In Zimbabwe, the gun and ammo import tensions that we reported on last month appear to have eased. We have received no additional reports of arriving hunters being jailed, or even seriously harassed. That's not to say customs officials have relaxed their scrutiny of arriving hunters. On the contrary, we are hearing reports of officials painstakingly counting every round being imported and exported. Small discrepancies in paperwork are being seized upon. There have been some downright uneasy moments, too, subscribers are reporting. Fortunately, what does not appear to be occurring is the kind of overreaction that landed US booking agent Bruce Grant in jail last month for failing to declare a couple of boxes of .375 ammo he was bringing in for a client. It's unclear what's behind the new attitude, but word reaching us is our report shocked the government into realizing that overseas hunters simply will not tolerate the risk of being summarily thrown in prison to spend the night in filthy conditions. The most shocking thing about the Bruce Grant incident was the fact that he was confined in the same cell with criminals, whose capabilities make the mind reel.
The Hunting Report has come under some criticism for making this incident known, but our conscience is clear. We think our report helped bring the threat down to an acceptable level this year. The culprits in this whole affair are agents who pooh-poohed the danger and Zimbabwe professional hunters, who not only downplayed the threat to their clients, but placed them in danger by continuing to urge them to bring illegal quantities and types of ammo with them. One subscriber, for example, tells us he was urged to bring over 800 rounds of .22 ammo with him for the convenience of his PH. Fortunately, the customs agent who found the ammo merely confiscated it. The bottom line here is, the gun and ammo import situation remains serious. You simply must report every gun and round of ammo at port of entry and have some way to prove you are on a bonafide safari. You should arrange to be met by someone........(continued)