Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Working Gundog & Conservation Club Trial

What is Gundog Field Trialling?

Gundog field trailing is a competition to find the best hunting dogs, which either find and point game birds - (Pointers, Retriever breeds) - or quarter, flush and retriever these birds (Spaniel breeds) or simply just retrieve shot birds, especially duck (Retriever breeds). Each gundog section is very specialised, therefore each section in South Africa runs its own separate trials. In this country, the USA and most other countries in the world, field trials are simulated hunts. Field trailing is the platform for hunters and breeders to ascertain that the dogs bred and sold preserve true hunting capabilities, i.e. drive,. perseverance, superb nose (scenting abilities), biddable soft mouth (does not harm the bird) are not gun-shy. One might ask why are dogs used in hunting situation? The Pointer / Setter/ Spaniel breeds are used to find the game (they can also be used for retrieving) and the Retrievers (although they can be used to find game), are specialised in retrieving wounded game as quickly as possible. Taken from www.goldens.co.za

Camo is compulsory, or is it a new fashion?
Field trials are as true to normal hunting as possible so competitors wear camo as they would in the field hunting.

New kids on the block watching the first few dogs working.

Waiting our turn.

Bailey's first ever pheasant!!
The day before she had tried to retrieve a rooster but spent more time playing with it. So it was a relief when she returned at speed, like she had done it a thousand times.

Relief after the first session of the day.

Guns and trialists.

A snoozy spectator in the winter sun. Especially after the four thirty am starts to get to the venue.

Retrieving a pigeon.
A easy test after the pheasant but a little confusing for the young dogs. Just as they had got used to bigger birds.

Out the blocks!!

Eye's fixed on her bird.

The water retrieve.

Setting up for the water retrieve.

Nothing like a dip in freezing water to cool off on a sunny winters day!
Bailey swam like a small motor boat.

Well Done, good girl.

Dog Tired.

Snow !!!

Inhlazane Mountain
Not the landscape you expect to see in sunny South Africa! Well we have been having a great winter if you like the cold and most of our mountainous regions have had a dusting of snow. The KZN Midlands are well known for their beautiful landscapes, Productive farms and a plethora of arts and crafts. This area has long been a favorite with visitors. The snow only served to encourage more people to come and experience this area.

The boys enjoying a cup of Milo after a few hours of hard tobogganing. Dry clothes and socks to warm the toes!
A double decker toboggan!!

Sometimes it pays to be the smallest!

A family affair.

Pile ON !!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sabi Sand Workshop 2011

The Sabi Sand Game Reserve is not only one of South Africa's oldest reserves it is also home to a phenomenal concentration of wildlife, especially the big cats!

Most people are lucky to see a leopard in their life time. In the Sands we are blessed with leopard sightings and this safari was no different with no less than six different leopards in four nights. We also got to see the same leopards a few times so the number of actual sightings was closer to twelve!

This beautiful male was on a waterbuck kill just outside a guest room. He was joined by a female and her cub.

Elephant are well known for their love of water. We watched this bull having a ball while his mates were more subdued and drank before moving off to feed. This waterhole produced elephant almost everyday, and it was great to see a large herd running down to drink.

Dagga Boy's
As they are know are the older males normal found on their own or in small groups. They are fond of wallowing in mud and tend to stay close to waterholes.

Dark Chanting Goshawk

Grooming male lion just prior to starting out for the nightly patrol.

Male leopard on patrol.


I have just had enough!!