Friday, December 4, 2009

The thrill of the chase...?

There was a time not too long ago that I was completely oblivious and naïve to “big game hunting”. The first time that I picked up a hunting journal I was horrified at the sight of gorgeous felines hanging limply in the arms of a smiling hunters and huntresses…people who consider spilling blood a recreational activity.

In the few months that I’ve been in Dar I have learnt more about hunting and its place in conservation. I have seen that the plethora of hunters who inhabit Mill House throughout the season are game-loving bush boys that care for the environment and for the well-being of the animals with whom they spend their lives in the bush. It requires skill, patience, and an acute awareness of nature, as I have learnt.  I still do not understand the psychology behind the clients’ desire to undertake such an expedition, but realize that it does have economic benefits too.

And so, the pilot has asked me to join him on a hunt this weekend. After careful consideration and desperately wanting to spend some time with him I have decided to go. My current frame of reference is late night springhare hunting or leisurely outings into the Eastern Cape farmland in search of antelope. Does my going now condone it? Probably… The moral dilemma still stands but by going into the bush I will now see what the ‘hunt’ is all about. Will I now not be able to take a more informed position regarding the sport?


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