Articles

May-2014-Cover200

A hunter worthy of the name

Each season has a magic of its own. Autumn with its beautiful changing colours of greens to umber, orange, pale yellows and browns resonates well with hunters for it ushers in the long anticipated, saved and practiced for hunting season. May it be one in which you are successful, grow wiser and appreciate more the wonders of Creation. Hunt ethically, responsibly and without waste.  Never hunt with a callous heart. Let the excitement of having hunted an animal successfully always be tempered by a sense of remorse, sadness and regret. Treat your slain quarry with dignity and respect – do these things and you will be a hunter worthy of the name.

This autumn also ushers in a new season for me personally. After close on 40 years of formally working in the African bush the time has come to (semi-) retire. My wife’s and my decision to finally call it a day has been motivated by a growing irritation and discontent with red tape, officialdom and an ever increasing bureaucracy in what used to be one of the professions least encumbered by these pains. Enough was enough. At our farewell I summed it all up by saying “the system has made me redundant”. So be it.

Now a whole new season has opened up for my wife Bernice and myself. We have moved down to the beautiful farming town of Villiersdorp in the Western Cape and can get down to doing things we really enjoy doing without having to be dictated to by irksome bureaucrats and officials. Don’t get me wrong, we were so privileged and immensely enjoyed the time we spent working in the bush, but times have changed – they are not what they used to be.

Whereas in the past I was a part-time employee of Africa’s Bowhunter, I am now pleased to say that I will be working full-time with Bowhunter, Rean and the team. I have been with and contributed to the magazine since its inception, but have now been kindly invited onto the team full time by Rean. I am very thankful for this and trust that I will serve the magazine and all bowhunters faithfully and with diligence. I have the big shoes of Tom Cairncross to fill – a very challenging task and if I end up doing half as well as he did it will be good enough.  

It was very demanding up until now holding down a full-time job and writing for Bowhunter and other magazines and often had to burn the candle at both ends. Now that I have more time on my hands I hope to get more involved with experimental and testing work with things relating to archery in general and bowhunting in particular. Once we have found our feet I also hope to present bowhunting and tracking courses on a more regular basis.

Rean has become a very good friend of mine over the years. He is one of the few people I know who’s word and handshake is as good as a written contract. Thank you for inviting me onto the team – I trust that with the Father’s help I will serve you well.


Cleve-CheneyCleve Cheney


   

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