June 25, 2010 – Day 12 (Lion Hunters – Weekend Reading)

THE CONVERSATION

LION

“I want to hunt lion.” I said.

“I didn’t think you could do that anymore. Is that still possible?” Dave asked with eyebrows raised.

“I don’t know. It doesn’t matter; I still want to hunt a lion.”

“Why lion?”

“Because.”

Dave wadded up the plastic baggie his sandwich had been in and wiped at his beard, leaving some mayonnaise stuck to the red hairs. He looked off into the woods at nothing in particular.

“It must be expensive, if you can do it at all.” He wiped at his beard again. “Maybe you could hunt mountain lion instead.”

“No.”

“Is it the danger that entices you? If you shoot well, there should be no danger.”

“No…I have done many things more dangerous.”

“What about big bears? Grizzly and browns? Still expensive, but doable.”

“A bear is not a lion.”

“Or buffalo?”

“No.”

“Well, why? Not that you need a reason but I’m curious.”

“Because he is a lion and there is nothing else like him.”

“Surely it would cost a fortune and then you may not even take one.”

“It doesn’t matter. I want to HUNT him and I want him to know that I am HUNTING him. And you DO need a reason or it is not worth doing.”

“Well, yes, I agree, but aside from the ‘hunting’ reasons was what I was curious about.”

“No. The hunting reason is the only reason.”

Dave stood and picked up his pack and rifle. The mayonnaise was still in his beard.

“I have read that they can charge unprovoked, if spooked up close. Or when wounded. I guess that’s lure enough. True excitement I imagine. It must be…”

“I’ve been charged by animals before. Animals armed with more than teeth. I don’t want a lion to charge me. I want to hunt him.”

Shouldering his rifle and taking a step or two up the mountain Dave stopped and stared up the slope for a long time. He turned and looked back at me undoubtedly wishing he could conjure a lion up for me, right then and there.

“Well, in the end all hunting is the same. A search for something. Doesn’t have to be an animal. Its effort expended to fulfill one or more of the senses.”

“Or all of them.” I said.

Dave looked back up the mountain and then turned to me again.

“Yeah, well. There’s plenty of daylight left and it is a good day to hunt.” Dave sighed. “Lets imagine we are hunting lion.”

“No Dave. You can not pretend to hunt lion.”

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About gunwriter

Born and raised in the West Virginia hills, Richard literally grew up in the woods. He has chased coon hounds until daylight, waited out whitetails perched high in an oak, canoed the New River and hunted from the Montana Mountains to the Green Hills of Africa. During service in the Army and later as a municipal police officer and Special Agent with the railroad police, Richard obtained numerous certifications in small arms instruction. He has trained military personnel, law enforcement officers and civilians in the application of firearms for defensive, competitive and recreational use. Richard won the West Virginia Governor’s Twenty Award for law enforcement, the West Virginia National Guard State Pistol Competition and earned his Distinguished Medal with pistol. Badge turned in, Richard is now a contributing editor for several magazines. He was the compiling author of the book, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter and conceptualized and contributed to Selecting and Ordering a Custom Hunting Rifle. Richard also contributed a chapter to the John Velke book, The True Story of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. Richard has patents on a riflescope reticle and a revolutionary bullet testing media. A hillbilly at heart, Richard lives on Shadowland - his shooting range in West Virginia - with the most understanding wife in the world, their three kids and a very protective ridgeback hound.
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6 Responses to June 25, 2010 – Day 12 (Lion Hunters – Weekend Reading)

  1. Robert Hynden says:

    Most Lions killed today are shot on game farms where they are fed like livestock till their time comes. There is no honor in “hunting” lions in most places anymore. One guy said his lion approached their vehicle, but he was probably just looking to be fed.

  2. Jim Dodd says:

    You can still hunt lion in Africa, although the move to take only fully mature males (marked by their solid black noses) has raised prices and lowered availability. I still remember listening to lions roaring at night in Zim on my last hunt (leopard and Cape buff). It can stand your hair up…jim

  3. Pete says:

    Very Hemingway!

  4. jeff says:

    Smartly done.

  5. Jim Leckie says:

    Well written Richard, you’ve nailed it.

  6. gunwriter says:

    In the Smokey Mountains today with Drema, the three kids and the baby sitter. I may have to pretend I am hunting something before the day is over.

    RAM

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