A response to the African hunting ban. My personal thoughts.

by david on November 29, 2017

Part 3:

Now that the animals have a value what else could the value provide the local people?  To an individual land owner he can feed his family, make improvements to his home, send his kids to school, Take them to the doctor when they are sick, all of the things we take for granted here in America. How about in the communal/tribal lands? The hunter’s dollars provide, wells for drinking water, roads, schools, medicine, even electrical power in some areas. Hunters’ dollars provide jobs for dozens of people, often the only jobs in these areas.  Yes I realize that photo safaris provide jobs too but not in the same quantity. Have you seen skinners, trackers, butchers, game scouts, and PH’s (professional hunters) on a photo safari?  Also a hunter will spend 10 to 20 times what a photojournalist will spend. Have you seen a photographer spend $50,000 to $80,000 to take pictures? Elephant and lion hunters willingly spend that much for one of the limited licenses available in a particular area.

Another thing hunter’s dollars do is hire anti-poaching staff.  Without the dollars derived directly from hunters most African governments simply do not have the funds to pay for the park rangers and anti-poaching patrols. These patrol are vitally important to the survival of Africa’s wildlife. Without them there is nothing to stop the roving gangs of poachers from going wherever and doing whatever they please.  Hunters just by being in an area are poaching deterrent. Think about it for a second. Poachers operate best and most efficiently where there is little chance of discovery and being turned in. A hunter simply by being in an area and doing what hunters do dramatically increase the poacher’s chance of being discovered and caught. The fear of being discovered will lead the poacher to move to another area without hunters thus reducing his chance of being discovered. Again one might think a photo safari could do the same thing and perhaps you would be correct if the poachers would hang out and set their traps in the middle of the road where a safari vehicle would find them.  Most photo safari companies do not let the clients out of the vehicles for liability reasons and therefore they can never be in a position to discover the poachers or their traps. On almost every hunt I have ever been on I have discovered and removed snares and had their locations reported to the local authorities. If you have ever come across the body of an animal that starved to death because of a snare or one with a broken off snare embedded in a festering wound you may have some idea of the problem. Poaching is a horrible fate for an animal.

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