Sunday, 19 August 2012

Out of Africa

We're here! Passing through customs at the airport was not a drama; have your documentation in good order and the system is a breeze.  Three cheers for Australian Customs!!

We happened to get a lovely lady named Pam at the Qantas check-in counter who gave us no grief whatsoever; first time at an Australian airport where we didn't have to get the supervisor involved becouse the counter staff thought we were criminals!

Pam quite liked us and had no issue with us hunting (though it really isn't her thing).  She even gave us passes to the express lane through Customs to make our trip that much more pleasant.  Thanks Pam - you're a champion!

We've just had our first night in South Africa at a tidy little place called the Avon Road Guest House, about 20 minutes drive from O.R.Tambo in Johannesburg. The English owners (celebrating 30 years in South Africa this month) made us a very nice curry last  and plied us with SavannaI love Savanna!

We'll hit the road shortly after a hot breakfast, heading for base camp in the lowveld south east of the township of Hoedspruit. I'm feeling very Safari today...

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

No animals were harmed in the production of this post*

I've got a bad attitude when it comes to cleaning my hunting gear. Some time ago I noticed a few spots of rust in between the metal and stock of my .300 Weatherby Magnum; I forgot by the time I got home. Then two weeks ago I got caught out in a bit of a drizzle with the same rifle and while wiping it down I thought I'd better sort out this little drama...

So I armed myself with a scotch brite, a tooth brush and an oily rag, stripped the rifle and gave it a thorough polish and a good wipe down. At the same time the stock got a hot soapy wash (it's a synthetic) before putting it back together again. With the action held firmly in bedding compound and the barrel floating to the front action screw the rifle just needed a couple quick shots through it just to confirm point of impact. 

Yesterday I headed out to the farm with my oldest daughter, breakfast and the .300 Weatherby. We arrived just after dawn and spent the next hour turning a small fire into hot coals for breakfast; bacon and eggs, toast and coffee over the fire is about as good as it gets on a winter's morning.

And the .300? First shot was a flier, second shot was good, next three were touching. 

*Our fireside breakfast was at the expense of a pig 
somewhere, but that's life if you're a pig... bacon! 

Saturday, 11 August 2012

On Safari: good to go

Many months of preparation and we're in the last days, the run up to our flights on the 18th of August. While I'm having trouble sleeping tonight, one week from now there won't be a chance of any rest... we'll be on safari, stalking elephant...


Sunday, 5 August 2012

Elephants and sustainable utilisation

So while you may not agree with a hunter's reasoning as to why he might want to hunt jumbo, now you know! 

My desire to hunt and the resultant conservation benefits are not mutually exclusive; they are actually inextricably linked. The net conservation benefit has nothing to do with why I hunt, however these benefits are very positive by-products of my hunting, a convenient truth. There will be some greater good because of my quest to hunt the world's largest land animal. 

So what could lead to a need to kill elephant and how could such action possibly have a positive outcome?  Well there are a few things, and while we can list them out for discussion, in reality they are intertwined in such a way that each is a contributing factor to the other:
  • Increasing populations;
  • Boundaries in the modern world;
  • Carrying capacity.