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

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Banning hunting only makes game worth nothing

An animal worth nothing is worth, well, worth nothing. No incentive to keep it around.
I am new to this forum but not new to hunting, Elephants and other animals, and am certainly not new to hunting Africa in particular, having done safari more than a dozen times, covering many of the sub-Saharan countries. I count many contemporary African hunters, writers and film makers among my friends and acquaintances.

Unless one has seen firsthand the damage a herd of Elephant can do to an ecosystem, it is hard to understand the problem. I have driven for the better part of an hour through a Mopani forrest where every tree within sight on both sides of the road had been broken. This was not done for food but rather just a quirk of Elephant behavior. Any other animals in that forrest who required the Mopani for survival was now endangered.

There is no simple answer to the Elephant question, but to date, sport hunting has proven to provide funding and motivation to both government and local inhabitants showing that the Elephant has a value to them on the land rather than in the stew pot. This is the first step in eliminating poaching.

I have arrested poachers and burned their camps and removed their inhumane traps while on safari. I have culled animals gravely injured by such traps who would have only gotten sicker and suffered additional torment before starving to death or succumbing to their wounds. I have done so while accompanied by a government game scout, whose salary and per diem is paid for by me through the costs of the safari. These game scouts and rangers wouldn't be there if not for the sport hunters, they would not have a job nor would they be able to support their extended families.

There are many problems in Africa and no simple solutions. I look forward to writing more about my favorite place in the future.
I recall seeing pics of a pile of ivory as big as a house that was burned. Country?? Reason-to reduce the demand for ivory and thus poaching. The local 'elephant cops' had airplanes for patrol, but no gas for them. Ivory could have be auctioned and lots of gas purchased. The elephants that supplied the ivory were already dead. STUPID.
The video you saw was old. Sales of confiscated Ivory was first authorized by CITES at the meeting of the parties in late 2002. Botswana (20 metric tons), Namibia (10 metric tons) and the Republic of South Africa were authorized to make the sales. Zambia and Zimbabwe requests to sell their Ivory was denied at that time.

There were literally tons of Ivory in storage. The dynamics of life in Africa includes the fact that secure indoor storage was not available for the quantities gathered over the preceding 13 year international ban on sales of Ivory. Some was simply legally stock piled and left outdoors where it deteriorated and was ruined.

A sale was just completed last month (Oct '08) in Namibia where 7.2 tons were sold for $1.3M to two Japanese and two Chinese buyers.

44 Tons were to be sold in Botswana later that month while 51 tons in RSA and 4 tons in Zimbabwe are scheduled for sale this month (November '08). Buyers are usually carver conglomerates who will sell/distribute the Ivory to their traditional carving artists.

Money gained from the sales is designated for Elephant protection.

The bunny-huggers are not pleased.
THey should legalize hunting of elephants. THe elephant tags should be auctioned to the highest bidder. PRocedes from the sale should be used to provide elephant proof homes and fences to the villagers. also, the owner of the elephant tag should only be allowed a small amount of the meat and the head or some other trophy. THe meat should be processed and provided to the villagers that have to live amongst the wild elephants running amok. After all, that elephant's flesh was built by eating the vegetation that would have otherwise been eaten by livestock owned by the villagers.

Fair is fair.
Animals in Africa have only one of two possible values to the native people.

1. In the cooking pot
2. As a resource that provides employment and financial renumeration

If you demonstrate that sport hunting (#2) will provide MORE value than the poaching (#1) does, then you will succeed.

#2 includes the building of schools, establishment of clean water points, medical attention, clothing, food, etc.

#2 always wins the hearts and minds.
Elephant hunting is legal in five sub-Saharan African countries. Ivory may be taken, exported and Imported from these countries. Elephant safaris are generally a minimum of 21 days at a daily rate of $500 and up. Elephant license and trophy fees run over $10,000 and up each. Funds from the outfitters and the license and trophy fees are returned to the local community through the employment of local populace in the hunting camps and as trackers, skinners, anti-poaching teams and Game Scouts/Rangers. All meat, other than a small amount the hunters eat, is donated to local populace.

Most villagers do not live in close proximity to Elephants but can and do have occasional negative experiences with them. Nothing worse than a pissed Elephant who needs sorting out - I've done it and also been confronted by some rather cheeky Ele at different times when I was able to manage to avoid a shooting situation. Most Ele dine on natural crops rather than domestic.

I think you need to do some serious research before you express opinions based upon what you see on the Animal Planet channel.

I've been to many African countries on many occasions yet I have never seen any program supported by PETA or by HSUS that provides a dime of support for the animals on that continent. I have seen programs and services supported solely or in a majority part by hunting-conservation organizations.

Wonder why that is?

BTW, the ALF (Animal Liberation Front), which some suspect is the enforcement arm of PETA and which PETA refuses to condemn, is listed by the FBI as a domestic terrorist organization.
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Welcome to THR you sir are obviously in the know. I appreciate your level of understanding and obvious experience in the field of big game hunting. Please keep posting.
Thanks, H&Hhunter, I've enjoyed reading your posts about my favorite place in the whole wide world as well.

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Noise Reduction

If you've had a post (or posts) disappear, I've removed some noise and chaff from the thread.

I'm re-opening it for on-topic discussion.

Please carry on.

It's really just a matter of money (and government). The Kenyen Gov't recieves more money from the animal rights people than it recieves from hunters (basically zero when there is no hunting), so it applies the wishes of animal rightists because that means more money in their pockets. It is not a matter of what's good for the animals or what's good for the country (or it's people); it's what's good for the corrupt gov't "officials". The potential for hunting again in Kenya (and Uganda) is dependent on the efforts of a few, i.e. 1 or 2, outfitter/PH's that are attempting to get in bed with the gov't people. This may sound bad, regarding these outfitters, but it is the only hope. They are simply trying to do business the way it's done there. Uganda is beginning to crack a bit, but because of the cost of "doing business", the limited hunting being opened in Uganda is quite expensive, much more so than for similar animals in other African countries. Sadly, I don't think the future is good, but it is a start and just might work in the long run. The situation in Kenya is likely to follow suite. Of course there is the question of whether or not there are enough animals of quality left to warrent hunting in these countries. It very well may simply be too late.
This post has nothing to do with elephants, I know, but one reason for the overpopulation of deer, particularly in the Eastern US, is the lack of the deer's natural predators. The wolf and mountain lion were labeled 'varmints' and wiped out by hunters or government agents or whatever.
I know they aren't elephants but when I was a kid growing up in Quebec we use to go to this snow goose conservation area to see the snow geese every fall. It was a sight that was truly wonderful to see. Seems that many years before some hunting clubs worked very hard to save the place and the geese.
When I went to Zimbabwe I heard the same story about the elephants.
What people don't understand is that hunters (and sport fishers) are far more interested and involved in conservation than almost anyone else.
A birder can be thrilled by the sight of one of a few remaining members of an endangered species. The California condor, for instance. But a hunter cannot hunt unless there is a surplus of the species of game animal that is the intended target.

Hunters have the strongest vested interest of all outdoorsmen in habitat preservation and species protection.
Lions will eat your baby if given the chance

Don't hate on the lion for being a lion. It is the nature of the lion. The large predators will be gone world-wide soon enough. They are really just about there.

We have done the job on them here in the US, where there is no true "wild" left. Sure there are a few places where you might get confronted by a bear or mountain lion, but there are no wild places anymore.

If it weren't for TR and some other visionaries, these small pockets would be gone as well.
Lions will eat your baby if given the chance
Don't hate on the lion for being a lion. It is the nature of the lion. The large predators will be gone world-wide soon enough. They are really just about there.

We have done the job on them here in the US, where there is no true "wild" left. Sure there are a few places where you might get confronted by a bear or mountain lion, but there are no wild places anymore.

If it weren't for TR and some other visionaries, these small pockets would be gone as well.

There are more than you apparently think, you just have to work to get there, and I for one hope it stays that way. I don't live or travel much in areas where there are bear, but I do know (contrary to your above statements) that black bear populations are doing very well...they are even issuing tags for them in Oklahoma now. Mountain Lions...there are a whole lot more of them out there than most folks in the city are aware...may be hard to see, but they are no where near in danger of "disappearing". I think we may be a good bit farther from "there" than you seem to think we are.
True. Although, I don't consider a bunch of bears walking around in the burbs or a small town to be the wild, as I am sure you don't either.

Sure, it can get "wild" if one smells food and is coming through your door, but that isn't the wild. Same with a mountain lion attacking a jogger. Those are just some large predators that are fresh out of habitat and will be killed off for it.

Hunting is one way to control populations, sure. But, these large predators really have only a very few places to be. Very controlled, very small populations on very small plots of land. National parks and forests, crammed with people trying to escape the cities for a glimpse of something natural, are basically fenceless zoos.

Some mountainous regions, the SE swamps, some desert land. Parts of AK I guess are the last true wild. Some of Canada.

Shame but IMO we just have too many two-legged animals here in the U.S. to have much "wild" left if any at all. Population growing every day too.

All the world is moving in this direction to the point that most any big game hunting is dangerously close to being canned if not flat-out canned. "Go to Africa, hunt elephants!" About like shooting a cow from a convertible I heard from a guy who has killed just about everything that walked or crawled at one time or another, including elephant, polar bear, etc.

Most deer are taken in or around cornfields or whatever now. IMO, true hunting is just about gone. One can work around the realities and make the most out of it, as I did for some time.

As far as Africa goes, lions used to number in the hundreds of thousands. They can keep some on game preserves and let them breed to be killed by somebody who wants to shoot one, but fact is it is over for the lion as we think of lions. Think of the Grizzly bear here. Same deal for the lion in the present / near future.
Mountain Lions attacking joggers...I know of two fairly recent incidents...both involved over-populated (by the cats) areas in locals where hunting them is forbidden. Not enough food in over-populated areas causes wild animals to come into populace areas, sometimes with violent results. I'm not sure where you are from, or live, but here in Texas we have counties that are as big as some of the smaller states, and have residencies measured in hundreds of people. If you think "most" U.S. big game hunting is getting close to being canned, I suggest you have a DIY hunt in some of our Western states. I guess I don't understand your definition of wild, but based on my experiences I don' think you have traveled much, or looked very hard, because it's still there for those who crave it.
Most of these 3rd world govts in countries where this wild life exists are more interested in buying ak47s and military hardware to prop up there tin pot corrupt regimes than putting a cent into wildlife conservation programmes,corruption in many if not most african countries is rife and sadly rules and regulates the money go round.
I would think you would get them out of Botswana the same way you would get them out of Safeway. All you have to do is take the F out of "safe" and the F out of "way"....:D:D:D
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