Hunting today

Hunting today

Today, most hunters fall into two main categories. You are either a recreational hunter or a professional hunter. A recreational or amateur hunter is one that hunts or harvests for own consumption. In South Africa these hunters are also known as “biltong” hunters and the practice is also referred to as sustainable utilisation or subsistance hunting.

Professional hunters on the other hand profits from the hunt by accompanying local or international hunters who in most cases are trophy hunters. Recreational hunters can also be trophy hunter, but in most cases will keep the meat and other by products for own use rather than the horns which the trophy is measured by.

It is important to know that all wild game animals are protected. However, we could classify Game animals into four categories.

  • Protected
  • Threatened
  • Endangered
  • Damage Causing

Threatened and Protected anmals are managed through the TOPS regulation for Threatened or Protected Species.

Hunts takes place on mainly two types of farms, either an open farm or a farm with adequate enclosure. Both types of farms are regulated in some way by Nature Conservation by two sets of rules, namely, the annual provincial hunting proclamation and the hunting ordinance. The annual proclamation is issued each year for each of the provinces and states which specie of animal may be hunted during which period and also the daily bag limit per specie per hunter. It will also state prohibited methods of hunting

All open farms are subject to this proclamation. Enclosed farms need not stick to the proclamation as the animals on enclosed farms are seen as the property of the farm owner as opposed to animals on open farms which technically belong to the state. Owning wild animals are also governed in terms of the biodiversity act and farmers need special permits to have wild animals on their land. In today’s modern era with nearly all parts of the country fenced up, both these types of farms play a vital role in the future and sustainability of game animals.

The proclamations are issued per province. Some provinces need hunters to have a hunting license in order to hunt. It is also very important that when you have hunted and you need to transport the meatto you place of residence, that you obtain the neccesary documentation from the farmer. This is comonly referred to as a meat transportation permit. It needs your full name and surname on it, as well as your vehicle registration number and the details of the farm and farmer where it was hunted.

In most cases, game numbers and species are carefully monitored and game farmers practice the art of selective harvesting. On open farms, this is done in conjunction with the annual proclamation and on enclosed farms, based on the farming and breeding programs. In both cases, special care is given to the carrying capacity of the land, protecting the soil and preventing soil erosion and plant life destruction. These practices supports the concepts of sustainable utilization, maintaining a healthy balance of wildlife and plant life.

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