When I heard the term “driven hunt” for the first time, I instinctively felt this was something I wanted to be a part of. I far prefer driving to walking and if I can shoot animals without spilling my beer, so much the better.
But once again I blew it. Not only was I too late to sign up for the hunt, but I also discovered it didn’t involve turbo-charged all-terrain vehicles fitted with floodlights and swiveling machineguns at all. A driven hunt, apparently, is similar to a canned hunt except it’s a lot less tiring because the animals are chased towards the hunters who are waiting on raised platforms.
It all happens on three farms outside the Limpopo town of Alldays where a line of “chasers” crash their way through the veld on foot. Antelope, baboons and warthog stampede ahead of them, right into the ambush.
Like the infantrymen of Charlie Company who massacred women and children at My Lai in Vietnam in ’68, these hunters also wear camouflage. Unlike the men of Charlie Company, though, the only risk to the hunters’ lives was the damage they did to their livers later on at the Ammondale Lodge bar.
It’s like one of those fairground games where you shoot at little tin targets that pop up, except these ones scream and thrash about when you hit them, which is obviously half the fun.
Perhaps I’m being unfair. If it weren’t for US Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, we’d all be speaking Iraqi today. It might be a similar situation here. If it weren’t for these brave hunters, we’d all be speaking impala by Christmas.
The week-long massacre outside Alldays will never be as memorable as the massacre at My Lai because human life is more important than animal life. That’s what people tell me, anyway. Animals might not necessarily agree but since they can’t talk they should just shut up and deal with it.
But this form of “hunting” isn’t cruel or barbaric at all. Far from it. They had a sniffer dog whose job it was to locate the animals that had been wounded. The mutt would then presumably either kill it himself or, if he’d already eaten, bark for someone to come along and shoot it in the face. You can’t get more humane than that.
The hunters – more than twenty of them – are from Belgium and the Netherlands and this is apparently their bloodsport of choice. Rugby is my bloodsport of choice, which is pathetic, really, since hardly anyone ever dies. I might have to switch.
I once had an erectile malfunction and wanted to go out and kill an animal with my bare hands but it seemed like too much effort. The next time it happens, I shall buy a high-powered rifle and join a driven hunt. I can sit on my flabby white ass with my flaccid willy in one hand and my rifle in the other, while a black man pours beer into my mouth, and my masculinity will be reaffirmed.
I might even start my own hunt. It could take place in the suburbs and we’d use gardeners to drive cats and dogs towards a field sown with French M63 anti-personnel fragmentation mines. The person who drinks the most tequila shooters afterwards would win the coveted Dr Walter Palmer Medal of Dishonour.