Hunters: The Best Conservationist, Ever (Part 2)

by david on October 9, 2012

How does this translate to animals?  I am glad you asked.  Let’s look at a cape buffalo for example.  If a poacher kills a buffalo, he may get $25.00 for the bush meat.  He gets a little money and the village gets a little food.  Not too bad for the hungry villagers.  If a hunter comes in and kills the same buffalo, the end result is the same – one dead buffalo.  Let’s look a little closer.  The hunter is going to pay somewhere around $1000 per day for seven days (minimum) just to be there to hunt.  If the hunter is successful, there is a trophy fee of $2500 due.  Now, our buffalo is worth $9500, and the villagers will still get fresh meat after the hunter and hunting camp employees have had their share.  Notice that I used the word, “employees”?  That’s right, jobs for the people of the local villages have been created.  A hunting camp needs a cook, a grounds keeper, a housekeeper, a skinner, a tracker, a butcher, and someone to do the laundry, serve meals and clean dishes.  When you look at all of the extra good that comes with the hunter-killed buffalo supplying the village with meat over the poacher-supplied meat, the best choice is obvious.

Another positive about hunter-supplied meat is it puts the poacher out of business.  In killing one animal, a poacher almost always wounds several more, often leaving them to die a slow painful death, with all of the meat going to waste.  A poacher is also an indiscriminate killer.  This means he kills the pregnant, mothers with their young and the immature of the herd.  This practice can and often does lead to the downfall of the entire herd.  A hunter should select only mature animals past their breeding prime so that, when taken, it will have no ill effect on the herd.  The killing of the old trophy animal often helps the herd by cutting down of fighting between the dominate males.  Less fighting means less stress on the herd and better breeding conditions.  This, in turn, can mean a lower mortality rate among the newborn calves.  Taking out the old bulls allows the new young bulls to come in and keep the gene pool diverse, which leads to a healthy population. 

Part 3 Tomorrow

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