Hunting Lion

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Mike70560, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. shakari

    shakari AH Enthusiast

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    Dave

    When you look at the PHASA statement of 2005 (unfortunately I can't remember who was President then) & compare it to the recent (and IMO, disgraceful) volte face vote, it just goes to prove how many members are now involved in the canned lion shooting side of things!

    Mind you, I'm told there was no more than about 20% of the membership at that meeting & am astounded it wasn't put to a postal vote so the whole membership might have the opportunity to vote on such an important issue.
     
  2. AFRICAN INDABA

    AFRICAN INDABA CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    WILL HUNTING SAVE LIONS FROM EXTINCTION?

    African lions are one of the most charismatic species on the planet. Images of the King of the Jungle are etched deeply into our collective conscience. The debate on how best to conserve lions has been stirred anew with a recent Twitter post by Melissa Bachman who killed a “trophy” lion while on safari in Africa. The image of a rifle-toting Bachman posing over the carcass of a dead lion offended activists and animal lovers alike. However, Twitter hype aside, the hunting/conservation of African lions is a controversial topic that begs a thorough understanding of the facts.

    In 2011 US Fish & Wildlife Service was petitioned by animal rights activists to add African lions to the Endangered Species list, sharpening the divide of an already philosophically polarized conservation community. Contradicting the underlying premise of the petition, at a recent lion workshop hosted by FWS, three experts on African lions agreed that the lion, in their opinion, is not currently in danger of extinction. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the central body in conservation for the African lion, currently lists lions as “vulnerable” on their Red List of Threatened Species.

    All agree that populations of lions have declined significantly. According to a study authored by Professor Stuart Pimm of Duke University in 2012, about 75 percent of Africa’s savannahs and more than two-thirds of the lion population once estimated to live there have disappeared in the last 50 years. There are likely between 32,000 and 35,000 free ranging lions on the African continent today. According to Pimm, “massive land-use change and deforestation, driven by rapid human population growth” is the primary reason for the decline of the lion.

    Sixty percent of all lions harvested in Africa are destined for trophy rooms in the United States. Proponents of an Endangered Species listing claim the issue is a “no brainer.” Allowing hunters to harvest lions and export trophies back to the US sends the wrong conservation message. They say lions would be best conserved by blocking access to American hunters, thereby reducing pressure on lion populations. Jeff Flocken of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the group spearheading the petition to list lions on the Endangered Species Act (ESA), wrote, “Why should anyone spend money to protect an animal that a wealthy American can then pay to go kill?” Flocken characterizes his argument as common sense, but acknowledges that, habitat loss and human-lion conflict, not hunting, are the primary causes of the lions’ disappearance from Africa.

    It is absolutely essential that local communities identify the presence of lions as a direct benefit to them. Reducing human-lion conflict is critical to conservation success. According to Dennis Ikanda, of the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute’s Kingupira Research Centre, his country generated $75 million in lion hunting from 2008 to 2011. Opponents of an Endangered Species listing assert that trophy hunting is the only thing standing between the lions and extinction. Although those claims may seem counter intuitive, the money generated by hunting is being plowed back into the local economy, into conservation measures and into protecting lions from poaching. Hunting advocates say the only chance for survival of the lions is management as a valuable and sustainable natural resource.

    Melissa Simpson of SCIF wrote in an opinion piece for National Geographic Society, “If the (FWS) were to take regulatory action and put the African lion on the Endangered Species list, it would be in spite of the overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary. Such an overreaching decision would deprive the countries that grapple with lion management the resources they need the most. And the most essential resource is money.” Hunting advocates believe that more closely monitored hunting and the millions of dollars injected into management, conservation and the local economy is the best way to conserve lions.

    Additionally, proponents of listing insist that adult male lions being harvested are in fact dominant pride males in their breeding prime. They assert that harvesting pride males destroys pride stability by instigating less dominant males to cull the former pride male’s cubs in order to establish themselves, thereby disrupting the natural pride dynamic and throwing breeding cycles into chaos. If this were true, and management practices didn’t focus on males who have passed their prime, then damage to pride stability would be a serious problem.

    Hunting advocates have argued that it is irresponsible and unsustainable to harvest pride males in their prime. Responsible game management practices dictate only aging males that have passed their prime and are often alienated from the pride should be harvested. These are males that were possibly once dominant, but have become too old (6+ years) to maintain status within the pride structure. Although the idea of trophy hunting does not enjoy wide popularity, its value as a pragmatic conservation tool has proven to have merit. The questions are, will an Endangered Species listing relieve pressure on lion populations? Or will blocking American hunters from harvesting lions remove economic incentives necessary to protect a valuable resource?

    Animal rights advocates dismiss the conservation benefits of hunting. However, a study of trophy hunting by the University of Zimbabwe supports claims of conservation success tied to responsible hunting practices. Peter Lindsey, the lead author of the study, wrote, “trophy hunting is sustainable and low risk if well managed.” Lindsey continued, “Trophy hunting was banned in Kenya in 1977, in Tanzania during 1973–1978, and in Zambia from 2000 through 2003. Each of these bans resulted in an accelerated loss of wildlife due to the removal of incentives for conservation. Avoiding future bans is thus vital for conservation.” When local communities are not incentivized to protect lions they are subsequently killed. To date there appears to be no clear evidence that would support the premise that listing lions as endangered in the USA would inure conservation benefit to lions in Africa; to the contrary, listing could undermine real conservation efforts by diminishing the value of lions to local African communities.

    Admittedly, oversight of hunting practices in Africa is not likely to be commensurate to standards in the west anytime soon. Trophy hunting is by no means a perfect solution, but the IUCN Cat Specialists Group says, “Properly managed trophy hunting was viewed as an important solution to long-term lion conservation.” There will always be some abuse from unscrupulous individuals. But the monetary incentive to manage sustainable lion populations for hunting is the only protection lions currently have. Removing economic incentive for Africans to conserve lions has been demonstrated to be counterproductive. Working to improve oversight and lion management should be a priority. Until a better conservation model proves its mettle, responsibly managed hunts are the best chance for lions to survive in Africa.

    Author: Andrew Wyatt
     
  3. AlSpaeth

    AlSpaeth AH Senior Member

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    Hi Andrew,
    Excellent input and many valid points which I agree with.
    Have been involved in the hunting industry in South Africa for nearly 30 years here are my concerns:
    Hunting has played a huge role in wildlife condervation here in Africa and I started game ranching in 1985 as well as being an outfitter and licensed PH.
    I believe the greatest threat to our wildlife in Africa is loss of habitat due to an exploding population. The explosion of game ranches in South Africa has provided the additional habitat on private land for untold thousands of animals that would otherwise not exist. Hunting is a critical factor to the sustainability of this land and the management of the wildlife.
    Although high fenced (as required by law here), the concept behind game ranches was to provide habitat so our wildlife could live (and be hunted) in a natural wild state - ideal for plains-game species.

    No here is where it gets tricky:
    When we talk about saving animals from extinction - we are talking about preservation vs conservation.
    Zoos can play a role in preservation of a species but not conservation which is based on sustainable utilization of our wildlife. Hunting is accepted by most as being important to successful conservation - but it doesn't work in zoos.

    When it comes to lions, in particular, the "king" raises huge emotional issues. This is not Disney stuff.
    For more than a century the pinnacle of African hunting has been the "Big Five". Big Game Hunting was was always for the elite few. Even in the days of Selous and Hemmingway it was roalty and the rich who could afford a big five African safari. It was the pinnacle of hunting success and, other than buffalo, the rest were unobtainable for most.
    Game ranching made it possible to hunt wild game living and breeding in a natural state. Unfortunately, most game ranches are too small and only our parks (no hunting allowed) are large enough for lions to live and breed naturally in South Africa. This has resulted in many opportunists breeding and hand raising lions in the hope of attracting the hunting market and making lots of money. Virtually all are hand raised and fed from cubs and recognise man as a friend who feeds them from the time they are cubs.

    Those of us who have hunted Lion in Places like Botswana (now stopped) objected to this practice. In those days to get a lion permit the government required that a hunter book a mimimum of a 21-28 day safari. Baiting was not allowed so it was usually many days of tracking on foot, and many hunters went on more than one safari before they were successful. Any hunter with a lion in his trophy collection was admired as we all knew what it took to acheive.

    Back in the early 90's lion breeders were arriving at SCI with photo albums of lions and prices. You could choose your trophy and price and the lion was guaranteed. We, older hunters, called it "supermarket hunting" as was just a case of "pick" and "pay" and then it became "canned" in the same vain as artifically bred and fed - not drugged,

    My objection to the practice was simply that was illegal in the USA wher most of our clients came from. It was not that I against lion hunting or objected to killing tame animals. It was my concern over the future of hunting as a sport. Every sport has ethics. I don't think you should claim a record bass if you caught in a fish hatchery or a "hole in one" if you picked up the ball, walked down the fairway, and dropped it in the hole. It may happen, but it is not acceptable to any true sportsman - and we must remember that there is a much bigger anti-hunting lobby out there than anti-fishing or anti-golf who have threatened our sport and its popularity for many years. Canned lion hunting is just the sort of ammo they would love to have to show the world that we are not sportsmen - but just enjoy killing poor defenseless animals.

    It may be a grey area to some, but I believe it should be stopped in the interest of our sport and its future.
    And what about the true sportsman to took the time and money and endured the hardships and dangers of a true African big game safari?

    Those in the safari industry should recognise that we are selling memories - not just dead animals. How does a hunter feel when he is back home, sitting in his trophy room with a whisky in hand, looking at the magnificent lion he shot off the back of a truck. It wasn't charging - it was just running up to the truck waiting for someone to throw some meat to him. If released into the wild he will not survive as he has never learned to hunt. If he is not a trophy, he will be killed anyway as we now have a market for lion bones used in eastern medicine. He never even had a chance to be a real lion.

    Is this really the way we want to save the "King of Beasts"?
    For the sake of our sport - and the lion - I think not.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  4. tigris115

    tigris115 AH Senior Member

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    Very nicely put. I do feel that responsible harvesting is a good long term solution for lions. Although I can understand that some people aren't exactly thrilled by this.
     
  5. LeopardsValleySafaris

    LeopardsValleySafaris AH Senior Member

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    I'm not and old school PH but have hunted both wild lion and South African Ranch lion.
    It is not as you describe but rather similar to the Botswana kalahari hunting of old.

    You first check water for fresh tracks and then you check roads to check for fresh movement. They are not tame.

    I have seen fresh kills in the field, showing that they adapt quickly.

    I have also done wild lion hunts where the P.H tells my client that the 2yr old pup in the photo is all he's gonna get so if he wants a wild lion this is it.

    There are horses for courses. 40 square miles is a big chunk of kalahari to walk through and charges do happen.

    I think that due to the shrinking lion habitat South African lions are going to be the only lions we hunt in the future. I pray I'm wrong.
    Regards
    Dave
     
  6. AlSpaeth

    AlSpaeth AH Senior Member

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    Dave,
    The question is not how big the area is - it is simply was it captive bred and fed or was it born and raised in the wild?
    Canned lions are often released in to larger areas just before the client arrives. You might even see some impala and wildebeest in the same area be he doesn't have a clue how to catch them. Occasionally an impala is shot and the client is taken to a "fresh kill" after a day wasted tracking. It's a sad business.
     
  7. LeopardsValleySafaris

    LeopardsValleySafaris AH Senior Member

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    You're right, those hunts do exist. Canned hunts are illegal though and operators conducting them unscrupulous. If you have information that can verify your claims I would love that so that we can prosecute such land owners / operators . We are trying very hard to clean up the South African Lion hunting image.

    As a PHASA member I do both hunts, wild and captive bred. I do hope that fellow PHASA members stick to the charter we agreed to on captive bred lion hunting. Not all SA operators are PHASA members.

    So 7 day minimum release and 2400 acre minimum area. They must also not have human contact. These rules are from SAPA (South African Predator Breeders Association.)

    I personally don't hunt lion in areas under 12 000 - 24 000 acres.
    And yes they do catch their own prey, I've seen a male take down a giraffe before we got there. These lions need to be tracked by expert trackers or you will be going in circles, fact. Just like you need a real expert to set up a bait site in a wild area. Same same but different.

    I personally think wild lion are easier than captive bred lion. If you get them on the bait and they start feeding , you're 99% home. Especially in communal areas where they are in constant human contact, problem is I think the quotas are too high in the areas that are not producing.

    The biggest problem in my opinion is getting a male to feed or to get a mature male to feed.

    Captive bred is an alternative that if you like or not is still a legal form of lion hunting at 1/4 of the cost of a wild lion that you might not get.

    So to recap:
    MY MAIN POINT IS : LIKE OR DISLIKE ITS A LEGAL FORM OF HUNTING THAT WE AS HUNTERS SHOULD RESPECT AND DEFEND.

    IF WE GIVE AN INCH THE GREENIES WILL TAKE A MILE.
    best hunting regards
    Dave
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2014
  8. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Dave you hit the point for sure.It is legal and if done right no different then any other animal on hunting ranch in africa.WE fight they win and trust me they will not stop on just lion hunting if they get there way.

    I let my son hunt a lioness this year and if it was a tame lion it most have been running at him to hug him I guess.Seemed like a real lion to me as it charged after the first shoot.Started at 80 yds made it to 40 yards or less before his second shot turned her.
    Am I just one of the greedy american hunters who wanted a lion hunt I could afford.I dont think so and for those that think I am I dont care anymore.You are hurting hunting far more then I am making this a fight between hunters.
     
  9. AlSpaeth

    AlSpaeth AH Senior Member

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    BillC - Unless you have hunted lion in Africa where they breed, feed and survive in the wild you will not understand. These lions fear man and recognise him as a predator as do most wild animals and birds we hunt.
    There are no areas in South Africa where this is possible.
    The lion may well have been running up to you for food as it has been hand-fed by people for profit from a cub. That's why you don't feed the bears in America's parks.
    Are they dangerous - yes - a lion breeder in our area was recently severely mauled by his cats and another killed some time ago - both in the cages with their lions.
    Safari Club International took them out of their record books and put South African Lions into a separate category. That should tell you something.

    Rowland Ward removed all South African lions from thier "Rowland Wards Records of Big Game" and still refuse all lions killed in South Africa.
    Their hunting Code of Conduct states
    "That no creature be hunted for sport in an enclosed area of such size that such creature is not self-sufficient. Self-sufficiency includes the ability of the animal to exercise its natural inclination to escape from the hunter as well as catering for all its basic needs such as water, food, shelter and breeding."

    Is it legal to hunt captive bred and raised lions in the USA? No.

    Leopards Valley - Good luck trying to "clean it up". It is impossible to control as long as it is "legal". Greed might just bite PHASA and the industry in the butt.

    Even our private zoos are providing animals. Yesterday's headlines in the Hearld newspaper, Port Elizabeth were
    "Seaview lions bred for hunting parks"
    http://www.heraldlive.co.za/seaview-lions-bred-hunting-parks/
    This small game park "punts itself as a wildlife sanctuary and allows tourists to pet the lions for a price". They are also supplying Tigers.

    My real concern is the damage it is doing to the sport of hunting which we all love.
    Please read through this website. It is just what the "bunny-huggers" out there are looking for to justify the public condemnation of us all as cold blooded killers of poor helpless animals.
    http://www.cannedlion.org/global-march.html

    We hunters need to recognise the real dangers of this practice to our sport and it's future - whether we agree with it or not. We need to regulate ourselves.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014 at 6:40 AM
  10. LeopardsValleySafaris

    LeopardsValleySafaris AH Senior Member

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    You'll never appease the Antis, never. They want to stop ALL hunting.
    At the end of the day after much sugar coating .We still kill animals.

    The mantra of hunting creates a worth, should apply to these lions too.
    The lions you speak of went to Tam Safarus and I believe they release 3 months ahead of time on 5000 ha and yes they are self suficient, sustaining.
    Just saying. If you want to hunt a wild lion ,by all means
    Best regards
     
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  11. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    We need to regulate ourselves.
    Let's start right here.

    The Tigers were sent to a Bone Exporter. NOT a hunting Outfitter.

    The innuendo of "Supplying Tigers" is not a productive generalization.

    The Seaview Lions were NOT bred FOR hunting parks.
    An Outfitter with a Lion breeding "program" has purchased lions from the Seaview Park.
    In the article Tam specifically states he has used them for breeding NOT hunting.
    (Of course the whole reason Tam's are breeding lions is for hunting.)

    But, wrapping the story as though "tame" hand fed lions are being sold specifically to be hunted is misleading and inflammatory.
     
  12. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    The only lions I have seen has been in the SA areas.I have seen some in the addo park and were we hunted.

    AS for my sons hunt she spooked three times just by smelling us.I am sure she was not thinking we were going to be bringing her dinner as she was out of the area in a flash.

    She only came towards my son after he had taken the shoot and hit her.She was coming to get what hurt her just like any other lion would do oNly turned after the second shot hit and had her going down with the 3 shot finishing her.Pieter did one also to make sure.

    Now maybe I am only thinking of myself and son but this is the only lion I could afford for him to hunt.I refuse to say sorry or think we did something wrong.

    As for lions hunted in the states not sure of the laws but dont think anyone has lions other then zoos her in the states.

    I am sure there was and maybe still be some guys who do not do this hunt the right way.But some do what needs to be done and makes for a great hunt.There was several lions in the area we hunted with some that have been roaming the area for almost a year.Animals do not take as long as must think to become wild and survive on their own.

    I know you all want to beleive if we stop this lion hunting all the bunnyhuggers will go away.NEW FLASH they want all hunting stopped period.They go were they see a weakest and that is hunters fighting with each other.IF guys who dont like raised lion hunting would stop talking about it and making themselves out to be doing good for us all that would help.

    I total agree with we need to regulate ourselves as hunters.The facts are there is less land and animals for the amount of hunters.We do all the work to make sure we have animals around to hunt and for the bunny huggers to see.They spend there money trying to stop us.
    The hunting world to supply the demand is going to be more fenced areas and more raised animals.It is happening everywhere from the USA to AFRICA.Is it the same as when I started hunting no but I want my son to have the chances to hunt and that is what is out there right now.I could not afford a lion hunt that you think is right.Or afford to hunt a country were the day fees are 800 for the two of us.So becasue I can afford that I should not enjoy what I can afford to hunt in africa.

    So you can think I am wrong but a have a youth hunter that is into hunting.Not one of the kids who will play video games all day and have no respect for anyone or thing.The youth is going away from the sport we all love and must is because the chances are not there for them to enjoy the sport.

    WE can all say we dont care if we take the animal we are hunting at the time.But a youth wants chances to take something. The enjoying just the hunt does not happen till you get older and have taken some game.If you go when your young and never see or take anything hard to keep doing it.Those are just facts if your honest with yourself.

    AS for the rowland ward record book I could care less.Dont care about sci either as the score means nothing and I dont hunt for the record book.I have goals going into each hunt and they always change once the hunt starts.More then a few animals have been taken just because I liked the way they looked not the size of the head gear.

    How I hunt may not be for everyone but I dont try and stop anyone who enjoys how they hunt.I find what fits me or my son and go enjoy myself the best I can.
     
  13. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Dave and brickburn thanks for putting on the real facts.I was typing my long winded reply as you guys were already on the bs.
    It is amazing what some even in the hunting world will try and hide or make up to make there side look better.I have no idea who some of the guys think there are helping in the end.It is like they almost believe the stuff the bunny hugger say over hunters.
     
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  14. Ridge Top Ranch

    Ridge Top Ranch New Member

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    Seems like the same arguments I've seen in the US over the last 50 years. Rifle hunters looked down on bow hunters because they thought they wounded animals more than rifles. Traditional bow hunters disliked compound hunters because it was too easy. Then compound bow hunters did the same thing to crossbow users. Western hunters in the US thought people hunting whitetails from trees on small acreages were shooting fish in a barrel. Wild game bird hunters laughed at pen raised birds.

    Seems people either like to feel superior to others to increase their self worth or make their accomplishments more impressive. In a perfect world we all would be able to hunt full maned wild lions and 100lb elephant when we weren't spending weeks out west shooting elk, sheep, 30" mule deer and grizzly's, all on the same hunt.

    In a world where hunters are shrinking in numbers along with opportunities to hunt at what most people can afford we must stick together. We are only one generation from potentially seeing hunting banned or greatly restricted in much of the world. In short, we must stick together!

    If we don't feel comfortable hunting certain animals or with certain weapons we don't have too. Just like we tell the anti's. If you don't like it don't do it.
     
  15. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Great post ridge top and so true.Always fighting with each other over dumb stuff just like you said in that post.Just never fight the right people to show them we are as strong or stronger then them as a group.
     
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  16. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH Enthusiast

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    From a political question, the simple thing that should be asked is "do you want to keep lions on Earth."
     
  17. LeopardsValleySafaris

    LeopardsValleySafaris AH Senior Member

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    I think you nailed it (y)
    Regards
    Dave
     
  18. AlSpaeth

    AlSpaeth AH Senior Member

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    Correct - but the headline remains valid and that is what the public reads - and believes. I am just pointing out the adverse publicity being generated which affects us all. What actually happens to the lions sent to Tam cannot be proven either way.
     
  19. AlSpaeth

    AlSpaeth AH Senior Member

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    I doubt anyone would answer "No" to that question.
    The question is how?
    Please see my comments on July 5 above on "conservation" vs "preservation".
     
  20. zatoan

    zatoan New Member

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    I like the idea of hunting Northern Mozambique for the same reasons you gave. The only problem is we cannot import ivory from Mozambique in to the states.

    I am thinking about a hunt in Mozambique in September 2011. I am already booked for March of 2010 in Zimbabwe.

    So many good destinations, so little money.
     

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