I was born in Queenstown in 1967 and grew up on the farm, Bowers Hope, in the Tarkastad district.
My father, Murray Price, pioneered the hunting business in the Eastern Cape, with the first clients arriving in 1963. As children we were to be seen and not heard, so we used to hide under the table to listen to all the hunting stories passed around between legendary hunters from across the globe. That must have been the early influence resulting in my hunting career!
I grew up in the field in the Eastern Cape, mainly on our fifth generation-owned land, with my father and various PHs and trackers who taught me through experience. I learnt many things in my career, and one of these was to be more patient during the hunt and to wait for the best trophy we could get.
I currently hunt in the Eastern Cape on our fifth generation-owned and conserved property, as well as on one of the largest hunting concessions in the Northern Cape where the pristine land has been rehabilitated and managed to be the ultimate hunting area in Southern Africa.
Other countries I have hunted were Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, and Cameroon. In my time I have been in some amusing situations. One I remember in particular was a gemsbok charge when I was with an F16 pilot who had been shot down over Bosnia and lived to tell the tale. The gemsbok was wounded and charged us, and the client ended up shooting it from two yards. We laughed over a beer later, picturing him surviving Bosnia and ending up being killed by a charging gemsbok – imagine the headlines! On another occasion, but not funny, was I nearly being taken out by a buffalo in the Charisa area close to camp.
A very special memory is of one of the most interesting and challenging hunts I have had, hunting with a family with an autistic child. Watching him grow and open up during the safari as he gained in confidence and an attachment to me, touched everyone deeply, especially the parents, seeing their child come alive.
Another memorable hunt was with a client who came on a 30-day safari to hunt the Big Five, having very had very little hunting experience. He was high on testosterone shots and various other drugs. After he ran out of marijuana, we ground up elephant dung in desperation and gave it to him to smoke as a joke! When he realised it wasn’t the real stuff, he completely lost it! But we had a good laugh about it later around the fire.
We also had our share of disasters. We had a group of elderly clients travel to us all the way from Canada, and upon arrival one of the ladies fell down a step and broke her hip. She had to be transported by ambulance to East London for surgery, and they ended up staying with us for a month recovering. They were very gracious about it, as it put an end to their safari.
And a close brush with death was in a recent buffalo hunt where the client wounded it and my son, Grant, finished it off as it was charging, and it landed on top of the cameraman!
My weapon of choice as back-up for dangerous or wounded game is the .458 and I recommend the .300
.300 Win Mag with 180 grain for plains game, and the .458 for dangerous game. And if clients want to improve their safari experience, I suggest they give themselves sufficient time beforehand and practice shooting off sticks as well as getting as fit as possible.
The best trophy animal one of my clients ever took was a 48 inch buffalo, though my favorite animal to hunt is the Vaal rhebok, as they are such beautiful, rare animals that always produce a challenging hunt in the mountains.