Hunting as responsible use of a natural resource is one form of utilisation of nature. Hunting is part of conservation that comprises biotic and abiotic components. Man is the most important link in the conservation chain because he depends on both components for survival and has the biggest impact. Responsible use is sustainable and beneficial.
The youth and everyone that enjoys outdoor activities must know how to use our precious resources responsibly. Not everyone that participates in outdoor recreational activities is a hunter. It requires much more than firing a rifle to be a skilled and responsible hunter.
Many hunters utilise nature in other ways. Fishing is another form of hunting. After the winter hunting season, many hunters will exchange their rifles for fishing rods. Outdoor skills overlap various activities, e.g. camping is an activity that are used in various forms of outdoor recreation.
All outdoor activities depend on responsible utilisation, which is important in conserving our natural heritage and resources. Our objective is to train responsible outdoor enthusiasts and not only potential hunters.
Dedicated Hunter Training
Responsible hunting ethics
‘May I never be remembered for what I hunted, but for how I hunted.’
Ethics in hunting is determined by the measure of responsibility, appreciation and respect with which the hunter utilises and behaves towards his nature heritage. The hunter is, such as all of God’s creations, subject to the command described in Genesis namely inhabit, preserve and toil the earth. Genesis 1:28
The ethical hunter realises that nature does not belong to him and therefore he cannot deal with it in an irresponsible manner. He realises that he is a temporary supervisor thereof and will attempt to keep it in a way that will be of benefit to his descendants. Hunter’s ethics are related directly to personal integrity. It is the reference framework of norm-oriented hunters’ conduct and meets the requirements of what is good, correct and morally acceptable within the boundaries of legal hunting activities.
The status of Dedicated Hunter is awarded to members of the SAHGCA after the successful completion of the theoretical Dedicated Hunters course of the Association and a practical shooting test consisting of 3 shots from 100 metres, of which all three have to be in the greater heart/lung area of the impala target.
This status complies with the statutory stipulations of Act 60 of 2000. In terms of Article 16 of said Act, members who achieved this status can be declared a dedicated hunter. This offers them the opportunity to own more than 4 fire-arms for hunting purposes, as well as other advantages.
Junior Hunter Training
The single biggest contribution that any hunter can make towards hunting, is to introduce a new hunter to responsible hunting. Mentorship can achieve the most successful transfer of values. A good mentor is someone that already has the skills and knowledge that an aspiring hunter could wish for. SA Hunters has developed a junior training manual, Mentorship Safari, which covers all aspects of hunting from preparation for the hunt to utilisation of hunted wildlife. This manual includes a facilitator guide to assist the mentor to achieve all the goals.
Junior Hunter Facilitator
Anyone that donates his/her time and resources, without compensation, to assist with responsible outdoor education of the youth, makes a huge contribution to SA Hunters and the hunting sector in general. It also sets a positive example for others and for the youth they inspire and ensures that hunting and outdoor skills are preserved for the future.
SAHGCA has developed a junior training curriculum that serves as a facilitators guide for mentors. It is available from the training department at Inyathi Park.
Junior Hunter Trainee
When we teach juniors about responsible hunting, we expose them to new experiences that may only last split seconds but can cause permanent damage if handled incorrectly, i.e., when a potential hunter is forced to shoot his first shot with a heavy calibre rifle, resulting in an unpleasant and traumatic experience.
Such an incident can create a negative association with shooting and destroy any enthusiasm to pursue sport shooting or hunting. Youngsters could also be fearful of the dark during the first camping weekend. A mature and experienced mentor will be sensitive and guide juniors with the necessary compassion towards positive and pleasant new experiences.
The trust that the junior puts in his mentor will strengthen his courage to face new experiences. Meaningful moments can create fond memories for a lifetime. The Mentorship Safari junior training manual is available from SA Hunters’ training department at Inyathi Park Pretoria.
SA Hunters/Wildlife College provide training
The development of training courses for the hunting of dangerous game is a joint initiative between SA Hunters and the Southern African Wildlife College. These courses offer dedicated hunters the unique opportunity to gain theoretical knowledge and practical experience in the hunting of dangerous game species in a big five region.
Also read Measurer Training
SA Hunters’ measuring system is used to train trophy measurers at branch level. From 2006 to 2017 all trophies were measured at branch level and qualifying trophy entries were sent to the SA Hunters national office to be included in the SAHGCA Trophy Register.
Since 2018, branches could enter members’ trophy information on their individual member profile on the online administration system, even those trophies that did not qualify for the SA Hunters Trophy Register.
Only trophies that attain the minimum standards for inclusion will be recorded in the SAHGCA Trophy Register automatically. The Association is indebted to its trained trophy measurers who maintain the high standards that SAHGCA has established over many years.