The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

October 19, 2013

An African Adventure: Palestine couple takes hunting safari trip

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PALESTINE —

Mike was really wanting to get a red hartebeest but after days of stalking one he finally had to settle with something close – a blue wildebeest.

Mike and Ed almost didn't get their warthogs — something Mike really wanted to get during the trip. Finally, on their last hunting day they were able to make the kills.

“The warthog is the coolest creature in all of Africa. I am so enamored with them. They have this air of arrogance around the other animals despite their size,” Mike said.

Mike is already planning his next hunting safari.

“I'm going again, maybe in 2015. It's very addicting,” Mike said.

While April enjoyed the trip, she said she would prefer making her next trip to Africa a photo safari and sight-seeing trip.

“This was one of those trips where I got to do very little shopping,” April joked. “But I did get an hour-and-a-half massage for a bargain 40 bucks!”

Mike plans to have all of his animals mounted except for the zebra, which will be turned into a rug. He expects the mounts to take at least a year to be completed.

The Johnstons said that while during the day the safari hunting trip was pretty remote — that their lodge was very nice.

“We weren't roughing it at the lodge, except we didn't have Wifi,” Mike said.

The Johnstons also gave “kudos” to the professional hunter and the tracker/skinner they worked with, as well as all of the people who took care of them at the lodge.

“They were amazing people and they all spoke English,” Mike said.

The couple, who will have been married 30 years next year, are planning a trip next year to New Zealand.

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