Waiting next to the road, at Maroelasfontein Hunting Farm just outside Modimolle, for the rest of the hunting party to arrive, I started thinking about the Rooihartbees that I missed out on the previous year. What if it rained again? What if they didn’t come in to feed? What if…?
With these questions running through my mind the expectation for the weekend ahead was not as high as usual. When the farm owner informed us later that morning that it was a difficult hunting season so far the feeling in the camp was a bit negative to say the least. But we were still grateful that we have the opportunity to be close to nature for the next three days.
After having a quick coffee and doing the necessary checks on our equipment the time finally arrived for us to be taken to the hides for the first day. On our way to the hides we already saw some movement in the bush and the mood started to change. Just the thought that the antelope is there was enough.
Not long after I settled in with my bow and camera ready for action, I noticed some movement around the hide. It was a herd of impala coming in for a morning drink at the water hole. As usual the adrenaline started to flow but the only shot I was going take is one with my GoPro. The impala finished their drink and moved on while I settled back into a more relaxed position waiting for the Rooihartbees.
It was about 11:00am, while listening to some music on my phone, when I decided to check for movement outside the hide. Not getting up from my comfortable position, I checked the surroundings on my phone using the GoPro app.
It was probably the quickest (and quietest) that I have ever moved inside a 3x3m hide after I saw what was outside the hide. A whole herd of Rooihartbees have decided to come for a morning snack on the fresh Lucerne.
With my bow in hand, arrow knocked and camera rolling I started to scout for the biggest Rooiharbees bull in the herd. And there he was standing just to the side of the hide, where I didn’t have a shot. While giving the bull time to move into the direction of the shooting opening of the hide, my eye caught the large cow standing 16 yards straight ahead in the firing line. She was standing perfectly quartering away. This is the perfect position to take a shot, but I could still see this massive bull in the corner of my eye.
After waiting for almost another 15 minutes for the bull, the cow was still standing in the perfect position. It started to look like the herd was going to move away and I could not let this opportunity slide through my fingers…
With my heart racing I did a quick check with the range finder, got my bow into full draw and I let the arrow fly! It was a perfect heart shot and the Rooihartbees cow only made it 50 yards before she expired.
Equipment: Hoyt Spyder Turbo, Easton Axis 340 Arrow, G5 Havoc Broadheads, Nikon Prostaff 440 Rangefinder, Gopro Hero 4 Silver.
I finally got the Rooihartbees that I was looking for and it was only day one of our hunting trip... It just shows that we cannot control nature. From one year, where we almost saw no animals on the farm; to the next where I got the one I was looking for within 3 hours.
It is always a privilege to be so close to nature and to experience it in this way.