Dogs and Stormy Weather

This was Sunday, the 24th of September. Cape Field Trial Club Retriever Field Trial competition. They need someone to make a loud noise* while someone else tosses a dead bird (or sometimes a live one) and then doggie has to fetch (in this specific event the tossed bird was a decoy, the dog first had to fetch three other birds and not the one it saw going down — a Real Test of control, both self- for the dog and the control over the dog by the handler).

In the picture above, we’re next to the Bot River close to the town of, well, Botrivier. By the time we left there was an inch of water on the ground.

This was a part of the N2 heading back home. They closed it later the evening.

This was the Bot River the next morning. The bridge washed away a bit later.

We were supposed to do it again on the Monday, but with the N2 and at least three of the alternative routes closed that event was cancelled.

My shooting buddy was trapped in Pringle Bay until Wednesday afternoon, waiting for debris to be cleared off one of the two roads available to him (the other one might take a while they say).

So if anyone asks what I did during the Great Storm of 2023, I can say that I was sitting in the rain playing with some dogs.

* And South African gun laws being what they are, not just anybody can make the noise. You need a licence and stuff. So they call on us, and we like it because free ammo, they treat us like royalty and we get a nice certificate out of it, for NHSA purposes.

Kakamas 2018

Where basically the same bunch of fellows take to the bush (metaphorically speaking) in search of venison, this time not rolling a trailer on the way there.

At the last hunt, we met a fellow who knew a fellow and some subsequent negotiations resulted in an option on blue wildebeest at a relatively good price (R39/kilo dressed with head off but skin on).

So I stayed over in Bellville, so that hunting buddy could pick me up at 0500, pick up other hunting buddy, and go to third hunting buddy’s place, leave from there. I woke up at four with a sore throat, made a quick trip to M-Kem just up the road, got some miracle snake oil, OD’ed on that all the way, worked well.

The little cottage is up on a hill overlooking a part of the camp, with the main road and the lights from Marchand in the distance. Notice the tree on the right-hand side of the braai…

…yup, that’s where the farmer leaves the feed out. We could have shot one or two right there but that would not be ethical now, would it?

The camp also has kudu, sable, springbok, impala and gemsbok, but for looking at only.

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Kalahari 2018

We’ve been doing this Kalahari thing for a while now, and they tend to all run together in one’s memory after a while, so this year my hunting buddy decided to make things memorable by rolling his trailer on our way there.

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This Toyota bakkie is called “die Blou Nier” (the Blue Kidney). Gert is the fellow who drives it, and he drives it well.

Spend a day on the back, out in the dunes, and you will see where the name comes from.

The Blou Nier, BTW, had 750 000 km on the clock when the speedo broke. So nobody really knows how far it’s gone. And they don’t keep easy roads out in the Kalahari.

Cut line for sensitive viewers — we were not there to buy meat at the Pick & Pay.

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