Guns and Ammunition Editor – Stefan Fouché

The months of the sun have arrived! The days are becoming longer and the nights shorter and warmer. The greater part of southern Africa, however, is still awaiting the much-needed summer rains this part of our continent so desperately relies on. Fortunately, some parts have had rain, though, and we pray that, come the end of November, Mother Nature will oblige and provide everyone with their fair share of what they need.

The 2019 season is drawing to a close but that does not mean hunting in Africa is slowing down at this time of the year. Many Outfitters and clients alike love to hunt during this dry time of the year as the vegetation is not so thick and water sources are becoming scarcer and smaller in size. This makes locating certain species somewhat easier, especially in the more difficult hunting areas. Also, in some hunting areas there are quotas left over, which means that hunting needs to continue at the normal rate to ensure the correct number of game gets utilised in order to protect the available habitat.

There is one topic that is currently dominating the international media: the environment. What has stunned me completely, however, is the argument by some green movements, including the IUCN, that hunting and, especially trophy hunting, does not add any value to conservation. I am not going to lay myself open to unnecessary abuse by the poorly informed, but I will say this: Hunting dollars play a major role in the protection of animal species and their habitat, and the wellbeing of the inhabitants of these hunting areas.

Without trophy hunting, these areas would have little value, and countries such as Kenia are visible proof of what happens then. These anti-hunting arguments are based largely on emotion and not fact, and reasoning against emotion is extremely difficult. As hunters we can only rely on the experience and principles that we have learnt from those who came before us. And it is this that we try to pass on to the next generation to the best of our ability. If something has a value, someone will look after it and protect it. That is the number one rule when it comes to Africa – if it pays it stays. It is as simple as that!

What we need to rethink, however, is our social-media visibility. We have seen many individuals coming under fire from green groups and movements regarding pictures posted on the world-wide web. These cannot be taken back. Being proud of the fact that you are a hunter is great and sharing your experiences is justified. However, it is sometimes wise to stand back before you post or upload a video or photograph, and to ask yourself what message these images send to the outside world. Remember, less than 1 per cent of the world’s population agrees with what you do – just keep that in mind.

Lastly, have a blessed Festive Season with friends and family, and may our Lord fill the home of each of our readers and advertisers with love and joy. Enjoy the last edition of AFRICA’S SPORTSMAN MAGAZINE for 2019 ­– it was indeed a great year! ASM