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Text of Universal Hunter - Jan/Feb/March 2015
HUNTING IBEXUNIVERSAL HUNTER
IN KYRGYZSTANAND SPAIN
JAN/FEB/MAR 2015VOL 4, ISSUE 1$12.95
BULLS, BULLETS &
DUCKS & DOGS
54 UNIVERSAL HUNTERUNIVERSAL HUNTER January / February / March 2015January / February / March 2015
It is only with the contribution of Universal Hunter’s readers that we can make a success of this magazine. Please feel free to send in your trophy photos, hunting experiences, hunting tips, products and any article or contribution you might consider a benefit to fellow hunters or the hunting industry in general.
To improve the chances of having your photo or article published, please keep the following in mind: make sure you submit high quality and high resolution digital pictures, preferably taken with a camera with a minimum of five megapixels. When possible or appropriate try not to take a picture with things like fences, vehicles, buildings or other man-made objects in the background. Never hold a small animal by the head or feet so that it hangs down. Rather put it on an anthill or a log. If you have to take a photo in the dark, let a vehicle shine its headlights (on dim) on you and the trophy. Position the animal so that the hunter looks into the
sun. Wash off or hide all blood that is on the animal or on the ground that might show in the photo. Balance the head so that it shows the animal in a relaxed way. Try not to sit directly behind the focus point of the animal — the head. Rather sit by the back legs. The idea is for the hunter to show only his/her upper body from behind the animal. If the trophy is small, lie down behind it and put it up in front of you holding the head up with your hand under the chin. The camera must be as low as possible. Remove all grass, rocks etc. in front of the animal. Do not put your foot or yourself on an animal in a disrespectful way. Always check that the tongue of the animal is not protruding. Cut it off or put it back in the mouth.
We prefer submissions by email, but you are welcome to send CDs or written articles if you do not have a computer available. In this situation, printed photos may also be submitted. Please send all submissions to [email protected].
Submit your photo, article or hunting story
Letter ................................................................... 6Kyrg Ibex ............................................................. 8Hunting The Crown Jewels of The UK ...............15Cape Buffalo with Bow and Arrow .................... 24The Last Great Adventure: Alaskan Bear ........... 27Jen Adams Hunts Wintershoek ......................... 40Crossbow, Conservation & Redemption ............ 46Product Reviews ........................................... 54-61
BSA Super Mag 17 4.5-14x44 RGB Scope ............... 54Impressum Media’s Firearms Guide ...................... 54Global Rescue ....................................................... 55Girls With Guns Boots ........................................... 55Stone River Flashlight ........................................... 56Bear OPS Knives .................................................... 57Remington Model 783 Camo ..................................57Laramie Suede ....................................................... 58SJK Snare 2000 Backpack ...................................... 59The Larry Weishuhn Longhunter Boot .................. 60What’s Good eBeanie ............................................. 61
The Meopta R2 1-6x24 RD ................................ 62Coffee and the Great Outdoors ...........................71Ducks & Duck Dogs: A Photo Essay ....................75Hunting the King of the Jungle .......................... 80Rhino Vita-Dart .................................................88Bulls, Bullets & Broadheads ............................... 92Driven Wild Boar ............................................... 99Ibex Hunting in Spain ......................................104What Position? ................................................. 111AfricaSky Guest House .....................................112
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76 UNIVERSAL HUNTERUNIVERSAL HUNTER January / February / March 2015January / February / March 2015
The Destination Is The Hunt.How do we approach the challenges and opportunities in the hunting industry for this year?
It has been a busy year at Universal Hunter Magazine and Universal Huntress TV. I cannot help but wonder where 2015 will take us, what destination we’ll get to explore or new ventures we’ll go on, or what the anti hunters have in store for us and how will we counteract it?
I was hoping to find more recent information on what the general public in the U.S. feel regarding this topic, but I could only find a 2007 survey.
A 2007 survey by Responsive Management Inc., a social research firm specializing in natural resource issues, found that 78 percent of Americans support hunting today, versus 73 percent in 1995. Eighty percent of respondents agreed that “hunting has a legitimate place in modern society,” and the percentage of Americans indicating disapproval of hunting declined from 22 percent in 1995 to 16 percent in 2007.”
It helps to understand why and what makes hunters do what they do. When you look carefully at the way we hunt, you find out there is a lot more at play and a lot more at stake than just the meat or trophy. We are also driven by meaningful hunts, by others acknowledgement, and by the amount of effort we’ve put in to it; the harder the task, the prouder we are. We care much more about a trophy if we’ve participated from start to finish, rather than just pulling the trigger or releasing the arrow. When retrieving your trophy, you add all kinds of feelings to it — meaning, creation, challenges, ownership, identity and pride.
As hunters, we know that our hunt helps conservation, which motivates us to hunt. Following the rules helps secure hunting for the future. As with any industry, you get a select few who will ignore the rules and give the industry a negative name, but the majority of hunters will follow the rules, research the species and environment, and make sure they have an ethical and clean shot before taking it, just like Jen Adams did before hunting her lion trophy. We take photos and videos of our journey to trigger positive emotions and to showcase the pride and respect we hold for the trophy we took.
This is what we believe and what we stand for.
We’re facing a new year, a new set of challenges and opportunities, let us adopt the Universal Hunter attitude and help us grow it. Send us your ideas and your plans for 2015 and how we can help you in your ventures.
We have a plethora of new topics to cover helping all to prepare, learn, and deploy for the hunts to come.
Join us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and don’t forget to watch Universal Huntress TV on the Sportsman Channel, Monday evenings at 11 p.m. EST.
UNIVERSAL HUNTERUNIVERSAL HUNTER (UHM) is an indepen dent bi-monthly publication for the hunter and nature lover. Copyright on all articles and mate-rial published in UHM resides with the publisher. No part of UHM may be copied or reproduced without permission of the publisher. Opinions expressed in ar ticles or advertise-ments do not necessarily reflect those of the editor, editorial com mittee or publishers. Submission of articles for publication is welcome, but although care is taken, the publisher can accept no responsibility for loss of or damage to any material submitted.
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & PUBLISHEREmaneul Kapp “Kappie”Hennie van der Walt
MANAGER USA, CANADA, SOUTH AMERICA AND SOUTH PACIFICEmaneul Kapp “Kappie”[email protected]
98 UNIVERSAL HUNTERUNIVERSAL HUNTER January / February / March 2015January / February / March 2015
K Y R G Y Z S T A N
IbexI could hear Jim mumbling behind me
and as I turned my head to gain a better understanding of what he was saying, I could see him talking into his video camera. He was
saying goodbye to his wife and kids. At any
other time this would have seemed strange behavior but
here, 6,000 miles from home, perched precariously on the side
of a glacier, it all seemed pretty normal. All of us were quite literally
one misplaced step away from death.
BY T.J. SCHWANKY
The glacier cascaded a couple thousand feet into a field of jagged rocks below. It would be one heck of a ride down, but the landing wasn’t so appealing.
10 UNIVERSAL HUNTER January / February / March 2015 11UNIVERSAL HUNTERJanuary / February / March 2015January / February / March 2015January / February / March 2015
first 1,000 or so feet of elevation went pretty well but as we came around a corner the glacier lay ahead. I looked above it and saw what looked like a pretty reasonable route but the Kyrgy guides were having nothing to do with climbing another thousand feet. It was one of those times I later wished Jim had been more forceful but we all just went with the flow. And, for the first hundred yards or so I thought maybe I’d been wrong about the chosen route. The snow was quite soft and actually of-fered very solid footing but it was near the center where things got bad. Soft snow gave way to blue ice. The smart thing would have been to turn around but then again, if we were smart we likely wouldn’t have been in this re-mote part of Kyrgyzstan to begin with. I made it to the solid rock footing on the far side of the glacier first, followed shortly by Jim and Jeff. The worst was now behind us and we vowed to find another route back to camp. We were now back on the hunt for ibex.
As we made our way up through some boulders that guarded the route to a sharp shoulder that would hope-
fully offer a view into the mystical ibex valley beyond, Bucket, the head guide, started waving frantically. We stepped up our pace. As we peeked over the steep slope, we were greet-ed to the sight of over 70 ibex below. All of them were males. Our guides were urging us to shoot quickly but that was nothing new. The truth of the situation was that the ibex had no clue we were there and we had all the time in the world. The rangefinder in my binocular read 360 yards. It was a long shot but definitely doable. Jeff had picked out an ibex he wanted and I found a superb male off to the left. The plan was to shoot on the count of three but as often happens, my ibex had turned slightly when Bucket reached the end of the countdown. At the report of Jeff’s rifle, the ibex that I was focused on spun hard to the right. I lifted my head from the scope just in time to see a big ibex tumbling down the steep rock slope. Jeff’s shot had been perfect. The remainder of the herd was running across the valley and showed no sign of slowing down. The guides were urging me to shoot. I
knew better. At over 500 yards, a run-ning shot would be foolhardy.
My guide, Sumat, tapped me on the shoulder and pointed above the fleeing herd. Without the aid of bin-oculars he’d spotted a previously un-seen ibex beneath an over-hanging rock. It took me a couple of minutes to find him and the rangefinder read 579 yards. It was an extremely long shot but one I had practiced exten-sively for. I snuggled in behind the scope but even on the bipod, the rifle felt unsteady. Sumat passed me some small flat rocks and I placed them be-neath the rear of the stock. Now the crosshair sat perfectly still and I felt good about the shot. As the 550 yard crosshair settled high on the ibex’s shoulder, I had no doubt what the outcome was going to be. The report of the 270WSM startled me a bit but when the three Kyrgy guides began to cheer loudly I knew my shot had been true. I watched the ibex through the scope as he moved down the steep slope. He was struggling to maintain his balance but gravity finally defied him and he tumbled several hundred I strategically kicked
another toe hold into the icy surface and then paused to look back again.
Jim had put the camera away and was doing the same as he took another step across the near vertical slope. His cousin, Jeff, was about 50 yards behind him and struggling a bit. Oakley, one of our Kyrgy guides, wearing nothing more than some cheap rubber boots, was doing his best to help him across the slope.
We were in the middle on the Tien-Shan mountains in southern Kyrgyz-stan and we’d just wrapped up the first leg of our adventure. Both Jeff and I had taken exceptional Marco Polo rams and Jim had scored on a dandy mid-Asian ibex. Jeff and I still had ibex tags and our guides had led us into some pretty extreme country in search of them. This was my sec-ond Asian hunt and if there was one lesson I’d taken away from the first, it was that plans were fluid at best.
Very little went as planned, or at least the way the plan was explained to us. Late-night drives on precarious moun-tain roads, clandestine routes around military check points and hurry up and wait were all pretty standard op-erating procedure at this point of the hunt. The unexpected became the expected. What was stressful a week ago was now mundane; other than the 300 yards of glacier we had left to cross that is.
The hunt had started a couple years earlier, like many do, over a few drinks at the SCI convention. I’m not sure if it was the rum talking or if I really wanted to go but somehow, I’d asked Bryan Martin from Asian Mountain Outfitters to put together a Marco Polo hunt for me. It was only a few months later that Bryan contacted me about a unique experience to travel to a virtually unhunted valley in Kyr-gyzstan, with a couple of fellow Cana-dians from British Columbia. There was the added bonus of hunting ibex. These Asian hunts are not for every-one and it takes a certain personality type to deal with the unexpected but Bryan assured me that Jim and Jeff would be the ideal travelling compan-ions and he was right on the mark. Jeff had a horse go down on him during
the ride in and he broke several ribs but he never once complained nor indicated he wanted to head out. We wrapped him up the best we could with a tensor bandage and some elec-trical tape and he toughed it out. Jim knew exactly when to call the outfit-ter’s bluff and when to just let things go. We had become a pretty cohesive team in a very dysfunctional part of the world. We were feeling pretty in-vincible; until the glacier that is.
The trip had begun a week earlier with three long flights, followed by nearly 20 hours of driving and then two hard days of riding horses, includ-ing a brutal ascent through a 14,500-foot pass. It had only taken a couple days for Jeff and I to get our rams and for Jim to get his ibex and then we had ridden another long day and part of the night into ibex country. We’d seen plenty of ibex in the sheep mountains, mountains that were actually quite easily traversed but our Kyrgy guides insisted that we move to finish up the ibex portion of our hunt, despite being told we’d hunt everything in the same area. But then again, plans were fluid.
After a short night, we’d downed a couple granola bars for breakfast and headed out from camp on foot toward a particularly jagged pile of rocks. The
The first 1,000 or so feet of elevation went pretty well but as we
came around a corner the glacier lay ahead.
Horses were loaded heavy with riders and gear.
Camp was Spartan high in the Tien Shan Mountains.
The author with his mid-Asian ibex.
12 UNIVERSAL HUNTER January / February / March 2015 13UNIVERSAL HUNTERJanuary / February / March 2015
yards through the boulders, coming to rest on a small bench. I took my first breath in what seemed like hours.
Oakley shook my hand firmly and was trying to ask me how far the shot had been. As I signed 579 with my fingers, he shook his head from side to side indicating that I was wrong. I handed him my binoculars and after a quick look through them, a broad smile enveloped his face and he ex-tended his hand and shook mine vig-orously once again. He signed 579 with his fingers several times to the Sumat and Bucket. They came over and shook my hand as well.
We all climbed down to Jeff’s ibex first. It was a spectacular billy and we casually took some photographs and enjoyed the afternoon sun. We were in no hurry to go anywhere and were content to just sit and reflect on the week’s events. After 20 minutes or so, we headed over to inspect my ibex. He too was an excellent billy and we set him up on a rock for photos. While we still had a treacherous climb down and a long and precarious ride back to the vehicles, none of us really gave it a second thought. We were living in
the now, just soaking the adventure in, each in our own way. It was then that plans became fluid again. Our outfitter, Saku, came riding up from the bottom on one of the horses and stressed the urgency of getting down the mountain quickly and getting all our gear packed up for the ride out. We suspected that there really was no urgency to get out and that his omi-nous warning of bad weather moving in was little more than a tale to con-vince us that riding through the night was a good idea but there was little we could do but laugh and head down to the tent to pack our gear.
We made it through the high pass just as the sun was setting behind the mountains to the west. A fresh blanket of snow made the footing treacherous. My horse fell down on one particu-larly steep slope but luckily was able to regain his footing before tumbling down the thousand-foot slope. The horses were grossly overloaded with not only riders but over 100 pounds of gear tied on behind the saddles in makeshift bags. It was tough country for a horse without a rider but add 300 pounds to their backs and it became
ludicrous. I gained a lot of respect for those horses on the trip. A couple of pack horses would have made the journey so much safer and more en-joyable but in a poverty-stricken coun-try like Kyrgyzstan, such luxuries are unfathomable.
It was well after midnight when we got back to the Sheppard’s house and we were welcomed like returning he-roes. In no time they had killed one of their sheep and his wife was cooking us a hot meal, our first in a few days, while the vodka flowed freely. It was close to four in the morning when din-ner was finished and none of us were feeling any pain. The plan had been to spend the night with the Sheppard and then drive down the following morning. It was nice to just let go and relax a bit. Sleeping in warm house, even one constructed of yak dung was going to be welcome. But, an hour lat-er Saku announced that it was time to leave. We were driving back down in the dark. We just laughed....plans in Kyrgyzstan were definitely fluid.
For more information on hunting in Kyrgyzstan, check out Asian Mountain Outfitter at: www.asianmountainoutfitters.com
The author with his mid-Asian ibex.
TANZANIA - SOUTH AFRICA - NAMIBIA - CAMEROON
Exclusively owned and operated by Jaco & Magdel Oosthuizen
1514 UNIVERSAL HUNTER January / February / March 2015 January / February / March 2015
Viewing the many archeological wonders throughout the region was as big a part of our trip as the hunt itself.
U.K. By Robert Zaiglin
Contact Us For More Information: Reservations: Carin NeethlingEmail: [email protected] Tel: +264 81 128 4134 | Mobile: +264 81 149 3838 Website: www.agagia.com
Agagia Hunting, owned and operated by the third family generation ranch Owner and Professional Hunter, Tielman & Carin Neethling together with
Agagia Hunting team have been around for more than 10 years, and invite you to come and experience their stylish facilities
in the heart of the African bush veld.We o�er bow and ri�e hunting opportunities with additional sightseeing
and touring excursions.We believe in Nature & Wildlife conservation and accept the challenge for "the perfect shot". Hunting with conservation depends largely on
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1716 UNIVERSAL HUNTERUNIVERSAL HUNTER January / February / March 2015 January / February / March 2015
The terrain reminded me of the pas-ture land I hunted back in Pennsylva-nia when I was a youngster in pursuit of groundhogs, but as I peered over the live fence and spotted my first Chinese water deer, it became obvious that I was a long way from home pur-suing one of the most unique mem-bers of the cervidae family.
Sometimes referred to as vampire deer because of the presence of two upper tusks, water deer are actually native denizens of China. Two sub-species exist, but the one I pursued was the Chinese hydropotes inermis which arrived in Great Britain in 1870. Initially, the transplants were sustained in the London Zoo, but in 1896, some were transplanted onto the Woburn Abbey Bedfordshire wild-life park. Over time some escaped, and the semi-open farmland habitat composed of rich alluvial soils provid-
ed the yellowish-colored immigrant all it needed to thrive.
The smallish 20 to 30-pound yellow-ish-gray coated deer possesses no ant-lers but exhibits a unique set of vam-pire-like, downward projecting tusks similar to the javelina. It’s a character-istic once exhibited by whitetail deer, and still does upon occasion, but has disappeared over evolutionary time. Water deer also possess a unique pair of inguinal glands in addition to minute preorbital glands below each eye and interdigital glands on the hind legs.
Much longer in the males, the tusks are utilized during the fall and early winter when competing for breeding privileges and can deliver slashing cuts to competitive males.
As a deer biologist, I have always been interested in these tusked cer-vids, but my hunt didn’t materialize until I met Kevin Downer from Sus-
sex, England, at the Safari Club In-ternational convention in 2012. As I negotiated my way through the rows of sporting events, I noticed two pe-tite mounts, one of a Chinese wa-ter deer and one of a muntjac, at his small booth, which lured me into a long conversation with the jovial and loquacious individual, and as a result, I booked a hunt with Kevin for three days in early January 2013.
Time flew by, and after completing another fall semester as Department Chair of the Wildlife Management program at Southwest Texas Junior College and my annual two-week trek into Mexico in pursuit of whitetails, I returned home, celebrated Christmas, and then Jan and I were off to the UK to hunt the two unique cervids.
Following a comfortable nine-hour flight and a scenic two-hour drive northwest of Heathrow Airport, we ar-
It was a cloudy, cold, dank morning, and I was glad I wore
rubber boots as I sloshed along behind my guide in search
of the unique saber-tusked Chinese water deer. We were
paralleling a vegetated hedgerow separating a forested area
from a field planted in rape, cultivated for its oil-bearing seed, but
more importantly to me was the fact that it was highly preferred
by water deer.
A pair of awesome stags that roam throughout royal land.
The abundance and diversity of wildlife on royal land open to the public was incredible and truly a wildlife photographer’s paradise.