In 1959, aged 20, Ron Thomson joined the Rhodesian (now Zimbabwean) Department of National Parks and Wildlife management as its first cadet game ranger. Over the following 24 years he rose through the ranks to become the Provincial Game Warden-in-charge of Hwange National Park, one of Africa's biggest and most prestigious game reserves.
Big game hunting was his passion and, throughout his service, he was given incredible hunting opportunities.
He once calculated that he has spent more than 25 000 hours in pursuit of Africa's elephants, buffaloes and black rhinos; the reckoning being determined ONLY from the time he and his tracker picked up the spoor of the animal he was hunting, to the time he pulled the trigger and killed it (or captured it). That equates to 5.7 years of tracking and shooting big game animals, from dawn to dusk, every day. This does not include the time he has spent hunting predators: stock-killing lions, leopards and hyenas. And it does not include the time he spent getting to the spoor in the morning, and returning to his vehicle after the kill.
Authorities (like Malcolm Gladwell) say that nobody can call themselves an 'expert', in any pursuit, until they have spent a minimum of 10 000 hours, at the coal face, gaining experience!
Over a seven year period the author captured 140 black rhinos, also using conventional hunting methods - but with only a dart gun in his hands. Furthermore, the weapon was loaded with a single dart filled with drugs that took 30 minutes to bring the rhino to its knees. Even when properly darted, therefore, the rhino had a lot of time to take revenge on the hunter before it became comatose. And there was never a second game ranger with a heavy calibre rifle to back him up. His average darting range in the Zambezi Valley thickets was between 6 and 13 yards. He always went in alone! The author's accounts of these hunts represent some of the greatest big game hunting stories ever told.
He also commanded, and led, the three hunters of the culling team that removed 2 500 elephants and 300 hippos from the Gonarezhou National Park in the early 1970s. Together the three hunters, acting in unison, and using military NATO-7.62 mm self-loading rifles, brought down herd after herd of elephants, each one numbering between 30 and 50 animals, in the incredible time of just 60 seconds.
Every shot fired was a brain shot and they were delivered at the unbelievable range of between 3 and 10 yards; averaging, probably, 5 yards.
None of these 'culled' animals are included in the author's hunting score!
Another of his passions was flying and hunting peregrine falcons. He was the first person in Africa to breed these raptors in captivity.
Ron Thomson must surely, therefore, be one of the most experienced African big game hunters alive today.
His life story, in a series of six big game hunting memoir books, is now complete.
(No.1) GOD CREATED MAN THE HUNTER;
Each of these books stands on its own merit whilst remaining part of the series. They are all published in collector's copy format and in limited editions (1000 copies only). Each book in the series is numbered and signed by the author and the purchaser's name is inscribed in calligraphy on the collector's page. The book MAHOHBOH is a 'companion book' for the series. These seven books all have matching dust jackets.
This will probably be the last chance that ANYBODY will have to obtain a series of quality books - signed by the author - that tell the story of a highly experienced colonial game ranger/big game hunter who lived in an era when Africa was truly wild and when the manner of his hunting the continent's big game animals is what hunters of today can only dream about.
He has just completed ELEPHANT 'CONSERVATION' (sub-titled - The Facts & the Fiction) – a 'must read' for all who are concerned about the future of Africa's wildlife and wild places.
He has published fourteen books, eleven of which are available for purchase. See BOOKS page.