William “Bill” Stewart Calfee was born September 1944 about half way between Hindman & Hazard, KY. His family relocated to New Albany, IN during 1953. The Calfee family didn’t have much but, they had plenty of love to smooth out the rough times. Bill spent his youth in New Albany doing research along the Ohio River as most young boys love to do. He loved to spend his free time enjoying Mother Nature to her fullest. As a young lad Bill would scan various mail-order catalogs using a flashlight under his bed covers while dreaming about owning guns. Of course, he was supposed to be sleeping. Sleeping or dreaming about guns....that was a no brainer for Bill...he could sleep another time. Bill enjoyed the mechanics of things and how they worked so much that he always had to dis-assemble items to see why they worked the way they did. This “Have to know why” spirit carried over into his love of guns. Bill was fortunate to be growing up during a time that allowed competing high school rimfire rifle teams. Bill was a member of his New Albany high school’s rimfire team. This time sparked his interest into accurate rifles and what causes them to be accurate. Unknowing to him at the time, his future path was coming into focus. Back in the early 70’s Bill had a terrible accident while driving his employers’ utility truck. He had multiple fractures of his left leg and hip, a broken right hand and some internal injuries. This accident played a large part in him devoting more time to his gunsmithing interest due to the prolonged time needed for his recovery. His interest in guns helped him through this trying and difficult time. Bill had this desire to understand and make accurate rifles. The biggest obstacle to reaching his goal was that he didn’t know how to operate a metal lathe or mill. He met this challenge by reading all he could about them and putting his hands to the controls. He is self taught on his metal working equipment and now operates all of it proficiently as an extension of his own hands. Beginning in the late 1980’s Bills drive focused on the rimfire rifles and improving their accuracy as much as possible. Since then, this desire has consumed him in his every waking moment and controlled any idle time he may have enjoyed. He continues his quest to build the most accurate 22 rimfire rifles possible today.
Few men can say they have known Africa as Capstick has known it—leading safaris through lion country; tracking man-eating leopards along tangled jungle paths; running for cover as fear-maddened elephants stampede in all directions. And of the few who have known this dangerous way of life, fewer still can recount their adventures with the flair of this former professional hunter-turned-writer.
Based on Capstick’s own experiences and the personal accounts of his colleagues, Death in the Long Grassportrays the great killers of the African bush—not only the lion, leopard, and elephant, but the primitive rhino and the crocodile waiting for its unsuspecting prey, the titanic hippo and the Cape buffalo charging like an express train out of control. Capstick was a born raconteur whose colorful descriptions and eye for exciting, authentic detail bring us face to face with some of the most ferocious killers in the world—underrated killers like the surprisingly brave and cunning hyena, silent killers such as the lightning-fast black mamba snake, collective killers like the wild dog.
Readers can lean back in a chair, sip a tall, iced drink, and revel in the kinds of hunting stories Hemingway and Ruark used to hear in hotel bars from Nairobi to Johannesburg, as veteran hunters would tell of what they heard beyond the campfire and saw through the sights of an express rifle.