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Questionable Hunts

This is a discussion on Questionable Hunts within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; i have a question on a recent thread on p.a.c. elephant hunts. this type of hunt is quite possibly the ...

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    kuduman is offline AH Veteran
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    i have a question on a recent thread on p.a.c. elephant hunts. this type of hunt is quite possibly the only way that i will be able to afford a big 5 hunt. i see that members say that this outfitter is not licenced or registered in zim. could there be legal ramifications to a foreigner who takes part in such a hunt? if these hunts are not legal, then i find it very serious that they are even offered. thanks to the members that asked the questions as to the outfitter offering the hunt. i would hate to see a fellow hunter get in trouble for partaking in such a hunt.

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    The major concern for an american would be violations of the Lacey Act or even doing business with individuals and company's that are listed as banned by the State Department.

    I agree with you on the PAC hunts though. You might want to consider looking for a "management hunt" instead of PAC. At this time the Zim government has not released fees for the animals on these management hunts. This would still be a cost effective hunt but would be legal and on the "up and up" as long as the right questions are asked and information gathered.
    Tom

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    One thing I can tell you is the last place you ever want to be is an African jail.

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    I'm not rich and won't even consider a PAC hunt....it's just not good wildlife management. And if you get involved with the wrong party...I hope you have a good lawyer...or know some higher up in a government office.

    And just like a few other people said....Where are PAC rhino, bushbuck,springbok, warthog, etc. hunts? Start asking yourself if this is something you feel comfortable getting involved in.....it's not worth it. Just my two cents.

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    The more questions you ask the more you get to know the more you know the more confident it is for a future client to send over that deposit money.

    The more confident the client is going to be over the hunt because he knows and asks the more he will enjoy the hunt honesty has always paid. And knowing what you get from a-z as well.
    Frederik Cocquyt, Outfitter and Professional Hunter
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    Ask questions get answers and in saying that straight answers would be best, it is never nice for an Outfitter to tell a client something that they don’t want to hear but at least in that case you will see that the Outfit is honest?

    The transparency of an outfit is extremity important!

    I have no problem with people offering PAC hunts but it just seems funny that they are offered so far in advance?

    Personally I would also just go for a management hunt it just seems to have less red tape around it!

    You have to also look at the quality of the hunt and find out will it be in the day, would you be hunting a specific animal or will you just shoot any animal for the sake of shooting this is largely were I feel the answers will portray whether it is a true PAC animal hunt?

    Best Regards
    Louis van Bergen
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiral Horn Safaris View Post
    . . . I have no problem with people offering PAC hunts but it just seems funny that they are offered so far in advance . . . would you be hunting a specific animal or will you just shoot any animal for the sake of shooting this is largely were I feel the answers will portray whether it is a true PAC animal hunt
    'Louis' . . . your above statements sum up my position on PAC hunts as well.
    There is only one degree of dead . . . there are many degrees of wounded

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    kuduman,

    I am no expert on elephant hunts or PAC hunts for that matter. But I did think about this thread over the weekend while at the SCI convention where I saw no PAC hunts being advertised, perhaps they were there but I did not see any.

    Anyway, as a newcomer to the African hunting experience I'm inclined to avoid anything that has shadows over it or even seems to be questionable as you say. As bushbuck said, you don't want to end up in an African jail or even an American one for that matter. From the few PAC hunt advertisements in regards to elephant I've paid attention to, the elephant is not exportable. So, it would seem to me that you're paying for the excitement of the hunt alone and nothing else. There's nothing wrong with that in my mind. But if that's the case, then it would seem to me that you might as well be hunting tuskless ele's. There are plenty of outfitters that offer these as a regular, over the counter hunt with no questions about them. They're fairly inexpensive and at least you could export the hide back. While they may be tuskless cows, they can still be quite grumpy and capable of making you into nothing more than a grease spot in the sand, so the excitement is still there.

    So I guess from my perspective I'd rather hunt tuskless than to hunt a PAC bull.

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    The subject of questionable hunts comes up quite frequently and with good reason.

    One of the challenges to (especially) the newer South African operators is that, as one builds up a larger client base and become better known in the industry, there seems to be a higher demand and more enquiries for DG hunts. The thing is that SA has its limitations in terms of available opportunities as far as DG is concerned and the DG that is available comes at such a high price that it makes it difficult to competitively price your DG hunts. Truth is that the prices for DG in South Africa is so high that one often ends up selling these hunts at only a marginal profit - just to book the hunt and keep the client happy.

    So what are our options?
    • Getting in touch with recognized and reputable operators in countries such as Zimbabwe / Mozambique and working out a deal with them to take your clients there is one. In most cases one would get a commission on Operator's standard rates and whilst still not particularly profitable - you can now offer your clients a DG hunt for a market-related price.

    or
    • Working with lesser known Operators in other countries who offer rates that you can add your own margin on.


    Unfortunately; one of the pitfalls that many SA Operators step into is to fall for offers from those "Safari Companies" in e.g. Zimbabwe who are "legal" according to the rules of the land, but who do not have the experience or know-how to see the process of the hunt through from beginning to end.

    I will use two examples to illustrate my point...

    Example 1:
    Some years ago I received a text message from a Zimbabwean telephone number with wording - something to the effect of:

    7 day Zim buffalo hunt incl. trophy fee - $5,000. Contact XXX for details

    Out of interest I contacted the individual, asked him for more information and on the face of it he seemed to have his house in order and was a indeed a licensed Zim Operator. Upon asking for references and contact details of clients who had hunted with him I received email addresses (yahoo and gmail) of three references whom I contacted via email. All three wrote back with glowing reports of their experiences in Zim but when I asked them for their telephone numbers none of them responded. I decided not to waste more time... Some years later while hunting with a reputable operator in Zim I asked about "Mr X" and based on the feedback I got my decision to discontinue talks with Mr. X was a very good one... Mr X was owing money to many people and did not have a good reputation for getting his clients' trophies out of Zimbabwe...

    Very recently, a SA Operator advertised a "questionable" hunt in Zim on another forum and forum members queried the details of the hunt which sounded "too good to be true" - asking for the name of the licensed Zim Operator. For some reason the SA Operator seemed to become defensive but did eventually post the name of the Zim Operator... I was not surprised when I saw the name of "Mr X" popping up...

    Example 2:
    An aquaintance of mine booked a hunt through a South African Operator who was in turn working with a Zim Operator. The hunt was successful and all appeared to be in order... until my aquaintance started making enquiries about the status of his leopard tag... What followed was a series of explanations as to why the leopard tag had not been issued as yet. First he was told that Zim Parks didn't have any tags in stock, then that the Zim PH didn't have transport and could not get to Park's offices to get the tag, then another and so it carried on... Finally - almost 6 months later and after my intervention on behalf of my aquaintance - it turned out that the actual reason for the delay was some dispute between the Zim Operator and a landowner regarding outstanding fees for a bait animal that was shot during another hunt. My aquaintance had paid for his hunt ($30K+) immediately upon completion thereof, the landowner was paid what was due to him immediately after this... But the he wouldn't give his cooperation because of a bait animal costing $150 that had nothing to do with my aquaintance's hunt! Fortunately, the matter was resolved and the tag issued but it could have turned out much different...

    In conclusion:
    It is our responsibility as Service Providers to excercise due dilligence in "who we work with" and "where we work" before offering a hunt to any client (current or prospective). Sadly; economical reasons / prospective profits sometimes tempt us not to excercise such dilligence and this is where things can go seriously wrong. The problem is that, whilst one may may an extra buck or two by working with someone such as that described in Example 1, the damage one can do to your own reputation is irreparable and simply not worth it.
    Chris Troskie / Chris Troskie Safaris - South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe & Mozambique
    chris@ct-safaris.com Tel: +27 82 859-0771
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHOENIX PHIL View Post
    kuduman,

    I am no expert on elephant hunts or PAC hunts for that matter. But I did think about this thread over the weekend while at the SCI convention where I saw no PAC hunts being advertised, perhaps they were there but I did not see any.

    Anyway, as a newcomer to the African hunting experience I'm inclined to avoid anything that has shadows over it or even seems to be questionable as you say. As bushbuck said, you don't want to end up in an African jail or even an American one for that matter. From the few PAC hunt advertisements in regards to elephant I've paid attention to, the elephant is not exportable. So, it would seem to me that you're paying for the excitement of the hunt alone and nothing else. There's nothing wrong with that in my mind. But if that's the case, then it would seem to me that you might as well be hunting tuskless ele's. There are plenty of outfitters that offer these as a regular, over the counter hunt with no questions about them. They're fairly inexpensive and at least you could export the hide back. While they may be tuskless cows, they can still be quite grumpy and capable of making you into nothing more than a grease spot in the sand, so the excitement is still there.

    So I guess from my perspective I'd rather hunt tuskless than to hunt a PAC bull.
    That pretty much sums up my feelings on cheaper elephant hunts...go for a tuskless elephant.

    I think the management elephants in ZIM are another option...but might not be worth the hastle.

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    CT Safari, pretty such such sums up a lot of my feelings if you try to skip corneres in Africa. You can get get burned good and proper and it isn't worth the heartache....find a good, honest outfitter or PH and stick with him or her for recommendations. They have a lot of insight into the day to day happenings of hunting in Africa.

    Thanks for the great post Chris!

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    Folks I know this is a fairly old thread but I thought I would put on record what the legal position is regarding PAC hunting in Zimbabwe.

    It is illegal for a foreign national to conduct a PAC hunt under the Parks and Wildlife regulations . Only Zimbabwean nationals may shoot PAC animals . This is fact. A great many operators seems to offer PAC hunts , but reality is that problem animal control can ONLY be conducted by Zimbabwean residents. As PAC animals are spur of the moment issues and animals should only be taken in the act of actually crop raiding etc, it is impossible to pre sell PAC hunts.

    Management animals are another issue altogether. These animals are placed on quota by National Parks in order to control populations in areas where an excess of a particular animal is deemed to occur. Operators in Parks Safari areas and Communal operations will very often get management animals on quota. These can be pre sold IF the quota has already been issued by Parks. It would be very irresponsible of an operator to sell management animals prior to being given a quota.

    I hope this clears up any grey areas. If an operator offers you a PAC animal in Zimbabwe, it is illegal. If it is a management animal, then make sure the operator has received the quota from parks already. At this time NO management quota has been issued for the 2011 season in Zim

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    Thank you for input on this issue zimfrosty.


    Safaris Operators Association of Zimbabwe (SOAZ)
    Safaris Operators Association of Zimbabwe (SOAZ) is an organization with members that range from touring, photographic excursions to hunting safaris operators.

    Safari operators in Zimbabwe are required to be registered and licenced by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority. Ask for your operator's number when booking your hunt and, if he does not have one, check his bona fides through SOAZ by emailing them at the following email address soaz@mweb.co.zw.

    Operators must hold a lease or agreement on a suitable concession with an approved quota of animals. They are responsible for the official paperwork and permits connected to the hunt.

    Bow and handgun hunting are permitted on an experimental basis, but require special permits. Black powder is legal provided the weapon complies with the requirements of the Third Schedule of the Firearms Act. This also applies to handguns.

    Hunting operators are required by law to provide the services of a Zimbabwe Licenced Professional Hunter to accompany foreign hunters in Zimbabwe. Licensing is undertaken by the National Parks & Wildlife Authority. Professional Hunters write a Learner Examination, and are then apprenticed to a fully-licenced Professional Hunter for two years. During this time they must pass a shooting test set by the Zimbabwe Shooting Federation and obtain an Advanced First Aid Certificate.

    They then attend a Proficiency Test in the field. Full Licence holders carry a plastic disc issued by the Parks Authority which shows their photograph, ID number and licence number. Learner Licence holders carry a paper licence with their details and a licence number.


    Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA)
    A hunt must be organized and carried out by a safari operator that is registered and licensed with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA). Safari operator are obliged by law to employ a licensed professional guide or professional hunter to accompany hunting clients into the bush.


    Zimbabwe Professional Hunters & Guides Association (ZPHGA)
    Zimbabwe Professional Hunters & Guides Association (ZPHGA) is dedicated to maintain the highest standards of professionalism amongst their members and are committed to the long term management and utilization of wildlife. However it is important to mention that Zimbabwe's hunting operators and professional hunters are not required to be members of ZPHGA to conduct hunting safaris.

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    Jerome, since this issue seems to keep coming up, I wonder if zimfrosty's post and your reply is not worthy of a "sticky." While at the ISE show this past weekend one of the outfitters I met was selling PAC elephant hunts. I couldn't help but think about people like me that are say more on the end of Gomer Pyle versus James Bond in savviness of the safari world and how they could end up unwittingly in a bad situation.

    BTW, just to make sure I'm not misunderstood, once the subject was brought up by this outfitter I pretty much immediately dismissed it. I don't know where he is conducting these hunts and therefore while I'm not interested in such hunts I am not making any accusations as to the legality of what he was offering.

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    Thanks for the suggestion PHOENIX PHIL. I copied the posts as suggested in a sticky thread in the Zimbabwe Hunting Reports section of the forum, here is the thread: If You Are Planing To Go To Zimbabwe You Need To Read This First.

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