Safari 2018 #44 Stripes Before Lunch

by david on September 27, 2019

It was hard to pick out a specific zebra in the dust clout. Maybe they planned it that way. It was hard to pick out a specific zebra in the dust clout. Maybe they planned it that way.


The zebra induced dust storm eventually begins to subside. The zebra induced dust storm eventually begins to subside.


There were zebra by the thousands in Bamunu, heck, perhaps by the tens of thousands.  We always saw huge herds when traveling back and forth in the concession. If our passing too close spooked them, the resulting cloud of black dust could seemingly obscure the sun.  It was cool to watch. The cloud darkened the sun enough to not need sunglasses to look in that direction. When it started to settle out, the dust did funny things with the light, bending it and reflecting the light off it.  I wish I had thought to take a video of it. It did not take long to find a group of zebra, but it did take a long time to get to them. We could not approach them by vehicle. The zebra would not let a truck get within 500 yards of them before running off like the Devil himself was after them.  After parking the truck at the edge of some trees to break up its outline. We headed out on foot and hoped it would not be superheated by the sun upon our return. The herd was two to two and a half miles away and it was getting hot. We tried somewhat successfully to use the terrain and rows of vegetation to hide our approach.  We were aiming for a tree line well in front of the herd, hoping to set up an ambush point. We made it, but not as quickly as we thought, and the herd nearly busted us. Johann wanted me to take one with the Chapman zebra characteristics and we found an old male at the back of the herd. Target in sight. Now if I could just get the wind to cooperate.  It was gusting rather briskly, kicking up dust as it went. The harder I tried to get steady on the shooting sticks, the harder the wind blew. Each time I thought I was set, the wind would blow hard enough to spoil my aim. This was beginning to frustrate me no end, and I shot sooner than I should have. I knew it the minute I pulled the trigger. My shot hit the zebra too far back and he took off like the Tasmanian Devil in the cartoons; that is, very quickly and in a cloud of dust.  The herd had not seen us and did not know where we were. They had run at the noise and thankfully did not travel far. We followed slowly and the herd began to move away from us, and one stallion kept dropping further and further behind. We figured it was the one I hit. As soon as it laid down to roll in the dust, as wounded zebra often do, we knew it was. It got back up as we approached and started walking away. I got back on the sticks and took a second shot. This time I did my job much better and the bullet found its mark and had the desired effect on the zebra.  The zebra dropped where it stood out in the open. With no vegetation to stop the howling wind, it picked up dust and made things miserable in general. I don’t know how the animals stand it. I wanted some pictures of me with the zebra, and my team and we were able to tolerate the wind long enough for a few. Pictures done and animal loaded, we headed back to the village. It had been barely an hour and a half since we had left the village and the villagers had been busy. The skill of the locals in breaking down the buffalo was evident. All of the big pieces had been placed on a table and were now being broken down into more manageable cooking-sized pieces.  We offloaded the zebra and headed back for lunch.

My local hunting guys My local hunting guys

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