So, how is Botswana's second elephant season progressing? Seems some very notable jumbo had been taken as of the middle of last month. The largest was a 77-pounder at that point, plus a few others in the 70-pound class. An interesting wrinkle in that part of the world is the possible creation of a new non-trophy elephant hunt next year. Insiders say the hunt would cost something on the order of $15,000 to $20,000 and would allow hunters to take elephants with a total ivory weight of 90 pounds (45 pounds x 2). The standard elephant hunt allowing one to take the largest elephant he sees would continue to be available at around $45,000 to $50,000.
None of this has been graven in stone, mind you, but there is some logic behind the idea. First, Botswana needs to kill more elephants - many more elephants! - and it cannot do that through traditional sport hunting without quickly bringing the trophy quality down. Hence, the creation of non-trophy hunts. It will allow for a possible doubling of the elephant quota next year without jeopardizing the country's reputation for producing occasional big animals. The non-trophy hunts would also give Botswana PH's something to sell that competes with the cost of elephant safaris in Zimbabwe. Stay tuned for an update.