As you might not be able to tell from the above video, Davey Hughes (a.k.a., Swazi Man) is a hunter. Who got himself into a bit of a pickle hunting bears in Alaska. www.times-age.co.nz offers an ursine-related excerpt from Untamed – The Extraordinary Adventures of the Swazi Man. “However, much like a movie, and a bad one at that, the baddie returned. The sow left her cubs in the scrub and was coming back for more. This time she meant business; you could see it in her small pig-like eyes. I realised now I’d have to do something. The adrenaline returned in a rush. Some days at the office you don’t require an EpiPen shot to get the system going. When she was within 15m I was ready to fire. Closer and closer. This was it. No turning back. It’s her or us . . .
Then, as if the gods of Alaska were looking out for us, her male cub came out from the undergrowth, right underneath her, and collided with her. No, this couldn’t be happening. That cub got one hell of a hiding. We heard her laying into him in the low scrub as she chased him, caught him, then chased him again.
It didn’t take the three of us long to decide it was for the best that we actually got the hell out of Dodge. We boulder-hopped out of that creek pretty damn quick. It was just on dark, not the best time to be walking out of a bear-laden creek.
So, a bullet dodged. Well, claws and such. Another day at the office, as Swazi Man would say with characteristic swagger (if not swag). But wait! Hughes reckons his decision not to shoot the attacking bears—during two separate charges—teaches us something about armed self-defense.
The lesson I learned? When your finger’s on the trigger – or a decision has to be made, whether it’s to do with an animal, an employee or a family member – you can sometimes just lower your rifle. You don’t have to pull the trigger. You can talk.
Sometimes people shoot far too quickly. Go with your gut. Nine times out of 10 you’ll find there’s time to sit down and come to an arrangement, agreement or negotiation that benefits everyone. Something that surely beats hurting someone or making them upset. Or worse, having them sue your ass.
New Zealand sounds a lot more interesting than I thought, despite Lord of the Rings. Or not. In any case, is there any merit in what Hughes has to say on this score?