Recently I had the privilege of re-visiting Cawood’s Hope Game Lodge in the famous Northern Cape of South Africa. This privately owned family-run farm covers 10 acres of lush green grass and colourful native flowers. Not only is the scenery breathtaking but also offers some of the finest wing shooting in the world.
This prestigious ground is expertly run and maintained by Bob and Alex who have created what can only be described as a wing shooting paradise. Offering a plethora of birds to shoot, from pigeons, doves, guineafowl, francolin, sandgrouse, geese, and all manner of duck. here you really are spoilt for choice.
My guides for the weekend, Bob and Alex are English and they’ve bought all their experience and knowledge for wing shooting in the UK over to South Africa and have done an incredible job. Incidentally, the types of species I was shooting was very different but the actual style of shooting was very familiar.
For this type of shooting I would need a hunting outfit perfectly suited to this type of terrain. The Deerhunter Avanti fleece jacket in Realtree Max-5 offers a lightweight, waterproof and breathable set. The latest Realtree camo pattern provides me with the perfect combination of shadow, grass and foliage suited to the terrain. Realtree Max-5 is a truly universal camouflage pattern for an ever-changing environment.
On the morning of the first day, I travelled down to the local pond which was situated no too far from the lodge. Initially, I perceived it to be quite a dry river bed with small pools of water, but clearly a lot of duck available. Earlier that morning I had been down to have a look and as I arrived two to three hundred ducks all lifted up at the same time, sending the sky black with animals. Then as we moved onto the next section of the pond, another two or three hundred ducks lifted into the air so we knew there was plenty of animals around.
As the sun rose higher I soon took up my position, hoping that not only the ducks that had recently flown by would soon return. The hides were set out in three different areas of the pond, one for myself, one for my hunting partner Matt and one for Javier.
I predicted that with the direction of the wind and with the position of the bank behind us, the birds would come in from my left, sweep past myself, Matt and into Javier; giving us all a very good chance of taking some birds.
The morning started a little slow with the birds flying in groups of twos and threes. After being there for about an hour, we then started to observe large flocks coming in as larger groups of between twenty and thirty at a time. All of which were spinning around, presenting a clear shot as they flew past the stands and past the hides. Whether or not we connected or not was another matter.
Soon they started to become unpredictable and break out behind us and you could never really see where they were coming from. Flying in from the left, flying in from the right and even straight over the top, which really did make for exciting shooting.
As the sun started to descend and the inevitability of the evening drew to a close and with the unmistakable rumble of thunder, it was time to reflect on what had been a truly magnificent day of shooting. There had certainly been a lot birds coming into the pond throughout the day, so all in all a fantastic action-packed days duck shooting.
As we started to pick up the birds and pack our kit away we were greeted with another wonderful sunset that only South Africa can provide.
Ian Harford’s choice for this particular hunt was the Deerhunter Avanti fleece jacket and trousers in Realtree Xtra Green. Click on the image to follow the link to Team Wild Outfitters and purchase the set today: