Nov/Dec 2015 Issue – Cover Stories

Rethinking the .458 Winchester Magnum

The .458 Win Mag was designed for use against thick-skinned African game.

 

Chris Bekker evaluates this cartridge in the light of having better propellants today as opposed to the 1950s through to the 1970s.
Southern Greenland: an unlikely destination for an African

PH Ivan Carter visited Greenland to hunt musk ox, the most valuable natural resource of the local Inuit people, not just because of the meat but also because of the commercial value added by hunters

 

One becomes a PH on foot

Chief editor Neels Geldenhuys visited the Northern Cape Professional Hunting School where owner Mynhard Herholdt trains young men to become PHs. Two of these qualified youngsters guided Neels for an eland and a red hartebeest

 

John Moses Browning’s B25 Superposed

Having influenced generation upon generation of shooters, the popular Browning B25 Superposed shotgun was produced for decades, available in dozens of models (not to mention the virtually limitless custom options), and sold and used worldwide

 

Hunting with a friend in sable country

In the 1970s seasoned PH Geoff Wainwright and his lifelong friend John Bresford experienced magnificent sable hunts in one of Africa’s top hunting blocks – Mulobezi Game Management Area bordering the Kafue National Park in Zambia


From the Editor

 

PH AS A CAREER – NO BEATING ABOUT THE BUSH

 

We all know the saying, “If you shake a tree in the bush, just watch out for the ten PHs that will fall out of it”. I’m not sure what the ratio of practising PHs is compared to the number that qualify from professional hunting schools, but it would be interesting to know. Many PHs do the course just for self-enrichment, which is wonderful as one learns so much more than from the standard courses offered by hunting organisations.

 

I was one such a student. Many years ago, I completed a course with the well-known Kobus Schoeman. What an amazing experience! But my intention was never to earn a living from it. I don’t think I would have been able to do so anyway, as “oom” Kobus rightly stated, “I’m only here to show you what you do not know. From here you have to go out and educate yourself.” All newly qualified PHs therefore need to join an established outfitter for a certain period to learn the ropes.

 

Unfortunately many young men and women are lured into this profession with the promise to earn lots of dollars from international clients who are “queueing up” for that once-in-a-lifetime hunt in Africa. Many of these youngsters do not know what to do after school, and who would not want to guide clients in the bush all day, walking with a double over your shoulder and earning dollars with every step?

 

And here, I believe, lies one of the major problems of Africa’s professional hunting industry – the fly-by-night operators, thieves, scumbags, those who are in it only for a quick buck. Let me use my own experience of working in the insurance industry some years ago as an example. We had a legal division for which I preferred to appoint young qualified attorneys. I could pick and choose from the best without paying top salaries, as there were so many qualified attorneys seeking employment. I believe we have the same situation with young qualified PHs today. With limited numbers of international hunters and existing hunters cutting down their hunting budgets, professional hunting, like all other businesses, has become a cut-throat business. The established outfitter looks after his existing clients well, walking the extra mile, so there are not that many new clients for the taking. This causes desperate people to resort to desperate measures – something that professional hunting does not need nor can afford in this day and age.

 

So yes, I may be crucified for this but the fact remains that we do have too many young PHs. The market is overstocked and we have to take a serious look at the guidelines for becoming a PH. As for the young men and women considering to make this their career – you must be a born PH, in your heart and soul; it is a difficult journey and not always as glamorous as you might think. If you do decide to go this route, do your research and make sure that if an outfitter has ten candidates to choose from, he has no option but to choose you! (See the article on a professional hunting school on page 87)

 

Neels Geldenhuys

Chief Editor

 

(You are welcome to join the African Outfitter group on facebook!)

 

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