SOUTH AFRICA: Screwed by my PH/outfitter

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by daggaboyblog, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. daggaboyblog

    daggaboyblog AH Veteran

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    Hello all. I would like some advice, particularly from some resident South African professional hunters. In July 2009 I went on a 6 week hunt with an outfitter in South Africa. As you can imagine it was a fair outlay for me and a great safari for the operator. I had hunted with the company previously in 2006 and in the meantime there was a change of management and ownership and I was not notified.

    The two new owners, who actually split the business again before I arrived were brothers. Dirk I knew from 2006 left to reside in the US and run his outfitting business from there while John took over operations in South Africa. Dirk had let his membership of PHASA lapse and John was never a member.

    Turns out Dirk had run up a few debts and as a result some of the property owners would not release my trophies; they were held for over 12 months. And there were other issues. The long and short of it is that I have a few trophies that I really want to bring home that are not coming, plus some other lesser trophies that I am willing to give up on. The main issues are as follows:
    1. Nyala insect damage, hair slip, not useable;
    2. Sable (from Zim) insect damage, hair slip, not useable;
    3. Warthog (from Zim) "lost"
    4. Spotted Hyena outfitter did not get a permit before I shot the animal
    5. Baboon (from Zim) "lost"
    6. Black-Backed Jackal assume "lost"

    It was only after 18 months that they admitted there was a problem. I have had promises since March of this year with zero results. I have spoken to PHASA and they cannot help as the boys are not members. They were happy to "...refer my enquiry on to the nature conservation authority in the province where the hunt took place to investigate also forward the details to the National Department..."

    What can nature conservation do? Who is the National Department?

    I figure the only thing that's going to make me feel better is to hop on a few forums and name and shame the guys. Hope you guys can offer some advice on this one.
  2. fhm3006

    fhm3006 AH Enthusiast

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    Well 'schembridan'
    it is just sad to read regular incidents similar to yours on this forum. A person / hunter dreams of the perfect hunt and sometimes plans it for years prior and does not spare cost to reach this goal, only to ocassionally walk into a situation like this - a damn shame really.

    Looking at all other posts on AH with clients having similar problems with outfitters / PH's, i have noticed that the hunters / members posting their complaint / alledged 'misconduct' on AH also gives the company name by which the operators are employed or own.

    As you've allready given first names of the operators involved, perhaps you should advise under which company they operate? I am sure a lot of our South African PH's and resident outfitters which are members here on AH will then be in a better position to comment / suggest a means of action to you - if any.

    my 5 c
  3. Spiral Horn Safaris

    Spiral Horn Safaris AH Fanatic

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    Hi Schembridan

    I am sorry to hear about your ordeal, obviously these guy's are not to worried about their reputation or they would have replaced the skins.

    Unfortunately Nature Conservation are very understaffed and there are some other political problems as well but I wont go in to that, I sincerely hope that they will be of assistance but unfortunately speaking out of experience chances are slim.

    The best advice I can give you is to try and get the Outfitter to replace the skins out of his own pocket, most taxidermies keep spare capes and other skins that can be bought to replace damaged or lost skins, it might not be the best solution but at least you will be getting something back?

    The Sable will be a tough one to find since I cant see a lot of those capes laying around.

    I keep asking the same question "did these guy's own the land that you hunted on"?

    Once again I m so sorry to hear about all of this!

    Best Regards
    Louis van Bergen
  4. richteb

    richteb AH Enthusiast

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    Schembridan

    Very sorry to hear that your hunt has ended so badly.

    There has been much descussion on the forum regarding the merits of naming and shaming operators and other service providers on an public forum. I for one would like to know who it is that you hunted with, if for no other reason then to make a more informed choice for my next african hunt.

    I sincerely hope that you recover at least some of your trophys.
  5. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Hi Schembridan, Sorry to hear about your dilema.

    My first question are there permits to import the animals you want out of Africa? Are you 100 percent sure before you stick time and money in this?

    I agree 100 percent with Louis! Try to get the outfitter to replace the capes....if not you are on the hook for them.

    I would go ahead and name the outfitter...they are really screwing with you anyway...and it's going to take a lot of action to get this fixed.
  6. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    schembridan, Sorry to hear about all of this, please keep us posted.


    Here is some contact information...

    [​IMG]
    South African Government Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism
    www.environment.gov.za

    Sport hunting in South Africa is also regulated by the different Provincial Nature Conservation Authorities which are listed below.

    [​IMG]Provincial Authorities
    - KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Authority
    http://www.zulu.org.za
    - Mpumalanga Tourism Authority
    http://www.mpumalanga.com
    - North West Parks and Tourism Board
    http://www.tourismnorthwest.co.za
    - Eastern Cape Tourism Authority
    http://www.ectourism.co.za
    - Western Cape Tourism Authority
    http://www.capetourism.org
    - Limpopo Tourism Authority
    http://www.golimpopo.com
    - Gauteng Tourism Authority
    http://www.gauteng.net
    - Northern Cape Tourism Authority
    http://www.northerncape.org.za
    - Free State Tourism Authority
    http://www.freestatetourism.gov.za

    [​IMG]Provincial Government
    - Eastern Cape Province
    Department of Economic Affairs, Environment and Tourism
    http://www.ecprov.gov.za
    - Free State Province
    Department of Tourism,Environmental & Economic Affairs
    http://www.freestatetourism.gov.za
    - Gauteng Province
    Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment
    http://www.gdace.gpg.gov.za
    - KwaZulu Natal Province
    Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs
    http://agriculture.kzntl.gov.za
    - Limpopo Province
    Department of Finance, Economic Affairs, Tourism and Environment
    http://www.limpopo.gov.za
    - Mpumalanga Province
    Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment
    - Northern Cape Province
    Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, Conservation and Environment
    http://www.northern-cape.gov.za
    - North West Province
    Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment
    http://www.nwpg.gov.za
    - Western Cape Province
    Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning
    http://www.capegateway.gov.za/eng/yo...rnment/gsc/406
  7. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Schembridan

    Look like you are behind the "8" ball.

    What part of South Africa or Zimbabwe are you talking about?

    Look at talking to a dip and pack business that will help you out. there are some on here.

    They have tried to help in the past only to be put through the paper shredder.

    Where are your Trophy Horns located...and can they be picked up by a Dip & Pack outfit?
    Or will a payment to the land owners have to be made to secure your trophy?

    a person walking into and presenting your story would help you out.

  8. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Darn Jerome you are good...

  9. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I think the government is a last resort...sorry guys! They won't get anything accomplished.

    Make sure permits are there. And that the landowner is paid. If this isn't done you are screwed!
  10. TERMINATOR

    TERMINATOR AH Enthusiast

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    Is this the same Dirk that the other guys here had problems with?

    What was the name of the Safari Company?
  11. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I was thinking the same thing, schembridan was on line however has not posted the PH"S company name.

  12. daggaboyblog

    daggaboyblog AH Veteran

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    Hello all. I'm not naming the guys yet as I'm using this thread as leverage to help my case. It's a last effort. 
    Thanks for the responses so far. I tried to keep my original post a reasonable length, but here is a bit more info...

    All the landowners were eventually paid and it was when the trophies finally made it to my excellent dip and pack boys that the problem was brought to my attention. 

    There are a couple of trophies I'm just not concerned about, so I have not listed these at all. And to be honest, I should probably give up on the warthog, jackal and baboon. The horns and skulls for the sable and nyala and the hyena skull are all safely with the dip and pack team. 

    So the problems:
    The sable needs a new cape. 
    The nyala needs a new fullskin. 
    The hyena has some damage but it's all on the inside of the legs and the paws, so I think it's recoverable. The issue I have with the hyena is documentation so I can export. 

    There's 2 things I need from all of you:

    1. Is the best action I can take against these guys just the name and shame? Should I go to the authorities or is it a waste of time?

    2. Regardless of how i handle the outfitter, as an absolute minimum - I need a nice sable cape and to arrange documents for my hyena. Is this possible? Any direction here? My understanding is that the documents I need are hunting permits that should have been issued in my name prior to the hunt - maybe they assumed I wouldn't be successful (?), but I hunted till I got a great animal; photos in my profile pictures. 

    Any ideas?
  13. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Ouch.

    If the Outfitter does not care about his reputation.... not very positive outlook.

    You may be able to get the lesser capes fairly easily. There are always cull animals.
    No permit in place before the hunt. Hmmm. That could be interesting.

    This is where you can get some more information on the permit for your Hyena.
    Look this one up on the web and you can get the entire TOPS document.

    Perhaps Jeromes list of departments will allow you to contact the granting authority and perhaps determine if there is any type of permit in place.
    handy
    All the documentation: The hunting permit, the PH register, etc., etc..
    The TOPS permit is what is going to get it out of the country and not confiscated. (Hyena)
    The farm owner (as Louis keeps beating into everyone) holds the permits for the farm/land being hunted on.
    CAE, etc., etc.
    With the current (SA)- CAE anyone can hunt any time of year for what is included on the permit. Not everything.
    TOPS is another permit and needs to be applied for, as per legislations and regs. Depends on the SA province.


    Here is hoping you are able to resolve it.
    Bad publicity may help you and also warn the other people about to go hunting.


    Here are a few relavent TOPS sections:

    NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT: BIODIVERSITY ACT, 2004 (ACT 10 OF 2004):
    THREATENED OR PROTECTED SPECIES REGULATIONS
    TOPS

    'listed large predator' means a specimen of any of the following listed threatened or protected species:
    (b) Spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta);

    Who may apply for permits:
    (j) a landowner of a registered game farm, for a standing permit authorising restricted activities involving specimens of listed threatened or protected species kept on the farm that are necessary for the management of the farm;

    Application procedure
    6. (1) A person may apply for a permit by submitting an application to the organ of state specified in subregulation (2) on the form set out in Annexure 1 to these regulations .

    (2) Unless the Minister directs otherwise in the case of a specific application, a permit application must be submitted to

    (b) the provincial department in which the restricted activity is to be carried out, if the application relates to a specimen of a listed threatened or protected species not referred to in paragraph (a).


    Restricted activities on land owned by person other than applicant
    7. If the restricted activity applied for is to be carried out on private land and the applicant is not the owner of the land, the applicant must
    (1)
    (a) in the case of a listed threatened species obtain and submit the written consent of the landowner to undertake the proposed restricted activity on that land, when applying for a permit; or
    (b) in the case of a listed protected species, obtain the written consent of the landowner prior to undertaking the proposed restricted activity on that land.


  14. Spiral Horn Safaris

    Spiral Horn Safaris AH Fanatic

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    The best thing would be to name the Outfit since they clearly have no intent on working things out with you nor are they worried about their reputation or they would have fixed these problems once they have occurred or even better they would have paid a lot more attention to field preparation, hair slip is usually the result of the inadequate use of salt.

    I am still unsure if the Outfitter actually owns the land he hunts on or at least some of it this plays a major roll in the export papers since the landowner has all of the leverage in this situation, Nature Conservation needs documents stating a transfer of hunting rights as well as written permission to hunt the species they will obviously not release these documents unless they get paid for animals taken. Should the Outfitter own some of the land you hunted on and still did not apply for the paper work he is just lazy or does not care? Should you have hunted in Zim and the outfit is not licensed to hunt in Zim or worked trough an Outfit who is licensed to operate in Zim and you did not use a Zim PH the hunt has according to my knowledge taken place illegally?

    Gentleman in an effort not to offend anyone I would gladly acknowledge that there are some great outfits out there who don't own land but in my opinion it is just safer if the outfitter is a land owner. This is the only point I am trying to drive home.

    Unfortunately the paperwork for the Hyena should have been done prior the hunt the same goes for the sable, baboon should all of these species have been taken in Zim the problem would be to find out if the Outfit was licensed to operate in Zim or worked trough an outfit that is licensed to operate in Zim please keep in mind that you would have had to hunt with a Zim PH to make the hunt legal maybe Martin can give you some more advice here?

    Should most of the species you took have been hunted in Zim you would need to contact their Authorities as well as bring it up with South African Nature conservation to ensure they can take action against this Outfit?

    I would contact Nature Conservation and find out if they can open an investigation or at least speak to the Outfitter? There is a chance that they can issue the paperwork for you to export the horns and skulls of the animals you took? The main problem would be if these species would have been taken in Zim the South African nature Conservation dep would have very little say in the matter?

    Then the best thing would be to contact a taxidermist who is licensed to trade in African game skins, they would be able to sell you some capes out of stock and then ship it to you please note that the skins he sells you will have export papers but these are completely different to the paperwork you need to export the skull of the species you took for this you need Nature conservation to help you but they will have to open an investigation first.

    You can contact my taxidermist he will be able to sell you some capes?

    Frikkie van Staden (Kololo Taxidermy)
    E-mail: kololo@postnet.co.za

    I am unsure as to all the fact here so according to were you mentioned some of the species come from I am trying to piece things together?

    Sorry to hear about all of this again but I hope some of this helps?

    Best Regards
    Louis van Bergen
  15. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    does terblanche ring a bell? if so just pay for the capes yourself and move on. sorry thats probably your best course of action.
  16. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Here is a link that may get you a cape stateside. Sable are listed occasionally but pickings are slim. Use the search feature and post in the wanted section and you will likely find something but it may take some time.
    Taxidermy.Net Forum - For Sale

    Another option is to contact one of the big taxidermy companies that do alot of African work such as Animal Artistry, The artistry of wildlife, Woodbury taxidermy, etc. They can often get capes, as long as they are completing the taxidermy work for you. Their work tends to lean on the expensive side but the end results are unbeleivable and well worth it.

    This of course assumes that you are able to get your horns back. Good luck.
  17. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Sorry to hear about your Bad Luck but perhaps if and outfitter has a cull hunt due to busted horns or something you can aquire a cape and hide.
    Good Luck with your search
  18. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Hi Dan,

    Extremely sorry to year about the sordid situation you have experienced. Very wrong on the part of the PHs & the outfitter to have made you undergo all the agony & the lost trophies, all the wonderful 6 weeks of memorable hunt of your's seems to turn into a nightmare ...

    Very shameful , you got to get after the authorities to help you out on this..

    take care & all the best

    Monish
  19. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Sad to hear about what happened to you. I hope you can solve the problem somehow.
  20. daggaboyblog

    daggaboyblog AH Veteran

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    Thanks for the input guys.

    DIAMONDHITCH -I'm a regular at Taxidermy.net and have found a couple of sable capes for what is really quite a "reasonable" cost. Haven't looked into the complexity of getting paperwork out of the US but when I've exhausted all my options in Africa that's were I'll be heading.

    MONISH - the trip was fantastic and the only bitter taste I have at this stage is for the outfitter/PH.

    A fellow who was really quite a good mate and a pleasure to hunt with has gone all business-like after the hunt and is only worried about his pocket at this stage. I rarely disappoint clients in business but I can tell you that if our performace is lacking in anyway we will come back and make sure that they are overserviced and singing our praises.

    Anyway - I'm getting a bit antsy about all of this at the moment and have come up with a few ideas to try and at least get a couple of these trophies home. Will keep you posted and when I give uptotally on the outfitter they will be named...

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