The “Driven Hunt” Debacle - Carte Blanche & National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The South African Hunters Confederation (CHASA) has taken note of the posting by the NSPCA on their social media page as well as the expose relating to an apparent planned “driven” hunt near Alldays in Limpopo Province. We comment as follows:
The method of hunting loosely referred to as “Driven” and which this particular event appears to be based on does indeed occur in a number of biomes and for a number of species both in South Africa and globally. In these circumstances it is certainly a legal, accepted and sustainable hunting method and in certain areas has deep rooted historic and cultural significance.
Both the NSPCA and Carte Blanche outputs relating to this form of hunting contain elements of sensationalism or emotionalism which we believe is perhaps a consequence of the drafters thereof having no proper knowledge of hunting methods generally.
We recognise however, that in this specific instance, in this biome and for the likely species, it is not a normal hunting method. While we have no direct further information, we surmise from what was shown that the landowners having recently acquired these estates as part of a land redistribution process are relatively new to the game ranching industry and are perhaps in need of some mentorship and guidance relating to their newfound opportunity. It is also quite conceivable that their prospective foreign clients come from a country where driven hunts are what they know, and perhaps asked for this, thus the combination of their lack of knowing of our typical “walk & stalk” style of hunting in that province plus the landowner or their management team wishing to satisfy the client’s wishes has lead them to a less than ideal method.
It must be said that animals will instinctively move away from advancing beaters, and will be that much further ahead should these beaters be rowdy. Having looked at the footage of the setup, we believe that if the animals are chased to the degree that they are actually running, there is almost no prospect of telling shots and we suspect the final bag will disappoint both hunter and landowner. Should however, these beaters be instructed to move quietly and slowly, there is every chance animals will walk probably some 500m or more ahead of the beater line and typically when reaching an open patch such as that cleared road, would stop on the fringes for a while before crossing, possibly affording anyone sitting with such a steady position to take very deliberate and telling shots here and there. This is said not to promote this as a hunting method, but to illustrate that the inferences that animals are going to be herded into mass firing zones where they would be “riddled with lead” and stressed to the extreme simply cannot be true. Nor can the statement that the meat will not even be used be true. In all instances with trophy or meat hunting the meat is never wasted. Game meat already supplies many tons of healthy, sustainable and affordable protein in South Africa as more than 20 million hectares has converted from less efficient domestic stock over to game animals in the past 4 decades, resulting in a national ranched herd of game estimated to exceed 16 million animals.
We, together with other stakeholders in the greater hunting and wildlife domain, stand ready to offer our experience and assistance to these new entrants to this exciting and sustainable business, to help ensure their marketing and methods of hunting is done in a manner that is good for the wildlife, the country and their own profitability.
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