During August 2016, we hosted a party from Scandinavian outdoor clothing brand, Härkila that was in the production phase of a new line called PH.
We did photo shots in various locations for their 2017 catalogue, but ended up at Limpopo Province, where I’ve hunted the river for the past 36 years with Scandinavian clients, and must have bagged a couple of hundred bushbucks in total. My long-time friend Jens Kjaer Knudsen, who is an official Härkila brand ambassador who travels the entire globe promoting the company, went with me on a stalk along the river, together with a photographer and his assistant.
Not the best start for a bushbuck hunt to trail along with this type of entourage, but after scaring off several rams, I saw the back part of a bushbuck sticking out behind a large tree, with the head and neck covered by the tree trunk. After positioning Jens on the shooting stick, I moved slightly forward and also saw a real good right horn sticking out, and I decided to let Jens take him, hoping that the left horn would be of the same size.
It turned out to be a good decision. My best friend just bagged the largest bushbuck in my entire career! Jens so deserved this trophy – as President of the Nordic Safari Club he did much to promote ethical hunting, and pioneered the removal of all South African lions from their record books, ensuring that only trophies taken on fair chase were listed.
Last month Jens and I also took two free-range hog deer at Gippland Lakes in Southern Australia, but that’s another story altogether. I am nearing the completion of collecting most deer species of the world – booked next year with three clients – for Siberian roebuck!
Rodney Kretzschmar of Trans African Taxidermists mounted Jens’s bushbuck and, along with all trophies from the 2016 season, was delivered before 01/09/2016. The trophies were handed out in Copenhagen to our clients on 14/11/2017 – ready to hang on their walls. That’s the type of service I’ve been spoiled with for the past 36 hunting seasons, and it remains an important part of our marketing.
In my book – the hunt only ends when the trophy is hanging on the client’s wall!