APRIL 2017 NEWSLETTER
2017 SAFARI SEASON AN EARLY SUCCESS
Bushmans Quiver opened the 2017 safari season early by hosting father & son team Bill and David Hockridge from Texas during the month of March. This was their first ever African safari and David was determined to take his desired list of animals with a bow. Bill was very excited to be able to observe his son David in action.
This early in the safari season the rainy season is tapering off, but the bush is very lush with thick foliage making the task quite a challenge. David’s determination paid off and he harvested excellent specimens of blesbok, nyala, waterbok, sable, and a huge old bull giraffe that was dominating the younger bulls and preventing them from breeding. This older bull was at least a decade past his prime and, while unable to breed himself, he was quite the fighter and killed four other bulls in the process of fighting for dominance. Well established conservation principles dictated he be removed to strengthen population dynamics.
Here’s what David had to say about his experience with Bushmans Quiver: “I had some concern about my possibilities because the bush was very lush and green this early in the season, not the best conditions for seeing and arrowing the trophies I wanted. I thought about switching from my bow to the rifle, however, the bow hunting set-ups were superb and I decided to stick it out and see what I could do with the bow. Over the next few days I shot excellent specimens of the species I wanted. Everything else from the accommodations, to the food, to the hospitality was top notch.”
Bill’s feelings mirrored those of his son: “This has been the trip of a lifetime! I was fortunate enough to share with my youngest son his dream of an African safari with a bow. The Bushmans Quiver bush camp where we hunted from was fantastic! The accommodations were first rate, and the PHs, and camp staff were fully engaged in providing us with the best experience possible.”
Bushmans Quiver will be back in Texas in August for the Texas Trophy Hunter’s Association venues and we hope to relive David’s and Bill’s experience with them once again.
WHY HUNT GIRAFFES
Understandably, many people (both hunters and non-hunters alike) have an affinity for both the zebra and the giraffe and question why anyone would want to hunt them. Both are iconic African species, and unique in their skin coloration and patterning. However, like any wild species in today’s modern world, populations need to be managed in accordance with the most current principles of wildlife management. About 97,500 giraffe exist in the wild. The rest are on conservation conservancies (both public and private) and game concessions (mostly private) across the African subcontinent. In the wild, where predation is heavy, over half of all giraffe calves will not make it to their second birthday. Thus, the conservancies and concessions where predation can be kept somewhat under control are important reservoirs of young animals and breeding stock.
Male giraffes reach sexual maturity at about 4-5 years of age, however at such a young age they have little chance of becoming sexually active as the older stronger bulls will dominate the breeding opportunities. Beyond 12-14 years of age an older bull is less likely to be sexually active, but they still have the strength and stamina to dominate the younger bulls even into old age (20-25 years). For game managers responsible for keeping herd dynamics where they are supposed to be, this can become a problem as the cows will continue to age without the opportunities to become pregnant like they would if the younger fertile bulls had full access to the females. Thus, removing the older bulls through managed harvesting (hunting) is a valid conservation tool.
Giraffes may give the impression that they are stoic and easily approached by the hunter on foot, however this behavior usually changes once the giraffe realizes he is being stalked. Also, giraffes see in colour and have excellent senses of hearing and smell. Their long necks give them a long range view of any predators heading in their direction. Since giraffes have only two gaits: walking and galloping, they can vacate the area very quickly. Top speeds have been recorded at over 35 mph.
In size the giraffe is the fourth largest (by weight) of the African land mammals behind the elephant, rhinocerous, and hippopotamus. A big bull will weigh an average of 2,628 pounds, while the largest specimens can reach 4,250 pounds. In addition, the size and mass of their shoulder bones and ribs means they are very tough. A bull of this size can be very difficult to bring down. Accordingly, in rifle hunting a minimum caliber of .375 is necessary. For the archer, only the frontal shot where the neck meets the chest is likely to be successful. Never approach a wounded giraffe. Both their necks and legs are formidable weapons and can easily break a hunter’s leg, or even kill.
KAROI BUSH CAMP IN FULL SWING
We are really enjoying seeing the expressions of our clients that are choosing, and then seeing for the first time, the Karoi Bush Camp as their base for their hunting safari. The drive from the paved road onto the unpaved track leading back to the bush camp is just long enough, and the terrain challenging enough, to give one the sense of penetrating the “real African bush”. The Bush Camp was just completed in 2016 and received moderate use during the latter part of the 2016 safari season. Every client that experienced it raved about it. The open air thatched-roof chalets gently set into the surrounding bush with no immediate fencing of any kind really contributes to the wilderness experience.
Yet everything is new and modern. The chalets and the central meeting/dining facility dispense with the glassed windows that predominate in modern society. In their place is a net mesh screen and canvas outer shutter that gives that “East African tented safari feeling” without the client having to suffer any primitive consequences. Be sure to check our website for a more thorough appreciation of what this experience has to offer.
SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE TWEEKS RULE ON FIREARM IMPORTATION
If you are a US citizen that has accompanied us on a rifle hunting safari in the past then you are familiar with the common CBP Form 4457 issued by Customs & Border Protection. The driving purpose of this form is to provide US citizens with a means to document their possession and ownership of valuables which they are taking abroad so that when they return to the US they will not have to pay import taxes on items they legitimately owned before they departed. SAPS has historically viewed this form as an “ownership registration” document in considering it as part of the paperwork necessary to temporarily import firearms into South Africa. For reasons not fully clear to us, SAPS has decided that they will not consider a submitted form 4457 to be valid if the date of expiration of the form (typically found in the upper right hand corner) is earlier than the date of the client’s arrival in South Africa. Historically, at least from the viewpoint of CBP, any properly completed and authorized form was valid in perpetuity. However, at least as far as SAPS is concerned, this no longer holds true. Thus, whether you are a returning client, or first time client, importing firearms into South Africa your CBP Form 4457 must not be expired.
2017 MARKETING SEASON DRAWING TO A CLOSE
We have also received Further instructions from the South African Police Services’ central firearms desk that no US Customs form 4457 will be accepted if dated / stamped before 2017.
The PHASA (PROFESSIONAL HUNTERS ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH AFRICA) office will secure a meeting with the SAPS as soon as possible to get clarity on this.
Bushmans Quiver just recently exhibited at the following marketing venues:
Western Conservation and Hunting Exposition, Salt Lake City, UT Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show, Houston, TX
International Sportsmans Exposition, Sandy, UT
International Sportsmans Exposition, Scottsdale, AZ
We will finish our 2017 marketing season with the following show May 5-7:
Ultimate Outdoor & Gun Show, Cortez, CO
Our 2018 marketing season will begin August 1, 2017 with these four shows in Texas:
TEXAS TROPHY HUNTERS EXTRAVAGANZA 2017
August 4-6, 2017 – Texas Trophy Hunters Extravaganza: Houston, Texas at the NRG Center
August 11-13, 2017 – Texas Trophy Hunters Extravaganza: Fort Worth, Texas at The Fort Worth Convention Center
August 18-20, 2017 – Texas Trophy Hunters Extravaganza: San Antonio, Texas at The Freeman Coliseum Expo Hall
August 25-27, 2017 – Texas Trophy Hunters Extravaganza: Corpus Christi, Texas at The American Bank Center
Bushmans Quiver intends to conduct its popular Lucky Draw Raffle Sweepstakes at each of these remainng events. Registrants have the chance to win a free 7-Day Plains Game Safari with Bushmans Quiver in either 2017 or 2018. There is no fee to enter the raffle. Please check our website under the NEWS tab and then the EVENTS tab for more information. And, please visit us at one of these venues near you.
If you know of a show near you that you believe we should attend, please let us know.