There is no doubt that big game in the Rhodesian bush is a more
apparent danger than Terrs or guerrillas to the inexperienced scout. If
the following simple facts are borne in mind, however the apprehension
of new scouts to the bush will be relieved;
Lion and Buffalo have excellent senses of hearing and smell. They will
usually move away if humans are about the area.
big game usually keep to game trails/tracks and therefore, provided
the camp is made off the game tail and in thick bush, there is
relatively little danger.
Elephant, Buffalo, Lion and
Rhino are however, particularly dangerous in areas which have been
recently bombed. In these circumstances they frequently charge on sight
and particular precautions are necessary.
A knowledge of the
reactions of certain game animals upon scenting or encountering human
beings will be of value to the scout from the operational aspect.
Elephants, Buffalo, Lion and Rhino should they suddenly stampede when you
have not caused them to do so, the wind being in your favorer, may well
mean that they have seen or scented terrorist/guerrillas in the area.
Baboon, Bushbuck, Sykes
Monkey, Colobus Monkey and Laurie Birds give off distinctive warning
cries if they scent or see humans. Be on the watch for circling
vultures, as they may well indicate a hideout/camp were food or scraps
our left about. Hyenas calling repeatedly at night or many hyena tracks
concentrating in one direction may also mean a hideout or camp.
Do not attempt to shoot
game. Current service rifles are not made to kill large animals, the
round is not designed to penetrate through the heavy bone, hide and
flesh of large game.
Should a patrol be charged
by a big game animal it should get off the path upwind of the beast as
quickly and as quietly as possible without panic. Animals, being
normally more frightened of humans than humans are frightened of them,
seldom charge meaninglessly. More often than not, so-called charges are
only animals making off in all directions in blind panic.
Herds of cow elephants
with calves and rhino and buffalo with calves should however be avoided
at all times by moving round them upwind.
These big game bushcraft tips for scouts were taught to all scouts as a
minimum, this list of tips is not all-inclusive but provided a good
basic knowledge for that big game encounter. These skills were more
relevant to the small sticks or patrols operating in the vast bush, were
there signature was minimal and a chance contact with game more likely,
then compared to a conventional unit operating in large numbers in the