The Kudu

Photographed from a land rover, this kudu bull is similar in size to the bull on my wall, but this bull lived in the safe haven of Kruger National Park.

Photographed from a land rover, this kudu bull is similar in size to the bull on my wall, but this bull lived in the safe haven of Kruger National Park.

Linda was never open to the idea of hanging a mounted animal in our home – until we returned from Africa. A trip to Africa will change anybody and everybody in one way or another. And, although Linda continues to have no interest in hunting, she has formed a bond with the kudu. Being unique and stylish, the shoulder mount of the kudu arrowed in South Africa has achieved a status beyond any other animal I’ve hunted. It hangs over our fire-place.

It has been in that place of honor for five years. We are very comfortable with it and Linda has redecorated the room, making the kudu the centerpiece.

My guide (PH) was very accommodating and I enjoyed his company.

My guide (PH) was very accommodating and I enjoyed his company.

Although the kudu is the most beautiful trophy animal I’ve ever bagged, the hunt was far from the most difficult. In fact, the hunt was very easy. I sat in a blind made out to look like an ant hill. The blind had a vertical opening about six inches wide through which the arrow was released. The kudu bull and the other three animals I killed from that blind, were about 20 yards from me. All the animals fell after one shot and within 100 yards of the blind.

Although not a difficult challenge to hunting skills, the experience of sitting in a blind in South Africa, within feet of many animals never observed before is exhilarating. The hunt was exciting. And, the ability to bring home a representative from a far-away place was appealing to me.

Sometimes a trophy’s significance is based upon qualities of the hunt and other times it’s based upon what it stands for. In the case of the kudu, it’s about the environment of South Africa and the unique animals found there, especially the antelope species, of which the kudu is probably the best known among hunters.

Here's a classic African trophy mount from my trip to South Africa in July 2007. It hangs in my family room.

 

Next week we will begin the process of selling our home. We have asked a few people their opinion of the kudu mount and their thoughts about having it on display while selling our home. So far, all have taken the politically correct opinion.

“Take it down.”

“Why take a chance?”

Panoramic view of our family room.

Panoramic view of our family room.

It would be fairly easy to follow their advise. The mount is a bit awkward to store when not on a wall and a picture could replace it, but we have decided to leave the kudu in place. It’s become part of our home and we are selling our house, not a model home. It is the place where we live. It represents a part of us and we want to sell the house in that form.

Maybe we won’t get as much for our house (we probably will) and maybe somebody will be offended (I hope not), but we won’t feel hypocritical by watering down signs of a lifestyle that includes hunting.

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