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"Namibia 1959 Gemsbok Hunt" ASG article in Nickudu Files
      #174555 - 01/02/11 02:21 AM

"Namibia: 1959 - Elgin Gates, My First Paying Safari,
form the book, "Last safari""
A Gemsbok Hunt

by PH Basie Maartens,
African Sporting Gazette article
in the "Nickudu Files"


Hunting Stories of Yesteryear

My great break came in 1958. I was in our gun shop when 'Sixy" Holtzhausen (he was over six feet tall) from the Department of Nature Conservation walked in having just ridden his bicycle down from the Tinten Palast ('ink palace' or the main office) waving a letter. "Read rhis!" he said, and roared with laughter.

This American wants to Come and hunt here." I read the letter - it was from Elgin Gates in Los Angeles.

Despite not having done anything quite like it before, I was quick to reply and accept the challenge. There is a great difference between hunting for yourself or with your friends, and guiding someone who is paying for your knowledge of the wildlife, ability to find and judge a good trophy, and skill to organize the material, personnel, and vehicles required for success. This is how the legend of safari hunting in southern Afiica started.

Looking back today, I realize how unprepared, inexperienced, and simply ignorant I was about the real safari outfitting world. Fortunately, Gates was a pioneer in many unexplored countries with no-existent professional hunters, and he took kindly to my basic hunting skills, knowledge of the country, and willingness to learn along the way. Although I could tclI you whether a female gemsbok was pregnant or not, for this safari I had to learn to estimate the horn length of a good trophy male. And, when it was down, there was no slitting of its throat and hauling it to the pickup. Oh no, it was first neatly arranged for photographs, with all traces of blood removed, and the client and his rifle positioned for the best effect. Only then was the animal gutted to release the heat from the body to prevent hair slip, an equally important factor in a successful safari. The horns were then measured and the carcass carefully laid out on a protective canvas in the vehicle so as not to chafe the precious coat of hair.

Read more - click here

Read more in the Nickudu Files

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