Hunter Gatherers – Mixed Core 2017
By Angus Drummond
This week started with the intake being split into two groups. The first group headed out to Cawston Ranch to hunt, whilst the second group remained at Quest and did a basic cooking course with Mrs Revitt. At the Ranch, we set off in groups of three with Mr Brebner who is currently a professional hunter but used to teach English at Falcon College. The aim was to track, stalk and kill an impala, which was sold as a source of food to the local community. Whilst we were waiting to hunt, or if you had already hunted, you helped out as a farm hand doing various different tasks but quickly becoming well acquainted with a tool called mattocks. We would all congregate around the fire in the evenings and discuss what we had learned that day which was quite entertaining. The first group hunted from Monday until lunchtime on Wednesday, the groups then swapped around so that we all got the same experience. When the first group arrived at Cawston in the early afternoon three of us, namely Kieran, Steve and Adam set off for their first hunt of Quest and the others being myself William, Ross, Matt and Tim went to go work by clearing the roads of thorn bushes. Luckily it was only a two-hour shift and we got to relax for the rest of Sunday. Only Kieran and Adam shot an Impala the first day. The very next day Ross, Pippa, and Steve went on their hunt while Kieran, Adam, William and Pippa were working.
When on the hunt Steve went first and missed his shot then Pippa went and shot a decent male impala then Ross went after and shot a female. We were all done so off we went to the butchery to skin and gut our impalas. After that was done the three of us walked back to camp and rested for a few minutes then the second load of guys went hunting which were William, Tim and Matt and Pippa came along for the drive. William shot a decent male late afternoon and that was the last shot of that day. The next day Matt shot a male impala followed by Tim’s bigger male. Eventually Steve managed to shoot an impala. At roughly six that evening, as with the previous group, we all sat round the fire and had a discussion with Mr Brebner on the ethics of hunting, trophy hunting and culling. After the discussion was finished, we had to follow the tradition of eating the testicles or livers of the impala, which caused some dry heaving for certain members of the group. That was then followed by a delicious impala potjie, which Kieran and Pippa spent the entire day preparing. The next day we left for Quest to change over with the others and start our cooking course. Almost immediately after we got back, we started the cooking course whilst the other group packed up the bus and left to go hunting.