Explaining his career, Kruger says, ‚ÄúFor 13 years, I have hunted professionally for Thabazimbi Safaris with a three year stint as an apprentice to gain experience, understand how the business works and learn what is required to operate a safari company. I think most people view it as just getting in a hunting truck and pulling the trigger. A lot of planning and headaches go into running a successful company that will stand the test of time.‚Äù
Kruger hunts plains game in the Limpopo Province of South Africa and in 2013 began more actively hunting the Big Five. ‚ÄúI pride myself in what I do and try to make the whole hunting experience as enjoyable as possible for my client,‚Äù says Kruger. ‚ÄúI get excited when a client is aiming at a good trophy. I always try to get the best animal that is available.¬† We do not double book clients so every hunt is personalized to the clients‚Äô needs and they get all the attention for the duration of the hunt, from the moment they land at the airport until the time they depart. They arrive as clients and leave as friends. I also try to get clients to learn a little about South Africa‚Äôs history and its fauna and flora.‚Äù
When hunting plains game, Kruger shoots a.300 Win Mag by his father who is a gunsmith. ‚ÄúI sold my British .303 air gun to get the money to build the rifle, recalls Kruger. ‚ÄúMy father gave me the action. I was involved in building my rifle from scratch and had it made the way I wanted it. It is an extension of my arm.‚Äù¬† When afield for dangerous game, he carries a .416 Rigby that he terms a, ‚Äúgood stopper caliber that I can handle with ease.‚Äù
One of his most memorable hunts occurred in 2013. ‚ÄúI took an older client on a lion hunt to help him make a 50-year dream come true. We tracked a male and a female for hours on end in thick Kalahari sand with the sun burning down on us and he took them with only shot on each animal. After the lion was shot, the client could not stop shaking with excitement. Having already hunted Cape buffalo and leopard, he is now considering an elephant hunt in 2014.‚Äù
Together with some of his clients, Kruger sponsors a local school, supplying food and clothing. ¬†They also provided television sets and video players and helped secure an office where computers are kept. He works with a group breeding nyala and exotic animals, is a member of a local area security group, works with fire fighters and participates in an anti-poaching program.
For more than a decade, Kruger has been a Safari Club member and is an Official Measurer.