Protected? Hi to all my Forum friends I thought about this subject a lot and feel that it might be good to get some different opinions as well hope all you guys can help. We are in an age where hunters and so called animal lovers (greenies) don’t sit around the same fire. Why, is hunting not one of the best forms of conservation in the world? There are numerous examples of where putting a price on something’s head saves the species from reducing in numbers but unfortunately I can’t comment on the subject in other countries so I will stick to South Africa. Here is a great example leopard have been considered a pest to most cattle farmers in South Africa as I’m sure in most of Africa. The farmers did not hesitate to snare, poison or shoot leopard for more than a decade hundreds of leopard have been killed in South Africa because they were threatening the cattle farmers livelihood. Things have changed in the last 10 years the cattle farmers are smarter today largely due to the Hunting industry they get money for a leopard now and this helps to convince him that a leopard is worth more alive than dead. The poisoning and trapping of leopard has largely been reduced not to mention the shoot on sight approach, thanks to this approach leopard numbers are on the increase and I personally think that there are more leopard around in South Africa than 20 years ago. This is great the cattle farmer gets a bit of money back to replace the occasional calve that a leopard catches, the Outfitter and client get a leopard and the species are increasing in numbers. This is a win win situation everyone gets what they want and in my opinion it is all thanks to hunting. Unfortunately there is a new problem in the Limpopo province of South Africa cheetahs, don’t get me wrong I love to see them and I think that they are beautiful animals and surely deserve to be in the wild. The problem with cheetah are that they need to catch something every day we had about 36 bless buck on my farm and in 3 years the number has been reduced to 0 not because of shooting them, cheetah are the ones to thank for that, now I understand that the animals need to hunt and feed to survive it is the way of the wild but now I have got an animal on my farm that costs me money but I don’t get anything for it in return? The result is that a lot of people are getting really upset at them and shoot them illegally. Cheetahs are protected in South Africa so we are not allowed to shoot them but does the word protected really protect the animal? (Definitely not) The greenies are upset that people shoot them on sight and the landowners are mad at the cheetah so I say why not do the same thing that we did with leopard hunt to conserve. Why can’t we get tags for the animal and shoot them legally under a very strict quota this will put some money back in our pockets and if there is a price on the animal people will not shoot them on sight once again a win win situation. Cheetah benefit from this, the farmer get’s something back and a client gets the opportunity to hunt one I think it is a great deal. So basically what I am saying is that if you really want to protect something put a price on it hunting is still one of the best forms of conservation in the world. I would like to think of hunters today as more conservationists than mindless killing machines.