Interesting facts on African hunting, just what PETA doesn't want you to hear!

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Staff member
Jan 28, 2003
Paper for Presentation at A Symposium
UN and Regional Small Arms Regulation:
Issues Concerning Civilian Firearms Ownership
in Search of Common Ground
Sponsored by the World Forum On The Future of Sports Shooting Activities
May 2, 2003 The Tower of London

Peaceful Arms: Hunting and Sport Shooting as Culture and Heritage
by James A. Swan, Ph.D.


"Hunting, especially big game hunting, is also a major force in encouraging conservation and promoting economic self-sufficiency in native cultures. In Africa, in l979 the wild elephant herd was 1.3 million. By 1989, it was sliced in half to 600,000, largely due to uncontrolled poaching. To curb the decline, importation of ivory was banned, and some countries forbade sport hunting for elephants. In places where hunting has been banned, elephant populations have plummeted even more. Kenya banned elephant hunting in 1977. Poachers subsequently butchered the herds, as supervision of the animals also declined with the loss of revenue from hunting. In less than two decades, Kenya's elephant herd went from 150,000 to less than 6,000."

"Botswana, in contrast, permitted big game hunting, and in the same period of time, their elephant herd has quadrupled. The key here is that hunters pump considerable money into the local economy, which increases the value of the animals to local natives, provides jobs and fresh meat for many, and supports wildlife research and law enforcement. It is estimated that hunters spend $35 million to $65 million dollars a year on African elephant hunting safaris. The white rhino in South Africa has similarly increased in numbers, thanks to hunters' dollars."

"In 1980, Zimbabwe had 40,000 elephants. Today, after 22 years of carefully regulated hunting, they have 88,000 pachyderms. According to Ed Adobe, Chairman of the Zimbabwe Wildlife Advisory Council, eco-tourists may outnumber the hunters, but the hunters outspend them, $15 million to $10 million. When eco-tourists come in, they whisk around in a jeep for a couple days, wine and dine, and leave. Hunters stay longer, pay trophy fees and guides, and the meat from animals killed goes to local villages, along with skins and bones that can be used for clothing and arts and crafts."

"The program that oversees hunting in Zimbabwe is called CAMPFIRE (Communal Areas Management Programmed for Indigenous Resources). (37) Under CAMPFIRE, people living on impoverished communal lands, which represent 42% of the country, claim the right of proprietorship, including wildlife. CAMPFIRE offers people an alternative to destructive uses of the land by making wildlife a valuable resource. Wildlife, in fact, is the most economically and ecologically-sound land use in much of Zimbabwe."

"Since its official inception in 1989, more than a quarter of a million people have been involved in managing wildlife through CAMPFIRE. It has been so successful that South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana are now developing programs similar to Zimbabwe, sometimes using relocated Zimbabwe animals."

The entire article is here: for Presentation at A Symposium.htm

Taming Animal Rights Activists

U.S. animal rights activists are on a crusade, not only to hinder medical research by denying scientists the right to use animals in research, but also to eliminate the killing of wildlife in Africa.

Having endangered scientific research programs here, they are out to deny a source of livelihood to many poor African villagers.

* Twenty-nine of the world's 36 poorest countries are African -- with an estimated 150 million to 325 million Africans earning less than $1 a day.

* Yet in Zimbabwe, revenues from a sport hunting program has built several health clinics in rural villages and generated millions of dollars split among communities.

* In one village, each of the approximately 120 households earned $450 by selling their legal hunting rights to a safari operator, whose clients paid him for the privilege of hunting elephants nearby.

Statistics from Kenya point out just how deadly elephants can be.

* At least 358 Kenyans have died as a result of elephant-human clashes since 1990.

* In some districts elephants reportedly kill more people who are protecting their own crops than poachers kill elephants.

* Experts say that if landowners can't make money from wildlife, they will wipe it out.

Kenya did what animal rights activists proposed: they banned all hunting in 1977. But Zimbabwe granted proprietorship over wildlife to landowners in 1982 and allows hunting.

The result?

* Between 1970 and 1989, Kenya's elephant population plunged from 167,000 to 16,000.

* But in Zimbabwe, the population increased from less than 40,000 to more than 50,000 since 1982.

Source: Ike C. Sugg (Competitive Enterprise Institute), "Selling Hunting Rights Saves Animals," Wall Street Journal, July 24, 1996.
the truth is very hard for the bambi lovers to swallow.they don't want to be confused with facts,they already have their minds made up. the current issue
of Sports Afield has an excellent article by a Namibian P.H. Jan Oeloise,
that mirrors the conservation efforts to preserve hunting rather than to ban it


Is your name Fisi the "hyena" or is it just a coincidence?

Your statement is so very true it is also so very unfortunate that these people if they have thier way will kill thousands of head of wildlife yet are so narrow minded and radical in their views that they still feel better about themselves no matter the outcome.

This is such a vivid example of the Leftist view. It doesn't matter the outcome as long as they "feel good" about what they are doing.

Just have one look at kenya the facts are indisputable! It is amazing to me that soccer moms and well meaning yet ill-educated college age radicals will probably be the final nail in many species coffins.

I saw that article in Sports A Field. It was very well written.

Actually, PETA knows the information clearly. They would contend that the wildlife strife was a human-created situation resulting in loss of habitat. While game hunting may show some benefits to herd management, they aren't like to condone slaughtering the animals by well intentioned people over those making a profit. Either way, animals are killed.

No doubt, elephants can be dangerous to humans, if just by sheer size and power. However, there are many types of animals that are dangerous to humans when humans attempt to occupy or take over their habitats.

Hippos actually kill more humans than elephants in Africa. That is interesting as elephants probably have a much higher encounter rate with humans than do hippos. After all, most humans and elephants spend the majority of their time on dry land. A large number of the hippo encounters are in water or immediately around water. As far as humans go, hippos are even more dangerous than crocs.

I don't agree with much of PETA's concepts or beliefs, but I do understand many of them and the logic they use. Similarly, I understand the logic of pro-hunting groups to allow hunting, but don't necessarily agree with their beliefs. Pro-hunting groups often claim to make things better for wildlife by keeping herds in check. The notion of preservation through selective extermination is a bit twisted, but can work. The problem is that with PETA or pro-hunting groups, neither side really has much about which to boast. Across the board, humans have proven to be poor stewards for nature, even when trying their best to help nature. The Yellowstone elk fiasco is classic and it is a fiasco that has been repeated in many areas by humans.

I liked this quote...
* Twenty-nine of the world's 36 poorest countries are African -- with an estimated 150 million to 325 million Africans earning less than $1 a day.

This is crap put out by many groups. Being money poor isn't a big deal in societies where people are self sufficient and don't require money. Before invasion by Europeans and later arrivals, most of North America was occupied by "poor" peoples. Given that the didn't exist based on money, the comparison is not valid. More over, so people make less than $1 per day. What are their living expenses? How much of their survival is based on having cash? Without knowing these things, whether $1 a day means horrific poverty or is actually icing on the cake can't be ascertained.

everybody knows what a hyena is but few are well versed in the local interpretation or even the latin ( crocuta crocuta) so i just picked fisi.
i've been to kenya once but THEY would not let us off the ship and it was not
a cruise liner. i will get their soon, probably the east cape for some plains game,heck it's cheaper than alot of the north american hunts.

take care and keep the faith,
brad (FISI)

I'd have to say that in a nut shell you completely and totally missed the point.

Lets take it comment by comment.

1. Hippos kill more people than any other mammal in Africa, crocs kill more people than hippos. The Number one non human killer of people in Africa are mosquitoes. Much of African bush life is centered around rivers, hippos spend much of their time on dry land at night grazing on grass. The most common hippo human encounter is on a river bank or near a river at night when some poor person gets between a grazing hippo and their natural escape route to the water. This causes the hippo to immediately rush for the water and if anybody or thing gets in its way it gets the chop.

2."The notion of preservation through selective extermination is a bit twisted, but can work. "

Nowhere in the commentary was there a mention of selective killing for the purpose of herd preservation. Rather, and this is point that most American hunters completely miss, that hunting assigns value to the beast which is hunted above and beyond what a native could make from poaching said beast.

If the animal in question is not of some intrinsic value to the individual the tribe or the village it will be destroyed for food or profit and the habitat where that beast once roamed will be cultivated with low yield short term plots until it is farmed out then the plots will be moved and the habitat will be rapidly destroyed as has happened with frightening speed in places like Kenya and others.

3. Whether you like it or not we now live in a cash society. There are very few true traditional societies left in the world Africa included. Villages who had nothing and were forced to subsist off the land living and dying with it's natural highs and lows now have tractors, water wells, food storage facilities, access to medical facilities, schools and a general higher standard of living than they did before.

In many places these things are provided by the hunting leases and license fees from hunting not to mention the employment that a hunting camp offers to the locals. In fact villages that are in the communal safari areas are truly self sufficient and enjoy a much higher standard of life than those that are trying to eek out a living from the red earth by themselves. Or are dependant on various aide groups for their basic needs. No two ways about it.

Your comment reminds me of a time when I was in Kotzebue, AK. I was at the local ACC store and overheard a young long haired Inuit man bitching to his grandmother about how the white man has screwed up the local way of life. The grandmother quietly listened until the red faced young man made his final point. To which she replied "If you want to go live in a sod and caribou hide shelter for the winter nobody’s stopping you. I lived that way as girl and if it taught me one thing it was how much I like my house and my heater and this store.” That in my opinion pretty much puts to rest the notion of the noble savage and the romanticizing of living off the land as a primitive carefree native. Because living off the land is a tough way to make a living and there is no such thing as a carefree primitive.


H&H -
Everyone...Excellent thread, and replies!

Mods, suggest this be stickied ...and if'n ya wanted to put in THR Library that'd be all right too.

Reference for many matters contained therein.

DNS said,

"I liked this quote...
* Twenty-nine of the world's 36 poorest countries are African -- with an estimated 150 million to 325 million Africans earning less than $1 a day. End Quote.

This is crap put out by many groups. Being money poor isn't a big deal in societies where people are self sufficient and don't require money."

This includes the income in cities as well as in the countryside, does it not? Looking at an atlas of country populations and the city populations of the countries, there is far more urbanization than one might believe.

Further, as one reads of the lifestyles in TODAY'S world, rather than in the low-population countrysides of yesteryear, it is apparent that "self sufficient" is nowhere near what it used to be.

And I, like the Eskimo lady, submit that having money beats hell out of not having it.

Edit-add: DNS also said, "Across the board, humans have proven to be poor stewards for nature, even when trying their best to help nature. The Yellowstone elk fiasco is classic and it is a fiasco that has been repeated in many areas by humans."

I note that where we have the controls on hunting as here in the U.S., almost no game animal's population is threatened. Au contraire, they'e on the increase almost everywhere. Note that it is the hunters themselves who have called for the rules, and who have provided the money to make the modern system viable. (The only species of which I know of with problems are the desert bighorn and the Rocky Mountain bighorn. The problems have arisen from such things as blue tongue from domestic sheep, and over-grazing in the winter habitat. However, hunting is not at all the causal factor. However, restoration efforts for the desert bighorn are becoming ever more successful.)

The Yellowstone elk fiasco is a result of governmental actions. Again, hunting has no causal relationship with that problem.

So, yeah, humans have caused and are causing problems. What's germane, however, is the fact that it is not the hunter who is the cause of the problems.

Were Ingrid Newkirk's PETA to have all the publicly articulated desires, the deaths over and above the "normal system" as we now have it would be horrendus. Millions of both wild and domestic animals would die off in a relatively short number of years.

How? Simple: Per Newkirk, no hunting, no domestic livestock nor pets. You either do euthanasia, or turn them loose on public lands. Overgrazing and thirst wouldn't take long. Dogs and cats? Damfino. Coyotes would dine well on poodles and Persians, I guess. For wildlife, overpopulation would lead to destruction of habitat and then a mix of starvation and disease. (That already happened once with the mule deer herd of the Grand Canyon.) There would be no money for game wardens, so poaching for sale of velveted antlers and bears' gall bladders would be rampant--among other problems.

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The original post echo's what I've been saying for years, great, glad it's in print to be read by all the anti-hunter I'm going to send it to.:)

Sorta thinking about people and which sort has what attitude about the whole hunting thing and about animals in general:

As a generality, those folks who've spent the most time outdoors and "messing" with animals don't have all this PETA-type attitude. I think about the farmers I've known; the ranchers, and of course the hunters.

Most of those folks look all walleyed at the idea that man is not part of nature.

Generally, in my experience, it's the city folks who get into the PETA state of mind. At most, they've had a pet or two. Milk comes from the grocery. Wool sweaters come from stores. They've never had to get up at 4AM to milk cows at 5AM so the cans of milk can be set out by 8AM for pickup. They've never had to deal with coyotes killing lambs. Never had to doctor screwworms in baby calves. Never seen dead deer from drouth in an area of overpopulation.

I dunno. I have more time around a campfire--certainly, in hunt camp--than a lot of folks have upright and breathing. Yet, they presume to tell me about "nature"? I don't think so, Scooter...

the truth is very hard for the bambi lovers to swallow.they don't want to be confused with facts,they already have their minds made up.
This is very true. Several years ago there was a TV special regarding the elephant situation in Africa, and it echoed the points made about the different approaches taken by Kenya and Zimbabwe, as well as their different results.

When it was pointed out that in some areas of Zimbabwe there were too many elephants and that game rangers had to crop them, a woman who was associated with Amboseli said words to the effect of "If you have to shoot elephants to control the population, you're better off having NO elephants at all!" :banghead:

Another thing - there's good evidence that Kenya didn't ban hunting to protect elephants, Kenya banned hunting to protect poachers. Professional hunting companies, having paid for hunting rights in certain areas, still have quotas to observe. Reduced animal herds translate to reduced quotas, which means less money.

Poachers reduce herds, so the PH's had a nasty habit of reporting the poachers. These reports proved embarassing to Kenya on the international scene.

BUT . . . the poachers were pretty well tied in with old Jomo Kenyatta and his wife & extended family - it was common knowledge that Kenya's national airline was routinely being used to ferry the poached ivory out of the country, while the customs people were looking the other way.

In the eyes of Kenya's leaders, it wasn't the poaching that was a problem - it was the REPORTS of the poaching that was a problem. The pragmatic solution was to get rid of the people reporting the poaching, and this was done via a hunting ban.

And the poaching increased . . . as did the financial benefit to Kenya's leaders.
Yeah, HankB, I saw that TV program. More than once I've used that young lady's babble as an example of the difficulties for rational wildlife management. I guess my engineering style of thinking about the world I live in might be what makes it difficult for me to understand how facts can be so much less important than emotions or perceptions. And, as a hunter, I think in terms of the health of a species, not the fate of some individual members of any species.

I'm not surprised at the Jomo deal. I hadn't fully made the connnection, although I was aware he was profiting from the black market in various animals and their parts and pieces.

PETA doesn't listen

I used to be a non-hunting type and even voted against using traps and dogs to hunt cougar and bear in Oregon. I wish I could have that vote back. Now cougar sightings are increasing in urban boundary areas and some areas in NE Oregon are so thick with them that I don't think you should go hiking in the backcountry without a firearm for your own protection. My 10mm would always be close.

A recent snowboarding vacation landed me in Anthony Lakes on a great powder day and I met a fellow that said him and his buddy saw three of them while snowmobile commuting to their favorite backcountry hill. He was riding behind the snowmobile on a tow rope like a water skier. He said he wasn't going to let go for anything. Granted, these cats are pretty fast and they may have seen the same one three times, but he said they covered 6 miles or so in roughly 20-30 minutes, not sure a cat could keep up to that pace, but maybe.

People just see killing, not conservation. I used to see it that way living in a big city thinking nature was best off just left alone. Well, left alone means reduced law enforcement and more poacher traffic. The numbers presented in this post make that abundantly clear. And it provides a source of nourishment to the locals as well as jobs managing the hunting. It's the way to go, PETA be damned, management is the key, not just leaving it be. That stance is to the poachers advantage, and obviously to the detriment of the wildlife population.

If people did not eat meat there would be no P.E.T.A

I hunt for the sole purpose of eating. I believe in not wasting anything. I don't need a trophy; I want my freezer is full.
Sorry, chrisbob, but that's just not correct. Ingrid Newkirk, ExDir of PETA and its founder, has publicly called for the outlawing of having domestic livestock for any purpose (milk; plowing; wool, and mohair, e.g.) and outlawing of having pets.

I apologize

All I know about P.E.T.A. Is what the media tells me I have been a shooter and supporter of hunting and gun ownership for 25 years but I am way late in finding the internet and this sight. I thank you all and appreciate the chance to talk to people with the truth to tell ...thats why I will be quiet and listen for awhile!!!:eek:
No problem. :) That's what we're here for.

When Newkirk frirst came here from England, she popularized the statement, "A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy." Absolutely no use of animals in medical research, regardless of the need--among other things.

Another group to warn folks against is the Humane Society of the United States. HSUS is in no way associated with the American Humane Society, or any group involved with any animal shelter work. Its ExDir, Wayne Purcelle (Purcelles?), stated in an interview with (IIRC) Sports Afield magazine that after hunting is ended, they'll start in on fishing.

I have come to the conclusion that the animal rights movement is not about animals at all. It is primarily a lefty anti-American movement, designed to attack conservative values. This belief comes from having dealt with many Sierra Clubbers.

Animal rights, environmentalism and "human rights" are just buzzwords designed to conceal a fundamentally Marxist ideology. The fact that regulated hunting actually improves the health of game herds is irrelevant. The majority of these people don't care about animals or the environment, they just want to attack your value system.
PETA and the Left

As one of the "token liberals" here on THR, I've gotta say...

The PETA folks don't get much repect on the lefty boards I hang out on. That's because most of us can make the moral distinction between man and mouse. There is a section of the people who put all life on the same plane. This has been true forever. There are Bhuddist sects that wear mesh over their faces so as to not accidentally inhale insects. While I disagree, I wouldn't fault them. But the animal rights bunch has taken this attitude to a whole different level.

There are two ways that you can put humans and other animals on a similar level. One brings them (the animals) up to our level. This is the PETA approach. The other (and more honest, although I disagree) puts us down on their level. Animals hunt and kill. Humans are animals. Therefore it's OK for humans to hunt and kill. This idea is at least internally consistant.

The real problem (it seems to me) is that modern society has removed us completely from where our food comes from. I remember a survey taken in a poor, mostly black neighborhood in NYC. The most common answer to the question "where does meat come from" was "the grocery store." We have banished the experience of death from our daily lives. This produces both Randall Terry and PETA. All death is bad, and any life is preferable to any death. That's simply not true.

Nature is morally neutral. Trying to apply huiman ethical standards to it leads very quickly to contradiction and confusion. This is the mistake that PETA makes. Most folks on the Left are capable of making that distinction. And most of us would much rather see African wild lands preserved than given over to strip-mining and slash-and-burn agriculture. Hunting, and the revenue it generates, creates incentives to preserve lands and wildlife. That's a win for everyone, whether they hunt or not.

Agred, tube_ee. I've always figured that animals don't have rights, so much as people have responsibilities. That goes for how animals are treated and how habitat is maintained.

I've seen nothing to change my belief that the worst enemies insofar as dealing with Maw Nature were Felix Salter and Walt Disney. Next come the $$$ people.


You have hit it right on the head ole boy. This is infact stated Marxist ideaology. It's only too bad the people who are spouting it for the most part do not realize where this stuff comes from.


By golly what do we have here.....Yes I think it is. A CONNECTION of ideas despite personal ideaology!!:D :D This has made my whole day. Thank you!

H&H hunter,
I enjoy reading you postings and comments. They have facts to back them up and are very informative keep up the good work. You represent fellow hunters well.

- Gunslinger15
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