Warthogs and Time Limits

By Michael Maynor
Hemingway detailed his struggle trying to bag a Greater Kudu in his book  Green Hills of Africa. He wrote about  how it was a pleasure to hunt something that was a challenge but having a time limit in which to do it was not fun; his exact words are 

"Now it is pleasant to hunt something that you want very much over a long period of time, being outwitted, out-maneuvered and failing at the end of each day, but having the hunt and knowing every time you are out that, sooner or later, your luck will change and that you will get the chance that you are seeking. But it is not pleasant to have a time limit by which you must get your Kudu or perhaps never get it, nor even see one. It is not the way hunting should be.”

It was October 1st, 2021  and I was starting to feel that my time was up for bringing a warthog back to my home state of  North Carolina. It was our last hunting day in the Selous Game Reserve of Tanzania with Game Trackers Africa and I was  trying to mark the last two wants off my wish list : a waterbuck and a warthog. I had wanted a warthog for about as long as I had dreamed of hunting Africa.
People that are non-hunters or have no desire to go on Safari might have no idea what a Greater Kudu is or know the difference between a Red hartebeest and a Lichtenstein’s hartebeest. Still, if they have watched any National Geographic or “ The Lion King,” they know that a warthog comes from Africa , and it’s an iconic animal of the continent, and to me, they are just cool looking.

During my Safari in Zambia in 2018, I saw warthogs, but they were either females or young boars. The Selous is home to a very healthy number of pigs. We saw a lot of warthogs each day; at this point in the hunt, I had missed shot opportunities at two good boars and was feeling a bit discouraged. We saw hogs on the final hunting day and even tried a stalk, but they were non-shooters. Then as I was about to give up and come to terms with the fact that it might be my third trip across the pond before I took a pig, Africa took pity on a Southern boy, and my luck changed.

The trackers spotted a lone boar enjoying a mud bath in a waterhole, and this time I didn’t mess up the accuracy of my rifle. I had missed bigger boars than the one I finally walked upon, but the size did not matter then, and it does not matter to me now. I wanted a free-range boar, and I took what Africa gave me, and I couldn’t be happier. 

Now that the skull mount is back and in my library I look at it and fondly remember the feeling of running my hands down those ivory tusks after all the effort it took to make that dream a reality. I am not a fan of time limits, but I love the chase and warthogs!

I am a proud native of North Carolina with a deep love for the sporting lifestyle and everything Southern. My book collection seems to grow endlessly, and I have a particular fondness for collecting vintage duck decoys. Despite appearing content, my heart longs to return to Africa for another safari adventure. John 3:16