Ernst Kromhout Junior

By Athol

ERNST KROMHOUT Junior  -  Birthday wishes

When asked by his parents recently what type of Birthday party he would like, Ernst junior said that he’d like to take a group of his best buddies for a shot gunning lesson. Enter Andre van der Westhuizen, who offers these lessons on a regular basis to both youngsters as well as adults. I must say that no matter what your level of shotgun shooting expertise is ... a lesson or two with Andre will most certainly improve your scores and or hit rate. He irons out most of those “bad habits” that tend to creep into our shooting styles.

On Saturday 11th February 2017 we went off to Sterkfontein where Andre had reserved a range for the group of nine boys (aged between 9 years and 11 years). A few of them already previously had a bit of experience in shooting guns, whilst a few were complete new comers. Andre gathered them all around and gave them an interesting and very informative lecture on safety, gun manners, gun use and the do’s and dont’s that would aid them in actually getting them to hit their targets. Andre is an excellent teacher, and the kids were all hanging onto his every word.

I was privileged to attend the session as I took through the Hull 20 x 24 x 7 1/2 ammo as well as our Fausti Conrad 20ga demo gun for their use. I was absolutely astounded to watch how well these boys all did ... a few of them scored far more hits on the clay’s than I’ve witnessed adults trying it all out for the first time. The boys seemed to have a natural ability to follow the target and hit it time after time again. Some of the smaller framed boys just took the wallop of the gun in their stride and “rolled with the punch” but kept on taking clay after clay. A few of them were not so keen to keep on being punished by the recoil of the little 20ga. BUT, all took part and I think it’s safe to report that they all hit their clays at least once.

My take on the day was that it’s truly fantastic to see these youngsters all enjoying being out in the fresh air, outdoors and keen as beavers to get involved in the shooting sports. Compare this to the far easier (and more popular) tendency for this age group to lie around the movies and or playing TV games. In fact while the one group was shooting clays, the “resting group” had a BB gun behind us and were content at shooting targets with this gun. At one stage I was approached by the one boy who asked my permission to shoot down a hornets nest ... my amused response was “Yes  -  but get ready to run like blazes ...”. It wasn’t long after this that I saw the bunch of boys take off like Hussain Bolt across the veld .....   Then another humorous anecdote that came from this session was when it got to Andre’s question and answer time  -  the one boy shot up his hand first (kinda reminds one of the “Jannie in class jokes”) .... his question was  “Sir, if a dove flies over whilst we are shooting clays ... can we blast him ??” ... BOY’S WILL BE BOY’S !!!!

These young gentlemen are the future of our sport, they need to be nurtured.  Oh, and by the way ... Ernst junior is getting his own Fausti Conrad 20ga soon .......