Oct 2, 2012, 1:00 AM EDT
My very first African safari took me to Omay, Zimbabwe for a hunt alongside my father on the shores of Lake Kariba -it was here that I finally felt the feeling of home.
This was the place where I fully appreciated all of God’s splendor, that beckoned my soul, that scared me to death, made me feel alive, revealed the magic of the sunset, the brilliance of the stars, the roars of the lion, the mock-charge of elephants, the first time I laid eyes upon an albino black man, the intensity of tracking Cape buffalo, where I felt true fear in tracking wounded leopard, my first encounter in wildlife conservation and the preservation of habitat and humanity, and the first place I killed a big game animal. It was on this safari that my life had changed permanently.
Playing a role in the CAMPFIRE (Communal Areas Management Program For Indigenous Wildlife REsources) program revealed to me what we, as hunters, do for conservation and the role we play in helping the less fortunate. It was because of this safari that I became so passionate about our role as responsible hunters, consequently building my career around the hunting industry.
I’ll be returning to Zimbabwe next week with my fiancé, Tom Opre. We’ll start the safari off by marrying at Victoria Falls and together embark on a journey to Omay to hunt with Martin Pieters Safaris in pursuit of Cape buffalo. We’ll film a few episodes for ‘Eye of The Hunter’ (as seen on NBC Sports) and be accompanied by the Extreme Huntress winner, Jackie Gross.
It’s been nearly 15 years since my first safari in Omay and I’m excited to have Tom with me in the place the shaped my life’s path.
How did your first hunt move you?
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