South Africa —
South Africa, a land that will never be tamed or civilized by man. It is a hard place to live for it is very unforgiving.
Africa is every hunters thought of paradise, even if the odds can turn on your, and you become the hunted! The beauty of the mountain tops in the clouds and the lire of the African bush can touch your soul, for you fall in love with her like a beautiful woman, although she is deadly treacherous. Everything there will either stick or bite you.
A young man of 11 years old started on an adventure that most men only dream of, going on a safari into Africa, where some never return.
After landing in Johannesburg, South Africa from flying from Indianapolis one hour to Chicago then to London, England 8 hours and another 11 hours to Africa, the well selected safari outfitter was waiting to greet this young hunter from America.
Cobus Van Vuren had high expectations for this young man. He had to have nerve to face dangerous big game, be able to shoot a large-caliber rifle at a very long distance and to make a split second decision on when to shoot, and place the shot in the perfect spot.
After spending a long day of sight seeing in London England and flying for 20 hours, Cobus suggested he get a good night sleep to shake off the jet lag as well as the 2 1/2 hours bumpy drive to the hunting camp that was located on the crocodile river in the Limpapo region.
The next morning brought good weather for hunting in the African bush because it was over cast with a promise of rain, the temperature held at about 80 degrees which is cold for that region, after all it was starting into their winter and everything was full bloom and green. Yes the animals all lay up when it is hot, but in cool temps they move and feed even more.
Before an outfitter lets you journey off into the bush you must prove you can shoot accurately after all that one shot may save your life. Cobus set up a shooting range of 100 yards to test this young man’s skills along with his fathers also. A 30-30 caliber rifle was chosen which is a hand full for such a young man. What Cobus did not know was the young man had practiced with his dad before leaving home becoming an excellent marksman, which he had professional counseling from a close friend “Bill Klass” also. A 308 caliber was given to dad to use and it would kick like a mule.
After many shots was taken by both, Cobus said with a big smile there is no doubt your son can shoot much better than you!
The big day was finally there and as they headed out Cobus said he had been scouting for some nice warthogs which was on top of the list. They traveled in a four wheel drive truck with seats set up in the back or bed of the truck to be able to look for game while driving through the grassy plains or the thick bush. One of Cobus’ bushmen or trackers was along to help recover any game that was shot.
The decision was made to set up “a blind” at a water hole where several warthogs had been visiting. Cobus and the tracker built the hunting blind with every detail in mind like direction of the wind. How to be the most concealed with natural grasses and trees and most of all the distance the warthogs may come into the water hole.
While arriving at the water hole, some warthogs went running off so we knew the right place had been chosen. The truck was parked far away and the tracker stayed with it knowing it a shot was heard to be ready if needed.
It takes a lot of patience for a young man to set in a hunting blind for hours totally different than school although his teacher Miss Athey does a wonderful job.
Cobus, dad, and son set up in the blind with checking guns to be loaded and the safety’s on as well as setting up the shooting sticks for the right height shooting sticks help you hold your rifle very still.
After setting for two hours, dad couldn’t take it any more and decided to take a little cat nap. Well you guessed it he was woke up from Cobuses firm hand on his shoulder and the young man setting the rifle on the shooting sticks with a very nice warthog at 55 yards away and being very cautious.
When the hammer dropped the warthog did not know what hit him with dropping in his tracks, not taking a step.
More than harvesting an animal happened at that moment for the dad’s heart burst with joy and his soul could not hold back the tears of pride, you see, it was the young man’s first day, first animal ever taken, and with the first shot! and of all places but Africa. That moment will be relived thousands times in the future, while setting around a campfire.
Cobus glowed with pride for his young client with many hand shakes and pats on the back going all around.
That night setting around the campfire, many stories were spun with none topping that day’s hunt for Jerrilynn the young hunter’s mother was glowing with pride as bright as the campfire.
The next morning was clear and promised to be a warm day so they needed to start the hunt early and today an impala was next on the list. There again Cobus done his homework and there they went to an area about five miles away with him saying there was a very large trophy impala in that area and he had a very good feeling about it. The wind direction was checked and this time they did not build a blind, but set on the ground behind some trees. That ground gets hard after a couple of hours.
After setting for a long time Cobus said he was going after the truck, so set still until he returns. About 30 minutes after he left a very nice impala was spotted coming out of the bush along with another behind him the same size. While waiting for them to get closer, to their surprise a very large record book type impala steps out and catches up with the other two. Dad was as nervous as a mouse in a lion’s den with the young man having to take a 100 yard shot.
The hammer was pulled back with the gun resting on shooting sticks and the young man waited for that perfect shot while being cool and calm and dad going into convulsions.
The hammer dropped and once again the animal did not know what hit him with not taking another step.
Father and son were hugging each other as Cobus came driving up and the tracker in the back yelling something in the African lango that meant huge or very big impala. Cobus walked up shaking his head while shaking hands saying he personally has never taken an impala that big, a major trophy.
While writing these words, we are at the south tip of Greenland at 36,000 feet going 600 miles an hour and 2,219 miles to go to Chicago.
My young man is setting next to me with his head on his mother’s shoulder asleep, while I hope dreaming of the hunt we just finished. With just a glance at him my heart warms with pride for he is my son Seth Bayless.
South Africa —
South Africa, a land that will never be tamed or civilized by man. It is a hard place to live for it is very unforgiving.
- Sports Columns
TRACKSIDE: Clauson's run to Indiana Sprint Week title witnessed by many Hoosiers
The checkered flag has fallen on yet another highly successful Indiana SprintWeek series for the USAC sprint cars.
Bryan Clauson emerged as the series champ edging out Robert Ballou for the coveted title, his second ISW crown in as many years.
Tom Reck: Brickyard 400 highlights big sports week
It’s another busy week in sports. Two of the events on the schedule are the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the windup of the Show-Me’s/THGA men’s city golf tournament.
Todd Golden: Bigelow part of Action Track’s lifeblood
Many things have changed since the Terre Haute Action Track opened in 1952, but the one constant is dirt.
Joe Buckles: New alliance features powerful figures trying to lower costs
Possibly no off track developments involving NASCAR racing over the past 20 to 30 years has generated as much interest and speculation as last week’s announcement regarding the formation of the new Race Team Alliance organization.
Tom Reck: At break, A’s own baseball’s top record
The all-stars will be out tonight in Major League Baseball, meaning there’s a little break in the regular schedules. At this point, the team with the best record in either league … is Oakland which is 59-36 for a .621 percentage.
From Terre Haute to the majors: Eitel, Phegley recognized as Triple-A All-Stars
Phegley is a third-time All-Star in the International League, while Marshall, Ill., native Derek Eitel was named to his first Triple-A All-Star game. The Rose-Hulman graduate and right-handed relief pitcher for the Reno Aces has put up impressive numbers in the Pacific Coast League. Eitel has a 2.70 earned-run average with 60 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings for the Diamondbacks’ top minor-league team.
Andy Amey: Just a small trip to talk about this time
To paraphrase Carl Spackler, the heavy stuff’s not going to come for quite awhile. So while it’s true that I’m back from a week’s vacation, it’s not time — yet — for the big vacation column. Trips to Noblesville, Brunswick and Reelsville, while providing some nice family time, don’t really have the cachet to fill newspaper space.
From the Press Box: Simple sports pleasures are best
Andy Amey is the undisputed king of vacation columns in the Tribune-Star’s annals. I just returned from vacation, and while there were certainly tales to tell, I’m left with fond memories of simple sports pleasures.
My family and I spent an extended weekend in Kansas City? Why? Why not? Truthfully, it was close, there’s a lot to do there, and we didn’t want the headache and expense of a long-haul vacation. We had a great time.
Trackside: Valley race fans should be happy
Whether your preference is non-wing sprint cars or late-model stock cars, this is the week that Wabash Valley race fans look forward to all summer.
The best of the best is the only way to describe what will unfold this week at Valley ovals. First comes the continuation of the popular UMP Summer National “Hell Week” tour for late models and its annual stop at Terre Haute Action Track tonight. USAC’s Indiana Sprint Week opens later this weekend with stops at Gas City on Friday night, Kokomo on Saturday and Lawrenceburg on Sunday evening.
Tom Reck: All-Stars get chance to shine
It’s July and that means all-star baseball time.
Redneck Quaker: Yes, you can get paid to go fishing
Get that boat out and let’s go fish’n! We may make some money while having fun!
The Indiana DNR is tagging 500 legal-sized black bass on the three rivers in central and northern Indiana as part of a new research project. “Black Bass” includes largemouth, small-mouth and spotted bass.
Hughes, News & Views: Shouses facing tough decisions about Dexter Jr.’s future
Those of us who have followed Vigo County basketball for more than a decade remember how the families of Greg Oden, Reicina Russell and Chaz Spicer moved to the Indianapolis area before the athletes had a chance to complete high school in Terre Haute.
Will 6-foot-3, 180-pound Dexter Shouse Jr., who turned 14 in May and recently finished seventh grade at Woodrow Wilson Middle School, pack up his belongings and make a similar trip east with his family?
Tom Reck: July a big month for local sports
It’s the first day of July, a month full of golf tournaments and racing — all types of racing — and youth baseball tournaments.
Steady success: ISU continued to climb ladder with one of its best overall seasons ever
First of all, if you’re an Indiana State fan, stand up and applaud. The Sycamores collectively went where only one Sycamore athletic department went before in 2013-14. ISU finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference All-Sports Trophy standings. ISU recorded a score of 3.538, its highest in school history.
Trackside: Rising costs make Valley racing more difficult than ever
The life and times of your weekly short-track racer has long lived up to the colorful and exciting ways coveted by those in the stands who gather each weekend to watch their favorite team or driver compete.
While the weekly trek to the race track has always presented its challenges, the task in recent times has made those trips to the many dirt ovals across the country a little more difficult to make.
Tom Reck: Could ISU’s Odum get drafted?
The National Basketball Association draft is coming up this week. Jake Odum of Indiana State has had several tryouts and looked good in a draft event. It would be nice to see him drafted.
College report: Wabash College relay team earns All-America honors
Some summertime notes from here and there:
FROM THE PRESS BOX: Appeal of World Cup is communal
Columnist explains appeal of World Cup.
TOM LINDLEY: NCAA could become casualty of paid athletes
The time has come in Ed O’Bannon’s class action, antitrust case against the NCAA when lawyers start nibbling their fingernails, those in charge of athletic departments feel their heartbeats climb, and athletes try to get a grip on how things will change if their side prevails.
Trackside: Likable Dave Darland still chalking up victories at 48
One of short-track racing’s all-time open-wheel greats continues to add to his growing legacy.
When veteran racer Dave Darland rolled into victory lane at Lincoln Park Speedway last week, he notched his 94th USAC career win. Add the countless number of open-competition wins over the years and it’s easy to surmise the popular driver is approaching the lofty 200-win plateau.
His latest checkered flag came in the USAC Indiana Midget Week show at the same 5⁄16-mile dirt oval where he cut his teeth in an open-cockpit car more than 30 years ago.
Tom Reck: Valley could be home of some champions
And the beat goes on … for four teams and two individuals in the final week of Indiana high school sports action.
Father, son team up to hunt a cape buff
While hunting “Black Death” in Africa, your mind is racing with everything that can go wrong. The cape buffalo was starting his stalk on the hunters at 30 yards.
Three days before, a father and son team decided a cape buff would be a challenge of a lifetime, so the hunt was on. Word came of an old bull running with a cow buffalo in the Limpopo providence and had been spotted. They knew the pair because the cow buff was even more dangerous than the bull for charging people for no reason.
Todd Golden: Indy 500 book is intriguing look into an important era
Doing the job I do, I get my share of books sent to me at the office. I hate to admit it, but a lot of them cross my eye for a moment, and like anyone else, if the subject matter doesn’t interest me, I don’t open it.
Trackside: Thumbs up given for upcoming Indiana Midget Week
In his many years of serving in the public relation department for the U.S. Auto Club, Dick Jordan has developed a keen sense for rating the overall health and future of dirt-track open-wheel racing.
So when the veteran publicist voices a note of guarded optimism for the running of an upcoming series, one knows something special looms on the horizon.
College Report: Brazil’s Baysinger navigates college tennis waters
Garrett Baysinger of Brazil played his senior season of tennis at Rockville, one of the smallest high schools in the state to field a team in the sport.
In a sport dominated by foreign players for teams in both genders at most levels, the competition for any college roster spot is extremely difficult. Baysinger did well at Rockville and on the summer circuit and earned a spot on the team at Kaskaskia Junior College in Illinois.
Tom Reck: Seven teams, three golfers still have title shots
Most high school sports teams in the Valley have concluded their seasons and are getting set for summer activity but four golf teams, three baseball teams and three golfers will be busy this week with more postseason play — all hoping to play another week in the state finals.
Redneck Quaker: Lidster, Pickering try MacNab Challenge
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).
Todd Golden: Good times for ISU athletics
I wish I had a time machine. Would I use it to correct some wrongs in my life or witness some important events in history? Sure, but that’s not what’s on my mind this instant. I’d love to go forward in time to see how the state of Indiana State’s athletic department from the present is perceived in the future.
Ramblin’ Reck: Reflections plentiful from memorable Indianapolis 500
The 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 is history and will go down as one of the best.
Weather was perfect and the finish was second closest ever with Ryan Hunter-Reay nipping Helio Castroneves at the finish.
There were few yellow caution periods with the first incident coming on the 150th lap and a race record was established with 6,105 laps completed by the drivers.
Trackside: Crossroads drag strip taking big steps to keep racers
The eyes of the racing world may have been focused on Indianapolis, Charlotte and Monte Carlo this past weekend. But for Terre Haute area fans and racers, the attention was directed at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds.
That’s where activities at the Terre Haute Action Track and Crossroads Dragway took center stage. News and results surrounding shows at the two venues offered some encouraging news for the future of racing at the southside facilities.
- More Sports Columns Headlines
- TRACKSIDE: Clauson's run to Indiana Sprint Week title witnessed by many Hoosiers