Today's Headlines
Home » News » Outdoor News – An African Experience: Mickey McAnally’s 2014 Hunt in South Africa

Outdoor News – An African Experience: Mickey McAnally’s 2014 Hunt in South Africa

An African Experience: Mickey McAnally’s 2014 Hunt in South Africa

Greenwood native Mickey McAnally had been on an African safari before. His trip to Namibia, Africa in 2012 assured him that there was more he wanted to experience there and more animals he wanted to hunt.

Harold and Patti Smith encouraged Mickey and Rhonda McAnally to attend the Dallas Safari Club Expo. Our last segment featured the expo and the story of the U.S. visit of African safari guide and outfitter Drom Beukes of Somerby Outfitters and one of his professional hunters-Andre Nel.

In one previous outdoor news segment, there is a photo of Mickey McAnally signing up for his 2014 hunt in South Africa. The trip was a big success and he has kindly shared his experience and photos with us.

Mickey had a list of seven trophy animals he wanted to hunt. He and Rhonda visited Drom Beukes in Dallas and signed a deal for exactly the safari he wanted to take in September 2014.

Just two days before departing for South Africa, Drom phoned Mickey about an addition to the list. It seems a very large “problem” male lion had escaped from a hunting preserve and entered a “family compound” of several thousand acres. It was posing a threat to livestock and humans. The lion was charging cars and had proved it could escape a preserve setting at will, thus merely anesthetizing the beast would not solve the issue. Drom was offering Mickey the opportunity to add the yellow giant to his list. A deal was made and a sense of heightened excitement was added to Mickey’s departure with two hunting buddies from Tennessee-Paul Key and Will Ally and their September 6th flight to Johannesburg, South Africa-a total of 20 hours in the air from Fort Smith.

Each had prepared all the necessary forms for travel including Form #4457-necessary for transporting firearms through customs and back into the United States. Mickey had also arranged for “Air-Evacuation Medical Rescue Insurance” due to some lingering health concerns and the proximity to medical care in the remote region of the Northwest Province and Limpopo where he would be hunting.

On arrival, it was discovered that the lion had eluded the professional hunters and scouts. Mickey and his friends would travel on to the Tiboli Reserve in Limpopo to take several of the animals on Mickey’s  list.

On September 9, 2014, in the Tiboli Reserve, Mickey McAnally took this excellent male Zebra at 120 yards.

On September 9, 2014, in the Tiboli Reserve, Mickey McAnally took this excellent male Zebra at 120 yards.

First was a Blue Wildebeest. Mickey took a nice trophy bull wildebeest with a 175 yard shot followed by a nice large male zebra-again with one shot. The beautiful zebra will become a rug in Mickey’s game room.

On the third day of hunting, Drom called to report that the lion’s tracks had been spotted. Mickey and Paul would make the rugged 6 ½ trip from Limpopo back to the Northwest Province’s Kalahari Desert to join the search for the menacing lion.

The following morning, with trackers on the hoods of the vehicles searching for fresh tracks, the group progressed across thousands of acres of brush and tall grasses with ranch owner Freidy.

Using the fresh tracks in the red dusty soil to triangulate the lion, it was spotted at a distance of some 75 yards. Bearing in mind that a male lion can run 100 yards in 4.5 seconds, Mickey was asked if he was comfortable shooting at this distance. Knowing that a misplaced shot might anger the aggressive lion or send it further into the bush, Mickey enthusiastically accepted opportunity to put a shot six inches behind the front shoulder of the lion standing broadside with his Remington 338 Ultra Mag using Remington 250 grain A-frame Swift bullets.

Mickey McAnally added to his list of animals to be taken on his 2014 safari this extremely large Kalahari Male Lion from a distance of about 75 yards.  This “King of the Beasts,” even in the desert heat, can cover 100 yards in 4.5 seconds.  When injured, this already deadly beast becomes particularly angry and aggressive.  Mickey took him with 1 shot!

Mickey McAnally added to his list of animals to be taken on his 2014 safari this extremely large Kalahari Male Lion from a distance of about 75 yards. This “King of the Beasts,” even in the desert heat, can cover 100 yards in 4.5 seconds. When injured, this already deadly beast becomes particularly angry and aggressive. Mickey took him with 1 shot!

The shot hit the mark perfectly causing the beast to leap three or four feet into the air and dart.

South African law requires two professional hunters with big guns accompany each safari guest because of the life threatening situations that arise. The guides are sensitive to who is paying for this adventure and who naturally wants to make the kill as Mickey and his guides approached the animal’s trail with guns raised. Mickey jokingly quotes Paul Harvey saying, “Now, the rest of the story!”

Immediately after the first shot, Drom quietly put his hand on Mickey’s shoulder and instructed him to put another cartridge in his chamber. A second shot is often needed to bring down something with this much aggression and this size.

When Mickey went to eject the spent shell, the handle to the rifle’s bolt came off in his hand! His rifle was useless and for all he knew, an injured and angry “King of the beasts” might emerge bleeding and roaring from the bushes at any second. Professional hunters raised their guns, guides scrambled to find another rifle for Mickey to use-all the while watching for terror and death to pounce. “Fortunately, the LORD was looking out for this old hunter. A second shot was not needed” says Mickey. They found the lion some twenty yards from the site of the shot and confirmed the kill before moving him for photos. He was estimated to weigh over 700 pounds.

It was now time to head to the Free State Province to continue to hunt for the remaining animals on Mickey’s list at the Sunveld Game Preserve. Once there, Mickey added a grey duiker to his list. He took an excellent trophy one and stalked a prize impala from a herd to get just the right one.

While there, Mickey saw Rhinos-one with the largest main horn ever. It is watched 24 hours a day on the preserve to keep poachers from taking it. There were Red Hartebeests, Black as well as Blue Wildebeests, Eland, Cape Buffalos and other plains game. Mickey and his friend Paul Key each took a zebra and Mickey took a bull waterbuck-again with one shot. Paul and Mickey both took Springbucks at some 250 yards. They are very skittish and it’s difficult to get a good shot.

Mickey and his trophy Male Waterbuck. It is of record setting size and taken at 200 yards.

Mickey and his trophy Male Waterbuck. It is of record setting size and taken at 200 yards.

Mickey took an Eland and a Blesbuck. The Eland was on the move for four to five, miles mixed with a herd of Black Wildebeests.  Finally, a clear shot was had and the animal will look great in Mickey’s game room.

On September 17th-Mickey’s last day to hunt-he took a White Blesbuck with a good set of horns. “His light color will make for a nice contrast to the other animals in my collection” says Mickey.

Mickey McAnally and his friends had an excellent hunt and speak highly of Drom at Somerby and his staff of professional hunters. Mickey adds, “I give GOD the glory for his watchful eye over all of us during this two week excursion-the trip of a lifetime.”

Mickey’s adventure underscores a theme that is threaded throughout this segment. Wildlife is a gift to man from the Creator. Conservation efforts and research for the preservation of these game animals follows the money spent by the hunter and sportsmen. If the animal has no value to the hunter, no money will be spent to assure its propagation and survival of the best specimens.

When international law too severely regulates the hunting and transport back to the United States of these trophy animals, hunters will not spend the thousands of dollars necessary to seek the animals and conservation efforts stop. The result is that the animal population-left unchecked-will be allowed to breed into extinction, thus we whole heatedly support the efforts of conservationists through active hunting and culling. Just like the efforts locally of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, to assure an abundance of wildlife for future generations is the purpose.

____________

*Editor’s Note: Interviews with Greenwood hunter, angler and traveler Harold Smith and his wife Patti provide material for this outdoor news segment that is very popular with our readers. Harold and Patti have traveled the world in search of wild game and scenic wonders often in dangerous locales and share their experiences and their photos with me for the article. Occasionally, as here, Harold knows of the trips and experiences of others that make for a great addition to the segment. Mickey McAnally is a lifelong friend of my family and a fellow wild game hunter of Harold Smith.
We appreciate the Smith’s as well as Mickey for their time and hospitality as well as for sharing  photos to bring you this segment of our Outdoor News.

 

PSG Pharmacy
PSG Pharmacy