The Great 1800 Era Weltevreden Black Powder Rifle Hunting Expedition

Gert Odendaal

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Good day to all the members:

As documented in a previous thread regarding the 1800 era hunt , it is my pleasure to give some feedback about the actual hunt it self. The 1800 era black powder rifle hunt commenced on the 15 Th of May 2015 to the 23 Th of May 2015 in which the time machine was turned back to the 1800 era ....

Hunters who participated were :

Willie Barnard
Camp commandant/hunter/farmer/plant medicine expert, medical practitioner/surgeon/jack of all trades)

Gert Odendaal(gunsmith apprentice at JS Gunsmithing / hunter/coordinator/camp-cook/Jack of all trades)

Johan Greyling(Owner of JS Gunsmithing /gunsmith/hunter/rifle collector/builder of the Grietjie Boer war cannon replica and others/ Jack-of-all trades)

Herman Nel(Ox wagon builder/restorer, Brass/copper smith, Expert/knowledgeable in Boer history/living)

MC Heunis (Historian, expert on Boer/English cannons/collector of historical rifles/cannons/hunter/Boer war re-enactment specialist)

Max Van Vuuren ( Hunter, re-enactment specialist of Boer War history/newest black powder hunting rifle converter /Target shooting specialist )

Herewith a photo of the participants:
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Here follows our story:
This expedition began at least three months ago if we include all the preparations for this hunt ( read previous thread about the 1800 era black powder rifle hunt)

Johan Greyling and me departed from Witbank on route to Nylstroom to load the Kakkebeen ossewa Johan Nel build....we did have a chance to take a look at all the beautiful items, equipment and machines Johan Nel have in his work shop...

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We load the wagon and depart to our camping site at the Weltevreden cattle farm with the following game available to hunt on the farm, Kudu, Impala and warthog.

Arriving at the farm , Willie Barnard met us , greetings were in the order of the day and appreciations were expressed for creating such an expedition for us....we commence opening up a path through the dense vegetation...Willie Barnard wielded his chain saw to open up a road for the Cruiser to ferry the Kakkebeen wa to our camp site...


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Beautiful Kameeldoring tree along the way:


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Arriving at our destination with a sigh of relieve to have no break downs or damage to the Cruiser of Kakkebeen wa.....we parked the Kakkebeen wa to suite our camp set up ....



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We immediately commenced with standing orders to erect our tents and arrange our camping equipment ...Willie Barnard build a beautiful camp table from salted ox hide and Olien branches...this will feature as the center point of our kitchen.


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Tents were pitched, Willie build himself a make shift mattress from thatched grass to bed-down his "Impala karros " made by his mother for him from Impala skins many years ago...
My tent:


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Johan Greyling erected a make shift "Bok wa syl"


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Willie `s "Impala skin karros" on a mattress of thatched grass from the surrounding area...


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Herman Nel slept in the Kakkebeen wa...

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MC Heunis and Max van Vuuren slept in the 1886 pioneer tent ....

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Camping utensils are from the 1800 era , Herman Nel has a large variety of camping utensils forged/hand made by himself forming part of the "Kakkebeen wa se inventaris" MC Heunis has a large variety of camping utensils from the Boer war era as well....

Storage boxes include the following ....





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Oreogan ox wagon boxes...
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More camping utensils:


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Chicken pen with chickens for eggs and meat...


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Brass/copper kettle for readily available hot water...


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Coffee pot:

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Hand forged kitchen utensils...


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Enamel dishes to knead bread dough ...

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Bread pans are extremely important utensils on such a hunt...


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and to use for biltong and droe wors ....


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Bellows are another item such a hunt is not possible with out...


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Something out of the ordinary is this old " cooler" that allows us to keep meat in it without spoiling at all...
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Wooden bowl/pots have their place as well especially to keep salted butter fresh for long periods , even when it is hot during the day...
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A horn cup...

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The members will appreciate the variety of utensils needed for such a hunting expedition...the activities of such a hunt revolves around it`s kitchen.....a little more later about this issue...

Activities consist of :
Meat processing...cutting biltong...
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Making wors from Impala derms....

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Members, it may look like a lot of fun, it really was, but keep in mind, we hunted only on foot, the whole day, from the morning to the evening..with a break for brunch...when we do not hunt,we were occupied with the basic chores of camp life...a few more photos of the hunt itself...

The first game was shot by Max van Vuuren, a nice young warthog ...it was his first ever hunt with a black powder hunting rifle....he was ecstatic ....notice the carry pole we devised to fetch the hunted animal ...


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The next animal to be shot was an Impala ram , Willie Barnard shot this nice ram after a long walk and stalk process...he used the mountain side with the shadow line to get into shooting position...

This is the hunting party who fetched the impala...everybody tuned in and set off to the hunting site...notice the bucket to fetch the intestines for making droee wors....


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A shot through the hart...

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Carrying the impala back to camp....a new rule commenced...the hunter do not carry his hunted animal from now on.....

The carry pole....
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I am still waiting for photos of MC Heunis `s impala he shot ....let me commence with the rifles we used...I will upload more photos of the animal shot by Willie Barnard as well...

We used black powder rifles from the 1800 era, from a Brown Bess to a Martini Henry and my favorite the .72 Kodiak Express ...unfortunately I did not manage to shot anything but will succeed next time...

Some photos of the rifles used....

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While referring to the chores in the camping set -up...here are a few we need to get to terms with..for those people who think the old people( fore fathers )had a lot of time on their hands...please think again...

Washing clothes....

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Fetching wood...


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Entertaining visitors from the 21 st century...

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Fetching meat....

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Baking and reading recipes....

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Making shoes to walk in a thorn veld...


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Cooking.....


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Baking.....

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Gert Odendaal

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Digging an oven in a river bank....

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Feeding the chickens...

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Starting fire ....


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Roasting coffee beans.....
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Making herb medicine for a sick hunter...

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Improvising .....


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As you can see...so many things to do , so little time...some of the highlights were the leopard visiting our camp calling out with his saw chilling sound, the hyena prowling the outskirts of the camp ..the jackal calling for his mate...the sweet sound of a three spotted owl....it is a shame I can not share these great sounds of the bush with you the members..not to mention the freezing temperatures during the small hours of the night...at one stage Johan Greyling was worried that a hyena has eaten his feet...since it was too cold to feel them...
I will upload more photos when I receive them from MC Heunis and Max van Vuuren...


The bread baking procedures...

You need a recipe to start with...the mixing of ingredients...


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Leave the bread mix to rise....

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Dig a hole in a river bank...

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Take the Tonteldoos and start a fire:


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Use horse manure in compacted ball form ...it is the best material to use as tinder/fire starting material...

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Removing the coals....

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Put the bread into the oven and seal it with clay..


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An hour later, sniff the cracks to see if the bread is baked...

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Open the oven...take out the bread...


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A proud baker....


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While visiting an interesting site on the farm where somebody cut rock with a make-shift saw for some other purpose unknown to us we stumbled upon a fres leopard kill, just a few paces from the site....

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Here just at the back of the stone cut works we found the fresh kill.....

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Gert Odendaal

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A explanation of how the "Tonteldoos" works....

P1012401.jpg


The tonteldoos consists of a brass container , burned cotton , a spring steel ring to hit the piece of flint with to create a hot spark...and a ball of horse manure...

Step one:
Hold the Tonteldoos in your strong hand , gripping it with the two bottom fingers, the tonteldoos needs to be lower that the piece of flint...
Hit with a downward motion at the sharp edge of the flint...the spark will fly backwards and land on the burned cotton ....blow the ember/spark until the cotton ignites enough to light the horse manure...

P1012405.jpg


Step two

Start blowing on the piece of horse manure until it burns brightly...encase it with soft dry grass...keep on blowing until it ignites into a flame...place the burning grass under the wood to start a fire...

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In preparation for the hunt, the hunters went to the shooting range on Weltevreden. This is situated right at the eastern boundary of the farm. We reasoned that as we would have to carry our game back to camp, it would not be very smart to do a lot of shooting near the camp. That might just cause the game to move away, and then we would have to carry it much further.

On the range we shot the Westley Richards Monkeytail, the flintlock bobbejaanboud, the .450-577 Martini henrys. This was where I hit a snag: my Martini Henry cartridges did not chamber easily. I remembered that I had this chambering problem with some of my cases (that had been shot in a different rifle with a larger chamber). I had brought the wrong set of cases.

Fortunately, I still had my Lyman .50 replica percussion muzzle loader. Though not an original rifle, it was completely in the spirit of our 1880 theme.
I loaded up with 70 grains of Sannadex and a minie slug.
At 50 yards, shooting offhand, I hit slightly to the left of the target. I was happy that the rifle was sighted - I must have pulled the shot slightly.

This was the rifle I was to hunt with. I will fill in the details later.



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The decision was made that I would hunt with my .50 Muzzle loader.

I must mention that when the expedition was still in the planning stages, the good guys from Tactical Quartermaster (Camoflage 762 and Sean Murphy) generously sent me a supply of Martini Henry and .50 bullets. Thus it was no big problem that I did not find the time to cast bullets over the open fire.
(Unlike my ancestor Louis Trichardt, 180 years ago, who once had to postpone a hunting trip for this reason.


On Monday morning the hunters made ready to go out in search of game.

MC and Max would hunt the block North-east of the wagon with a Westley Richards Monkeytail for longer shots, and a .750 smoothbore bobbejaanboud flintlock for the really close shots.

Johan would hunt to the South, with a .72 Pedersoli double barrel percussion muzzle loader.

I would hunt to the north-East of the wagon, with my.50, accompanied by my dog "Patroon". I loaded up with 70 grains of Sannadex and a (TAQM) minie bullet.

Soon after entering my hunting area, I saw my first herd of impala, and commenced leopard crawling. It was important to get to about 50 yards from the target. Patroon thought this was some kind of game, and jumped all over me. She did not get the stalking! My powder horn got snagged on every little bush as well. I tied Patroon to a tree and left the powder horn with her.
this was going to be a short stalk only.

The herd of impala did not give me a chance, but then my attention focused on a solitary ram at the foot of Weltevreden rant. I could not get in range for him either.

I then stalked at the foot of, and in the shadow of the rant. Then I got help from unexpected quarters: a herd of cattle was grazing on the slope, and every now and then one of them would dislodge a stone, that would roll downhill. This was perfect sound camouflage. I moved past the cattle, so as not to alarm them.

Suddenly I saw the flick of an impala tail - down on my belly again. I crawled up to an anthill, that provided perfect cover and a rest for the rifle. though the distance was a bit far, (85 metres paced of later), I thought the rifle rest made up for that. I placed the bead on the shoulder of a young impala ram, and squeezed the trigger. A loud boom!!, and all I could see was a cloud of white smoke. As the smoke cleared, I moved forward to where the ram had stood.
It dawned on me, that I could not reload my rifle without the powder horn! Big mistake. There was no blood where the ram had stood, but I saw a confused impala ram standing around some 30 metres off - a perfect chance, if only my rifle was loaded. About 500 metres separated me and my powder horn!
I decided not to disturb the scene any further, and went back to Patroon and the powder horn.


I reloaded the muzzle loader, now I was ready for the follow up. At the scene of the contact, I circled around a bit, and then found my impala stone dead - 55 paces from where it was shot. It was shot through the middle of the heart.


I went back to the wagon to get some help carrying my prize back to camp.
 

Mr. 16 gauge

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As an avid history buff, all I can say is.................WAY TOO COOL!!!!!:cool:(y)

I've always wanted to do a similar trip here in my home state of Michigan: canoe down river to a nice spot, set up camp, then hunt/trap/fish for 3-5 days using only traditional black powder muzzleloaders.
Alas, I have no friends that are interested in pursuing such and adventure, and I feel that I'm getting a bit to old to be going it alone.:(

BTW, is that an 1880's Stihl chainsaw in the 5th photograph?;):D
 

BRICKBURN

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Gert this is an incredible story and well worth the work to share here with members of AH.

The truck is not 1880 either. :) I think we can let you away with a few things.

Incredible job to the whole team.
 

Nyati

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What, no oxen for the wagon :E Laugh:

Anyway, I´m sure you guys had a great time, despite all the work !

Thanks for sharing this adventure.
 

Wheels

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Gert,

Really neat experience. We take it for granted how easy we have it these days. Great reenactment from the good old days! Also great shooting.

Thanks for sharing the story with us.(y)
 

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bluey

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looks like fun ,gert
 

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If there was an AH contest for "Best Post", I would vote for this one.
 

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If there was an AH contest for "Best Post", I would vote for this one.

ha ha ha ,mainly because you are the only one here that can remember that far back...........young fella
 

IdaRam

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If there was an AH contest for "Best Post", I would vote for this one.
+1
Gert, what a fantastic adventure! Thank you so much for both the story and the pictures. I have thoroughly enjoyed every second it took to read this! (y)
:A Worshipl:
 

Gert Odendaal

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Thank you kindly for the replies members it really is much appreciated. Yes, it was/is a one of a kind experience...this was our first hunting expedition...for next year we will take along two oxen and a scotch car to ferry water (we then will not use the Toyota vehicle that was used as was our water car)

I am planning a water purifier to purify water from a well we need to dig in the river bed) The ox and scotch wagon will be used then for ferry hunted animals and wood ...

We will get hold of 1800 era clothing/ or make it our self's like the tent I build myself...I already started planning for next year...another item will be a smoker to smoke warthog since every three has his own warthog ...there are really an abundance of warthog on the farm....the brine will be mixed by us to suite our needs...a forge will be accompany us as well...we want to do some forging of knifes and axes as well...

Utensils for camping needs will be made as the year progresses...I will keep you updated in this regards..

Regards and many thanks

Gert
 

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Can't wait to hear about next year.

Great stuff!
 

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That is really great. Thanks for sharing!
 

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....................I will keep you updated in this regards..

Regards and many thanks

Gert

It will be a pleasure to watch this expedition continue to develop. Anticipating your continued success.
 

Gert Odendaal

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Thank you kindly members your positive feedback is really much appreciated...(y)
 

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ha ha ha ,mainly because you are the only one here that can remember that far back...........young fella

Yes, I am definitely from that long ago time in history when girls were girls and men were men.
Now men are girls and girls are ............. well, actually I'm a little foggy on what they are these days.
 

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