2018 Africa Trip -- Final Thread

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DarDys
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2018/06/22 11:00:41 (permalink)

2018 Africa Trip -- Final Thread

Some days I swear I would forget my head if it weren't tied on.  I wanted to include one last tale of this trip, somewhere in the other threads, but somehow my sometimers (sometimers I remember, sometimers I forget) got the best of me.  So here it is.
 
When I was sitting at the desk searching for flights, I noticed something in my in-box that I had not seen for quite a while.  It was a sheath knife that I have had for about 15 years.  I had obtained it from a former coworker.  Back then, I had him make me a dance stick (he was part Native American and made such things as a hobby, sellng them for a small fee that maybe covered his material costs) for my B-I-L, who was into collecting Native American and Southwestern decore.  When he delivered the dance stick, he handed me two knives as well.  Once was a sheath knife and the other was, for lack of a better term, a toothpick type knife in a necklace.  Of course, my wife claimed that one right away.
 
The sheath knife, which was constructed from a bought Swedish blade, deer antler, and turquoise, and came with a leather sheath adorned with beads and deer antler, got stored because I prefer to use a folding knife.  It had made several moves with us and somehow ended up in my desk in-box.  It had never been used and, quite frankly, had been forgotten about.  So I got this goofy idea to take it to Africa with me and get some photos of it with game, whether it was used or not.
 
It made the trip there in checked baggage n my hunting boot, covered by two pairs of socks.  while it is perfectly leagal to transport it in this manner, the idea for putting it in the boot, covered by socks, was so that it didn't "go missing" as it passed through many, many security checks.  BTW, when we did get to Africa, a shirt and my wife's shooting gloves had somehow "gone missing" from her checked baggage.
 
I attempted to get a photo with each bagged animal with the knife, but only succeeded in it appearing with the steenbok, the lechwe, and the kudu (the tracker, Johnny actually used it to open up the kudu).
 
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I had been telling Michael and johnny about the knife -- how I obtained it, how I never used it, and how it would probably not get used again.  It was suggested that I give the knife, now with a pretty good back story to someone who would use and appreciate it.  So it came home the same way it went, in a boot, covered by socks.
 
I thought about who would appreciate and use th eknife and immediaely discounted any adults since they pretty much use what they bought for a specific reason.  Thinking about some kids, two were way too young (they might not even hunt); one was in college, but he had let hunting slip form his activites list; and one was the son of a former coworker who, at the ripe old age of 10, had already taken three deer with a crossbow, including a buck bigger than any I had gotten.  In addtion, he and his father are into going to blackpowder shoots in period dress, so the knife would fit right in.  The choice was pretty clear.
 
I texted his Dad to make sure it was okay -- both to give him the knife and to not have something for his brother (he told me unless it was video game realted, the brother would not beinterested at all).  We arranged to meet and I put up some photos on the TV.  The young man was quick to know which animals were which and he even noticed the knife in a few of the photos.
 
When we were done, I told him the story of how I obtained the knife and how Johnny had suggested that I pass it on.  At that point I told him I had a flash drive with some animal photos from the trip for him and also that he could have the knife.  He looked like Charlie when he found the Golden Ticket in "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."
 
I shook his hand, told him to send me a photo of him using the knife on his next deer, and wished that some day he could take the knife on safari, then pass it along as well.

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The poster formally known as Duncsdad

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    rsquared
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    Re: 2018 Africa Trip -- Final Thread 2018/06/22 11:45:43 (permalink)
    Excellent stuff the whole way through Shawn!  Enjoyed every word of it, and appreciate you taking the time to share your adventures and great writing with us.  
     
    How is the knee?  Did you ever get a diagnosis or treatment?
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    DarDys
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    Re: 2018 Africa Trip -- Final Thread 2018/06/22 11:54:14 (permalink)
    The knee hurts, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. Having had a torn meniscus in my other knee, which required surgery, this one is not that bad, at least not yet. I suspect it was a muscle tear, so it has not been officially diagnosed.

    The poster formally known as Duncsdad

    Everything I say can be fully substantiated by my own opinion.
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    DarDys
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    Re: 2018 Africa Trip -- Final Thread 2018/07/10 17:50:38 (permalink)
    Last week I received my taxidermy bill. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The shipping may be another story, but that is 8-12 months from now. Until then, I have a section of basement to finish and turn into a trophy room.

    Along with confirmation that the wired50% of the bill came the SCI scoring sheets this morning. There was some good news, some disappointing news, and some expected news.

    The expected news was that the impala was way short of the record book minimum. It was 2.25 inches short due to one horn being shorter. The thrill of the hunting situation (see Day 3 if you missed it) far overrides a few inches of horn. The fight and shot are forever etched.

    The other expected was that the Steenbok was huge. It ranked as a gold record book entry, blowing away the minimum entry by 38%. Michael said it was huge for a little critter and he was right.

    The disappointing is that the gemsbok was short of the minimum by 1/4 inch. While I still wrestle with how that one went down (less and less each day), it would have been nice to put it in the books.

    The good news is the Eastern Cape Greater Kudu (got to get the subspecies correct) actually made the bronze minimum by 1/8 of an inch. It really didn’t matter because the hunt and the sheer size of the animal matter much more. But I’ll take that 1/8 inch sqeaker.

    Other good news is that the Red Lechwe well surpassed the book minimum and made Silver, 2 inches short of gold. I hadn’t expected it to make it at all, so this was a huge surprise.

    Lastly, Nancy’s Copper Springbuck fared the same, well past minimum into silver, but just short of gold.

    All this was just icing (of course, that icing will now cost me to get them recorded and the appropriate medallions).

    I guess I better learn to frame, drywall, and finish because a year will be up before I know it.

    The poster formally known as Duncsdad

    Everything I say can be fully substantiated by my own opinion.
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