BODDINGTON ON LION
2010 DVD, running time 2 hours 15 mins
We continue to think that Dallas-based Safari Classics Productions cranks out good big-game hunting DVDs, and this African lion hunting movie is just one in a string of solid, well-crafted products this company has produced in the last ten years. OK, letís be honest: All large cat hunting is boring for the most part. Why? You shoot some bait and hang it up in a tree, and then you wait, and wait, and then wait some more. It makes no difference if you want a leopard or a lion, itís all the same: hurry up and sit down till he comes.
So the producers had their work cut out for them, and their treatment of the subject is better than we have ever seen. There are lion hunts in the three countries where lions are most hunted and free ranging today: Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. We see lion hunts in South Africa, only a few, and more in Namibia, which also has free-ranging lions, albeit often cattle-killing, problem lions. (As a sideline, the brief footage of a free-ranging male lion in Namibia trying to enter a cattle corral will stay with me forever, for never have I seen a picture of a wild lion with such a mane.)
The action is well paced, not hither and zither jerking you from left to right, and neither are there endless waits in blinds only punctuated by bait-buzzing flies and the sonorous call of guinea fowl in the background. We are shown the four basic methods of hunting lions today: tracking, baiting, chance encounter, and calling. There is good information on the lion itself as well as excellent footage of lion lifeólions at play, killing, fighting, and in family prides. This gives you and excellent idea about lions and about what lion hunting in Africa is like today. Excitement? Watch the episode where Ivan Carter gets charged at mere feet by one angry kitty cat; his remark on his rifle afterward is worth the price of the DVD. Want a lion DVD? This is it.