KwaZulu-Natal Hunting, Shooting and Conservation Association
Upper Tugela Branch
Night Gong Shoot 2017

 

The Upper Tugela branch of The KwaZulu-Natal Hunting, Shooting and Conservation
Association, held their annual Night Gong Shoot on the farm Riet-Kuil along the D45 just
outside Ladysmith, on Friday 20th January. In KwaZulu-Natal hunting at night with a spotlight
is prohibited. Culling of excess game and Damage Causing Animal Control (DCAC) may be
done at night with a spotlight but both activities require the shooter to be registered and
have a permit.

Twenty six shottists and a number of spectators braved the stormy weather and met at the
farm house from about 6pm. As soon as it was dark enough, the owner of the farm and
Chairman of Upper Tugela Piet Buys, welcomed every one and briefed them on the shoot. All
then made their way down to the shooting range where 4 separate gong ranges had been set
up.

Each range was shot from a different shooting position. The first range was shot with the
shooter sitting on a square bale and resting over 2 bales in front of them. The next range had
the shooter sitting at a shooting table with the rifle resting over an X-bag. The third range had
hunting railings from a 4×4 that had been taken off the vehicle and placed on the ground for
safety reasons. That last range was shot leaning over a round bale. All positions were very
steady to shoot from. Each range was illuminated by its own spotlight run from a vehicle
nearby. There were 5 gongs on each range. The closest gong was at 140m on range 4 and the
furthest was 400m on range 3. Each gong had a small piece of reflective tape stuck on the
strap just above the gong which was quite bright when illuminated by the spotlight.

Most found that shooting at night is very different to shooting during the day and definitely
more difficult. Braai fires were lit at about 9:30 once most competitors had finished shooting.
The evening was rounded off with a nice relaxing braai during which scores were tallied and
read out.

The top score of the night was 17/20 shot by Johan Odendal. Second place went to Larry
Bester, Piet Buys and Owen Geekie who shot 16/20. Reggie Gerber and Ralf Dedekind shot
15/20.