Hunting licences and permits
Each of the nine provinces regulates the hunting of game birds and fur game through various hunting regulations that are revised annually and published in the official provincial gazette at the beginning of the hunting season. The purpose of these regulations is to regulate the utilisation of game in the interest of protecting natural resources for the future.
Sometimes, these regulations differ from region to region in the same province. Some provinces do not revise and publish their regulations on a regular basis, which makes it difficult for hunters to stay abreast of the regulations that apply to each province.
The following information may assist hunters to plan their annual hunting activities:
It is generally accepted that hunting is only allowed during the months of the year that do not include the letter ‘r’ in the name, e.g., May, June, July, and August. Different hunting seasons apply in some provinces for various species of game and game birds. Restrictions may also apply to the hunting of male and female animals of certain species.
Permits and licences
A hunting permit and/or a licence is required in all provinces. Different terms and conditions for hunting are applicable for each permit and/or licence per province. Some provinces do not require a hunting permit to hunt on exempted farms, while other provinces require licences or permits even if the landowner has been exempted from the regulations for certain species.
Where do hunters obtain licences and permits?
The availability of permits varies from province to province, but they should be available at provincial offices of the state veterinarian; magistrate offices; post offices; hunting associations, and firearm dealers. Some provinces issue licences and permits online.
Letters for permission to hunt
All provinces require hunters to obtain a letter of permission from the landowner or his representative to hunt on the property. The letter of permission also allows hunters to remove the meat of hunted animals.
A special permit is required to transport the meat of warthogs and bush pigs. Permits are issued per carcass. The meat of cloven hoof animals may not be transported from certain areas – e.g., where foot-and-mouth disease is endemic. The meat of these animals must be cooked first, before transporting it outside the region.
Landowners in each province may apply for exemption from the province’s hunting regulations with the relevant environmental authority. Some provinces refer to it as an Exemption Certificate while other provinces refer to a Certificate of Adequate Enclosure.
These permits mean that the landowner has been exempted from the relevant province’s hunting regulations pertaining only to the species included on the permit.
Restrictions and bag limits
Generally, there are no limit to the number of fur game that may be hunted. However, restrictions may apply to the number of animals hunted per day in a season or at a certain location.
In exceptional circumstances e.g., the extensive drought in the Eastern Cape, restrictions apply to the number of kudu cows that may be hunted. A total ban on the hunting of kudus have been implemented in certain districts. In other regions, there is a limit to the number of kudu bulls and cows respectively, that may be hunted. Occasionally, different hunting seasons apply to bulls and cows.
Restrictions on the hunting of game birds are common and daily bag limits usually apply for the number of birds of certain species. Restrictions vary from province to province and between regions in provinces.
Preparation for the hunt
Every hunter needs to consider the following when planning the next hunt:
- Is the farm exempted from the hunting regulations for the species of game that I plan to hunt?
- When is the hunting season in the province where I want to hunt?
- Do different restrictions apply with regard to gender and number of male and female animals that I may hunt?
- Do I need a letter of permission from the landowner to hunt on his property?
- Does the letter of permission allow me to transport the meat of the animal that I hunted to my home?
- Do I need a hunting permit or hunting licence over and above the letter of permission from the landowner, and if so, where do I obtain such a permit or licence?
- May I transport meat from that district, and must this meat first be processed or cooked? Do I need a separate permit for transporting the meat?
Below is a summary of the most important hunting requirements that applies per province.
Limpopo: Exempted farms: hunting allowed without a licence of those species listed on the exemption certificate; hunting licence required for game birds during open season on all farms; rock pigeon is classified as ordinary game and hunters require a hunting licence.
Mpumalanga: Exempted farms: hunting allowed without a licence of those species listed on the exemption certificate; hunting licence required for game birds during open season on all farms; rock pigeon is classified as ordinary game and hunters require a hunting licence
Kwazulu-Natal: A hunting licence is always required for ordinary and protected game. Ordinary game includes Yellow-billed duck, Egyptian goose; Impala, Grey duiker and Bushbuck (male). Protected game includes Blue wildebeest, Waterbuck, Eland, Kudu and some game birds. The rock pigeon is not classified as ordinary game and hunters only require written permission from the landowner to hunt. A permit is required to transport wild pig meat.
North West: On an exempted farm, no hunting licence is required for species listed on exemption certificate. On farms with adequate fencing but without exemption, the landowner must obtain a hunting permit from the provincial office. Transport permits for wild pig meat is required. A licence is required for the hunting of game birds on all farms during open season. Rock pigeon is ordinary game and hunters require a hunting licence.
On open farms and farms without exemption, the landowner must apply for a permit for each animal to be hunted. Although it is not necessary for the hunter to acquire a licence in this instance, it remains his responsibility to ensure that the landowner is in possession of a hunting permit before the hunt is concluded.
Northern Cape: Exempted farm: no licence is required to hunt species listed on exemption certificate. Most pigeons are classified as ordinary game and hunters will need licences to hunt.
Free State: Hunting licences are always required. Hunting licences apply to game birds on all farms during open season. The rock pigeon is not classified as ordinary game and hunters only need a letter of permission from the landowner to hunt.
Eastern Cape: Hunting licences are always required for fur game and game birds (pigeons excluded).
Western Cape: Hunting licences are always required. Most pigeons are classified as ordinary game and hunters will require a hunting licence.
Gauteng: On exempted farms no licence is required for species listed on exemption certificate. A hunting licence is always required for hunting of game birds on all farms during open season. The rock pigeon is classified as ordinary game and hunters will require a hunting licence.
Offices where hunting licences and permits can be obtained
Limpopo: Modimolle (014) 717 3567; Mokopane (015) 491 8010; Lephalale (014) 763 2886; Tzaneen (015) 307 1195; Klaserie (015) 793 2471; Musina (015) 534 3235; and Polokwane (015) 290 7173/5.
Gauteng: SA Hunters national office (game birds only) (012) 808 9300; Nature conservation offices (011) 240 3043 of (012) 316 1638
North West: online at https://nw.nipas.co.za
Mpumalanga: SA Hunters national office (game birds) (012) 808 9300; Ermelo (017) 819 2827; Middelburg (013) 282 8674; Lydenburg (013) 235 2571/ 072 993 3715; Nelspruit (013) 759 5300; and SA Hunters national officer (birds only) (012) 808 9300.
Free State: online at www.eservices.gov.za SA Hunters national office (012) 808 9300; Kobus Harmse (Kroonstad) 082 651 2836; Bloemfontein (051) 400 9526 and most nature reserves in the Free State.
KwaZulu-Natal: SA Hunters national office (012) 808 9300; Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (033) 845 1654; most firearm dealers.
Northern Cape: Any post office in the Northern Cape; post offices in Vryburg, Potchefstroom, Bloemfontein, Beaufort-Wes, Vanrhynsdorp, Bellville, Malmesbury, Worcester, Laingsburg, Prince Albert, and Middelburg (Eastern Cape). In Pretoria at the following post offices: Centurion, Lynnwood, Montana Park and Brooklyn Square. In Johannesburg at the following post offices: Rivonia, Sandton, Isando, Edenvale, Kempton Park, and Halfway House.
Eastern Cape: SA Hunters national office (game birds and fur game) (012) 808 9300, Port Elizabeth (041) 508 5803, Jeffreys Bay (042) 292 0339, Graaff-Reinet (049) 892 3755, Grahams Town (046) 622 7216, East London (043) 707 4068, Aliwal North (051) 633 2901, Mthatha (047) 531 1191, Matatiele (039) 256 3200, and Queenstown (045) 808 4016.
Western Cape: Online at https://www.capenature.co.za/permits/hunting-permits-2/, SA Hunters national office (game birds and fur game) (012) 808 9300; Cape Nature offices in George (044) 802 5300, Porterville (022) 931 2900, Robertson (023) 625 1621, Onrus (028) 314 0062, Cape Town (021) 483 0000, Oudtshoorn (044) 203 6300and the head office in Bridgetown (Cape Town) 087 9262.
Compiled by SA Hunters
PO Box 1952
Tel:+27 (0) 12 808 9300