PROFESSIONAL HUNTING AS A CAREER
Professional hunting is an exciting and rewarding career choice. Spending time in the great outdoors and around the campfire with wonderful people — clients, trackers, camp staff and fellow professionals — leaves one with unforgettable memories. The job also demands serious commitment and hard work. Long hours, often under trying circumstances, and weeks on end away from home and loved ones make it very challenging.
It is also not all adventure and glamour — office and client administration takes up a great deal of time and needs to be impeccable. The market is extremely competitive and marketing trips are very expensive. It takes many years to establish oneself in the market. Serious commitment is required! Remember, PHASA is there to assist you, as best we can, every step of the way!
A professional hunter guides and is responsible for the safety, wellbeing and conduct of a ‘client’ during the course of a safari. A ‘client’ is a person who is not normally resident in South Africa and who pays to hunt here. The safari is arranged (‘outfitted’) by a hunting outfitter or hunting contractor. The outfitter employs the professional hunter for the duration of the safari.
In order to legally operate as a professional hunter and/or hunting outfitter, one must be in possession of a valid permit, issued by the provincial authorities for the province where one will operate. Professional hunter permits may only be issued to South African citizens, permanent residents or persons in possession of a work permit, in terms of the Aliens Act. To qualify for a permit, one must have attended a professional hunting school, and successfully completed and passed the professional hunting course, which includes theoretical and practical exams.
An outfitter permit may only be issued to a person who is a licensed professional hunter. In addition, such a person must have operated as a professional hunter for at least three years, or be a landowner. Permits are renewed periodically. In order to qualify for renewal, the professional hunter and hunting outfitter are required to submit a minimum number of returns, in respect of hunts conducted. The renewal periods and minimum returns vary from province to province.
Professional hunters and hunting outfitters have important responsibilities. They must ensure that the necessary permits, licences and other documents are obtained, so that the client has them in their possession and may hunt legally.
Professional hunters must see to the welfare of their clients and be responsible for their safety while in the camp and hunting area. They must guide clients during the hunt and ensure that they do not contravene the law.
Hunting outfitters must ensure that all written agreements are in place, that a licensed professional hunter guides the client, and provide facilities and services that meet stipulated requirements. Professional hunters must ensure that all trophies are skinned and prepared according to the correct methods. Outfitters obtain the necessary permits to transport and export their clients’ trophies.
Of particular importance are the responsibilities of the outfitter when advertising hunting opportunities. Any misleading or ambiguous information must be avoided. For example, the terms ‘Greater Kruger’, ‘KNP’ or any wording implying that the animals on offer are in any way part of the Kruger National Park’s population, should not to be used in any advertising or marketing of hunts in the APN reserves or other areas adjoining the Kruger National Park. Outfitters may not advertise or market hunts for which they do not have lawful hunting rights.
A list of professional hunting schools and training providers is available below. These schools operate under permits issued by the various provincial nature conservation authorities and are PHASA members. Courses are offered in all the provinces.
PROFESSIONAL HUNTING SCHOOLS APPROVED BY NATURE CONSERVATION
MEMBERS OF PHASA
Northern Cape Professional Hunting School
PO Box 13
Sutherland Hunting Academy
David Sutherland, Director
PO Box 888
Cell: 083 325 8956
Gerhard Steenkamp, Director
PO Box 1917
- Contact the individual schools for information on course dates, duration, curricula and cost.