trophy hunting

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Hunting Bucket List

A Bucket List is a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime. Your Hunting Bucket List is exactly the same. There is an extremely diverse assortment of game animals available in Africa. A hunter needs to narrow down the species he intends to take on a given safari as all species are not common to a single geographical area. Here are two animals that not a lot of people have hunted before, and if you haven’t hunted one of them yet, it should definitely be on your Hunting Bucket List for your next trip to South Africa.

Roan 

The Roan is the second largest antelope in Africa. This fairly large antelope is indigenous to the northern reaches of Southern Africa. However, game ranching has made him available in many places where it was not previously found. The “roan” in its name refers to its coloring, which shows a strawberry tint when the light is right. The .270 Win should be the absolute minimum when hunting Roan. The 30 calibers is a much better choice. Your best bet for hunting roan antelope is a good .338 magnum, the 9.3mm or the trusty .375 H&H. The high heart/lung shot will do nicely for the side-on presentation, straight up the front leg one-third into the body. Be cautious when hunting the roan antelope, as this big fellow can be extremely dangerous. Definitely one for your Hunting Bucket List.

Tsessebe

The Tsessebe is reputed to be the fastest of all African antelope. It has a dark face with purple blotches on the shoulders, whereas the withers and upper body are reddish-brown. The .270 Win and a good expanding 130-grain bullet should be considered the minimum. Rather look to the 7mm’s or the 30 calibers with up to 180-grain bullets for a better result when hunting Tsessebe. Do not be fooled by the hump on its shoulder, it may cause you to shoot too high. With a side-on presentation, the high heart-lung shot is the recommended medicine, up the front leg about one-third into the body. Do not place your shot any higher than the midline. If you take a shoulder shot, place it a bit further up and farther forward than you would the standard high heart shot. The neck is a bit too slender to recommend the neck/spinal shot. If while hunting Tsessebe, he offers the frontal shot, take care and place your shot in the center of the chest between the shoulder joints; wait until he lifts or turns his head. When spooked, he will run a short distance, stop and look back, even if serious danger has threatened. There is its mistake, and there is your shot.

Goals that are not written down are just wishes. We would accomplish much more things if we did not think of them as impossible. South Africa should be on the top of your Bucket List as a Holiday destination. Its unsurpassed wildlife combined with wonderful clear skies, amazing sunsets, breath-taking natural scenery, history, culture and some of the best vineyards in the world will ensure an adventure you will never forget!

References – www.africanskyhunting.co.za and www.krugerpark.co.za

The skills female hunters can teach their children

The skills female hunters can teach their children – Most parents, and especially women, reconsider their lifestyle when their children are born.  They consider whom they befriend, how they act in public and in what daily activities they engage in.  Hunting is also something every mother should consider when having children.

Here are some things children learn when they see their mother hunting, or go with her, when hunting.

Emotional management

Emotional management is crucial to hunting.  Every mother has a choice of how she wants her child to see her.  Most mothers would agree that they would like their children to think they are strong enough and able to handle a variety of problems or situations.  Being too stressed or too excited could all lead to a failed hunting attempt.  Sometimes the day doesn’t go according to plan.  Unfortunately, that is how life is too.  Children need to see their mother handle disappointment and success, so that as they grow, they are able to reflect back on those moments and learn from them.  It makes for good life lessons.

Acquiring skills

Hunting is a skill that needs to be practiced.  One does not just take up a weapon and shoot.  Time, effort and dedication needs to be put in. Children learn what weapon to use for what type of game and what to take into consideration when shooting long distances for instance.  Through this they learn that acquiring a skill takes practice and dedication.

Perseverance

Walking in the bush for day in and day out creates perseverance.  Unlike what most people think, hunting can be tedious, as well as rewarding.  Walking and stalking a specific prey can take hours and days.  Most women hunt with men, who might physically be more able than they are.  During that time, each woman comes face to face with the knowledge of her own physical strength, ability to persevere, ability to fail and ability to succeed.  It is often acknowledged how people gain self-insight through periods of hardship.  A hunting trip can create that same situation for self-reflection for women.

Benefits of nature

Child specialists all agree that playing outside has definite developmental advantages, from enhanced physical development to increased health from vitamin D exposure through the sun.  Children (and also their mothers) do therefore not only develop physically when in nature, but they also experience nature through the feeling of crisp mornings and spectacular sunsets and sunrises.  When children are in nature they have a chance to see how animals behave and what animals move during what time of day and season.  The only way you can truly gain such knowledge is by spending time in nature.

Hunting teaches that small things count.  One needs to be aware of nature and all its facets.  The time of day, temperature and direction of the wind all affects the behavior of animals and one therefore need to adapt one ones expectations.  Because nature doesn’t change according to your whims.  A child learn to respect nature and that there is something bigger than their own needs.

Hunting Responsibility

Hunting teaches all involved what role they play in the eco-system and how important it is to look after all role-players in the system.  From the conservation of endangered animals, to feeding and taking care of the local communities through feeding schemes and work creation. Children learn how to handle weapons responsibly, keep it safe and have respect for it.  Children learn to not only be aware of their own safety, but also to be aware of the safety of others.  In a world that teaches freedom of expression and behavior, hunting teaches the control of behavior.

Trophy Hunting Leads To Wildlife Conservation

A trophy to a hunter doesn’t just mean a head on a wall.  There is a misconception that hunting is only to the benefit of the hunter.  What is often ignored is the fact that for each trophy that is hunted, there is a direct influence on the community.

A trophy never gets wasted.  It is usually taken to be skinned so that all parts of the animal can be put to use.

Providing meat to communities and others

According to Stats Africa, Africa comprises out of 75% of the world’s poorest countries.  Many things that others take for granted, Africans see as a luxury – even basic necessities, such as clean running water, electricity, and sanitary can in some communities be seen as luxury.  Providing much-needed food for those communities are an integral part of community service.  Most farms make sure that their own workers and the workers family gets enough meat.  The meat is not only used to feed the workers on the farm, but is very often donated to less fortunate communities.  The game meat of the trophy can also be made into patties, mince, sausage, fillets and stews.  South African delicacies, such as biltong (dried meat), dry sausages and chilli bites, are also made and much enjoyed.

Appreciating nature

In South Africa, we do take conservation seriously.  Most people working within the hunting industry loves nature – that’s why they choose to be professional hunters.  In order to be a good professional hunter you need to be able to sense what goes on around you in nature and have knowledge about animals, their habitat and behavior.  They need to have knowledge about plants, bushes and trees and that you only get through appreciating nature and putting in extra time and effort into learning about nature.

Profits of hunting

Hunting is a profitable business, as money needs to be made in order to provide the necessary infrastructure, water provision and sometimes vet services in order to look after the animals.  There has also been quite a few community projects, as can be seen when you look at PHASA’s “Hunters Care” Activities.  Two examples of community projects that have been funded by hunting, is the Wild Hearts Rehabilitation Centre, as well as the Wintershoek Pre-Primary School.

Wild Hearts Rehabilitation Centre

The Wild Hearts Rehabilitation Centre focus on the rehabilitation of injured or orphaned animals and re-introduce them back into their native habitat.  Animals that would have died if left out into the wild are given a second chance at life.

Wintershoek Pre-Primary School

This school gives the local children an opportunity to go to a school that can prepare them before entering the primary school years.  It has a qualified teacher that focus on their educational, emotional and social development.  The school is open to all children in the vicinity and is specifically targeted at parents who do not have the financial capability to send their children elsewhere.  The school is for free and provides two nourishing meals a day for the children attending.

In conclusion – it is all about ethical hunting.  It’s about having respect for each animal and for nature.  It’s knowing that animals were put on this earth for humans to eat and survive, but also knowing that it is our human responsibility to look after those animals that also provides us with a living.  Hunting enables us to not only look after ourselves but also look after those less fortunate.  We hunt responsibly.

How Trophy Hunting helps Conservation

In the eyes of millions trophy hunting is a disgrace! Surely trophy hunters are murderers, animal slaughters? We can’t really blame these people for thinking this way. They sit in an apartment somewhere in a huge city in the States for example. They have no clue what actually is happening in Africa. They have never set foot on African soil, and probably never will. Here is what you need to know before ever judging a trophy hunter again.

Animals that were on the brink of extinction.

Truth is, without trophy hunting, several of South Africa’s species would already be extinct. If there was no Trophy Hunting, there would be no incentive to invest in game. The Rhino would already be extinct. But because there is such a huge incentive on a Rhino trophy, private reserve owners protects them at all cost, to ensure that the specie does not go extinct. It literally costs millions of Rand to protect Rhino, because of poaching treats. By hunting one brings in enough money to successfully protect 3 others! If private land owners do not get that money from trophy hunting, there simply would not be money to protect them, and their survival would be left in the hands of poachers.

Thanks to hunting, our sable, bontebok, wild ostrich, Cape mountain zebra, black wildebeest and many other species have been brought back from the brink of extinction and have successfully been reintroduced into areas where they had become locally extinct. But how does hunting contribute to this you ask??

It is actually very simple. Say for example you have three Springbuck – one female, an old ram and a younger ram. The old bull cannot procreate anymore, but he is aggressive towards the younger ram and stops it from breeding with the female. So what will happen? All three will eventually die and you will have no Springbuck. But before this happens you get a hunter that shoots the old Springbuck and pays a trophy fee to do so. Now the other two can breed, and all of a sudden you have 3 again! But wait; there is still the money you got from trophy fees, enough to buy 2 more. Now you have 5 Springbuck. And this process just repeats is self over and over! And that is how you save species by means of trophy hunting!

Of course there are a lot of other factors, but this is the easiest way to explain it. And the entire animal gets used after it has been hunted. The meat is used to feed communities or is sold for further profit. Most outfitters regularly take meat into poor communities where they cannot afford such “luxuries”. And the skin is used to make furniture. It is all about ethical and responsible hunting.

Take Kenya for example. They banned all forms of hunting in the 70’s, and since then lost 85% of their wildlife! Kenya is showing us what happens when there is no incentive to invest in game.

In the next article we will discuss what Trophy hunting actually means to the South African Economy. And yes there are Outfitters and people out there that do not follow the rules. It is those people who give hunting a bad name. But the majorities are all about saving and protecting the rich diversity of species that South Africa has.