by: Scott Smith, Bowtech Pro Staff
It all started one lazy summer day when my dad received one of his outdoor/hunting magazines in the mail. There was a story of a man who hunted Africa with a bow, the pictures and the accounts of the hunt had my full attention. Somewhere during flipping the pages and seeing this man with the animals I had only seen in a zoo, I looked at my dad and said, “ I will hunt Africa with a bow when I grow up.” I was five years old at the time, and the man was Fred Bear. Fast forward 34 years, life was happening. Job, kids, bills, but the desire to hunt Africa never died. As fate would have it I was working a part-time gig as a sales rep for several archery-related products. One of the companies had a contest to win a free hunting trip to Africa. I really didn’t think I stood a chance to win because I was only part-time and there was no way I could compete with some of the other reps who did this for a living. At the ATA show that year the company was going to draw the lucky winners name. I thought to myself, “You are not going to win, but go on over and see who wins it.” So, as I was standing there they drew the ticket and called the winning number; I scanned the crowd to see who had won. There was no jumping for joy from anyone, they called the number a few more times… still nothing. Finally they looked up the number and asked, “Is Scott Smith from Texas here?” I could not believe it. My Africa dream was right in front of me.
I met Mof Venter, owner of Adansonia Safaris, and after a barrage of questions, a date was set, and all of the prep work started. As luck would have it, a week or so before my hunt that Africa was hit by a freak weather system that dumped about 10 inches of rain over the region. Hunting water holes from a blind was now out. I demanded to hunt with a bow, so riding around in a jeep trying to spot an animal was also out, so we hunted from horse back, but with no luck. That’s when we switched to spot and stalk on foot. Success. My first animal was a Warthog from 10 yards as it fed toward us. My second was an Impala that had busted us three times, but a 45 yard shot put him down within 50 yards. My third animal was a Kudu, he was quartered away at 37 yards in the brush, with a 5 gallon bucket size hole in the brush, in just the right spot. The PH asked if I could make the shot, I looked at him, smiled, drew my bow and sent the arrow on its way. A short 60 yard track later and I had my third African animal.
I will be making my 9th trip to Africa in 2017. I now have 23 African animals in my home including a Cape Buffalo and a Lioness. From my experience I can give you this advice, Never give up on your dreams, and if you ever hunt Africa, you will go back, so be prepared.