Hunting has opened the earth to me and let me sense the rhythms and hierarchies of nature.-Charles Fergus

The Confederation of Hunting Associations of South Africa (CHASA) is a crucial national body currently representing 24 hunting associations. It is widely respected amongst the hunting and firearm fraternities. KZN Hunters, by virtue of its membership base, are privileged to have two seats at the National Board and to have three votes. Not only does this keep us abreast with events and opinion in the National and International hunting arenas, CHASA also remains a respected collective bargaining platform for hunting, sport shooting and firearm ownership rights.

CHASA is an international affiliate member of the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) and we derive our affiliation to CIC as members of CHASA. In 2017 a CIC Convention was held in Montreux, Switzerland from 26 to 29 April and the CHASA CEO, Stephen Palos, attended this high level meeting to represent the interests of the Board and the affiliated Associations.

The CHASA National Board is structured as follows:
President: Pieter van Niekerk
Chairman: Johan Kapp
Vice Chairman: Riaan Meintjies
Secretary and Treasurer: Matt Relihan
Manager: Rory O’Moore

The appointment of Stephen Palos as CEO of CHASA is certainly benefitting us and the other affiliated associations. The positive evidence of this can be seen in many ways, as Stephen is able to devote his full attention to the challenges  facing the hunting, sport shooting, wildlife and firearm Industries and their respective stakeholders.

Certainly, without CHASA representing this Association at the National and International level, we would not be kept up to date with current opinions and decisions made that will affect the way we conduct our business. This enables us to plan ahead and assists our EXCO in making appropriate decisions for the benefit of our members and the industry as a whole.

CHASA is continuously engaging with the industry on many diverse subjects and initiatives to ensure that members of the affiliated associations, and others, benefit from their negotiations and successes.

Some of the highlights from the CHASA calendar in 2017 are detailed below:

Huntex Gauteng 27 April-1 May 2017
Important issues noted are the following:
Raffle tickets sold for a Mauser Rifle and scope totalled
R 72 100.00.
The cost of the rifle prize was R 11 400.00 which was deducted from the raffle sales.
Further income of R750.00 was received from the sale of three SA record books and an additional amount of R 2 575.00 was raised from the sale of targets and stickers.
Income from the auction of hunting packages in collaboration with WRSA amounted to R 51 500.

In addition to HUNTEX Gauteng, CHASA was well represented at various hunting expos around the country. This forms an important shop window for hunting and the outdoors.

1. NAMPO – 16-19 May 2017
2. Huntex Eastern Cape – 26-28 May 2017
3. ABSA Kirkwood Game Festival – 30 June-1 July 2017
4. Agri-Mega Week (AMW) – 13-16 September 2017.
The AMW is the second largest agricultural show in South
Africa. Cape Hunt and Suid-Kaap Jagters shared a stand with

KZNHSCA has seen a continuing increase in the number of recreational hunters and this is due in no mean part to CHASA’s ethical hunting awareness and media presence. There is no doubt that CHASA’s efforts have paid off for our Association. This is yet another valuable reason for our privileged membership of the Confederation.

2017 Junior Hunter/Mentor hunting photo lucky draw

The draw for the winner of this initiative was done during the gala evening function after the CHASA September Board meeting. The winner was Matthew Cloete, a member of Amatola.

Cape Hunt School Shooting Programme

De Wet van Rooyen has, over the past couple of years, successfully developed a sport shooting programme for school children in an effort to encourage our youth to participate in the fun of this activity. This is not intended as an extra-mural school activity and is not undertaken on school premises. His success has developed from recruiting interested scholars via the school’s network and undertaking the training in his private capacity. Affiliated associations are encouraged to obtain the information from the CHASA website and introduce the concept in their respective areas. The youth are our future shooters and hunters, and we need to adopt and develop this initiative.

Musgrave Award

The reintroduction of this prestigious award led to an invitation for nominations from member associations. The nominees were ranked according to the criteria and rules applicable for the award by an appointed committee.

SA Record Book for Hunting Trophies

The editor, Riaan Meintjies (CHASA Vice Chairman) has redesigned and updated this informative hard-covered book, which consists of 114 pages of records applicable to African game animals. The book can be purchased via your Branch Chairman or from the Association office.

Chasa Sport Shoot

The following categories of sport shooting disciplines are available to our men, woman and junior members:
Centre Fire Open
Centre Fire Semi Auto
Centre Fire Standard
Rim Fire Open
Rim Fire Semi Auto
Rim Fire Standard
Hunting Handgun
TYRO Handgun

Shooting competitions undertaken by the various affiliated associations might differ in their application and format, but they need to follow the CHASA rules and the use of standard CHASA accredited targets and scoring systems. The development of sport shooting is encouraged by CHASA, and the KZNHSCA EXCO is committed to growing this activity in our Association.

The CHASA Sport Shoot rules have been revised and updated in 2017 and you are welcome to contact your Branch Chairman for a copy of the updated document.

The annual CHASA Inter-Association Shooting Competition

This event took place on 1 April 2017 at Monte Bello, Bloemfontein. This year 55 teams competed, and to get 220 shooters through this shoot takes a lot of planning.

Being a four-person team shoot, four shooting points are set up, consisting of different shooting positions. The team then discuss who will use which position to the best advantage
and this changes from stage to stage. All four scores are
totaled at each stage. KZN submitted five teams: A, B, C,
Juniors and Veterans.This years’ shoot once again comprised six stages of five rounds each, two gong ranges and four paper ranges. Distances varied from reasonably close to reasonably far. As distances are not given and range finders are not allowed, close “guestimation” is required.

The results were as follows: Suid Kaap A won with a score of 3197. Positions in respective categories were: KZN A team were fourth with 2767.3, followed by the KZN B team taking 19th place with a score of 1735.2. The KZN C team was in 29th place scoring 1260.4. Our veterans were second in their category, behind Kaap Jag (1940.9), with 1530.5 and the Juniors were sixth out of seven teams, scoring 830.3. Other overall winning scores were Ladies (2015.5) and Juniors (2422.1).

The response to our CHASA-endorsed Range Officers accreditation has been encouraging. We urge members to acquire this accreditation, as it will enable them to officiate at any Association or CHASA-arranged shooting events. Please submit your name to your branch if you are either a qualified Range Officer or will consider obtaining this qualification.
The TYRO Shoot is at last gaining momentum in KwaZulu-Natal. This is a relatively straightforward, 24 shot, qualifying pistol or revolver table shoot over 10 yards. Through this shoot, members may also acquire affiliate membership of the prestigious National Rifle Association of the USA. By successfully qualifying in the TYRO shoot, you are able to obtain Handgun Sport Shooting status via CHASA. This accreditation will also enable you to apply for a handgun, specifically for sport shooting purposes, which has a licence term of 10 years. For further details, please contact your Branch Chairman or the Association office.

Following on from the success of the first CHASA NRA Action Pistol (Bianchi) Championship Shoot, hosted by Gauteng Hunters Federation last year, a shoot has been scheduled for 25 November 2017 at the Vrystaat Jagters shooting range in Bloemfontein. This competition is approved and sanctioned by The National Rifle Association of the USA and we wish participants and organisers every success.

MOU Agreement with WRSA

An MOU was signed with WRSA on 2 September during the gala evening function after the CHASA Board meeting. Amongst other matters of common interest, the MOU specifically addressed matters relating to:

•    The threat that the well-resourced anti-hunting and animal-rightist sectors pose to hunting and wildlife practices and activities.
•    The importance of ensuring that rural communities are empowered to take advantage of the opportunities that exist within the wildlife and hunting environment.
•    Recognition that one party represents a supplier and the other a consumer, and that much of the work done by one is of essential benefit to the other.

Hunters’ Forum and SAPS Central Firearms (CFR) Liaison

One of the biggest plusses for KZNHSCA is our privileged seat at the National Hunters’ Forum and the National SAPS/CFR Consultative Forum, a seat which CHASA also enjoys. Indeed, CHASA is especially privileged to have CEO Stephen Palos as the current Hunters’ Forum chairman too. This forum brings considerable muscle to the “collective bargaining table”, especially regarding challenges relating to hunting and sport shooting firearm ownership. This limited membership forum represents some 90 000 firearm owners nationally, so one can see just what an important role our input enables us to play in developing and resolving firearm issues with the Central Firearms Registry.

Unfortunately, the Consultative Hunters’ Forum with SAPS is currently non-functional.
A process has been launched via the Parliamentary Committee on Police (PPCP) via the Hunters’ Forum to bring about a turn-around strategy.
On 1 September 2017, Dr Herman Els (on behalf of the Hunters’ Forum) and Martin Hood (representing dealers and mandated to speak on behalf of CHASA) attended a PPCP meeting and made presentations on behalf of their respective stakeholders.

Department of Environmental Affairs

Magdel Boshoff, representative for DEA, confirmed that CHASA’s contribution and inputs in various projects such as BEE Lab, TOR, amendments to the NEMBA Act and the reporting of the Wildlife Forum are commended and appreciated.
The repositioning of the Wildlife Forum will provide more teeth to address issues. It will now include any organisation that supports sustainable use.

CHASA also participated in a CITES meeting where valuable inputs were made. The Leopard norms and standards are also in the process of being finalised. In addition to this, regulations for domestic trade in Rhino Horn have also been formulated.

It can be mentioned that CHASA has established a sound working relationship with the Department of Environmental Affairs, which is treated with respect and integrity.

Application for Affiliation – SA Veld Sport/Field Sport

Paul Finch, Herman Niemand and Phillip Viljoen represented the Association and motivated their application. This Association is established in Rustenburg and approximately 400 members will join CHASA – with the potential to double this number. The CHASA Board accepted the application and welcomed the members into the Confederation.

In closing, I thank all those ladies and gentlemen on the CHASA EXCO and Board for their continued efforts in dealing with the day to day matters, from which KZNHSCA derives considerable benefit.

Long may we all enjoy “the freedom to hunt”.

Is Trophy a Swear-word?

CEOs-CHATTERMost South African hunters do not consider themselves to be trophy hunters. The usual term is “biltong hunter” or “meat hunter”. Yet, most South African hunters have mementos of animals they have hunted in their homes.

This may not take the form of a shoulder mount, but perhaps a set of horns or a skull-mount, and at the very least a few photos of special animals. In essence, these mementos are all trophies and as such we are largely all, to a greater or lesser extent, trophy hunters. In fact, I have discussed this with quite a few taxidermists and all have said that at least 65% of the work they do is for South Africans! However, trophy hunting has borne the brunt of a period of unprecedented attack lately.

A number of high profile incidents have been escalated by anti-hunting and particularly animal-rightist groups, and a media frenzy has been created. There is proof in the USA that when the word trophy is added to the word hunting, levels of public acceptance drop from approximately 80% down to the high 20% level.

This is due to the perception being that trophy hunters do nothing more than kill a magnificent beast, hack off the head and leave the rest to rot. Some prominent hunters and organisations are suggesting more acceptable labelling of trophies and trophy hunting. One suggestion is “Conservation Hunting”, and another suggests changing hunting to “harvesting”.

I’m not convinced this is the answer. Changing the label does not change the contents. The origins of words are often based on military, hunting or seafaring terms because these were profound and noble practices throughout mankind’s development and history. Why should we forsake such noble terminology simply to try appease the sensitivities of ignorant folk? In fact, whatever terms we use, the “antis” will soon enough pick up on it and adjust their attacks.

Our solution lies in continuing the noble and rightful practice of hunting in a manner all of us can be proud of. Keep your mementos and support those who hunt specifically for the trophy, even if that’s not our own first concern. Be true to yourself and remember that culling is culling, shooting is shooting, harvesting is harvesting and most notably hunting IS hunting. All of these have their place in our exciting wildlife industry in South Africa, and all are supported and defended by CHASA. Try to celebrate the true trophies by honouring them with our Fair Chase Policy!

See for more information.

Stephen Palos