Fieldsports Britain - Tropical trout and a gold medal goat

Uploaded by fieldsportschannel on 18.04.2012

Welcome to Fieldsports Britain, coming to you this week from Kenya.
Coming up:
I go fishing on a river where the evening rise is spectacular.
Think you are pretty accurate with a gun? A Maasai warrior teaches me how to knock down
an antelope with a stick at it.
First: I want to find out more about one of my favourite Kenyan sporting quarries, the
In 1905, the maverick Africa pioneer, Colonel Ewart Grogan, who had recently walked from
the Cape to Cairo, ordered 40,000 baby trout from Loch Leven in Scotland, which he delivered
to the rivers and lakes around Mount Kenya. Quite an undertaking. Since then, others have
introduced other trout to the area. I want to see what these fish are up to today, so
let's start like Colonel Grogan started more than a century ago.
I am in the town of Naru Moro, just at the foot of Mount Kenya at a trout farm.
Is it easy to keep trout here in Kenya?
Yeah, it is easy, but you see this fish is a lot of money and most Kenyans cannot rear
it because is needs a lot of money to keep, money in terms of feed, in terms of workforce,
it demands a lot of work.
Is this the only trout farm?
I think this is the biggest trout farm in Kenya and the second is a government-owned
And are these special Mount Kenyan trout?
Yes, this is Mount Kenyan trout, rainbow trout, I'm told it is the sweetest fish around.
This trout farm also has a popular restaurant and takeaway, located in a tree. It's on the
Trans African Highway and worth a stop if you happen to be following Colonel Grogan's
footsteps. In a hot country where the electricity supply is unreliable and meat goes off quickly,
the best way to keep your lunch fresh is to keep it alive.
The biggest problem facing wild trout in a country where the population growth is terrifying
is pollution, extraction and poaching. This is the Naro Moru river. I am less than 10
miles from its source on Mount Kenya. It is too polluted here to sustain life and within
a few miles it dries up altogether.
But I am not here to moan. I am here to fish. Quite the most stylish way to find what are
left of Colonel Grogan's trout is by chopper.
If you want to go helifishing on Mount Kenya, contact Tropicair
I'm actually going to go fishing later in the programme. First, it's David on the Fieldsports
Channel news stump.
This is Fieldsports Britain News
The US Fish and Wildlife Service say that crushed rhino horn powder is now more expensive
than the American price of cocaine. It fetches more than £30,000 per kilogram in Asia, a
price that threatens to wipe out the world's estimated 28,000 remaining animals. These
animals were filmed in Lake Nakuru National Park two weeks ago. Since then, two have been
The South African environment ministry may introduce 'end-user' certificates for rhino
hunters. It says applications for hunting permits will only be accepted from bona fide
hunters from countries that ensure horns are being used as hunting trophies, not traditional
medicines. It is expected to turn down hunting applications from Vietnam.
Back in Kenya, a lioness was killed and dismembered in the Maasai Mara area at the beginning of
April. Around 10 young Maasai warriors speared the animal to death and cut off its tail and
front legs as part of a tribal ceremony. Rangers found the trophies, arrested one suspect while
the whereabouts of the others is still not known. Some 16 lions have been lost in the
area since November last year, around 1 per cent of the total Kenyan population. No arrests
have been made.
The Kenya Wildlife Service has released figures about its war on the trade in ivory and bushmeat,
including zebra meat. In the last week of March alone, KWS officers shot dead six poachers,
including three in Tsavo East National Park. They made more than 30 further arrests and
recovered five guns including AK47s, a G3 rifle and more than 300 rounds of ammunition
and poisoned arrows. A KWS spokesman says: "The fight against wildlife crime continues."
And finally, a hyena attack that injured three people who were asleep in a donkey cart in
Tanzania has been blamed by locals on witchcraft. One resident said cases of people being sent
hyenas to attack them were prevalent.
You are now up to date with Fieldsports Britain News. Stalking the stories, fishing for facts.
Thank you David - more English beech tree than African baobab.
Now, Kenya may have an embarrassing bushmeat poaching problem but there is one group of
people who are allowed to hunt.
Being a lion to Leitato's warrior is strangely terrifying and also superb. If that's how
he hunts lion I wish I could too, but lion hunting by anyone except Maasai is illegal
in Kenya. Instead, he's going to give me a lesson in clubbing antelope to death. First
stop is the drug store, in this case a thorn bush called Acacia nilotica.
We prepare ourselves to face the lions that we take some natural drugs and herbs. This
is to try to check the warriors and to give motivation to the warriors for then whenever
we see the lions because, as I think you know, the lions are big animals, so the warriors
also must have to prepare themselves for that. Let's say we spot the lions in a specific
bush, then we start singing the courageous and motivation song, so the drugs that we
have been using, the natural drugs we have been using from the bush, now come in to effect.
Also when you kill the lion you can also win many girlfriends. You can also become an important
Maasai warrior after you kill a lion. Also, you can become the king of that group after
you have succeeded to kill a lion because, when we are in that competition, we don't
point that so-and-so you tried to spear a lion. No it's a competition where you all
go and try all your level best, all your level best to spear the lion first. More than the
other warriors. Then that time you are declared the winner, and on that day we make a lot
of celebration, dancing with our girlfriends, with our fathers for that day will be a big
day for you.
I have to ask have you got a lot of girlfriends?
Yeah, me? Now I have five girlfriends.
Perfect. Did you kill the lion?
Yeah, I killed the lion.
OK, so you are really on your way up.
You can see also from the mane. In our tradition you are not allowed to wear anything from
the lion if you are not the killer of the lion.
I feel a bit like the 1960s British politician who goes on television to take LSD: "It's
not doing much more for me than a glass of good claret". Next, I have a lesson in how
to use the throwing stick.
First you balance the stick in your hand. Leitato shows me foot position that is just
like using a shotgun. And like a double-barrelled 12-bore, Leitato recommends carrying two sticks.
He shows just how lethal sticks can be when he aims at his Maasai robe or 'shukar'. My
attempt wouldn't knock down a small rat - but I'm learning.
Now the exciting bit - the hunting, though for Leitato this is no more than pest control.
Eating game meat is taboo for the Maasai. He feeds it to his dogs.
Normally Leitato uses his stick with deadly effect on game and small animals that come
to close while he is cattle herding. This morning we are going to see what we can walk
up. Lurking in the thorn bushes is a dikdik, one of Kenyan's smallest antelope. A group
of children have seen it. Leitato at once enlists them as beaters. They start at one
end of the scrub and thorn while we wait at the other. Leitato is not convinced that the
animal is still there, so we soon call them off.
The next animals to cross our path is a large family of mongoose. Leitato is quick on his
We are not short of game here, but it all seems to have learnt the effective range of
a stick. First we sneak up on more dikdik. Another couple of hundred yards and there
is an impala.
The animal crossings over the muddy stream beds show the numbers of game here.
And the drugs are still working. Leitato's shot at a giraffe is ambitious.
At the end of the walk round, it has been fun but Leitato's dogs will go hungry. I have
to ask him whether he reckons people like me will be able to go hunting in Kenya.
What do you think about tourists coming here to hunt? Do you think that would work or not
work in Kenya?
No, I think that one will not work here in Kenya.
It works everywhere else.
Yes, but here in Kenya no, not allowed.
It's not allowed, but could it work?
You get 12,000 dollars for a buffalo and you have got herds of 400 buffalo out there.
No, we don't want that. Me I can say yes, that one is not good, because it will not
It's been fascinating and I am glad I have learnt a new skill to add to my armoury. Look
out the rabbits back at home.
For Leitato, it is all about cattle and the defence of cattle, before you ask him to defend
your herd the Maasai belief set is that their god says they own all the cattle in the world.
Can be a drawback.
Now, I'm off to the bush to go fishing.
We are after mud fish, which is appropriate, because recent rains have coloured the Telek
River here in the Maasai Mara. My guide Reuben is not confident about our chances.
Reuben is using the time-honoured method of stick, string and hook with meat on.
Fishing here has its dangers. More people die in Africa from attacks by these guys than
any other mammal bar humans.
Here's half the reason it's not easy to catch fish here. The other half is the recent rains,
making the river too muddy to catch mudfish. The mud also makes it hard to drive from river
to river. So here is a short guide to getting yourself out of a hole, Maasai style.
All too soon it's time to pack up, leave the torrid plains of the Maasai Mara, and fly
back up north to the long, cool, English summer afternoon that is Mount Kenya and the Aberdares.
For Colonel Grogan's trout, you pays your money and you takes your choice. Either it's
a long walk or a helicopter up Mount Kenya where you can be in with the chance of a 20lber.
Or you do what I do, pay 50 US dollars for a park ticket plus 5 dollars for a fishing
permit and drive into the Aberdares national park.
The signs are good as I get to the Chania river. There's another bloke fishing. He has
an audience too. And there's that most discerning of anglers, a fish eagle.
So we are here, 10,000 feet above sea level, sweltering, actually apparently burnt out
landscape. This more than reminds me of the book Salmon Fishing in the Yemen where they
try and release salmon in to a Yemeni Wadi, but this is the centre of the great dream
to bring trout to Kenya and I am going to try and catch one.
There are more reasons this is a special park. Many of Kenya's parks are open grassland.
This one is high hills, forest and moorland. It is the first of Kenya's national parks
to be fenced all the way round, protecting it from development, especially the rivers
which, like it or not, provide Nairobi with water. And the British know the Aberdares
best because 50 years ago this year, our Princess Elizabeth was here at the Treetops lodge when
she heard the news that her father, the King, had died at Sandringham.
The fishing is surprisingly similar to fishing a Scottish moorland stream - but the highland
cattle are more deadly. According to one fishing friend, the only fly you need is a size 8
marabou coachman, fished wet - that's an ordinary coachman but tied with a white fluffy marabou
stork feather as its wing, to give it an East African twist. It's not as unusual as you
might think. More than half the fishing flies sold in the world are made in Kenya. Visit
The fish are here, and they are beautiful to watch, but the water is crystal clear so
I might as well be a herd of hippopotamus.
We fish for a few miles up the Chania River - and then my local help hears something that
makes him nervous.
So we fish back down again, just to show we aren't afraid of old laughing-boy hyena.
It is not just the hyenas that are closing in. The weather is too. I don't recommend
you do what I did which was travel thousands of miles from the UK for a day's trout fishing
in the Aberdares where you don't catch anything. But I did get to feel one of Colonel Grogan's
Loch Leven trout on the end of my line and that is worth the visit.
Now it's time to slip away from Kenya and head for Wales where Team Wild TV is hunting
goats in the mountains.
[Roar of stag]
We're in Snowdonia, north Wales. It's phase two of my goal to get some of the UK's biggest
trophy specimens. We've come to this stunning part of the country for goats, big goats.
Guiding me today is Owen Beardsmore of Cervus UK who is pretty grateful we weren't here
earlier in the week.
Did you hear what the farmer was saying? Last week they had all the snow up here and we
have had three days of horrendous rain and this is the first decent day.
You're a decent outfitter so I knew you would get it organised.
Not often I can prescribe good weather, but let's hope we've got some today.
We head up the valley from where we are going to have to walk, probably vertically and possibly
for quite a while. We scan the Welsh mountains and Owen tells me a little bit more about
these hardy feral animals.
It's a feral goat and has been at liberty for over 100 years. There's quite a few stories
about how they got here: they escaped from a farm, they were let go from a farm originally,
and the area we're in there's about 250 of which we're looking for a good quality representative
old billy which hopefully sometime during today we will be able to find. As long as
the weather doesn't come in we should be OK.
They seem to be mixing. There are a lot of sheep here as well. They seem to co-habit
quite peacefully then?
Yes, they keep themselves to themselves. The sheep don't cause any damage. They are meant
to be here. They belong to the farms. The goats stay on the tops in the summer and then
come down in the winter and that's when they cause all the damage.
The numbers are controlled to protect grazing and to reduce the amount of damage to the
dividing dry stone walls. All you need is a herd of goats jumping the wall in the same
spot and suddenly the whole lot comes down. For this special quarry species I've brought
something a little bit special.
OK we're up in the welsh hills, what toy have you brought to play with this time?
OK. Don't be scared, OK? This is a Haenel RS8 sniper rifle. Now you did tell me we could
be shooting over reasonably long distances so I said to my friends at Viking Arms who
normally send me Ruger rifles and Merkel rifles that I might need something with a little
bit extra legs, so they said they had just the thing for me. So what do you think to
that? It is 5.8kg unscoped and then Zeiss very kindly sent me the largest scope in the
history of the world which is this.
That is a large one.
Zeiss Victory Diavari FL 6-24x72 which also looks as though it weighs about 5kg on its
I've got a cunning plan. We'll spot the goats at about 100 metres, drop back to about 400
and you can shoot it, OK?
OK. Well hopefully we are going to get as close as we can, as we do like to make sure
of our kills. It's not what you would call a traditional mountain rifle.
No? Well you are not the traditional kind of guy.
No, I think you are probably right.
So let's see what we can do with it.
OK, let's go.
Owen finds a group of billies which he tells me we need to get above, which of course means
climbing. Am I regretting bringing such a big boy's rifle? Not at all. You can't beat
a bit of fresh mountain air and some strenuous exercise.
You know, I should be used to this by now. Every time I climb a mountain I get half way
up and think 'you need to lose some weight', and here we are again, onwards and upwards.
When we do stop for a quick breather, Owen shows us what the goats have been grazing
This is what they've been feeding on, these little berries. They go black in the end.
They're really nice when they are ripe.
They have nipped off nearly all the tops of these bushes. I take it they feed on the berries
and they start on the grass later.
Absolutely. Just always picking the best feed source. Anyway let's get ourselves up there
that was a good quick break we had.
Owen has a spot and reports back. There are two goats making their way up the valley and
one below us. It sounds like one is a medal.
He's just over that ridge. If we go up to this top the wind's great for us because we
are above him and we have got a nice safe shot down. You should be able to take him.
He's lying down so you may have to wait a minute until he stands up. We've got plenty
of time. OK, let's go.
It looks like a gold medal, is that all right?
Is that all right? of course that's all right. My goat is lying up in the heather and all
we can see are some horns rising up like Harley Davidson handlebars.
He can't be more than 50 yards away, but there is just a ridge. We've got to wait for him
to stand up, but he is a big goat.
We wait and wait. This goat is in no hurry to show himself. When he does stand he is
face on and I am not happy with the shot. I can tell the heather is going to be a real
hindrance today and I am going to have to be patient. As he moves, another one, two,
three goats rise from the heather. A couple have broken horns and would make good cull
animals, but all in good time. Let's cross over that particular bridge once I've got
my medal. All in a row, the older male at the front finally shows me a clean shot. He
is down and the others haven't gone far, staying with the dominant male. Owen and I discuss
the other animals. I'm going to take out the two with broken horns. The heather means an
engine room shot is not safe and at this distance I'm confident in taking a spine shot. Both
goats drop where they stand.
Oh what a cracker. Well done mate. Congratulations.
It's absolutely huge. What a beautiful animal.
Got a really good cape on him as well.
Actually it is not as thick as it looks. By the time you go through it you're right down
to the skin already. You can see here the exit wound. Actually that is the entry wound.
It's very difficult to make out on these exactly where to shoot them. So if you imagine there
is its shoulder, that's the bottom of its chest and that's the top of its back, so although
it looks half way up its body, it's just in the right spot.
Want to see how old he is. Obviously with a goat he doesn't cast, so you get the growth,
one year, two, three, four...
Hold on, one year, two, three, four, five, six...
Six, I would say.
What a beautiful animal. Now you told me they were a bit smelly, but actually having followed
you up the mountain all day this smells quite pleasant.
Now the second one, this is quite a bigger one. Obviously he's got one broken off.
Why is it important to take these ones out?
The problem you get is when they start rutting they are fighting each other, they don't connect
uniformly which can cause a lot of damage to the other billies.
So it's like an unfair advantage.
It doesn't necessarily kill them, but what they end up getting is like fly strike. It's
like sheep. They die a really horrible slow death. So it's a good one to take out. Any
of the broken ones we try to take out.
How old: one year, two, three, four years old. Still smells as old as his dad though.
Now this one smells nasty, nastier than the other one. Now this one obviously didn't present
me with a heart and lung shot so as you can see here I took him in the spine and he went
straight down.
But the bilberry was up to there Ian so you did well there. It was a lethal shot and he
dropped on the spot, so well done.
Right so let's get him back up then.
See if we can find the next one.
Same story with this one, look. So it must take some force to break these off.
Really thick at the base, not as long as maybe you would have thought given those bases,
what, four or five years old?
Yes, one year, two, three, four, five. A year older than the other one. Exactly the same
again. Couldn't get his heart and lungs, so went high in the shoulder took him through
the shoulder and through the neck this time.
What grain bullet were you using Ian?
185 grain. You told me they don't like to go down so with a .308. Normally I would only
shoot up to 150 maybe up to 165-grain bullet, but seeing that I knew with your skills we
would be getting close 185-grain Lapua Megas have certainly done the job today.
Certainly have, well done, good shooting.
Let's get them down.
Before the steep descent just time for a quick picture with all three billy goats gruff.
So we have had a fantastic day, we've done a lot of climbing, we got the trophy we were
looking for and we have taken two with broken horns. Now the hard work begins. We have got
to get all of this down there.
[Roar of stag]
This has been Fieldsports Britain. Motivational, courageous and unremittingly British.