The Bush Pig by Don “Eldondo” Rickards
The great thing about Africa is that you never know what you’ll see at a blind, during a stalk, or just riding around. My most recent trip was to Wilgekrans Game Reserve in the Northwest Province in South Africa. It was interrupted by two emergency MAJOR surgeries in less than a week (the second one to keep me from bleeding to death!). I was taking it easy as I waited to get approval to fly home. I was spending half my days napping, and the other half feeling depressed because I could not do much.
One day, my wife forced me to take my 22 to go bird hunting. The workers love guinea fowl and I promised them I would get a few. Well, they were about the only thing scarce at Wilgekrans. But it felt good to be out on a quad, hunting.
A few days later we took the quads back through a river valley to go to the lodge. We saw Waterbuck, Mountain Reedbuck, Bushbuck, and then we came around the bend and right in the middle of the road was a Bushpig. They are very allusive, primarily coming out at night. I stopped the bike, and told Ginny to get the camera out. Then I remembered, hey, I have my rifle! I looked back at my PH, Roche, and he put 2 thumbs up…
I have to backtrack to before my surgery. Several Bush pigs had been seen and we put out trail cameras to try to pattern them, but no luck. I have a couple of cool warthogs in my trophy room, and would have loved to complement them with a Bush pig.
So I crawled off the bike, and with my PH’s ok (Roche), I waited to get a good shot. It was running down the road, and I was not going to take a Texas heart shot. Then he veered to the left and tried to climb a rocky hill. That was when I was able to get an anchor shot in, then a fatal shot.
What a cool animal! What a great, unexpected trophy!