The Hunter's Path
by Kai Uwe-Denker
(Ross Murphy - Oklahoma, USA)
I have a new top five book. I have studied and pondered this book for the past year. The price at $125 per copy for a standard issue (not limited issue) was a stretch for me as I am used to paying a lot less for a book.
My mind has changed. This book is easily worth the price plus a nice bonus for the thought provoking words of Mr. Denker. I read a lot. I read for content, for fun and for speed. However, this is a book I devoured, digested and ruminated on. About half of the book is about hunting and various interesting stories of stalking and organizing various hunts for himself and for clients. THe other half is a series of discussions about why we hunt, why he hunts and the joy he finds in it.
Mr. Denker is a purist and a seemingly non-negotiable, non-compromising purist. He hunts simply - no range finders, open sights, very sparse camps. He believes that the manner in which you pursue the game (especially elephant) reflects your respect for the animal as well as for yourself as a hunter. He is not into "body count". He describes several self directed hunts in the Cameroon for bongo. He has yet to succeed because he feels he must "hunt" the animal on its terms and not along roads or with dogs. He went on a 21 day full bag hunt to Tanzania and come home with a bushbuck, a lesser kudu and a buffalo. His goal was to hunt, on foot and by tracking in very tough terrain. His PH gave him a lot of grief over it but he stuck to his principles and was pleased with his hunt.
I have been aware of Kai-Uwe for sometime as I have tried to justify elephant hunting in my own mind. I have no interest in a "drive by" hunt and want to expend the effort to "earn" the trophy. His methods are severe and demand the extreme from his clients - but in the end, if you are successful in killing an elephant - it will be "earned".
I highly recommend this book. I rate it a 10 out of 10 and above nearly all that I have read. For adventure and taste of yester-year - read Selous or Bell or Sutherland or Boyes. For hunting stories- read Ruark, Boddington, Nychens, Everett, Harland, Marsh or Manners.
For food for the soul - read this book.....