The Lady Bowhunts for African Elephant
By Teressa Groenewald
Oct 4, 2007 – 8:44:33 AM
Teressa Hagerman was born in Texas and raised in Southwest Missouri. She graduated from Missouri Southern State University with a BS degree in psychology, with minors in sociology, math, political science, and history. She also played basketball, softball, and rugby while in college.
Teressa began hunting at the age of 24 in South Africa. A year later, she started marketing for Out of Africa Adventurous Safari’s and became a Professional Hunter in South Africa. While working for Out of Africa she honed her hunting skills in the bush, guiding.
Teressa is a life member of Safari Club International, and serves on the board of directors for the Kansas City SCI chapter. She is also a member of the NRA, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, and the SCI Sables.
She has lectured on African safari’s in numerous venues including; schools, women’s organizations and safari club meetings.
The Quest Begins: Watch this adventure on VS: Nov 8.
Times when known.
First off, I’ve got several people and sponsors I’d like to thank:
This hunt is being dedicated to all the soldiers fighting for our freedom, in the middle east and my family. I particularly want to thank my Mom and Dad, I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for all your support and the ethics and values you instilled in me from a young age. My brother, George, thanks for being there for me through all of this. I also need to thank Mike and Joyce Christianson. Mike is my bow hunting guru. He helped me get set up with the proper equipment. When a certain bow company backed out as a sponsor at the last possible minute, it was Mike that put me in touch with the Pete and Jon Shepley and all the great people at PSE. They gave me two X-Force bows, set them up with all the bells and whistles and provided the arrows to boot. Thanks for having so much faith in me.
I’ll never forget it.
Danner boots saved my butt with their Pronghorn boots. I didn’t have time to break them in before the hunt, so I was worried about my feet. They told me that I wouldn’t have to worry about anything because the Pronghorn’s didn’t need a break in period. I didn’t even get so much as a blister for all the walking we did! Foxy Huntress provided me with all the clothes a woman could dream of having on a safari. There were so many great things to wear. Being the woman that I am, I was excited about wearing all the different outfits, that was until Ed George, the cameraman, politely informed me that I’d have to wear the same clothes each day of the hunt until I harvested my elephant. I wore the same outfit for 10 days straight! Now if that isn’t testament enough to the quality apparel of Foxy Huntress, I don’t know what would be.
I also need to thank my chiropractor, Dr. Hugo M. Gibson at Body Dynamics Chiropractic in Lee’s Summit, MO. He brought his portable table with him so he could adjust my back and shoulders. I don’t think I would have been able to do it without his help, thanks Doc. I also owe a huge thank you to Dudley Rogers and everyone at Tshabezi Safari’s. Dudley worked his heart out to get us into elephant. We at least saw elephant every day we were there. He is one heck of a PH. I highly recommend his services to anyone interested in hunting Zimbabwe. I also have to thank those who didn’t have the opportunity to go on the safari with me: Jim Solomon Xplor the Southwest Radio. Jim put me into contact with all the right people. Jim was the first to interview me about the safari and has monitored my progress since we met at the Shot Show. Avid Archery in Olathe, Kansas, Columbia River Knife & Tool, Conroe Taxidermy, Hunts of a Lifetime – Glenn Bevin, Johnson County Dermatology – Dr. John Proffitt and Team Rowlet – Fred Rowlet. Fred took the time to learn what muscle groups were required to pull the heavy bows. He’s one of the reasons I could pull 85lbs. And finally, Xplor the Outdoors Radio Show streamed live around the globe on xplortheoutdoors.com.
The night before departure:
It was pouring rain, hailing, and there was loud thunder and lightening. My mind was full of thoughts because there was so much riding on this hunt? no sleep for me!
Departure day, May 7 and 8:
I was awake before the alarm went off, of course. What little sleep I did get didn’t relax my body enough to feel rested. Doc met me at my house at 6:00 am. We had a quick breakfast of oatmeal and coffee, loaded the truck and headed off to the airport in the pouring rain. There was a little excitement at the Atlanta airport when we were getting close to the departure time and the Christiansons hadn’t showed. They finally did, and the next thing we knew we were off on the long flight to Johannesburg.
|We met the Christiansons and then back to camp.
It was a terribly long flight. The plane didn’t have the little personal TV screens in the back of the seat in front of us, so watching a movie or two to pass the time was out of the question. I did manage to get some sleep though, which helped. After landing in Joburg, and getting through customs without any real trouble, we took a shuttle to the Garden Court hotel to overnight. A much needed shower and the first decent meal of the trip and I was ready for bed.
|Flying in to camp.
We all met for breakfast downstairs in the lobby of the hotel early the next morning and then took the shuttle back to the airport to finally meet Ed George, the cameraman. We met Ed and headed for Bulawayo. Clinton Rogers (Dudley Rogers son, also an accomplished PH and bush pilot) would then fly us to the camp in their Cessna 206. Both flights were fairly short and pleasant. It was nice to get there and know I didn’t have to travel any more.
After lunch and unpacking what little gear we were able to bring with us in the plane, I was ready to get to the range and make sure my bow was still sighted in. It seemed as if everyone from Camp had to watch me practice to see if I was capable of taking on the task. There’s nothing like performing in front of a crowd.
|Practice was a daily event to stay sharp.
All our clothes and heavy baggage had to be transported by truck to the camp. The luggage ended up getting there at about 10:30 that evening, well after we were counting sheep.
The rest of the evening was spent sitting around the fire pit after dinner watching everyone else drink sundowners while I stuck with my water. I made a commitment not to enjoy any wine or desert until I accomplished my goal. I couldn’t wait to get my elephant. Off to bed I went.
|Ed the cameraman from Orion Media on the fly in.
Next: The hunt begins.
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