Thunder Without Rain: A Memoir with Dangerous Game, God's Cattle, The African Buffalo


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Hardcover, 358 Pages.

“When you hear thunder without rain–it is the buffalo approaching.” This line from a Yoruba hunting poem conveys the magnificent power of the African buffalo, also called “God’s cattle.” Hunter and writer Thomas McIntyre has pursued this special animal for the last forty years, and he now shares his expertise in Thunder Without Rain.

Shortly before his death on November 3, 2022, Tom completed what he considered his magnum opus, Thunder Without Rain: A Memoir with Dangerous Game—God’s Cattle, the African Buffalo. Five years in the making, the publication is now available. 

McIntyre's topics are wide-ranging, from the various species of the African buffalo and their territories to the cultural importance of buffalo and its place among wild bovids. Other material he covers includes:

  • African, European, and American methods for hunting buffalo
  • Historical explorers as buffalo hunters
  • Great buffalo hunters, including Theodore Roosevelt, Robert Ruark, Craig Boddington, and Robert Jones
  • Ernest Hemingway’s writing on buffalo
  • Correct cartridges for hunting African buffalo
  • And finally, what makes buffalo so dangerous—and so sought after?

After exploring all topics related to the African buffalo, including hunts of his own, McIntyre ends with the fate of modern buffalo hunting, now often guided and for a high price, and the sustainability of this practice. In Thunder Without Rain, McIntyre confronts his obsession with African buffalo and brings the reader along for a fascinating journey.

About the Author
Thomas “Tom” A. McIntyre was born in Downey, California, on January 23, 1952. Educated by the Jesuits at Loyola High School and Reed College in Portland, Oregon, Tom was a wildly curious and a well-read individual. Few things on this mortal coil did not interest him. As a writer, he focused on hunting and the outdoors. At age 19, he made his first trip to Africa, developing a life-long affection for the continent. He returned numerous times over the years, yet Tom did not limit his travels to the Sahara and Savannah. He visited every continent in the world except Antarctica, writing story after story. They numbered in the hundreds and graced the pages of nearly every outdoor magazine imaginable including Sporting Classics, Field & Stream, Sports Afield, Outdoor Life, Bugle, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Men’s Journal, Garden & Gun and the London-based The Field. Tom also wrote prolifically for the small screen, scripting more than 750 episodes of outdoor television programs for Dorsey Pictures, including the acclaimed “Buccaneers & Bones,” series (hosted by Tom Brokaw) which aired on ESPN and Outdoor Channel. “Tom knew outdoor subject matter as well as anyone,” says executive producer Chris Dorsey, “but his gift was being able to convey the why behind hunting and angling as well as the how-to. You always knew that if he was scripting a show, the content would be accurate and memorable.” Tom was probably best known for his books that include Days Afield, The Way of the Hunter, Dreaming the Lion, Seasons and Days and Augusts in Africa. In 2012, he published his only work of fiction, The Snow Leopard, which critics hailed as a minor masterpiece.

“I first met Tom on a father/son hunt at the YO Ranch when our boys were preteens and since then had the pleasure of hunting with him in other places in the U.S. and Europe,” said Sporting Classics Editorial Director, Scott E. Mayer. “When I took over at Sporting Classics, I knew I had to have his byline in the magazine and am glad we were able to publish some of the African fables he learned during his travels. He was a fun guy to be around, incredibly knowledgeable and had a jolly laugh that just made you feel good.” It would be an impoverishment to suggest Tom was merely an “outdoor writer.” He possessed knowledge on an astounding range of subjects. If you wanted to have a conversation about the vagaries of African big game rifles then, in the next sentence, delve into the interpretations of a passage from James Joyce’s Ulysses, Tom McIntyre was your man. He also had an encyclopedic knowledge of film and not just the Oscar winners, either. He relished a dry martini (no olives, please) and good food. In his travels, he sampled rather unorthodox fare, including musk ox bile in Greenland. He also savored rigorous conversation. Tom possessed both a wicked sense of humor and a huge and generous heart.

Tom McIntyre, one of America’s renown outdoor writers died at his home on November 3, 2022, in Sheridan, Wyoming. He was 70 years old and died of natural causes. He loved his family above all. He is survived by his wife Elaine, son Bryan, daughter-in-law Morgan, brother Robert, many extended family members and a tireless English cocker named Mickey.

Shortly before his death on November 3, 2022, he completed what he considered his magnum opus, Thunder Without Rain: A Memoir with Dangerous Game—God’s Cattle, the African Buffalo. Five years in the making, the publication is now available.

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