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    This past week, saw us finishing off another chapter in this Bushwise field guides course – Advanced Rifle Handling assessments. After weeks of hard work and practice between lots of game drives and the last few lectures, it was time to see if all that hard work was going to pay off. All students were allowed to practice their assessment with live rounds before the big day arrived… Now I’m not quite sure if it was because of the intense summer temperatures heading this way, or the pressure of assessments, but one thing was for sure, everyone was sweating bullets! In general, all our students did a great job! Some felt their nerves a bit more than others, and for those of you that haven’t ever experienced a rifle handling assessment with a large calibre rifle, nerves never help! From our point as trainers and assessors, we are quite happy with the results, especially from a firearm safety point of view! A very big congratulations to Jaq, Robbie, Greg and Rogan for going all the way through and passing the final exercise! Let’s hope that this is the one qualification that none of you will never use out on a walking trail.

    While some were shooting, the rest of our student groups spent every day – morning and afternoon out on the reserve, honing their guiding skills for the other upcoming assessment, the FGASA level 1 assessment that is! Sightings have been great as always, with some of the highlights being tiny Black-backed jackal pups, great hyena sightings, interacting with their cubs and food and even the elusive bushpig! That’s one animal we do not see very often on the reserve! To think sightings were not on the priority list this week.

    In between all the happenings this week, students have also been heading off to placement interviews and towards the latter part of the week, everyone took part in a very hot afternoon snare sweep on our neighbouring property. To celebrate the success of the week & semester, a trip up to the Mariepskop Mountains was done, with a swim in the river to cool down! What a great way to end a busy week, and semester. It has been another great one here at Bushwise, and we hope you all have a great and well deserved off week, travel safe! 

    Until Next time,

    Charles and The Bushwise Team