Protected?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Spiral Horn Safaris, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. Spiral Horn Safaris

    Spiral Horn Safaris AH Fanatic

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    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.
     
  2. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Louis...........I agree with you totally and this has been proven again and again in many places and with different species. The one big stumbling block will be export.

    This is not an issue in Canada and a number of other countries, but US clients make up a substantial percentage of the global client base and at present the USFWS does not permit the importation of sport hunted cheetah trophies.................or polar bears, or wood bison............I could go on.

    Lets face it the USFWS thinks it knows what is best for everyone else and with it becoming more and more politically motivated it can be a big thorn in the side of game managers world wide. Heck they cause many of the US states nothing but misery.

    So until you get an acredited management plan that can be plunked down infront of the USFWS and stats meet their minimum number of population group requirements it will be a limited market you are catering to.
     
  3. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    I totally agree with your post Skyline! If yje uSFWS would get their heads out of their butts hunting would be much better fot hunters ,not only in the states but world wide!I'm beginning to think they are career politicians who run their own agendas and say the hell with the facts!! Louis I agree with you that there should be a price on the cheetah & quotas & strict bag limits and that will make everyone happy in the long run & the population of Cheetahs will increase! Hunting is the best population control of animals in the wild!!
     
  4. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

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    I think 'Skyline' smacked the nail square on the head.
     
  5. Spiral Horn Safaris

    Spiral Horn Safaris AH Fanatic

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    Hi guys thanks for posting your opinions on the matter.

    Kelly I heard quite the disturbing story recently but I’m not to sure of the facts but here it goes anyway.

    I heard polar bear hunting has completely stopped and because of that the guys who use to sell these hunts need to hunt them illegally but they only get one third of the price that they use to get so this leads to more polar bears being shot than necessary to make up for the loss of income? Now I’m not saying that this is right at all but would it not have been better for the animal to just leave the current system in place?

    Where you have poverty and people who depend on hunting to survive you will always have this problem because man comes first and then nature it is just how the world is look at cities and the impact that they have on animal habitats.

    I feel that we hunters need to start asking the right questions, like you said who is really benefitting from this stop hunting attitude because pouching will never stop unless you can provide a better means of income? Hence my point managing to conserve for the future hunters will not kill everything because what would be left to hunt certain people need to think about it?:confusion:
     
  6. billrquimby

    billrquimby AH Veteran

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    To me, having the U.S. government tell us that we cannot import the animals we have legally taken in another country is the pinnacle of arrogance in that it says only our government -- and certainly not the wildlife managers of that country (many of whom obtained WM degrees in the USA) -- knows how to manage the world's wildlife.

    Bill Quimby
     
  7. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Polar Bear Hunting in Canada

    Louis

    Well where there is a will there is a way. Polar bear are not just hunted in Canada. Aboriginal people kill them in Alaska, I believe there are a limited number killed in Norway and of course there are bears killed in Russia. I do not pretend to know the ins and outs in the other countries, but here is how it works in Canada................which were the only bears allowed to be imported as sport trophies into the US until the recent change by the USFWS, which is mind boggling to all 'thinking' people.

    The Northwest Territories and Nunavut Territory wildlife branches have highly trained polar bear biologists and the different groups of polar bears in the Canadian arctic have been identified and monitored as closely as is humanly possible. The bear populations are assessed and those that can sustain a harvest have a set number allocated each year. The actual allocation is assigned to the hunter/trapper groups in the various inuit communities. These groups then decide on how many of the bears allocated will be set aside for outfitting. Typically there will be an outfitter who markets and sells the hunts, but the local hunters have to be hired as guides for the bear hunts.

    Of the price paid for these hunts a $1000 from each bear went directly for polar bear research and of course the local community as a whole benefited as did the hunters hired as guides and their families. The successful non-resident hunter takes home the hide and skull as a trophy and the local people still get to utilize the meat. The remainder of the polar bear quota for each community is harvested by the hunters of the community.

    Now with the non-residents out of the equation the monies generated by the outfitted hunts for polar bear research/conservation is lost, the monies generated by the outiftted hunts is lost to the community and the hunters are of course not working as guides which negatively impacts their families. Instead of some of the bears being allocated for non-residents, the total bear allocation is still harvested by the community.................so unlike what the media would have you believe, and regardless of the ridiculous ruling by the USFWS, the bears are all still being killed.

    Unfortunately the bears actually are more heavily impacted by the local hunter because the focus changes from big old males....trophy animals with yellowing hides and scars and less desirable meat......to the younger animals and females that are better to eat and have nice white fur. And........we are not counting in the positive side to the polar bears themselves that harvesting the old males has, since they love to kill and eat cubs and young bears.

    So all in all the political maneuver by the USFWS does not save any bears and in fact hurts polar bear research, negatively impacts the conservation of the bears and negatively impacts the Inuit communities.

    If in fact there was illegal hunting going on as per the information you received, there is still no legal way for the bears to be exported out of Canada and into the US as it would require a CITES permit, etc. I have heard of much cheaper hunts being offered to entice US hunters, with the successful hunters planning on leaving the trophy in storage in Canada until such time as the ruling by the USFWS changes and the bears can again be legally imported..........but who knows if and when that is going to happen. SCI is fighting it in court and we will all have to wait and see.

    Global warming being used as their basis for the ban on legally harvested polar bear trophies is pure and unadulterated BS, as the bears most affected by the warmer temperatures are the southern most populations in northern Quebec and around Hudson Bay...........and there never has been an allowable non-resident harvest in these areas.
     
  8. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    Kelly I agre full heartedly with your post!! The global warming line is B.S.. If the popes start melting away the polar bear will migrate south & keep on living!! Any one who ever went to a zoo in the US during the summer sees a polar bear in there exhibit & I know it sure as Hell isn't -20 degrees. They survive like other bears & they will exhist like all other surviving animals from earlier years & climates!!
     
  9. Spiral Horn Safaris

    Spiral Horn Safaris AH Fanatic

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    Kelly thank you for all the info on the polar bear matter very interesting. I bet we can get some more examples of where well managed hunting saved a species.:stirring:
     
  10. billrquimby

    billrquimby AH Veteran

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    For an African example of a species saved from extinction by well-managed hunting you need to look no further than the southern white rhino and the work done by Ian Player and others in Natal.

    Bill Quimby
     
  11. BryceM

    BryceM AH Veteran

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    Education, education, education. Even a dumb guy can see the benefit of protecting an animal with inherent value to his family, or region. There are several examples of people seeing the value in preserving a game animal. It isn't easy and it takes years of effort, but people do eventually come around. USFWS should be declared dead though. Its useful functions ceased long ago. ;)

    Mainstream media won't help. They're too attached to the sensational story.

    A bit off topic....... How to the Kenyans manage game populations without active hunting? Do the wildlife control officers end up doing the job or do they just let nature do its thing? Where do they get their dollars? It seems to me that they're wasting a huge potential resource. Without hunters, wildlife in the USA would be in sorry shape pretty darned quick.

    We have a similar situation here in Idaho. The gov't is looking at placing sage grouse on the endangered species list. Ever since I was old enough to hold a shotgun I've made at least one or two good hunts per year. They're enormously fun to hunt. Once they're listed, they're as good as gone forever. Hunters are about the only ally the birds still have.
     
  12. Spiral Horn Safaris

    Spiral Horn Safaris AH Fanatic

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    Bill I could not agree with you more there are a great deal of white Rhino around on private land now which is a great thing for the species, great example.:hail:

    Brycem I think you are asking the right question by saying who is actually benefitting from this? I am no expert on Kenya but one thing you need to keep in mind there is that the locals (Massi) do hunt and the other thing is because there are no fences and both predators and pray coincide together I think nature just takes it's course predators like lion will always help to get rid of the sick and the old animals. The other thing is that pouching will always be around despite the government’s great efforts to stop it. That would be the only disadvantage of not having fences the land can’t be that closely monitored because it is just too big.

    They get their money out of photographic safaris and tourism and there is a lot of money allocated to them by certain green people (Wildlife foundations) to keep it closed for hunting. From what I hear more money than you will ever make out of hunting.:confused:
     
  13. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Kenya is being poached! Clear and simple...when you take hunting business's and the money from trophy fees and daily's away from the people for conserving wildlife...the equation quickly becomes...kill the wildlife for food because that is it's only value then...sorry but true. Plus, the predators of Kenya are being poisoned. Nobody wants lions and leopards around to eat there cattle or game...if there are no hunters to supply money in trophy fees.

    The CITES committee from the U.S. is made up of hunting groups on one side and animal rights on the other (the animals rights side has no brain...because they don't eat any protein and the U.S. media, which is made up of liberals). Conservation gets washed down the tubes because of politics.

    I have always said if you want to have a say in the hunting industry:
    1) You should have taken a hunters safety course.
    2) Should be buying a hunting license every year and participating.
    3) If you are going to be on the CITES team , you should have experience in foreign hunting...so you can see the otherside of the coin.


    I for one am sick of all the anti-hunters that don't contribute a minute of there time to wildlife conservation or a penny of there money.
     
  14. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    Follow up on enysse's post...

    Enysse:

    You have hit upon an interesting fact: the greenies that are so rabid in their "defense" of animals and their desire to be preservationists (humans should not touch or visit any wild area, much less hunt) never spend 5 minutes actually DOING anything to actually help animals.

    When I end up talking to one of these supposed do-gooders in a social situation, I've begun asking "How many hours per year do YOU actually expend working on conservation projects?" Invariably, the answer is "I went to a protest against killing animals for fur." or "I voted for people that are anti-hunting."

    If I point to the fact that none of this activity creates habitat or anything of real value to the animals themselves, they get angry. Usually they try to turn the question around on me and ask what I have done. When I tell them about the conservation projects I participate in with a local non-profit sportsmen's club and the thousands of dollars we raise and contribute to DU, PF, NWTF, etc. for habitat creation and that it's HUNTERS who are doing the work, they get even madder.

    I try to lead them into a conversation about how legal hunting, hunters who contribute their time and the revenue from licenses has actually played the primary role in bringing back populations of animals in our own state (turkey, whitetails, etc.) they refuse to deal with the facts. Greenies seem cling to their emotional beliefs and feelings and want to demonize anyone who challenges those beliefs with facts.

    It's frustrating to talk to close-minded people who actually believe they are doing something positive for the animal populations, but are actually hurting them by voting for the politicians who are anti-hunting.

    Sorry if I rambled on a bit - it's just a topic that is important to me and you hit on a key element with your last comment. Thanks for bringing it up!

    - browningbbr
     
  15. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Thanks Browningbbr, Conservation is the wise use of wildlife to sustain and susport mammal and bird populations. The greenies need to fly on a few planes to the arctic and meet the people that still hunting the polar bears and see how "WISE" it was to ban polar bear CITES permits for the US. The same thing with the cheetah's...I bet if they saw cheetah carcases on the ground because they had no value they would have to wonder are they "stupid" in thinking protection they have in place with no CITES permits actually is no protection....THE IRONY!!!
     
  16. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Hunters and Conservation – What does the future hold for us?

    Hunters and Conservation – What does the future hold for us?

    The topic of wildlife paying its way and the sound premise that hunting a species helps to preserve it prompted this post.

    As we all know there is a constant debate about hunting behind high fence. Generally we as hunters argue about whether or not this is actually hunting. There are so many variables from one ‘game farm’ to the next and certainly the manner in which one chooses to pursue game in these confined areas and the size of the area are going to play a big role in the quality of the experience for those who are concerned about such things beyond the five star accommodations, courteous staff and fine wines in the evening.

    Now before I get into this a little deeper, please do not misconstrue what I am about to say and think that I am painting all high-fenced hunting with the same brush. There are operations that were in fact started to help preserve species at risk and the hunting clients paying a trophy fees to kill a surplus animal helps the animals pay their way. There are places like Texas and South Africa where the majority of hunting is on private land because the sad truth is that there is next to no ‘public’ land available to hunters and the majority of the hunting would just be for the landowners and friends and relatives if people were not willing to pay land owners for access and/or the game harvested.

    Areas that have always offered fine free range hunting during government set seasons have also seen high-fenced operations popping up all over as operators try to offer what the clients want in the way of additional species. The introduction of a breeding herd is an expensive proposition and represents real property to the land owner who does not want to see his new herd of expensive antelope wander off and settle on a farm a hundred kilometers away and out of his control or systematically get wiped out by predators.

    Game ranches provide surplus animals for transplant to former parts of their range where they have been eradicated by war or unrestricted poaching. They provide a renewable supply of animals that can be moved and introduced to other herds to improve the genetic diversity of a particular species in a given area and in many instances pay the way for portions of the land base to exist in a natural state and avoid the chainsaw and plow. As I said, there are exceptions, but these exceptions do not explain the proliferation of privately owned ‘game farms’.

    The rapid expansion of these businesses can only be explained by hunter demand. If sufficient numbers of people did not want to kill a markhor in Texas, a red deer in Pennsylvania or purchase a guaranteed 60 inch kudu or a 400 class bull elk on a quickie hunt and pay big bucks to do it…………you would not have game farms showing up in countries and areas that have vast tracts of public land and healthy wild herds of native game animals. In many cases these fenced hunts are offering exotics, but just as often they are offering the same species behind fence that can be hunted on public land and under free range conditions.

    What many seem to forget about these days is that it was hunter driven support that originally fueled the conservation of wildlife and wild places in so many countries, including the United States, Canada and a number of countries in Africa. It is the revenue generated by hunters to this day that provides significant monetary support for local communities and helps justify setting aside large areas for wildlife.

    Well over a century ago avid hunters began lobbying government to set aside tracts of land to prevent commercial development from destroying every last square kilometer of natural habitat and to institute a wildlife management strategy that would prevent the complete annihilation of local wildlife. It was hunters who pushed for National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Forests. It has always been the funds generated by hunters from licenses, trophy fees and hunting related products that helped sustain wildlife. It has always been funds generated by hunters belonging to organizations such as Safari Club International, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Wild Sheep and local state and provincial wildlife organizations too numerous to mention that help fund various wildlife and habitat conservation projects.

    I find it disheartening when I continually hear hunters tell me they are tired of hunting on crown or government land and spending the money to travel to these areas, where they have a greater chance of coming home without an elk in the back of the truck than with one. They prefer to spend their money where they get more bang for the buck!! These hunters are focusing their disposable income on hunting where private enterprise is the driving force and not the conservation of lands and the creatures that inhabit them. They are shifting the funding from the wild natural places to privately owned lands and game herds. They are focusing more on personal satisfaction and guaranteed success than what this was all suppose to be about in the first place.

    And this is all taking place at a time when the wild lands in all countries are struggling to survive against a vast number of land use issues, declining hunter numbers and governments with less money to ear mark for the continued support of wild areas and wildlife management. Hunters really need to sit back and do some deep thinking about what they are supporting with their hard earned dollars and what the long term consequences are for wildlife, wild places and their right as hunters to exist.

    Non-hunters historically do not spend money to support conservation. Non-hunters do not belong to the various organizations that work so diligently to protect wildlife habitat and the animals that inhabit these places. They protest, they launch lawsuits to hinder wildlife agencies and prevent them from practicing sound conservation strategies, they take a free ride on money they solicit from the well intentioned but misinformed, but they do not contribute to the actual conservation of wildlife and wildlife habitat. It has always been hunters paving the way for wildlife conservation.

    Unfortunately many of the wildlife conservation organizations are struggling to continue, especially the grass roots fish and wildlife associations whose traditional membership has always been the average Joe. When I corner hunters during conversation, I find few belong to anything, be it local fish and game associations, national or international groups…………….they do not even belong to the firearms associations in our respective countries that are fighting an endless battle. No, in a good year only 5% of the people who hunt actually belong to any of these groups.

    We take what we have out there for granted and this does apply to hunters, not just the general public. The newer generations of hunters are far removed from the land and several generations down the pike from the men and women who struggled and fought to have land set aside and legislation put in place to protect the dwindling wilderness areas and game populations in countries around the world. Today’s hunters and the general populace grew up with long established National Parks in place and abundant wildlife………… and so many seem to think it has always been thus and will simply carry on and continue to be. Non-hunters complain about park use fees and hunters complain about the price of hunting licenses and species tags and low success rates.

    The hunter who decides to go to an elk farm in Saskatchewan, drive around in a truck for an hour or two, shoot a 400+ bull, cut the ear tags off prior to photographs and then pay the farm owner $20,000 for his trophy is not only missing what hunting is all about, they are in fact shifting their financial support away from the conservation of wildlife and the land they inhabit. They are placing the personal acquisition of a ‘trophy’ and the guaranteed kill ahead of sound wildlife management, habitat conservation and what is in the best interest of hunting and hunters in the long term.

    The hunter who forgoes the annual deer camp and decides instead to pay a trophy fee to shoot a red deer on a ‘preserve’ in Quebec or Maine is turning their back on the very foundation of wildlife management in North America. Sure they are helping support a farmer/rancher who hopes the ‘hunters’ will help keep him afloat now that the Asian market for velvet antlers and restaurant demand for venison has either collapsed or failed to materialize, but it does nothing to help pay the way for the conservation of the wild elk herds in Saskatchewan or support the wildlife management within the various states and provinces. The hunter’s money bypasses what we claim to love and enjoy.

    Yes there are notable exceptions and I know we can easily poke holes here and there in the generalities I am using to express my concerns, like the cheap license required in Texas to hunt exotics, or a general hunting license that is required in a specific country by all hunters. But, these small anomalies do not detract from the fact that the vast majority of the money spent on a hunt behind high-fence in many states and provinces does nothing to help with the conservation of native habitat and game species. Nor does this money benefit local communities as a whole beyond a handful of jobs, if any, for those directly employed with the landowner.

    I am not suggesting that high-fenced operations should be boycotted. Not at all. I am suggesting however that the hunters who think they are justified in paying for a fenced quickie elk hunt for a big bull instead of hunting elk in their native habitat are not only missing out on what hunting is really all about, they are ultimately helping to end what so many fought so hard for many years ago. The argument that spending $12,000 on an elk farm to quickly kill a monster bull is a good thing and better than spending that much on a couple of free range elk hunts in the mountains of the west and quite likely never having a big bull to show for it, is a hollow one. It is also ultimately self-destructive for us as hunters, the places we love and the creatures who inhabit them.
     
  17. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

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    Skyline. . . a great post. I for one could not agree more with what you said and the way you said it. Besides, despite the tape, to me there will also always be far greater pride and satisfaction in knowing that an animal was taken in a fair chase and free range manner.
     
  18. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I use to think fence hunts were terrible and had to go. Then I looked at the other side of the coin. There are plenty of people out there, that are hunting for inches only...they don't care how much it costs and how they get it...just that they can get the elk, deer, etc. with a lot of inches on the antlers. And I'm fine with it...WHY? Because out west you can buy commissioner tags, governor tags, landowner tags and fundraiser tags to hunt just about any region of the state..for whatever animal. These tags of course are taken from the general hunters for conservation purposes. These tags always sell out and there is a demand for more....this is where fence hunts fill the void. I'm sitting on the sideline this fall not doing too much hunting because of the ridiculous cost of hunting getting out of control in North America and am fine with it for one reason....I'm not willing to pay a lot of money for mediore hunting in the general areas I can hunt.

    Sorry to get off the subject, but there are a lot of people hunting still. And they are spending money on conservation...in licenses...it's just that ther money is going into CWD management, wolf lawsuits, and a lot of other projects other than legitimate projects like forest mangement (clear cuts and lumber harvest), wildlife management, more wardens and accurate population estimates.

    Lunch is over gotta go.
     
  19. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    South Africa
    Kelly - good post - your points were well-made.

    (Are your fingers tired from all of that typing?)

    - browningbbr
     

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