Your Hunt for the Perfect Hunting Knife has Ended
By: Arno Heritage
My favorite childhood memories are no doubt those of hunting and fishing with my dad. Every summer we’d pack up the old Ford Cortina bakkie with our gear, and make the long haul to the Orange River in the Northern Cape for camping, fishing and family fun – just mom, dad, and I. We’d set up camp, get a good night’s sleep in our oversized tent, and head out every morning, bright and early in search of our daily conquest.
Mom would usually stay back at the camp sunning and whatnot, as dad and I would head down to the river; canoe, poles, tackle and hunting knives in tow.
I’ll never forget catching my first fish. It was a relatively small Barbel, palm-sized at best, but I was excited beyond belief. I was 8, at the time. I felt the nibble on the line and rather unskillfully reeled in what might as well have been a Great White. Once the fish was on deck, dad pulled out his favorite knife, a cammo hunting knife, and helped me cut the line. We tossed my shimmering beauty into the bucket and continued to fish for a couple more hours. Dad caught a few more Barbels and a Small Mouth Bass, but aside from my initial catch, I was fishless.
After we’d had enough father/son, fun in the sun, we headed back to camp. I was brimming with excitement, and couldn’t wait to show mom my whopping monster of a fish (in my child-mind, it was nothing less than Nessie). Mom played along and acted as if it were the biggest fish she’d ever seen, never mind dad’s Bass, which was at least five times the size.
Mom and dad then began building a campfire. I helped, by gathering as many dried twigs and branches as I could find. While the fire was igniting, dad taught me how to gut a fish; an exercise mom had no interest in, as she found it totally gross.
Again, dad pulled out his cammo hunting knife, scaled, and then splayed open my trophy. I remember how effortlessly he’d done this, like cutting butter. I assisted in digging out the guts, which was super fun. Once the fish was clean and rinsed, mom tossed it in a skillet and cooked it over the open fire. It was the best meal I’d eaten in my entire 8 year life.