Was this the hunt of a lifetime?
Do all men harbor the fantasy of going to Africa to hunt big game? Dan Kelley had such a plan, and it included hunting with a bow. The dream became a reality when in the summer of 2008 he and his close friend, Jeff Ladd landed in Namibia, Africa.
Their outfitter, http://www.agagia.com, features hunts with bows only. It was winter there, the dry season, so they had every reason to be optimistic. The lack of water forces almost every animal to go to watering holes which were few and far between.
Blinds had been set up offering archery shots in the ideal 15-20 yard range. Dan and Jeff settled in for 10 days of great shooting, good food and drinks. Life IS good!
The hunting gods have been known to smile on us, (well...some of us) on occasion. So, what would constitute a
hunt of a lifetime? Dan harvested seven trophies, 2 warthogs, 2 gemsboks, a kudu, a Red Hartebeest and a Blesbook. Dan is fortunate to have a home large enough to display these trophies.
There are 9 foot ceilings in the basement with a 2 story ceiling in the living room. (What do you think the odds are that he had those trophies in mind when he decided to buy his home?) Dan wanted to get a Blue Wildbeest so he borrowed a rifle and traveled to the ranch of the outfitter’s brother who has some on his property. He struck out on the Wildebeest but was elated to spot a handsome Blesbok which is pictured here.
The red hartebeest was his most memorable trophy. They are one of the fastest runners, often post sentries on high vantage places like anthills and can go without water gaining all the moisture they need from their food.
Dan and his guide had fallen asleep in the blind and were startled when they awoke to see a trophy red hartebeest a mere 15 yards away heading for the waterhole.
The hunting gods smiled that day. When asked if this was the hunt of a lifetime Dan responded with an answer that sheds a lot of light on the kind of father that he is. “I hope not. My boys are 12 and 14 and 5 years from now I want the three of us to return to Africa so they can experience the thrills that I enjoyed.” That may not be what he said, exactly, but it is obvious that he is a good father and a friend to his boys.