Ready, Aim, Fire – Tracking week & Firearm competency
The group shot into into action this week, full of enthusiasm for their tasks ahead. Everyone was pumped to take on the challenges that lay ahead of them. The one group, taking on animal tracking with Collin Patrick, came in with open minds ready to take in all the knowledge that was thrown at them.
Though they were beat down by blistering heat and challenging terrains, they never lost their initiative and pushed through to master this amazing art. However, as it is in the bush, no condition is ever perfect. They faced many factors making their tracking a little tougher to deal with. Rain, degradation – anything that makes that track just a little more difficult to interpret.
But the group had patience, took a breath and went on to conquer this skill without wavering. Many stepped away in success, earning their badges as trackers. And those who did not, this was not a loss; these people gained a knowledge and skill that they will value for the rest of their lives and can always come back to show that hard work and persistence is key to achieving what you want.
As for the other group, myself included, our day had a few bumps in the road. The first day of our firearm handling competency started with a slow lift off, coming across some unexpected challenges. Luckily, we were granted a second chance and came back determined and full of confidence. We went through the process of writing our tests and proved intellectually we had what it takes to handle our firearms confidently. Up next was the physical side of things, shooting the firearm, at which point most of us became very nervous, very quickly. For those of us who have had experience shooting, this was more a chance to prove we still had what it takes to hit the bulls-eye.
I myself, as the saying goes, was close but no cigar. But many first timers did an amazing job, conquering the adrenaline rush and showing who is in control behind the barrel and went on to get some amazing groupings on their targets.
It was an intense experience but we all walked away more confident, and definitely with a good story to tell all our friends and family back home. In the end, as per usual, we all came back to camp to share our stories, our experiences, and, no doubt, talk about the memories we’ll have in the days to come that can only be appreciated in our little family at Bushwise, #classofJanuary2018.
Blog by Armand Schneider