All About Night-Hunting Problem Elephants in Zimbabwe


Published: July - 2012

Here's a report on hunting crop-raiding elephants at night in Zimbabwe. It came from subscriber Harold Lee who hunted with PH David Amyot of ZimAfica Safaris. Continuing subscribers will remember I have warned about supposed PAC hunts in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in the past (see articles 2412 and 2413), so I took a closer look at this one. According to Jeff Martinell of Luxury Hunts (570-977-1457), who represents ZimAfrica in the US but did not book Lee's hunt, these are legal hunts conducted under the auspices of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority with the appropriate PAC hunting permits.

The hunts take place near Hwange National Park from February to April, when the corn crops ripen, attracting the elephants that eat and stomp the villagers' fields. Elephants killed on these hunts are strictly non-exportable, and the villagers keep the meat for their own consumption. What's the attraction for hunters? Well, there's the reduced price of $10,900 for five days of elephant hunting. There's the satisfaction of helping people in need. And then there is the experience, which, of course, is at the heart of all hunting.

Lee describes his experience this way: "Night hunting for problem elephants was too much for me. The first couple of nights, we hunted until 2 am, went to bed, got up at 4:30 am and went back out trying to catch them leaving the fields, which were patches of maize around the villages. The last two nights we stayed out all night long. We had very little sleep during the day, as we were doing reconnaissance on the best places to go for the next evening. We drove from one place to the next, checking the fields for tracks, the amount of damage done, and fresh sign, hoping the elephant would return to the same field that night. Once we found a field the elephants were hitting, we would go to the village to talk to the people and find out where and which way the jumbo were coming from.

"The whole time I was there,........(continued)

 
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