According to Brian Herne, in his excellent book WHITE HUNTERS, the name WHITE hunter came about thus:
“Black was, therefore,” according to veteran hunter Donald Ker, of Ker and Downey Safaris, Nairobi, “the first white man to operate in a professional capacity taking out hunting parties for a living.” And, Ker adds, “Black was one of the best that ever lived.”
6mm Remington BR, 243 Winchester, 270-404 Jeffrey Improved and this 15mm military round someone brought over to us. If we can get hold of a few case or loaded ammo, we thought of developing a new wildcat on this case. I am not sure how far down we can go, may be no less than 458 caliber.
The Scout To Avoid
This story was told by Anthony S. Marsh, in his book, Fourteen Years In The African Bush:
The Game Department was always chronically short of funds for travel, so in order to economize, I sent the scouts at Voi out with the truck. They were to drop a patrol off near where there had been a complaint about elephant casing damage, fill the lorry with firewood for use at the scout's camp, and then follow up on the elephant complaint, which did not sound very serious.
The patrol consisted of the corporal in charge, who was armed with an FN .404 and his backup scout, Kanyingini Mukundi, also with a .404, and three other scouts armed with .303s. The patrol was trekking through the bush - more to show the flag than anything else - when the party was charged by an elephant who really meant business.
The corporal and Kanyingini stood their ground and fired at the oncoming elephant, but the rest of the patrol took off, probably in panic. Scout Kanyingini turned to ask, "Who is killing his fr....," as the three departing scouts were firing over their shoulders as they ran away. Kanyingini did not finish his sentence, as a .303 bullet struck him in the neck, killing him instantly.
Some Of Our Pets: Crocs And Piranhas
These are some of the pets we have sharing our house. The crocs are clearly visible, and the large black fish in the bottom of the left picture is one the piranhas that share the pond with them. All our friends who go out fishing always bring back some fish to feed the crocs. It saves me from buying food for them. Some are over 7 feet long.
This is Goofy, he is the most accomplished bird gunsmith that I have ever met! He seems to be following in Walter's footsteps. He can cause an enormous amount of damage, but we seem to be having a problem teaching him to fix those up.
A Buffalo, A Missionary and A Silvertip
This story is again related by Anthony Marsh.
One of the drawbacks of being based in Mombassa was the game warden had a much larger circle of "friends". That did help with the flow of information regarding poaching and game movements, , but it also led to a fairly continuous stream of requests to accompany me on control operations.
One such request came from Mort Steen, a missionary who had been forced to flee the Belgian Congo following the trouble when that country became independent. Mort was very keen to shoot buffalo, and he had carried out some control on a sisal estate near Voi. He told me that he had also shot a number of the small, red buffalo in the Congo - a species that is said to be very savage - so I agreed to let him come with me.
I had arranged to spend the first part of the week in Kwale District, where I was trying to set aside an area as a game reserve. It was the northern extremity of the distribution of of the magnificent sable antelope, and also the only place in Kenya where there were any left. A visit to the District Commissioner elicited support for the formation of a game reserve as well as the usual moans about elephant damaging the town water supply. I promised to send a scout to help with the elephant problem when I had finished the safari to the south coast, where buffalo were grazing the young sugar.
The buffalo on the coastal strip were a continual source of trouble. Although they were not great in number, they were extremely wise in the ways of various, mainly amateur, hunters who tried to thin them out from time to time. This was a legitimate effort on the part of the plantation owners, who were allowed to shoot game on their own private land. I assembled a part of some of my best game scouts to meet at the rest house at Msambweni and arranged with the manager of Gazi Plantations to use some of his labour force to drive the buffalo out of the indigenous forest and across a farm road and a fire break, where we would have a better chance of reducing their numbers.
Very often chasing buffalo means crawling on hands a and knees for hours in the extremely hot and humid lantana thickets, perhaps only shooting the odd animal, or not being able to get close enough for sure kill and not firing a shot. The morning following our arrival at Msambweni we set off for Gazi Plantations. A whole gang of laborers armed with all manner of noise makers - from the ubiquitous debe to bells and cans with a few stones rattling about in the bottom - were on hand to drive the buffalo.
For once everything went according to plan, with the buffalo popping out of the forest across the open space, where a farm road and a broad fire break ran side by side. They made a dash for the cover of the sugarcane. We had accounted for about a dozen when I took a shot at a large bull that crossed no more than about twenty yards away. I knew it had taken the 500 grain soft nose bullet from my Hollis .470 well, as its tail went up and it stumbled on entering the sugar. When the last of the buffalo had crossed, we had a quick count of the number of bullets fired and the number of wounds in the dead animals, as it was imperative that every round fired is accounted for. to ensure that there are no wounded, therefore potentially dangerous, buffalo still at large.
When I went out where the big bull should have been, just inside the sugar, it had gone, but marks could be seen where it had tumbled, then fallen, and finally made off into the sugar, leaving a small blood spoor.
I selected Sergeant Mwanzia with his .458 Winchester, and Corporal Wario Dara (who had made rapid promotion to corporal owing to his bush skills and ability with a firearm) to come into the sugar with me. Wario carried a Westley Richards .404, the 400-grain solid being well able to penetrate to the vitals of the biggest buffalo.
This is the time in any game warden's life when he wishes most sincerely he had taken up a less precarious way of life, as the sugar was about 8 feet tall and very old, with stems that were interwoven and lots of dry leaves underfoot, making quiet stalking extremely difficult. When we crossed the rows, forward visibility was literally inches, but along the rows, a foot or so off the floor, it was possible to see for several feet. The 3 of us had just entered the sugar when I realized that we were being followed. Turning around, I saw Mort, who was all smiles.
"Mort, this is not your kettle of fish," I told him. "I wounded the buffalo, and it is my job to go and pull it out by the tail."
"You are a misery," he replied. "Just when things get exciting, you leave me behind."
Seeing how keen he was, I relented. "If you insist, alright, but you must borrow one of the scout's .404s because your 375 hasn't got the stopping power, and this is probably the worst possible place to have to follow a wounded buffalo."
Mort stated, however, that he would rather use his own rifle, which was a Winchester. I understood that he was more comfortable using his own rifle, so I let him have his way. But I insisted that change the 235-grain "Silvertip" bullets for 300-grain solid, which he agreed to do.
While Mort retraced his steps to the Land Rover to change his ammo, I detailed Scout Boru Arabicho to stay with Mr. Steen and look after him at all times, as I was still nervous of a .375 being used against a wounded buffalo. Boru was a very experienced shot whose normal posting was Malindi. He had proven himself a fearless hunter in the dense thicket of the Sosoke Forest - a place that many so called hunters would not even enter.
We were now entering the sugar with a party of five, which was too many, but I was stuck with the situation, having once given my word. Tracking in the sugar was difficult at the best of times, but following a blood spoor was made doubly difficult as the sugar had a pink coloration to the stems that made for some confusion. Because of the severe strain, both on eyes and nerves, we altered the lead position. Instead of one of my best trackers going in front - usually bent low - with me following immediately behind and ready to shoot over the head of whoever was tracking, we altered the lead. Even so, the strain was very severe, as not much light penetrated the tangled growth.
After about 45 minutes of creeping forward inches at a time, I was leading, I spotted a patch of brown along a row of sugar about 20 feet to my right. I called up Sergeant Mwanzia and Corporal Wario, at the same time telling Mort to stay where he was - all with hand signals, since we were too close to the buffalo to speak. The three of us crouched together and fired at a small piece of the buffalo's rib cage. I took a chance and fired both barrels of the .470. Mwanzia and Wario, having magazine rifles, one a .458 and the other a 0.404, each shot with me.
Although the buffalo was lying on its brisket, the impact of 3 500-grain and one 400-grain knocked it out of our view. As is usual when hunting by ear, we stayed perfectly still and quiet, while I removed the spent cartridge cases and reloaded from the bullet loops in my bush jacket (the Hollis was a non-ejector, and I have never carried 2 rounds between my fingers as some hunters do). Just as I was completing my reloading there was a shot and a yell from over to our right hand side.
"Saidia-Piga yeye" ("Help-shoot him).
I raised my rifle to protect my face and to have it ready to use as quickly as possible, and then I tore through the sugar cane towards the voice. There were three more rapids shots, and just as I broke through into a small clearing I heard a fourth shot. The scene that met my eyes was Mort being pushed aside by Boru's rifle as he was in the act of firing into the buffalo's head from point blank range. Mort was still standing, with blood pouring down his legs, and the buffalo's face and muzzle were all bloody where it had been trying to toss Mort, but it was too badly wounded to gain enough energy.
Because Boru's last shot had finished the bull, there was no need for me to fire. Quickly dropping my rifle, I got Mort to lie down, all the while listening to a steady stream of cursing. Mort was not happy with the now dead buffalo.
"Look what the bloody thing did to me!" He exclaimed. My, my, what bad language coming from a missionary.
The story goes on to tell us that Mort made a fine recovery, and apparently Mort did not change his ammo, but used the 235-grain Silvertips.
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