Dangerous Game Quest

Kim Stuart, (Fjermendal Press, 2021, 236 pages)
Reviewed by Ken Bailey


Kim Stuart’s Dangerous Game Quest – A Personal Journey is a compilation of stories describing his odyssey to become the first hunter to take each of the Magnificent Seven African game animals (elephant, rhino, Cape buffalo, lion, leopard, hippopotamus, and crocodile) with each of rifle, handgun, and muzzleloader. That’s 21 dangerous game animals in total, and it took Jim 20 years (1997 to 2016) to accomplish this. The book is written in chronological order, with a chapter describing each hunt along the way.


Of interest to me was that Stuart wasn’t focused on “trophy” animals, which is to say that he wasn’t hunting horn length, tusk length, or any of the other size standards that drive most African safaris. He saw a tuskless cow elephant or a lioness as being every bit the challenge, equally dangerous, and just as rewarding as hunting for what most consider trophy animals. His primary objective was to take these animals by fair chase using his weapon of choice. He goes to some length in describing the development of each of the weapons used and how they came into his possession. This is particularly true for the muzzleloaders he used, which were designed and built for this quest by his friend, Jim Gefroh. In fact, as we learn, Gefroh accompanied Stuart on most of the hunts.


As might be expected when you engage in this number of big game hunts, Stuart experiences many highs and lows along the way, from aggressive animals to missed shots to unscrupulous PHs. It’s refreshing that he isn’t shy about describing the bad along with the good, even when the bad is of his own making.


The easy-to-read text is accompanied by 22 full-color photos showing many of the animals Stuart collected through the years.


Stuart’s quest was an unusual one by almost any standard, particularly given the costs of hunting dangerous game in this day and age. Dangerous Game Quest will appeal to any hunter wanting to read contemporary tales of hunting Africa’s most dangerous game, and in particular to those with an interest in hunting them with a muzzleloader or handgun.