Boys in the bush… Sorry I meant GIRLS

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Post Date: 22 Oct 2019

By Nicci Steyn

I went on the Junior Hunters Course on 4 July this year. My Dad, suffering from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), tagged along for the weekend.

My friend and fellow hunter, Karin de Jager, joined me on the adventure. When we arrived, I realised that we weren’t the only girls interested in hunting, but there were more like us…I was very grateful for this, as I was concerned that we would be the minority.

David and Ilzé Stock were our hosts for the weekend. It was a wonderful experience, from the first lecture to the last shoot.

We learnt about the KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Ordinance and different species of animals and plants. This tells you which animals may be hunted, which ones you need a special permit for, and which ones are off limits. We learned about grazers and browsers, went on walks to identify grasses and leaves, and were taught about firearm legislation and the different parts of firearms and how they work. Most importantly, we learned about firearm safety.

We were taught how to dress an animal (and here I do not mean in clothes). Karin gave a demonstration on how to reinflate the lungs of an animal. The lungs (and some of the spectators) turned a different colour during this neat trick. There was a great interactive session on the anatomy of the Impala. My dad showed us the different chambers and valves of the heart, and how the blood flows through the circulatory system.

We had a potjiekos competition, with Olaf Aadensgaard as the judge. Surprise surprise, the chicks won that one!

Everybody tasted the different potjies, which tasted even better on the second day.

We went paddling on the river, whilst being bombarded by the adults with cow poop.

I enjoyed shooting with a larger caliber rifle .308 with a suppressor. My dad definitely needs one to reduce the recoil for me…at least that is what he is telling my mom!

One of the important lessons to learn during this trip was to STAY AWAY FROM THE COWS, as they WILL charge. Also, if you need to climb a tree, make sure that it is not a thorn tree!

The best part of this course for me was spending time with nature and friends.

I look forward to putting my new-found knowledge to good use during the next hunting season.

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