My First Hunt

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Post Date: 22 Oct 2019

By Anro Henn

We travelled from Durban to Tonevale Game Farm in the Empangeni area early on Friday morning. We offloaded our vehicle, left our luggage in the hunters’ house in the camp and got ready to hunt.

Oom Jan de Man called us and gave us some sponsored hunting camo gear to wear for our hunt. A few minutes later, the guide from Tonevale arrived to take us to the shooting range on the farm. We spent some time at the shooting range, getting used to the rifle and ensuring that it was well sighted. Once Oom Jan was satisfied with our shooting abilities and with the sighting of the rifle, we made our way to the hunting area.

We couldn’t believe our eyes as we walked into the hunting area and immediately saw a large number of antelope. We just laughed, and sat down for a short while, looking at the game. We soon took off again, and walked for hours until we found a great spot to wait for some Impala. Every time we saw an Impala, we couldn’t get ready to take a shot in time, and the animal took off. At least the guide knew the farm and its routes very well, which allowed us to keep walking and stalking Impala.

Eventually, we got what seemed to be a great shot on some Impala. I was so excited! Oom Jan gave me the go-ahead and I slowly squeezed the trigger and the shot went off. Unfortunately, the Impala took off and started running. We started to track it, but could not get hold of it. We walked and walked, and eventually ran out of drinking water.

We were forced to take some breaks to rest while we were walking around looking for blood marks and tracks from the Impala. Just as we gave up on the wounded Impala and decided to harvest another one, we saw the wounded Impala, which had eventually died. We gutted it and tied it to some poles, which made it easier to carry to the cold room, where we hung it. Then we went to the house to rest and get refreshed. After that, it was off to the cold room for me to remove the skin from the Impala. Thankfully we had Oom Jan to show us how to remove the skin, otherwise I’d still be busy skinning the Impala! I was so happy that we had Oom Jan training and assisting us.

Oom Jan also prepared the best food in the evenings after a long day’s hunting. It was so nice to sit around the campfire, listening to music and braaiing our meat.

This set us up well for some well-deserved sleep. After cleaning the kitchen and playing some games, it was around 11pm and time to sleep.

We were very sad to go our separate ways after this hunt. It was an awesome experience and I could not have done it without the kind assistance of Oom Jan de Man from the Wildland ‘Doppie vir die Jeug’ project, the KZN Hunting Shooting and Conservation Association and the team at Tonevale Game Farm. Thank you so much for this awesome opportunity!

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