The Roundup -

Memorable Hunting Trips Captured Forever


November 7, 2018 | View PDF

Roberta and Dr. John Herr

The love of hunting has taken Dr. John Herr from Australia to Zimbabwe and the proof of his success is displayed artfully in his rural Williston home. He enjoys the finding and the taking of the animal, but also feasts on the scenery whether in the United States or more exotic lands.

Herr got a little taste of hunting when he was young, enough to get him interested. But, it wasn't until he moved to Williston that he had the opportunity and the time to explore it. He has hunted everything from grouse to bears in the U.S. including trips to Montana, Arizona, Wyoming, Alaska and Hawaii.

The trip of a lifetime took Herr and Roberta, his wife of 53 years, to Zimbabwe in 1990. It was a guided trip, as most of his hunts have been. The guides make a living with the hunts during the season, then work to catch poachers the rest of the year. Herr's favorite hunting experience took place there, with the taking of a cape buffalo. "He was capable of taking me," he said. "It was an exciting shot." In fact, Herr had stumbled on a rock and was fortunate to be able to shoot one of the world's most dangerous animals before it charged.

Herr also brought home multiple species of antelope, from tiny to huge, as well as a warthog. A leopard adorns Herr's wall along with a klipspringer, which is the leopard's favorite food. Guides will bait a tree with more food than the leopard will eat in one day. If there is meat left, the guides know the animal will be back and set a blind for the next night, hoping the predator will be the elusive leopard.

A trip to Australia and New Zealand resulted in the taking of a bangteng, a tahr, a chamois and three deer including a red deer. Roberta had her own great adventure on that trip. They were on a remote Australian peninsula and the men had gone on the hunt while she stayed in camp reading a Tom Clancy Ops book. She was fully engrossed in the action packed story when she heard POP! BANG! and thought someone was shooting in camp. The 'shooting' stopped, she got her heart back where it belonged, and continued reading about the battle in the book, only to be startled by more pops and bangs. When the men returned for lunch, the guides explained that the outer shell of the pandances palm nuts were exploding and landing on the corrugated roof above her. "It was a good read, with great sound effects," Roberta laughed.

The taking of the cape buffalo was Herr's favorite since the animal is one of the most dangerous in the world.

Herr's trophy hunting room is full of those exotic animals as well as many hunted closer to home, including the peccary and grey fox from Arizona, bears from Canada and Alaska, and the moose which was shot near Rugby, ND. Most of the taxidermy work has been done by Zerr's Taxidermy of Williston. "He did an excellent job," Herr said. Backdrops have been skillfully done by Sharon Flaten of Williston while art by Ronda Whited of Sidney compliments the displays. Sculptures by Michael Westergard of Plentywood dot the room, including one that was the inspiration for a taxidermy display.

Enjoying the outdoors, and the excitement that comes from outwitting the animals, has been a wonderful part of Herr's life. Although he has slowed down a bit, he still hunts deer with a bow, and raises pheasants on his land to be released in the fall.


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