Sunday, November 1, 2009

Rhino hunting in the good old days

Thanks for all the emails and feedback on these old magazine articles posted on my website. The batch of six articles on hunting the black rhino is a good look at history as black rhino hunting as it should be is no more. The past few years have seen a few black rhino being "permitted" to be hunted and some have gone for 175-250,000$. Wow! And even for that kind of money the rhinos are ranch raised and about as tame as an animal can get.  White rhino, while much bigger and much more docile are also less expensive--about 40-55,000$ for a good trophy and 10K for a green or darted hunt. Still not much of a hunt. In Zimbabwe about 60 black rhinos are poached every year. One failed method to stop the poaching was for government game scouts to dart and then cut the horn off the rhino. The thought being they would not be killed is they had no horn. Didn't work. After spending days tracking the rhino and then finding it had no horn, it was killed anyway to prevent more failed tracking.

Jack O'Connor's "The Rhinoceros" is a great overview of hunting that animal. "A Rhino That Would Have Amused TR" by one of Teddy Roosevelt's relatives is also a good read. "Kifaru" is by Ralph Hammer who was a noted hunter and rifleman of the mid years of the last century is a good recollection of his experiences with rhinos. (Hammer also wrote elsewhere about the .450 Watts and his safari with Jim Watts' favorite caliber). "I'm Not Mad At Rhinos Anymore" is a good story from one of the few female big game hunters--Irene Morden. "Double Back on the Spoor"

I hope you travel to my website and read these fine stories.