Fair Chase hunts in South Africa

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by MJ75, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. MJ75

    MJ75 AH Senior Member

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    Does anyone know of any outfitters who offer fair chase hunts in South Africa in unfenced areas? I've seen these mentioned on other forums, but trying to find any information about them is proving to be very hard. Has anyone any experience of such areas?

    Thanks in advance
    MJ
     
  2. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    What you may find is very large properties, in have hunted in one which is 45.000 Ha. Mkuze Falls PGR, and Serapa, which is 19.000 Ha.

    Rooipoort is 57.000 Ha. and there are a few more.
     
  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    What are you looking to hunt?

    There are free range areas (ie low fence or no fence) but most hunting is done in fenced areas.
    That is how you get to hunt year round.
    As Nyati says large properties and the fence won't come into play.
     
  4. Ethan

    Ethan AH Senior Member

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    There are quite a few outfits that advertise Free Range hunts. A quick Google search will give you a whole page full. I think a lot depends on definitions and semantics. If you drive through a gate and fence to get on the concession, that's your first sign. There is almost always a fence somewhere. Many fences are low and for cattle and the game and easily get over them. Then there are places with high 8 ft. fences along thier borders. On some of the concessions in Republic of South Africa there is so much space you couldn't see the Great Wall of China even if it was there.
     
  5. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    I hunted on one property that was 8 miles by 15 miles fenced perimeter but had no interplay with the fence ever. If the definition of "free range" is low fence only then you might find some like that My guess East Cape? but big places like I mentioned seem free range when your hiking all over hill and dale hunting.
     
  6. Bushwack

    Bushwack AH Fanatic

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    Try Andrew from Mclarens Safaris. He also post on this forum.

    Andrew McLaren Safaris South Africa Hunting
     
  7. CT Safaris

    CT Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    MJ, there are many free range hunting opportunities in RSA and even more fair chase hunting opportunities (contrary to what some believe they do not necessarily go hand-in-hand).

    But an important fact to consider is that the variety of species available in a true free range environment in RSA will be limited. E.g. the Free State might offer free range hunting opportunities for Springbok, Steenbok, Duiker and (in some parts of the Province) maybe Kudu whereas other Provinces / areas such as Kwa Zulu Natal might have additional or other species such as Nyala, Bushbuck, Oribi, Vaal Rhebuck and more on offer in a free range environment.

    With this in mind it migh be useful for you to decide which animals you would like to hunt first and then look for Outfitters that offer hunts for these animals in the environment you prefer to hunt (free range hunting).

    I think there is a huge misconception with regards to truly free ranging animals in Southern Africa. The Eastern Cape e.g. is often marketed as a free range / low fenced hunting destination. Yet, certain species such as Blesbok and Black Wildebeest (that is popular there) is easily contained inside a low fence. Other species such as Warthog (which is prolific in many Provinces - especially Limpopo - can barely be contained with any fence high or low... There are other examples...

    Best,
     
  8. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    I have hunted with Chris (ct-safaris) on both high fence and free range/cattle fence properties. Last year we hunted free range Wildebeest, Nyala, Duiker and Greater Kudu (Impala, Cape Bushbuck and Warthog were also available) in KZN and free range Greater Kudu, Warthog and Limpopo Bushbuck (Klipspringer and Mountain Reedbuck were also available) in Limpopo. This year we hunted Vaal Rhebok, Mountain Reedbuck, East Cape Kudu, Springbok and Steinbok (Klipspringer was also available but not plentiful) in the Eastern Cape.

    As Chris stated some animals cannot be caged (Kudu and Eland at times, such as the rut or when pursued, jump the 12' fence and Warthog dont even slow down when they scoot underneath) and others have no desire to leave. I know where you are coming from seeking low fence areas to hunt, I prefer them as well, but dont rule out large high fence ranches either. It is easy to drive for miles on some properties without seeing a fence and the game is every bit as wary as the wild stock although success is generally better because of the higher density of animals in high fence ranches.
     
  9. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Confused?? Would à hunt on à 33 000 acre area fenced (true surface area around 50 000 acres) constitue à fairchase hunt or not, if not could.... Could some one please enlighten me as to why......

    My very best always.
     
  10. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I guess it is the American idea of what fair chase is.
    As long as there is a high fence there, no matter how large the area is, it is not fair chase.
    But if it is a small island in the middle of the ocean with no fences, then it is fair chase.
    High fenced 100 000 acre = not fair chase.
    1000 acre island in the middle of the ocean = fair chase.

    This idea confuses me a lot too.
     
  11. MJ75

    MJ75 AH Senior Member

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    I've done that discussion to death, Jaco. I know exactly where you are coming from.

    My question is this simple :-

    Are there unfenced areas to hunt in RSA?

    I ask as I've read people mentioning them but have never seen an RSA outfitter who hunts in an 'unfenced' area. So wondered if they really do exist and where they are. In this instance there is no need to complicate matters with opinions of what 'fair chase' really is. :)

    Thank you everyone for the replies, they are appreciated. I did actually email Andrew Mclaren, his professional reply was very quick, detailed and interesting, so thanks for that suggestion.
     
  12. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    I am sure you can find something. It's all just a matter of personal choice. Just do your research and i am sure you can find something. I hunted one of those 20,000+ ha farms in SA. The femce never came in to play. It was like every day we where on a new property. An I hunted there every day but one. But again if you look hard enough you should ne able to find something without a high fence.
     
  13. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Honestly No I do not believe it as strictly speaking somwhere some how there is bound to be a game fence......... maybe not around the immediate area you are hunting but a neighbour has one....

    If I was to hunt a 20 000 acre free range area why is it only 20 000 acres what kind of set up do the neighbours have as far as fences go?
    My best.
     
  14. owenowen

    owenowen AH Veteran

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    If you really think about it the whole earth is fenced... Even the most wild parts that we say are un-fenced do run into either an ocean , man made road or city..... The larger fenced farms with just and external boundary fence are not always as easy as people think because these animals know they get hunted so its like cat and mouse by foot.....

    anyway that's just my view on it... cheers owen
     
  15. CT Safaris

    CT Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    In that case the simple answer to your question is probably no. There are no "unfenced" areas to hunt, not in South Africa - probably not in Africa for that matter.

    And I don't mean to sound like a smart-ass by saying this. But the title of your post reads: "Fair Chase RSA Hunts" and in your opening line you asked if anyone knows of anyone offering hunts in unfenced areas... This quite easily could create the impression that you were drawing a parralel between "fair chase" and "unfenced".

    With this in mind; do you know if anyone offers hunting in unfenced areas in the UK?
     
  16. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    :shootingpistols::shootingpistols:Thanks CT that pretty much puts it THE way it is,......

    My best always
     
  17. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    Chris, My limited experience in Africa, is that you would have to put a concrete foundation wall (3ft below ground level and 2 ft. above) to keep the Warthogs on your property. :p Those things seem to go wherever the heck they want, whenever they want. :crazylol:

    As for the "fair chase" portion of this thread, I did not even see the fence (except for entering and exiting Willems property) until we were trying to find the Warthogs and you could see where their entrance and exits were to his property.

    P.S. I know a guy on this forum that could do the wall for you. :laughing::laughing: It would get me back to Africa just a little faster.
     
  18. MJ75

    MJ75 AH Senior Member

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    Hell yeah, theres very little fenced hunting in the UK.

    Though a smart ass could point out we're an island. But that's not really the point.... :)
     
  19. CT Safaris

    CT Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    I'm going to try and illustrate my point by using a diagram. (I'm no artist so I hope this will make sense):demented::

    [​IMG]

    For purpose of this post I'm trying to illustrate a fictional area of 100 miles by 50 miles in size. You can imagine the total size of the area to be as big or small as you like... Let's say it is the size of England and it is in fact an "island";)

    The block marked (1) represents a high-fenced game ranch in RSA
    The block marked (2) represents a low-fenced property in RSA with no internal fences
    The block marked (3) represents an "unfenced" property in RSA
    The block marked (4) represents another low-fenced property in RSA (more about that later)
    And the circle marked (5) represents a hunting area that is made up by a series of low-fenced properties.

    Based on this illustration we can assume that, in spite of the area being considerably larger than the others, animals inside block (1) are not free ranging.

    Block (2) comprises of a partially high-fenced area i.e. animals cannot move into block (1) but it is assumed that animals can move freely between blocks (2), (3), (4) and also the block on the right that is not numbered... Would animals inside this block be considered as "ree ranging"? I guess so, but have a look at my notes about block (4) later down below...

    If I understand the general perception correctly, block (3) would be categorised as an "unfenced" hunting area. But is it really? Because the outer perimeter is actually "fenced" or do these fences not count? If they don't count, the answer to whether there is unfenced hunting available in RSA is "YES".

    Now apply these principles to "unfenced" hunting in England where actual hunting areas may not be fenced off (no different to block (3) in my illustration) but fences do exist (albeit mostly low fences). If these fences and other borders such as city limits etc. were to be taken into account, an accurate answer to whether there is any unfenced hunting in England will actually be: "NO" or not?:biggrin2:

    Now let's look at block (4)... and assume that Springbok, Blesbok, Black Wildebeest, Kudu and Impala occur in this area. A low fence will never keep Kudu or Impala inside this area. The other species mentioned on the other hand will easily be contained inside the area.

    QUESTION (1): Would a hunt for Kudu and Impala inside block (4) be free ranging and fair chase. I would most certainly think so...

    QUESTION (2): Would a hunt for Springbok, Black Wildebeest and Blesbok in the same block be free ranging and fair chase? I'll leave that up for others to answer...

    What I'm getting at is that whilst the "simple answer" to the original question whether there is any hunting in unfenced areas in RSA may be "NO" the real answer is not as easy as that. Get my point?

    And this brings me back to my original point namely that free range hunting opportunities exist in RSA, exactly how "free ranging" these animals are would be determined by what species are hunted where...

    No offence intended - all in good spirit!

    Best,
     

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  20. MJ75

    MJ75 AH Senior Member

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    I'm afraid you're wrong Chris. I'm writing this in good spirit too, but your diagram and argument are all theoretical arguments. As I mentioned I've done this argument to death elsewhere, and people often mention rivers, roads and city limits etc as natural 'fencing' to back up the same argument.

    In the real world, here in the UK we have populations of muntjac and other species of invasive deer. The 'munties' as we affectionately call them escaped from a private collection and have spread through many counties (states if you're american). They've increased in number massively and are spreading throughout the UK. It's only a matter of a few years before they'll be found in Scotland and then with the habitat there, their numbers really will explode and many deer hunters can't wait for their arrival.

    So if a species like Muntjac can travel from the home counties north, through Lincolnshire, into Yorkshire and continue to head north on their way upto Scotland, I'm not sure how you can say the hunting here in the UK is fenced...

    You can draw similar paralells from our populations of invasive sika deer too, Their spread is a majot threat to the genetic integrity of our native red deer (Cervus elaphus, what you guys call elk) as they hybridise. Their expansion which has not been limited by any of the factors you mention has resulted in hybridisation with the closely related sika deer and there is now some sources questioning the genetic integrity of all red deer on mainland Scotland.

    So the next time I hunt reds in Scotland, I might spook a deer and have it run off the property I have rights to shoot on, it will easily clear a small stock fence intended to keep sheep and cattle in and run onto an area I can not shoot over. So is this fenced / canned hunting? No. The animal is not restricted in it's movements. Is it 'fair chase'? It could wonder all the way down to the South Coast of England if it wanted to, so I'd say yes.

    So, my bit of forest in Perthshire is as far as I'm concerned, unfenced and fair chase. My question is really, does a similar property exist in RSA? And I only ask as people have mentioned they do, but I've never seen hunts advertised in RSA on this kind of area. There is no need to read anything more into my question.

    Now, the scottish forest holds a large head of red and roe deer. Parts of it are large and impenetrable with lots of natural food so the deer live on this property year round. They have no need to move around. We just need to keep the numbers in check and manage them and it all works well. I would have thought somewhere similar exists in RSA? And if so, where?
     

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