What will Big 5 hunting look like in 20 yrs?

There are too many people trying to ban trophy hunting so that at some point they will achieve their goal.

The trophy part is just tactics, they be want to ban hunting.

The future of southern Africa is uncertain, will the massive increase in population continue? Will people & countries continue to be influenced by China ana other Eastern powers? Will islam continue to spread on the continent?

What we can do is recruit new hunters. And if you are only to recruit 1-make it a female one!
 
I want an importable elephant badly. Don’t think I’ll be able to wait 20 years, but would like to wait 3-5 if pricing and availability for import holds similar. I‘ve renovated a home out of pocket the last 7 months that I’ve reached the point of realizing I should have burned to the ground and stared fresh. And until I get the shop/gun room built next door, I don’t have room for about 80% of the mounts I have. I’m not going to slow on hunting, but also hoping to try and hold back on taking extra animals while in Africa, at least until I can get 6-7 sheep back on a wall. Luckily several friends are kindly caring for a lot of moose and bear for the foreseeable future.

I cannot think of much prettier display than ivory accompanying a fireplace. And would love to have a solid supply of elephant hide for a new brief case, boots, and all kinds of accessories, if getting big sections of hide back is even feasible. Love elephant hide. Really, really would love some elephant gun cases, holsters, belts, wallet, dop kit, eyeglass case…hell, if it’s normally leather, I’d have it made from my elephant given the option.
From the outfitters I talk to, the prices on Trophy and Non-Trophy Bulls are already starting to rise.

There were some serious deals out there in 2020-2023 and I’ve seen as much as a 150% rise in some of the offers I saw in 2020/2021. There are some outfitters that are less than that, but I’m seeing a marked increase between 2023 and 2024 pricing. I will also admit it’s a little unfair to compare to 2020/2021 due to the lack of hunting and outfitters/communities offering stuff at unheard of prices to get travelers.

A Sheep is my #1 Bucket List Animal. I know pricing them are steadily climbing, but I’m personally opting to hunt my Big 5 animals first because I think the import/legal challenges to hunt them will only get harder and will outpace the cost increases. I’m also secretly hoping/praying I win the lottery and draw a Bighorn tag and don’t need to pay for a Dall.
 
Unfortunately, I was born too late for the golden age of African hunting and I am currently economically hindered aka can't swing a $100k USD hunt currently. That being said I have my sights set on an exportable bull elephant hunt when I retire in 20 some odd years. Will these animals still be able to be legally hunted or will it become a bygone era?

There are only two things guaranteed in life; death and taxes.

Do your hunt as soon as your responsibility’s allow.
 
From the outfitters I talk to, the prices on Trophy and Non-Trophy Bulls are already starting to rise.

There were some serious deals out there in 2020-2023 and I’ve seen as much as a 150% rise in some of the offers I saw in 2020/2021. There are some outfitters that are less than that, but I’m seeing a marked increase between 2023 and 2024 pricing. I will also admit it’s a little unfair to compare to 2020/2021 due to the lack of hunting and outfitters/communities offering stuff at unheard of prices to get travelers.

A Sheep is my #1 Bucket List Animal. I know pricing them are steadily climbing, but I’m personally opting to hunt my Big 5 animals first because I think the import/legal challenges to hunt them will only get harder and will outpace the cost increases. I’m also secretly hoping/praying I win the lottery and draw a Bighorn tag and don’t need to pay for a Dall.
Great plan in theory…but likely the opposite. Get a bighorn, you’ll have to go for Dall. A stone is the one I’m not sure about. My desert bighorn in March was first guided hunt I’d ever done, and loved it. Free range and was a great hunt/time all the way around, but also unlike any sheep hunt I’d been on before. Stone and Dall hunts are incredible experiences, in the most painful, uncomfortable way imaginable, with a healthy slathering of suffering. Tagging out is merely icing on the cake. Even before the knee pain subsides, I can’t wait for the next season.

Stone hunts have just skyrocketed so much in price it’s unreal. I can hunt white-coated sheep on my own within 15min or few hours of my house depending on choice of range, with bush flight into my area, for literally 25+ years for the price of one gray-coated sheep hunt. Just crazy to me that I can do a quality Marco Polo sheep and exportable bull elephant hunt while still saving a significant chunk of change. If I do a stone hunt, it will be well into the future when the age and quality is back up, which also may just help adjust the prices some too.
 
In my humble onion.

Game management practices are factual, proven, and scientifically based.
In any (relatively) stable African country this will remain. (for next 20, 100 or more years)
Just becasue there is no other way to protect habitat and species.

However, judging by the trend in last 100 years:
100 years ago African continent territory was huntable almost 100%.
Today, I estimate this to 50%
So, our hunting grounds are shrinking.

Reasons are political, security issues, war and warlike activities, guerillas, and unfavorable hunting legislation in some countries, population growth, farming, encroachments, etc...

During this last 100 years of decline, there were some shining examples. Like Namibia and South Africa, which with their game management program made remarkable revival of game numbers, species conservation and hunting. I can also mention Tanzania (with highest wild lion population) or Mozambique recovery after civil war. There are several game management programs proven successful on African grounds.

So, based on these positive and negative assessments, of declines and successes I would say:

Hunting and DG hunting will continue to exist in next 100 years, but hunting grounds will still be in decline. Mostly because Africa is not yet politically stable continent.
Quotas for iconic species will be reduced, and prices will go higher.
Export of trophies will be harder, with trend to close down, and travelling with guns will be tougher and more challenging.
But it will not stop hunting.

Even today, due to pricing I cannot afford hunting some DG species, and even today, I might be willing to compromise by not bringing a trophy home, if a chance appears.

And most likely this will become more common individual choice for international hunter. But hunting will remain for time being.
 
Great plan in theory…but likely the opposite. Get a bighorn, you’ll have to go for Dall. A stone is the one I’m not sure about. My desert bighorn in March was first guided hunt I’d ever done, and loved it. Free range and was a great hunt/time all the way around, but also unlike any sheep hunt I’d been on before. Stone and Dall hunts are incredible experiences, in the most painful, uncomfortable way imaginable, with a healthy slathering of suffering. Tagging out is merely icing on the cake. Even before the knee pain subsides, I can’t wait for the next season.

Stone hunts have just skyrocketed so much in price it’s unreal. I can hunt white-coated sheep on my own within 15min or few hours of my house depending on choice of range, with bush flight into my area, for literally 25+ years for the price of one gray-coated sheep hunt. Just crazy to me that I can do a quality Marco Polo sheep and exportable bull elephant hunt while still saving a significant chunk of change. If I do a stone hunt, it will be well into the future when the age and quality is back up, which also may just help adjust the prices some too.
Stone sheep are in the same pricing realm as a wild lion in Tanzania. Desert BH prices seem to be coming down a bit and for a non-res aren’t too far off from Dall Prices. You’re 100% right though, if I draw a Desert, Rocky, or California BH I’m going to get sucked into doing a Dall, and eventually go for the other BH I don’t have. I’m not sure I can bite off on the Stone hunt though. I think I’d opt to go to Zim and shoot 2-4 elephants for that amount of money. There are some international sheep that are starting to look more and more appealing because of their coat compared to the North American Sheep.

I’m still going to opt for the Big 5 species first due to the import restrictions. Where there’s a will, there’s a way and I’ll eventually make my dream of sheep hunting come true
 
I wouldn't like to say what's going to be in 20 years....but with the population explosion that is happening in just about every country out here , I think the future is pretty bleak for large expanses of land outside national parks being left for wildlife.....governments are wanting self sufficiency in food production, so more and more land is being cleared for agriculture. The president here has told people to leave the cities and towns, and go back to their villages and start farming...doubt they will as too hard work....but plenty of big commercial farms being opened up ....maybe a balance might be reached ...but yeah the population explosion is the main factor ....and to disagree with comment in previous post about photo tourism bringing in more money than hunting that's not the case here presently...the DPNW relies on income from hunting as its main source of income, not what they get from visitors to the national parks....
 
I will second what Mike said. When driving to his place, land with wildlife was nonexistent. Too many people everywhere. In 20 years good luck finding land with wildlife, except private.

I would also guess, bringing anything back will be impossible, unless you get rid of all the liberals and progressive in government, and that not going to happen.
 
Difficult to say, because there are many wild cards at play. By most accounts, you won’t be able to bring your trophies back (or at least as easily as you still can).

But seeing countries like Botswana & Namibia remain defiant towards Western “Big Brother” type governments & their anti hunting attitudes gives me a glimmer of hope.

In 1973, hunting was banned in Tanzania. I had gone on my life’s first African safari to Kenya in 1974. Then, hunting got banned in Kenya in 1977. I thought that the end was near. But then, Tanzania came back in 1978.

We all thought that hunting would forever be gone in Mozambique after the coup in 1974. But it returned. Hunting got banned in Botswana, but returned with the President being ever so defensive of hunting.

So prepare for the worst, but hope for the best. No one has seen the future.

No cause is lost, as long as there is but one fool left to fight for it.
 
But seeing countries like Botswana & Namibia remain defiant towards Western “Big Brother” type governments & their anti hunting attitudes gives me a glimmer of hope.

In 1973, hunting was banned in Tanzania. I had gone on my life’s first African safari to Kenya in 1974. Then, hunting got banned in Kenya in 1977. I thought that the end was near. But then, Tanzania came back in 1978.

We all thought that hunting would forever be gone in Mozambique after the coup in 1974. But it returned. Hunting got banned in Botswana, but returned with the President being ever so defensive of hunting.
We can add to abve, the predictions from the 80-es when elephant was estimated to be extinct due to overall continental poaching pressure, but it did not happen.

Above post clearly describes turbulent and unpredictable conditions on African continent. Very hard to see the future.
 
I would predict that hunting cost will continue to rise, travel cost will continue to rise, and the ability to travel with a gun will get very difficult in the future. Will that affect a guy with a private jet and unlimited funds-NO. Will it affect normal guys-YES. As soon as I can't travel with and use my own rifle, I'm out. The rifle, handloading, practice and preparation at the range are a huge part of it for me. And I know a lot of guys that feel the same.

I have already purchased my first really good camera and am learning how to use it.
 
In many ways, NOW is the golden age of hunting. Not that long ago, safaris were a pursuit of the super rich. Today safari is within the means of most dedicated hunters. Just look at logistics. I hear complaints about long plane flights, expensive trophy shipments, luggage hassles. Think what it must have been like when long ocean voyages were considered a miracle of technology! I know that ponying up $20-$50 grand is no small thing, but still can be done by most if the safari dream is strong enough. I know a younger member of AH.com who is a tradesman (I say craftsman) with a wife a small kids. He wanted a safari bad enough that he worked overtime and picked up side gigs. He enjoyed a fabulous safari in SA last year. It’s time to “make a plan” and go.
 
I would say, pursue your dreams, and go to Africa and hunt. If you can't afford a DG today, but can afford a plains game safari, do it. Don't wait. I've twice, and from one safari to the next, it was 10 years. It took that long to save, but did it, and I was able to hunt in two places in SA, saving on airline tickets. I'm now heading again next year to the Eastern Cape.

Do not be discouraged if you can't bring anything back. Go hunt the dream animal. Take good pictures, and good notes. No one can take away those memories away from you. Oh, and you'll save enough $$ by not bringing anything back, that you can use that money to hunt additional animals or for going back sooner rather than later.
 
Keeping ara , big corporations away and value of the areas can do a lot to save the future hunting . But also make the inhabitants be part of it also , that will make it worthwhile for many.
 
The conservation benefits of sport hunting, coupled with the measured value to African economies, will probably secure hunting for several decades. It is very probable that synthetic hides and 3-D printed (or more advanced tech) skulls, tusks, etc will replace the physical animal trophy parts, even individual animal accuracy by means of laser mapping/scanning could preserve the specifics of each trophy. I predict the greatest changes in the industry will occur in the trophy process, and only minor changes in the hunting arena.
The hunting community in the states is saying the same thing BUT game commissions are under assault.
Anti hunters and others that use the same resources want a seat at the table and a voice in managing wildlife. Don't bet on the way things have been done in the past to secure the future of hunting. The anti-hunters are well funded and not prone to give up.

 
It's hard to commit to anything at the present!
God only knows.
 
I wouldn’t put it off 20 years. $25k-$30k would get you an exportable bull in a quality area with a quality PH. I think there will definitely be big 5 hunting opportunities still in 20 years, but many less areas than today. Community concessions are under a lot of pressure from human population growth especially in places like Zimbabwe and Caprivi. The dedicated safari areas I expect to still be available and viable in 20 years. Another thing to consider will be quality of PHs. In places like Zimbabwe most of the PHs are middle aged to older. Land invasions in 2000s took away most of the farm kids that would become PHs now. It’s very difficult to predict but I expect a very different hunting landscape in 20 years than we have now outside of South Africa and Namibia (assuming no land reform takes place). Find a way to go now when you don’t have to guess.
We offer 10 day exportable bull elephant, with quality Zimbabwe PHs. Most of bulls are in the 20 to 30lb class.

If elephant hunting still exists 20 yrs from now the cost of permits will be so high it will take elephant hunting out of most peoples reach.

Hunt when you can and give up something else. With the projected population increase and the resulting habitat loss where will elephant live.

Lon
 

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