Just over a week ago, information was leaked to Carte Blanche, a major South African Television Program for Investigative Journalism. They aired their findings on a Sunday night, and the next morning, Alldays was flooded by journalists and protestors.
In the dawn's light, it is a chilling sight that starts becoming evident about 16kms out on the Breschau Rd, on the way to the Ammondale Lodge and Braam Farm.
These farms had been prepared for a DRIVEN HUNT. The farms are divided into roughly square blocks of 1 – 2kms wide. The shooting platforms of about 3m high, line the sides, scattered along the cleared pathways, around 50 – 100m apart. There are 600 of these platforms. There is nothing that can prepare you for the sheer scale of this.
A DRIVEN HUNT works as follows: There is a human chain of around 75 workers that start along a fence or path. They are spaced around ten metres apart, and start walking into the bush, talking as they go. They are the Chasers, the people who scare the terrified game to run away from them, and directly into the path of the waiting shooters on the platforms. On the driven hunt that we witnessed, the first hunting platform we observed was as little as 200m from where the chasers started. The first shots rang out within a few seconds after the chasers started walking. With 13 hunters attending this event, and an estimated 2 set-ups per day, each hunter kills approximately 2 animals per day. Because it is a moving target, the probability of wounding an animal is very high. This is why there is a specially trained sniffer dog to hunt down wounded prey, which would then be followed, and shot dead, if it can be found. The DRIVEN HUNT is the bloodsport of choice of a number of European Hunters, and this event was specially organized for them. It has received so much publicity, that every single driven hunt at this lodge (Ammondale Lodge) from here on is probably already fully booked.