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.

So the next morning we went out, found a small herd, examined them very carefully (because most of them are tagged and some colours can be shot, others not — they’re being very carefully managed) and hunting buddy #1 shot one. This turned out to be a ~79 kilo cow.

While we’re taking photographs and contemplating field-dressing the buck… a little truck comes along, two guys get out, load the buck… off they go. We look at one another, eyebrows raised… this is how to do it!

We then moved to a different part of the camp and a different herd, but they had figured out that hunting season was open and they wanted none of our business.

Eventually I parked off behind a very small bush in the one corner of the camp. Had two magnificent kudu bulls and the herd of about seven sables looking at me, trying to figure out what this thing was (they don’t get hunted, so they don’t yet know to distrust humans). Eventually they buggered off and even more eventually the herd of blouwildebeest wandered in my direction.

In the mean time hunting buddy #2 had got himself the biggest animal of the hunt, a 120 kilogram cow.

So there I was, paging through the herd trying to find something with the right colour tag standing relatively still, not in front of or behind something else. Shot what I thought was a white tag.

The wildebeest ran about a hundred meters, so the bakkie got to it before I did. Of course the radio comes alive with some guy telling me it was a red (don’t shoot) tag. But then some other guy told me it’s a blue (don’t even think of shooting) tag, so I figured they were talking kuk.

Turns out this wildebeest had no tag at all. 101 kilos. I have no complaints.

After this we went to a different camp where hunting buddy #3 got his one. Can’t remember what that one weighed.

So we called it a day. We came for two days in the field, we were half-way through day one, and we had four buck hanging in the cool truck. We just needed one more for hunting buddy #couldn’t-make-it.

The next day we park hunting buddies #1 and #3 behind a bush in the same general vicinity where I had shot my buck, and we go looking for the herd. But the herd understood that there was something smelling like loud noises in that corner of the camp, stood milling around  Not Going There. While as per normal we page through the herd looking for something with the correct colour tag, standing still, nothing in front, nothing behind. This, for the record, is not easy — I’m on the back of the bakkie, hunting buddy #2 is parked off in the front of the bakkie, leaving me to do all the work. Every now and then they speed off in a random direction, leaving me to hold on to the rifle, the rangefinder, the binoculars and the bakkie all at the same time. Dropped the binoculars once, had to go back for it. It is now even more the worse for wear, having previously mostly survive a rolled trailer.

Anyhow, eventually a smallish cow was standing clear, and the farm manager tells me to shoot. So I do. Cow goes down in its tracks, as a strange wailing emanates from the cab. The muzzle blast had somehow removed shooting buddy #2’s cap and glasses from his head and parked it on the ground next to the  bakkie. They’re both moaning about not being able to hear, I’m on the back laughing my arse off.

Maybe I need to fit a silencer…

This wildebeest turned out to be the smallest of the lot, at 70 kilos.

So we went back to the cottage, made food, talked kuk, drank wine, had a great time.

And the next day we drove home.