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#29371 - 03/05/07 02:45 PM Re: Sad Duty, as recieved from WTS: Ave, Bill Wise. [Re: JohnM]
MCA Offline
Member

Registered: 01/02/02
Posts: 368
Loc: Benbrook, TX
How blessed I have been in being able to know such a great man. God bless him and his family.


Michael

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#29494 - 03/06/07 09:52 AM Re: Sad Duty, as recieved from WTS: Ave, Bill Wise. [Re: MCA]
Jagermeister Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 11/26/02
Posts: 9374
Loc: W KNIEI
He was always willing to share his knowledge. An honest and genuine fellow, I will miss him greatly.

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#30132 - 03/09/07 04:22 PM Re: Sad Duty, as recieved from WTS: Ave, Bill Wise. [Re: Jagermeister]
Tyler Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 01/02/02
Posts: 753
Loc: West Alabama
I feel blessed to have known Bill. It was about a year ago that I actually got to meet him. He will be missed by all that knew him. Thank you, Bill.


Edited by Tyler (03/09/07 04:22 PM)

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#30897 - 03/14/07 10:08 PM Re: Sad Duty, as recieved from WTS: Ave, Bill Wise. [Re: Tyler]
Brian Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 1643
Loc: New York State
Peace be with you.
Brian
_________________________
Brian
LTC, USA Ret.
NRA Patron Member
AHFGCA Life Member
USPSA Life Member



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#31533 - 03/19/07 02:05 PM Re: Sad Duty, as recieved from WTS: Ave, Bill Wise. [Re: Brian]
Nitro Xpress Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 01/30/02
Posts: 307
His wealth of experience will be greatly missed. May he rest in Peace.

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#32906 - 03/27/07 04:06 PM Re: Sad Duty, as recieved from WTS: Ave, Bill Wise. [Re: Nitro Xpress]
Ken Hurst Offline
Sidelock
****

Registered: 08/14/05
Posts: 1698
Loc: Robersonville, N.C.
I thought I'd wait and read what has already been said --- didn't want to repeat what's ali ready been stated. Now. I find nothing new to add --- it's all been said . So, Mr. Bill you were loved, respected and admired ! Can anyone say more about you or your character ---- we'll miss you, May God welcome you and comfort your family. With deepest respect, Ken
_________________________

Ken Hurst
910-221-5288

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#35367 - 04/11/07 07:04 PM Re: Sad Duty, as recieved from WTS: Ave, Bill Wise. [Re: Ken Hurst]
JayCee Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 01/02/02
Posts: 3617
Gentlemen, this is going to be rather long, but I think those who have not read it will
appreciate it:

"THE SABLE TALE" by Victor R. Simone, Jr.
(subtitled: the worst shot of my life)

We were on the 13th day of a 14 day hunt. We had been the beneficiaries of tremendously good hunters' luck all throughout the two weeks and up to that point I had bagged 17 animals comprising 12 species. Going into this safari with high hopes but modest expectations, I had been fortunate to collect the largest Leopard, Eland, Bushbuck, Duiker and Klipspringer of the year in that area, in addition to extremely good mature representations of Zebra, Kudu, Impala, Cape Buffalo, Warthog, Baboon and tuskless Elephant. I don't know how many times in one's life where your expectations were exceeded to this degree, but for me this experience was remarkable. The only thing we were having trouble with on my "wish-list" was Sable. We had seen a few herds earlier in the first week, but no mature Sable bull worth collecting and as Leopard was my highest priority, we were busy at that time running around baiting over several locations. Sable was my second highest priority and only after we succeeded on Leopard did it seem that all the Sable in the area just suddenly and almost literally disappeared. It was eerie.
Three weeks earlier in my office, I received an e-mail from my friend Bill Wise. Bill, as many of you know is well known to shooters and hunters who frequent the internet. He has regaled many of us with his sage advice and expertise on a variety of topics not the least of which is Pigeon guns. But his real job I have come to learn, is to act as a "shooters hub" to keep us all connected. If I ever need something, I contact Bill. I remember when I was fortunate to acquire a fine Brancquaert hammer pigeon gun, Bill, one of the few who understood exactly what I had, graciously gifted to me a rare original Brancquaert catalogue from the turn of the century. For those of you who do not know Bill, it was 38 years ago this month that he was surfing in Delaware when a freak accident fractured vertebrae in his neck, paralyzing him almost completely. I actually don't know how he did it, but he would laboriously send out e-mails to those fortunate enough to be the recipients from time to time. As time passed and communication became progressively more difficult for Bill, one enterprising member of Bill's circle of friends came up with the idea of taking up a collection to purchase voice recognition software which would greatly facilitate his connectivity. I was fortunate to be included in that circle. You see, Bill thinks we did him a tremendous favor. What he doesn't realize is that we were merely lining our own pockets with Bill's intelligence. Bill wished me luck on my safari, instructed me to be careful and asked me if I would bring back some small token from the hunt which he would throw into his "Mojo bag", an eclectic collection of good luck charms he has assembled over the years.
We decided that we would make one last stab in the mountains where the Sable generally like to be. In the land cruiser we went up to the top of the doma on the edge of the tribal boundary, overlooking an area of about a quarter million acres where apparently no one else had been. I felt as though we were on the top of the world. My Professional Hunter (PH) Butch, a tall 6' 2", 40 year-old Zimbabwean from British stock, had been glassing with his trackers for about a half hour when he spotted some Sable about 6 1/2 kilometers away. Neither I nor even the trackers could believe that he actually spotted them at that distance. It took me a good several minutes of coaching and description to finally pick out with my binoculars what he was talking about. There were 5 bulls together. He turned to me and said "how do you feel"?. Not fully grasping the situation, I naively said "oh, fine thank you...and you?". He continued staring at me smiling and then it occurred to me, "you mean we are going in there"? He said, "you wanted a sable didn't you? One of those is a really good one, but I can't tell his exact size from this distance. Plus, you know I've always wanted to go in there, because no one has ever been in to that sector. Besides, I haven't had a client who was willing and able to make the hike....until now".
An eternity passed. I said "yes, but....but....but...uh....um..." The trackers immediately huddled and started groaning, which I took as an omen. If they didn't want to do it, how should I expect to fare? He handed me two bottles of water and said "drink these now". After I dispatched with those, he said "well....let's go". Off we went, me with my rifle on my shoulder to find those Sable. Down we went from the top of the doma over three valleys and ridges to arrive almost 2 hours later at the spot where my PH first spotted them. The trackers then went to work and followed their trail across another valley and over another ridge until we found the herd. My PH and I sneaked in along some extremely steep and rocky terrain which was like skree with tall grass, which made seeing your poor footing even more difficult. At just under 200 meters, we decided that we were not likely to get in any closer as the herd was exhibiting very twitchy behavior having sensed our presence. The PH erected his shooting sticks (3 crude sticks from a mapone tree tied at the ends by a tire inner tube). Being on very steep terrain, I could not get the sticks to settle properly, but there was no other available brace like a tree in close proximity where we would not have spooked the herd trying to get there. Stuck with my poor shooting stance, we awaited for the biggest bull to stand up and present us with a shot. Finally he stood, looking at us with a very tight quartering stance and in my PH's excitement he said to me "you haven't got a shot"! However, in my own excitement what I heard was... "go for the shot"! Up to that point, everything had been largely a one-shot kill. However, I proceeded to make the only bad shot of the safari and the worst shot of my entire life. Overestimating the distance, my first shot clipped him harmlessly across his mane and he recoiled downward at the shot. My PH screamed "shoot him again"! My second shot hit him in the lower part of his back leg and he kicked and bucked like a bronco after a bee sting and took off like a bolt of lightning. My third shot was what I would characterize as a "Hail Mary". My heart sank.
We made our way across the ravine to where the bull had stood to look for signs. Lo' and behold, one of the trackers found the tiniest spot of blood on a leaf. It is nothing short of remarkable, what these trackers can do. Now......I knew... I "owned" this sable. My PH looked at me with a doleful face and said "OK.... let's get on him". The trackers went to work again and followed the bull's tracks coming upon tiny - and I mean almost microscopic - spots of blood and only every so often. Clearly, this animal was only superficially wounded at best. I know it happens even to the best of hunters and to the best of shots, but I tried my best to suppress the obvious thought that this was extremely likely to be a lost animal with a huge trophy fee and no more sable available on quota.....period....end of story. We continued to track this bull, all the while oscillating between losing and reacquiring the trail for about an hour. At one point we tracked him down to the bottom of another ravine and saw that his trail then went straight up an extremely steep incline to the next ridge. At that point, I thought "this guy is not hurt at all if he climbing this stuff... in fact he is only just pissed off". As we tracked him up this incline my PH spotted the bull up ahead having laid down in the tall grass, but he spotted us too. The bull immediately got up and charged down the hill toward us veering to my left across a rise whilst my PH was screaming for my attention. I managed to get three shots off and later discovered that I hit him with only two shots, followed by another "Hail Mary". This error was compounded by the fact that in all the excitement, I had forgotten to turn the scope down from 5 power from my very first shot from 200 meters and accordingly, had trouble acquiring the bull in the scope for the running shot. Fortunately, one of my shots was a raking shot through the left hip and the other through the top of the shoulder. As we approached from the top of the rise, we spotted him down below us on his haunches sitting upright with his rear-end to me (head facing directly away) and his horns spanning straight back over his long back. My PH said "shoot him again but don't hit the horns"! I raised my rifle and decided the only shot I had was to spine him near the rear end about three quarters of the way back so as not to hit the horns. At the shot, he sunk down further but remained sitting upright unable to move. We approached from behind seeing that he was clearly still alive but also not going anywhere. At that point my PH said "do not go near him, and watch those horns! he is an unbelievably aggressive animal." I put one shot through the lower right shoulder which sped through his heart and lungs, exiting the opposite shoulder and he immediately succumbed.
At this point the PH, the trackers and I all rejoiced at having triumphed and persevered, a sense of accomplishment the likes of which I had not appreciated in my life until then, that rivaled only my own inner sense of relief. Just as quickly, we collapsed from the excitement and exhaustion. After a reasonable rest, we arose to take photographs which accurately captured the exhaustion on our faces and which made us look like it was the morning after an all-night bender. "Now what"? I asked my PH. "We'll, we cape him out and take him out of here. There's no chance at getting a vehicle back into this sector". More groans. I asked the trackers "would you guys like to have any of this meat"? Their eyes lit up. "Oh yes sir"! Well you guys deserve it. If you can carry it, you can have it. With that, a renewed sense of energy followed and the two trackers decided that they would each like to carry a hind quarter and the scout, another large section. Butch, my PH and I decided that we would carry the trophy and the equipment out so that the trackers could have what they earned. Just before we left, I turned to my PH and said "wait a minute, I almost forgot something". I removed my pack and my rifle, withdrew my knife from my pack, got down on my knees and removed the tip of the Sable's tail. "What's that for"? inquired the PH as he stood over me. "I promised somebody something special". He smiled "well this would be it, because I'll never forget this one myself". With that, he took the tail from me and stuffed it into his pack.
What followed was the most exhausting trek of my life. Back over four or five valleys, without stopping for fear that we would tighten up and not want to proceed. The last mile or so was the worst. Almost straight up, back uphill through the same skree and tall grass that we had started hiking from and which seemed to have never left us. When we finally made it back to the road where the land cruiser was three hours later, no one spoke a word. We packed up and set off for camp. Upon arriving, we were greeted by the hoots and hollers of the staff and the skinners. The camp manager's wife said "what would you like to drink to celebrate with"? I said "please don't misunderstand, thank you, but I think I will go and take a hot shower". My PH, looked at me with a pathetic, albeit satisfied smile, the color not having yet returned to his face and said "Amen"!
On the morning of the 15th day, we had breakfast and engaged in a slew of goodbyes to the staff, the skinners, trackers, etc. etc. etc. We went over to the grass runway where our bags were being loaded on to the single engine Cessna for the trip back to Harare. My PH came up to me and said "thanks for the best hunt I can remember in a long time. It was a pleasure hunting with someone who enjoyed it as much as I did and with whom I could take into some pretty challenging terrain. You were willing to do the work and I believe we earned everything we collected. Even I saw things I never saw before." Appreciating the sincere compliment, I thanked him likewise and as I started to get into the plane he said "oh, before I forget, I took the liberty of 'putting this in the salt' for your friend". He handed me the Sable's tail which he had de-boned, cleaned up and salted for me. "Thank you! I had forgotten"! Butch said "well I never will". We both laughed. " I meant about the tail" I said. Butch then found his feet with his eyes and pawed pensively at the ground. The he looked up. "Your friend.... will he understand"? I replied. "Yeah.......then I thought for a minute and smiled....oh yeah... he'll understand". I pause for a moment. "And besides, he was here with us the whole time. Why do you think we had such good hunters luck"? He beamed with that big Zimbabwean smile and quickly retorted "You realize of course this means I'll have to double your professional fees". I responded "Hey.... if you snooze you lose." We both laughed. "Well then" Butch said, "I suppose that you should tell him that I said that it was a pleasure having him here and that he is welcome back anytime." We laughed again. Butch then stared at his feet again for some time before looking up. "Happy days, Vic". "You too Butchie".

JC(AL)
_________________________
"...it is always advisable to perceive clearly our ignorance."¯ Charles Darwin

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#36462 - 04/18/07 12:34 PM Re: Sad Duty, as recieved from WTS: Ave, Bill Wise. [Re: JohnM]
Wonko the Sane Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 01/02/02
Posts: 1195
Loc: NorCal
I have been slow to get to this since my access to the net and this site is limited. My apologies for my dereliction.

I first met Bill here at this very site ten or more years ago - I don't even remember. Our email exchanges quickly grew to weekly extended phone conversations. I had no idea how much a part of my life they were until they were no more last August. The few days he and I got to spend together last winter in Phili were too few by far for a happening that would be only once.

I was proud to think him my friend. I was honored to have him think me the same.

Hasta la vista, baby

WtS
Charlie Hill
_________________________
Dr.WtS
Mysteries of the Cosmos Unlocked
available by subscription

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#37653 - 04/28/07 11:36 PM Re: Sad Duty, as recieved from WTS: Ave, Bill Wise. [Re: Wonko the Sane]
Pete Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 2453
Loc: Bend, Or
I haven't checked in here for a long time. It is a sad moment. We also recently lost Russ. Tough year. It is hard to lose folks of this quality. God bless them both.

Pete

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#37786 - 04/29/07 09:26 PM Re: Sad Duty, as recieved from WTS: Ave, Bill Wise. [Re: Pete]
luckydog Offline
Sidelock
*

Registered: 01/13/02
Posts: 105
Loc: Nevada
It's been a long time for me, as well. Bill was a great man, who touched many lives. He will be missed.
_________________________
Todd

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