Rifle Lessons Learned from the Zimbabwe Professional Hunter Proficiency Exam

Gert Odendaal

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Tokoloshe, please if possible see if someone can do some videos or Go Pro videos for us to see how this format is being shot ?????The different scenarios and targets???
 

Hogpatrol

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Curious as with the decline in trophy hunting worldwide, if the investment for these people is worth it, especially in Zim or are there enough well heeled clients to maintain a business there? From this side of the pond (the richest country in the world), I see a steep decline in hunting coming once the boomers are gone. In fact, it's almost falling off a cliff now.
 

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Curious as with the decline in trophy hunting worldwide, if the investment for these people is worth it, especially in Zim or are there enough well heeled clients to maintain a business there? From this side of the pond (the richest country in the world), I see a steep decline in hunting coming once the boomers are gone. In fact, it's almost falling off a cliff now.
I organise Safaris and it is true - save for the Blonde have not had one under 30 even enquire - yes they shoot but Africa holds no sense of adventure to them - 40 and under is similar and the older gents like us - seems hip replacements and doctors advice brings a slowing end to the African affair - I wonder if the young ones will find a love of Africa in later life - Jeasus I wish I had gone there around 30 when I was fit and could walk the legs of any man and indeed a few dogs at the time - I do seek to promote and encourage the young ones - but it seems to little avail !
 

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Lon like normal I’m a little confused. Are you saying each applicant fires 700 rounds at 20 each for a total of 14000 US?

How long does it take for a PH to break even on 14k? I had a PH sub that told me he made $100 a day! I guess it's like flying, you have to love it.
 

Hogpatrol

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I've probably asked a hundred U.S. east coast based hunters that spend five to ten thousand on U.S., one animal hunts if they considered Africa. You would have thought I asked them if they wanted to go to Mars to collect rocks.
 

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I've probably asked a hundred U.S. east coast based hunters that spend five to ten thousand on U.S., one animal hunts if they considered Africa. You would have thought I asked them if they wanted to go to Mars to collect rocks.
It's true. My wife and I go to the NRA Outdoor Show in Harrisburg PA every year. We talked to Alaska guides for 2 years now. A good guided hunt starts at $10K and goes up from there. Africa's cheaper and frankly, the weather is better IMHO. Probably the prospects for getting game too. We're no longer considering Alaska due to cost and our perception of value.
 

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Lon like normal I’m a little confused. Are you saying each applicant fires 700 rounds at 20 each for a total of 14000 US?

Each applicant fires 20 rounds . Total of 700 rounds is for all of them combined
 

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I organise Safaris and it is true - save for the Blonde have not had one under 30 even enquire - yes they shoot but Africa holds no sense of adventure to them - 40 and under is similar and the older gents like us - seems hip replacements and doctors advice brings a slowing end to the African affair - I wonder if the young ones will find a love of Africa in later life - Jeasus I wish I had gone there around 30 when I was fit and could walk the legs of any man and indeed a few dogs at the time - I do seek to promote and encourage the young ones - but it seems to little avail !

How much do you need to factor in that most people don't have money for relatively expensive trips (in US or Africa or elsewhere) until they are later in life. I agree that there is a decline in hunting in general, but I would typically expect the over-40 crowd to be the core of the African hunting clientele anyway, no? Similarly, I see the over-40 crowd being the group that takes their whole family to Vail for a week to ski, or on a fishing trip in Baja, etc.

While the US is the richest country in the world, our young people are in many ways cash-strapped. Prices for a first home are high. While unemployment is not high, under-employment is.

Seems like it might just take some time for the younger generation to get into their peak earning years.
 

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It's true. My wife and I go to the NRA Outdoor Show in Harrisburg PA every year. We talked to Alaska guides for 2 years now. A good guided hunt starts at $10K and goes up from there. Africa's cheaper and frankly, the weather is better IMHO. Probably the prospects for getting game too. We're no longer considering Alaska due to cost and our perception of value.
BigSteve57 - Wife and I have been going to the same show for a few years and booked our Africa trip at the 2018 show.
We both felt the same way about Alaska/Canada/Western US hunt vs. Africa, literally more bang for your buck.
The younger hunters (under 30 or even under 40) may not have the means or have family commitments that keep them in the US.
Also the rise of hunting exotics in states such as Texas has made PG hunting possible without the 16+ hour flight.
Lots of reasons play into it, however I believe most of them just haven't thought about it.
If they did, with a little bit of web research they would realize how affordable it is compared to an Elk hunt with a 50% success rate.
 

Hogpatrol

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How much do you need to factor in that most people don't have money for relatively expensive trips (in US or Africa or elsewhere) until they are later in life. I agree that there is a decline in hunting in general, but I would typically expect the over-40 crowd to be the core of the African hunting clientele anyway, no? Similarly, I see the over-40 crowd being the group that takes their whole family to Vail for a week to ski, or on a fishing trip in Baja, etc.

While the US is the richest country in the world, our young people are in many ways cash-strapped. Prices for a first home are high. While unemployment is not high, under-employment is.

Seems like it might just take some time for the younger generation to get into their peak earning years.

Matt, back in my working days, the WW2 guys and baby boomers could made a good blue collar living in manufacturing, had health care, a pension and maybe a 401k or IRA to whittle on while retired. They also didn't have cable and cell phone bills, spend your money in a nanosecond internet shopping and sky high taxes on everything imaginable (Maryland had a rain tax, you paid on the square footage of your roof, driveway and other impervious surfaces on your property) .
Those days are pretty much gone. The kids coming up today, like you said, have too many expenses and too little income. How long will it take for tuition debt to get paid off when a college grad makes less than what the blue collar guys did? Then add in kids, mortgage, health care no longer provided by the company, no pensions other than what you save. I don't see a future for African or the other high priced American hunting venues unless you are VERY well heeled.

On a more positive not, I met a young man (30s) who had booked his first hunt to Africa this year. He was a hard hunter and had done more than a few western hunts. I suspect once he gets the Africa bug, those western hunts will be but a memory.
 

AB2506

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The cost of hiring a guide for hunting in North America is absurd! It is easy to spend $2000-4500 on a 2-3 day hunt in Texas for a feral goat or sheep. $2000 for a Wyoming antelope hunt (maybe the best deal) $4500 plus for an elk hunt. Is there any guided hunting in Alaska for less than $10000? Maybe coastal black bear or Sitka blacktail.

Now this is not to run down North American hunting or the outfitters who outfit these hunts. The costs to put on a hunt is significant. I'm told that after 9eleven the cost for insuring his bushplanes went up a few hundred percent. This was according to an outfitter in Northern Alberta who owns 4 planes. I can't remember the exact figure, but let's say his plane insurance for the 4 planes is now $80000, that is a heck of a lot of hunting and fishing trips he has to sell to just cover the insurance. Add in that everything has to be flown in to his camps.

There is one other thing in hunting North America, you choose what you are hunting (or what tag(s) you get drawn for. You are now locked in. I'm elk hunting, look at the size of that mule deer, no tag, have to let it go. In Africa, everything in some areas is alacart. You can switch from zebra to wildebeest in the blink of an eye.

When I buy a tag in North America, I am buying a chance at harvesting that critter. In Africa, I will harvest something.

I like hunting on both continents, but I can't afford NA guided hunts. Maybe it's more I will not pay for a guided hunt. In comparison, hunting in Africa, especially South Africa, is a bargain.

Just my thoughts.

BTW, and back on topic, here are my rifles:
Ruger 77R 25-06
Remington 7 Predator 17Fireball
Kimber 84M Varmint 22-250
Kimber 84M Montana 6.5CM
Kimber 84M Hunter 308
Kimber 8400 Montana 300WSM
Winchester 70 375 H&H

Love CRF and 3 position wing safety.
 

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Yesterday the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters shooting profesiency shoot took place. There were 9 taking the hunters exam 4 passed. There were 6 taking the guides exam (20 less points) 2 passed. Scores ranged from 20 to 170, running speed has a lot to do with total score. I did not personally witness any firearm malfunctions although I am sure there were some. There were no doubles used, but several present. Calibers used were from .375H&H to .458 WM. There was the normal 10 point penalty for less than .40 caliber! Which I personally disagree with! Congradulations to my wife for being one of the 4 hunters who passed using a .404 J CZ 550. Now she can go back to her beloved .450-400 Heym!
 

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Wouldn't it be great to have a "double only" test also?

PH's most important job seems to stop the charge.... with the big double....

Isn't it?


HWL
 

One Day...

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Question Lon, did you assess what caused the malfunction on your wife CZ. Seems that there are only four possible reasons for a box magazine to bow: misplaced box during reassembly - it happens; fiercely over tightened action screws; wood having progressively shrunk to the point where normal torque on the action screws bends the box; or wood swelling and compressing the box. Maybe I am missing some other potential reasons, but it would be really interesting to know...
Thanks
Pascal
 

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I totally agree with you. I would like to see the same course shot with a automatic 10 point advantage this would allow for the extra reload time (1 extra reload) The other change would be the the gong would be shot at either 25 meters or 15 meters, instead of 75 meters. The reason for this is Zim. National National Parks considers 15 meters the Maximum justifyable shooting distance.
 

One Day...

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And I should have started there: Congratulations to Liesl!
Pascal
 

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Yesterday the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters shooting profesiency shoot took place. There were 9 taking the hunters exam 4 passed. There were 6 taking the guides exam (20 less points) 2 passed. Scores ranged from 20 to 170, running speed has a lot to do with total score. I did not personally witness any firearm malfunctions although I am sure there were some. There were no doubles used, but several present. Calibers used were from .375H&H to .458 WM. There was the normal 10 point penalty for less than .40 caliber! Which I personally disagree with! Congradulations to my wife for being one of the 4 hunters who passed using a .404 J CZ 550. Now she can go back to her beloved .450-400 Heym!

Well, Congratulations and good for her!
 

Shootist43

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Lon, please convey my congratulations to your wife. For the uninitiated what are / is the course(s) of fire involved in this Certification Test?
 

JakeH

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As to the questions of younger men going to Africa, I am 27 and have not been yet but I will go!
 

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