Dying For A Buffalo...

Discussion in 'Articles' started by KMG Hunting Safaris, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Legend

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    This is a piece written in the latest African Hunting Gazette Jul/Aug/Sept 2018 by the Editor in Chief, Richard Lendrum , and thought immediately about the countless discussions that we have had here on AH, and also on other forums. For this reason, I wish to share this article here, and only hope that I give credit in the correct way.

    It was a crisp autumn morning. I was overlooking the river, having coffee, when the Facebook message stunned me....

    Not six weeks previously I had spent a night in the Makuya Game Reserve, a community-owned reserve bordering the Kruger National Park, and arguably one of the finest truly big-game areas in South Africa. Claude Kleynhans, PH & owner of Guwela Safaris had a 10-year concession in the reserve, and had invited me to see this incredible area. Years back Claude and I had met through his best firend Natie Oelofse, with whom we published The Practical Shot.
    Natie (who had touched many lives) had entered a battle with cancer which, after giving it a really good go, he would eventually lose. Claude and I became great friends over that extremely sad time. Catching up with Claude this past January at Dallas Safari Club after so many years, was just fantastic.

    It was ironic that the name of Claude's safari business was Guwela Safaris, meaning "an old buffalo" , a Shangaan word from the tribe native to that area of the Northern Kruger. Because, being Africa's most iconic hunting trophy, it was the animal that would ultimately take Claude's life.

    Claude had safely guided his last buffalohunt. With his loyal and right-hand tracker Simon, he was cutting a path to retrieve the felled when, out of nowhere, Africa's bushveld debt collector came calling -unnoticed, on a mission, and for no reason that we will ever know. In seconds this gentleman of the African professional hunting industry was gone.

    A deep love and understanding of nature, decades of hunting experience across the continent, having every skill - it all counts for nothing when its your time. And so it was for Claude. Doing what he loved in the area he had told me was the finest bit of bushveld (next to Tanzania) that he had ever hunted. He had found the lady and soulmate of his dreams - Merissa - and had started a long business relationship with the people he loved, headedby Esther Netshivhongweni for whom he had the utmost respect.

    But so soon? Those left behind feel it the most, and that beast of the bushveld could have at least waited a few more years - but we are not here to try and understand.

    This prompted in me some questions: If there is anything you can do in your own way - whether you are a hunter who loves Africa with many friends and connections, ( perhaps some with considerable influence), or an outfitter with a dozen, or hundreds of clients - just think

    Just think: If someone is prepared to die for their profession
    - Why the questioning of what's ethical or not, when really, ethics are personal, and all that should count is obeying the law?

    -Why run a fellow PH or outfit down because he is from a different country, nationality, or area. If he is legal and he is in the same industry, trying to make a living doing something he loves, that must count for something.

    - Why fight over what is free range, game fenced, managed or cattle-fenced, when the animal is ultimately the same species?

    - Why fight over how heavy,long, old or inch size - when it should be your individual experience of the African hunt that matters.

    -Why squabble over all this? Unnecessary infighting, when there is a much greater battle to embark on.The future of our industry is at stake and we need to work together.

    Dangerous game is called this for a very good reason. So whether you hunt Africa for the sheer magic of this land, or you hunt Africa to share the magic of this land - be careful.

    This issue is for Claude.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2018
    Bruce, V.Veritas, matt85 and 18 others like this.

  2. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Agree with you on all counts Marius.
     
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  3. MBaugh

    MBaugh New Member

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    Well said! I hunted buffalo with Claude at Makuya in September of 2017. What great trip, Makuya is a beautiful place with wonderful people.
     
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  4. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Well said....
     
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  5. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I'll echo the well said.
    Bruce
     
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  6. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Excellent. thanks Marius
     
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  7. IdaRam

    IdaRam BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Marius, thank you for posting
     
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  8. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Well said indeed. This tragedy occurred just before I arrived for my hunt in the Limpopo. Phillip Bronkhorst, like all the established South African hunting community knew Claude Kleynhans extremely well. His death is the clearest reminder possible of the incredible risks these consummate professionals run daily.
     
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  9. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Thanks for sharing this with us Marius.
     
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  10. cls

    cls AH Fanatic

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    Thanks for sharing this
     
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  11. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for sharing!
     
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  12. cagkt3

    cagkt3 PLATINUM SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Very nicely written piece, thanks for posting
     
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  13. Tally-Ho Hunting Safaris

    Tally-Ho Hunting Safaris SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Enthusiast

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  14. matt85

    matt85 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    excellent post, thank you for sharing.

    -matt
     

  15. Neil Molendyk

    Neil Molendyk AH Member

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    Pieter Potgieter of Motsomi Safaris emailed me at home the day after Claude's fatal encounter, I was booked for the area the following week, which we did. We met Claude's son and daughter in-law who were completing Claude's. clients contracts. Wonderful people, all of them. As Pieter and I discussed, that's why its called Dangerous Game hunting. It was a wake up call. Wonderful post, thank you and keep safe.
     

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