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A Brown Hyena

We noticed the other day a very interesting post circulating on Facebook. It was a post with a set of pictures of a gigantic Hyena, and the caption was saying: "Billy Speck killed this Wolf? Hyena, In the mountain behind his house in Elkins West Virginia…" Well, after a little bit of digging, we found out that the man in the pictures is actually James Raley. This is the story of this Hyena, in Jmes Raley's own words: (article first published on The Outdoor Community - a forum community dedicated to Pennsylvania’s hunters and enthusiasts. If you are local, check them out to join the discussion about trails, licenses, fishing, game laws, styles, reviews, optics, accessories, classifieds, and more!)


James Raley is with Jacques Brits in Dalmada, Limpopo, South Africa.

April 17 at 4:43 PM

Well I never thought it was possible to outdo many of the animals I have hunted this month in AFRICA. After two weeks of baiting and carefully watching all the sign my friend Jacques Brits PH, Owner of Mangwa Hunting Safaris sat with me tonight in a blind strategically placed to intercept Africa’s very own Werewolf!!!! Well that’s what I have called them since I first read and saw pictures of one years ago when I began to study Africa.

Now this wasn’t our first night in the blind. We have had unsuccessful nights also. When you hunt one of Africa’s foremost predators with the most powerful jaws of any land animal in the world, able to bite through a femur bone in a single bite, and the nose that can smell a humans mouth odor from 25 kilometers well you better bring your best game.

Today as with many other days we dropped off guts from previous kills around 4:30. Today unlike other days the rain had just let up and the wind was in our favor. After dropping off the bait we had our tracker drop us off well above the bait site and we hiked back in to the blind from the opposite direction.

We settled in around 5:30 prepared for a long sit for a bushpig or the infamous Brown Hyena of Africa.

To our surprise the jackals showed up just at dusk and began to feed and play. It wasn’t long until Jacques using his night vision thermal gear whispered to get ready the Werewolf was coming down the mountain. Turning the night vision scope on that was mounted to my rifle I began to watch the bait area. Jacques told me the direction the Werewolf was approaching from and I watched closely.

I saw the jackals leave the area in a hurry and suddenly seen the head of what looked like a black bear or wolf immerse from the grass and thorn bushes. This beast was massive and unlike anything I had ever seen alive. Moving like it was in slow motion the beast was closing in on the bait pile. Taking careful aim as the Werewolf stretched to scent the bait I fired. There never even a whimper as the rifle cracked the beast hit the ground.

Excited does not describe the excitement. As we walked from the blind we began to realize exactly how big this animal was. I have killed black bear in the US that did not have a head as big as this thing. The teeth glistening in the darkness were ginormous. Sporting a full mane almost like a lion and exceptionally long full hair this beast was massive.

As I examined what lay before I first gave thanks for the animal. What a truly magnificent, beautiful but extremely deadly animal this was. A true killing machine built to be an ultimate predator.

May the farmers sheep and cattle rest a little better tonight.

Thanks Jacques Brits and Mangwa Hunting Safaris for truly and all inspiring 18 days in Africa.

Safari Anyone?"


Find the original article here:

(*Re-posted with permission.) The brown hyena inhabits desert areas, semi-desert, and open woodland savannas. It can survive close to urban areas by scavenging. The brown hyena favors rocky, mountainous areas, as they provide shade and it is not dependent on the ready availability of water sources for frequent drinking. Home ranges are 233 to 466 km2 (90 to 180 sq mi) in size. Although today it is only found in Africa, in the past it lived also in the Iberian Peninsula and perhaps in other parts of Europe: fossils of this species, belonging to the Upper Pliocene, have been found in the area of Granada.

Brown hyenas are distinguished from other species by their long shaggy dark brown coat, pointed ears, and short tail. Their legs are striped brown and white, and adults have a distinct cream-colored fur ruff around their necks. Body length is 144 cm (57 in) on average with a range of 130–160 cm (51–63 in). Shoulder height is 70–80 cm (28–31 in) and the tail is 25–35 cm (9.8–13.8 in) long. Unlike the larger spotted hyena, there are no sizable differences between the sexes, although males may be slightly larger than females. An average adult male weighs 40.2–43.7 kg (89–96 lb), but can get up to 160lbs (as we can see above!) while an average female weighs 37.7–40.2 kg (83–89 lb). Brown hyenas have powerful jaws. Young animals can crack the leg bones of springboks within five minutes of birth, though this ability deteriorates with age and dental wear. The skulls of brown hyenas are larger than those of the more northern striped hyena, and their dentition is more robust, indicating a less generalized dietary adaptation.

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