I was wondering about how the animal populations are kept up on ranches
This is a discussion on I was wondering about how the animal populations are kept up on ranches within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; With regard to fences. When I hunted RSA in '09 there were fences on all the properties, some large, some ...
02-23-2011, 01:12 PM #21
With regard to fences. When I hunted RSA in '09 there were fences on all the properties, some large, some not much. I knew going in there would be fences. I dont like fences. However they are a reality in much of RSA, Namibia and even Zim. I made up my mind beforehand that I would certainly NOT shoot an animal standing by a fence of any kind and prefered to be nowhere near a fence if possible. In one instance while hunting near a ranch house on a neighbors property, a huge bushbuck was sighted close by. The caretakers for the house were sitting on the front porch, my PH and tracker said lets go! I said no way. Not going to shoot an animal next to a ranch house, no matter how big. We pushed on much to the despair of the tracker who was quite perplexed I must say until we were well away from the house and proceeded to hunt bushbuck in classice bushbuck country down near a riverbed surrounded by tall grass. Within a couple of hours we had one down, not as big as the one near the ranch house but a damn nice 13 inch male with dark coat. Taken the way I wanted. Its a trophy I value. Dont think I would be as pleased with the bigger one next to the house.
02-23-2011, 10:29 PM #22
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This is a pretty difficult one, so the numbers might be only an estimate each person’s place would differ depending on property size as well as habitat. We have loads of trees and grass with the bush being really thick in some places and open in others.
This will also differ depending on what time of year it is since we still have quite a lot of predators I know that cheetah, leopard, hyena mostly brown but we do have some spotted and jackal take their share every calving season.
Here is my estimate for winter:
It is also important to remember that the smaller game species like impala will outnumber the larger species.
Louis van Bergen
03-07-2011, 10:00 AM #23
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My 2cents looking in the US and Pennsylvanian, the last eastern elk was killed by a native in the mid 1800, the game commission restocked from the western herds in the early 1900 a few counties in the west and two in the east, the eastern herd disappeared because elk like corn silk and the farmers need to feed there families, we have a hunt able population, was it wrong to restock game due to over hunting, they also almost wiped out the whitetail deer herd, there was a group of individuals that brought deer in from other parts of the US raised them in smaller enclosures then released them to to restock the depleted herd, we had a huge herd of deer until the game commission open war on the doe's to protect the forest. Is it wrong to restock a depleted herd, I don't think so, I hunted a 70,000 acre ranch in Namibia it was high fence, the only thing they brought in was Eland and there was no hunting till the herd was big enough and it was only going to be the bulls same with the Black wildebeest, the Kudu, Gems-buck, Red hartbeest, mountain zebra were doing strong on there own with large herds observed. 70 square miles is a lot of land, with food and water the native species do repopulate quickly.
03-07-2011, 03:10 PM #24
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I do not think many on this site know how big 5,000 - 10,000 acres are...
My uncle has 32,000 plus acres of land and let me tell you you would not see it all in 10 to 20 days of hard hunting...
I also have friends who have pastures that are 6,400 acres that you would have a tough time walking in a week.
and i also have friends that have their ranch's layouts that that are bigger that these and are horse back only in places to see their reaches...
I would have no trouble hunting on a large concession that is fenced...
03-07-2011, 09:31 PM #25
You have a very valid good point with reintroducing game.
However I do not like places that introduce game where they do not belong or existed previously.
We have our own way to find out if a game specie did occur in a specific area for. This is the way my partner Charl does it by asking the locals the names of the game in their own language if they dont have a name in their own tongue for Gemsbuck as an example then there never were gemsbuck in that area. They will have a name for it in Afrikaans or English but not in their mother tongue. Obviously only works with loclas who have stayed in the area for a couple of generations.Frederik Cocquyt, Outfitter and Professional Hunter
Cell: +27 83 709 8927
03-08-2011, 02:29 PM #26
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03-10-2011, 04:29 PM #27
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I would like to add a few points. Many game ranches in South Africa are relatively small and therefore typically have small populations of various species. These populations can probably sustain themselves, but natural populations have about less than 10% trophy sized males. Therefore small populations produce too few trophy sized males and these have to be frequently supplemented leading to a put-and-take situation. Therefore, the larger the area, the lager the population it can sustain and the more trophies it can produce. Ok population size also depends on the region, habitat, rainfall, soil fertility etc.
Exotics is another aspect. Black wildebeest and blesbok are grassland species and occur naturally and typically in the Free State and the Highveld (high altitude grasslands). They are therefore exotics in the northern bushveld regions of South Africa and especially in Namibia. And so is the common impala and waterbuck an exotic in the central parts of Namibia. These and other species are typically introduced outside their natural range to offer hunters a larger variety of species.
Unfortunately there are virtually no game ranches or hunting areas left in South Africa and Namibia that are not fenced. The main reason for the high fences is the issue of ownership of wildlife. E.g. if a landowner buys some animals and they leave his property, they belong to the other landowner. However, the law has changed in SA to address this issue for some species. I am not sure if it applies to all species, because it will be difficult to prove that e.g impala belong to you.
I hope this clarifies some issues.
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