Incredibly there was very little blood. Willem came up and we stood in a moment of intense togetherness, the sacred bond between hunters and prey.

    Then he said, ’It was two peanuts too far. That’s what cost him his life.’

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    We walked back to our hide, each occupied with those thoughts that only come to hunters. For our fire Willem had managed to bring a couple of bags of really dry Rooibos. Although our campsite was littered with wood, we preferred to bring in our own. He used a flint to ignite the tinder he had gathered. As he nursed the sparks into life, I mentioned that a mutual friend had recently retired, and that he was extremely anxious that his pension and savings would run out, and that he would not survive, in spite of him having reached the rank of general.

    He was seriously considering taking a job with an international outfit. With a cloud of smoke covering his face, Willem looked up from where was on all fours, by the fire. ‘You don’t retire and then start surviving’ he said. ‘You first learn to survive, and then you can start thinking about retiring. Survival has nothing to do with the size of your stash; it has everything to do with your mindset. If your mindset is to survive on a stash, whether of money, of power or position, you are going to get clobbered like that fellow out there today. Survival is in the mind.’

    ‘What do you mean?’ I asked. ‘Surely that baboon was an expert survivor man. He was the leader of a big troop.’ ‘Yes he was’ said Willem.
    ‘But where did that bring him?
    He is dead now. Kapoet!
    And why?
    I will tell you why.


    He was so busy surviving as a tough, that he did not ever think of surviving as a baboon. Did you see the outcast male? He was the leader once. And he learned to survive while he was still the leader. So when he was forced to retire, he knew about survival. Today he was foraging on that big heap with one or two others which the other chap passed up, too busy to impress his people. And tomorrow he will be there again.

    So you tell the General to decide whether he wants to feast on sufficient, and be alive to enjoy it, or does he want to feast on his own exclusive heap, and go two peanuts too far?’

    Willem’s eyes were wild and bright, and I was not sure whether the reflection of the flames was the only sparks that I saw.

    With his shaggy coat he momentarily resembled the fallen baboon.

    A shiver ran down my spine.

    As the cold set in I lay in my sleeping bag, listening to the song of the veldt. I dozed off thinking of that baboon. How soft his muzzle had felt. I thought about the troop, his folk.

    I wondered whether they missed him, or perhaps even longed for him. And as a pair of Egyptian gees hurled abuse at some night‐time invaders of their chosen spot around the pivot, I thought about the General.

    And whether he will go two peanuts too far ……?

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    Sometimes the mind can not comprehend what the eye can not see...

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  3. #232
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    Sometimes the mind can not comprehend what the eye can not see...

  4. #233
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    You read this MAMBA story here some time ago,and now it is published !

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    Sometimes the mind can not comprehend what the eye can not see...

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  6. #234
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    Very cool Observe. Poor lil snek.
    I have an Epi-pen now. A friend gave it to me. He REALLY wanted me to have it. It was his dying wish.

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