I'm with Heym sr20 on this one I've got most of Capsticks books love em
edge of your seat reading. Probably not the best read if you have just booked a trip on dangerous game and as Heym said Craig Boddingtons safari rifles is a good read aswell as being more practical than Capsicks books.
As for Robert Ruark I'll probably get shot down for saying this but I've tried to read a couple of his books and find them a bit boring
One of the books that originally got me interested in hunting was Hunter by J.A. Hunter. As a young man in the first half the of the 20th century he was a failure and was sent to Africa where he became a professional white hunter dealing in ivory and guiding rich clients.
I read it as a 9 year old borrowed from the library before they all went PC and was totally captivated, I managed to get hold of a copy in a second hand shop 40 years later and lived it all again but from a different perspective,
Although not about Africa another two favourites are the Maneaters of Kumaon by Jim Corbett - stories of incredible bravery, and Hunter Climb High by Keith Sverinson on hunting in New Zealand and around the World.
Oh Dear, Wayne, you shouldn't have said that, Shakari is a Ruark fanatic
He calls his Jeep "Jessica" and it wouldn't suprise me if he gets a lorry for transporting safari kit to camps, it'll be "Annie Lorrie".
I will second Robertson's 'The Perfect Shot'. IMHO everyone should read it if they are going to hunt Africa.
PHCs "Safari: The last adventure" is very useful. Lots of info, presented entertainingly.
Another vote for Boddiington's 'Safari Rifles', too.
There are many, many others and you could spend a fortune on books alone.
Oh Dear, Wayne, you shouldn't have said that, Shakari is a Ruark fanatic
He calls his Jeep "Jessica" and it wouldn't surprise me if he gets a lorry for transporting safari kit to camps, it'll be "Annie Lorrie".
I wanted to like his stuff but found it a bit hard going, I suppose its saved me a fortune buying the rest of his stuff.
I read Capsticks book about Wally Johnson "The last Ivory Hunter" a while back, very good read.
On the subject of Capstick has anyone seen his videos, I got a couple they don't quite live up to the image I had in my head after reading the books.
There are so many. I am constantly amazed at the extraordinary bravery and field craft of this man who set out, mostly single handed, to kill maneaters as part of his duty to the local populus at immense personal risk, and describes the events so cooly and off handedly.
Two favourites are:
The Thak Maneater where Corbett was sitting on a ledge on which he had a very precarious seat in fading light, waiting for a maneater to come along. He knew that it would not be possible to see the tigress until she was within 3 yards but also that she could step off the path and get to him from behind with no warning. His intention was to call the tigress in and to fire when the tigress's head appeared over a rock a few feet way and all this time he could hear the tigress approaching and answering his calls. The tigress eventually came in from a slightly different direction and was displeased not to find her intended mate there, was in a bit of a temper and there was just 10 minutes light left. She was close enough now that he could hear the intake of her breath. He called again and tigress came even closer and he could now feel her exhaled breath from calling on his face. Fortunately the tigress moved away slightly and he was able to get a shot which killed her.
In the Chowgarh Tigers he was looking for a maneater in daylight and was following a track which took him past a big rock with a gulley on the far side. He knew that the tigress was close and had heard her growl, he had stopped to collect two nightjar eggs and had them in his left hand and the rifle in the other. As he stepped round the rock he saw the tiger just 8 feet away in the gulley waiting to spring. Whilst maintaining eye contact, in an incredibly slow manouvre he moved his fortunately light rifle round three quarters of a circle to face the tiger and shot her with the rifle held in one hand. Fortunately the shot shattered her spine and she never moved.
He put his survival down to the fact that the rifle was in one hand so he couldn't make the instinctive move to shoulder it as that would have provoked a charge, the rifle was light so he was able to move and fire it single handed, and the tigress was a maneater as if were not and found itself cornered it would have bolted and wiped him out on the way.
I like Capstick, I have just finished reading about Wally Johnson, you have to admire these old boys they let nothing stop them, and as tough as old boots. I had to smile where they had to cross the swollen river in a land rover, so they took it to pieces and floated it over in a canoe and then put it back together. It took five days!
Another favourite is the Recollections of an Elephant Hunter, the story of William Finaughty, it covers the time period 1864 1875. This is man who used to hunt Elephant with a muzzle loader and after the first shot would take off after his prey, reloading on the run! He had powder in one pocket which he used to measure carefully by grabbing one handful, and that was his charge, marvellous stuff. Reading between the lines he had a different view of the law than most folks and marched to his own tune, but a good read.
There are of many of them. The turn of the last century produced some truly remarkable people.
WRT Ruark's writing, he was a newspaper man and wrote like one. The superb imagery he generated is a product of that genre of journalism. You have to let him take your imagination with him. I suppose if you don't do that, Ruark becomes hard work. One of the images that lives with me is: "and unflexed three camp chairs - canvas and comfortable". Doesn't that line reflect just how you would set up a camp chair!.
I agree with you about "The Last Ivory Hunter", Wally Johnson must have been a remarkable fellow - in a Continent of remarkable fellows. I like 'ol PHC's writing, anyway, and often settle down to reread one or other of them on a regular basis.
A book that fascinates me - and I've read it many times - is Taylor's "African Rifles and Cartridges". Never fails to interest.
I've most of the Capstick videos and I enjoy them although he seems to be somewhat hesitant in his commentary as if he were making it up as he goes along. There is a difference between what sounds good on camera and what looks good in print, I suppose.
the one that sticks in my mind , is the time a himalayan bear came onto the scene after he shot 2 ghooral
so he shot that twice and it still ran off but as he had run out of bullets and time was getting on they decided to do a follow up on the wounded bear and finish it off ,only using stones and an axe , when they got to the bear ,which was still very much alive the axe owner was sent in to deliver the fatal blow , which when it struck the bear,s head it just bounced back off
at that point i think i would of beat a hasty retreat instead of taking the axe and killing the bear himself with another blow to it's head
some cahooneys aye
fantastic reading , think i will hav to dig it out and refresh my memories of it