North West Wingshooters


By Athol

NORTHWEST WINGSHOOTING GAME BIRD HUNTING

 

I was privileged to attend a driven hunt with NW Wingshooting on Monday 26th September 2017. Owner  Theuns Oelofse and his team comprising of Hannes and camp sweetheart Piekkie  made our stay and subsequent hunt very pleasant indeed. A group of three of us drove up to their base camp situated between Rustenburg and Swartruggens in North West Province on Sunday afternoon, and upon our arrival were treated to a few welcome drinks and snacks out on the stoep of the lounge / dinning room building. All of the buildings in the camp are very rustic, having been built out of wood and sporting used and rusted corrugated iron roofs. There are four chalets and two ablution blocks. A “donkey” is used for the provision of ample hot water for the camp. There is no electricity in camp other than 12v battery powered lights in the chalets and dining and lounge areas, and paraffin lanterns on the veranda and walkways .  As I said earlier Rustic, but very functional and comfortable indeed.

After having settled into camp Theuns braai’ed a few kebab’s and steaks and rustled up a salad along with a loaf of garlic bread for supper. Having been well fed we turned in for the night and I was lulled to sleep by a chorus of a few distant jackals. Early start on Monday morning - we got up, showered and enjoyed a few rusks along with a fresh pot of Moer Koffee brewed by Piekkie the camp helper. Two more guns arrived just in time for our early morning start, and after loading up the guns, ammo and dogs we set off from camp to visit the first in series of locations on concessions that Theuns has secured in the general area of neighbouring farms.  Our first set up was across a river hidden behind riverine bush opposite a large cabbage land. Theuns equipped each gun with a Walkie Talkie (two way radio) and set all of us into predetermined positions along the line of the river. When everyone was in position, the order came to load and be ready as the birds were about to start being driven by Hannes who had worked his way around the flock in the lands. All was still before you heard the rush of wings as the flock of birds took flight on the far side of our waiting positions. That first drive resulted in around eight Guinea Fowl being brought down. We loaded our take onto the bakkies and took off to the next field a few kilometres away. There we were treated to yet another successful drive, and several more birds were taken. After this we did a walk up on a large covey of Francolin. We continued with various drives and walk ups throughout the morning, and I was impressed by the strict record keeping of Theuns and also his practice of not hammering the same flock more than once. Basically you get one drive and then you are moved away off that farm to another a few kilometres away. This results in the birds not becoming over shot, and as such they tend to not be over hunted or wild. It is in fact just good management practice. We hunted this way for most of the morning before heading back to the base camp for a very welcome Brunch. Theuns produced a tasty burger that each guy could build as to his personal preference  -  my own burger comprised of fried onions, patty, cheese, fried egg, sliced tomato and lettuce … all on a fresh buttered roll and then freshly made French fries as a side (slap chips). Delicious indeed.

After a very welcome and much needed brunch, some us (old fogeys) retired to our chalets, kicked off our boots and took a much needed siesta for an hour or two. At just after 3.00pm we were all ready to head on out once again. At this point we were deserted by two of the guns due them both have received telephonic commands from their better halves to return home poste haste. There is an apt saying in Afrikaans that goes “daar bestaan nie ‘n ding soos ‘n kwaai vrou nie  … jy kry net Bang Mans !!!”. Anyway off were our two hunting partners and only three of us remained for the afternoon session. The reduced number of guns in the field had a negative effect on the combined bag as we were not able to cover the escape routes or flight lines of the driven birds as effectively as when we had a full contingent of guns. We were treated to several more drives and accounted for even more birds than the morning session, as I suspect by now our eyes and leads had improved. Most of us enjoyed a few doubles as the birds took to the skies.

Upon our return to camp after our last drive. Piekkie had cleaned all of the mornings birds and he had each one in a separate plastic bag ready to be loaded into our cooler boxes and taken home for freezing.

In my opinion Theuns runs a very slick operation, and I am of the opinion that you get very good value for your money. I certainly will be a visitor to Theuns’s operation during next year’s season again. He is a qualified Professional Hunter, runs an impressive catering business and is S.A Wingshooter accredited.

Anyone wishing to attend a truly fantastic day out wild fowling can contact Theuns Oelofse on 082 462 4550 of buy email on oelofse1@telkomsa.net