Campfire Talk Part 28 with Larry Weishuhn
Dreaming.... We all do it, dream, that is, both literally and figuratively. Perhaps what I’m addressing here is more of the figurative variety. I grew up about twelve miles from a relatively small town, Columbus, Texas. Originally the town had been an Indian village in the bend of the Colorado River, that had been called Montezuma. There is a north river bridge an east river bridge. From one bridge to the other is about a mile or so, maybe even less. But if you take a boat and float the river from one bridge to the next it is about 15 to 17 miles. Back in the early 1900’s two men from “up north” robbed the bank in Columbus and made a run for the north river bridge where they had secreted a small boat. On the water they paddled, poled and free-floated with the current for about four or five hours, when lo and behold they finally saw another bridge. Convinced they had reached another town, they stowed the boat, grabbed the loot and started crawling up the banks thinking they were a long way down the river and far from Columbus. As it was they walked right into the waiting arms of the City Marshall and his deputies. Imagine their surprise when they were escorted to the local jail, only about a city block from the bank they had robbed much earlier that same day! Growing up on the edge of the Gulf Coast Prairie in the gravel hills just north of the Colorado River I heard many tales of early Columbus and Colorado County. My family had settled in the area in the mid-1800’s. As a youngster I often listened to the tales told by friend of my maternal grandfather after the sun went down and an occasional jug was passed around. They told tales of monstrous alligators and black bear that once made their homes in the canebrakes of the Colorado River and its tributaries, such as Cummins Creek, which was not far from where I lived and was actually on my grandfather’s property. When time permitted I searched the woods in search of arrowheads left by the Indian tribes that had apparently lived there for many years. And even though they were no longer there, I did hunt black bear. But I supposed I should be glad they weren’t for I now many years fear the Daisy Redd Ryder BB gun I carried until I was about seven years old would not have been the ideal bear gun! It was early on that I started dreaming of hunting big game. Somehow even when I was really small before I could read I some how found ways to come up with hunting magazines such as Outdoor Life and Sports Afield. And I have frequently mentioned how my mother would read to me from those publications at night, while she and I waited for my dad to come home while working in the “oil fields”. Those “readings” instilled in me a desire to one day hunt many of the animals I read about. I “dreamed” of some day hunting mule deer, like those monstrous bucks taken by my dad’s friends and cousins. I also dreamed of hunting elk, moose, grizzly bear, and, kudu, lions and buffalo in Africa. Even though we sometimes dream about doing something a bunch, it doesn’t necessarily mean those dreams will come true. But occasionally if you work hard and continue dreaming, and work even harder at our chosen trade some things do indeed come true. I’ve told tales here of long dreaming, hoping and praying...all the while working hard and long at getting better and better at what I do.. I was able to make one of my lifelong dreams come true in taking a desert bighorn ram, thanks to a great part of Sonora Dark Horn Adventures (www.sonoradarkhorn.com). Even though I’m not longer the same age I was when I started dreaming of doing some hunts, it doesn’t mean I’m not still “dreaming”! As this is being written I’m about to go on a “dream hunt”. It won’t be long before my favorite hunting partner, Tim Fallon, owner of the FTW Ranch/SAAM (www.ftwoutfitters.com) along with my cameraman/producer, Blake Barnett, and I are headed to Benin, Africa to hunt with Safari Chelet. I love going to countries I’ve never been and hunt animals I’ve previously only heard of! In this instance roan antelope and western savannah buffalo, this in a very hot and arid land. I’ve only visited with three or four others who have ever hunted Benin. They talked of a remote land with unique animals, and fish that were plentiful. They also said hunting took place from first light until about 10 am, at which time because of the intense heat (comparable to what we often experience in the summer months in South Texas) it’s back to camp to get something to eat, and then possibly to the local river to do a bit of fishing. I dearly love to fish, but these days hardly ever get time to do so! Based on what I’ve heard the river is chocked full of a fish that sort of looks like a hybrid bass (striper crossed with white bass). Supposedly they run primarily from 3 to 8 pounds and are reputed to be ferocious fighters, and, they are said to be extremely good to eat! I suspect there are some other fish there as well, fish I certainly have never seen. I spent some time on the FTW Ranch/SAAM shooting the Ruger .375 Ruger Guide Gun, topped with a Zeiss HD5 3-15x scope and shooting Hornady 300 grain DGX and DGS for buffalo and roan antelope. As is usual PHs generally suggest you use a soft-nose for the first shot, and then follow it up with a .300 grain DGX (solid). If that’s the suggestion I’ll do as he would ask. I learned a long time ago if you trust a guide or PH enough to book a hunt with him or her, do as you’re ask. Never try to guide the guide! As I mentioned this will be a dream hunt, but it will be one we’ll film for the 2014 season of “DSC’s Trailing the Hunter’s Moon”. My show will begin airing in late June, early July later this summer. As we get a bit closer I’ll let you know here and on my facebook page, “Larry Weishuhn Outdoors”, which will be the official page for the show. That said I have just opened the “Larry Weishuhn Outdoors” facebook page. I would love to have you visit there as well. Appreciate the time I’ve been able to spend with you here. And I look forward to you joining me here again next week!