Close-up Of Cape Buffalo Caked In Mud
Cape Buffalo (AKA "black death") - Bigstock
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I have posited elsewhere that Craig Boddington is this generation’s Jack O’Connor. I know Craig would push back against that claim. I know this because he has written more than once, including in the book that is the focus of this interview (BuffaloII!), that Jack O’Connor is the greatest gunwriter of all time.

However, like the great Jack O’Connor, Craig has caused many of us to dream of hunting in far-flung areas across North America and around the world.

Craig’s amazing hunting exploits and writing have netted him many, many accolades. Possibly the most prestigious accolade came in 2017 when he was presented with hunting’s equivalent to a Nobel prize, the Weatherby Hunting and Conservation Award.

Listen in as Craig describes the motivation behind writing his latest book.


[Video and photos courtesy of Frances Arnold and Brian Arnold.]

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  1. Michael, I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Col. Boddington. However, I have read him for years and enjoy his television appearances. He seems like a genuine, modest gentleman. I envy his hunting experience. I first read Jack O’Connor when I was 13 or 14 years old. He’s the reason I’ve owned a .270 Winchester all of my adult life and a Winchester Model 70 is my favorite rifle. This even though Elmer Keith called the .270 a “damned adequate coyote round.” I read Keith too. Both were good. Just at loggerheads over some things. Anyway, to compare O’Connor to Boddington is appropriate. Look forward to reading, and gifting, his book.

    • Got to met him while working a booth at the Wild Sheep Foundation.
      Super nice guy. As is his wife and daughter.

      Curious, have you read any Capstick? Now there is an adventure writer!

      • Tom, a whole section in my bookshelves devoted to Capstick. He once said something to the effect that when he needs money he just writes another book.

    • I agree with Tom and you about Craig (and Donna!). He has been a willing mentor to someone (me) who will never be in his league. I think that’s when you know someone is a gentleman or gentlewoman; they do things for others who cannot repay them.

  2. Comparing Boddington to Jack O’Connor is literary blasphemy.

    O’Connor, although he was the typical cold studious professor (which he was before he became a gun writer) had a sense of humor in his writing and was perhaps the most honest gun writer of his era in a time when payola was at its extreme from the Gun Industry.

    At the opposite extreme was the blow hard uneducated hill jack Elmer Keith, his arch rival, whom he egged at every opportunity in rebuttals to sell more magazines. Keith was the one who beat the big bore drums for years versus O’Connor who used the .270 on most all of his hunting except for the really big dangerous game like Tiger and Elephant. Most people looked forward each month to see both men cut each down when reading their rival magazines. The test of time proved old Jack correct and Kieth a abject liar who took credit for a lot of inventions he had zero to do with as well as his accepting and keeping gun gifts (Jack always sent them back) from two custom gunsmiths pushing their wildcat calibers that he praised to the heavens even though none did anything most factory cartridges could do just as well at the time.

    Kieth’s 650 yard shot with a .44 special was the bullshitting story that went way too far over the top and his fellow gun writers did something seldom seen in the corrupt gun rags of the time and that was they criticized him to no end. The criticism was so scathing this was one time Jack did not even have to enter the fray.

    Old Jack even wrote a book called “Confessions of a Gun Writer” where he exposed all the graft and corruption in the gun industry and even wrote of Keith by name. O’Connor traced down some of Keith Stories to the people mentioned in Keith’s bullshitting sagas that witnessed his exploits and the witness all said the same thing and that was that Kieth was an abject liar and it never happened that way, especially Keith’s story of .270 bullets bouncing off of a mountain goat and Keith having to beat it over the head to kill it with the butt stock of the rifle. In reality Keith was not the guide that day but had been hired only as chief cook and bottle washer and was lounging in camp that day doing what he did best and that was slinging non stop all the bullshitting stories that he could conjure up.

    Getting back to Boddington he seems to come out with a new book every other week, all mostly copies of his previous tome , which drone on like the humming of bees that ate too much fermented honey. If you have trouble falling asleep at night only a few pages of any of his books is the absolute cure for insomnia. Each new one seems to be more boring than the last.

    • You would be an expert on lying and bullshitting, herr vlad, the fascist. You’ve yet to tell the truth.

      • And the only thing you post is bitching. No historical content to support any view as you seem to have none. No critiques on guns (your not mechanically inclined), No literal reviews of any books ( you read none), No knowledge of any gun writers or their history or even what they wrote or believed in (you would need to be handcuffed to be drug into a library.

        Until you post something useful, meaningful or technical your posts only make you look like the uneducated hill jack that you are, slopping down booze, eating pizza and spreading rectum gas while screaming and howling at the moon shining over your out house. You always seem to howl the loudest during the full moon (current phase of moon)

        You are a looser JWM

        • Vlad, the full moon was six days ago. If you spent any time in the hunting fields you would have known that.

      • jwm, why even bother. We all know Vlad has never read O’Connor, Keith or Boddington. He’s also never carried a rifle in the back country. Or a firearm of any kind anywhere. He reads articles and the comments of those that may actually know what they’re talking about. Then he jumps on Google, reads Cliff Notes and spins it into bullshit and posts it. His opinions are about as worth as much a fart outside in a high wind.

        • No Gabby Gadsden your almost as ignorant as JWM. Do you think I would have known about the Keith/O’Connor feud of over a half century ago or the contents of the book “Confessions of Gun Writer” if I had never read it. Really even a mentally challenged person is way ahead of your line of thinking.

        • GF. vlad is a true believer. A fascist right down to the marrow in his bones. He salivates about running tanks over law abiding Americans.

          He is the one that we must call out at every turn. Fascism cannot be allowed in a civilized nation. And vlad is a fascist cancer in our society.

        • Vlad, I thought you had a doctorate in “ass of myself.” Taught it in ivory towers of higher learning.

        • Well, Vlad. You would be the one to know about mentally challenged. You obviously have a lifetime of experience with it. What is it they say about the stupid? They’re to stupid to know they are. That’s you. 😆

      • To Gabby

        “””””””””””””””””””””Vlad, the full moon was six days ago. If you spent any time in the hunting fields you would have known that.””””””””””””””””””””””

        The full moon started 6 days ago and if you were a “real hunter” you would know a full moon does not simply vanish overnight. So do not get silly trying to play one upmanship. Only people who know they are inferior do that. Besides I do not hunt much anymore anyway, old men are bothered much more by the cold than they were when they were young. You would also know that too if you were a real hunter.

        • You’re not an old man vlad. I’ve been to your facebook. You’re no more than 30. Again, always, you lie you fascist.

  3. The last time I was in Africa I passed Craig’s group pushing their jeep out of a mud hole. I pulled a perfect stalk on an old and large Cape Buffalo wearing my African camo and when I was close enough to touch him I let him have it with my 10mm. He walked off eating then fell over dead not 20 yards away. All the meat went to the Villagers, and Craig, when he arrived had to go off and shoot Kudu instead.

    • The last time I was in Africa I almost got raped by a baboon, then I realized it was Bill Clinton disguised as black face.

  4. Craig Boddington is one of my heroes. I’ve always tricky enjoyed reading his articles. Liked the one when he went to Australia culling cattle and burros I believe it was. Craig liked the 06 back then but said he saw a big difference between it and a .300 Win Mag. I agree with that but I still was using an 06 and .243 when I quit hunting. Them two calibers and a 12 gauge pump did everything I never needed doing. Hunting wise that is.

    • Hah hah hah,,,,tricky? never? Hey I proof readed before I posted , must need glasses

  5. I’m not a hunter. Perhaps some day I will go on a hunt. Hunting is a great way to practice conservation. And I’m glad it’s helps people who live in areas of the world, where regular tourist dollars never go.

    Most people are ignorant about the economics of hunting where it happens all over the world. Villagers and other small rural communities need the Hunters.

    • Detroit is a good place to start hunting, New Orleans, Memphis are pretty good too. Then you can move on to bigger creatures in Africa.

      • to Cameron A
        Thank you for providing an outstanding example why the founders wrote the Second Amendment.
        Please continue giving us more examples why all law abiding citizens need Arms. So they can protect themselves from people like you. And protect them for the Liberal government that you would vote for.

  6. ‘The Truth About Guns’ is a very odd name for a website dedicated to gay men who love getting tuggers at random truck stops.

  7. I know Mr. Boddington needs to get paid, books are very challenging to write, good, informative, entertaining, researched books, anyway (I’ve published three, one in the works, and more than 10,000 articles, so I have an idea). But this is priced about triple what it ought to be, if he wants to sell a lot of them. Such is the world of independent publishing and minimal distribution. I want to read Buffalo! and Buffalo! II, I’m beyond intrigued, as the Cape buffalo is the one African animal I’m keen to hunt the most. But, the link provided at least, and Amazon, have these priced way outta whack. I’ll look elsewhere for a better deal on this and earlier works, and I do indeed admire what Mr. Boddington has accomplished, as well as his craft at putting his experiences into words. No easy task—to do well.

    • RidgeRunner,

      You would think prices would be coming down with so many DIY independent publishing platforms, no?!

      • I think it’s more about recouping the (huge) costs of printing, and even postage, both of which are hammering the publishing business in general, and without scale the independents get hammered even more. I’m no fan of e-books (one of my books began being offered as an e-book a few years back, sales surged nicely but the royalty checks keep getting smaller. The book is being used by a lot of university programs in the field, so students are buying it as an e-book, their preference it seems). I also strongly support intellectual property rights, and believe creators of content in general should be protected and well-compensated. That said, speaking only of the link here and on Amazon, at $100 plus, this is priced too high to bring in the casual reader. A signed copy means nothing to me, though I am sure some people appreciate. I hear it devalues books if it’s personalized, some people don’t want the Merry Christmas Aunt Martha, but could provide provenance for really famous or notorious people. I’ll look around, I imagine I can find less expensive Boddington to read, the comments here and the interview have made me want to read more.

  8. Craig Boddington is one of my favorite authors and I was fortunate enough to meet him and his wife last year at the SCI convention. I thoroughly enjoyed his latest book on hunting buffalo so much so that I am planning a buffalo hunt for 2021 and/or 2022. Great interview and looking forward to Craig’s next book.

  9. I’ve got zero problem with hunting of any kind, but reading a book about hunting Cape buffalo sounds about as interesting as hunting feral Jersey cows, unless the hunting was being done with magnum revolvers under 50 yards.

    • I agree with you on that one. Most of the old time hunters (1900 etc) said hunting buffaloes was about as dangerous as shooting a cow in the barn.

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