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Feb 5th, 2020
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Email to a farmer #7958828 09/02/20 06:58 AM
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Dimitri Offline OP
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Hi everyone,

This past Sunday was a very special day for our family and my eldest son in particular. He is 11 years old and this year he asked whether he could shoot his first buck. COVID-19 restrictions got in the way and when we did our week-long trip to the Botswana border it just worked out that he did not get an opportunity. We are near the end of our hunting season here in SA so we decided to try and get him his first buck on Sunday. What follows is the email that I sent yesterday to the farmer on whose property we hunted. I used Google translate as I wrote to the farmer in his first language (Afrikaans) and did not have the time to retype it. Some of the wording may come across a little odd due to the translation.


Hi Louis,

I have been hunting on your farm for years but even though you have given me permission to shoot any antelope on your property I have never done so. It was not because I did not have opportunities. In the beginning I did not want to shoot the antelope because I wanted to prove that I am not someone who just shoots left and right and just wants to kill things. I love nature very much and it is an immense privilege for me to be able to enjoy time in nature on your farm. I know I am the only person who actually hunts on your farm and so I have become even more in love with the animals and nature on your farm and take care of it like my own. As you know, we usually shoot targets and gamebirds. Shooting an antelope or two every year is not going to have an impact on numbers but it is just as enjoyable to look at them, stalk them and then leave them in peace. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity that you give me and that I am also now sharing with my boys for the last 7 years.

George is now 11 years old and asked if he could shoot his own buck this year. He shoots nice grouping with the .243 and we studied the shot placement photos and pictures together. He was, in my opinion, emotionally ready to shoot his first buck and we decided that a grey duiker is a good buck to start with. I thought it might take us a season or two to get it right to hunt a duiker successfully because they are not at all easy to hunt on foot in the day. I wanted us to get close to the buck too and said that George can only take a shot if we can get within 70m of the buck.

On Sunday I walked quietly and slowly to the hill with the boys. I have regularly encountered duikers in the vicinity of the hill in the past. We found fresh duiker droppings in some places but did not see any duikers. The korhans flying out in front of us made a lot of noise and I thought they let everything in the area know that we were there. The closer to the hill we got the slower we walked and we stopped regularly and thoroughly searched through the binoculars for movement. I was also afraid that we might run into the kudus and that they would chase the duiker away if they ran. When we were about 150m from the round cement dam, George saw something moving near the road. It was a duiker ewe. I asked George if he wants to shoot an ewe and he said yes. So we started stalking from bush to bush closer to the ewe. We were about 100m from the ewe when I saw a ram. The ram was closer to us than the ewe and was walking to our right side. We then chose a cattle trail to get closer to the ram and cut him off on his route. The tension built up as we got about 40m from the ram and he then disappeared behind the long grass. I whispered to George that he needs to get ready and take a slow, deep breaths. I saw a movement in the grass and realised that the duiker was going to come out here in front of us. I then quickly put up the shooting sticks and handed the gun to George who prepared himself. The ram came out 15m in front of us and stopped! He stood "quartering to" and George shot the ram perfectly on the front shoulder and through the lungs. The ram ran about 30m. I had a lump in my throat when we got to the buck. George trembled and said thank you over and over and over again. Alec gave George a hug and it made the lump in my throat grow bigger how much the brothers love each other and how happy Alec was that George shot the buck and how happy George was that his brother was with him. George asked if he could get a blood streak on his cheek from his first buck and I then made a streak on each cheek.

George helped carry the duiker to the road. We had to rest a few times and he had to shake a tick or two off his hand but he smiled broadly. We left the buck in the shade and fetched the bakkie (pickup) to load it. We then hung the buck in the shade under the trees near the orange pump on the way to the big dam. There, George helped gut, skin and quarter the duiker. Arriving home, mom, sister and aunt were there to welcome the hunter, congratulate him and hear the story. George also had to cook the fillets for us. George and I cut and packed a few cuts for the pot / oven together and also cut and spiced biltong. Last night we hung the biltong and this morning he tasted the first small, thin piece. He says it's the best biltong he's ever tasted. We kept the skull and plan to mount it on a shield after treatment. It was a beautiful duiker whose horns measured almost 4 ½ inches.

Louis, thank you again very much for always making us feel welcome on your farm and for making George's dream come true.

I am attaching some photos.

Dimitri, George and Alec

Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dimitri] #7958831 09/02/20 07:13 AM
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Dimitri Offline OP
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Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dimitri] #7958833 09/02/20 07:40 AM
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Outstanding write up and congrats to young George.....hope it’s just the first of many milestone adventures y’all share together....


Originally Posted by Sneaky
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Originally Posted by beaversnipe
Actually, BBC is pretty damn good

"You Cannot Simultaneously Be Politically Correct And Intellectually Honest!"
Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dimitri] #7958834 09/02/20 08:12 AM
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Thank you SnakeWrangler.

Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dimitri] #7958837 09/02/20 08:47 AM
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Well done.

Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dimitri] #7958843 09/02/20 09:27 AM
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Great story Dimitri


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Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley, Rancher Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dimitri] #7958846 09/02/20 09:57 AM
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Thanks very much guys.

Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dimitri] #7958863 09/02/20 10:48 AM
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Way to go Dad! cheers

Re: Email to a farmer [Re: SnakeWrangler] #7958880 09/02/20 11:17 AM
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Now that is the kind of outdoor adventure you love hearing about! The respect for mother nature and the farmer who shares his land, the preparation you have taught your boys to ready them for the adventure/hunt and the life lessons they will carry with them as they mature.
Big congrats to George, you and his brother Alec on this successful hunt cheers

Does Alec have the bug and want to hunt also?

Last edited by Stub; 09/02/20 11:23 AM.

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Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dimitri] #7958897 09/02/20 11:59 AM
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Great story......congrats to George, well done! up


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Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dimitri] #7958898 09/02/20 12:00 PM
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Well done and great recap cheers


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Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dimitri] #7958915 09/02/20 12:19 PM
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Great hunt and story!

Congrats to your son and to you as well. Nothing better than seeing your kid get his first animal!


High fence, low fence, no fence, it really doesn't matter as long as you're hunting!
Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dimitri] #7958935 09/02/20 12:33 PM
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Dimitri Offline OP
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Thanks very much everyone.

Yes, Stub, Alec certainly has the bug and is a good shot with the .22. He has already shot a number of guinea fowl and doves and he shot his first hare this year.

More than that, my 7-year old daughter, Gabriella, is very keen on joining us. On our recent trip near the Botswana border she walked with us when we went hunting for a Swainson's Spurfowl for George to shoot with the .22. This type of hunting requires stealth and a slow pace so it was easy for Gabs to walk with us. She was absolutely mesmerized by all the tracks we saw in the soft red sand. Every few minutes she would spot a new track and ask me what it was. We saw steenbuck, warthog, kudu, impala, spurfowl, guinea-fowl, lizard, jackal and hyena tracks and Gabs loved it. Warms one's heart.

George, Alec and Gabs:

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Dad and Gabs:

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Re: Email to a farmer [Re: SnakeWrangler] #7958951 09/02/20 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by SnakeWrangler
Outstanding write up and congrats to young George.....hope it’s just the first of many milestone adventures y’all share together....


See y'all around the campfire.

Originally Posted by FiremanJG
I love a happy ending.

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Never underestimate a meth head!


Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dave Davidson] #7958986 09/02/20 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Davidson
Great story Dimitri

X2


Cabin rental in Pagosa Springs, Co.
Sleeps 10, If interested please PM me.
Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dimitri] #7959224 09/02/20 03:55 PM
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Raising those kids right.....great job dad!


Originally Posted by Sneaky
I believe in science and I’m an insufferable dickhead
Originally Posted by beaversnipe
Actually, BBC is pretty damn good

"You Cannot Simultaneously Be Politically Correct And Intellectually Honest!"
Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dimitri] #7959253 09/02/20 04:21 PM
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Great job all around Dimitri. Be sure to tell George your friends in Texas were properly impressed. up Keep up the good work and come visit us some day!


To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

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Re: Email to a farmer [Re: TXHOGSLAYER] #7959270 09/02/20 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by TXHOGSLAYER
Originally Posted by SnakeWrangler
Outstanding write up and congrats to young George.....hope it’s just the first of many milestone adventures y’all share together....


up


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Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dimitri] #7959375 09/02/20 05:20 PM
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cheers


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Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dimitri] #7959466 09/02/20 06:21 PM
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That's a great story. Congrats to the young hunter up

Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dimitri] #7959700 09/02/20 09:00 PM
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Congratulations to your son!! I really enjoy your stories about hunting in Africa, a place that unfortunately I'll most likely never see.

Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dimitri] #7959796 09/02/20 10:38 PM
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Dimitri Offline OP
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Thank you very much for your kind words, everybody. George cannot believe that "people in America" are congratulating him on his first buck. He says thank you.

dkershen, I would love to visit some day.

Happy to hear that you enjoy the stories about hunting in Africa, Ringtail. Here is an article I wrote that was published in Man/Magnum Magazine in 2015. http://1.droppdf.com/files/1gUOg/man-magnum-september-2015-za.pdf

I gave the article the title "Fathers and Sons" and when my daughter gets hold of it I am not likely to hear the end of it. 'Hope you enjoy the article and hope that you might well be able to make the trip to Africa one day.

All the best.

Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dimitri] #7959950 09/03/20 12:26 AM
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Awesome, congratulations too both of you. Forrest

Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Drahthaar] #7960371 09/03/20 01:54 PM
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Dimitri Offline OP
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Thank you Forrest.

Re: Email to a farmer [Re: Dimitri] #7960392 09/03/20 02:10 PM
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Incredible, good job George.
clap up


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