We have to say we are immensely impressed with the South African hunt donation policy recently enacted by Dallas Safari Club. Anyone who has been to a major outdoor show recently knows that donated hunts in that part of the world have been selling recently for scandalously low prices. The low prices are hurting the outfitters and the overall image of South African hunting - and, in our mind, diminishing the stature of conservationist-hunters the world over. Bottom-fishing for a cheap hunt, which has become a ritual at some hunting conventions, makes a mockery of the idea of the altruistic hunter eager to give something back to the sport he loves.
What DSC has done is place a cap on the number of South African hunts it will auction at its next convention and mandated that they not be sold at less than 80 percent of their market value. The action will have a serious financial impact on DSC, Executive Director Gray N. Thornton told The Hunting Report. But so be it.
"Here at Dallas Safari Club, we feel the time has come to make changes in the market to benefit the South African hunting industry, which has been so supportive of our organization," Gray wrote in a note to us at press time. "Of course, we feel that in the long run this new policy will also benefit Dallas Safari Club by ensuring that our reputation is one of an organization that offers the finest auctions, at the highest bid prices in North America. Our strategic plan is not to be the biggest safari club, just the best."
Let's hear it for Dallas Safari Club! We're so impressed at this policy and some other things about the club (including the number of hard dollars it is putting on the ground in Africa and elsewhere) that we plan to exhibit at their next convention, January........(continued)