SOUTH AFRICA: Huntershill 2019 From Bad To Worse!!!

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Dcarr, May 25, 2019.

  1. BWH

    BWH AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I appreciate both sides of the stories.... or their recollections..... hopefully, in future experiences for all of us that these grievances, are aired privately, until no avail. So no reputations are diminished. To present, I had never heard anything poorly oh HH. Not to say any operation is not susceptible. It’s unfortunate that it becomes part public. But possibly necessary. I hope all is reconciled appropriately. And both parties can part amicably in peace.

    There’s are many operations out there that are high volume.... that’s their business plan... that’s all good assuming, the income Guest are well aware going in. Opposed to a more intimate “Wild” experience.
     
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  2. BenKK

    BenKK AH Fanatic

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    I’ve been on two trips and I enjoyed meeting the other three hunters plus their spouses who shared camp, and the other two PHs to guide them. It was nice, and we easily shared the 100,000+ acres. In fact, on my second hunt we had it to ourselves for about half. Before reading this thread I had no idea there were places of such enormous high volume! It’s not a sin to be a high volume operation, but I’m glad I know now. This sort of reading is essential to help folks choose. On my two trips I never saw breeding pens or eartagged animals. I did see a small unloading ramp on each property. From a conservation point of view I think I understand the need for breeding pens as South Africa is an incredible conservation success story - but to hear that an outfit offered a killing in one, well... no thanks.
     
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  3. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Veteran

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    Wow! I haven’t been to Arica yet, but I could stay at my home and watch my dogs fight over a hot dog! I’m used to rough camping in our elk camp, but I wouldn’t shoot an elk in camp, let alone an animal in a pen or fenced! If this account is true, my dreams of going to Africa to hunt have suddenly faded! If I’m hunting dangerous game, I would want the game to be able to “hunt” back, or it’s not DG hunting. Everything else should be able to run for miles like elk do when shot at. If this isn’t the case, I’ll stay home and play African hunting video games! This is a description of a hunting NIGHTMARE, which I would not participate in. I would save my money and support Pheroze’s development of the .465 h and h caliber rifles to sell to hunters to shoot animals in pens. Maybe the .465 brass would then become cheaper to buy? Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!
     
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  4. TXhunter65

    TXhunter65 AH Veteran

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    You know, I've gone back and forth, on whether or not to respond to this thread for several reason. But what the hell, here goes.

    I was in camp with Danny Carr for 3 or 4 nights at Huntershill. I enjoyed his and Lora's company numerous nights sitting in the bar and around the dinner table. We told stories in the bar each day about our hunts, we talked about life back home, our personal lives like how many times we'd married the same person ;)(Lora, I told you, you didn't learn your lesson the first time), our family's, my children and our dogs, we joked with the PH's including his PH Cody (Big Spoon) night after night. I was surprised the day or day after they left when someone showed me the post Danny wrote regarding his time at Huntershill. I hate he had the experience he had and wish it had been different. I can't say with 100% certainty whether any or everything he's said did or didn't happen as I only spent a few hours each day with Danny and Lora in the dining room and bar area.

    There were several other people in the lodge at the same time we were, a group from Spain that shot the rhinos, a newlywed couple from Texas, and a group of guys that apparently knew each other professionally. So if you're wanting an outfitter who only books a couple of people in camp or you want to be the only client/clients in camp, I'd make sure to communicate that when you book. As I understand it, this was a very busy two weeks for Huntershill, but who knows I've only been there once.

    I can confirm there were dogs in and out of the main lodge area and yes some were present during meals. I did see some of the dogs growl, posture, and snap at each other in the lodge, I did see guest feeding some of the dogs, so those things I guess I can confirm. I also saw the owner Greg Harvey make the PH's get all the dogs out of the lodge but that was after Danny left. I personally didn't have an issue with dogs, but I could understand if someone did. I can also confirm the lions roaring, I usually heard them around 4am, again not something I had an issue with, actually recorded it so others could hear it.

    Now I'd like to say something from my admitted very limited personal firsthand knowledge about Africa. I think most of us go to Africa for many of the same reasons. We grew up reading books about great hunters, great hunts, great adventures, watching shows like Mutual of Omaha and many others. We want the experience many of those people had, and honestly it's still out there but for it to truly be the same experience most of them had where you're hunting completely free range, native born, self-sustaining populations that are in no way supplemented/augmented by game managers/ranchers you're going to have to search long and hard and you're going to have to spend more than 5 to 7 days to have a great safari and its more than likely going to cost you a lot more than most of the hunts you can easily book on many of the safari websites including this one (that's not to say those hunts aren't offered on this forum).

    There are many outfitters that have large properties and have "self-sustaining" herds of animals but they also add to, move, supplemental feed, and in one way or another augment those animals. I'm sure the majority of people who hunt Africa especially RSA are completely unaware of this and it's fine that they are, it's probably better for everyone involved that they are. I'd say the "African experience" is the primary objective of most outfitters. Most clients however, don't understand if you're hunting this animal or that animal in this province or that province or possibly in this country or that country that some of those species, while truly African, are not native to that area and are only there because someone bought them, shipped them there, and turned them loose. Which is the case with many outfitters in Africa and there is nothing wrong with it. Red lechwe is a good example...not native to South Africa so if you’re hunting them in RSA someone at some point bought them and put them there, whether or not they put them on 500 acres or 500,000 acres they're not a native species. Obviously walking up to a 1 acre pen and shooting an animal is not hunting its killing, and there are a numerous examples of hunts of those species that range from walking 10 miles through a swamp to hunt and kill them to shooting them off the cab of the truck, that many will argue is or isn't hunting, I guess that's for each of us to decide on our own, but then we must OWN the decision one way or another once WE pull the trigger. I'm not going to tell another hunter how they can or can't hunt, or what constitutes "hunting" that's what the anti-hunters want. They want us to tear ourselves apart. If it’s legal, it’s none of my business how one man decides to spend his time, money, and effort.

    As I'm sure most of you know I currently have my own Huntershill thread going at this moment and my experience was different than Danny's. While I did enjoy the Carr's company what bothers me about Danny’s post is he portrays Huntershill as nothing but a “put and take” or “hunt in a breeder pen” operation when so many other people have had a different experience.

    I wish him and Lora the best and hope he's recovered from the bite and his health has been restored.
     
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  5. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    All good questions, Albert, here are the answers:

    1- I was not there, so I objectively do not know what happened with Danny as regards dogs. Staff has no knowledge of an incident. Based on my personal experience at Huntershill all the PHs have a small dog which they use to follow wounded game:

    DSC00558a.JPG

    These dogs are of small and friendly breeds, and are indeed allowed inside the lodge:

    DSC00757a.JPG

    I have never witnessed a dog fight at Huntershill, nor would common sense dictate that dog fights inside the lodge would be tolerated. Are dogs occasionally sniffing each other, playing with each other, including snapping at each others, etc. ? Absolutely. Dogs are dogs... Do the staff or PH allow it to become a nuisance to clients? Never in my experience. Obviously staff and PH realize that their clients' satisfaction drive their livelihood and they care about it.

    2- There are no breeding pens in the sense of a few acres or a few dozen acre pens at Huntershill that I know off. There is, to the best of my knowledge, a large high fenced area in the plain that must be something like 3,000 to 5,000 acres or more (I apologize, I do not have the exact size, but it is several miles long and several miles wide), in which some breeding animals and some flat plains animals are located. Some animals are tagged and typically non-shootable (which is why they are tagged) because they are valuable breeding animals enhancing the gene pool of the local herds, and they may indeed be unafraid because they are used to not being hunted. Most animals are not tagged. No one shoots in breeding "pens" at Huntershill because there are no breeding pens per se, but clients who would have physical challenges hunting in the 188 square miles low fences or no fences hills, or who prefer hunting in the flat high-fenced area, what I called the breeding area (not pen), or who require specific animals only found on flat plains (Scimitar Oryx come to mind), are allowed to hunt in the high fenced area, which, again, is several thousand acre.

    I actually shot two animals in what I call the breeding area. When my package was over after 11 days, Greg asked me (read: graciously offered me) to remove a few animals from the gene pool. In this area, I took a white springbok that was not really white, and a red hartebeest that was a walking living-dead. The best I can offer is to share a Google Earth of my own experience. Observe the scale at the bottom left. I would speculate that what I called the breeding area, likely more aptly defined as the high fenced area (approximate red lines based on my recollection of the ground) is probably something like 6 or 8 square miles. This is bigger than some outfitters entire territory, but still a small part of Huntershill (approximate green lines going up from this shot another couple miles).

    upload_2019-5-25_20-49-43.png

    3- Each day the client and the PH decide together, as Danny at one point confirmed, what the day hunt will be. In my own experience, the PH was so attentive to follow my desires that I often emphasized to him that since he knew the place and the species obviously a heck of a lot better them me (LOL) he should not hesitate to advise me on what should be done this or that day.

    4- Based on my own experience, Cherelene, the lodge manager inspects the chalet before a client arrives. I have personally always seen my chalet, the chalet near mine, a few other hunters' rooms, the lodge, the grounds, the living area, the lounge etc. absolutely spotless.

    5- Based on my own experience, Cherelene, the lodge manager produces the billing and if any question would arise Greg the owner is the one who approves it. Not being there myself for Danny's billing issue, my speculation is that somehow his booking sheet from the US show did not make it to Cherelene, and both the "show special" free spouse stay, and his deposit, were not recorded in the lodge billing. This is unfortunate and Huntershill has been tying to refund Danny.

    Thank you Brickburn. I know Michael well. We designed his package together and our last interaction a week or so ago was for me to fill his SAPS 520 for him. I am happy to do this also for folks who find the process a bit overwhelming. I do not believe that there is any misunderstanding with Michael, but I will indeed verify.

    Let me clarify nonetheless. Huntershill owns a number of properties. Huntershill itself is over 55,000 acres, and has hunting rights over 65,000+ adjacent contiguous acres. These form a 188 square miles low fence or no fences hunting territory. It is located in the foothills of the Stormberg mountains near Queenstown from about 2,000 to 5,000 ft in elevation and combines hills and flat plain. This is great habitat for many species, but not really bushbuck (too high, too cold). Huntershill also owns Rocklands, 2 hours south near Fort Beaufort. This is a 6,000 acres territory, that is very dense, very challenging, and great habitat for bushbuck. Huntershill also owns Comre Safaris located also a couple hours away in a valley of the Winterberg mountains. This property is 22,000 acres. Huntershill also has hunting rights with several properties adjacent or near Rocklands and Comre. In addition, Huntershill also owns hunting properties in Limpopo and the Kalahari.

    General view of Huntershill from the West. The picture is taken from where I shot my Kudu, looking toward the lodge that is in the foothill of the Huntershill Mountain (the high chain behind it). Virtually every acre in this picture is part of the Huntershill hunting area (except along the public road that follows the bottom of the valley).

    DSC00613.JPG

    This, by the way, explains why there may be occasions when several groups of people (maybe 40 in total, although I would think that 15 to 20 clients and 20 to 25 PH and trackers is a more accurate description) can transit at times through Huntershill on their way to or from the properties best adapted to the upcoming hunts. A Huntershill client may very well go spend a few days in Rocklands, or Comre if they are interested, to hunt for bushbuck, or bush pig, or Vaal Rhebok, etc. but a Huntershill client will not spend 4 or 6 hours each day on the highway commuting from one small farm for one animal, to another small farm for another animal, etc. in a constant daily routine in a 2 to 3 hours radius as can indeed happen with some outfitters who do not own their hunting land. This is what we discussed with Michael.

    I really appreciate these questions, because they help me illustrate why I have been personally, and the entire Huntershill Team has been collectively baffled by Danny's long list of complaints. For those who know Huntershill, it is like he is describing a different place and we just cannot fathom how could so many so egregious things happen to only one person at one time. Yes, there was a billing error, and yes Danny was bitten by a spider, somewhere in Africa, and he admitted writing his first Facebook post under intense pain and strong medication, and he subsequently apologized on Facebook for this post. Then things seem to have taken off in a surreal world with each new post bringing additional complaints and additional virulence. We are truly sorry, and there is no malice in the apology, but this really defies the odds and common sense... And people who were there at the same time, as several responded to him on Facebook, have no idea what he is talking about. The engineer in me finds it statistically mind boggling that all of these things happened to only one person (filthy accommodations, bad food, rogue PH, no offer to hunt what is truly Huntershill, cheating helicopter pilot, dogs fighting in his legs, etc.) while no staff has any knowledge of anything, and no other client just before, after, and at the same time had anything to complain about. And why did not Danny say anything? It is not like he appears shy about sharing his displeasure. We just do not understand...

    Thank you for the questions, I hope the answers help.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019

  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I hope he has a great hunt. Make sure he states exactly what he is after directly and then enjoys himself.
     
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  7. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I'm just going off what he posted.
    If everyone is on the same page, happy hunting to everyone.
     
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  8. 50by50

    50by50 AH Veteran

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    I’m laying in a chalet at huntershill right at this moment. I woke up briefly at 3:30 and could faintly hear the lions. I found it soothing and awesome. It’s 6:30 am now and I can’t wait to get up for another awesome day.

    I’ve been to Africa 5 times and this has been the best experience, by far.

    I’m not sure what agenda this Dcarr fella has but from experiencing this place for the past 9 days, and doing some of the best free range kudu, mtn springbok, bushbuck, duiker etc that I’ve experienced, I can tell you he’s got one.

    Yes- there are high fence areas on the ranch. They’re huge. Much much larger than anything I ever hunted in the Limpopo. And the vast majority of the 100,000 acre ranch is low fence.

    I’m just a hunter. I don’t represent HH in any way but I find it distasteful and dishonest to run a smear campaign using half truths and misdirection.

    I read Dcarr’s first thread yesterday and mentioned it to one of the PH’s.

    He’s a good friend of Dcarr s PH and told me some interesting details about Dcarr and his hunt that shed a lot of light on this situation for me and changed my perspective entirely. I’m typing from my phone and need to get ready for the day, but I’m happy to respond with these details when I get home.

    But for now- i’d take what this guy says with a grain of salt because I have been nothing but pleased with the entire experience and I’m a western mountain boy that is very uncomfortable with the idea of hunting small areas where the animals can’t escape.

    I’ll throw on a few animals here and do a full report when I get home. Most of the animals we hunted were free range. My sons smile says it all but HH has gone way above my expectations on giving my boy a fantastic experience. It’s no wonder HH has so much repeat clientele. Almost everyone in camp this week is a repeat Hunter. As will I be in the future.

    C2188DA4-608C-4280-805E-B5173065D341.jpeg 73FF9376-A606-494A-8D10-A83D9E9556E0.jpeg B10953EC-4DE4-4535-9C8C-BA378DF58C75.jpeg A23F574C-DA25-4BCB-ABA8-7E4AB6039C07.jpeg DAEAFC64-7112-49D1-A7EB-E839FA65A2EF.jpeg
     
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  9. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Everyone, If you have a hunting experience you'd like to share, please do so.
    Let your hunt report speak for you.

    Happy hunting.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
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  10. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Veteran

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    After reading this “novel” of the equivalent of “War and Peace” of SOME (or one- who knows?) African hunting operations, what are the prospects of hunting in Australia ten miles from civilization in a tent (like I’m used to) and hunting wild, non-penned/fenced game? If I’m going to travel half way around the world to hunt, I want to hunt WILD game. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but this post to me was eye opening, to say the least!
     

  11. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Fanatic

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    As mentioned, many hunters are not aware of this. But I will go a bit off topic, and confirm the same views.
    This is already the norm, in urbanized world, for example, in most of mainland Europe, and probably elsewhere.

    In the future without human hand to help maintaining wild animal population, species will be truly endangered.
    Railroads, highways, cities, urban areas, agriculture, cattle ranching, crops, development, human populations etc, are blocking wild animals natural migration, habitats are reduced, and natural resources will have to be artificially augmented.

    Being a member of my hunting club, in order to get my annual hunting rights I have to feed animals, maintain forestry roads with other members of the club, make animal census every year, occasionally add preventive medicines, or minerals in feeding stations, maintain salt licks, etc....
    Our animals are free ranging, no fences, and can migrate from one hunting concession to other, but the other hunting club does the same job. In the process accidents happen, on the roads, especially in winter when animals are licking salt from the roads, and cause car accidents. Roads....

    My average voluntary animal food (corn) input is around 1 ton per year. (in feeding station goes 250 kg of corn, which lasts 3 months on automatic feeder), I transport it in sacks of 25 kg, on my back, 10 consecutive times during day, from forestry road and my car, to feeding station, 4 times per year. It makes 1 ton of corn. Other members do maybe less feeding, but more forestry or other work, entire club brings per year 10-12 tons of corn per year, for hunting area of about 5000 hectars (12.400 acres), for roe deer, boar and red deer, where annual harvest is all together about 125 heads of this animals over all, not getting into numbers of main game fund which is mostly stable and healthy in numbers, controlled by annual census.

    The bottom line:
    Africa is still developing continent, and there are still open free range spaces, self sustainable animal population, for old fashion safari.
    But logistic costs, an tracking such animals in vast areas will be time consuming, adding to costs. And day rates costs much higher for logistic reasons, but these places are also diminishing as well.

    Imagine Africa 100 years ago when (white hunter) tradition was created, Africa now, and Africa 100 years in the future with this pace of change? And then imagine, 100 years from now - not to have any more game farms?

    So helping and augmenting the wildlife by the hand of man, is the real future for wild animals, at least the way how I see it. And only hunting can contribute to this providing financial resources and motivation.
    For animal rights gruops, just few national parks will be sufficient, with occasional "last rhino dying" so they can keep complaining. For hunters - not so.

    At this moment, South Africa and Namibia with game farming are leading the way. In the same time many other african hunting countries are facing challenges with various animal-human conflicts, and other related political issues, finding their own ways in modern times.

    And there are draw backs, for sure, in modern wildlife management, (game farming) like occasional "can-hunting" and animal ear tagging, but benefits are there as well, in short and long term.
    One of the benefits is shorter and more economic hunt possibilities for the (middle class) hunters on game farms, saving the species is another benefit, with white rhino another example.

    So modern African hunter should be aware of modern African ways and trends, and continuously changing times

    I am not saying, @Dcarr was not aware of such facts, as he is running his own hunting business, and bad experience is bad experience for sure. Neither was i there as a witness to say he was wrong. And he has my sympathy, for sure.

    I am only saying that @TXhunter65 perspective I see as realistic, to which I agree.
     
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  12. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Veteran

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    Thanks so much for your detailed explanation of modern African hunting. As an ignorant, North American hunter who has not been to Africa YET, I appreciate your explanation and insight into this realm of hunting I was/am unfamiliar with. I agree that the preservation of species through controlled hunting is paramount to everything. Thank you again!
     

  13. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    This is indeed entirely correct. The fact is that wild game had been literally wiped out of South Africa by WW II in order to clear the land for agriculture and cattle ranching. Anyone hunting in South Africa today can be pretty certain that whether the species hunted is a historically native species or not, the animals on the land today (aside from Kruger National Park or equivalent) have been re-introduced or introduced over the last 20 to 30 years. Actually South Africa is one of the great conservation success stories of wild game re-introduction and preservation.

    Anyone familiar with the hunting business (because it is a business) in South Africa will confirm that the real money is not in the hunting but in the breeding, because all populations that are hunted continuously need to be be augmented. This is simply a rational fact. This does not however translate in automatically canned hunts as anyone who has followed a Kudu for half a day in the mountains of Huntershill can attest. And Huntershill is not unique by any means. There are a number of vast private properties, especially in the endless mountains of the southern portion of South Africa, that combine successfully populations augmentation in a section of their land, with free range hunting on the vast majority of their land.

    Yes, we still read Green Hills of Africa, or Horn of the Hunter, but the 3 months safaris on millions upon millions of acres of true wilderness are long gone, even in Tanzania northern blocks. Human population growth took care of that after WW II. So, expecting the Hemingway or the Ruark experience is hopelessly impossible, not to mention that I would be curious to translate in today's dollars what they spent in their days in such grand affairs, but we can still get a different hunting experience of a life time in Africa today. Some of it, truth be told for most people, being connected with the fact that they will hunt more animals in 10 days (typically 1.5 to 2 per day) that they will in 10 years back in the US or Europe, and there is nothing wrong with that. A 4 to 5 hour hunt in the morning, and a 4 to 5 hour hunt in the afternoon, in Africa will be often a lot harder than sitting a day on a deer stand in Pennsylvania or in a deer box in Texas or Michigan, and about on par with a day hunting elk on foot in the West or Moose in Alaska. No, this is not Hemingway anymore, but this is still real, hard hunting in most cases, some hard to understand exceptions not withstanding.

    Anyone also familiar with hunting in Africa, whether it be South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Namibia, etc. will smile at another myth of African hunting: that wild animals, especially the big ones, automatically fly in panic at the first sight of a human being. A buffalo is just as apt at standing his ground as he is at running away, and he is likely not staying because he is tamed but because he is, and he knows he is, the baddest mothertickler of them all :E Rofl:
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
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  14. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Fanatic

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    You are welcome!
    I bring my knowledge - many of it, from this good forum!
    Then, from my still increasing number of hunting books.

    Then I could compare my theoretical notes, with what I have seen on the ground in Namibia.

    I am a simple, EU- croatian hunter, blue collar, middle class.

    And although I would trully love to experience true African wilderness, I am facing financial constraints to go there.
    The sinonimus for true African wilderness in my mind today is Tanzania, then Mozambique, then Zimbabwe, etc...

    But, mind, all this good countries do not have for example white or black rhino anymore on hunting permits. The best you can hope for is BIG 4, in one bag only, if you have resources.
    The true cost for true wilderness today is the scourge of poaching, and rhino disapearance is clear conseqeunce

    If you get rhino ever, or at least in foreseeable future it will be only on some of Namibian or South African commercial farms.

    I'have been to Namibia twice. But neither Namibia is same, allover or the farms only.
    Namibia has great wilderness as well.

    Check for example Caprivi strip, and check the prices of hunting there, then compare with prices of Namibia game farms offers, where there is not so much fences, but infrastructure is present (roads, wi-fi, elctricity is present), and also game farming, and sometimes in fences and you will get a clue.
    Lets say, you are commercial farmer, you want to offer some non-present species. And you are willing to invest to import breeding animals to start
    Those species by character - could be migratory as well.Where you will release them, and protect the investment? In large fenced area, or let them go free?

    As I mentioned some books, I can recommend few, hope you will find them interesting:
    - Craig Boddington: African Experience (general African overview and various game modern specifics)
    - Pamela and Peter Oberem: The new game Rancher (this one I bought on Johannesburg airport, but is aslo available on-line)
    - Perfect shot, kevin robertson - everything about hunting main huntable species.

    On game ranching there will be more books, but this one is most fresh in my memory.

    I frequently recommend Craig Boddington, because he is most prolific contemporary author, so information are very fresh and updated. Ruark Robert is maybe the greatest African writer ever, and joy to read, many others are great, hamingway,. capstick, Rosevelt, Bell, Selous, etc... nostalgic and great yes, but obsolete with information frop modern hunter

    So there are few other books, that are very interesting to get overall African safari idea:
    4 books, that each cover 10 years of hunting in Africa, all toghether 40 years, per country... Dozens of species.
    From game farms to total wildernes off Mozambique swamps, central African rainforests, etc

    Those 4 books by Boddington are: from mount Kenya to the Cape, Where lions roar, Tracks across Africa, From cape to caserine (latest).
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
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  15. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Fanatic

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    I can't speak for up north in Ben's country but my state has 22 million acres of public land that a $40 license will get you diy access to. If you want to do it I'd happily take you out or if not able to I'd point you in the right direction. Deer hunting is the main thing here but also duck and quail, little small game.

    I'm always happy to help folks and promote hunting in Aus. It's how we'll kero things going in the future!
     

  16. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean AH Enthusiast

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    After posting on AH for a cull or management hunt, I was contacted by Pascal who recommended that I consider Huntershill. He explained to me that they have (I thought it was eighty but very well could have been 70 different species) to choose from. I was further informed by Pascal that one of the Highlights of Huntershill is that they own 50,000 acres of property and have exclusive hunting rights to another 50,000 acres that is adjacent HuntersHill. Over several emails we put together a package of animals to be hunted over a ten day period.

    Over the past several weeks Pascal has been in contact with me, finalizing the contract and completing the necessary forms. Just yesterday I mailed him the necessary forms he'd requested.

    One key reason as to why I booked with Huntershill was the fact that they had 100,000 acres on which to hunt. I was advised that there would be no need to travel from one parcel of land to another to conduct hunts. This is still my understanding. To say that I am a bit concerned regarding the issues brought out in this report is an understatement. The thought of dining in a room where there are dogs begging for food and fighting is disconcerting to say the least. Filthy quarters will simply not be tolerated.

    Most disconcerting is the notion of hunting semi domesticated animals with ear tags. I will be contacting Pascal to address these issues and sort things out. I have no desire to travel 9000 miles for a canned hunt. Animals in pens and crates is not what I envision as part of the African experience.

    Michael Dean
     
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  17. Mike Van Horn

    Mike Van Horn AH Senior Member

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    I am glad l read this thread. Not only the OP posts but the other posts also. I have been questioning the whole free range wording for awhile. I should add l am/was looking to go to Africa for the first time in a couple years after a buffalo.
    After reading this SA is all but eliminated. I will start looking in other places, and see if l can afford to hunt there
     
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  18. Dcarr

    Dcarr AH Senior Member

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    It's not all like this. The place I was hunting on before I went to Huntershill, we had just started off the mountain and walked out to check a little valley to see if anything was in it. There was a small group of kudu feeding below us about 250 yards with a nice bull but wasnt quite old enough my PH said because his horns turned out and should have curled in. We glassed a bachelor group of eland bedded on over another 200 yards. We was formulating a plan to get over to them when the kudu seen us and bolted for cover. In return the eland jumped up and headed off the mountain. If you've never seen this it is something to see. We watched these huge animals in single file and at a steady trot descend and just kept going and going. You could tell they wasnt trotting that hard but was covering a lot of ground. My PH insisted we stay there and watch them as I watched my chances slip away. Of course not knowing anything about the hunting there it was my instinct to pursue or try to head them off, lol. After 3 to 4 miles of there escape they went over a small hill but didnt come over the next. My PH informed me they had stopped in that valley and we would try and find them there for a stalk which we did and was successful. We then returned to the lodge for a few drinks, a vigorous discussion about an exciting hunt and beautiful day on the mountain, and a delicious traditional African meal.
    This is the African experience. It's hard to get excited about pen shooting after you realize it. There are some great places in Africa that do this. It sounds like you might like it up north in one of the other countries north of South Africa. It's my understanding they have camps there where you stay in nice tents and do a lot of walking and stalking game. If you ever have the opportunity to go please dont pass it up. Just do your homework and dont believe everything you read or is advertised.
    I guarentee you I'm not the first to be hunted in these breeder enclosures. Of course if you dont realize the animals arent totally wild and dont understand the eartags, most would be ok with this type of hunting especially if they get a good trophy. You also have to figure in the equation some are first time hunters in Africa and others if they do figure it out as I did arent going to tell the world they had just got suckered and the animals on their walls was are from a shooting farm and taken out of a breeder pen. I didnt bring any of these animals from Huntershill home and gave them away over there!!!
     
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  19. BenKK

    BenKK AH Fanatic

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    Michael Dean, while there have been some unsettling things mentioned here, my bet is that Pascal and Huntershill will go to great lengths to ensure you get the experience you want. This hunt report will serve to make this company try harder.

    Mike Van Horn, all the best in your quest! So many exciting options out there! Don’t give-up entirely on South Africa, it’s a great place with many great ethical options. I’ve certainly enjoyed what I believe was the utmost in fair chase in South Africa (we were also very clear about the hunting we expected to do) and cannot wait to return!
     
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  20. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean AH Enthusiast

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    How many animals did you shoot at Huntershill and how many had ear tags?
     

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