Put the cellphone down and start living

Put the cellphone down and start living

That’s right: put that cellphone down. Try it. Put it in a secure place and leave it for a day. What? Then try it for an hour (naps and bedtime don’t count). Still not good?

We have become so adapted (addicted) to our cellphones, laptops and other electronic devices that there’s no way we can survive without them. It has become an artificial appendage to the human body.

We took a trip down to Johnson City, Tennessee a few weeks ago to see friends. Our trip through the Appalachian Mountains with all the colors was breathtaking. I looked over at my passenger (name and relationship withheld to protect me from bodily harm), and there this person was reading an online book — unbelievable.

Even when hunting, it’s hard not to scan through social media or text just to pass the time. The theory that animals can detect electronic pulses from our devices has never been proven by me, as I’ve asked a few animals and could never get an answer.

Just remember God created this earth for us to appreciate and take care of for him.

Following our Africa story, I just leveled an 1,800-pound Livingston eland with Andre’s .375 WinMag.

After pictures were taken, I had the humorous pleasure of watching and filming Hannes and our two trackers loading the eland in the back of the Tacoma, especially when the larger electric winch on the front was broken and they had to rely on a little winch on the rack to pull it up the tailgate ramp. I have about eight minutes of amazing video.

We did manage to get back to camp and stayed to watch the camp skinner work on the massive beast.

After dinner, even though we were all exhausted, we tried again to night stalk for my wife Taryn’s bushbuck. We were beginning to lose hope to finding the crafty buck, but we did see one 28-inch nyala bull that night.

The next day, May 4, we went to their souvenir shop. They bring a lot of hand-crafted African items from the market in Johannesburg to the camp because the city has become too dangerous to shop.

We bought some wood carvings and some table runners for the cabin.

After lunch we went to see two places where they had dammed the river — one large one built by the government and one smaller one by Kuvhima for the camp and the animals.

As we walked, a guide pointed out some large, round tracks in the mud made by the local hippos and some fresh bushbuck tracks. I asked Adam to identify a different set of tracks, and as he studied them, he pointed to Taryn and laughingly said, “Madam.”

So on our (supposed) last night, we decided to try one last shot at finding the elusive bushbuck. J.J., one of the other guides, joined us. As we drove through the bush, we were sharing stories (imagine that) when Hannes whispered, “Hush,” and pointed toward a big female bushbuck, which was followed closely by a male.

Taryn readied the 22/250 on the rail and waited for the male to turn broadside through a very small opening.

At the crack of the rifle, the bushbuck leaped straight up and took off, crashing through the brush. I later got an earful for whispering “take him” in her ear.

Adam, J.J. and Hannes went into the brush to find the buck — something you probably wouldn’t catch me doing in Africa.

They found good blood. It began to dwindle as the tracks led into the “thick stuff.” The decision was made to come back in the morning to resume tracking him. Needless to say, Taryn didn’t get much sleep.

At the beginning of this article, we talked about what it would be like without our electronic devices. Imagine this: two weeks in Africa with no television, no news, no Facebook, no agenda except to hunt and eat. Closest thing to paradise for these two adventurers. Brought us closer to God also. Try it sometime.

Love y’all.

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