On November 3, while sleeping, Tom McIntyre departed this earth. He was 70 years old. Had his heart stopped while he was awake, he probably would have had time to quote the dying words of the French writer Rabelais: “I am setting out to seek a vast perhaps.” He would have wanted something literary.
Tom wrote about hunting and guns and the outdoors for more than 40 years and was on our masthead for a good piece of that. He could out-eat, out-drink, out-think, and out-write anyone I can name personally. His IQ probably measured in four digits, and his head was crammed with more useless and obscure information than any normal person can begin to comprehend.
He wrote many books, as well as magazine articles beyond number. He spoke in an incomprehensible jabber and was famous for sitting up in bed while still sound asleep and quoting something like, say, Magna Carta, in Latin, perfectly. Tom was a hunter of worldwide experience and an expert on guns and optics. He loved old movies, actors of the 1940s and ’50s, and good writing. He detested politicians of all stripe.
I have scores of his emails in my computer. I doubt that I will ever have the heart to erase them.
In the sort of cruel irony that life loves, Tom finished what will be his magnum opus just a few weeks before his death. Its title is Thunder Without Rain, a Memoir With Dangerous Game, God’s Cattle, the African Buffalo. It is the herd bull of books on the subject. Tom spent much time in Africa, and became obsessed with old nyati. This is a labor of love, if one can love something that will cheerfully kill you. Its pages number 384, and its completeness is nothing short of fantastic. One reviewer has called it “an eccentric masterpiece.”
I’ll go with that. Tom’s book will be available from Skyhorse Publishing in April 2023, which is just a short gallop away.
Selected F&S Stories by Tom McIntyre
We can think of no better way to pay tribute to McIntyre and his tremendous talent than by enjoying his writing. Here are a few of our favorite F&S stories by him. (Click on the title to read.)
F&S Classic: Light Years
A rare friendship remembered in the glimmering moments of time spent together outdoors
Buffalo seldom charge, but when they do, they never bluff
Fierce Objects of Desire
While the quarry’s magnificence is unchanged, the public face of the trophy hunter has been transfigured, from hero to villain. Yet done right, there’s still honor in the chase, and there’s no better way to conserve big game
Seeing the Familiar for the First Time
Whether unusual, or ordinary, hunting pronghorns is always meaningful