Illegal hunters with 60 dogs threaten man on local farm

2014-11-28 00:00

A WORRIED father received a call for help when his son came face to face with 10 illegal hunters and their 60 dogs yesterday.

“Dad, a poacher named Ray has got a knife to my chest and they are threatening to kill me.”

This is what Greg Goodall heard his panicked son say after Goodall alerted him to a group of men loitering on their farm.

The illegal hunters held Daniel Goodall (22) at knifepoint, threatening to kill him, on their Wingrove Farm between Pietermaritzburg and Thornville yesterday.

“It’s very hard to control your emotions when something like this happens. It is ­difficult not to feel violated and I had no fear but plenty of anger,” Daniel said ­afterwards.

“I couldn’t see him down in the valley because he was out of the line of sight. I called the [authorities] and they said they would send a unit,” Greg said.

Daniel managed to get away and met up with his father soon after. They both ­patrolled the border of the farm until they found the men and confronted them ­together.

“There were 10 of them and a shouting match ensued. They had about 60 dogs that were just milling around behind them.”

One dog attacked Greg, biting him at the back of his knee. He alleges that the group just walked away after that, laughing as they left.

However, the father and son did manage to apprehend one man afterwards. They spotted a man and a smaller boy carrying a buck over his shoulders, followed closely by two dogs. They held him until the police arrived.

“This happens all the time. We’ve been shot at and threatened with knives many times before; it is a war out there. We are just used to it now; the more we do ­nothing, the more brazen they become,” Greg said.

SACAN CEO Bryan Jones said illegal hunting on farms is a huge issue and the law says that if a dog is not on a leash or not in control on a person’s property, it can be shot.

“Hunting becomes a recreational sport worth millions,” Jones said.

KwaNalu security desk spokesperson Koos Marais said that the local term for these incidents is a “taxi hunt”.

According to Marais, people come from all over the province to bet on these hunts and huge money is spent on the dogs and the hunt itself. A hunting dog can be worth up to R30 000.

“These hunts are seldom for food. Hunters can adopt an extremely ­aggressive attitude, and it is a speedy and well-organised exercise,” Marais said.

If a farm owner comes into contact with illegal hunters, they should take the following steps:

• call SACAN’s 911 emergency response and prevention centre at 086 167 2226; and

• they can also contact Ezemvelo Wildlife or the SPCA.

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