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» Trad » Main Forums » The Dark Continent » African Lion with BW recurve (Page 1)

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Author Topic: African Lion with BW recurve
Contributor 2012
Member # 6577

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Disclaimer #1
This hunt takes place on a 5000ac high fenced ranch in the Kalahari Desert, Western RSA, and Six miles to the south of Botswana. I thought I would start off with this information so if you had Moral issues about Lion hunting inside a high fence, you would save yourself some time and not have to read the rest of my dribble.
As I write this they have been able to post pone the court order banning lion hunting in the RSA until November 2010. I have to wonder about the folks from Europe who have pushed this ban through.
Do they not realize that if no one can sell a hunt for lions to offset the cost of the game they kill, there will be on Lions? Legal or not the ranchers will shoot them on sight and they will be gone forever if they can稚 recoup their losses buy selling hunts.
Bow hunting for Lion has already been banned in most of the African countries and it took me 3 years to get the permits for this hunt. I did not relish the thought of hunting the Kalahari in midsummer but I was sure if I did not go now, I most likely would never be able to.

The following story is true to the best of my recollection. Normally after a hunt I will watch the video and with that along with what I remember write my tale. This story however is going to be different. The outfitter, Dare to Bowhunt did a great job I知 sure at videoing our adventure with two high tech HD cameras. The problem is, while I have both tapes we could not down load them to my computer or theirs. So I have no ideal what I have to work with once I get back to the states and find someone to help me convert the data to something I can work with. It will be interesting to watch and compare. Anyway, here we go.

I love the mornings in Africa. The sounds of the bushvelt get my heart pumping as the first light gets everything up and moving. Nothing says Africa like the distant whinny of Zebra. It is 5:00 AM and I知 out shooting my bow in the half light, I知 pumped. It has taken three years and a hundred letters, E-mails and phone calls to get them permits to be here. I have my trusty 74# Blackwidow and a quiver full of German Kinetic tipped arrows on my back. I知 ready, I知 after Lion.
Everyone loads up in a land rover and we head out. Lammie and I in the back, Freddy and Lammie痴 wife slash camera girl Allison inside, with two trackers setting in seats built on the front bumper to get them down close to the sand.
The plan is to ride the roads looking for fresh tracks. I am hoping of a big lioness. We cross tracks fairly often and Freddy and the trackers bale out and study them. Some are too small; some are of groups, after an hour or so we cut a set that I can tell are promising. I speak no Africans but could tell from the excitement in the voices of the trackers that these looked good. We followed along, on foot at a slow but steady pace. When we would come to an area where she had laid in the sand you could see from the body print in the sand, she was a big critter. The trackers were amazing, when they would lose the track they would split up and circle around like two bird dogs. One would pick it up and with a soft whistle we would be off again. We were easing along the edge of a thorn thicket when one of the trackers went on point; arm outstretched making a hissing sound like someone letting the air out of a tire. Lammie motioned me forward, whispering 電o you see her? I did not. After a few tense moments I made out a swishing tail. I followed it forward until I finally made out the Lion痴 body and finally her head. I have never witnessed an animal harder to see than this lion lying in the high grass. We eased in to just under forty yards and ran out of cover. Lammie hissed in my ear, 添ou have to shoot from here. My bow came up; I hit my anchor only to have her disappear. I let down. She is laying there but I can稚 focus on her. Laying in the shade of a thorn bush, me in the blazing desert sun, my eyes were playing tricks on me. I make her out again and launch an arrow at her. When the arrow hit her it was pandemonium. The Lioness leaped up spinning around in circles cutting loose with a mighty roar. Both trackers busted out of there like a covey of Quail, both PHs stepping up beside me rifles ready. She was gone like smoke into the ticket.
We held our positions for a while, waiting for her to come rushing at us. I on one knee arrow ready bow half drawn (like that would help if she charged) guns either side of my head. ???? 敵uns either side of my head???? Hey; wait a minute, if they cut loose with those two cannons my brain is going to turn to jelly and run out of my ears. I slowly start inching back. No one is sure of where I hit her. I think it is too low. All we are sure of is the arrow was in her chest but we can find no blood. A plan is made to circle the thicket in hope we can spot her, hopefully dead in the brush. Myself, I wanted to leave her for a hour, then look for her. Lammie reminded me that if she was dead, in an hour she would be ruined due to the 100 degree heat.
We moved slowly. One step at a time, stopping to squat and try to stare under the thorn bushes. It was tense. We had made it about one hundred yards when I heard the most startling thing I have ever heard in my life. A soft growl, so soft I don稚 think she even knew she was making it and close, on more than twenty yards away. As everyone knows Texans are born and breed to stand and fight. In my fifty plus years I have never backed down or ran from much of anything BUT when Freddy dropped to one knee and hissed the African version #@*&%# bringing his .404 to ready, Lammie grabbed the back of my overall and in a whisper kinda scream 展e gotta move I was more than ready. Rather than move back and hide in the thorns, the lion had moved along with us, staying just out of sight, parallel to us in the brush. We beat a tactical retreat, from a distance it might have looked like three white guys and a girl chasing two black guys with everyone running backwards but it was tactical, 途eally.

After we regrouped the plan was made to circle around and come at her from a different direction. I need to take a minute to explain this thorn thicket. It was about the size of a football field; the bushes were maybe ten foot tall and grew together at the top to make a solid canopy from about waist high. Below the waist it was fairly open with only the trunks of the trees. The only way we could see into the thicket was to drop down onto our knees. Advantage Lion, as she could not have had a better fort.

After making a wide circle we eased back close to the ticket. To say we were moving slow would be an understatement. We had cover fifty yards in a half a hour, when Lammie decided enough. Someone痴 is going to get hurt. They had a tracker pulled down in 2009 under similar circumstances and while he survived the mauling, being bitten in the chest by a four hundred pound critter can never be a good thing. The decision was made to bring the Landrover and try to push her out of the ticket, hopefully when she stopped, it would be in an area we could put a stalk on. A tracker was sent after the truck and we backed up under some welcome shade. I seemed to have misplaced my hat during our hundred yard backward dash I mean our tactical retreat and the Kalahari sun was baking my bald head.
We loaded back up Freddy driving, Allison inside with him, Lammie and I in the back and the trackers standing on the back bumper. It seemed they did not care for our plan and had no intention of getting in the truck as they expected the Lion to charge rather than run and plucking someone from the back would be no great feat for the Lion. We had not move fifty yards when we spotted the Lion. Apparently while we rested in the shade, she had stalked within fifty yards of us and laid down waiting in ambush for us to start walking again. At this point I am standing on top of the cab of the truck and have a good view of her about twenty five yards away. It is a standoff. If we move forward she will surly charge the truck, leaving Lammie no option but to put bullet holes in my lion but she is lying facing us. My only shot is at her head. After a couple of minutes she began to growl. At first softly, then deeper and louder. I have no words to describe the sound but nothing you have heard in a movie is even close. It was a sound of pour hate. Her tail went from swishing back and forth to curling up and slapping the ground straight behind her. Lammie said in a tense voice 都hoot her now I had no shot 都hoot her anywhere, you must turn her or she is coming. Standing at full draw I picked a spot just left of her eye, hoping to go into her neck and the down through her body.
As often happens with tradition equipment my arrow went right where I was looking and smacked her right under the eye. Once again she was roaring and spinning and then poof, gone like smoke. The decision is made to once again back out and regroup, hopefully with a better plan. Freddy starts up the truck and we move forward no more than half a minute when one of the trackers make a whistling, popping noise. The Lion is back but she has made a mistake. Her head is hidden, as she glares at us through the roots of a thorn bush but her body is exposed. I one motion my bow is up and the GK head is buried to the feathers tight behind her shoulder. We followed her on foot back into the ticket to find her still alive but in bad shape. Moving around behind her I slipped a couple of insurance arrows into her and it was done. From the first shot to the last was most likely no more than two hours but it seemed like days.

I cannot say enough good things about Lammie and the entire Dare to Bowhunt outfit. The man has nerves of steel and showed great restraint. He had several opportunities to finish my Lion with his gun but fought with me to get her down with my bow. As a bow hunter his self he knows how disappointing it is to us to have someone finish our hunt with a gunshot.

As excited about my hunt as I am, I can稚 help but be a little sad. This will most likely be one of the last Lions ever taken with a recurve or any bow for that matter. Politicos and greenies from Europe will have their way and my son痴 and grandson痴 will never have the chance to know the rush that I experienced following a wounded lion into the high grass.

Marty Thomas



Posts: 1103 | From: HALLSVILLE TEXAS | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Contributor 2010
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... wow.

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.

Posts: 722 | From: Denmark | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Awesome story Buff, congrats. [Not Worthy] [Not Worthy]
Posts: 1527 | From: Missouri | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Doc Blues
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Great story... [clapper] [clapper]

Black Widow PCH X 58" 48@28
Wes Wallace Mentor/td 60" 46#@27
Longbow Stegmeyer 66" 48#@27
Bear Kodiak Magnum 1962 52" 50#@28
Selfbow Ash Flatbow, 70" 43#@27
Colt Hunt Master 1967, 52" 45#@28

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Keith Zimmerman
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How many arrows did it take? Where did the 1st arrow hit her? Good Story. Congrats!
Posts: 4211 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
shortstroke 91
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As always Marty, LOVE the story and pics. Sounds like the old girl didn't want to give up easily. My hair is standing up on my neck just from reading about the standoff. Sir you must have "cohones" that clank.

shortstroke 91
TBOT Life Member


Posts: 867 | From: TEXAS | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Contributor 2012
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Originally posted by Keith Zimmerman:
How many arrows did it take? Where did the 1st arrow hit her? Good Story. Congrats!

I had six. First one hit her low in the chest. Split her breast bone but didn't get the heart
Posts: 1103 | From: HALLSVILLE TEXAS | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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that is amazing----congrat's
Posts: 30 | From: southeast | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Billy Stewart
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Great story Marty excellent shooting you should be proud. Thanks for sharing your hunt with us.
Posts: 11 | From: Ava Missouri | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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WOW! Well told.

"There is no excellence in archery without great labor" - Maurice Thompson
"I avoid anything that make my dogs gag" - Dusty Nethery

Posts: 1011 | From: Hillsboro Oregon | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Congrats. Would have been a tense time after the first shot!
Posts: 419 | From: New Zealand | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Well told stroy Marty. Do the fences stop the Lions from roaming?

TGMM Family of The Bow

Posts: 6409 | From: Cheyenne Wy | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Wow, great story. [thumbsup] [thumbsup]
Posts: 978 | From: Conway,NH | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Corn Stalker
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Speachless....Great story [thumbsup]

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

Posts: 57 | From: Michigan | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Way to go Marty! Keep it up and the big 5 will be yours i no time.



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TGMM Family of the Bow

Posts: 11926 | From: Sonora, Texas | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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