It appears that ZAWA has reopened elephant hunting in Zambia! We know of at least one operator who has received a permit for one elephant and is expecting a second. Additional permits are said to have been issued to various game ranches. While that is good news, US hunters should be aware that, although US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) allowed the importation of elephant trophies in 2012, that does not mean they will automatically allow elephant taken in 2015 to be imported. The Service will have to make another non-detriment finding for Zambia's elephant. John J. Jackson, III, of Conservation Force contacted Tim Van Norman, ?Chief, Branch of Permits, DMA at USFWS to see what the chances of that would be. Turns out ZAWA had not informed USFWS that they had reopened elephant hunting.
"Our 2012 finding only covered imports of elephants taken in 2012. With the subsequent closure of elephant hunting in Zambia, we did not do any findings in 2013 or 2014," says Van Norman. "As such, we would need to re-evaluate Zambia's program for 2015 before we could authorize any imports. I will reach out to the Zambian authority to start that process."
In the meantime, if you are interested in this hunt, contact Wes Hixon's Outdoor Adventures & Travel (www.weshixon.com; 706-687-3527; firstname.lastname@example.org). Hixon is representing this hunt for Peter Chipman of Mvu Safaris. The hunt takes place in Nyamvu, located in the Luangwa Valley. The package is for 10 days, 1x1 hunting for a bull elephant, Cape buffalo and plains game for $24,500, not including trophy fees.