Hunting South Africa

Now here is a topic I have been prolonging for way too long. It is time to shed some light on a topic that has caused massive amounts of threats and hatred towards hunters that have visited South Africa to hunt any species of animals.

First off, the largest wildlife reserve in South Africa is the Kruger National Park, located to the Northeast of Johannesburg next to the Limpopo province and boarders the country of Mozambique. This is the richest game reserve in the country. Hundreds of thousands of animals call this place home. It is also one of the best destinations for hunters to travel too if they wish to hunt the Dangerous 6. The dangerous 6 is all of the big 5 animals plus hippo, which cause more deaths in Africa than any other animal.

Now many anti-hunting and animal rights organizations have gotten in an uproar over pictures of hunters harvesting lion and leopard in particular, next animals that I have noticed caused such an uproar are elephants, giraffe and zebra. But how are these animals fairing in South Africa?

Well first off. NONE AND with the exception of specific Rhino’s ARE ENDANGERED. THIS IS A FALSE STATEMENT AND TO MAKE SUCH A STATEMENT IS YOU REFUSING TO DO YOUR RESEARCH ON THE TOPIC.

In South Africa animals are identified in schedules. Now this info is taken DIRECTLY out of South African Environmental Management Act. (There’s no schedule 1)

Schedule 2 animals are listed as Specially Protected Wild Animals, which means the government gives out a extremely small amount of hunting permits per year to hunt these animals. On this list which have cause debates are Elephants, and the Black and White Rhino.

Schedule 3 animals are Protected wild Animals. It is just as difficult to get permits for these animals for hunters, but more common to obtain depending on how many the wildlife agency has determined may be released. Animals listed here which have caused debate are Lion, leopard, hippo, and giraffe.

Now the government and the South African environmental agency each year sit down and determine how many permits can be purchased for each species of animals listed under these schedules. For example 50 leopards may be hunted in the country for the year 2015. This is the case for every animal. Minus schedule 4 animals which are labeled as Wild Game. These animals can be hunted without the government regulating how many can be hunted on private ranches or wildlife reserves.

Now I have noticed a rant with the uneducated. This rant is titled. “Canned Hunts” people have this illusion that when a hunter goes into a safari that they are hunting them in an acre of land. This is absolutely absurd. One property in which we visited while I was there was 200 acres large, but was completely open to the country of Botswana, meaning lion, leopard, hippo, elephant could come and go as they please. And lets be honest, do you think a fence could stop a elephant or hippo if it wanted to get through? Think about that.

Also this includes the cats. They are cats, which means they are incredible jumpers. Leopards come and go as they please in South African ranches and safaris. I noticed this as one evening we passed the fence which had freshly been wiped clean by the rain, the next morning a leopards prints were freshly imprinted in the dirt. He or she, hopped the fence without the assistance of a tree.

One other thing I have heard was that those who hunt elephants do it strictly for the ivory, and that it is the same case for Rhino. Well in many places in the country you cannot kill a Rhino. Green hunts are offered where they are darted with a tranquilizer and patched up if injured and research is done by a group of biologist, it is then given a antidote and in less than 5 minutes it is on its way like nothing happened.
But on the topic of ivory.

You may hunt an elephant but it is against the law to export the ivory. The Convention for the International Trade of Endangered Species or (CITES) a international group of bureaucrats that regulate as a whole what may or may not be exported out of the country by hunters. Elephants may not be exported unless for educational or research purposes. Cites also gives out lets say 15 permits for leopard a year to safaris so that if a hunter gets to hunt a leopard on this persons land they may export it as a trophy.

Cites goes for all animals with the exception of those listed in the wild game schedule 4.
Now how could someone just kill and elephant that they paid upwards to $30,000 for? Why not?
The money not only goes to the safari as it would any business here, but the taxes that the safari pays to the government that goes back into the economy is vast every year.

Plus I do not hear you anti-hunting animal rights freaks freaking out when Kruger National Park held there annual culling of Elephants. Yes every year the park rangers and trackers would go out and kill elephants in massive numbers to control them to make sure they did not destroy the local ecosystem, which has begun to happen since the culling’s ended. A government sanctioned event which then distributed meat to the local communities at a cheap and affordable price ended because greenie organizations have their influence in politics.

Wildlife numbers in South Africa continue to grow, some species at a slower rate, and others at a fast and dangerous rate. Lions have prospered in South Africa, regardless of how many that are hunted a year, there are still thousands in the country thriving. Leopards have grown 150% in the last 10 years. Meanwhile, countries such as Botswana, Kenya are seeing numbers drop in there wildlife because government is not regulating is as much as they would if hunting was sanctioned. Most of Kenyan wildlife has dropped over 50% this information I obtained from a Kenyan Biologist who released an article about how hunting should be allowed. (link below)

Hunting is a tradition, not only here in North America. But worldwide. To have an abrupt end to hunting would mean the certain death to several hundred species worldwide. This undoubtedly has a ripple affect. Hunters worldwide need to stand strong with one another regardless for the purpose of why you do it.

My blue wildebeest, two impala, warthog, and jackal fed not only everybody working for the safari in which I was staying. But fed several dozen of locals people. That is just from me, with all the animals from my group we fed a vast amount of the families there with enough meat to last them a minimum of 2 months.

I will always take the time to answer any question people may have on this topic. I am a certified South African Professional Hunter. All my information on topics presented were from wildlife park officers, the Environmental Management Act, biologists and statements of my own opinion on certain rants.

Has this blog been informative? Please leave a comment on what you have learned that you did not know before reading.

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My Journey Begins

We have not even left for South Africa and yet my anxiety and excitement is off the charts. I have spent the last two days here in Colorado waiting in anticipation for our departure on a two day trek from Grand Junction, Colorado to Johannesburg, South Africa. From there, we will face a long 5 hour jeep ride from the city to Sediba Nkwe Hunting Safari’s.

As many of you know. I am heading over there to learn about plains game animals, and hopefully will be able to obtain my PH or Guide license in plains game. This for me is a milestone. If you were to have asked me a year ago where I would be today, the last thing out of my mouth would have been “on my way to South Africa”.

Yesterday, at the last moment I had a change of heart. All who are attending this program were offered the chance to hunt three plains game animals. But I was concerned about finances. However, a few things came to mind:

1. The money I will spend is on something tangible, it’s not like I gambled it away in Vegas!

2. Three animals for that price is a great offer.

3. This is Africa! To miss out on an opportunity to hunt on one of the richest game area’s in the world is something that, personally, I would never forgive myself if I passed up.

Now as many of you know, I am a bow hunter. Until the day I die I want to harvest what I can, where ever I may go. But due to the fact I had a change of heart in such a short period of time, I will be doing these hunts by gun. Regardless, this is one of the most incredible journeys I will ever make. I hope it is not my last. I hope to take all my friends one day and be able to put them on the greatest African plains game that they have ever seen.

Only 11 PH in South Africa are permitted to teach this course and I will be taught by one of them. This is going to be one of the most difficult things I have ever attempted but my drive for success is higher than anything else. Am I nervous to hunt there? Absolutely. Am I nervous to take this course? Without a doubt. But I would rather come home empty handed from my hunts than to come home unsuccessful in obtaining my PH. Nothing to me matters more at this point.

I have no idea where I will end up after this. I have no idea what is in store for me. But doing what I am doing, and being able to see all of God’s creation is why I do this. I’m over worrying about what my goals are because it is so much more than that. This is my driven passion. My journey begins here.

SOS GEAR MT @SOSGEARMT

SOS GEAR MT is a custom para-cord company that specializes in making any type of para cord/ sling for your everyday outdoor needs.

About:
Owner of SOS Gear Mt is Chelsea Cheff, wife and mother of two. Chelsea has many passions such as the outdoors/ hunting. But that’s not where her priorities lie. I have known Chelsea for little over a year now. I can quite honestly say her priorities lie with her Family first, Customers second, and hunting third. I have seen her put aside going hunting to make sure she gets all her orders out on time, as well as dropping everything when her children have gotten sick.

Because that’s who she is, like many people out there today. She is a parent, and nothing comes before her family.

But that strong passion she has for family, doesn’t end there. She carries it with her to her company and as a huntress. As I stated before. She cares about her customers and will do what she can to make sure they are completely satisfied with their product.

You can count on great custom work on what ever you order, and some of the best customer service you can ask for, which is hard to come by now a days.

Review:
I first ordered a bow sling from SOS GEAR MT. Custom with any two colors I asked to be made with. I received my sling down the road, but hunting season was still months away. So I attached my sling to my bow, headed out in my back yard and decided to practice for a bit, and I do have to say, having that sling to carry your bow so you are not carrying it after shooting a few dozen arrows down range is great.

The next day I decided on my way back home I was going to stop at my local state park and hike the trails for a bit. I grabbed my bow, put the sling over my shoulder and took off down the same trails I have walked this fall. Now I don’t know about you, but have you ever been hiking/ walking threw the woods with your bow and have always wanted that hand free to climb or move branches out of the way? That is exactly what I was able to do, and by the time I reached my turn around point. My arm was not tired from carrying my bow & I knew that this fall I would be ready.

I do have a matching wrist sling for my bow. But she carry’s several more products than just that.
some Items include:-rifle sling
-bino straps
-crossbow straps
-turkey totes/ hog hobbles
and much more.

You are getting a great product from a great company.
Check out for yourself at:
http://www.sosgearmt.com
Social Media:

SOS GEAR MT (facebook)
@SOSGEARMT (twitter & IG)

Kittery Trading Post @ThePostKittery

Now when you mention big outfitters a few names come to mind. Bass Pro Shop, Cabelas and Gander mountain for example. But very few people outside of New England have heard of Kittery Trading Post. This store is located just over the New Hampshire/ Maine border in Kittery, Maine. If you are heading North bound from Boston that would be Exit 4 off the highway, on your left hand side.

This was my first ever trip to this location. Why? Kittery Trading Post was hosting a Q&A, autograph signing, meet and greet with two of the most iconic big buck bowhunters in todays hunting society, Lee and Tiffany Lakosky. This event began at 10a.m. on a Saturday, Store opens at 9. I got up there thirty minutes before opening to make sure I could get in, located where this was taking place, and look around the store before it began. To my amazement it is by far the best visit to any outfitter I have ever had.

You can imagine my first stop was the hunting sections, which had all top name brands and clothing for any season you may be hunting in. My next stop was right next to this, can you take a guess? Yup! The Archery Department! First off, when you go to a Cabelas or BPS, the type of bows you will see for example are Diamond, PSE, & Bear. All of which are good brands hands down, but what if you were looking for a different brand like Hoyt or Mathews? Well you would have to find a certified dealer and go threw that process. This is where Kittery blows BPS and Cabelas outta the water. Not only do they hold the same brands as their major competitors, but are also a certified Mathews and Hoyt dealer.

I was able at this time to shoot the Chill X, which was fast and smooth with an 80% let off compared to the Chills 70%, as well as having a great fps added on with these new limbs. Now if you are not aware, you can purchase the limbs of a Chill X and attach them to your own Chill and have those new features added on to your already purchased bow. The price of this add on feature $30.00. This also gave me the opportunity to shoot Hoyts new Carbon Spyder. Another bow I absolutely loved shooting, light and fast this bow was easy to handle and if you are looking to purchase a new bow, it is definitely one I suggest you try out next to the Mathews Chill or Creed.

The best thing about the store was the customer service. Every employee in every section was kind, courteous, and answered any question I had and was extremely helpful in pointing me in the right direction. I would also like to point out to my fellow New Englanders who may live in Massachusetts as well, Kittery Trading Posts firearms section will honor a Massachusetts firearms license.

Quick overview:

Carries Top Brands (from clothing to gear)

Very easy to find your way around

Prices are very reasonable

Staff is extremely friendly & helpful

Store is large & high in quality

With everything that I saw, I would rate this store two thumbs up and give it a 4 star rating. If you live in New England I would tell you this is a must travel too store especially if you are a archery hunter. And if you ever find yourself in Maine and you are from another part of the country, you would not hate swinging by and checking it out!

I hope to get some feed back from fellow people who have been to this location and tell me if you agree with my overview, I can’t see why you wouldn’t!

Bucked Scent Eliminator @getmebucked

I am a bow hunter. This tells you many things about me and if you have gotten to know me through social media you know that this time of the year I have a bow in my hand everyday. But as a bow hunter, I have the same paranoia as every single person out there. Paranoia of what? SCENT CONTROL! We all have been there, spraying down our clothing and boots to make sure we are all covered for that spot and stalk or hike to the stand/ blind.

I have been there and used almost everything I could afford to buy. But no matter the occasion, there have been times where my scent has gotten me busted on a hunt. Yes, my frustration would get the better of me and I would double up the spray down next time I headed out. But that has all changed recently.

Payday came around last month and the first thing I did was go on getmebucked.com and purchased there scent eliminator Marksman Kit (two 24oz spray bottles & two 4oz spray bottles). Now the first time I went out hunting, I sprayed down my clothing and boots and trekked it out to my tree stand. A dull morning turned to a exciting afternoon quickly when a small button buck came right underneath my stand. Not alerted to my presence, I watched him stumble around and trot off as soon as he got bored. I was shocked, happy, excited for the season to come.

Now I spoke with Bucked on twitter awhile back before I even purchased their product. I asked them if their product was pet friendly and they reassured me that it was. That several people have used it to eliminate pet odors in there house etc. So to kill the odor of my dog in the house, i sprayed Bucked around the primary area’s where she stays. Sure enough, the odor disappeared and I decided to step it up. That weekend Nymeria (my shepherd/lab mix) & I headed out to my ground blind to see if any deer would come by.

I sprayed myself and her down and we waited the morning and afternoon, nothing. I was starting to worry that my dogs dander/ odor was a lot stronger than I anticipated. But sure enough 45 minutes before last light, a immature doe came in 30 yards and fed until sundown. Nymeria was asleep in the blind and probably was for the best as she would’ve been so excited that she saw a deer that she would have chased it.

So..
Pet dander/ odor – Eliminated
Human Odor – Eliminated
I will vouch and say that if you use Bucked Scent Eliminator, you will not be disappointed.

Hope you guys have a great season & aim true!