High Fenced Debate?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by MarvelAfrica, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. MarvelAfrica

    MarvelAfrica AH Senior Member

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    Hi All,

    I know this debate has been talked about many times before but i am trying to understand what
    the marketing hype is about high fencing.
    What the practical and rational reasons are for people not liking high fenced properties.
    or is it a pure emotional thing ?

    There is allot of debates and discussion about how the species breed themselves, ect, and there is allot of valid point made.

    but here is what gets to me, i see allot of people bragging about their non-high fenced hunting, and in allot of them you see pictures..
    in allot of these pictures you see the low fence, or as we know it cattle fence with game on the other side or next to it, now mostly the species are things like springbuck, blesbuck, wildebeest ect.

    Now the part that bothers me, of all the species i know of, the only species that actually has the nature to jump fences are Eland, Kudu and Impala "i may have missed one or two".
    as for the rest, they crawl trough fences, so excluding the ones i have mentioned and the few i might have missed, the rest are contained even though the fence is low...

    is this not just a Marketing scheme the hunting community bought without considering the facts ?

    If boundaries is the issue, there is always some boundaries, mountains, valleys, rivers, borders, oceans ect..

    but my point is, if you refuse to hunt high fenced animals, and you shoot a blesbuck in a low fence, what is the difference, i cant get out anyway ?

    I am hoping someone can help me understand the logic behind this high fence saga !!
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  2. lcq

    lcq AH Senior Member

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    I hunted a high fenced property and it was so huge I never saw a fence in a week of hunting. It isn't like shooting fish in a barrel as some North American enclosed areas are.
     
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  3. MarvelAfrica

    MarvelAfrica AH Senior Member

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    ICQ, that i agree with, the benefits of high fencing overweight the emotional, and if it is well managed, most people wont even know it.
     
  4. Sable123

    Sable123 AH Senior Member

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    Without the high fence on OUR farm, our game animals would be snared, poisoned and ripped to pieces by poachers dogs. For me this debate can be "similar" to the hunting vs anti-hunting and it simply comes down to a lack of understanding. When most people see the word fence they think small camps where the animals are restricted but it simply isn't the case.
    Think of bow hunting for instance, you often have to get to within 20,30,or 40 yards for a shot....measure that up against a fenced off area measuring over 2,000 hectares! And when that animal spots you and takes off, you try and keep up with it on foot in an area that large.:oops:
    Animals in fenced areas are protected, well managed and "meant to be" healthier than those free ranging. Saying that, it is still up to the hunting fraternity not too abuse something like this by offering hunts in an area that is clearly too small for so many animals and should a client/hunter not be keen to hunt in a fenced area then that is his prerogative and it should be respected.
    In some cases, not all, a non fenced off or free range area is sometimes a community area where they have leased out concessions of land and draw an income from hunting safaris for the benefit of the community. So it can be a good thing.

    Therefore hunting, whether free range or in a high fenced area as long as it is done ethically, with conservation in mind, a well managed habitat and conducted with respect for the animal it shouldn't matter. Thanks for opening it up @MarvelAfrica

    Marketing scheme....yes:sneaky:
     
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  5. Johnny7604

    Johnny7604 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I think alot of it has to do with lack of education/understanding. I can say it certainly was for me. When I went over I did so with the intent to learn as much as possible. I had done plenty of research before hand but until I actually set foot and explored a few of these high fenced areas I really didn't have a firm grasp on the concept.

    All of the ones I hunted were so massive that it really didn't matter if a fence was there or not. I also didn't realize that the fences there are more of a deterrent than a barrier. Almost every animal I saw could have gone through them at will.

    I think of it like this. Studies have shown that most North American Whitetailed deer are born, grow up and die in the same roughly 1 mile square area. So is it any different than hunting an animal that lives on a ranch that is many miles square? You see it on TV all the time where guys actually brag that they have been hunting the same buck year in and year out from the same treestand. So now we are talking about a realistic hunting area down into the thousands of square meters. But throw a high fence around an area many miles across and people get there panties in a wad.

    Long story short, it boils down to education and experience in my opinion.
     
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  6. lcq

    lcq AH Senior Member

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    actually my PH said even with the fences poachers are a problem, albiet to a much lesser extent but it does keep the dogs out.
     
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  7. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Think Boma! That is the fear.
     
  8. Johnny7604

    Johnny7604 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    From what I gather (and correct me if I am wrong) a lot of the purpose of a high fence is for a landowner to be able to receive an "exemption permit" which basically nullifies any hunting seasons and quotas that may otherwise apply to the area. Apologies if I am incorrect as I may have misinterpreted what my PH was saying.

    Anyone that thinks a high fence hunt is easy needs to go and try hunting eland on 5,000 hectares. I figured they were slow ponderous cattle like creatures. Man was I wrong, those bastards are amazing athletes. If you want to see something incredible watch a 2,000 lb animal run all day long and then clear a 7 foot tree without even breaking stride. It's like free willy in the bushveld.
     
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  9. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    I believe it´s basically an emotional issue.

    What is important is the size of the property and how it´s managed.
     
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  10. Sable123

    Sable123 AH Senior Member

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    I have a question for this those who would choose NOT to hunt a fenced property.
    What size area would be sufficient for you to hunt on with a fence? Because sooner or later in Africa you gonna come up against a fence or village!
     
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  11. lcq

    lcq AH Senior Member

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    you are not wrong, fence height is one of the primary criterion to being granted the exemption permit
     
  12. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

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    +1 with Nyati, also Johnny7604 and a couple others on this topic.

    I have hunted on unfenced land in Africa, as well as low cattle fenced and either 8 or 10 ft high fenced (I didn't measure it), but never on a small one.
    The largest single piece of land that was fenced which I have hunted on was about 40 something thousand hectares or about 100,000 acres and the smallest singular piece has been so far about 10,000 hectares (or about 22,000 acres ?).

    If anyone who is weeping about hunting inside a fence, high or low, I will guess has never wandered about on foot, over a 10,000 hectare / 22,000 acre piece of combined riverine forest and steep hills, much less any larger piece of real estate.

    Regards,
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
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  13. Takeri Reserve Zambia

    Takeri Reserve Zambia AH Senior Member

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    in zambia we can only own the animals if we are fenced. the private land that is not fenced but can still be hunted have to buy quota from ZAWA. we can then have ownership docs from ZAWA with the numbers and species of animals on them. when you first fence land ZAWA people come in and assess the numbers and species and you buy them from ZAWA, that is if there were any there in the first place. this includes guinea fowl and francolin but a number is agreed on ;)...........there were bushbuck and duiker on ours but everything else had "disappeared" ......we bought from other breeders to replace the animals 8/9 years ago. without the fences it would be a total waste of money and time even thinking about trying to own them. the fences are no deterrent to poachers or their dogs i promise you. we are in a midway scenario in that we have approx 12kms of wire but the rest of our boundary is 16kms of river, and as in the past we have had migratory eles cross the river into ours and out again , we could say we are free range ;):D as johnny says he got a surprise with the eland, and if you wanted to hunt one with us i would say 7 days minimum as they dont hang around and are hard to hunt even on a high fenced place ,and we are smaller 3,300 hectares than where he hunted. this high fence/free range subject has come up on here before and is one that tends to get up mine and Jacos noses as there are people who denigrate fenced hunting reserves and the people who hunt them. well as i have said on more than one occassion here on AH you had better get more and more used to it, because due to population explosions in these countries there will be less and less "open" land available due to it being turned over to agriculture ,and where there are minerals etc mining. i am not sure if its an emotional thing or a holier than thou type of mental attitude certain people have.............anyway its another of those issues that will come up on a regular basis along with certain other subjects :eek: ..............................there will be those who will and those who wont :)/:(, cheers mike
     
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  14. SCJagter

    SCJagter AH Member

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    If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it did it make a sound? I think it is the same as if the property has a fence and you never see it... You know it is there but does it really matter?

    It comes down to fair chase and what is your definition of hunting,
    If you are hunting a large concession and are using a vehicle to close an impossible gap(by foot) between you and the game is that really fair chase? (I think so my poor feet!:eek:)
    Is shooting an animal at 300yds with a rifle really a skill when the animal never knew you were there or is getting within 30yds the definition of skill or should we all go caveman and bust out the spears?

    After hunting on large farms 40,000 hectares in Zim with high fences and government concessions no fences, hunting on smaller farms with high fences and even hunting on a 4,500 hectare sheep and cattle farm(for Kudu and Bushbuck) with low/no fences, it doesn't really matter in my opinion let hunting be hunting whether there is a fence or not, fences also provide the trophy variety that graces many walls... The snobs will always hold their noses high and will continue to have a (y) up there:eek:!.
     
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  15. Code4

    Code4 AH Enthusiast

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    The high fence debate/argument clearly has many aspects depending on what you want to achieve.

    As I understand it, the main objection has always come from (US) purists raised on what may be called romantic early 20th century notions of conservation and hunting. eg the lone hunter enters the natural, unspoilt habitat of the animal to hunt that animal in terrain familiar to the quarry. Anything different seems to attract the unethical label.

    External artificial influences such as containment, management in any form, introduced species living in an unnatural biome, bred to be shot animals and shooting from modern convenience like a vehicle, are viewed as 'corruption' of that 'pure' experience.

    I have been very lucky on a hand full of occasions (not in Africa) to hunt and shoot non trophy animals from 'naive' populations. ie populations that have had no or very little human contact. These animals have always been more curious than scared and with a moderate degree of stalking skill can be approached quite closely. When hunting, if a target species bolts at the first hint of human presence, it indicates to me that the population has been shot over and shot at, often.

    I always find it hypocritical to hear someone accept the use of tree stands, feeders and the shooting of animals from blinds or off waterholes as acceptable, but then denigrate fence shooting. It's also interesting to hear people claim to have had a free chase hunt with an outfitter in south Africa who also offers Lion hunting on the same property.

    I have no problems with anyone shooting anything anyway they want. Just don't claim to be better than the next 'hunter' because you choose to do things your way.
     
  16. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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  17. CAustin

    CAustin AH Fanatic

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    I have hunted both in South Africa. I can honestly agree with what others have said here....once you pass through a gate on the property you don't usually see a fence again until you leave. I hunted one place that was 50,000 acres folks. That is as big as a small city. Try chasing a Cape buffalo in a 30 square mile area like I did and you will be a very tired man. A well managed place may have smaller areas enclosed for mothers and there young of a given type animal but even those I saw were 3 to 4 hundred acres. Heck my deer lease in Arkansas isn't much bigger than that so to me the fence means nothing. The animals are protected from predictors and cared for humanely in my opinion. Yes you can go hunt the Selous in Tanzania and you are going to pay big to take a trophy. If someone wants to take a free range lion....ok try for the permit and get the check book out!
     
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  18. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

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    Hello Code4,

    Yours truly tends to be a bit self righteous on some topics (walnut stocks and blue steel vs plastic and stainless steel as one example).

    So, I approach this thread with caution.

    That being said, I am with you almost 100% on your above post.

    My only small difference is that not all lion hunting in South Africa is necessarily a "canned hunt".

    I know two safari companies in South Africa (Hannes Swanepoel Safaris and Duke Safaris - they're located in Limpopo District), both of which, (when occasionally a permit becomes available), proudly offer free range lion hunting on a hunting lease (100,000 acres approximately) bordering The Kruger Park.

    There is no fence between this hunting area and the park, only the Olifants River which, is quite shallow in places sometimes, depending on rainfall or lack thereof.
    All of the Big-5, plus numerous other miscellaneous, indigenous species commonly wander back and fourth (for their wandering habits, some are eaten by crocs of course).

    They use Shangan Trackers to follow any set of tracks which said trackers indicate probably belong to a suitable cat (actually they also offer lioness hunts as well).

    These hunts are not for the faint of heart nor for the faint of bank account however, they are in fact Free Range lion hunting in South Africa.

    No doubt there are other safari companies, probably some within this forum, that offer similar lion hunts in South Africa.

    Best Regards,
    Velo Dog.
     
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  19. woods1126

    woods1126 AH Member

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    I have only hunted Africa once and will be returning next April, Lord willing. I hunted in the Eastern Cape. While there I was fortunate enough to be able to hunt both types of areas, high and low fence. The smallest high fence, was a 2000 acre farm where the land owner wanted some of the Blesbok and Springbok to be taken. The largest high fence was 40,000 acres and held many species including Eland, Kudu, Waterbuck, Zebra and many of the smaller antelope. The low fence areas were between 20,000-40,000. I took animals on all these farms and never once noticed a difference in animal behavior. There were no differences except the smallest area (2000 acres) is where I had to make the longest shot of the trip, (290 yards), to get the Blesbok we liked. My point is, I really never knew when we were hunting either one, high or low fence and it never really mattered to me one bit. just two cents from a novice Africa hunter. Kevin
     
  20. Sable123

    Sable123 AH Senior Member

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    Spot on, a fence is not 100% poacher proof but at least this way the poachers come to ME and not my animals to them! And when they do come, its on my terms!!:sneaky:
     

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