HUNTING COMMITTEE REPORT
By Bruce Ambrose (Acting Chairman)
During the course of the year, Alan Swart needed to step down from the chairmanship of the Hunting Committee due to work and study commitments. We thank Alan for his contribution and wish him well in these matters. I decided to take up the reins and look after the committee until a suitable replacement has been identified.
As always, Kameelkop has proved to be a very popular place to hunt. It was once again oversubscribed and those members who were able to take up the opportunity enjoyed the time there. Not all the animals on permit were harvested and the few that were left are for another year. The same arrangements that were followed in previous years will continue: those who hunted there this year may not hunt there next year. We still have a list of members that have applied and who have not yet had the opportunity of experiencing Kameelkop.
We will continue to seek out additional hunting opportunities for members and are confident that next season will open with additional farms and venues.
The total number of animals that we were able to present to members during this last year exceeded 1 100. This is slightly down on last year, mainly due to the drought conditions.
Should anyone be aware of any possible hunting opportunities, please let the office know about it and we will gladly take the matter up in the appropriate way.
The DCAC strategy is working well when the opportunities come from Ezemvelo. We also know that many of our members are conducting DCAC activities without advising the office. We would very much appreciate being advised – in summary form or in detail – about your DCAC achievements. We need to positively illustrate our success and contribution to Ezemvelo in terms of our commitment to them.
Should members require any assistance in this regard, please contact your Branch Committee. They are fully aware of the procedures, needs and requirements and can steer you in the right direction.
Please be careful out there not to break the law or endanger anyone. Rather seek advice beforehand.
After the disappointment of not being able to hunt at Ezemvelo Phongolo Reserve,the condition of the veld and animals will be monitored on an ongoing basis. Providing there is sufficient rain, the veld should pick up and allow us to hunt again.
Neville van Lelyveld has taken charge in this respect. He is very active in a number of conservancies around the province and is undertaking sterling work.
These include at least the:
• Crestholme Conservancy, Waterfall
• Fountain Hill, Wartburg
• Dargle Conservancy
• Ashburton area
Generally, his focus has been:
• Working closely with SACAN, EWT and KZN Wildlife on conservation matters.
• Planning road shows and presenting anti-poaching awareness presentations.
• Assisting Conservancy KZN with training and presentations.
• Writing anti-poaching presentations and compiling talks.
• Extending a sound view of our Association to the public.
• Training SAPS with anti-poaching skills.
• Breaking down the silo mentality of the misinformed.
There is a real need to assist Ezemvelo, EWT, SACAN and similar organisations, all of whom have limited resources. They are all currently enduring criticism regarding many wildlife issues, because the public are beginning to appreciate the value of conservation. The workload is increasing, but the budgets are decreasing equally fast.
As a conservation-minded association, we are able to assist via the partnerships and alliances that we have with these authorities and working groups. Well done to Neville – keep up the good work.
Should anyone like to assist Neville, please make contact with him or phone the office.
Poor and Unethical Behaviour
In the recent past, there has been a lot of emphasis on this point. As a reminder, poor and unethical behaviour by anyone has a detrimental effect not only on our Association, but on all hunters in the country. It can have a detrimental effect on the hunting movement as far as the greenies and ill-informed public are concerned, and this can ultimately affect our freedom to hunt.
The issue here is that it is only a few unethical people. Our members are generally well behaved. We need to ensure that game farmers are happy to have members of our Association on their farms because they feel comfortable with us there.
As part of an Association of ethical hunters, EXCO will take action against any member who is found to be unethical or in contravention of the law – because our Constitution requires it.