To Hunt or Not to Hunt South Africa: That is the Question

by Steve Scott – Monday, October 1, 2018

Questions regarding proposed land reforms in South Africa have the attention of traveling hunters with good reason. There is now a high likelihood the government will expropriate certain lands from white farmers without compensation. Yet despite tweets from President Trump to the contrary, as of this writing, the actual taking of land has not yet happened. If/when expropriation does occur, it may not have a great effect on the hunting industry. Or will possible land reform destroy the country as we know it?

Since the end of the Apartheid era in 1994, the African National Congress (ANC) party has ruled South Africa. But after nearly a quarter of a century in power, many of the promised reforms have yet to be delivered. South Africa has been in an economic downturn for the past several years and the people are growing impatient with the ANC and President Cyril Ramaphosa. With elections scheduled in 2019, there is a real possibility the ANC could lose control of the government. And as incendiary left-wing Marxist leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters party (EFF) Julius Malema has made land reform the EFF’s primary issue, Ramaphosa and the ANC have been forced to the left on the land-reform issue and are now actively pursuing expropriation of land without compensation.

How would land seizure impact hunting and wildlife conservation?
There are many ways the scenario could unfold. The issue might be just a political maneuver to curry favor with the voters before the election. Ramaphosa is a successful businessman. His holdings even include game-breeding operations. The South African president is aware of the economic calamity that land reforms brought to Zimbabwe and that South Africa could suffer the same fate, which bodes well for the prospect that cooler heads will prevail. On the other hand, a nightmare scenario could be an implementation of mass land expropriation, triggering the collapse of the South African economy and likely armed resistance by small groups of white farmers whose land is being taken, or possibly even the outbreak of a guerrilla-style civil war. Having just returned from South Africa, and after discussing the issues with people with a wide variety of viewpoints, it is my belief the outcome will be somewhere between the two extremes, as evidenced by the fact some of the harsh rhetoric is already being walked back by government officials.

Recently, South Africa’s Parliament approved a decision by the Public Works Committee to withdraw the Expropriation Bill pending the outcome of the Constitutional Review Committee’s review of Section 25 of the Constitution on seizing land without compensation. While the bill’s withdrawal is only a temporary stay on implementing land reforms, it is gratifying at least some members of the nation’s leadership remain interested in following the rule of law.

Another walk-back is from ANC Chairman Gwede Mantashe, who repeated his call for the state to forcibly take over land—but only from those who own more than 12,000 hectares, (30,000 acres), referring to a proposal that apparently would confiscate only land in excess of prescribed limits. If the government plans on confiscating only the “in excess” lands, the likelihood of retaliation and civil unrest is greatly reduced. And yet how things will play out remains educated speculation.

What should hunters do?
For starters, check with your outfitter and/or PH (professional hunter). There should be no better source of information than the PHs of South Africa. If you have booked a hunt for next year or are contemplating one, now is not the time to give up on the country. Even at its very worst in 2009, Zimbabwe was still welcoming hunters with open arms, or at least welcoming the foreign currency we brought. South Africa is a much more developed and complex country and if land reforms begin to push it off the rails, it will undoubtedly be a long, slow process. Remaining in touch with your outfitter is the best way to keep informed about the status of things in South Africa and how current events might affect your hunt. Reading articles on reputable news sites such as BBC and the NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum website,, will keep you updated on happenings that are germane to your decision-making process. In fact, a little uncertainty might be of benefit to your pocketbook as a reduced demand for South African hunts certainly will decrease the cost of your hunt.

Considering South Africa is the most developed nation in Africa, it is not likely to top the list of U.S. State Department travel-warning alerts anytime soon. And remember: Supporting the outfitters and professional hunters of South Africa supports the country’s wildlife as its landowners are its leading stewards of conservation.

Research and a healthy dose of caution are now necessary when deciding on future hunts in South Africa. Fortunately, the informed hunter will continue to have a great number of hunting options. Given the informed support of tourist hunters, South Africa will undoubtedly remain one of the most important hunting destinations in the world for the foreseeable future.

Wyoming Resident Elk, Deer, and Antelope Bonus Point System Whitepaper and Proposal- Author Dr. Joe Schaffer

The Rocky Mountain West provides numerous and diverse opportunities to hunt big game. The opportunity to chase the majestic bull elk, iconic mule deer, and plentiful pronghorn antelope, is truly a blessing for those of us fortunate to visit or live here. Even with this abundance, wildlife managers and agencies choose to limit the number of individuals that may be able to pursue these species in any given area, or during any given time of year, to accomplish a variety of goals – to maintain a healthy herd, to manage for a certain age-class, to mitigate impacts on habitat or public lands, or to create a certain type of experience for the hunter (e.g., low hunter density, unpressured animals, mating season, etc.).

Naturally then, when opportunity is limited in areas (limited quota units) that accomplish these goals, the desirability of hunting them increases. Unfortunately, this often means there is more demand for these experiences than the supply will allow, necessitating wildlife agencies to facilitate processes that determine who the fortunate ones to get these coveted licenses are and those who don’t. In nearly all Western states this is accomplished through some type of drawing system whereby hunters apply for the opportunity and the wildlife agencies conduct a lottery to determine which ones receive it.

In many limited quota units, the demand far surpasses the supply. As a result, the calculated odds of drawing one of these licenses (or permits, tags, etc.) can be extremely low. It is not uncommon for drawing odds in some units to be in the low single digits. Thus, individuals may go their entire life without ever realizing the opportunity to hunt in certain limited quota units.

To address this, most Western states have implemented “point” systems whereby applicants who are unsuccessful in drawing a limited quota license one year earn a point that would help improve their odds of drawing in later years. There are two basic types of point systems – preference and bonus.
Preference Point Systems –are those that award limited quota licenses to the individuals with the most points. In essence, each year an individual applies for a limited quota license and is unsuccessful, they would earn a preference point. When they have amassed enough points to be above all other applicants, they would draw the license. The general philosophy behind this is that those individuals who have applied for the longest time without drawing should have priority for the licenses.
Bonus Point Systems – in these systems, applicants who are unsuccessful in drawing a limited quota license are awarded a bonus point that give them additional entries into subsequent years’ drawings. For example, a person who applies for the first time would have one entry in the drawing. If unsuccessful, they are awarded a bonus point, and in the next year’s drawing they would have two entries. The general philosophy here is that individuals should be given slightly better chance at drawing a license for each year that they apply, but not guarantee it.

Although state point systems may have a variety of nuances – percent of available licenses for preference point holders, combination preference and bonus point systems, squaring of bonus points, etc. – most all systems will fall into one of these two general categories. There are also some other states that have opted not to use point systems, such as Idaho, New Mexico, and for resident Elk, Deer and Antelope limited quota licenses, Wyoming.

There are pros and cons to any point system, as there are for having no point system at all. These will be touched on briefly in the following.

– Simple to administer. Every applicant is entered a single time and a random lottery drawing is conducted to determine who receives the licenses. No need to track or monitor accumulated points or status of applicants.
– Equitable. Everyone has the same odds of drawing each year, whether this is the very first time someone has applied or if they have been applying for some time.
– Perpetually low draw odds. Applicants who have applied for many years will never improve their odds of drawing the license.
– Perceived fairness. It is possible (and happens) that individuals may be fortunate enough to draw highly coveted limited entry licenses multiple times while others never do.

– “Guaranteed” draw. Theoretically, all applicants will eventually amass enough points to be the highest point holders and know roughly when they will draw the license.
– Works well with higher license numbers. When there are larger numbers of licenses available, the system has enough supply to address demand – this may work well with Wyoming Antelope because of the large number of licenses and having all units already on a limited quota draw.
– Point creep. Simply put, states with preference point systems are witnessing that the maximum number of points necessary to draw a license gets higher and higher each year. This is a result of small quota of licenses available and increasing applicant numbers.
– Does not work well with low license numbers. Unfortunately, most states (including Wyoming) use preference point systems for species offering the fewest licenses (e.g., Moose, Sheep, etc.).
– New applicants are disadvantaged. In pure preference point systems where the demand exceeds the supply, first-time applicants do not have an opportunity to draw a license. This can prove to be a major deterrent to new hunter recruitment and youth hunting opportunities.

– Odds improve over time. As bonus points are accumulated, the number of entries an applicant has increases, thus increasing their odds of drawing a license.
– You can draw the first year. Just like a no-point system, it is possible to draw a license the first year an applicant enters the drawing.
– Fairly easy to administer. Pure bonus point systems simply provided additional entries into a lottery draw based on the number of points an applicant has.
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– Lower odds at first. New applicants will likely see lower odds in the first years they apply as compared to what may exist under a no point system, although the odds for new applicants are improved over a preference point system, as it is possible to draw in your first year
– Highest point holders are not guaranteed to draw. It is possible that the highest bonus point holders will not be the ones to draw a license.
It is evident there are appealing aspects and challenges with each system. Some Western States have tried to blend approaches to capitalize on the best aspects of each system. In doing so, however, the actual benefits of the different systems may be muted. Generally, it is political pressures that have led to the hybrid systems. For example, point creep in preference point states such as Colorado and Arizona have led to changes in their systems that provide random or bonus point licenses, even though the odds of drawing one of these coveted tags are nearly zero.

Some states have also implemented other special provisions to mitigate some of the challenges with the different types of systems. These are typically done to suppress demand so odds can be improved. The primary strategies used include mandatory waiting periods after a limited quota license is drawn, forcing applicants to choose specific species in drawings, establishing youth-only seasons, setting permits aside for applicants who agree to use a guide/outfitter, and charging different types of fees (e.g., non-refundable general hunting licenses, paying the entirety of the license up-front, application fees, etc.).

Wyoming has used point systems for non-resident Elk, Deer, and Antelope, as well as for resident and non-resident Moose and Sheep licenses. This paper is not intended to explain, analyze, or propose changes to any of these systems. That said, any proposal for implementing new point systems in Wyoming should learn from these systems, as well as those from other Western States.

This paper proposes the creation of a Bonus Point System for Resident Elk, Deer, and Antelope units that are based on limited quota licenses. Wyoming may be the ideal state for such a system for its residents for a variety of reasons. First, Wyoming is generally blessed with abundant numbers of these game animals. This provides opportunity for general seasons or over-the-counter (OTC) licenses that give new and experienced hunters opportunity to go afield each season. In addition, the number of animals, thus the number of licenses available, minimize the challenges of point systems where demand far exceeds supply. For example, Wyoming offers the most antelope licenses of any Western State and all of those are issued through a drawing and the use of set-quota hunting units.

Another reason Wyoming is ideal for a Bonus Point System is the balance between general hunting areas and limited quota units. Most states are either overly weighted to one side or the other. For example, Montana manages for opportunity with most licenses available OTC and few limited quota areas which increase demand. Arizona on the other hand is predominantly a limited quota state with relatively few OTC opportunities. Wyoming offers a more appropriate balance.
Last, Wyoming’s smaller population of residents, matched with healthy numbers of Elk, Deer, and Antelope, help mitigate the issues of demand escalation and supply diminishment that other, more populace (or growing) states are experiencing.

The remainder of this paper will focus on the specific recommendations for the establishment of a Wyoming resident Bonus Point System for Elk, Deer, and Antelope limited quota licenses.

Recommendation #1 – Establish a Resident Elk, Deer, and Antelope Bonus Point System
Every year an individual applies for a limited quota license and is not successful in drawing, they would earn a bonus point. Points would be species-specific, but not unit specific. For example, if an individual applies for an Elk limited quota license, a Deer limited quota licenses, and an Antelope limited quota license, and were unsuccessful in all drawings, they would earn one (1) Elk bonus point, one (1) deer bonus point, and one (1) Antelope bonus point. Once an applicant is successful in drawing a limited quota license, all of their bonus points for that species would be purged.

Recommendation #2 – Square Bonus Points
A challenges with bonus points, especially during the early years of implementation is the “clustering” of applicants with similar point numbers. This results in smaller variations in draw odds between point holder groups. States such as Nevada and Montana have had success in providing greater separation between point holders by squaring their bonus points prior to entering them into the drawing. This separation results in greater variance/improvement in drawing odds as bonus points are accumulated.

For example, an applicant with four (4) bonus points, once squared, would have 16 entries into a drawing for a limited quota license (i.e., 4 x 4 = 16). An applicant with six (6) bonus points however would have 36 entries into the same drawing (i.e., 6 x 6 = 36).
The one disadvantage for this approach is that it exponentially increases the number of entries into any limited quota drawing, and thus may further disadvantage younger or newer applicants. The next three recommendations attempt to mitigate this impact.

Recommendation #3 – Preserve General/OTC Hunting Opportunities
The establishment of a Bonus Point System should not incentivize the reduction of general season or OTC hunting opportunities. New hunter recruitment and youth hunters benefit from opportunity, something Wyoming’s general Elk and Deer licenses and units offer exceptionally well. Simply stated, Wyomingites should continue to enjoy the general license hunting opportunities they do today.

Recommendation #4 – One-Time Transfer of Bonus Points to Qualifying Youth
A common concern expressed about point systems is their perceived impact on the opportunity for youth hunters and new hunter recruitment of youth. Although there is little or no research to substantiate the correlation between point systems and hunter recruitment, the lower draw odds for new entrants into point systems are a reality. These are very significant in Preference Point Systems, but they also exist to some extent in Bonus Point Systems.
To mitigate this, Wyoming’s Bonus Point System should allow for the one-time transfer of bonus points from an adult to a qualifying youth. A qualifying youth would be a dependent youth, between the ages of 12 and 16. Thus, a parent who has accumulated a number of bonus points may decide to transfer their points (by species) to their son or daughter. This transfer would be a one-time opportunity and cannot be reversed. The transfer could be for all species with which the adult has Bonus Points, or by specific species. It will allow an adult to increase the opportunity for their children or dependent youth to hunt a limited quota for Elk, Deer, or Antelope.

Recommendation #5 – Average Points, Then Square in Resident Party Applications
Another way to mitigate the reality of lower odds for new applicants (e.g., those new to hunting or youth hunters) is to allow for the averaging of bonus points in resident party applications prior to squaring them for entry into the drawings for limited quota licenses. This would allow a high bonus point holder to essentially share their points with a low bonus point holder, or new applicant, to improve their odds of drawing a limited quota license without the necessity of applying for many years and accumulating numerous bonus points.

With this recommendation, one resident applicant could enter into a party application with one or more other resident applicants. Their bonus points would be averaged across the group to come up with a party bonus point total. The party bonus points would then be squared, and each applicant would have that number of entries into the drawing.

For example in a party application, if applicant #1 with 12 bonus points applies as a party with applicant #2 with three (3) bonus points, and applicant #3 with zero (0) bonus points, their party average would be five (5) bonus points (12 + 3 + 0 / 3 = 5). These would then be squared, so each applicant would have 25 entries into the drawing. While this clearly disadvantages applicant #1 (who would have had 144 entries), it advantages applicants #2 and #3.

Recommendation #6 – Other Considerations
There are other considerations that should be researched, discussed, and debated for incorporation into this system. Different elements considered for incorporation will have different impacts on the system. This paper does not have specific recommendations for which to include, or in what format they may be included into the system. Some of these considerations include:
– Waiting periods for applicants who have successfully drawn a limited quota license (these may be different if applicants are successful in harvesting an animal).
– Purging of bonus points if an applicant fails to apply for a specific number of years.
– Ability of an applicant to apply for points only (similar to non-resident option currently in place).
– Any costs associated with earning a bonus point, and if so, the option to choose not to earn a bonus point in lieu of the fee.
– Purging of points only on the successful drawing of a first choice unit (e.g., if a second or third choice is drawn bonus points remain intact).
– Etc.

Are You Allowed Into Canada With A Criminal Record?

Q. If I have a criminal record in the U.S., will I be allowed into Canada to go hunting or fishing?

A. It depends. If you have just 1 “minor” offence, and it was more than 10 years ago, you can be granted entry at the border by Canada Customs without any advance paperwork. However, if you have more than 1 minor offence, or it was less than 10 years ago, or it wasn’t minor, you will need a “Rehab Permit”.

Q. What is considered to be a “minor” offence?

A. This is a complex question with too many variables to explain here, but basically a DUI that didn’t result in any injuries or damage, or a small theft (under $1,000), will generally be considered “minor”.

Q. How do I prove that I only have 1 offence and that it was more than 10 years ago?

A. Generally the Customs officer will know that you have a criminal record, and usually they can tell the date and details. However, there is always a chance that this info isn’t clear on their system, or their system may be down. In that case, the decision to allow entry is up to the Customs officer. It is advised that you carry and produce a copy of the paperwork from the jurisdiction where the conviction was entered to show the date and other details.

Q. How long does it take to get a Rehab Permit?

A. It typically takes 2-12 months. The bulk of this time is spent obtaining your records from the U.S., so if you happen to have them already, it can take much less time. It can also save time if you are able to drive to a Canadian Border Services office somewhere at the border to submit your application.

Q. How much does it cost?
A. $795 USD.

Q. Can I be denied?

A. Some applicants are denied because their criminal record is serious or extensive. Others are temporarily denied because their records weren’t obtained in time. There is no refund if your application is denied, however, you can re-apply. The agent listed at the bottom of this document has a 95% success rate in obtaining Rehab Permits for their clients.

Q. How long is the Rehab Permit valid?

A. The Canadian government will decided whether the permit issued to you is valid for life or just 1 year (generally if your conviction is less than 5 years old, only a 1-year permit will be issued).

Q. Who can I contact?
A. Lucy Perillo at Canada Border Crossing Services,;, 1-204-488-6350 or 1-800-438-7020.

6 Bucket List Fishing Trips To Consider

Whether you fish for bass, trout or panfish, and whether you fish a few days a year or nearly every weekend, you’ve probably got a list of dream fishing trips. In no particular order, here are 6 Bucket List fishing trips to dream about this winter.

1. Prince Edward Island Giant Bluefin Tuna
If you’ve got a thing for catching big fish, and I mean BIG fish, this could be the trip for you. Besides being one of the most beautiful areas of Canada, Prince Edward Island is also known as the “Giant Bluefin Tuna Capital of the World”. These giants can weigh over 1,000 lbs. Bring your muscles, as these brutes can take hours to wrestle to the boat. We work with charter operators who can get you on the fish.

2. Atlantic Canada Sharks
If tuna isn’t your thing, how about a fish that eats giant tuna? Canada’s Maritimes has some of the best multi-species shark fishing anywhere in the world, for specimens that can reach 1,000 lbs. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water….

3. Lake Trout in the Northwest Territories
Canada’s Northwest Territories is home to some of the largest lakes in the world. Their deep, cold waters produce some of the largest lake trout anywhere, with specimens reaching over 70 years of age and over 70 lbs. Hunt Nation works with some of the premier operators in the north, having produced some record catches. Side trips for Arctic char and grayling are available as well.

4. Giant Blue Marlin in Mexico
What can be better than a dream vacation in paradise with your spouse and kids? How about catching a giant blue marlin while you’re there? Cabo San Lucas is surrounded by deep, blue ocean, teeming with big game fish species such as blue marlin. These giants can grow to well over 1,000 lbs. and put up a fight you won’t ever forget. Hunt Nation works with an outfitter who can customize a trip to suit any angler.

5. Tarpon in Florida
The Sunshine State has some of the best and most diverse fishing found anywhere in North America, including freshwater, saltwater and brackish. But the species that tops many anglers’ wish lists is the mighty leaping tarpon. These “silver kings” migrate each year along Florida’s coasts, and good fishing can be had from the Keys and on up both coastlines. The Boca Grande area near Fort Myers, however, is world renowned, not just for numbers and size of fish (they can grow to 8 feet in length and over 200 lbs.), but the concentration of anglers that congregate during the migration; think bumper cars but with boats.

6. Peacock Bass in the Amazon
Undoubtedly the most exotic trip on this list is fishing for colorful peacock bass in the Amazon River watershed of Brazil. You will see some of the most remote areas left on the planet, and experience unforgettable fishing in the jungles of South America. Peacock bass come in a variety of species and colors, with some weighing over 20 lbs. Although they’re the smallest fish on this list, their strikes are the most ferocious, especially on topwater lures – imagine a cinder block being dropped in the water from the treetops!

Don’t just dream about these trips. While none of them are inexpensive, they are very realistic for many anglers, and Hunt Nation will work within your budget to help you realize your dream.

What angling adventures are on your Bucket List? Let us know.  307.637.5495  or

What Is Fair Chase Hunting?

I came across this article while building our new Trophy Hunt-Nation page on our website.  The new page spotlights Estate style and High Fence hunting opportunities around the world.  Please take a moment to review and consider the points in the following article.

Fair Chase
By Duane Fronek
I see this little phrase come up from time to time. What I’m about to write might infuriate some and please others and leave others thinking about where they stand on this little phrase. My thoughts on the phrase “Fair Chase” in a nutshell is basically, has got to be the most dangerous word to outdoor men and women and our pursuits in the wild when it comes to hunting, trapping and fishing. The phrase in my opinion is probably the most responsible for hunting, trapping and fishing rights lost over the years, pitting one outdoorsmen and women against another. Simply put fair chase is basically not just a phrase but an attitude and a tool to justify ones way of doing things, while sacrificing those of another. We see it all the time when issues come up such as the use of cross bows, high fence, hunting with hounds, trapping and the list goes on. The animal rights groups love that little phrase, because they have it figured out, and know those two words are their meal ticket for pushing their agenda. Their agenda, banning all forms of hunting, trapping and fishing, period.

I’ve heard it said many times before, don’t know who the originator of it is but it goes something like this; “in order for a hunt to be fair chase, we would have to hunt with what we came into this world with, naked and our two bare hands.” And that would be true in my opinion. Animals survive with what they were born with, necessary to survive. Man on the other hand were born with a thinking brain, to solve problems to give us an edge. When it comes to hunting, we surely can’t run as fast as most animals, so man thought of ways to do the running for him, spears, bows, traps, guns etc. If we were to take a step back in time with our modern hunting equipment, we most likely would be worshiped on what we had to make our hunting more successful, that edge so to speak. Man has always used his most important weapon, his brain, when it comes to hunting, trapping and fishing. Because that’s our biggest weapon in order to survive and to equal out our physical short comings to the game we pursue.

I’ve heard so many arguments over the years on what was fair chase, things like running coons, cats or coyotes with hounds not being fair chase, or baiting is not a fair chase practice or high fence hunting isn’t real hunting, or trapping isn’t fair chase because the animal doesn’t have a running chance. To all that I say hogwash. Hunting with dogs is more than just turning dogs loose, there’s training, breeding and basically one’s way of life or way of doing things, they have a passion for it and they’ve figured a way to use man’s best friend to aid him in hunting, using the dogs as a tool. Baiting is just another form of hunting, no different in my opinion than placing out doe in heat or sitting on a corn field, your using the animals needs and instincts against them in order to gain an edge, same as just sitting on a ridge where you can see several yards and perched on the ridge with your trusty 300 mag. To reach out and touch one. It wouldn’t make much sense to sit there with a pistol or slug gun, no, we utilize the tools we have, to give us that edge. Now a deer walks up to within 40 yds and you have the 300 mag in your lap are you gonna pass up the deer because he’s not 300 yds out, I don’t think so. Same with high fence, some say it’s not sporting or fair chase. Well think about this, a lot of high fence are 100’s and even 1000’s of acres, where the deer roam where ever they will in basically in the same settings as their wild counter parts, just better taken care of. there are quite a few hunters out there that don’t have the luxury of time on their side to enjoy the outdoors the way a lot of us do, their business men and women with busy schedules or locked in a city with no land they know of to hunt on or the time, but yet have a love and a passion to hunt just like the rest of us. I’ve heard it said trapping doesn’t give the animals a sporting chance, well most of that comes from those never doing it, just like I suspect with the other claims of why this or that isn’t fair chase. Trapping involves knowing your target well, well enough to put his foot on a pan or trigger no bigger than say 3”x 3” in order to get caught, you need to know their habits, what makes them tick just like pursuing any other thing like hunting or fishing.

So why condemn something or tactic another uses? Could be a number of reasons , jealousy, greed, or just plain stubbornness because that’s not how I do it. And each time we attack another’s legal way of doing things, we in essence are driving a nail in our own coffin for future use by the anti’s. Take for example your on the front lines in a war, and all the tall guys are getting killed. Everyone gets together and says, lets not use tall guys in this fight, it’ll eliminate anyone getting killed. So they do and go back into battle and now the medium height guys are getting waxed. So they have another meeting and decide, ok lets just use short guys, to prevent any further damage and fatalities. Now the enemy has the advantage of less troops in the ranks and basically over runs the troops and wins the battle. And in essence that’s what we are doing to ourselves when we start acting under the guise of fair chase. We essentially are sacrificing another’s way of doing things in order to preserve our own, but in reality we are destroying ourselves and our numbers in the ranks that allows us to be over run by the opposition.

We may not agree on everyone else’s way of hunting or pursuits, but know this, everyone of us that hunts, traps or fishes has a love and passion for what they do, just as much as the next guy or gal, even if his/her way is different than ours.. Ben Franklin once said; “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” No truer words have been spoken when this country first began, and feel those words hold true for the outdoorsmen/women of today.

USFWS Approves Elephant Trophy Imports from Zimbabwe and Zambia


Today the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) announced that it has made a positive enhancement finding for import of elephant hunting trophies from both Zimbabwe and Zambia for 2016, 2017 and 2018. The announcement was made in Arusha, Tanzania, during the African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF) by FWS Deputy Director Greg Sheehan and Chief of Permits of DMA Tim Van Norman. The decision on Zimbabwe elephant before 2016 still awaits legal resolution. The permits for Zimbabwe require a Federal Register Notice, which will be published within one week to 10 days, then those permits can be issued. The Zambia permits are already being issued.

We have this first-hand report from John J. Jackson, III, of Conservation Force, who is attending the AWCF. “Conservation Force has expended more than half-a-million dollars on this effort and worked on the import of these elephant every day for the past three years. Thank you to Shikar Safari Club for providing the largest share of the project-specific funding.”

The African Wildlife Consultative Forum is an SCI Foundation program bringing wildlife managers from across Africa together with international government agencies, NGO’s and wildlife scientists to explore common approaches to conservation challenges and to create a continent-wide strategy for wildlife management. – Barbara Crown, Editor-in-Chief

U.S. Government Orders Expansion Of Sportsmen Access To Federal Lands


Regardless of your political beliefs, this news is wonderful! And long overdue!!! Hunt-Nation applauds this action by Secretary Zinke.

Washington, DC – In a ground-breaking move, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued an order that directs the overseers of millions of acres of Federal lands to come up with plans to expand access for hunters and fishermen.

“Hunting and fishing is a cornerstone of the American tradition and hunters and fishers of America are the backbone of land and wildlife conservation,” said Secretary Zinke. “The more people we can get outdoors, the better things will be for our public lands. As someone who grew up hunting and fishing on our public lands – packing bologna sandwiches and heading out at 4AM with my dad – I know how important it is to expand access to public lands for future generations
Recognizing the critical role hunters play in conservation, Secretarial Order 3356 directs bureaus within the department to:

  • Within 120 days produce a plan to expand access for hunting and fishing on BLM, USFWS and NPS land.
  • Amend national monument management plans to ensure the public’s right to hunt, fish and target shoot.
  • Expand educational outreach programs for underrepresented communities such as veterans, minorities, and youth.
  • In a manner that respects the rights and privacy of the owners of non-public lands, identify lands within their purview where access to Department lands, particularly access for hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and other forms of outdoor recreation, is currently limited (including areas of Department land that may be impractical or effectively impossible to access via public roads or trails under current conditions, but where there may be an opportunity to gain access through an easement, right-of-way, or acquisition), and provide a report detailing such lands to the Deputy Secretary.
  • Within 365 days, cooperate, coordinate, create, make available, and continuously update online a single “one stop” Department site database of available opportunities for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting on Department lands.
  • Improve wildlife management through collaboration with state, Tribal, territorial, and conservation

Latest Email Scam Redirects Hunt Deposits


Hunters and hunting operators around the world should be on alert for another email scam that redirects wired hunt deposits. Thieves have managed to hack the email accounts of various operators then monitor their incoming and outgoing emails, studying the contents and stealing email addresses. When they see correspondence regarding deposits to be wired they send hunting clients a “follow-up” email asking them to disregard previous instructions and send the funds to a different account.

The scam is convincing to hunters because the criminals know when their hunts are booked, when payments are being sent, and the request comes from an email address almost identical to their outfitters’, only dropping or adding a letter or a number to the address. Most people simply don’t look at the email address closely enough before replying or taking action. And because they are monitoring emails, the thieves could use similar phrases as the operator does and sign off with their nick name. Operators throughout Africa have been hit by this fraud, but it is not limited to Africa. The scam has hit other industries as well.

Should you receive an email from your hunting operator changing the instructions, address, bank details or other information on how and where to make your deposit, do not respond. Call your operator as soon as possible to verify the information. Then contact your local FBI office or other law enforcement to file a report.

Never click on a link in an email that you receive from a questionable source. Cryptic and very generalized emails that don’t make much sense should be deleted immediately. Then empty the trash folder on your computer. Be wary of any attachments, links, or emails claiming an account is being suspended until you verify certain information. Always double check the email address on any email requesting information from you, and don’t call the phone number listed on the email itself. Look up the number in your own records or go to the operator’s website. Thanks to John Barth of Adventure Unlimited, for sharing this warning after hearing from several targeted African operators. – Barbara Crown, Editor-in-Chief- The Hunt Report.unnamed

News On African Lion Hunts


In April 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service imposed a ban on the importation of legally hunted elephants from Zimbabwe. SCI and the National Rifle Association sued to challenge the ban and the case continues in federal court. Then in January 2016, the USF&W Service adopted regulations requiring individual permits for the importation of each African lion into the U.S. Since that date, the FWS has not granted a single permit for the importation of a legally hunted lion from Zimbabwe.

Although the Department of the Interior has not lifted either the elephant or lion importation ban, SCI is optimistic that we can expect to see changes to the status of importation from Zimbabwe in the near future.

It occurs to us here at Hunt Nation that right NOW may well be the time to hunt your African lion- while prices remain a bit depressed. If approval does come soon, expect free range lion prices to take a jump! Likewise, we are hopeful that once the lion imports begin, the high fence lion imports will also be allowed back into country. There would not seem to be a logical reason not to allow the estate lions too- but logic is not a guarantee when looking at politics. Still, right now you can do quality hunt for estate based lions for about half the old prices. So now you can take a male for around $6500 to $8500—and a female for about $4000—and our outfitters have agreed to hold the trophy for up to 3 years at no further charge! And you are hunting big acreage and normally walk miles to get your lion.

So now we think is the time to consider a lion hunt, free range or estate. Please contact us if interested, and we can discuss the options with you and send you details. The 2017 hunts are substantially less in most cases then the 2018 hunts. But estate lions are the drop-dead bargains. Here are a few free-range hunts and a few Estate hunts:

Estate Hunts: So. Africa # 204: Day Rate 1 on 1 is $280/day plus trophy fee.
Lion (incl. claws + skull) $8,000 now — was $15,000
Lioness (no claws + skull) $4,000 (skin only) now — was $7,000
Lioness (incl. claws + skull) $6,500 now—was $8500

Zimbabwe #206 2017 hunts: 2 lion tags in the Zambezi valley (also open for 2018 at slightly more $)
18 days $1000/ day; 2% tax; Vat $22.50/ day; Trophy fee $30,000; Dip and pack $950. Also available on this hunt: Buffalo $6500; Crocodile $6000; Hippo $5250

For additional information on these adventures or anything else on your bucket list, give us a call at 307.637.5495 or email

6 Tips to Make Your Dream Hunting or Fishing Trip a Reality


I’d dreamed of hunting Africa since I was a boy, and although I expected to get there “one day”, I never thought I could do so before the age of 40. But I did. How? Well, it helps that a plains game safari in Africa is surprisingly affordable, but I still had to save up a significant amount of money to make it happen. Here are some tips to help you afford to make that dream trip a reality.


1. First you need to determine how much your dream trip is going to cost. A great way is to enlist the services of a reputable booking agent, such as Hunt-Nation. Their hunting consultants will work with you, at no charge to you, to find a trip that fits within your budget, and many reputable outfitters will also cater a hunt to suit your budget. For example, if you just can’t afford a 12-day moose or brown bear hunt in Alaska, it may be possible to tailor a shorter hunt that you can afford.

2. Let’s face it, none of us are getting any younger. Too many people put off their dream trips until “one day” because they feel they can’t afford it, but when they finally can, Father Time has made climbing that mountain or slogging across that tundra or through that rain forest just too difficult. Once you’ve determined how much your dream trip is going to cost, you need to start finding ways to save up the money.

3. If your time and timing is flexible, ask your booking agent to let you know of any last minute openings or cancellations. These can save you thousands of dollars. Hunt-Nation has a regular mailing list advertising these specials.

4. If you have a savings or checking account that you deposit your paychecks into, you should be able to set up one or more single-purpose sub-accounts dedicated to saving up for your dream trip. I have one called “Africa” and another called “Alaska”. Instruct your bank to automatically transfer a certain amount of money on a regular basis, say $25 per week, to such a dedicated account. Hopefully such small withdrawals will be relatively painless to your overall finances, and if you plan your trip a few years in advance, it’s surprising how much money you will have saved by then. You may not have enough to cover the entire cost, but it could be a big chunk.

5. You can really increase the balance in this dedicated account if you can supplement these regular transfers with the occasional lump sum deposit. If you get a tax refund, consider using a portion of that. Or if you have any additional side income, perhaps from a part-time job or other irregular work, earmark that money for your special account. If you don’t have such additional income presently, consider taking a few extra shifts or putting in some overtime, and directing all or at least most of it to your special account.

6. Airfare is often a big chunk of the total cost of a dream trip. Frequent flyer miles are a great way to help with some or all of this expense. Consider switching to a credit card that gives you air miles for each dollar you spend, preferably the type that can be used on virtually any airline. Never increase how much you charge to your credit card just so you can get the air miles, but lots of us now put many regular monthly expenses on a credit card already for convenience, so you might as well use this to your advantage in helping make your dream trip a reality.


I hope these tips will help you start crossing some items off your Bucket List. Please let us help you make your dream trips happen.

Don Sangster
Agent- Hunt Nation