A hunt based only on the trophies taken falls far short of what the ultimate goal should be. -Fred Bear

“There is value in any experience that exercises those ethical restraints collectively called sportsmanship.”

– Aldo Leopold

Hunting Committee Report

By Bruce Ambrose

During the course of this year, the chairman, Kieron Moore, left KwaZulu-Natal to pursue a business opportunity in the Cape. However, we have continued with the theme of ensuring that hunting is available for our members and that the standard of shooting is improved.

Hunting
The goal of the Hunting Committee is to obtain hunting opportunities for members. With the slowdown of Nemvelo, this has also been slowed down.

  • Hunting was once again secured at Highover Farm in Richmond and members supported this venue as before.
  • As always, hunting at Kameelkop was well supported and it was another good year for the community.
  • We managed to get additional hunting at Ntinini and an extension at Pongola.
  • Bird shooting opportunities were available on private lands (Karkloof, Baynesfield, Kokstad and Harding). It is most unfortunate that we received complaints of empty cartridges being left in the field at Karkloof and Baynesfield. This is not acceptable and will be monitored next year.
  • A special elephant hunting deal in Tuli was taken up by 3 hunters.

Shooting
The goal of the Hunting Committee is to motivate members to participate. From these shoots, members are able to select those that best suit them.
We would like our members to participate in as many shooting competitions as possible. Eight events were identified and these were:

1. Nyala Shoot KZNHCA Teams
2. Top Gun KZNHCA Teams
3. Pro Amm Individual
4. SA Hunting Rifle Individual
5. Swarovski Shoot Individual
6. Fin, Fur, Feather Individual
7. Ding Dong Gong Individual
8. Richards Bay Shoot Individual

Attendance was good in certain events and not so good in others. A better turnout is anticipated next year.

I recently read about the improved scores at some of these shoots. It was clear that the accuracy of the shooting had improved a lot over the last year or so. This would translate into more enjoyable, more ethical and far safer hunting. The other point is that many hunters are participating in these types of events, which also suggested that they are having a lot of fun whilst improving their skills. This is far better for hunters than just punching holes in paper targets. Regretfully, I cannot find the article.

We had planned to promote 3 bow shoots, but due to the vacancy in this portfolio, it was set aside. However, now that the post has been filled, we will be back on track next year.

Dedicated Hunter Status
As at the end of August 2013, we have some 913 member hunters that are registered as Dedicated Hunters. This is about one third of the members and is very encouraging.

Conservation
Very little activity has taken place because of the various vacancies in the Hunting Committee.

Range
The Hunting Committee is also very active in the procurement of a suitable shooting range. As reported elsewhere, headway is being made on the Umhlali range. It is very important to finalise and construct this range, as it will provide a much-needed venue for our members and become home to many of the Hunting Committee activities when up and running.

Damage Causing Animal Control
The DCAC is well-established and operating. The processes, documentation and procedures are settled. However, not all areas have followed the requirements –
for a number of reasons. Furthermore, the communities have not participated in
the appropriate spirit. Baiting has not taken place and consequently some areas have
not had DCAC activities. In many other areas, the activities are ongoing and well attended. A few items between Ezemvelo and KZNHCA are currently being tidied up
and a suitable portfolio leader is still required.

In order to improve the public’s attitudes towards hunting, one must improve the
public’s understanding of what hunting is all about. We can all contribute to this by
the way we behave in the field and how we discuss hunting matters with the public. It is our responsibility to protect our right to hunt – don’t give anyone the opportunity to point a finger at us.