The bull stood below a Shepards Tree against the side of a mountain, sunning himself in the mid morning sun, when I had to take the decision - am I going to put my shooting skills to the test, or will I pass him up? For there is no alternative to stalk any closer.... I recently returned from a 3 week long trip abroad to visit very good friends, and needless to say, I was yearning to spend some quality time with my family upon my return. I had already completed yet another planned hunt, but now, 10 days after returning to SA, it was finally family time! My family, accompanied by my tracker Innocent, left on Friday afternoon to spend a few days in the KZN midlands on a free range game farm. The idea was to enjoy camp life, laze about, read some good books, and simply enjoy each others company and forget about the race of life. Arriving just before dusk, we settled in the camp that is situated on the banks of the Bushmans River. The buildup and excitement of this trip, ensured that every piece of camping equipment quickly found its righful place, and with that, the call of a Fish Eagle returning to its nest, signaled that it is time to get the camp fire going and settle in for the night. The first two days were spent in and around camp, baking fresh bread in a wood fired oven, going for strolls in the late afternoon soaking up the sunrays whilst observing Blue Wildebeest, Zebra, Kudu, Impala and magnificent trophy Nyala bulls. My young son, accompanied by Innocent, spent all his energy in conquering the mighty untamed bush armed with whatever kitchen utensil he could lay his hands on. Ants, grasshoppers and any kind of bug was seen as big game and obiviously a oppertunity for fair chase hunting. Waking up on the morning of day three, there was a severe change in weather with tempratures plummiting from the mid thirty degrees centagrade to the mid teens. Innocent was stoking the small camp fire, moving restlessly from one side of of the camp to the next, giving me subtle glanses every few minutes. He knew as well as I did, that it was time to leave the camp, and head out into the bush. The time has come to hunt Kudu. We loaded my truck, secured the camp as good as we could to deter Baboons from raiding it, and slowly drove out the camp as the first sunrays touched the very top of the mountain peaks. The tires kicked up a small trail of dust as we wound through and over the rugged terrain, leading to a good vantage point where we could glass the sunny side of the mountain. Reaching our destination after a 20min drive, we left my wife and son at the vehicle, whilst Innocent and I left on foot to scout the area. Innocent and I had not gone half a mile when the bull was spotted, standing across the river, against the opposite side of the mountain, sunning himself. We looked at each other, knowing that no words were necessary to be spoken, but the question had to be asked - would it be possible to pull off the shot? In hushed voices, we discussed the situation and we both agreed that a shot would be possible. Retrieving the animal once down, would become an adventure all by itself. Looking at the bull sunning himself once more through the lenses of my binoculars, I got nudged in the ribs...... It was time to shoot! Innocent set up the sticks whilst I got my .375H&H ready. Powering the scope up to full magnification, I could clearly see that the bull was unaware of our presence and that I had enough time to take a shot. I settled the crosshairs, holding a few inches high over the top of the bull's back. The shot cought me by surprise - as it should. It was too far to hear if the 300gr Peregrine bullet found its mark, but by the way the bull arched his back, I could see that it was a hit! He jumped, and walked 7 paces forward, giving me the opportunity for a follow-up shot. The second shot rang out which so too found its mark - bringing the old warrior to his end. The next few hours were spent crossing the river and climbing up to where he lay. With the help of some farm labourers, we managed to get him to banks of the river where we photographed him, before crossing the river again, with the bull in tow. As can be seen in the photograph, it was no easy feat and a lot of his hair had rubbed off by the time that we reached the river bank. The afternoon was spent slaughtering and quartering the bull, all to the amazement of my wide eyed son- he could not stop looking and prodding the bull, claiming the set of horns for himself - a clear indication of the young mans hunter's instincts...... Day 4 was spent back in camp, hunting those pesty camp raiders...... Hunter 3, camp raiders zero! I wish to thank my wife and our son for the time that they spent with with me in camp. For allowing me the oppertunity to pursue my chosen careers. Let us not forget the time and lonely nights our loved ones sacrifice staying at home, whilst we pursue feather and fur under the African sun.