VIDEO: The 'real crocodile hunter' takes daughter shooting

WE WOULD go on school holidays with Tarter (our father, Frank) crocodile shooting.

Late in the afternoon he would head off in his dinghy and tell me to drive his Land Rover along the river bank in an hours time to meet him with the boat.

I was about eight or nine at the time.

I would put the Rover in low gear and head down along the river and, sure as eggs, we would find him waiting on the bank with a pile of crocs ready to load them in.

Croc shooting at night was a real experience for us as kids. We would look for red eyes on the water and Tarter would shoot them between the eyes, killing them instantly.

From surviving the Second World War and being held captive in German concentration camps, to becoming a crocodile hunter, Frantiseck (Frank) Cervenak lived a full life.
From surviving the Second World War and being held captive in German concentration camps, to becoming a crocodile hunter, Frantiseck (Frank) Cervenak lived a full life.

If they didn't surface after a while he would enter the water and find them. We would all hold our breath until he came back up, which he always did.

We were all taught to respect the crocodile but were all also taught to fire a rifle at a very young age purely for safety reasons.

When I was in about grade four we had a fancy-dress competition for the town of Normanton, Far North Queensland, where we lived.

Tarter said: "You're going as Pebbles from the Flintstones!"

He made me a wooden wagon, a hessian bag strapped over one shoulder, tied a bone in my hair, tied a baby crocodile on my wagon and off we went.

When I walked into the hall all the kids ran away, which I couldn't work out why. But, needless to say, I won first prize.

- Daughter Jana Whittaker


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