Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Adventures in South Africa--Paul's Dream

I've never felt the need to include a disclaimer on any posts but I'm going to now. This post contains photos of dead animals. Nothing gruesome in my opinion, but you have been warned.

The trip to South Africa was a safari and not just a photographic safari. Paul is a hunter, and he tells me every hunter's dream is to hunt Africa. So these photos are of the animals he shot while in South Africa.

With one exception, the Red Hartebeest, each was killed with ONE shot (not the same shot, they each got their own) which means that there couldn't have been much suffering. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a dedicated animal lover. I am not a hunter, but I am a meat eater. I have been known to tell anyone who criticizes hunters that the animals my husband has 'harvested' had a better life AND death than anything you buy in the supermarket.

I will also tell you that none of the meat from the animals he shot was wasted. Yes, the heads were sent to a taxidermist and are mounted on the walls of our our game room, and the zebra skin was made into a rug. But the hundreds of pounds of meat was used to feed many people. We weren't allowed to bring any of the meat home but we did have some of each while we were there.

In addition to feeding his own family and the hunters and non-hunting guests like me staying with them, Erik, the professional hunter, provides food and shelter for the Africans who work for him. He also sells some of the meat in Johannesburg at a discount to people who can't afford to buy it in the stores. On his ranch they have a huge meat storage building where the meat is kept frozen. While we were there two women came by with a refrigerated trailer and took away many, many pounds that Erik was donating to a nursing home.

So here we go.

Paul with guinea fowl. Tillie, Erik's wife, and the ranch cook, made a wonderful guinea fowl pie from some of these birds.

Paul and Erik with Paul's Greater Kudu.

Me and Paul with the Blesbok. I was with him on several hunts/stalks but I turned my head for the shot. I am always fascinated to see the animals up close but not until they are dead. I can't deal with anything hurt.

Paul and Erik with the two trackers. This is a Gemsbok. These animals have been known to kill a lion.
Paul with his Blue Wildebeest, also known as a Gnu.

With his Red Hartebeest.
With the Warthog. Only the tusks came home from this guy.

Paul and his Impala.

Paul and his Burchell Zebra.

That's the end of photos I'll post of our safari in South Africa. Paul and I have traveled a bit and hope to do more but I don't think anything will ever top the adventure of this trip. We talk about going back some day but in the meantime, we've got other places to go and things to see. Thanks for your comments on all my posts about this trip. It's been fun for me going through all the photos and remembering what a great time we had.


Mommakin said...

Wow. Just - dang, Sandy - just wow is what so many of your pictures leave me with.

And I am also not a hunter but a (somewhat reluctant) meat eater. Given the choice I would eat no meat but the meat from animals that lived free and died with one shot. Not so easy to come by.

And I'll go out the same way I came in. Wow.

ain't for city gals said...

This is my husband's dream....one day soon..I don't try to defend hunting anymore...unless someone is a vegetarian they just don't understand ....most people want to think the meat they buy from the grocery store comes wrapped in that little styrofoam tray...they don't realize the horrible conditions most animals are raised in. If it wasn't for the game my husband harvest we would eat no meat at all....

~Kristen~ said...

I will admit I hesitated a bit after reading your disclaimer. But I am glad I decided to read the whole post. There are animals I have never even heard of and would probably never see. The horns (antlers?) on some of them...OMG!!!

I have never been a fan of hunting but I don't begrudge anyone that does it, when done legally. I am not a big meat eater, but I do, much to my own chagrin, eat some. It is something I struggle with...how do I reconcile my love for animals with the fact that I eat meat? I don't know. But I am working on it. And I do know that what we get in the supermarket is horrible. I struggle. It is a dilemma I will continue to work through.

Badass Geek said...

What an amazing experience, I'm sure! My father-in-law would love a hunting trip like that.

midwesttomidlands said...

Hi, just found your blog through Cats on the British Counter. I will be back to read more about you and your adventures.

ain't for city gals said...

Hi Sandy...I hope you took my comment as defending hunting...another thing people don't know is that these guided hunts in Africa supoort entirely the game preservation program and provide the only income for most of the people in Africa...

Pam said...

You can really see the joy in Dad's face in those last two pictures. As for me, I like the fact that my meat comes in a cellophane package and looks nothing like an animal. I know that's terrible, but it's true. That being said, I have great respect for hunters for follow the laws and eat what they kill. And there is no doubt that those animals have had a much better life and death than anything I'm buying at the store. I hate to even think about it.

Anonymous said...

Those are some truly impressive photos.

I'm more of a photo safari girl myself, but I don't have an issue with hunters who act responsiblity.

Anonymous said...

What phenominal pictures! Of course, what picture wouldn't look great with a real zebra, warthog and all those amazing animals! It looks like you had a wonderful trip!

I love, also, that you portray the good qualities of hunting - ex. by making sure the meat is used with no waste.

Anita said...

I almost didn't look at the photos. I'm all aware of the circle of life but it did make me sad those beautiful animals were dead.
I'm glad you had a wonderful vacation and your pictures are lovely.
I'm with Pam, where is the meat section of my grocery?

Just Breathe said...

I closed my eyes and scrolled down.
Thanks for the warning.

A 2 Z said...

In all the years we were there we never participated in a hunt. We always went with the kids so it would have been difficult anyway. I was in Burlington Vermont today and I saw this written behind a truck: a vegetarian is a person with bad hunting skills LOL

What did you do with all the meat and the antlers?

Anonymous said...

Hello,nice post thanks for sharing?. I just joined and I am going to catch up by reading for a while. I hope I can join in soon.

Trey said...

what a trip!!!


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