14 November 2012

south africa: hunting springbok – part one

on tuesday, we loaded up the car and headed off to david hood’s farm. the three hour road trip up took us over some of the most beautiful terrain. duncan had put together a massive mp3 mix. we found toto’s “africa” and did our own music video toward the end of our journey. already, duncan is pointing out some of the local wildlife. most of them were on farms.

david’s farm is another amazing place. we found our lodgings and went out for a ride in the bukkie to pick up the laborers. we had dinner with david’s family, wife cathy and two little girls. lara is a very adorable three made only moreso by her accent.

after dinner, we headed outside. it was very dark, but i believe this was the first time in my life that i’ve seen all the stars in the sky at the same time. no city lights bleeding out the view, no haze or humidity dulling the stars. it was the clearest i’ve ever witnessed a night sky. david had his binoculars with which we could see four of jupiters moons. and the stars move very quickly in that location.

after a morning breakfast, we (i) familiarized ourselves (myself) with the weapon we’d be using. then dunc and took the bukkie and headed to find some springbok. our first camp had several to choose from. they were way up the property. we took cover in some water gulleys which let us move around out of eyeshot of these animals. we scared a few, planned again, hiked, tried to find them, spotted some, planned again, hiked some more. at last we had a group of six which included a buck that was our initial goal. we snuck around and moved into position. i crept…not too well. i made to the bush for cover and when i rounded the edge, the buck was right there. he was looking at me. i backed slowly back and looked for a “go” from duncan. he wasn’t looking at the moment, so i turned around deciding to take this shot. i closed off the bolt and took aim…at nothing. these animals had jetted–and i mean jetted–down the hill and out of range. lesson taken: don’t hesitate.

we chased them for a little bit longer. we found another opportunity to take a shot at them, but no hits.

we did find a lone buck in the bushes with the sheep. duncan pointed him out, moved over to let me get a shot spot, but from my vantage there was a tree in the way. it was perfectly lined up in the kill zone of the buck. he moved around but never gave me another chance.

after missing the group on the hill, we decided to check out another farm. it was already two in the afternoon. i was a little dehydrated. but we really couldn’t leave empty handed, right?

next >> south africa: hunting springbok – part two