PROFFESTIONAL 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, 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 admin takes up a lot 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, well-being 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 SA citizens/permanent residents or persons in possession of a work permit in terms of the Aliens Act.
Such persons must have attended a professional hunting school and successfully completed and passed the professional hunting course and theoretical and practical exams.
Outfitter permits may only be issued to persons who are licensed professional hunters. In addition, such persons must have operated as professional hunters 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.
The professional hunter and hunting outfitter both have important responsibilities. They must ensure that the necessary permits, licences and other documents are obtained so that the client may hunt legally and that the client is in possession thereof.
The professional hunter must see to the welfare of his/her client and be responsible for the client’s safety while in the camp and hunting area. He must guide the client during the hunt and ensure that the client does not contravene the law.
The hunting outfitter must ensure that all written agreements are in place, that a licensed professional hunter will guide the client and that facilities that meet certain stipulated requirements are provided.
The professional hunter must ensure that all trophies are skinned and prepared according to the correct methods. The outfitter obtains the necessary permits to transport and export the client’s 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” or “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.
A list of professional hunting schools and training providers is available from the PHASA office: [email protected] These schools are accredited by Nature Conservation and are PHASA members. Courses are offered in all the provinces.