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August 01, 2007

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Stop It ... You're Killing Me

Professional hunters fascinate me in much the same way professional soldiers do because the odds are at least fair that, in the course of making a living, they will be either killed or mangled. And yet they persist. Before the advent of antibiotics, the PH's job was a lot more perilous than it is now. If you were mauled by a leopard or chewed by the lion, you might be able to survive the mauling itself, but not the infection that followed.

Of the PHs I've known personally, one was killed by an elephant and five were chewed by leopards. All five survived, although one man shot a colleague of his during another leopard encounter. The reason so many run afoul of old chui (which is Swahili, I think, for leopard, and a great example of onomotopoeia)is the speed with which they get at you. Leopards are not all that large (a 150-pound tom is a very big one) and they can conceal themselves behind nothing more than a clump of grass, so the first sign that kitty is around is when his dewclaws are sunk in your neck and he is trying to disembowel you with his hind claws.

I know of only one PH who did the job for a long time and never ran afoul of an animal. He was a French PH who worked in Zambia, and in 40 years in the bush the only injury he sustained was when a Land Rover hood fell on his hand and chopped off a finger. The most unlikely death was a PH who perished when an iron-hard spike of mopane wood punched through the floor of his Land Rover and into his femoral artery.

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Comments

Mark

Have to agree a being a PH, and many professional military careers, gobbles up the luck. Most people don’t recognize the grim statistics behind the glamour. Even if you do survive the heat, the grim and gore, nasty little critters that corrupt the bowls and cause skin rashes, there are the animals/people that want to end your life prematurely.

I was invited prior to 1998 to join a visiting South African PH hunting crew. He discovered I was tri-lingual. It was tempting, very tempting since I was divorced at the time. I can’t recall the exact reasons I turned him down, but I suspect subconsciously I knew I’d be tempting Fate. I’m a disabled USAF officer.

I take pride of my survival instincts

So in 40 years this french ph seemed to never witness an animal killing anyone hunting?

And you, the author, only know of one?

What exactly is your point?

I love hunting, don't get me wrong, but if you are trying to make it seem dangerous, your doing a poor job of it.

Maybe I am confused here?

Dave Petzal

You are not only confused, you are anonymous, and therefore of no importance. Also, your spelling needs work.

Jonny

He isn't trying to make hunting seem dangerous, he is pointing being a PH in Africa is dangerous.

Also he never said the French PH was never witness to a mauling/ killing he said the PH himself was never mauled.

You, the author, responded, so you must think it was at least somewhat important.
And in addition, the only fault you seem to find is my grammer.

Very substantial.

What does my name mean? Do you think all these people are using their real names. It looks to me like alot of people giving themselves nicknames. A bit childish really.

In closing, I wasn't trying to ridicule you, I was simply looking t5o understand the point of the article.

Judging by your response, and the nature of it, I think I got it.

Sorry Ms. Peterson,

I realize grammar was misspelled.

I also apologize for the 5 in the middle of the to.

If you were trying to make it seem dangerous to be a ph, I would think you would cite some stories about bear maulings and maybe even show a bunch of pictures with predators mouth's agape, looking to kill all the humans. Please do not call me a peta undercover agent either. I love to hunt; I just think some things shouldn't be hunted.

And ph's make me sick.

I have no problem with people wanting to supplement their diet with good, lean game meat. But when someone kills for a living - I liken it to being a drunk.

Moderation is the key.

The first post needed a you are or a you're.
Point well taken Ms. Peterson.

Now go on a trip, tree a leopard, shoot it, and restore your ego.

The fur will look great in one of your houses.

Seriously, what do you do with leopard meat anyway?

I bet it gets ''donated'' to the needy africans huh?

Don't get all worried. I wouldn't take your right to kill a cat. But it is so beautiful to me, the only reason I could ever find to shoot it would be to save my life.

And as far as feeling better about it, because the village it was near sleeps better. I would feel better letting them handle it, rather than some rich white man killing it and putting himself on a pedestal for doing such a GREAT THING.

Dr. Ralph

I think most PH's actually lust for the close encounters with death. Otherwise why do it? Plus there is such a wonderful feeling when you survive what could or should have been fatal.

Hang bait in tree. Watch cat climb into tree. Shoot cat out of tree. Go collect your...trophy?

Go into the African wilderness with a buck knife and a guide with no rifle. Kill a lion.

That would be a trophy.

Clipping tidbits to confuse readers. Inserting large subscripts of chinese literature.

Such noble tactics.

Dr. Ralph

Oh and by the way I rather enjoy killing. Dropping black birds and crows is a favored past time. I guess you can liken me to a drunk too anonymous... hell I don't even get a rug to show for it.

Steve C

Please.

“Professional Hunter” is a term from a bygone era. So is any real danger they might face. Outside of Africa, they’re called hunting guides and the biggest danger they face can be traced to themselves and/or whomever they’re guiding. Your average zoo staff faces more danger more often than professional hunter and do so unarmed.

WaltSmith

When you kill something for no reason other than to satisfy your own ego and make a living at it eventually you'll get bit right back,badly.

Blue Ox

Do you want to live forever?

Mark

"Anonymous" seems prone to hissy fits.

They not only can't write, they can't read.

V K POTTS

I WENT TO KENYA, A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, AND SHOT A LEAPORD THE WALKED 50 FEET RIGHT BY ME WITH A CAMIRA, WHAT A THRILL. ALSO SAW EVERY OTHER BIG ANIMAL AND SHOT THEM WITH MY CAMIRA. I CAN'T SPELL EITHER.




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