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What do you do if you are wary of the economic situation, but also in love with hunting? The answer is simple – Make sure that when you hunt, it is a successful hunt.
Economic Challenging Times
A few global events took place in 2016 that led to a wariness of the economy by the general public. Uncertainty still seems to be present in both Europe and US. In Europe, the British vote to leave the European Union in 2016 after years of increasingly ambivalent membership was greeted with a mixture of defiance, fear, and jubilation. It is likely that this will lead to important implications for global trade in the coming years and has therefore led to a certain amount of uncertainty.
The election of Donald Trump as the US President in 2016 is also another event that came as a surprise to the world. Trump has made news about his talk of changing foreign policies and to build a wall to separate the United States and Mexico. It is expected that President Trump’s foreign policy decisions will dominate the news in 2017, and possibly redefine America’s relations with the world. This might also lead to a certain amount of wariness among the general public.
The Hunter in Economic Challenging Times
Despite these global events, a positive global economic outlook for 2017 is still predicted. The uncertainty has however resulted in a wariness of hunters to travel internationally. This is understandable as the impact of the world economy has an impact on our everyday lives. Perhaps the most easily seen impact is a hunter’s own currency against the currency of the country he/she hunts in. It is now more important than ever before those hunters get value for their money.
For a lot of people, these economic changes could implicate that their hunting trip is not an annual holiday anymore, but it is now a trip of a lifetime. It is therefore recommended, that when you hunt, you must ensure that it is a successful hunt.
Successful hunting tips
Here are some ways to have a successful hunt despite economic challenges:
- Make use of a hunting outfitter with an excellent reputation. Most hunting outfitters provide references and hunters are usually more than willing to provide information about their past hunts. References should include information about the hunting ethics of the outfitter, professionalism, planning and communication and hunting opportunities.
- Plan your hunt with precision. Your hunting outfitter should help you with information about rifle licenses, transportation etc. This will keep you from wasting money on unforeseen circumstances.
- Make sure you know exactly what is included in the daily rate. Things like food, drinks, PH, hunting vehicle, trackers, daily laundry, VAT etc must be considered. There is nothing worse than receiving your invoice and seeing that there are a lot of extra costs (hidden costs) included.
- Find out if your deposit refundable in the case of a cancellation.
- Consider combining your hunting trip with a sightseeing trip. Some don’t know whether they will visit the country again, so making the most of the time you have, is important.
- The quality of the lodge. Although there are individual differences, most hunters prefer good quality lodges. Remember that you spend hard days in the bush and that you do not want to be uncomfortable at night. Make sure that the hunting outfitter and country is able to provide the type of accommodation you prefer.
- The size of the hunting area. This is important, as it will impact your hunting experience. You do not want to walk into a fence every few miles. Make sure that the hunting area is big. The area must also comprise out of one large hunting area, instead of a few divided areas.
- Not all lodges have Wi-Fi and it is, therefore, important to find out beforehand the availability and policy of Wi-Fi at the chosen lodge.
Keeping these small, but important things in mind will help you make the most of your safari and will ensure that you have the best hunting experience.
Hunting is not just going out into the bush and shoot the animal. Hunting is hard work. Your knowledge and skill will be tested to the utmost extreme.
There are of course various institutes where you can sharpen your skills, but most of your knowledge and skills would have come from your dad or grandpa. From your young days you would be out hunting with dad, observing, learning… And when the time is right, get your opportunity. But if you did not have this opportunity and want to start hunting now, here are some pointers on getting started:
In order to do this you would need a gun. Do not go out and buy one. Rifles are expensive and you don’t want to spend your hard saved money on a rifle and then later decide that hunting is not for you. It would be ideal if you knew someone with rifles. That person can then also give you some advice and pointers, especially on gun safety. You can also go to your local shooting range. They will help you and there are usually various courses that you can also do. Learn about guns and how they work, and as mentioned learning about gun safety is the most important! The more you practice, the better you’ll get.
You will probably not know where to start. Get in contact with a hunting association that is dedicated to Conservation through sustainable utilization. One such organization in South Africa is CHASA (The Confederation of Hunting Associations of South Africa). There aims to represent the hunter in securing the freedom to hunt. This is achieved through promoting sustainable ethical hunting practices through leadership and advocacy of all matters related to hunting and the freedom to hunt. Associations like this will be more than willing to help. In the States it is very similar. Take advantage of all the help offered.
Buying a rifle
When you feel that this is you, then buy yourself a rifle. Before you can do this you first need to get a firearm license. You will need to undergo training at an accredited institution and obtain a training proficiency certificate. You must successfully pass the prescribed test to prove your knowledge of the Firearms Control Act, 2000 as well as the prescribed training and practical test regarding the safe and efficient handling of a firearm at an accredited training provider. Once you have obtained the competency certificate, you can apply for the firearm license at your nearest police station. You need a license for every firearm that you possess. (This is how it works in South Africa).
Hunting is one of the ways to get as close to nature as possible. Get out of the busy life in the city and enjoy nature at its very best! Good luck and remember, safety and ethical hunting always comes first.
We had our Annual PH meeting on Tuesday (February 28, 2017) at Linksfontein Lodge. Although meetings were the order of the day, we got the opportunity to catch up after not seeing each other for a while! It is always a great reunion when the whole team gets together! On Tuesday night we had an inside braai while the rain was pouring outside! We are all set to go for the rest of the year and all the hunting that awaits!
There are many different rifle calibers and makes out there. It can sometimes be a very difficult and confusing task to pick the right one.
Here are a couple of tips on which rifles might be better for different hunting situations in Africa:
Big Game Hunting
“This topic will be debated for many years to come. The best possible answer is to bring the gun that you are the most comfortable with and that you feel most confident shooting. The rifles you intend to bring along are subject to government rules and regulations as set out in the SAPS 520 section. If a recommendation had to be made (this is not a rule though), we would suggest a 30-06 and a 375. With these calibers you will be able to hunt anything that walks in the African bushveld”.
Dangerous Game Hunting
“Experienced Hunters as well as professional hunters will all have their own opinion on their favorite rifle. When hunting for dangerous game, the .375 caliber is the minimum prescribed by law in most African countries”. “For hunting dangerous game one of the 400 caliber hunting rifles should be considered. A 404 Jeffrey, 416 Rigby, 458 WM, 458 Lott, 470 or bigger – Pieter Kriel”.
“When coming to Africa for plains game, bring a rifle that you are completely familiar with and comfortable shooting. The .270 Win should be considered the minimum for most medium-sized plains game species, although a smaller caliber can also get the job done with a well-placed shot”. “The 30.06 caliber is also a very good all-round choice for plains game hunting in Africa. It has a proven track record and ammunition is readily available. Other calibers like the .308, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7mm-08, 300 Win Mag are all great choices”.
“The 300 Win Mag is an excellent all-round choice, especially if your safari will take you to areas where long shots may be necessary”.
“The most popular calibers brought along on any South African hunting safari trip range from a 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 30-06 to a 300 WSM and 300 Win Mag”. As mentioned the most important thing to keep in mind is that you feel comfortable and confident with the rifle you are bringing. Bullets play just as an important role. A bad bullet can cause a great shot to be bad, especially when hunting bigger game. Most important is to get to the shooting range. Get comfortable with your rifle, and when on safari, listen to the advice from your PH.
Hunter John Tinley