Hunting as a Wildlife Management Tool. By Cleve Cheney

There are very few natural habitats left in the world big enough to allow nature to regulate wildlife populations without any intervention from man. Even South Africa’s biggest national parks are too small to allow for this to happen. Smaller parks and private conservation areas may also not be afforded the luxury of a laissez-faire (“hands off – let nature take its course”) management approach.

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Hunters going into KwaZulu-Natal mountains on horseback

Horseback Hunting in the KwaZulu-Natal Mountains. By Willem du Plessis 

The bull turned one more time and looked straight at me. It was now or never. I got my breathing under control, aimed the small copper bead dead on, and started squeezing the trigger. The 570 gr Barnes hit him like a ton of cement and he dropped instantly. I looked at my friend next to me and he confirmed the kill without saying much … A 140 m kill shot with my favourite rifle – that had just happened!

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An African leopard in Namibia

Leopard and Leopard Hunting in Africa. Part I: Threats, Habits, Where and When

Leopards are listed as vulnerable and are a CITES 1 animal, so hunting quota offtakes are strictly allocated according to population numbers. South Africa has temporarily suspended Leopard hunting but does issue a limited quota from time to time. Hunters must always double check their country’s trophy import regulations as it differs around the world and printed information in this regard may be outdated.  

Leopard hunting regulations also vary from country to country. Some allow hunting over bait at night while others only permit daylight hunting in the presence of a wildlife official. Different rules may apply as per the areas that may and may not be hunted with hounds if hunting with dogs is even permitted. Only fully mature males should be hunted and in many countries hunters will be fined for shooting a female and have their trophy confiscated.  

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