Staying legal- Hunting Laws- who is responsible?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by ctulpa, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. ctulpa

    ctulpa AH Member

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    There are many times that the laws of the country, state or province you are traveling to hunt in are much different than those of your home country, state or province.

    In many cases the traveling hunter is relying on the licensed local outfitter/guide/PH to know the local laws and to keep the hunter legal.

    I would like to start a discussion on the topic of how much liability or responsibility should fall on the traveling hunter when going to far away lands?
    Should the hunter be able to rely on his licensed outfitter for staying within the laws such as:
    Hunting the correct property?
    Knowing the boundary lines?
    Gun laws?
    Ammunition laws?
    Trophy laws (legal sex, size, etc)?
    Permits?
    Licenses?
    CITES Paperwork?
    Export paperwork?
    Veterinarian paperwork?
    Government controls?
    Method of hunting ( legal use of vehicles, airplane transport and airplane support, helicopter transport and helicopter support, boats, horses)?
    Types of weapons allowed (rifle, bow, muzzleloader, shotgun, handgun)?

    And there are many more!!!

    Or should the hunter almost need to have a law degree and in reality become a knowledgeable professional hunter on all aspects of the area he is going to be able to travel to hunt?
     
  2. billrquimby

    billrquimby AH Veteran

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    It would be nice if a client could rely on his outfitter for staying within the laws. Unfortunately, prosecutors here and in other countries will say clients have the ultimate responsibility for all the things you listed and will try to penalize us if a law is broken.

    Bill Quimby
     
  3. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    ...Cliff that is a damn good thread you started! I think there are many more questions the hunter should be asking when booking this hunt than I ever even thought about. I just assumed 90 % of the things you brought up as things the outfitter will deal with. The gun an ammunition rules & type of weapons were discussed with him about before booking.
    ....As far as property lines etc. I think that would be quite tough as I had no idea where I was hunting! All I knew was that I was going to the Limpopo province & would have no way of knowing if he had land in his name or whom he leases out with etc.. Permits would be the same in a sense as does every municipality have laws etc.
    ... It's some very eye opening questions you have asked & the way the law is today whom would the courts side with? All I know is that you opened my eyes up more that more questiions need to be asked and one has to quit assuming as if you get the wrong outfit one could be in for a NIGHTMARE! Maybe worse!
     
  4. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    This is a very good topic...........as it is, I believe hunters do not give many of these things enough thought. Not giving these issues some thought and practicing due diligence could find a hunter with absolutely no problems from a hunt because the outfitter had everything totally under control and was on top of all related issues, or the hunter could find himself charged with wildlife offences where he hunted and the local authorities banging on the door looking to further his legal problems and conduct a search and seizure.

    Realistically there are only so many things that a traveling hunter can check out. Some things are beyond your ability to verify, such as landowner permission being obtained by outfitters to hunt on private property. There is only so far you can go with verifying game zones in wilderness areas as well because you are not from there and to be honest..............I have found most hunters these days have no idea where they are from day to day and can't even tell when you have returned to a place you already hunted unless there was an outstanding marker that they couldn't miss. Most can't tell which direction North is.

    There are some bad operators out there.........most are good people, but as with all occupations and businesses, there are some bad ones. If hunters do the pre-booking research they should be doing, there is usually nothing to worry about later. A lot of worries can be eliminated if they go through a reputable agent/consultant.

    In my opinion however, hunters should familiarize themselves with the hunting regulations where they are going to be hunting and they should look at some maps and get a general handle on where they are going to be hunting and at least have an idea in their head of how the hunting area is situated.

    I routinely send hunters I have booked, copies of the local hunting regulations and routinely I find when they arrive on their hunt they have not read them. I have also guided hunters who could not even tell me what province they had hunted in the following year when I spoke to them at a winter show............that is how little attention they paid to where they were going and where they were hunting. (No I am not kidding.)

    I also do not have a lot of sympathy for hunters who get themselves into a jackpot by trying to pretend they don't think anything is wrong..........because it is such a good deal they couldn't pass it up.

    I have got to run, but will post more on this later.:)
     
  5. CT Safaris

    CT Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    Interesting thread...

    I don't think it can be expected from anyone to study or familiarise him/herself with all the various rules and regulations in place in another country. It is your Outfitter and PH's responsibility to take care of these important facets of your hunt and ensure that your hunt is legal in every aspect.
     
  6. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    I have never gone anywhere and not known the basic regulations that apply to hunting big game and the firearms regulations. Granted, there is a big difference between hunting in an African country and my crossing the border to hunt in the US. Still even with that, the US federal and state governments still expected me to know the state regulations and the federal firearms regulations with respect to entering the country with them etc.

    Make a mistake and you get charged. Further more there are lots of countries and states, provinces where ultimately the hunter is responsible if he makes a mistake even when being guided. The guide may well be charged for allowing the hunter to commit an infraction, but the hunter will also find himself in court and the animal seized along with his firearms, etc.

    The best way to be safe is to do your homework before you book. Period.
     
  7. Intu Safaris

    Intu Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    Sure, legally the ultimate responsibility lies with the hunter, but you "cannot" know all the laws in the foreign country. That is where it is important to find a good, professional, responsible, reliable, ethical outfitter or even agent who represents good outfitters. Unfortunately not all outfitters abide by the rules. Just look at canned lion hunting in South Africa where it is illegal and yet it is practiced. Some outifitters have no qualms to release a cage bred lion and release it into a small camp to be hunted a few days or weeks later under the pretence of an "African lion hunt". It may sometimes be difficult for a hunter to ascertain beforehand what the conditions or laws are. But on the other hand there are also hunters who don't care.

    Hunters should take at least some responsibility to inform themselves about the laws etc. I have met a quiet a few hunters on flights to sth Africa who don't know the name or the location of the area or farm where they will hunt, not the type of vegetation they will hunt in, or anything about the wildlife or country itself.

    Werner
    Intu Safaris
     
  8. Shallom

    Shallom AH Enthusiast

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    It is a difficult one, but in todays playing field it is important for the Outfitter to ensure legalitites and credibility are high on the agenda to avoid embarassing moments and very negative publicity. Nevertheless, it is always good for a client to know the basic laws, rules and regulations of his/her hunting destination as well. At the end of the day, all the right questions and answers should be exchanged for everything to be clear and in place.
     
  9. 86thecat

    86thecat New Member

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    If importing trophies into the US, don't forget about the Lacey Act.
    Lacey Act Overview
     

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