Bou - Hunting with Wes Atkinson in Norther Colorado, same place I killed my first and last elk.
because it's hunting with a bow and >>>>------->
“Because it’s there… Its existence is a challenge.”
"Not like we can do anything with one if we do kill it...?"
Eat and feed a Village? Mount? Boots, clothing or luggage? Lot's to do with it!
I dream of a lovely pair of tusks guarding the doorway to a trophy room . . . :)
Adventure Ike, adventure.
I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but that's why.
I tended to agree with Bou's take that "it's a PR nightmare," when an elephant is hunted, but I spoke for a while with a gentleman at the P&Y Club AZ PP class who had taken elephants and it changed my insight into the whole matter. Among the things he said, was that there was nothing like it, that it surpasses all hunts (this from someone who had killed just about everything) and that "killing an elephant changes you."
I'd still say it's a complicated matter, especially since the recent CF.
I was really looking forward to several aspects of an elephant bowhunt. The research and preparation were immensely enjoyable, and revealing. While Pat and I were not going to be able to bring any part of the animal home, I was looking forward to trying the meat. I was especially attracted to the fact that we were going to provide food to an entire village of people. Included in that process, I had every intention of watching (and hopefully filming) the process of the villagers butchering and utilizing the entire animal.
I can remember talking to Idyllwild at the Pope and Young convention after he had spoken with someone that had already taken elephant(s). I found his comment eerily thought provoking...."killing an elephant changes you."
I was four weeks away from stepping on an airplane to attempt to do the same, when our hunt was cancelled....and I can tell you that NOT getting to hunt them because of political pressure can change you too.....
I am curious, now, as well.....Why NOT hunt an elephant? There was a thread not too long ago, where people stated what animal(s) they would NOT hunt....and I remember reading a few responses included Elephant, and a few that included Giraffe.....but no explanations or reasons were offered.....
I had to laugh.....you were teasing someone about misspelling elephant ((sic)...elephany....because the "t" and "y" keys are next to each other on the keyboard), and you misspelled the way that they misspelled it....hence the old adage that two wrongs still don't make a right....LOL.
Many here including myself were really looking forward to following the hunt as well. I'm sure it sucked for you guys a lot more, but it was a bummer.
Maybe it's all for the best and if it would have happened, the height difference between you and Pat would have been increased. Or inverted...
That's funny stuff right there!!
I can tell you that when Pat called and asked me if I would be interested in going on the elephant hunt with him, there were two reasons why I said "Yes". One, was for the personal challenge that I felt that it presented to me. Bowhunting elephants is some serious stuff. I don't care how many back up guns are behind you. I am not an adrenaline junkie. I do not have a death wish. I do strive to push myself, and squeeze the most out the years that have been granted to me. Two, I have been privileged to share several hunting camps with Pat. The ball breaking and banter are absolutely the best...but it goes further than that. Pat is a smart, informed, and highly driven individual....I find that when I surround myself with excellence, it makes me a better person. In the never ending quest to better myself, I have friends like Pat Lefemine to keep me on the right track.....regardless of whether he was significantly taller than me (post elephant bowhunt) or not.....LOL
I will also state that if missing out on the elephant bowhunt allows Pat to go on another elk bowhunt, (as long as some of them end like his previous hunt with Wes Atkinson did...), it will be worth the price of admission. I cannot honestly tell you how many times I have watched that video.....but like Pat says as he is holding that bulls antlers, "This is why we do this stuff."
Even as a hunter it is tough to watch elephants killed with a gun. They all happen the same way......the guys walk/stalk up to within 20 yards.........multiple guys have guns trained on this beast........ the elephant turns to face the hunters.............and is shot at point blank range in the skull. the dust puffs off the skin at the bullet strike in the forehead and this massive 60 year old monster falls in a heap. does not look hard. does not look challenging. does not look like the thing had a chance. does look dangerous.
it will never look good. may be necessary from a management perspective, that's fine, but optically it is a PR nightmare.
Since the article insinuates that it was written by a hunter, the individual is woefully misinformed, based on the research that I conducted.
Most elephants are walked down. Since they can outpace any human, you must walk many miles (even after they have bedded) to get close to them. I would submit that walking 10-20 miles a day in the African heat is not easy.....considering that the frontal shot on an elephant does not offer that large of a target, I would submit that the ability to hold it together well enough, and long enough to make a quick, humane shot is challenging by most people's standards. To say that the animal did not have a chance, again reflects an absence of research on the entire process required to get within gun range. I have watched hunting videos where the hunter was within 20 yards of the elephant, and you couldn't even SEE the animal.....
I realize that you are merely quoting someone elses comments....but I felt the need to address the quote point by point. Please understand, that I have never hunted elephants either.....but it wasn't from a lack of research, or from a lack of trying....and I will put my efforts and research up against those of the writer of that quote, if the opportunity should ever present itself.
I am curious, now, as well.....Why NOT hunt an elephant? There was a thread not too long ago, where people stated what animal(s) they would NOT hunt....and I remember reading a few responses included Elephant, and a few that included Giraffe.....but no explanations or reasons were offered....."
Well, I really was under the impression we could no longer import any part of it, kind of like us here and Mtn Lions...Personally I've never been one to 'kill it because we can' although I really don't care if you do...
I have no need for a Elephant or any African game for that matter...Have to many things I need to chase here in the U.S. as it is...
I figure if there's a chance of Pat poking at a Mamba again, I'm all in...
I really thought that you were going to say that one of the reasons is that you can run faster than him...lol
Pat and I had an elephant bowhunt booked. I put considerable time and effort into my preparations and the hunt was cancelled (our permits were revoked or cancelled) within a month of a our departure. Coupled with the media of late, those two combined events have given me pause to consider another attempt.
I understand your point of view regarding "not having the need for an elephant or any African animal". Most people don't have the need for a prairie dog, wolverine, wolf, etc, either....but many people would shoot them, given the opportunity. Just to repeat one of my previous comments, I wanted to bowhunt elephant "for the personal challenge that I felt that it presented to me." Nothing wrong with fellow bowhunters having different points of view, based on different goals.
I also remember "dancing hippos" in ballet tutu's parading across the TV screen when I watched cartoons as a kid. Kinda like the Coca Cola commercial where the Polar Bear boar is standing beside a polar bear cub, sharing a Coke with a penguin.....jeesh!! I wonder how many adults are/were "imprinted" by such stuff?
Feed a village for a week. The cutting up and distribution is also memorable.... The aftermath of the feast is a cultural experience not to be forgotten.
Understand it not appealing to some. I have the same feeling about some animals and methods of hunting.
There is absolutely nothing like it when you are standing 20 or less yards from an animal that is towering over you that has the capability to make a grease spot out of you in seconds or the adrenaline you feel as you are being charged even if it is false charge.
As with elk or deer, elephant herds need to be managed. Until you have seen the destruction of an area where elephants have over eaten an area you cannot comprehend the damage a herd of elephant can do.
I'm more interested in taking a meat elephant. This is an older non-trophy bull that a village has selected to be harvested to feed them. Normally a govt hunter or a PH is tasked with taking the animal for the village but I have arranged to be the hunter. However, the hunt will be with a rifle. The government will not budge on this stipulation. Regardless I get all the excitement of the hunt for little cost and the knowledge that the whole animal is going to feed a village. I'm not allowed to take any part of the animal but I can take measurements and have plastic replicas of the tusks made if I so desire.
That hunt fell through, but I fully intend to plan and execute another one. I'm focused primarily on the Caprivi Strip as my destination. Hell, just the thought of it amps me up!
As hunters, we all have different goals. To think anyone can "buy" an elephant is a misinformed position to say the least. Yes, there is a price of admission to play the game that is considerable, but that is a long long way from a win.
Based on what every single person I've met that's killed an elephant has told me, it's absolutely all it's cracked up to be. It's the big leagues. It's dangerous. It's awesome. It's unforgettable.
I do understand they come with a trunk in the standard factory package.....
The african game looks like a blast to bow hunt but come on u are shielded by the PH s cannon ! more hunters die from falling out of a treestand .
They look much longer.
"More hunters die from falling out of a treestand"
True, but a helluva lot more guys are in treestands than bowhunting elephants.
A buddy has hunted them twice. On the last hunt he shot his bull on full charge at about 15 yards.
On the previous hunt a guy was killed...it was a local villager who got whacked on the head by another during the butchering process. They just drug him over to the shade and kept hacking away at the meat.
Some years countries have had to cull 10,000 elephants to keep the rest from starving...might as well get some money for it, too.
With that said, if any human being on this planet opposes hunting elephants because of the likeable, friendly and funny elephants they've seen in the circus then that/those people should investigate the quality of life/treatment of those circus elephants.
If I were an elephant I would much rather be killed in the wild by a bowhunter than "trained" by circus clowns and dragged around the United States in a cage. I'm not necessarily anti-circus, but the thought of a person being anti-hunting because of an act he/she has seen in a circus is truly appalling.
all that said........Even as a hunter it is tough to watch elephants killed with a gun. They all happen the same way......the guys walk/stalk up to within 20 yards.........multiple guys have guns trained on this beast........ the elephant turns to face the hunters.............and is shot at point blank range in the skull. the dust puffs off the skin at the bullet strike in the forehead and this massive 60 year old monster falls in a heap. does not look hard. does not look challenging. does not look like the thing had a chance. does look dangerous.
it will never look good. may be necessary from a management perspective, that's fine, but optically it is a PR nightmare.
I was extremely lucky for everything to fall in place and I hunted Elephant in 2010 on a cancellation hunt. Only had 3 months to prepare but what a 3 months it was! The excitement amped up every day as I got my new bow, weight trained and shot my bow every day and tweaked my equipment list in preparation for the hunt. It is very interesting to stand back and watch the excitement in the locals when they know they are going to have fresh elephant meat. We enjoyed Elephant backstrap the following night around the campfire.
As far as an adventure, it was everything I had hoped for and dreamed about for many years. When you are standing within 30 yards of these magnificent animals with minimal cover between you it is something you will remember tell your last days....and my wife loves the chairs we had made from part of the hide.
I know you guys get it...others do not! In plain simple truth (not some made up lie!) Elephants in many, many areas of Africa are grossly overpopulated and their numbers need to be cut way back. Many,many other species are suffering in these areas as the Elephants are devastating the flora and fauna. Lets not even get into how happy the villagers were about one of the 10,000 lb. night time crop raiders was not going to be raiding their small corn plots any longer.
Yes, it was a very emotional hunt as I ended the life of an animal that was half a century old. Would I do it again if I could...in a heartbeat.
Any legal Elephant hunter is doing their small part to help the solution. Africa and the African Elephant needs us hunters!
I shot my Bull quartering away, so no gun was aimed at the Bulls brains, there were also 4 other bulls with him, I believe the gun only held 2 shells. If it's not for you fine, but if you think standing in front of a 6 ton beast with a bow is not a moment of excitement you are sadly mistaken. The entire hunt is an experience that I'll take to my grave, I can close my eyes and visualize it all.
Come on Pat, you know that's funny.
I will say I was very much looking forward to Jake calling in every night with an update from the savannah. Those call in hunts of Jakes are the best features of this site if you ask me, other than meeting some of the great folks from here.
Elephant hunting is probably not for everyone, and at this point in my life I obviously don't see myself going simply for financial reasons. Now let me check off a few more critters right here in this country and get my 401k in better shape and who knows.
In todays political climate im not sure either Jake or Pat want to see some nut bags spray painting "Dumbo killer" on their garage door. I hope Walt gets back on his feet once this has died down even more and if I needed some teeth work id be the first to call him up for an appointment.
Either way, good luck to all who try it.