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HUNTING IN THE MOUNTAINS AND JUNGLES OF NEPAL

Peter Byrne

Past readers of Peter Byrne books know about his early hunting days as a tea planter in India and his exploits in Nepal hunting big game. We’ve also learned of his enthusiasm for the adventures of Jim Corbett. In Hunting in the Mountains and Jungles of Nepal, Byrne’s latest oeuvre, he picks from among some of the seventy-two shikars he conducted in the 50s and 60s for tigers and other Nepalese game to bring us what he considers his most memorable hunts.

Most tiger hunts were conducted via elephant back, from a machan, or by beaters pushing the quarry, but Byrne feels that the tiger hunts conducted on foot were by far the most memorable . . . for a good reason. They are extremely dangerous. He found that only very few clients dared to go after a tiger on foot. We read about the three most exciting tiger hunts Byrne ever conducted on foot, which includes the time he guided internationally famous big-game hunter James Mellon for his big cat.

Of course, not all clients were brave, and we learn of what can and did go wrong for Byrne. Besides the cowards who would not enter the tall grass even on the back of an elephant, there were the fools who got lost. There was even one intellectually challenged individual who in the heat of the moment loaded a Tootsie Roll into his bolt action instead of a bullet.

Peter did his own hunting as well as guiding, and once he and a colleague tried to run down a leopard with dogs. Everything seemed to be going well until they ran into a tiger, and the tables turned on them. The mighty hunters became the tiger’s prey. These true tales from the jungles and hill country of India and Nepal are really quite chilling.

Byrne also retells the interesting story of how Robert Ruark was not hoodwinked by a crooked Indian outfitter who had placed a frozen leopard in a tree for his client to shoot. Ruark had to flee India in a hurry afterward, but we’ll leave it up to you to read the story to find out what happened. At a fancy party in Bel Air, California, Peter confronts the truth about the biggest tiger ever: a thirteen-foot monster.

Finally, he tells us about a client who brought along African PH Tony Archer and even a Wakamba tracker from Kenya to help with the hunt. If all this is not enough excitement, Byrne concludes with two additional hunts with James Mellon for water buffaloes in Assam and a high Himalayan hunt for a goral and serow.

Tiger hunting is gone, and books on tiger hunting are now rarely published. Strangely enough, we feel this is one of the best on the subject . . . and it may very well be the last.

ISBN : 978-1-57157-366-7

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