MIDLANDS BRANCH REPORT

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Post Date: 28 Nov 2019

By Mitesh Maharaj

Pietermaritzburg – Mithesh Maharaj and Gavin Longmore

Waterholes

13 September 2018 – Wade Whitehead of FreeMe KZN Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Howick gave a talk about their activities. This centre rescues, rehabilitates and cares for wildlife with the aim of releasing animals/birds back into their natural habitats.

13 October – was the Midlands Branch AGM and Horn/Tusk Measuring Competition at the Underwater Club in Pietermaritzburg from 9am onwards and although there were not as many entries as there had been in the past, some of them were really impressive.

7 November – This Waterhole was moved to a Wednesday to accommodate a lady from FreeMe who was coming to speak about Vultures in Crisis but unfortunately the talk had to be cancelled because the lady in question came down with the flu. Fortunately Midlands is blessed to have Louis Swart in our midst and at the drop of a hat he brought samples and gave a very interesting talk about reloading.

13 December – the year ended off with a venison potjie evening and a chit chat around the fire.

10 January 2019 – was the date for the DCAC and TRACKBOX talk led by Neville van Lelyveld (one of our own stalwarts) and Brian Jones of SACAN/Trackbox. This was an informative talk.

14 February 2019 – the topic was Bond Beyond which takes a dad and a child out of their normal environment, away from daily distractions, schedules, media pollution etc and puts them together with nature to encourage observation skills, survival skills etc and bonding between father and child

14 March – This was an auction of hunting goods. People either donated items or took commission from the items that were sold. From a financial point of view this was lucrative for Midlands.

11 April – Tim Peel and his CoolBot refridgeration system was invited to the April Waterhole in Pietermaritzburg and he demonstrated the use thereof to the hunters.

9 May – was a social event at the Pietermaritzburg Waterhole. A raffle had been run for a Blesbuck hunt at a farm on the Loteni road, kindly sponsored by one of our own KZNHS&C members, with Martin Erasmus being the PH who would take the winner out. This was the specific instruction by the farmer. The raffle was won by Mithesh Maharaj our Midlands Chairman, and his overjoyed remark was that it was the first time that he had ever won anything. Mithesh went on his hunt at the Loteni farm on 30 June 2019 .

13 June – Waterhole was a Bring and Braai and on 11 July we had Arthur Colby telling everyone on how to prepare for a hunt. As per usual there was a meal and Wildman Outfitters brought 3 platters of spectacular snacks! A big thank you to Stephen and Sarah!!

In July 2019 Midlands Branch also became a Corporate Custodian of FreeMe for 2 years by giving a donation which was made possible by the fund raising events that the committee has been involved in. This is our certificate and it is all part of Midlands becoming more active in Conservation.

9 August – was a Bring and Braai because it was a Public Holiday and many members were away hunting.

Ixopo – Mark Robinson

After our winter hibernation for the hunting season, we had our Waterhole on the 12th of September 2018. We had a jam packed Waterhole with a pigeon shoot in Highflats in the afternoon and then proceeded to the Highflats sale yard where we had had a carcass gutting and dissecting session with wors rolls for supper which was organized by our Ixopo members. We had 31 people who attended.

Our next Waterhole was on the 16th January 2019 at Karongo Guest House. This waterhole was combined with our annual trophy competition for trophies hunted in 2018. We had 21 people attend the evening with a total of 25 trophies entered. The best senior trophy went to Craig Macfarlane with a 29 3/8” fallow deer. The best junior trophy went to Chase Robinson with a 7 1/8“ bush pig.

For our 13th February water hole we just had a low key gathering at Karongo Guest House with 9 people attending.

Our next Waterhole held on the 13 of March was held at Karongo Guest House. Our Midlands chairman – Mithesh Mahoraj and a few of his committee members attended our evening in Ixopo. We had a pleasant evening with a total of 21 people attending. We would once again like to thank them for travelling out all the way to Ixopo and we would like to invite them back in the new year.

Our next Waterhole will be later in this year after the hunting season. We look forward to hearing all the stories which go with the trophies.

Richmond – Robin English

The Richmond Branch had 5 Waterholes from 1 September 2018 to 31 August 2019.

Waterholes consist of meeting at the Lazy Pig just outside Richmond sharing a few hunting stories, drinking a few beers and enjoying wors rolls.

04/09/2018 – 10 members attended

16/10/2018 – 10 members attended

12/02/2019 – 15 members attended

09/04/2019 – 9 members attended

21/05/2019 – 13 members attended.

Dalton – Conrad Klipp

15th September 2018 – shoot was attended by 14 members. In the morning we shot a CF CHASA shoot at the Klipp’s dam followed by a shotgun field shoot at the club.

20th October 2018 – 9 members attended. Shotgun field shoot plus 22LR Quarry gongs from 35m – 101m. 6 members completed their TYRO qualification under the supervision of Jock Stride and Deon Schroder.

17th November 2018 – Mascor Christmas Shoot. Good turn-out of 16 members and family. Shotgun field shoot plus quarry gongs.

15th December 2018 – Shotgun shoot terminated due to lightening. 11 members shot a 22LR exercise which was a Sierra paper target which proved challenging.

29th December 2018 – CF CHASA shoot at Klipp’s dam. 11 members attended. Conditions challenging with a NE wind and the terrain channelling the wind in opposite directions.

19th January 2019 – 15 members attended. Field shoot shotgun. 3 new auto machines purchased. Members are enjoying the diversified set-up possible. Planned to shoot a 22LR CHASA shoot but changed to a gong shoot due to wet weather.

16th February 2019 – Schulz Attorneys Shoot. Held at their scenic dam. 20 participants. The Schulz Family set up a wonderful meal after the shoot. The Waidmannsheil on the day attended the Blaser Shoot in Verkykerskop. Placed 15 / 25 we are still learning and did better than last year.

16th March 2019 – Kings Cup. 13 teams (52 shooters) participated. The shoot is gaining in exposure and we hope to have more teams next year. Planned to become one of the 22LR CHASA qualification shoots in the future.

27th April 2019 – DRGC AGM and fines braai. 25 members participated mainly due to free grub.

18th May 2019 – Klipp Bros Shoot. 10 teams plus 1 individual (21 persons) centre fire gong range from 161 – 416m. Great fun and camaraderie. We have secured Dezzi Equipment’s sponsorship for next year.

22nd June 2019 – Mascor sponsored shoot. 25 participants . Excellent catering by our sponsors.

20th July 2019 – Carl Everill shoot – 22 attending.

24th August 2019 – Cronje’s Engineering sponsored the eats and drinks after the shoot.

22 members attended.

DRGC has 54 paid up members. Most are members of KZN Hunters. When opportuned we encourage members to join KZN Hunters. We are being innovative in setting interesting challenges for our members. Shoot a lot of 22LR gongs, this adds to proficiency when hunting and is relatively cost effective.

Conclusion

What a year it has been!! In many ways the Midlands Branch has broken all records and pulled put all the stops and is going from strength to strength thanks to all its dedicated members and efficient committees in all the sub-branches of Midlands. Well done and thank you everyone.

We also thank Head Office for the support they have given us this year. Hopefully everyone will take this in their stride, but we need to single out one person who has gone all out to accommodate Midlands with information and lists and books for the course… and that is Hannelie. Thank you for always being there for the Midlands Branch at the drop of a hat.

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