Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

"Keenly Alert" on the African Trail: Game-Hunting Banker Pursues Dangerous Prey

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

"Keenly Alert" on the African Trail: Game-Hunting Banker Pursues Dangerous Prey

Article excerpt

At eight, Pete Waller went into the Florida woods alone and shot a fox squirrel with a .22 rifle. "At that age, it was as if I'd shot a grizzly," says Waller, now 63. His father, Joe, introduced him to hunting, letting the boy pull the trigger when he had a bead on game with his shotgun. "When that gun went off, I was hooked," says Waller, who is chairman, president, and CEO at First National Bank of the Rockies, Grand Junction, Colo.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Little did Waller know that in 2000, he'd find himself in Tanzania, on the first of 12 African trips, after years of hunting stateside and training bird dogs. As a boy, he'd hunted vicariously in Africa through Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, and other publications. "I never thought I would go there," he says, let alone rack up three of the Big-Five game animals--all considered dangerous to hunters on foot. That trip found him pursuing Cape buffalo. Waller learned, in hunting under seasoned guides over the years, that a dangerous-game hunter takes few long shots nor many iffy shots. He carefully tracks and stalks, or baits and waits, depending on game habits. When the right shot comes, fire and put targets down--lest they put the hunter down.

Besides Cape buffalo, Waller has killed elephant and leopard. He had a chance once at lion--villagers told his guide that a pride was killing their cattle, and Waller agreed to try to discourage the raiding cats. The lions won. The last of the Big Five, rhino, Waller won't pursue--rhinos are too scarce. Even those African animals that he does hunt are carefully screened--the preference being for males past their reproductive prime.

Waller knows many people don't like hunting. …

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