Story by Lone Star Outdoor News
Photo by Lili Sams
Herman Coetzee, a professional big game hunter with ties to Texas, died suddenly in Africa this month near his home.
Coetzee, 35, was found dead Oct. 21 at Avis Dam in Klein Windhoek, Namibia. According to Namibian media reports, he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound with a hunting rifle.
He was born in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, growing up in the Bushveld region. Coetzee knew his calling from an early age, according to online sources. When he was 9, Coetzee told his teacher he wanted become a big game hunter – which he did. He was a highly experienced and qualified professional, who hunted big game for nearly half his life. At 16 he completed his professional hunting course and started guiding clients on Safari in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. He worked for Thormahlen & Cochran Safaris from 2006-2012. He joined Chapungu-Kambako Safaris of Namibia in December 2014.
Anso Thormahlen said her former employee guided many successful safaris in South Africa – and had accompanied her daughter, Liane, on a leopard hunt. “It is with great sadness that we learned of the sudden passing of our former professional hunter, Herman Coetzee.”
Over the years, he touched the lives of hunters from all over the world, including Texas. David J. Sams, CEO of Lone Star Outdoor News, said Coetzee’s influenced several Texas hunters including his own daughter Lili, whom he guided on her first safari.
“He treated Lili like she was his own daughter and taught her the ways of safari hunting. He made a real hunter out of Lili on that trip. We can never forget the laughs and stories he told us. Lili looked up to him with great respect and admiration. We were truly blessed to have had Herman as our first professional hunter,” Sams said.
Coetzee is survived by his wife, Jeanetta Johnston, and a 1-year-old daughter.