Now the bad news. The US State Department went out of its way early last month to call around the hunting community, threatening to ask the Treasury Department to impose sanctions that would make it illegal to hunt in Zimbabwe. I received such a call myself from a State Department official who identified himself as Todd Moss.
The tone of the conversation was cordial, but the underlying message was clear: The US State Department believes so much hunting revenue has begun to flow into the pockets of individuals close to Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe that it is undermining the current Targeted Sanctions Program. And that leaves the department with no choice but to consider asking the Treasury Department to impose Cuba-type sanctions that would make it illegal for Americans to spend money on hunting in Zimbabwe, perhaps on tourism of any sort in the country.
Suffice it to say, the threat to close the door on Americans hunting in Zimbabwe appears at this writing to be nothing more than a repeat of the jawboning that went on last year in the run-up to the big hunting conventions. Faced with a barrage of e-mails from yours truly and others, Moss issued a much more balanced statement about Zimbabwe last month, confining his talk of sanctions to those already in place and urging all US citizens to ensure that the hunting........(continued)