Safari 2012 Journal Entries: Day 11 – Thursday, July 26th, 2012 (Osonjiva part 4)

by david on September 19, 2012

I am up at 6:00, eating at 6:30, and hunting in the veld shortly after 7:00.  The only reminder I am inside a high fence is when we drive through the gate.  I see much less game this morning than I did last night.  After only a moment’s deliberation as to why that might be, a violent shiver puts things into perspective.  It is downright cold out here!  My breath fogs heavily each time I exhale as it would on a January morning back home in North Carolina.  The animals are still bedded down somewhere out of the wind waiting for the sun to come up. 

            I have to admit the sun does feel good when it finally clears the treetops.  I am in the open observation seat of a hunting truck and it reminds me of sitting in a deer stand (albeit a moving one) back home.  The feeling of the sun giving up its first warmth of the day after you have been sitting and shivering, while trying to maintain a hunting focus, is incredible.  It starts when you have to squint into the sun or you first notice your shadow in front of you.  The best way I can describe it is it is the exact opposite of the way a sip of hot coffee warms you from the inside out.  You feel a trickle of warmth start just underneath your coat, so faint that it is just barely perceptible to your skin.  A few moments later, your skin has definitely taken notice and is screaming, “more, more, more!”.  There is probably one or two more shivers left in you, but these last few seem to open cracks in your body and let the warmth in.  You can feel the sun warm you a little more with each shudder of your body.  The conflict between your brain and your body is going full bore now.  Your brain knows the temperature has not really changed and still thinks it is cold.  Your body is thinking differently and sends back a signal that it thinks it is nice and toasty.  The contradictory signals make for a special and unique sensation.  The feeling is one that you would have to experience to know what I am talking about.

            Lest I get too wrapped up in other thoughts and sensations a jolt to the truck from a tire dropping off into an unseen warthog hole snaps me back to reality.  We are hunting waterbuck and I need to be paying attention instead of sunbathing.  Over the course of the first few hours of the day, we see very few waterbuck, a few cows with their young, but no bulls at all.  For the next few, we start to see a few bulls, but they are exceedingly spooky.  There is no apparent reason for their undue weariness, the wind is slight, and there is no fog or dust to obscure their vision.  It finally dawns on me that some critter must have seen us stalking the two waterbuck from the previous evening and put the word out to every single waterbuck on the property that the bwana, David and his great white hunter, were on their trail.  This is frustration to say the least.  We can’t even get close enough to be able to clearly see their head gear and judge whether or not to try a stalk.

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