The unpleasant side effect of this new restraint is a predictable plunge in success rates in some areas. And that is causing some hunter resentment. In one case I am aware of in Tanzania, a disgruntled hunter took video of several lions he was not allowed to shoot, and he is using the video to bad-mouth the company, claiming it is using the new restraint as a ruse to re-sell the same lion permit over and over. In this particular case, I know the PH involved, and I am convinced he stayed the hunter's hand because he feared for his job. And well he might, because the safari company he works for has a fired-on-the-spot policy toward any PH who allows a hunter to take an under-age lion.
That does not mean I think all PHs are innocently telling clients to hold fire. In fact, quite the opposite is true. I am hearing credible stories that make me think some PHs are indeed exploiting the new restraint and selling, in a calculated way, far more lion hunts than they have quota. Here at The Hunting Report, we support the new restraint and I urge clients to do the same. But fair warning - that does not mean I won't air complaints from clients who feel they have been toyed with in the name of conservation.
Ultimately, as lions recover from previous overshooting of young males, the problem of disappointed lion clients is probably going to go away by itself. Gradually, as the average size of lions taken increases dramatically, I predict that the lion is going to grow in stature as........(continued)