TERRE HAUTE —
When a couple of adventurous, 67-year-old youngsters decided to try their hand at taking different species in Africa, they decided to do the MacNab Challenge.
In one day, you have to harvest three species, one with feathers (bird), one with scales (fish), and one with a tail and legs (mammal).
Richard Lidster and Andy Pickering were all smiles with hardy handshakes when we met at our boarding gate in Indianapolis. After spending the night in a bed and breakfast in Johannesburg, South Africa, they heard the gate open to the property and Cobus Van Vuurn came driving into take them on an adventure of a lifetime.
They were in awe as they came down the rocky lane, for the African bush to open up to a hunting lodge setting in paradise overlooking the Crocodile River.
Sitting around the fire that first night, it was hard to decide what animals to harvest from seeing so many on the drive around the mountain in the back of the hunting truck that offered padded seats.
Cobus asked if they would like to take on the MacNab Challenge and they both replied, “When do we start?”
Off they went with a rifle, shotgun and fishing poles. While setting in a hunting blind, Andy spotted a very nice Wort hog coming into the water hole and the hog never knew what hit it. A perfect shot.
Richard had already harvested a large impala ram, but when one bigger yet is spotted he made a perfect shot on it as well. The first one was in the thick bush and he only had a small shooting window to take him in the neck.
As they were looking for something with feathers, a group of guinea fowl sounded the alarm that there were intruders in their territory and flushed out of the tall grass, the MacNab boys took four of them while they were in flight.
Last but not least, the fishing poles came out and baited up with hopes to catch a large catfish like Kennedy, our tracker and skinner, had done the night before. It was over 2 feet long. Let’s save time by saying they did catch their fish, but instead of 2 feet long, they were 2 inches long.
They will always be known as the MacNab boys, for they have accomplished the African Dream.
One day Cobus said, “Let’s take a walk.” Andy knew the Nyala he was dreaming of would be in his sights soon. Two of them had been spotted on the backside of the mountain two days before.
When Cobus sets up the shooting sticks, take your safety off for you are about to shoot. There stood a major trophy Nyala and Andy made the perfect shot.
The last full day of the hunt, Richard needed a warthog. So, off they go with Cobus to new territory to look for a warthog with big teeth.
The sun came out, being their lucky day because warthog’s love the mud wallows and water holes to cool off in during the heat of the day. As Cobus, Richard and Andy were setting in a hunting blind for several hours, a lone warthog with major tusks came to the water hole with great caution.
Andy said, “Wait a minute, so I can video the shot.” And Richard being very cool and calm asked Cobus, “Where should I place the shot?” With Cobus responding “Go ahead and shoot”. They were pushing their luck because any little thing can send him running. Andy got the hog on film showing a perfectly placed shot with the hog not taking another step. The MacNab boys struck again!
A word of caution, when 3 guys are sitting in a hunting blind for hours, being bored, if one of them asked them to pull your finger, don’t do it. It’s loaded!
Note — You should have seen the MacNab boys tethered together, horizontally coming down the No. 1 zip line in the world, literally going 100 mph. They were screaming like two school girls!
Richard and Andy lived a hunters dream for eight days making memories that nothing can ever take away.
Kenny Bayless can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.