Fair chase vs game ranches

Erich

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Hi, I'd like to start off by saying I have only hunted in North America so far and I'm trying to learn as much as I can about hunting in Africa. I will one day hunt Africa but I'm only in the very first stages of research now.

I have read many story's of historic hunting in Africa but not much on modern day safari hunting. I have been trying to look up information about the types of hunting in Africa. I will be rifle hunting and I have picked a few species so far I'd like to hunt. As of right now the species I'm most interested in are Crocodile, Hippo, Cape Buffalo, Warthog, Giraffe, Gemsbok, Sable, Kudu, and Lord Derby Eland.

Since I only have experience hunting in North America I know how the terms game ranch and fair chase apply here. I just simply go to public land or private land I have permission to hunt on and it's all wild animals for fair chase. The ranch I hunted in Wyoming was a cattle ranch and the fences were simple barbed wire cattle fences that had no impact on the deer and antelope movements. There are also game farms here where animals are bred specifically to be hunted and are released into high fenced areas for the hunter to go after them. They will also usually have permanent stands or blinds to sit in. Those are not my cup of tea when it comes to hunting. I'm not judging by any means, I'd rather be sleeping in a tent with no electricity or running water for a week in the wild and come back empty handed then go the other route, but that's my preference.

So as far as Africa is concerned what is meant by terms like hunting concession, game reserve, game only territory and fair chase. I am just trying to understand the terminology and way things work there vs what I know here in the states. I also appreciate that there are many independent nations with different laws and types of habitat that share borders.

I look forward to learning more for a future safari.
 

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Erich there are lots of discussions on here about this. In simple terms you are correct and by types of hunting are available. You must ask the outfitter for the type hunt you want.
 

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What is a concession? Is it a high fenced game each or just an area of private property like an American cattle ranch?
 

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But a concession does not have to be high fence
 

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Hi, I will be rifle hunting and I have picked a few species so far I'd like to hunt. As of right now the species I'm most interested in are Crocodile, Hippo, Cape Buffalo, Warthog, Giraffe, Gemsbok, Sable, Kudu, and Lord Derby Eland.

Since I only have experience hunting in North America I know how the terms game ranch and fair chase apply here. I just simply go to public land or private land I have permission to hunt on and it's all wild animals for fair chase. The ranch I hunted in Wyoming was a cattle ranch and the fences were simple barbed wire cattle fences that had no impact on the deer and antelope movements. There are.

Hi Erich
I lived in Wyoming and hunted public land for 26 years. I don't think I ever hunted a place that they released an animal that I could then hunt? The animals that you are interested in hunting are about as spread out along the list as you can get.
In Aftica you will find to get those nine animals you might have to hunt in many different places/consinments. These places might be big but nothing like a thirty square mile ranch in WY. You could hunt for 7-10 day and never see the same animal twice. You will need to go to several places to get your list.
If you go to SA you will be staying in a 5 star accommodation for your hunt. That is the biggest difference between SA and WY.
The list you have might be in the $50,000 range the good news is with the Rand you might be able to make a deal.
BHFS300
 

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Hi Erich
I lived in Wyoming and hunted public land for 26 years. I don't think I ever hunted a place that they released an animal that I could then hunt? The animals that you are interested in hunting are about as spread out along the list as you can get.
In Aftica you will find to get those nine animals you might have to hunt in many different places/consinments. These places might be big but nothing like a thirty square mile ranch in WY. You could hunt for 7-10 day and never see the same animal twice. You will need to go to several places to get your list.
If you go to SA you will be staying in a 5 star accommodation for your hunt. That is the biggest difference between SA and WY.
The list you have might be in the $50,000 range the good news is with the Rand you might be able to make a deal.
BHFS300
Thanks for the reply. I have no intentions of going for all those species on a single trip, I only listed them in case any were not available at all for wild hunting. I never heard of one of those release type ranches in Wyoming. I know there is one in New Hamshire that's a private club, occasionally one of their Russian boar will escape the fences, I have also heard of them in Texas.

I certainly don't mind 5 star accommodations but I guess I'm still infatuated with the stories I have read from the past about safari hunting camps.
 

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Erich, your false dichotomy in your header is a good place to start (IM not so HO).

You can certainly have a fair chase hunt within a high fence.
You can also have a complete absence of fair chase without a fence in sight. ( I think you may have already seen an example in one of my posts here on AH)


................ As of right now the species I'm most interested in are Crocodile, Hippo, Cape Buffalo, Warthog, Giraffe, Gemsbok, Sable, Kudu, and Lord Derby Eland. .........

You would be able to shoot every species on your list in a very small enclosure if you wanted to.
Crocs and Hippo in small ponds (dams).
Buffalo, Sable, Giraffe, Kudu and Gemsbok in small "camps" ( ie small paddocks or pastures)
LDE would be the species least likely to be found in an enclosure.

There are also places to find every one of these species in natural habitat inside a large property with a CAE and also in wide open spaces concessions/ Coutadas or GMA's that are "free range", "self sustaining".

You will have to do some traveling to find all those species for sure.

Have fun learning.
 

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So as far as Africa is concerned what is meant by terms like hunting concession, game reserve, game only territory and fair chase. I am just trying to understand the terminology and way things work there vs what I know here in the states. I also appreciate that there are many independent nations with different laws and types of habitat that share borders.

So great question and a tough one to answer completely because of both different laws and what terms mean to different people.

  • Concession - a hunting area that a particular outfitter/PH has the rights to hunt on. It may be public or private land
  • Game reserve - I think of this as another word for concession, or you will also hear of large conservancies, such as Nuanetsi or Bubye in Zimbabwe
  • Game only territory is a new one to me? I can guess that it means no cattle and perhaps no people?
Fair Chase - now this one deserves to be separate. There is only one definition of fairchase that you need to know - YOURS!!!! Obviously your activities must be legal, but after that you have to determine what you are OK with. What you need to learn is what is common where you are going to go so that you know the questions to ask in order to see if an outfitter qualifies for your definition. Examples:
  • Does high fence bother you?
  • What if an area is over a certain size, would high fence be OK then?
  • Are there certain animals that you'd be OK with behind a high fence, knowing it won't stop them? For example, would a duiker be OK while a Sable you want to hunt in the wild?
  • Do you want a true wild wilderness experience, or are you fine with a farm raised animal?
  • If farm animal is OK, should they have been there for a certin amount of time and be a self sustaining breeding herd?
  • Would you shoot one specific animal that is predetermined before you arrive, having even been sent pictures of it?
  • Only want to hunt animals that are endemic to an area?
  • Would you hunt at night where legal?
  • Do you want to walk and stalk and never shoot from a truck?
  • Etc....
It definitely helps to understand the way things work, but that doesn't mean you need to adjust your standards. IMO, there is no right/wrong answer to the questions I asked. That is up to each individual. It does however; make research important, and choosing a REPUTABLE outfitter even more important! More than one hunter has thought he was on his idea of a fairchase hunt when in fact be had been BSed and he wasn't.

Hope this helps!
 

Erich

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Erich, your false dichotomy in your header is a good place to start (IM not so HO).

You can certainly have a fair chase hunt within a high fence.
You can also have a complete absence of fair chase without a fence in sight. ( I think you may have already seen an example in one of my posts here on AH)




You would be able to shoot every species on your list in a very small enclosure if you wanted to.
Crocs and Hippo in small ponds (dams).
Buffalo, Sable, Giraffe, Kudu and Gemsbok in small "camps" ( ie small paddocks or pastures)
LDE would be the species least likely to be found in an enclosure.

There are also places to find every one of these species in natural habitat inside a large property with a CAE and also in wide open spaces concessions/ Coutadas or GMA's that are "free range", "self sustaining".

You will have to do some traveling to find all those species for sure.

Have fun learning.
Thank you very much for the info. I don't mind traveling and actually would prefer to see different areas. I would definately only want to hunt animals in their natural habitat and in open places. I would rather not be able to hunt a particular species then hunt it anywhere besides its natural habitat.
 

Erich

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So great question and a tough one to answer completely because of both different laws and what terms mean to different people.

  • Concession - a hunting area that a particular outfitter/PH has the rights to hunt on. It may be public or private land
  • Game reserve - I think of this as another word for concession, or you will also hear of large conservancies, such as Nuanetsi or Bubye in Zimbabwe
  • Game only territory is a new one to me? I can guess that it means no cattle and perhaps no people?
Fair Chase - now this one deserves to be separate. There is only one definition of fairchase that you need to know - YOURS!!!! Obviously your activities must be legal, but after that you have to determine what you are OK with. What you need to learn is what is common where you are going to go so that you know the questions to ask in order to see if an outfitter qualifies for your definition. Examples:
  • Does high fence bother you?
  • What if an area is over a certain size, would high fence be OK then?
  • Are there certain animals that you'd be OK with behind a high fence, knowing it won't stop them? For example, would a duiker be OK while a Sable you want to hunt in the wild?
  • Do you want a true wild wilderness experience, or are you fine with a farm raised animal?
  • If farm animal is OK, should they have been there for a certin amount of time and be a self sustaining breeding herd?
  • Would you shoot one specific animal that is predetermined before you arrive, having even been sent pictures of it?
  • Only want to hunt animals that are endemic to an area?
  • Would you hunt at night where legal?
  • Do you want to walk and stalk and never shoot from a truck?
  • Etc....
It definitely helps to understand the way things work, but that doesn't mean you need to adjust your standards. IMO, there is no right/wrong answer to the questions I asked. That is up to each individual. It does however; make research important, and choosing a REPUTABLE outfitter even more important! More than one hunter has thought he was on his idea of a fairchase hunt when in fact be had been BSed and he wasn't.

Hope this helps!
Thank you very much for your input. I would not want to hunt any farmed animals. I would definately want a wilderness experience. I wouldn't mind fences as long as the animals are wild and not stopped by them. I would definately want to go to the area where the animal is from to hunt it, if it's not wild and in its natural habitat it wouldn't feel right to me personally. I would hunt a predetermined animal only in the case of a man eater or something like that (I read about tsavo and watched the movies hundreds of times). I would only walk and stalk. I will definately need to do more research but I feel like I have a much better starting point now.
 

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Hi Erich. So far so good with the answers. I'll try to help a little from my perspective. Fair chase to me means that the animals has a reasonable chance of escape. That you may hunt for several days looking for a specific animal and never find him. You just can't drive in a enclosure and shoot him. There have been a number of debates on this topic. Try the search function to read some of them. Be aware that not everyone will agree. Just like a debate on another forum about using dogs for hunting.
One of the best things you can do is to use a reputable outfitter and to make clear your expectations in advance. Research areas to hunt your chosen animals. LDE will be a specialized hunt. Perhaps get your feet wet with some of your ather animals first. Lots of great outfitters out there to help you.
Be aware that many RSA concessions are high fenced. Size and cover will help you determine what you will feel is fair chase. Heavy cover may make 1800 acres more fair chase than what you initially think. That's 3 square miles. With good cover just try and find a old blue Wilderbeast that has been hunted a bit. You may be surprised how long it takes to get a shot. Same animal in a open area with few trees is a whole different story. Good luck. Bruce
 

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Erich if you would consider a Livingston Eland, at least to start instead of the LDE, this would be a great place to start for what I think you are looking for, real wild hunting in a traditional style camp.
http://www.africahunting.com/threads/free-range-roosevelt-sable-hunt-special.25511/page-2

This is one heck of a good deal for such an area and an opportunity to get a great start on your list. Be sure to page into the post far enough to find the extra trophy fees and species you can add. To be able to add a dangerous animal like a croc to a $400/day hunt is a real deal. Unfortunately you can't import a hippo from there, but I might venture a guess you could get a real deal hunting one and have a reproduction mount done... Then you should try to go to Namibia for a great gemsbok, and for sure add springbok to your list! Alternatively you can get good representatives of those in the Karroo of South Africa... However in both Namibia and SA be sure of the hunt you are getting and the size and type of property you are on.
 

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Hi Erich. So far so good with the answers. I'll try to help a little from my perspective. Fair chase to me means that the animals has a reasonable chance of escape. That you may hunt for several days looking for a specific animal and never find him. You just can't drive in a enclosure and shoot him. There have been a number of debates on this topic. Try the search function to read some of them. Be aware that not everyone will agree. Just like a debate on another forum about using dogs for hunting.
One of the best things you can do is to use a reputable outfitter and to make clear your expectations in advance. Research areas to hunt your chosen animals. LDE will be a specialized hunt. Perhaps get your feet wet with some of your ather animals first. Lots of great outfitters out there to help you.
Be aware that many RSA concessions are high fenced. Size and cover will help you determine what you will feel is fair chase. Heavy cover may make 1800 acres more fair chase than what you initially think. That's 3 square miles. With good cover just try and find a old blue Wilderbeast that has been hunted a bit. You may be surprised how long it takes to get a shot. Same animal in a open area with few trees is a whole different story. Good luck. Bruce
Hi Bruce, I appreciate your input. I guess for me it's already in my head how I'd like it to go. I don't really mind going to any country in Africa, for me it's all about the animals and their natural habitats. I definately want to hunt wild animals not farm raised but I don't want to offend anyone or give the wrong impression. I have read several other blogs and discussions on the subject and I know people can be sensitive. I wouldn't want to offend an outfitter by phrasing a question a certain way so I'm trying to learn as much as I can until I'm ready to start planning an actual trip. I would hate to jump into planning a trip and be ignorant of how things work or if I was say asking to hunt an animal in the wild that isn't native to that particular country or was protected in some way. So I'm going to try to keep picking the brains of people who have been there or who are actual PHs or outfitters until you all get tired of my questions and stop answering me lol.
 

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Erich you sound like a true gentleman and should get along here really well... BTW, Welcome! And keep asking questions, that is what the board is for.
 

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Welcome Erich. I see the members are giving you some great advise already.

All the best with your research and don't hesitate to drop us a Personal Mail or email, should you require any help regarding hunting Africa.

Take Care,
Marius Goosen
 

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Lets call a spade a spade sitting in a blind at a waterhole waiting for the animals to come and drink then shooting it isn't fair chase or at the back of crusier in a high fenced game farm. These methods were taken up by safari operators to cater for overseas hunter's was never practised in africa and neither would l hunt like that in Zimbabwe there are rules in place to prevent such practices mostly in South africa,Namibia and when Botswana was open to hunting because South african game farmers do release tame animals into their high fenced properties.
 

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Welcome Erich, you remind me of myself as last year was my first safari to Namibia and I too was quite concerned about fair chase vs free range. My outfitter had both. I found the game on the high fence area (8000 acres) was difficult to hunt as the brush is thorny and thick. I walked a lot on stalks and many did not pan out well. In other words it was a hunt. I shot on both free range and fenced areas. Don't get me wrong there areas in South Africa that are very small and those I would avoid. Once you settle on where you want to hunt and with whom ask questions of your outfitter, and by all means ask here. I obtained a huge wealth of knowledge from experienced members here. Main thing is go and enjoy yourself.
 

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