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 8 mm 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.”