The two crates of precious cargo had arrived on Qantas flight QF064 from my friend Rupert Dedekind's workshop in Pretoria. It had been a drawn out process and in amongst the ream of documents that accompanied the consignment were Australian CITES Import Permits, CITES Export Permits issued in South Africa, province permits confirming that the animal products - horn, bone, tusk and skins - were hunted legally, a Veterinary Certificate stating treatment of the trophies and a manufacturer's declaration confirming: same.
With everything in order, Australian Customs and AQIS expedited the clearance and inspection process and I found myself cruising through the city streets with my precious cargo in the ute. The trip from AQIS at Rosebery to my office on the northern beaches was uneventful other than the particularly hot November weather. I was happy
And later that week, I found myself crawling around the factory floor with my two daughters, aged 21 months and 3 years and 7 months, smoothing out the skins of a couple of lovely Burchell's Zebra. The girls were loving the crate unpack, it was like Christmas and they oohed and aahed as I carefully laid out each trophy.
We were all in awe as I unrolled the Hartmann's Mountain Zebra rug shell. The girls squatted around the stallion and as they handled his mane ever so carefully, I realised how lucky I was, at least for now, that my daughters shared my passion for hunting.
So I've decided to share my love for hunting; the quiet time in the bush, the smell of guns and leather and burnt powder, quiet but determined stalking, the thrill of the chase, harvesting game, meat and trophy field care and preparation, and dealing with meat and trophies at home. For decades now, it has not been merely a sport or a pass time, but very much the single activity that allows me to maintain my equilibrium in a busy and stress-filled city life.
And I hope to share the hunting lives of like-minded souls, perhaps passionate for different reasons - it'll be fun to have the opportunity to find out. Hope you enjoy reading the DaggaBoy blog; visitors are always welcome.
Happy hunting. Daggaboy.