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Hunters beware!

image Tony Tye sits outside the main house on a hunting farm in Namibia, Africa. This is where he and his son-in-law were sitting, along with five others, when armed robbers invaded the camp on Father’s Day.

SAN ANTONIO – When Tony Tye, owner of Texas South Concrete Pumping, and his son-in-law, Charles Schreiber, recently set out on a hunt in Africa, he returned with a cautionary tale, and he wants every hunter to take heed.

    Arriving in Windhoek, Namibia after an 11-hour flight from Frankfurt, Germany, Tye and Schreiber rented a vehicle and drove six hours to Tambuti Wilderness, their hunting destination, where they met with owner, Larry Bussby.
    They settled in at the nice lodge with seven separate cabins, feeling very safe and secure, about 40 miles from Otavi, a very small town, and about five miles inside a remote private property. They made a short run through the farm to get oriented, arriving back at camp around 5:30pm.
    Since it’s winter in Africa, it was getting dark, and the two men gathered around a campfire on the patio, with the five other people in camp, including a writer for a bow hunting magazine, a cooking lady, her helper, Larry and a couple of guys who worked on the farm.
    “We were enjoying our first beer and waiting for dinner to be served,” Tye recalls. “It was Father’s Day and now dark with a beautiful, full African moon. We had just opened our second beer when the camp was attacked by five armed gunmen.”
    This caught everyone by such surprise that the owner thought some of his workers were playing a joke. Unfortunately, that was not the case, and as typical, “no guns at camp,” they were defenseless and at the mercy of the men with all the guns.
    “Everyone was grabbed and searched, [the gunmen] taking money, phones, jewelry, knives and anything else they could find,” he recounts. “The owner was grabbed from behind. Bolt cutters were put around his neck and [he was] choked until he said he would give them money.
    “We were all taken inside the lodge, forced to lay stomach down on the floor with our hands tied around our backs and locked in a room. The owner was taken to his cabin where he was beaten and forced to open his safe. He was then tied up and left on the floor.
    “I really thought that they would come back and execute all of us. After about 30 minutes, we couldn’t hear any noises and were able to find my knife and cut ourselves loose. We found some guns and ammo, armed ourselves and broke the door down. Now, we were ready for a gunfight. However, the thugs had left, stealing the camp vehicle. The owner had also gotten free.
    “Camp was in total chaos. A phone was found and neighbors were called for help. All hunting lodges within 100km were notified and roadblocks were set up to capture the gunmen.”
    Tye says that the gunmen were located about 50km away. Three of them ran and were not found. The local community that set up the roadblocks caught the driver and used force to make him provide names of the gunmen. One, Tye notes, was wanted for murder.
     The next day, the authorities interviewed Tye and the other survivors of this ordeal, who told the story over and over all day. From that point on, they were armed at all times, and though they stayed the rest of the week, the trip was never as expected.
    “I am not blaming the outfitter or anyone else other than the thugs,” states Tye. “We were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Thank the good Lord no one got killed or hurt too badly. The money and items stolen totaled about $15,000 U.S. dollars. To this day, Charles and I have not recovered anything.
    “We got back and Texas sure looked good. The moral of the story is don’t think it can’t happen to you. The stories you hear are true. Protect your gun rights. Be aware of where you are and who you are with and be careful in your travels. Don’t be scared; be safe.” –mh


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Mary Hazlett mary@constructionnews.net