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PETER FLACK

BKS108

HUNTING THE SPIRAL HORNS BUSHBUCK - FLACK (BOOK)

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It is odd that the smallest of the spiral horns, bushbuck, should end up being the third and biggest book in the five book series on all the 30 members of the extended spiral horn family but I guess that says something about this beautiful but pugnacious yet compact buck. Yes, the book is nearly 400 pages and contains exactly 450 colour and 33 black and white photos. This is 46 pages longer than the Eland Book which was, in turn, 36 pages longer than its predecessor, the Kudu Book. Twenty five contributors have written brand new pieces for the book and, in my humble opinion, it is the best of the books we have done so far and succeeds in our goal of making it THE definitive book on hunting bushbuck.

The contributors read like the Who’s Who of hunting and include South Africa’s very first professional hunter, Coenraad Vermaak, North America’s top African PH and outfitter, Jeff Rann, as well as people like Don Cowie (author of An African Game Ranger on Safari), Kai-uwe Denker (author of Along the Hunter’s Path) and Pierre van der Walt (author of African Dangerous Game Cartridges), so they can write as well. The photographs are truly outstanding and we have been lucky to receive excellent examples of the work of a number of top class professional wildlife photographers, including Jofie Lamprecht, Cath Robertson, Robert Ross, Brendon Ryan and Michael Viljoen, as well as hundreds supplied by the contributing authors themselves, including one taken by Adam Parkison in C.A.R of a huge python swallowing a fully grown bushbuck ewe. The works of these authors have been complemented by those experts of yesteryear such as Cornwallis Harris, the first recreational hunter to visit South Africa in 1834; the eccentric Scotsman, Roualeyn Gordon Cumming, who was the first to describe the Limpopo bushbuck for science; Selous as usual; the wonderfully descriptive prose of Vaughan Kirby, the first Game Conservator in Zululand; the Danish Chief Game Warden, Count Ahlefeldt Billie; the young James Chapman who died not long after his book was published but was the first to describe the Chobe bushbuck for science; and many more. There are chapters on rifles and ammunition, clothing and equipment, field preparation of the trophy, how to hunt bushbuck and, in particular, how to hunt the plus 18 inch super rams, as well as an important one on dangerous encounters with these feisty, little buck who seem to have no reverse gear when confronted and especially when dogs are thrown into the mix. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that the book contains everything you can learn about bushbuck and the hunting of them in print.

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