Book Review: Hunting the Spiral Horns: Bushbuck – The Little Big Buck by Peter Flack
October 2014, Volume 12-5-II

Edited by Peter Flack, this is the third in Flack’s five-book series covering all 30 spiral horn species and subspecies recognized by Rowland Ward and SCI. Experienced hunter and passionate conservationist, Flack designed the bushbuck volume to be the definitive book on hunting the 11 subspecies of this enigmatic animal, a beautiful but pugnacious antelope. It is a big book, containing nearly 400 pages, profusely sprinkled with 450 color photos and 33 black and white ones. The photographs are truly outstanding and we have been lucky to receive excellent examples of the work of a number of top class professional wildlife photographers, including Jofie Lamprecht, Cath Robertson, Robert Ross, Brendon Ryan and Michael Viljoen, as well as hundreds supplied by the contributing authors themselves, including one taken by Adam Parkison in C.A.R of a huge python swallowing a fully grown bushbuck ewe.

Vol12_5_II_art12The 26 hunters and authors who contributed material specially written for the book read like the Who’s Who of bushbuck hunters and include luminaries such as Rolf Baldus, Irvin Barnhart, Don Cowie, Kai-Uwe Denker, Brian Herne, Jeff Rann, Nassos and Jason Roussos, Alain Smith, Tony Tomkinson and Coenraad Vermaak to name but a few.

The book also includes the exploits of famous hunters of yesteryear such as Ahlefeldt-Bille, Chapman, Cornwallis Harris, Gordon Cumming, Maydon, Percival, Selous, Vaughan Kirby and others, as well as chapters on rifles and ammunition, clothing and equipment and “how to” chapters by passionate and very experienced bushbuck hunters. Some of the stories relate potentially dangerous encounters with these feisty, little buck who seem to have no reverse gear when confronted and especially when dogs are thrown into the mix.

Available in North America from Safari Press and Peter Flack Productions

In Africa from Rowland Ward and Peter Flack Productions

Flack aimed at providing the prospective and experienced bushbuck hunters with a complete guide on hunting 11 subspecies of bushbuck, and he succeeded admirably. The bushbuck volume of the series – like those other spiralhorn books edited by Flack, covers every aspect of bushbuck hunting; in fact, you possibly cannot learn more about hunting this ghost of riverine forest – except by going on hunting them yourself.  Each of the hunting stories in the book has been carefully chosen – Flack placed emphasis on it being well-written, entertaining and moreover containing a lesson or two in each story. Some of them are subliminal, others more obvious and direct.

In my opinion the bushbuck book follows the tradition of Flack’s passion for the spiral-horned antelope, and he again exceeded expectations – but isn’t this what one expects from an accomplished hunter-conservationist and author like Peter Flack? A worthwhile addition to your hunting library. Collectors may want to look at the quarter leather bound, cased and signed limited edition priced at US$ 175.00.

Author: Gerhard R Damm