Seems a concerned hunter had called Martin-Shaffer to inquire if she had heard about any issues with leopard permits in South Africa. He had purchased a leopard-specific hunt over a year ago and was scheduled to go hunting in May/June of this year. Only weeks before his departure, the safari operator called to let him know the leopard hunt would not take place because the government supposedly had taken back the leopard permits to give them to local native groups. The outfitter then offered the hunter a "fantastic" buffalo hunt deal, plus a promise to try and locate a hippo and other animals to hunt. The story about the government withdrawing permits did not sound right to Martin-Shaffer, and with good reason.
I checked with Adri Kitshoff, CEO of the Professional Hunter's Association of South Africa (PHASA). She says, "The Limpopo Provincial Nature Conservation Authorities have awarded a certain number of 2013 leopard tags to outfitters working with Professional Hunters who are Previously Disadvantaged Individuals. However, no issued leopard permits were withdrawn that I am aware of."
Leopard allocations in South Africa are issued to operators towards the end of each year, before the major international hunting shows begin. Only operators who receive an allocation are able to secure permits for their clients that season. Permits are issued in the hunter's name and cannot be transferred to another client by the operator. This is true throughout South Africa, although each province has different criteria and prerequisites for outfitters applying for a leopard allocation. PHASA Vice President........(continued)