Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bob And Old # 52

Bob Bledsoe took up big game hunting later in life than most people I know. With a ranch and cattle company to run and a family to raise time was always an issue. We became acquainted while I was trying to ferret out a place to hunt Whitetails in North Eastern Colorado many years ago. As a result of that introduction his son Grant, then 18, acquired what would become the first Legend prototype and Bob's interest in that process kindled a spark that I think even surprised himself. With his interest peeked Bob placed an order for a Classic 375 H&H, a bold step for someone that only shot at coyotes on the ranch. Still unsure of just what to use it for I suggested he speak with another close friend of mine and shortly there after Bob arranged his first Safari with John Oosthuizen of Hunters and Guides Safaris ( John planned the first of what where to become many Safaris to take place in Tanzania, as the saying goes the rest was history.

Over the years Bob and his wife Becky have shared many campfires with John and together the three of them have covered most of southern and eastern Africa. In the ensuing years Bob complimented his 375 H&H with a Legend 300 H&H and continued to hone his skills with these rifles. Both rifles have led to taking the Big 5 again with Johns expertise and knowledge on each and every trip.

Bob, Becky and John have just returned from Mozambique where John pulled together yet another memorable safari. From the first trip Bob immediately fell in love with Buffalo hunting and over the years has crawled through swamps, tip toed into thick jest and followed John where ever John felt the next big buffalo bull might me hiding. This trip was to be no exception. Old # 52, as Bob now refers to the 375 and the 300 have returned to the shop for a well deserved strip, clean and oil.  This occurs about every third safari. The stocks and metal have taken on that unmistakeable patina that only comes with time and sweaty hands. Each dent, ding and scratch representing a memory and place. As a Rifle-Maker there is no greater satisfaction than seeing your work from the past re-enter the shop in this condition.

                                                           I tip my hat to the team.

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