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I have read a bit about the San or Bushmen, however, nothing imparts the story of the hunt like the video. It is said the Apache in the American Southwest did much the same with bison and elk. I can't even imagine the level of exhaustion they must have experienced. Awesome.
Thank you.
 

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WOW, I must have lost 5 lbs. just watching the hunter running through the desert. That was great but now I need a nap and take care of the blisters on my feet. Thanks for posting. :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, sometimes I have these bizzaro observations in life and today happens to be one of those times. As impressive as it is that this guy ran through the bush and managed this feat of endurance. Imagine that there was a camera man with batteries and a big camera, and water following along behind him the whole way.

Now what kind of sick conditioning was that guy in?
 

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It may make a serious hunter speechless, but I'm especially feeling soft after watching that.

I was also realizing how UN-Serious of a hunter I am.
 

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There are times when my heart and soul sings! And watching that video is one of them!

There are times in my modern day life that I think that perhaps stepping back or slowing our lives way way down would feed our souls more! My wife and close friends tease that I am one of the few that probably would have loved for something like Y2K world crash to have happened… I laughed and smiled at the thought.

I know that the way this video was put together was work, but it captures my feelings, and I to give thanks at the end of another creatures life.

Cheers and THANK YOU for sharing this video!

Shawn
Tup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here is a bit of text from the producer and the main guys who put this project together.

In the past 20 years, the only hunters known to practice the persistence hunt have lived in the central Kalahari, in the areas of Lone Tree, Bere, and (Xade. I ï¬?rst recorded the persistence hunt in July 1985 when I accompanied four hunters, !Nam!kabe, !Nate, Kayate, and Boro//xao, from Lone Tree. We were separated during the hunt, however, and they told me only after the hunt how they had run down the kudu. I ï¬?rst witnessed this hunt on foot in August 1990 when I accompanied the same four hunters. Finally, on two expeditions with ï¬?lm crews, I followed the hunters in a vehicle. A total of eight attempts resulted in three kudus killed. In November 1998 I worked with Craig and Damon Foster in ï¬?lming The Great Dance (I asked them to remove my name from the credits) and in October 2001 I worked with the BBC to ï¬?lm Karoha, !Nate, and /Uase (also from Lone Tree) persistence hunting for the last episode of David Attenborough’s Life of Mammals (for more information, see appendix B). The hunt takes place during the hottest time of the day, with maximum temperatures of about 39â€"42 C. Before starting, the hunters drink as much water as they can. Then they run up to the animal, which quickly flees, and track its footprints at a running pace. Meanwhile, the animal will have stopped to rest in the shade. The hunters must ï¬?nd the animal and chase it before it has rested long enough. This process is repeated until the animal is run to exhaustion. The hunts I observed involved three or four hunters starting the hunt, even when some of them were too old or not ï¬?t enough to complete it. A team of hunters can track much Historical Records of Persistence Hunting Various forms of persistence hunting have been recorded in the Kalahari. Small animals were knocked down with a throwing club and ï¬?nished off at close quarters or, if the animal took off, run down...

...In the beginning the �ttest runner may adopt an easy pace while the other hunters do most of the work tracking and running. While tracking as fast as possible, hunters are often slowed down when they lose the trail and struggle to �nd it again. When the others drop out, the �ttest runner must pace himself to run down the animal on his own. The shortest hunt I witnessed lasted less than two hours (the exact time is not known, since I had to catch up with the hunter) (table 1). In this hunt !Nate ran the entire way, although he sometimes slowed down when he lost the spoor. However, after the hunt !Nam!kabe said that they did not have to run that fast and that it was possible to run down a kudu if the hunter walked some of the time. On one successful hunt in 1998 the distance covered by Karoha was measured with the vehicle odometer. The hunt took 3 hours 35 minutes to cover about 35 km, for an average speed of about 10 km/ hr. On two successful hunts in 2001 a global positioning system was used to record the route followed by Karoha. One hunt took 3 hours 50 minutes to cover 25.1 km, for an average speed of 6.3 km/hr. The other took 4 hours 57 minutes to cover 33 km, for an average speed of about 6.6 km/hr. An average speed of 6.3 km/hr may not seem very fast, but the challenge to the hunter is not so much the speed as the dif�cult conditions that need to be overcome, including extreme heat, soft sand, and sometimes thick bush. The hunter may be slowed down when he loses the trail. The most dif�cult task for the tiring hunter is keeping on the right track when the animal joins the rest of the herd again, since its tracks must be distinguished from those of the other animals. When the animal is still running strongly, this can be very dif�cult, but when it starts to show signs of tiring it becomes easier to distinguish its tracks. Another dif�culty is that the animal may circle back onto its own tracks and the hunter must decide which set of tracks to follow. The hunter does not always run on the tracks but often leaves the trail in order to pick it up ahead, and a number of times the hunter lost time following the wrong trail and then going back to �nd the right one. The trail may also be lost when herds of other antelope species cross the tracks. Losing the tracks was the main reason the hunters gave up in unsuccessful attempts (see table 2). Figure 1 plots the route of Karoha running down a kudu bull in October 2001, showing the kudu crossing back over its own tracks a number of times and joining other groups of kudu bulls. Local Knowledge and Practice !Xo and /Gwi hunters at Lone Tree maintain that they concentrate on different species at different times of the year. They say that steenbok, duiker, and gemsbok can be run down in the rainy season because the wet sand forces open their hoofs and stiffens the joints. This is consistent with what Schapera (1930) reported. Kudu, eland, and red hartebeest can be run down in the dry season because they tire more easily in loose sand. Kudu bulls tire faster than cows because of their heavy horns. Kudu cows are run down only if they are pregnant or wounded. Animals weakened by injury, illness, or hunger and thirst are also run down. When there is a full moon, animals are active all night, and by daybreak they are tired and easier to run to exhaustion. The best time for the persistence hunt is at the end of the dry season (October/November), when animals are poorly nourished. During August/September, insects (!oam/neli) bite the kudu, making them sick. After the �rst rains (November/December), the dry leaves make “hard balls� in the stomach of the kudu that give it diarrhea. After it has rained, it is easier to follow the fresh tracks in the wet sand...

...In the winter months (June/July) the shorter days make hunting difï¬?cult. However, hunters maintain that it is possible to run down animals at any time of the year (I recorded one persistence hunt in July). When running down a herd of kudu, trackers say that they look to either side of the trail to see if one of the animals has broken away from the rest of the herd and then follow that animal. The weakest animal usually breaks away from the herd to hide in the bush when it starts to tire, while the others continue to flee. Since a predator will probably follow the scent of the herd, the stronger animals have a better chance of outrunning it, while the weaker animal has a chance to escape unnoticed (for more information, see appendix C). Endurance Running by Humans A critical factor in the success of persistence hunting is the fact that humans can keep their bodies cool by sweating while running. If an antelope is forced to run in the midday heat on an extremely hot day it overheats and eventually drops from exhaustion or simply stops running, allowing the hunter to kill it with a spear. The normal core body temperature of eutherian mammals is 36â€"38 C (Morrison and Ryser 1952), and the lethal core temperature of these mammals is 42â€"44 C (Adolph 1947). Most medium-sized-to-large mammals rely on evaporative cooling to maintain body temperature while running (Richards 1970; Taylor 1974, 1977). In humans the critical thermal maximum, beyond which lifethreatening damage develops, has been estimated at 41.6â€"42 C (Kosaka et al. 2004), but humans can tolerate heat stresses well above this limit (Kenney, DeGroot, and Holowatz 2004). Carrier (1984) presents a convincing theory that explains how humans are able to run down antelope. Some of the most important points may be summarized as follows: In mammals generally, evaporative cooling is accomplished by two separate mechanisms: (1) respiratory evaporation occurring at the nasal mucosa, buccal, and tongue surfaces (panting) and (2) evaporation of sweat from the general body surface. The flexibility and possibly the total effectiveness of panting as a means of evaporative cooling may be limited in a running mammal. The amount of heat that can be lost through evaporation from the respiratory surfaces severely 1020 Current Anthropology Volume 47, Number 6, December 2006 Figure 1. The route of Karoha running down a kudu bull on October 13, 2001, plotted with a global positioning device. limits the maximum rate of heat dissipation during running in animals that rely solely on panting (Carrier 1984; Taylor and Rowntree 1974). The sweat glands of humans are distinctive for the high secretory level at which they operate. No other species is known to sweat as much per unit surface area as humans (Eichna et al. 1950; Schmidt-Nielsen 1964; Newman 1970). The great increase in eccrine (as opposed to apocrine) sweat glands and their copious secretions have permitted modern humans to undertake vigorous exercise in hot environments. The rate at which heat is lost in running humans is greatly increased by their relative lack of hair and by convection during running. The combination of well-developed sweat glands and the relative absence of body hair makes it probable that running humans display very high thermal conductance, with maximal values well above those of most cursorial mammals (Carrier 1984). Distinct advantages would also have been conferred by bipedalism, allowing hominins to forage at higher temperatures and over greater distances while consuming less food and water than quadrupeds (Wheeler 1991b). In addition to bipedalism (Wheeler 1984, 1991a, 1991b), the loss of functional body hair (Wheeler 1985, 1992a), and increase in body size (Wheeler 1992b), a more linear physique would have reduced thermal and water stress in such conditions, reinforcing the argument that thermoregulatory selection pressure was an extremely important influence on human evolution (Wheeler 1993). The increase in body size observed in the hominin fossil record would have been associated with signiï¬?cant advantages. Larger hominins dehydrate more slowly and are able to cover a greater distance each day before encountering thermoregulatory constraints (Wheeler 1992b). Although the major beneï¬?t conferred by bipedalism is a dramatic reduction in direct solar radiation exposure, additional advantages also result from the higher distribution of the body surfaces. Wind speeds are higher and air temperatures lower away from the ground, increasing the rate at which a biped dissipates heat by convection. The greater air flow and low relative humidity above any surface vegetation will also increase the rate at which sweat can be evaporated from the skin (Wheeler 1991a). In contrast to most quadrupeds, humans increase speed during endurance running mostly by increasing stride length. Long stride lengths in humans are made possible by a combination of effective leg springs and relatively long legs (Bramble and Lieberman 2004). Lowerâ€"limb length has a demonstrable effect on the energetic cost of locomotion, resulting in lower costs at all speeds. The gradually increasing lowerâ€"limb lengths seen in the hominin fossil record would have resulted in increasing locomotor efï¬?ciency through time (Steudel-Numbers and Tilkens 2004). Humans walking at optimal speed consume only half the energy required to cover the same distance while running (Cavagna and Kaneko 1977; Rodman and McHenry 1980). Data on the metabolic beneï¬?ts of changing gaits for ponies suggests that quadrupedal mammals have speciï¬?c speeds at which energy expenditure is minimized for each of their various gaits (Hoyt and Taylor 1981). In contrast, the energy required for a running human does not depend on speed (Boje 1944; Margaria et al. 1963; Cavagna and Kaneko 1977). A constant cost of transport could provide humans with the option of running at a wide variety of speeds, while quadrupeds appear to be specialized for a narrow range of speeds within each gait (Carrier 1984). When chased, the animal outruns the hunter and then stops to rest in the shade. It is forced into an intermittent running pattern by the contrasting needs to avoid the hunter and to avoid fatigue and heat stress. Although intermittent running provides brief rest periods, it may be less economical than continuous running (Carrier 1984). Compared with continuous exercise, intermittent exercise has (for humans) also been shown to elevate core body temperature and decrease evaporative heat loss as a result of reduced sweating (Ekblom at al. 1971). Whether the prey ran at a pace set by the hunter or chose to run intermittently, the end result would have been inefï¬?ciency. A hunter whose cost of transport did not vary with running speed would likely have had a substantial advantage over a prey animal with restricted, energetically optimal speeds in each gait (Carrier 1984). During the persistence hunt, the hunter needs to run at a fast pace when tracking is easy but slow down when tracking is difï¬?cultâ€" sometimes losing the trail, sometimes walking to regain 1021 strength. His speed is determined not only by his physical speed and endurance but also by how fast he can track the animal. Flexibility in running speed allows a human hunter to pursue an animal persistently at various speeds, depending on his ï¬?tness, the heat, and varying tracking conditions. Relative Success Rates of Hunting Methods In July 1985 I worked with Bahbah, Jehjeh, and Hewha at Ngwatle Pan in Botswana. During one ï¬?eld trip, ï¬?ve days of hunting resulted in one gemsbok and two bat-eared foxes killed by hunting with dogs. Although ï¬?ve days may not be enough to get a reliable estimate of success rate, hunting with dogs is evidently much more efï¬?cient than hunting without them. Four ï¬?eld trips adding up to 46 days of hunting focused on hunting with bow and arrow, club, and spear (without dogs). In July 1985, August 1990, February and March 1991, and June 1992 I worked with !Nam!kabe, !Nate, Kayate, /Uase, and Boro//xao from Lone Tree, and in these periods two persistence hunting attempts resulted in the killing of two kudus. There were 41 attempts at bow-and-arrow hunting, which involved following fresh tracks and stalking steenbok, duiker, springbok, hartebeest, wildebeest, kudu, and gemsbok. Of these, 39 attempts failed. One wildebeest and one duiker were killed with bow and arrow. Animals killed with club and spear included aardvark, porcupine, and gemsbok (a calf). These involved following fresh tracks and killing animals dug out of their burrows or surprised where they were sleeping under bushes. Eleven attempts resulted in the killing of two aardvark, two porcupines (killed in one attempt), and one gemsbok calf. Animals killed with a springhare probe included three springhares and one ground squirrel in 29 attempts. No reliable data on the success rate of snaring were obtained. Table 3 shows the meat yield, estimated, following Lee 1979), to be 50% of the weight of the animals hunted. Meat yields in kilograms per day hunted offer an estimate of the Table 3. Meat Yield (kg/day) Method Dogs Total Persistence hunt Total Bow and arrow Total Club and spear Days 5 5 46 46 46 46 46 46 46 46 Species Gemsbok Bat-eared fox Kudu Wildebeest Duiker Aardvark Porcupine Gemsbok calf Springhare Ground squirrel relative efï¬?ciency of the different hunting methods. Table 4 presents data obtained for hunting methods on seven ï¬?eld trips with three different research objectives. The number of animals killed per number of days hunted gives an indication of the success rate per day. Data obtained while ï¬?lming the persistence hunt give some indication of the success rate per attempt, but the number of days hunting is inapplicable. The success rate while ï¬?lming may have been lower than normal, since the hunters were under pressure to attempt hunts that they might not have performed under normal conditions. For example, the failed gemsbok hunt of November 12, 1989, was attempted only after a long debate in which Karoha expressed his reservations. (They would normally run down gemsbok in the rainy season, not the dry season.) On October 6, 2001, the camera crew did not ï¬?lm the moment when the kudu collapsed and asked Karoha to repeat the hunt. A hunter would not normally attempt another persistence hunt three days after a successful one. If the data from the research and ï¬?lming expeditions are combined, omitting the hunts that would not have been attempted if it were not for the sake of ï¬?lming (those of November 12, and October 9â€"13, 2001) then the amended data in table 4 would include four successful hunts out of ï¬?ve attempts, giving an 80% success rate. The amended yield (4 kg/day) is 80% of the yield estimate based on the two hunts observed while hunting on foot. It is possible that the success rate of persistence hunting has deteriorated in the past 20 years as the last few hunters who have been practicing it get older. It may be signiï¬?cant that in 1990 they ran for the entire hunt, killing the kudu in less than two hours, while in 1998 and 2001 the hunter sometimes walked. !Nam!kabe, who performed the hunt in 1985, has died. His son !Nate, who ran down the kudu in 1990, when he was 34, is now unï¬?t to do so. Karoha, who was 35 when he performed the hunt in 1998 and 38 when he did so in 2001, may soon be too old. As far as is known, Karoha may well be the last hunter in the central Kalahari who has been practicing the persistence hunt. However, since only three individuals were observed, the apparent deterioration could simply be individual variation in skill. Recent hunter-gatherers utilize a range of hunting methods depending on conditions and circumstances. My observations and data from Lee (1979) suggest that the highest success rate and the highest meat yield are achieved by hunting with dogs. A relatively high success rate is also achieved with snaring small antelope (steenbok and duiker) and birds (korhaan, kori bustard). Although I obtained no reliable data on using snares, a rough extrapolation can be made using data from Dobe, Namibia, published by Lee (1979, 267). Over a 28-day period, hunting with dogs produced a meat yield of 151.1 kg while using snares produced 32.1 kg. Assuming that the hunters I worked with had a similar success rate, the equivalent meat yield from snaring per days hunted would be about (32.1/ 151.1) # 24.8 p 5.26, or roughly 5 kg/day hunted (table 4). This would be about the same as the meat yield for persistence hunting. Digging out animals sleeping in burrows or killing animals sleeping under bushes with clubs and spears has a relatively high success rate compared with other methods. However, the meat yield is relatively low. Using the springhare probe for small mammals in burrows produces the lowest meat yield. Larger animals (when hunting without dogs) would be either pursued with bow and arrow or run down in the midday heat. The bow and arrow is the most flexible method, allowing a large number of opportunities from small antelope to the largest, including eland and giraffe. However, for most of the hunts I witnessed, the success rate per attempt was very low. Often, when tracking one animal, the hunters would abandon the trail for a more promising lead or to dig up an animal in a burrow. Hunters would often attempt a stalk and not get close enough (25â€"30 m) to shoot, or, when they did get close enough, the arrow would miss the target. Even when they did hit the target, it might take hours or even days to track the wounded animal, and sometimes the animal would recover and escape or be ï¬?nished off during the night by other predators or scavengers. Because of the opportunistic nature of hunting and gathering, hunters are continuously changing their methods depending on changing opportunities. They may start out on a bow-and-arrow hunt and end up digging out an aardvark. It requires many attempts to kill an animal with a poisoned arrow. In contrast, persistence hunting is limited to fewer species and favorable conditions for it occur less often, but the success rate per opportunity seems to be much higher. When the conditions are right, hunters appear to be more conï¬?dent of succeeding with the persistence hunt than with the bow and arrow. For example, the persistence hunt I witnessed in August 1990 took place at the end of the dry season, when the thick dry grass made it difï¬?cult to stalk silently. After a number of failed attempts with the bow and arrow, the hunters had expressed conï¬?dence that they had a better chance of running down the kudu. The fact that the duration of persistence hunts varies considerably may explain why the success rate per attempt is much higher than for bow-and-arrow hunting. When hunting with bow and arrow, the hunter may spend a considerable period of time tracking and stalking an animal, but in the end he has only one chance. When conditions are right for persistence hunting, the hunter has a much larger margin of error. As long as he is able to pursue the animal at a reasonable pace and not lose the trail, whether it takes two hours or ï¬?ve hours he has a good chance of running it down. Compared with other hunting methods, persistence hunting is, given the right conditions, an effective method with a relatively good success rate and meat yield. The data presented suggest that it produces a higher meat yield than hunting with bow and arrow, clubs and spears, or springhare probes and about the same as snaring. Only hunting with dogs produces a signiï¬?cantly higher meat yield. Conclusion Endurance running may have had adaptive value not only in scavenging but also in hunting. Before the domestication of dogs, persistence hunting may have been one of the most efï¬?cient forms of hunting. Endurance running and persistence 1023 hunting may therefore have been crucial factors in the evolution of humans.

Appendix A: Evolutionary Hypothesis Carrier (1984) has hypothesized that endurance running evolved in early hominins for predator pursuit. However, it is unlikely that early **** would have been able to develop persistence hunting unless it already had well-developed endurance running abilities as well as tracking skills. As Bramble and Lieberman (2004), suggest, it is very likely that endurance running was ï¬?rst practiced in the context of scavenging. Races against nonhuman scavengers and others of their own species could have become the bridge to races with live prey (Heinrich 2001). If hominins used endurance running to increase the yield from scavenging, then there would have been strong selective pressure to increase the speed of endurance running, and once they had achieved high-speed endurance running they would have had the potential to develop persistence hunting. Persistence hunting would have produced a higher yield than scavenging, since the hunter gets the whole carcass rather than a partially consumed one. Two million years of endurance running for increasingly competitive scavenging may have preadapted **** for persistence hunting. It is unlikely that **** would have been able to make the transition to persistence hunting without ï¬?rst using endurance running for scavenging. A prerequisite for persistence hunting would have been the invention of water containers. In contrast to horses and camels, humans cannot consume large amounts of water at one time. Human thermoregulation requires considerable water for evaporative cooling, and this would have made it essential to carry water in containers (Scott 1984). While modern hunter-gatherers have available to them a wide range of hunting methods, it is likely that persistence hunting would have been more important before the invention of the spear-thrower and the bow and arrow or the domestication of dogs. Without a spear thrower or bow and arrow it would have been very difï¬?cult for slow-running hominin hunters to get close enough to an animal to catch and kill it. Tracking skills would have been a prerequisite for the development of persistence hunting as well as hunting with the spear-thrower or the bow and arrow. It is possible that tracking was ï¬?rst developed to ï¬?nd animals sleeping in burrows such as aardvark and porcupine. Hunters have all day to track the animal, and when an occupied burrow is found the animal does not run away. Persistence hunting, however, would have required much more sophisticated tracking. Simple forms of persistence hunting may have ï¬?rst developed in easy tracking terrain such as the arid, sparsely vegetated, sandy southern Kalahari. Systematic tracking involves following footprints where they are reasonably easy to see. When the ground is harder and the vegetation cover thicker it is not easy to see them, and in woodland the animal will soon run out of sight. In these conditions speculative tracking would have been essential. Speculative tracking involves the interpretation of signsâ€"creating a hypothesis to explain what the animal is doing and then using it to predict where the animal is going (Liebenberg 1990). Instead of “followingâ€? footprints the speculative tracker predicts where tracks will be found and then looks for them where they are expected. In difï¬?cult terrain, where tracks are not easy to see, this makes tracking much faster. The art of tracking as practiced by recent hunter-gatherers requires considerable skill and intelligence, and it has been suggested that the creative hypothetico-deductive reasoning necessary to track effectively in difï¬?cult terrain is also important in other complex human behaviors such as scientiï¬?c research (Liebenberg 1990; Carruthers 2002, n.d.). This level of sophistication may well have been a very recent development. The evolution of tracking may be indicated in the archaeological record by the species hunted. Systematic tracking may be represented mainly by grassland species in areas where the substrate is soft. Speculative tracking may be represented by grassland species together with woodland species. It may also be indicated by hunting in areas of hard substrate where systematic tracking could have been difï¬?cult. Faunal remains from the Klasies River Mouth caves have been considered to indicate that during the Middle Stone Age the exploitation of cover-loving medium-sized animals was part of a scavenging strategy whereas the exploitation of grassland antelope was a component of a hunting strategy. Toward the end of the Middle Stone Age, it is argued, there was a trend toward increased hunting and a more marginal role for scavenging. During the Late Stone Age there was an increase in the hunting and/or trapping of cover-loving animals (Binford 1984). If this interpretation is correct, the Middle Stone Age increase in the hunting of grassland species may represent the development of systematic tracking while the Late Stone Age increase in hunting of cover-loving animals may indicate the development of speculative tracking. Persistence hunting is known to be practiced only by men. This raises the issue of how complex changes in anatomy can be driven by natural selection acting primarily on one sex. In this case, both natural and sexual selection may have operated to bring about changes in the modern human body form. For example, successful male persistence hunters would have 1024 Current Anthropology Volume 47, Number 6, December 2006 been more attractive as potential mates. As far as tracking is concerned, women are also highly skilled trackers (Biesele and Barclay 2001). It is possible that early **** practiced a simple form of persistence hunting using systematic tracking in easy tracking terrain. The efï¬?cient form of persistence hunting practiced by modern hunters in difï¬?cult tracking terrain may have appeared only very recently. Appendix B: Methods Field research expeditions were conducted from 1985 to the present in the Kalahari in Botswana and Namibia. Their main objective was the study of the tracking expertise of hunters. Some ï¬?eld trips speciï¬?cally focused on hunting with bow and arrow, clubs, and spears (without dogs), since these methods involve intensive tracking. One ï¬?eld trip looked at hunting with dogs for comparison with other methods. During these ï¬?eld trips I and two to four hunters camped near a pan from which they hunted on foot. A tape recorder, camera, and notebook were used to record observations in the ï¬?eld. I participated in the tracking. In the evenings a translator helped transcribe the tape recordings, and interviews were conducted at the camp. The ï¬?rst two persistence hunts were recorded while I accompanied hunters on foot, but many of the data on persistence hunting were obtained on the two ï¬?eld expeditions with the objective of making television documentaries. On these expeditions the main focus was the persistence hunt almost to the exclusion of all other hunting methods. To speed up the process, the initial scanning for fresh tracks was done with a four-wheel-drive vehicle, but as soon as the animals were spotted the hunters left the vehicle and started the persistence hunt on foot. For the purpose of ï¬?lming the hunters were allowed to reï¬?ll their two-liter plastic water bottles during the hunt, since it was felt that it was unjustiï¬?able to risk their lives for the sake of a ï¬?lm and the objective was to show not that they could perform the persistence hunt but how they did it. The ï¬?lm crew followed the hunters in the vehicle. While the ï¬?lming expeditions provided an opportunity to get good data, working with ï¬?lm crews can be exhausting and distracting. On three of the hunts (including two successful hunts) I did not take detailed ï¬?eld notes. comes tired you become strong. You take its energy. Your legs become free and you can run fast like yesterday; you feel just as strong at the end of the hunt as in the beginning.â€? When the hunter ï¬?nally runs the animal to exhaustion, it loses its will to flee and either drops to the ground or just stands looking at the approaching hunter with glazed eyes. Karoha explained that when the kudu’s eyes glaze over, it is a sign that it feels that there is nothing it can do any more: “What you will see is that you are now controlling its mind. You are getting its mind. The eyes are no longer wild. You have taken the kudu into your own mind.â€? The hunter will then ï¬?nish off the animal with a spear. Apart from their tracking skills, hunters’ knowledge of heat stroke and how to treat it also demonstrates the level of expertise required to practice this hunting method. Hunters push themselves to their limits and usually know when to stop. When I ran with them, I failed to monitor my own condition until it was almost too late. By the time I caught up with !Nate, I was no longer sweating. The hunters immediately recognized the early symptoms of heat stroke, and after having run down the kudu !Nate ran eight kilometers back to the camp to get his father, !Nam!kabe, to bring water. When !Nam!kabe ï¬?nally reached me with water, he told me not to drink it because drinking too much too quickly would kill me. I was told to wet my hair and wash my face ï¬?rst to cool down my brain and to sip the water, holding it in my mouth as long as possible. Afterward they explained that when running down an animal the hunter must continuously compare the condition of his own body with that of the animal, and I had become too focused on the animal.
 

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Thanks again JJ. The thermodynamics of the process is interesting. I wonder if some get to rehydrate in the relay run process. I would love to h e a r the names of the hunters. I don't even know how they make the click.
lol See we humans actually learned some tricks from the coyotes. Although there are no coyotes in the Kalahari I suspect the lion prides use the same technique although more heavily on the ambush rather than sheer run down.
It is amazing what the urge to eat can accomplish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've tracked Kudu for 2 days with a rather serious gun shot wound. They seem to be able to jump and run for much more then a day or so when they have thick bush and plenty of water. They also have a rather small home range and in nearly every case will try to circle around and stay in one area of about a square mile or a bit more. With a number of hunters in my career we have often joked that when tracking a Kudu we should just set the hunter someplace and the PH should keep tracking the bull. In short order the kudu will be tracking the PH and walk him right past the sitting hunter. A chase with a half dozen bushman in open country like this would keep that Kudu running the whole time while the men (with water to drink) could be keeping him moving. Starting a big bull when he came to water means he was already thirsty and may have walked a long way to get there. If this is done in the late morning it's also likely he had a full belly and was going to water to make some new cud.

Kudu are without a question the softest of the big game species. When people talk about tough African game, Kudu absolutely do not fit that mold, they usually crumple from just about any lethal hit pretty quick.

The difference in this Kudu's reaction at the end of the clip may be from the heat and lack of water. Kudu and warthog are very likely two of the most water dependant animals in southern Africa. During a drought they are the bodies you see first laying in the bush. I'll make a guess that this Kudu was started near water and pushed directly away from water. The folding up at the end of the video seems most likely from muscle cramping and dehydration from running for a whole day in hot dry weather without anything to drink.

Having been a runner through school, and been in athletics all my life I know how bad you can cramp up and........ at least to me,..... this Kudu has that appearance at the end, the legs just cramp to the point it cannot go anymore.

To that end, a bullet is much more humane, and I'm not sure that meat would be as good to eat as it would be by shooting. I can't imagine the high performance additives pumping through the heart of that Kudu. I'm sure he had adrenilin and whatever else he could generate going at maximum levels to get pushed to his limit.

I'm quite certain they cannot do this with just any species, or during all seasons. Kudu are selected for this specificly. I'm fairly confident they could not do this with a healthy adult Gemsbok for example! Gemsbok don't have a small home range, and run many miles when spooked. When you jump a herd of gemsbok that have been hunted before they will run out of sight and then some. Herd size is so great that there are way too many eyes, ears, and noses to get close, they live in much more open habitat making spear chucking distances far more difficult.
 

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JJHACK said:
Kudu are without a question the softest of the big game species. When people talk about tough African game, Kudu absolutely do not fit that mold, they usually crumple from just about any lethal hit pretty quick.
Even moreso than moose? Just curious because when I was researching moose hunting I had heard several times that they will pile up in a hurry with a lethal shot and it certainly happened when I filled my tag...it fell like a sack of potatoes.
 

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While I worked as a guide in Alaska we killed a lot of moose. Most seemed to stupid to know they were actually hit. I had a hunter shoot one on the airstrip in Haines Alaska right on the edge of the field. He was using some lightening rod of a rifle, like a 264 mag if I recall properly. The fist shot was long because it was an airfield and as you might guess wide open space. I think it was like 300ish yards. At the shot there was absolutely no reaction he just kept eating. and walking one step every few seconds. So the hunter shot again and the bull looked up our direction. After a few seconds I said I though he was shooting over the bull. So he held a bit lower and shot a 3rd time. At that shot the bull walked quickly a ways and stopped and just looked around. We assumed it was a low shot and spooked him a little bit. We ( I ) decided this guys shooting was suspect so we walked back into the woods and circled around to get directly across the airstrip. We arrived about 100 yards away, maybe less. With my Field glasses I could clearly see blood running down the side of the chest and the bull was chewing it's cud. Another shot into the chest and the bull walked a few yards, then before I could say anything the guy shot it in the head and it dropped. Every bullet hit within the area of the palm of my hand into the chest.

How many moose have walked off after a good shot where the hunter thinks he missed? I don't know but they absorb lead like a block of clay. Moose are not impressed with high velocity little bullets from my experience. ......... well except when placed squarely into the noggin!

The biggest struggle with moose is the locations they choose to die. It seems everytime they fall it's in a tangled mess of alders, a stinky muddy swamp, knee deep salt water, or someplace on the side of a steep side hill. If I never see another dead moose or have to help skin and pack one it will be too soon!
 

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JJHACK said:
The biggest struggle with moose is the locations they choose to die. It seems everytime they fall it's in a tangled mess of alders, a stinky muddy swamp, knee deep salt water, or someplace on the side of a steep side hill. If I never see another dead moose or have to help skin and pack one it will be too soon!
Mine was indeed on a steep hill. Fortunately, it was 75 yards from an access road. :mrgreen:
 

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A fellow I know from work pushes elk like that, over the course of 3-7 miles. He pushes them, until the heard gets tired, then he creeps up and takes his pick. He described steady pressure, but not too much, or you spook them, if you spook them you loose them.

At first I almost didn't believe he could do this, but another fellow I talked to down south described the same hunting technique to me. Of course they finish the elk with a rifle and not a stick.
 
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