His first Hunt
This is a discussion on His first Hunt within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the Hunting Forums - Hunting in Africa category; His First Hunt A few years ago one night next to the campfire an idea was born to start offering ...
12-20-2011, 04:48 AM #1
His first Hunt
His First Hunt
A few years ago one night next to the campfire an idea was born to start offering Aｭfrican Summer Camps for children from abroad and we set the wheels in motion to present our first Adventure Trip to a group of Spanish school children.
The itinerary/ curriculum for the two-week trip comprised of a 5 day Environmental Training Course, 5 days of Horse riding and English lessons here on our ranch and 4 days sightseeing in Cape Town.
These kids were no hunters when they arrived. In fact they came from a completely different background and although not anti-hunting per se, none of them had been exposed to hunting before and as such knew nothing about it. For this reason; the focus of the trip would not be on hunting but rather on teaching these young ones a little bit about conservation while at the same time giving them the opportunity to have fun during their adventure in Africa...
After a five day Environmental Training course on a nearby ranch during which they learned about Wildlife and Conservation, Animal Identification, Behaviour and Anatomy, Snakes and other Reptiles, Plants / Trees and even how to cook for themselves in the bush, the three children (a boy and two girls) and their English Teacher / Horse riding instructor arrived at our ranch (Sabrisa) for the next leg of their trip. They were nice, well behaved bunch and I immediately took a liking to the boy (then aged 15) named Manuel.
Manuel had his first experience shooting a firearm during his Environmental training course the previous week when they spent a day on the range learning about firearms and shooting air rifles and .22. When he learned what my occupation was he seemed really interested to learn more about it and I spent quite a bit of time in between English and horse riding lessons to educate him and give him some insight into who we as hunters are and what we are about taking care to explain to him that there's much more to hunting than pulling a trigger and killing animals. Well, to cut a long story short by his 4th day in our camp, Manuel was as eager to get a taste of hunting as what I was to introduce him to it and after a brief discussion with his mother (who was the Instructor accompanying the group) it was agreed that he would be allowed to hunt one animal on our ranch provided he passed his final English test and he could prove to me that he can actually shoot...
So, after passing his English exam with flying colours, on his last day in camp; Manuel and I drove out to the shooting range and he was given the opportunity to prove his shooting abilities to me...
This was another test he passed with flying colours (with a little bit of practice / tweaking) and after a talk about shot placement we were ready for Manuel's first hunt.
There's a piece of marshland (?nbsp;ｺlei? a short distance behind our house and for some reason or another the Warthogs just LOVE the place especially during Winter when it dries up so during early mornings and late afternoons there's a hive of activity down there as the Warthogs dig up roots and destroy the place. Knowing this and the fact that my staff needed some rations, I decided to go and check the vlei out first... Manuel was armed with my .30-06, I with my binos and shooting sticks... It was late afternoon and the sun was slowly setting as we carefully approached the vlei from behind the tree line and downwind. I could see some movement and dust through the trees and knew the Warthogs were there so the big challenge would not be finding one but getting close enough to get a shot at one...
We carefully stalked closer and finally got to the edge of the tree line from where we had a clear view over the vlei. From what I could see there were 11 Warthogs in the vlei although I knew there were probably more as some of them would be hidden in the long grass. This was not a trophy hunt so size was not important but sex was as we do not shoot female Warthogs on Sabrisa in our efforts to keep sustainable numbers of these animals around. Of the 11 Warthogs that I could see there were two young boars and the rest were sows (another 4 or so) and piglets... They were oblivious to our presence too busy digging up earth to notice us.
It was time for the second last best?.. Manuel, I whispered, now look through my binoculars and tell me which one is the male... if you can identify the correct one you may shoot it. Manuel took my binos and looked them over... pero Chris hay dos machos (Yes, but Chris, there are two males). I smiled... Manuel, who had arrived in Africa for the first time 10 days ago knowing nothing about Africa or its animals had just identified the two young males in fading light from a distance of about 100 yards! see I chuckled, but which ones? The two on the far right of course he replied... well then shoot the one that is closer right on the shoulder. I said... And a second later the odd-six roared...
It was not a big pig at all but it was the biggest we could see and we had no time to wait longer as dark would set in soon. Also, the following day Manuel and the group would be on their way for the last part of their adventure in Cape Town so there would be no other opportunity to hunt...
Big or not, Manuel slaughtered his own pig (with a little help), those tusks were mounted on a piece of African wood he picked up here at Sabrisa by Manuel personally and are now proudly displayed in his bedroom back in Spain... Another hunter was born and I feel honoured to have played a part in that!
12-20-2011, 05:02 AM #2
- Member of NRA lifetime, SCI Member, Longhunters LLC
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That's a great story. Any time we as hunters can get another person (especially youth) involved in hunting that is a great thing!"Ignorance is curable, stupid is forever."
12-20-2011, 05:25 AM #3
- Member of NRA, SCI
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Great story Chris and good job! Thanks for sharing.
12-20-2011, 07:27 AM #4
- Member of NRA, ATA, PITA, NAHC, NAFC, DU, TU, DSC, SCI, RMEF
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Another great idea that was put in place...
Very great job.James Grage - New Mexico
Hold a steady Eye & Rifle...
"Very few of the so-called liberals are open-minded...they shout you down and won't let you speak if you disagree with them." John Wayne
12-20-2011, 08:38 AM #5
- Member of NRA,Missouri hunters ed, SCI, Owensville Gun Club, Quail Forever
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Great job, Awesome story...
12-20-2011, 10:19 AM #6
- Member of RFEC, RFETO
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Thanks for the story Chris, as a spaniard, I can assure you we feel a particular attraction to warthogs, or facos, as call them !
12-20-2011, 04:39 PM #7
- Member of SCI
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Very cool Chris!The journey is the reward.
12-20-2011, 09:08 PM #8
well done chris!
i congratulate you on this initiative and hope that the next 'expat camp ' is not far off!
[can you contact me by pm?]
12-20-2011, 09:34 PM #9
- Member of KZN Hunters Assoc
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Nice initiative.Practice whispering before you leave for Africa!
A Legend in my own mind!
12-21-2011, 03:49 PM #10
- Member of SSAA, NZDA
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Very well done, Chris - and, of course, Manuel! My hat is off to you and your team for initiating and carrying out this program!Overkill is underestimated!
12-21-2011, 05:28 PM #11
- Hunted Namibia, Kyrgyzstan South Africa
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I love the way you helped him to work for it. It was not just handed to him on a silver platter. He will remember it forever. Good job. Bruce