2007 Africa Inspection Trip The Eastern Cape RSA and Hunting With The Ladies - Part 1
Upon returning from this year's inspection trip to Africa, I have had some time to reflect on what I saw and experienced. I have to say that the most rewarding experience had to be witnessing the creation of two new hunters. For me, there is nothing better than to see the look in the eyes of a person who has just taken their first game animal. When you see that gleam you know they are hooked and that they have joined our unique group.
The first to be initiated on this trip was my assistant Shannon. She started working for me last year and took on the job with a ton of enthusiasm but with no personal hunting experience. She grew up in a family of hunters but had never really hunted. When my friend Buz Mills, the owner of Gunsite, met Shannon and found out she never fired a rifle before and was going to hunt in Africa, he offered to have her trained "properly". After a week at Gunsite training with instructor Il Ling New, Shannon was hitting targets out to 400 yards!
Although she was a bit unsure about whether or not she would actually hunt she "bucked up" and decided to give it a try. So off she went with her PH Jaco. That night I couldn't wait to find out what happened and when I saw Shannon standing in the lodge I could tell right away from her face that she was the newest member of our hunting fraternity.
On this almost 2 month long trip, I was pleased to visit with old friends and gratified to make a few new ones. Our existing outfitters are doing very well. Their game looks great, the lodges are terrific and they are still feeding our clients more than anyone can eat!
Our outfitter in the Eastern Cape was host to our first NRA Women on Target hunt. We agreed to organize this hunt as a way to provide an affordable, high quality experience to women hunters and it was a way to give something back to the NRA. The hunt exceeded our wildest expectations. It was sold out before some of our advertising even got out. The 10 women who participated had an incredible time. Each evening we anticipated hearing their stories around the fire (some of which are being posted in the newsletter) and some of those evenings went well into the night. We have two more women's hunts scheduled for next year already!
While I was there I had an opportunity to hunt with 2 terrific hunting partners. Peter and Willem Jordaan. We went after a springbuck that had to be culled because he was hanging out with the white spingbucks. Willie spotted him and Peter led me on a perfect stalk, set up my shooting sticks, and thankfully I made the shot.
I want to personally thank all of the folks who made this experience so enjoyable and successful for all:
Thank you to all the ladies who signed up to go on this trip, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!
Thank you to Tollie and Karen Jordaan, and their staff including their fine PH's for making this an unforgettable experience for everyone.
Thank you to NRA past president Sandy Froman for taking time out of her extremely busy schedule to spend 10 days with us in Africa.
Thank you to Pam and Brian Zaitz of SHE Safari who provided thousands of dollars worth of women's safari clothing and made sure all of the ladies were perfectly outfitted. SHE Safari stepped up in a major way and we all appreciate it.
Thank you to the NRA for the Women on Target program and for sending Karen Mehall along to document the hunt for NRA publications and television.
Thank you to Tim Wegner of Blade Tech knives who made sure everyone involved had the ultimate hunting knife!
Thank you to Louis and Annelise from The Afton Guest House in Johannesburg for taking care of all of us (especially me).
Thank you to Peter and Willem Jordaan for hunting with me and being my "PH" and "tracker"!