Citizen hunts

Kevin Peacocke

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Harare Zimbabwe
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Cleveland Gun Club
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Zimbabwe, SouthAfrica
I can't see a pre-existing thread on this topic, and although it does touch on the current thread of budget buffalo hunts in Aussie, i wanted to hear out the situation here in Africa. My take is a bit unusual, so I'll state it first and then try to broaden it to what I believe local hunters generally feel.
Safari hunting is a business and what is being offered is the camp, the ambiance and the whole experience in addition to the harvest. I get that, it is what I like, so I am willing to pay for it and even though I am a local the value proposition is there. For sure, if a hunt is being marked down as happened this year I am lined up, obviously, but I really don't get that some local hunters expect a special knock down experience just for them when the operator could sell that package for the going rate. Game is not in infinite supply, so it makes sense that a profitable industry will be a healthy one if the available resource has a good return.
So what of the citizen? Unlike in the USA there is no specific allocation or raffle here, but almost all game farms have need to cull or manage a part of their game population and meat hunts are possible at great prices. Not for nothing, note, it is a great privilege to hunt an animal and one should expect to pay for that.
But is there room for something in between these two, a deal perhaps where the safari operator can still offer a safari other than a shoot? The South African game farms seem to have got this one well under control and to be honest it fits their fenced model better than the big safari hunter with wild area expectations. From what I have seen the fixed facilities range from comfortable to luxurious and the farms are generally large enough to accommodate a couple of hunts at least. Butchering facilities are modern and efficient. To my view there is nothing wrong with this, it is filling a need and supporting the breeding industry that feeds it.
So is there also a place for budget hunts in the wide open wild areas like Zimbabwe's Zambezi Valley for example? Truth be known, this is a whole other level of safari. By sheer definition it will be remote, provisioning will be difficult and expensive, and of course the price will be higher. Apart from the covid specials We have seen this year, the wild area safaris are the Cadillac class, and don't fit well with budget. it is what it is.
in summary, as a local citizen with limited funds too I fully accept that one needs to save to savour. I too have done a game farm hunt in the Eastern Cape and will be doing more in Limpopo soon. They are different, but greatly enjoyable too, and altogether more easy on the pocket.
 

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