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NRA Contributing Editor Achieves Hunting Milestone

Cameron Hopkins has successfully completed his quest for all nine of the principal species of Africa’s spiral-horn antelopes.


Cameron Hopkins, an outdoor writer and contributing editor to NRA E-Media properties, American Hunter and American Rifleman magazines, successfully hunted all nine of the principal species of Africa’s spiral-horn antelopes, a quest that began in 1984 and culminated in October, 2010. Only two previous outdoor writers have shot the nine spiral-horn species, Outdoor Life’s Warren Page in the 1960s and noted outdoor writer Craig Boddington in the 1990s.

Numbering 26 subspecies in all, the most of any category of African antelopes, the spiral-horns are divided into nine principal species: greater kudu, lesser kudu, common eland, Lord Derby eland, common nyala, mountain nyala, sitatunga, bushbuck and bongo.

Hopkins shot his ninth and final spiral-horn, a common nyala, in Mozambique’s famous “Coutada 10” safari area. He used an Ultra Light Arms rifle chambered in 8mm Rem. Mag. as a special tribute to Boddington, his long-time friend and mentor.

“Craig’s infectious enthusiasm for hunting the spiral-horns inspired me to follow in his footsteps. Whether I should thank him or curse him for that, I’m not sure, but I wanted to show my respect for him by taking the ninth and last spiral-horn with his pet caliber, Remington’s 8mm Magnum,” Hopkins said. “I handloaded a 200 grain Barnes TSX bullet in Craig’s Big Eight.”

“All of the spiral-horns are challenging,” Hopkins replied when asked which has been the most difficult to hunt, “But the one that proved to be the most elusive was a sitatunga. It’s a uniquely adapted aquatic antelope that lives in swamps, marshes and other riverine habitat, so we had to slosh through water up to our waist, walk down muddy hippo trails and wade across floating papyrus beds to finally reach a rickety machan that took us a full day to build. It was a grueling two-week ordeal, and I loved every miserable moment of it.”

Hopkins said his next goal is to take all 26 subspecies of the spiral-horns. “That’s a tall order as some of them, such as Abyssinian greater kudu, are issued only one or two licenses a year,” Hopkins acknowledged. “But there’s nothing like hunting the spiral-horns because they take you to see remote parts of Africa that a hunter would otherwise never experience.”

A regular contributor to NRA E-Media properties as well as American Rifleman and American Hunter, Hopkins is a life member of Safari Club International and a Patron Member of NRA.

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2 Responses to NRA Contributing Editor Achieves Hunting Milestone

Laura Davis wrote:
November 09, 2010

Having hunted with the esteemed Mr. Hopkins on two occaisions in Namibia, I can attest to his expertise and devotion to the sport. He is cut from a different cloth than most mere mortals! This is no small accomplishment...Congratulations my friend. Kudos...(not, Kudu's!)

Jim Gross wrote:
October 28, 2010

Congratulations, Cameron! That's a long, difficult, costly path you went down. I'm sure at some point you questioned your sanity for trying something like this but the payoff has got to be great!