Why hunt?

Hunting is basic human instinct. We evolved as hunter-gatherers and hunters of today seek a connection with those feelings buried deep in themselves. Hunting is one of the best ways to discover new things about yourself and also new things about the natural environment.

Why do hunters say they are conservationists?

Hunting is also an ideal way to preserve and conserve the natural environment. This is not as contradictory as you think. Real world examples in Tanzania, South Africa and Mozambique have all shown hunting to be the best way to protect the bounty of nature.

In Mozambique , hunting concessions build roads, provide infrastructure, employment and education to some of the poorest parts of the country. Concession owners are responsible for providing anti-poaching patrols, protecting endangered species and training the local population in conservation.

In South Africa, hunting alone is a Billion Rand industry and has helped to repopulate and continue to protect species such as the white rhino, black wildebeest, bontebok and others. It has been proven consistently that putting a value on the animal has helped preserve animal populations at viable levels allowing the species as a whole to thrive and the environment to remain ecologically balanced.

It comes down to the basics of land use, large populations like those in African countries need natural resources like the land and the game on it. In many places if the land was not controlled by hunting concessions and hunting reserves, the land would be empty, the game trapped and snared for the pot and the land exploited for firewood, mineral deposits and housing.

Hunting gives the wilderness a reason to exist in the modern world. Countries need the revenue that hunters bring and have found that assigning high values to the animals is the best way to stop poaching. In short, limited and ethical hunting is very beneficial to wildlife and conservation in general.

Putting a high value on game species in combination with strong legislation to conserve and protect bio-diversity, while still allowing the consumption of game and use of the land is the solution. Hunting is considered the best use of wilderness land as it produces the best revenues for the land. A hunter will pay top dollar to hunt, whereas an ordinary tourist brings in half that at best estimates.

Let us face simple facts, if the land was not producing high revenues from the hunting tourism industry, it would probably be ploughed up as farm land, built on as homes or barren due to poaching. So hunting and conservation go hand in hand. Really all hunters want their children to hunt in the same places they do and as such see themselves as true guardians of nature.

What methods do we use to hunt?

We hunt according to the rules of fair chase! As such, there will be no shooting any animal from a vehicle unless it is a problem animal or an animal management issue. We spot the quarry and then dismount to stalk it on foot. Our approach may be as long as 2-3 hours, or as short as 10 to 20 minutes depending on the terrain and circumstances.

Most hunters use rifles with telescopic sights, while some use simple iron sights that require the animal to be a lot closer. We also do bow hunting which limits your engagement range to 20-30 metres. This requires a large amount of skill and practice. Invariably the animals have plenty of time to get away from the hunters.

What is fair chase hunting?

“Fair chase” puts the hunter in competition with nature and gives the quarry every chance to spot the hunter and escape.

The use of vehicles in the chase are not allowed. Most animals are spotted from the 4-wheel-drive vehicle, at which point the hunter and his guide dismount and stalk up to the animal on foot. This stalk can last from 20 minutes to 2 hours.

Successful conclusion of the stalk should put the hunter in position to make an accurate shot on the quarry. During the stalk and set up for the shot, the quarry is alert and responds immediately to any perceived threat. About 50% of all attempted stalks may fail due to poor field craft, change in weather or chance.

Hunters learn to respect their quarry for their finely tuned senses, their uncanny ability to sense the hunter and their strength and speed.

Isn't it cruel?

While there are some distasteful aspects to hunting, we believe hunting promotes respect of the natural world, your quarry and ultimately your meal.

Domestic animals live dull mundane existences and are slaughtered in abattoirs with electric shock, hydraulic bolt guns and sometimes exsanguinations (cutting of the carotid artery in the Islamic tradition). Domestic animals often wait terrified in corrals awaiting their turn to be slaughtered.

Wild animals live natural lives, free from cages and have a good chance of escaping the hunter on foot. You be the judge of what is cruel. With practice a shot can be delivered to kill quickly and with the minimum of suffering to the animal.

What do we do with the animals?

All the animals are fully utilised. The heads are taken for trophies as is the skin. Often this can be made into leather and handicrafts as well.

All of the meat is used. We eat the choice cuts and provide the rest to the staff and their families or to the butcher. Even the offal is used as it is considered a real delicacy to the Africans.

Absolutely nothing is wasted from a game animal as wild game is considered a special treat and game biltong (dry meat) is an African staple.

Is hunting sustainable?

Hunting is sustainable in both the economic sense and the environmental sense.

Economically, hunting makes use of land that is not suitable for farming. Much of Africa is like that. The land is protected, while the local population benefits from the income the land generates. It’s a win-win situation.

Hunting is sustainable in the environmental sense as well. Many parts of Africa are former farms changed back into habitats for native plants and animals. Many of these areas are still fenced for management purposes as some neighbours may still be farmers. For their safety, the higher predators like lions, leopards and hyenas have not been re-introduced.

This means the herds of herbivores that are present have to be managed and controlled to prevent a population explosion. Hunting fulfills this need for predators.

Hunters shoot only mature animals that have had a chance to transmit the genes to the next generation. Our hunters are only allowed to shoot selected animals, in line with a sustainable quota worked out by our owners, their staff and wildlife management professionals.

As such hunting is a sustainable and in being a hunter, you are making the best use of the land, providing income and employment, and still safeguarding the ecological treasures of Africa.