Thor Schmidt

Name: Thor Schmidt
Age:  20 years old
Country: Denmark
Hunting Since: 2013, when I obtained my hunting permit on my 16th birthday.
Where do you hunt: Mostly in Denmark in the Staurby woods on Funen which are general hunts, but also in South Africa, where I have now spent three months on a game farm.
Preferred hunting type: I love all types of hunting, but what I like most is definitely general hunts, because of the sense of togetherness and the socialising, as well as stalking.
What do you usually hunt for? Roe deer and pheasants
Choice of weapon: My favourite rifle is my Sauer 101 calibre 30.06, while my favourite shotgun is a CZ over-under 12 gauge.

More about Thor Schmidt

When did you first start taking an interest in hunting?

I’ve always been interested in weapons, fishing and the great outdoors – I picked it up from my father. We have spent a lot of time fishing together, and I was allowed to shoot an air rifle from when I was 7 years old.

When I was about 14, my father introduced me properly to hunting, and I loved it. I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to get my hunting permit and go hunting. I got my permit when I turned 16, and since then I haven’t look back...

What are you doing in South Africa?

I’m spending a gap year here. I have a job that varies greatly from one day to the next. One day we might be erecting a fence around the Nylan Camp, the next we might be searching the bush for a wounded wildebeest.

After only two days here, I had to go and help chase poachers out of the area. Five of us set off in the dark, armed with rifles and shotguns, and only the light of the moon to guide us.

In the time ahead we will be releasing a flock of sable and nyala antelopes on the farm. In general, my days are spent feeding the animals, reloading ammunition, skinning animals and driving around the 3,500-hectare farm to inspect the animals and the area.

One type of hunting which we do a lot of here is wingshooting – hunting for birds. Of course, there’s also a lot of other hunting, which I participate in and help with. For example, I have to help handle the animals when they are to be shot, or if an animal is wounded.

What do you think about the products that you’ve been given to test?

I’m really happy with the Deerhunter products I have tested.

They’re great products and excellent clothing. I have tested two pairs of trousers – Strike and the Lofoten zip-off trousers. Both are ideal for hunting in South Africa, as they are silent and extremely comfortable to wear. They’re excellent quality, and can protect your legs against thorns. Neither pair of trousers is too warm to wear, because the fabric is such good quality.

Almost all the trees and bushes in South Africa are covered in thorns. It is therefore practical and quite necessary to have trousers that don’t rip easily when you go hunting. You rarely go hunting in shorts, as they don’t cover your legs. The zip-off trousers are practical in that I can hunt in them, and later zip-off the legs and continue doing other work in shorts without any difficulties.

The Muflon zip is probably the softest fleece jacket I’ve ever worn – it’s almost like a blanket with pockets. It keeps me wonderfully warm in the mornings when I’m sitting in the back of the pickup heading off on a hunting trip, and in the evenings when we’re chatting around the fire.

I also wear my T-shirts a lot as they’re extremely comfortable, and the perfect colour for hunting. The T-shirts are not too warm, which is important because it quickly gets very hot in Africa. Gideon and Bamboo are a couple of great shirts. Even though the Bamboo shirt is long-sleeved, it feels cool to wear and you hardly feel that you’re wearing it because it’s so light. Gideon is quite smart, and ideal when you return to base and need something slightly neater to wear.

What are your hunting plans?

I want to get as much experience with hunting, game and the outdoors as possible. I dream of a career in hunting, and all that goes with it. If everything goes to plan the next few years, I will travel to Scotland for six months and work with hunting and game. Then I want to travel to New Zealand for six months and gain experience with hunting and game there. Once I turn 21, I’ll return to South Africa to do a professional hunting (PH) training programme. My plan is to end up working as a professional hunter, full-time.

What’s your dream hunting destination – and why?

My dream destination has to be USA or Australia. I really want to shoot a white tail in USA, but also to experience hunting and nature in Australia.

How do you prepare for a hunt?

I always choose the clothes I’m going to wear the day before, so I can sleep as long as possible. On the day, I get up and take a shower, eat breakfast and drink a good cup of coffee. Before going out the door, I always check that I have all my gear with me. I never go anywhere without my two knives – one to cut up the dead animal, and another for everything else.

What’s been your most challenging hunt?

My most challenging hunting expedition was a week in Sweden hunting elk with family and friends. It wasn’t physically tough at all, but mentally demanding.

We got up 6.00 am to eat breakfast and get ready. Then we drove out into Sweden’s large forests. We were each assigned a post, where we sat from about 7.30 am to 4.00-5.00 pm. And we did that for six days.

When you’re sitting at a post, you are not supposed to move or talk. You spend eight hours just staring into the woods. During the whole time that we were there, none of us saw a single creature.

So for eight hours a day, for six days, the only company you had was the cold winter wind, the occasional barking of the dogs in the distance, and a few solitary birds flying overhead.

Most of the time it was dead quiet. Not a sound for hours. But despite the very long days, it was still amazing to sit in the middle of nowhere and just listen to the silence. Relishing the fresh air that filled everything around you with vitality. Would I do it again? If I had the chance – YES. Because even though it was tedious sitting there, it was also wonderful.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to become a hunter?

Just do it! If at any time you’ve thought about going hunting, find someone in your circle of friends who hunts, and ask if you can join them on a hunt.

You will never regret getting a hunting permit, with all the new experiences it gives you, and new friendships. I certainly don’t regret getting mine. It has given me so much and has helped make me who I am today. Whether you are young or old, just do it! It will only bring more experiences to your life.

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