The Hunting Report Newsletter Hunting Articles For The Hunter Who Travels Fri, 22 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT Zimbabwe Bound Hunters Beware Currency Shortages and Riots Hunters on their way to Zimbabwe for a safari should be aware of a severe currency shortage that lead to numerous riots earlier this month. While The Hunting Report is not discouraging hunting travel there, you should be aware of the situation and be properly prepared.On July 4th Zimbabwe's capital of Harare was rocked by riots in the working class neighborhoods of Ruwa, Zimre Park, Hatfield, Epworth and Mabvuku. The Epworth neighborhood experienced the bulk of the unrest as protestors created makeshift roadblocks, started fires in the roadway, and attacked vehicles attempting to enter or exit. The widespread roadblocks prevented the movement of traffic including emergency medical personnel. Initial protests were led by peaceful transit workers who had become fed-up with corrupt police checkpoints which demanded cash payment in excess of $50 USD for road violations. The protests turned violent after police began to beat protestors. The unrest grew as news spread of the police brutality.Zimbabwe's economy has been in a state of turmoil for decades. A switch to the US dollar in 2009 temporarily stemmed the country's extreme inflation. However, a trade deficit has caused a shortage in the country's supply of paper money. In late June the government announced that banks would not allow any cash withdrawals larger than $100 USD per day. As the vast majority of transactions in the country are completed in cash, this caused an intense strain on the average consumer and likely resulted in excessive police ticketing. The countrywide frustration and rioting reached its height on July 4th but was quickly suppressed by police forces. After the riots were calmed, police searched for and rooted out suspects and organizers, creating additional confrontation. Currently, no further riots are planned but the situation remains tense.The riots primarily took place in the capital of Harare but small uprisings have occurred throughout the country. The current tension and frustration could lead to further protests, riots, or attacks on financial and government buildings. Travel to Zimbabwe remains open but care should be taken to avoid large groups, gatherings, and police operations. Travelers should bring enough cash to last their entire stay and be sure to carry the cash in different locations. (US citizens must remember to declare cash in excess of $10,000 to US Customs when exciting the country. Download the form here.) Visitors should ensure they have a complete transportation plan in place with their tour operator prior to their arrival. It is advised that all travelers watch news reports closely for further reports of unrest or increasing tension. - Barbara Crown, Editor-in-Chief.This security advisory was provided by the security operations team at Ripcord Travel Protection, a sister company of The Hunting Report. News Bulletins Fri, 29 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT Tanzania-Bound Hunters Hit With Surprise 18% Value-Added Tax In July, the Government of Tanzania decided to apply the national Value Added Tax (VAT) of 18% to all services rendered to foreign tourists, including hunters. Operators received only a week's notice before enactment. Until now, foreign tourists had been exempt from this tax.After some initial uncertainty, it is now clear that the new tax applies also to hunting tourism and to foreign hunters visiting Tanzania.The immediate introduction of the tax has created chaos. All hunts for this year and even many hunts for next year were sold without the tax, and most safari companies will be unable to cover the 18% tax themselves. What will happen now depends on the contracts that clients have, and whether provisions have been made for unexpected governmental taxes. All hunters who have a hunt booked in Tanzania are advised to immediately contact their operators about the tax.We’ll have much more information in our August issue. News Bulletins Fri, 22 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT Alert! Potential Problem for Hunters Carrying Firearms through Frankfurt Unfortunately, airlines are telling hunters that they may not check rifles to Frankfurt without a permit, even though no permit is required. This is due to information on the TIMATIC (Travel Information Manual Automatic) website. TIMATIC is the online system used by IATA (International Air Transport Association) airlines to enforce transport regulations. Readers may recall that this is not the first time that incorrect information in TIMATIC has caused trouble for hunters. In 2015 a few airlines briefly barred hunters from legally bringing guns to Russia because of a TIMATIC guideline (see Article 3646).We learned about this recent problem from Steve Turner at Travel with Guns (; (210-858-9833), who is scrambling to resolve the issue for two clients heading to Namibia shortly after press time for this bulletin. As is often the case with hunters heading to Africa, both are traveling on separate tickets via Frankfurt, and must claim and then recheck their guns in Germany. Turner checked the TIMATIC database and found information indicating that only military personnel would be able to claim firearms in Frankfurt without a permit. He followed up with Delta Airlines and found that they would be enforcing this regulation.As readers know, a transit permit is no longer required to transit firearms through the Frankfurt Airport (see Article 3467). Turner confirmed this with Sabrina Stock at Frankfurt's Commercial Office (Ordnungsamt der Stadt Frankfurt am Main).In an email conversation, Stock wrote, "No license to take weapons or ammunition into or through Germany shall be required for weapons and ammunition taken on board ships or aircraft, kept in locked storage while within the territory of Germany, reported without delay to the competent supervisory authorities (customs) (including the manufacturer's mark or trademark, caliber and serial number) and removed within one month from the territory of Germany."Only in case that your clients leave the airport to spend days in Frankfurt or leave airport to travel by car they need a permit from me. Passengers who must claim firearms cases due to airline refusal to through-check to another carrier on the same day don't need a permit. You don't need a permit for your clients who don't leave the airport."Turner should hopefully be able get permits from Frankfurt for his clients in time for their flights in order to appease Delta.The Hunting Report contacted TIMATIC staff regarding the error. TIMATIC Data and Rules Specialist Danig Xie told us that they will be checking with their sources in Germany and will update the database accordingly. The last time the TIMATIC had a similar error, they were able to resolve the problem in about a week. We'll let you know when this latest issue is resolved. - Justin Jones, Assistant Editor News Bulletins Tue, 19 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT Drought in South Africa Affecting Safaris Some safaris in South Africa will be affected by the severe ongoing drought there. The Hunting Report has heard from hunters who have had operators move scheduled hunts in Limpopo to less dry areas of the country. We contacted the Professional Hunters' Association of South Africa (PHASA) to find out more. PHASA has issued the following press release on the situation there:The Professional Hunters' Association of South Africa (PHASA) says the 2016 hunting season is going well despite South Africa having recently experienced its worst drought in a century.Eight of South Africa's nine provinces have been declared disaster areas, with only Gauteng being the exception. Chief Executive Tharia Unwin says the association's outfitter members, especially those who are active in the north of the country, have had to seek alternative hunting areas to meet their booking obligations. "However, demand is being met, and the hunting season is going well," she says."We have had reports of hardship from members who are also landowners in some of the worst affected areas and as a result our Conservation and Empowerment Fund recently donated R10,000 towards BOERE IN NOOD (FARMERS IN NEED), a Facebook-driven fundraising initiative aimed at transporting feed to the worst affected areas." she says.Hunters headed to South Africa this season will want to contact their operators to see how the drought might affect safari plans. If you have any issues on a safari, please file a report. - Justin Jones, Assistant Editor News Bulletins Thu, 14 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT Conservation Force and Partners Appeal Dismissal of Suit Against Delta Air Lines On Friday, Conservation Force, Dallas Safari Club, Houston Safari Club, CAMPFIRE Association (Zimbabwe), and the Tanzania Hunting Operators Association (TAHOA) filed a notice to appeal the dismissal of their suit against Delta Air Lines, Inc.In December 2015, these plaintiffs sued Delta to compel an end to Delta’s illegal embargo on the transport of “Big Five” hunting trophies (African elephant, leopard, lion, rhino, and Cape buffalo). Delta imposed that embargo on August 3, 2015, following the media uproar over the hunt of “Cecil the lion.” The plaintiffs alleged that Delta’s embargo violates Delta’s duty of non-discrimination as a common carrier under federal common law and aviation law. They argued Delta is a common carrier which “holds itself out” to carry cargo including other hunting trophies. Because it holds itself out to carry a wide range of cargo, Delta cannot discriminate against Big Five hunters and their trophies.In June, the court found for Delta and dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint. The court held that a common carrier may limit its cargo to “items of its choosing,” including distinguishing between Big Five trophies and other hunting trophies. The plaintiffs are appealing the district court’s ruling because it takes too narrow a view of the common-law obligations of a common carrier.“A public carrier cannot ‘cherrypick’ like Delta is doing,” said John J. Jackson, III, President of Conservation Force. “The legal duty exists to protect shippers and their cargo from discrimination. Otherwise, you have a situation like this, where Delta is carrying some hunting trophies but refusing the ones that are unpopular among Facebook activists. But a public carrier is not allowed to base its decisions on a popularity contest. Its job is to provide unbiased transport.” Plaintiffs will also appeal the dismissal of their tortious interference claim.The plaintiffs brought this suit because Delta’s embargo damages the conservation incentives of safari hunting. According to Jackson, “Big Five hunting justifies the preservation of most Big Five habitat. It generates most funding for wildlife authorities. It underwrites most anti-poaching. And it contributes revenues and direct benefits, like meat, to rural communities most affected by the Big Five and other dangerous game. Delta’s embargo discourages Big Five hunting, and it reduces hunting revenues. The Big Five are the most at-risk from the loss of habitat, anti-poaching, and local tolerance that will result from reduced hunting revenues.”The plaintiffs are appealing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans. For more information, contact Jackson at: (504) 837-1233 or News Bulletins Wed, 13 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT Conservation Force and partners sue New Jersey to enjoin “Big Four” hunting trophy ban Conservation Force, Garden State Taxidermist Association, five individual hunters residing in New Jersey, and a taxidermist residing and working in New Jersey filed suit on Friday against the New Jersey Attorney General and the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, to compel an end to New Jersey’s ban on the possession, import, export, transport, and processing of hunting trophies of the African “Big Four” (elephant, leopard, lion, and black and white rhinoceros). The plaintiffs allege that the ban is preempted by Section 6(f) of the Endangered Species Act and infringes their rights to import and subsequently possess Big Four hunting trophies as authorized by federal permits and regulations, the Endangered Species Act, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).The trophy ban was first introduced by State Senator Ray Lesniak, a vocal animal rights advocate. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie initially vetoed the bill in May, but suggested revisions to the legislature which, if adopted, would allow Christie to sign the bill. Both houses adopted Christie’s suggestions and passed the bill. Christie signed it into law on June 1.Plaintiffs allege that incentives generated from licensed, regulated hunting in Southern and Eastern Africa are responsible for protecting most habitat, providing most operating revenue for range state wildlife departments, underwriting the three primary levels of anti-poaching, and contributing most of the benefits for rural people in marginalized areas. Chrissie Jackson, the corporate Secretary of Conservation Force stated, “licensed, regulated hunting of big game animals in Africa has provided a proven advantage to their recovery. The hunting countries generally have the largest populations of the Big Four, their prey base, and habitat. And the millions of dollars in conservation investment expended on-the-ground by Conservation Force comes from U.S. big game hunters in Africa for Big Four species.”Plaintiffs allege that the New Jersey ban on Big Four hunting trophies is void under the Endangered Species Act, which preempts any state law that prohibits what is authorized by the Act itself or by its implementing regulations. Plaintiffs also allege that permits issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service created federally protected rights and privileges for individual holders, and the New Jersey law improperly deprives the plaintiffs of their rights, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.Plaintiffs seek a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the law. They submitted evidence to demonstrate irreparable injury to the individual hunters’ interests in possessing trophies legally acquired in licensed, regulated hunts and irreparable damage to the state’s taxidermy industry from having a substantial part of their business declared illegal. Plaintiffs also demonstrated how the ban threatens Conservation Force’s initiatives, its members’ interests in protecting and recovering the Big Four, and the overall conservation systems of range states. The ban discourages New Jersey hunters from participating in safaris, thereby reducing the major source of sustainable funding for these species.John J. Jackson, III, President of Conservation Force, stated: “The law is misguided. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service uses federal import permitting as a conservation tool. It only issues a permit when it finds the hunting ‘enhances the survival’ of the Big Four in Africa. New Jersey’s ban robs the Big Four of this essential enhancement.” Jackson warned this suit may be followed by another suit under the Endangered Species Act.The suit is pending in the District of New Jersey. Plaintiffs are represented by Connell Foley LLP. For more information, contact John Jackson at (504) 837-1233 or News Bulletins Tue, 12 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT Apply Now for these Limited Bird Permits in Utah Bird hunters interested in grouse, cranes and swans should take a look at these limited opportunities in Utah. While a number of bird species are available to hunt there, these are found only in limited areas or limited numbers. Permits to hunt two species of grouse, cranes and swans are available only by drawing and the application period for all of them is July 6-21, 2016. A hunting license ($65) is required to apply.Sage grouse are somewhat limited in range and the species has been petitioned for listing under the ESA. In Utah, there are several areas available for sage grouse hunting, but many of the areas are primarily private land. Parker Mountain, in the southcentral part of the state, has perhaps the best sage grouse populations and plenty of public land. Be prepared to walk away from the roads, but you should have no trouble getting your two-bird season limit on the Parker.Columbian sharp-tailed grouse occurs only in the northwestern US and are huntable in Utah. Columbian sharptails are smaller than the sharptails of the Great Plains, and they are not huntable in many areas. Much of the area occupied by sharptails in Utah is private land and the Utah Division of Wildlife resources recommends getting permission before applying for a permit.Greater sandhill cranes are also huntable in Utah. These birds are much bigger than the lesser sandhills hunted across the Great Plains, weighing as much as 11 pounds. A limited number of licenses are available for hunt units in northern Utah and the birds are hunted there early, before they migrate south.The big game bird in the waterfowl world is the tundra swan and several thousand swans winter at the Great Salt Lake. Swan permits are available for a large area along the NE side of the lake and public shooting areas and refuges are open to swan hunting. Before applying for a swan permit, hunters must take and online swan identification course ( In addition to the $10 application fee, successful swan and crane applicants will be charged $15 for the permit. There is no additional charge for either grouse permit. The 2016-17 upland and waterfowl hunting guidebooks are available at and you can apply for permits via a link at that site. - Mike Bodenchuk, Editor-at-Large News Bulletins Thu, 07 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT More Reports <em>(Editor's Note: Over the past month we have received reports on hunts in the following parts of the world. All of these reports have been added to our files and are available to you as an E-Mail Extra subscriber. Just click on the ID number for the report you would like to see and you can view the full text in our database. Enjoy!)</em> The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT Important Deadlines <em>Here are the important permitting developments to watch for this month in the US.Compiled by Mike Bodenchuk, Editor-at-Large</em> The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT Zambia Upgrades Namwala GMA Status, Full-Bag Safaris Now Available <div align="center">By Justin Jones, Assistant Editor</div><br><br>Zambia's Namwala GMA was recently upgraded from a "depleted" area to a "secondary" area as a result of rebounding game populations. Dora Rautenbach of <a href="" target="_blank">Nsonga Safaris</a> (+011-260-977-886-969) contacted us with this news.<br><br>Although Namwala was not one of the GMAs closed during Zambia's protracted reallocation process, the area had no hunting quota issued from 2012 to 2015 following an embezzlement scandal brought on by an employee under the previous owners. Rautenbach and current Operations Manager Vaughan Humphrey stepped in to purchase Nsonga in 2014, signing a new concession tender through 2027 with Zambia's Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW, formerly ZAWA), as we mentioned in our June 2015 issue (see Article <a href="" target="_blank">3569</a>). The GMA covers approximately 8,000 hectares, with 20km of Kafue River frontage. We asked Humphrey about the recent upgrading of the area.<br><br>"The DNPW criteria for game areas is based primarily on game populations and the food chain available to predators - lion, leopard and hyena. Depleted areas typically have small quotas of plains game and other species, such as crocodile and hippo, if populations are sustainable. Secondary areas have enough predators and game to support a small quota for lion and leopard.<br><br>"Determinations are made on a five-year cycle, the last being in 2011 following an aerial survey. Because the area consists of miombo woodlands, game counts are difficult.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT Namibia to Tender Three Black Rhino Hunting Permits for 2016 <div align="center">By Barbara Crown, Editor-in-Chief</div><br><br>Namibia's Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) announced last month the tender of three post-reproductive black rhino bulls for trophy hunting this season. Successful bids were to be announced June 30th. <em>The Hunting Report</em> was expecting to receive the list of winning bidders from the Namibian Professional Hunters Association (NAPHA) to issue an Email Extra news bulletin.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT A Cameroon Outfitter Unknown to US Hunters <div align="center">By Justin Jones, Assistant Editor</div><br><br>Polish subscriber A. Bilip has filed a report on Cameroon outfitter and PH Frank Vannier's Faro Safari Club. Because Vannier focuses mostly on the European market his name may be unfamiliar to North American readers. Bilip hunted Vannier's concession in the Faro River area of northern Cameroon for 14 days in January, taking giant eland, kob, hippo, hyena, and red-flanked duiker. Bilip booked his hunt with Arjun Reddy of <a href="" target="_blank">Hunters Networks</a> (845-259-3628), who is Vannier's exclusive agent in the US.<br><br>In Report <a href="" target="_blank">10525</a> Bilip writes, "I found a high concentration of all available species in the concession, including numerous west savannah buffalo and western roan, which were not on my wish list. Lion and elephant were also present. This was a physically demanding hunt, with up to six hours of walking daily. I recommend concentrating on hunting eland first, as the other species will come much easier. Frank Vannier is an excellent outfitter and PH, and I strongly recommend hunting with him. It's an unforgettable experience at a relatively reasonable price."<br><br>We heard more about Bilip's hunt in a follow-up email. He says, "This was a huge concession, around 136,000 acres. PH Frank Vannier took over the concession from his father, the previous operator. Vannier speaks enough English to easily communicate, and there is another French PH there who speaks fluent English.<br><br>"We used vehicles daily to get around. For eland and buffalo they drive the roads looking for fresh tracks. Once found, we would track on foot to catch up with the animals. Vannier and the trackers performed very well, and they can read the savannah like a book. We saw eland every day, usually after two to six hours of tracking. Seeing eland was one thing, but getting the one you want is a challenge. I took mine on the ninth day of hunting. I saw many buffalo, but I wasn't hunting them, having taken a west savannah buffalo previously in Burkina Faso (on another hunt booked with Arjun Reddy). I counted over 20 different species of animals while hunting.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT USFWS Implements New Elephant Trophy Import Requirements <div align="center">By Justin Jones, Assistant Editor, and Barbara Crown, Editor-in-Chief</div><br><br>In early June, the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that it will require a special import permit for all African elephant trophies and that elephant trophies will be limited to two per hunter each year. These new regulations were set forth in a USFWS final rule published on June 6 that revises the special rule for African elephant under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973. As readers know, the African elephant is currently listed as threatened under the ESA.<br><br>An import permit for a trophy will not be issued unless the USFWS makes a positive enhancement finding, as defined under the 4(d) rule. If you plan to hunt elephant this safari season you will need to acquire an import permit from the USFWS Division of Management Authority prior to importation. This is the same process required in the past for Tanzania elephant, but now must be done for elephant from the Republic of South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana (whenever it lifts the current moratorium).<br><br>The new requirements are scheduled to take effect July 6. As we notified subscribers in an <a href="" target="_blank">Email Extra bulletin on June 7</a>, this means that <strong>all elephant trophies arriving in the US on or after July 6 must have a completed import permit, no matter when you hunted your elephant.</strong> Any elephant trophies entering the United States without an import permit will be found in violation of the ESA and seized.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT Subscriber Takes SCI Top Five Mountain Nyala in Ethiopia <div align="center">By Justin Jones, Assistant Editor</div><br><br>Subscriber R. Haykel has taken not one but two potential Top Five SCI trophies, a mountain nyala and a Menelik bushbuck, on a March hunt in Ethiopia with <a href="" target="_blank">Ethiopian Rift Valley Safaris</a> (<a href=""></a>; 618-966-3563), PH Jason Roussos. Haykel also took leopard, giant forest hog, gerenuk, East African duiker, Grant gazelle and dik-dik.<br><br>In Report <a href="" target="_blank">10517</a> Haykel writes, "I traveled with two other hunters on this trip. In ERVS' Odu Bulu area we all took mountain nyala, including my 43-inch bull. I also took a 16-inch Menelik bushbuck, an 11-inch giant forest hog and a leopard. Odu Bulu is a well-managed and pristine highland forest with game everywhere and high trophy potential.<br><br>"We also hunted the Omu area for plains game. Unfortunately we were only able to hunt for 10 days total due to busy schedules. It says a lot about ERVS that we were able to accomplish so much during that time. I wish I could have stayed longer."<br><br>In a follow-up email, Haykel says his trophies have not been officially scored yet. "All were green-scored by my PH Jason Roussos, who is an official SCI measurer.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT How to Vet a Taxidermist <div align="center">By Mike Bodenchuk, Editor-at-Large</div><br><br> Every year we receive complaints from hunters who have spent the time and money on a great hunt only to have the outfitter or taxidermist fail in their handling of the trophies. While the vast majority of trophies are handled well and delivered on time, sometimes something goes wrong. Common complaints include trophies not being delivered on time, taxidermists and trophies disappearing and, occasionally, trophies being held hostage and delivered only after an additional "ransom" is paid.<br><br> In the long run, selecting your taxidermist may be as important to your hunting experience as selecting your outfitter, and hunters often develop a long-term relationship with a specific taxidermist. When you're traveling, you may not have a choice of the expediter/taxidermist your outfitter chooses to use as the first point of contact, but whether or not you allow that person to complete your work is entirely up to you. Here are a few suggested tips to help you shop for a quality taxidermist:<br><br> If your state requires taxidermists to be licensed, then the first step is to make sure that minimal requirement is met. The taxidermist may be an exceptional artist, but if he or she isn't willing to meet this minimal legal requirement, then you should probably look elsewhere.<br><br> While it's not a legal requirement, all good taxidermists will have an order form on which you will specify the style of mount, direction of turn, etc. There is usually a disclaimer about liability, especially for slipped hides or other irregularities outside of the taxidermist's control. Carefully read and make sure you understand the form before you sign it.<br><br> Ask questions about the taxidermist and the processes. Are all mammal capes tanned? (Avoid instant preservatives at all costs.) Do they do the tanning in-house? While only the largest shops generally do in-house tanning, the ability to control all aspects of the process is one indication that the taxidermist is serious about his product. If they do not do in-house tanning, do they maintain a relationship with the tannery? Shopping about for a tannery is something of a red flag.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT SCI Announces Game Birds of the World Awards <div align="center">By Tim Jones, Editor</div><br><br>Many <em>Hunting Report</em> subscribers are devoted wingshooters as well as big game hunters. Many are also Safari Club International members and submit their trophies for SCI awards. With this in mind we thought we would mention that SCI has created a new awards platform called "Game Birds of the World," which will include various bird slams. These make up a separate platform, and will not count towards the existing "Big Game Awards."<br><br>SCI's Record Book & World Hunting Awards Manager, Chris Emery, tells us, "SCI is excited about this program.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT Court Rules In favor of Hunters on "3 Amigos" Antelope Hunts <div align="center">By Barbara Crown, Editor-in-Chief</div><br><br>Score one for the Good Guys! The DC Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that hunters taking captive bred scimitar-horned oryx, dama gazelle and addax in the US do not need to obtain Endangered Species Act (ESA) permits. This should effectively end efforts by anti-hunting groups to force hunters to apply for these permits and go through a public comment period before those permits can be issued by US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). We got the good news to our Email Extra subscribers in a <a href="" target="_blank">bulletin</a> on June 10.<br><br>Safari Club International (SCI) announced they had won the suit after more than a decade of legal wrangling. The fight began in 2005 when USFWS listed the three exotic antelope as endangered but also created a special rule that exempted ranch owners and hunting clients from obtaining ESA permits for captive-bred populations in the United States. At that time anti-hunting groups sued USFWS, alleging the rule violated requirements under the ESA. SCI and several other organizations jumped into the fray to protect hunting rights and the conservation of these species, which thrive on ranches in the US while they struggle in their native ranges overseas.<br><br>Finally, the US Congress stepped in, passing the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, including Section 127 directing USFWS to reinstate the special rule exempting the three species from the ESA permit requirement.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT Caribou Closure in AK May Impact Scheduled Hunts <div align="center">By Mike Bodenchuk, Editor-at-Large</div><br><br>We've devoted a lot of space in our newsletter to caribou in recent years because the picture for this iconic species keeps changing. The latest changes involve the Western Arctic herd in Alaska, which has a history of increases and declines, numbering about 242,000 in 1970, declining to only 75,000 by 1976 then steadily increasing to a peak of 490,000 by 2003. It declined again, to 325,000 in 2011 and then down to 235,000 in 2013. Its present population is estimated at 206,000.<br><br>In late May of this year, the Federal Subsistence Board closed all public land in GMU 23 to caribou hunting by anyone other than federally recognized subsistence hunters. GMU 23 is a popular unit, both for do-it-yourself (DIY) drop-camp hunts and for guided hunts using aircraft access from Kotzebue. The Federal Board closure supersedes state regulations and excludes not only nonresidents but also a lot of Alaskan hunters who rely on the unit for their annual caribou hunt.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT Wood Bison - A "New" Record Book Species <div align="center">By Mike Bodenchuk, Editor-at-Large</div> <br><br>The Safari Club International Record Book Committee recently announced the addition of free-range wood bison as a new record book category. Previously, all North American bison were grouped into one record book group, known as American bison. Hunters with wood bison trophies already entered into the record book as American bison can request a reclassification through John Searles (<a href=""></a>; 810-732-5800, ext. 333), the SCI Record Book Committee North American Sub-Chair. Specific location information for the hunt or the name of the outfitter is required for reclassification. The addition of wood bison provides a new category in the record book as well as a new species for the Wild Oxen of the World Inner Circle Award.<br><br>Wood bison are larger than plains bison and are specially adapted to the North Country. Interestingly, adaptation to deep snow has caused a noticeable shift in bone and muscle structure - the "hump" on a wood bison is taller than on a plains bison and is located closer to the head. Wood bison are primarily grazers but will browse willows and other brush, especially in the winter. Hunts for wood bison are typically conducted in early spring on snowmobile in very cold conditions.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT Is ESA Listing Ahead for the Northwestern Moose? <div align="center">By Mike Bodenchuk, Editor-at-Large</div><br><br>On June 3, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced a positive finding on a petition to list the US population of the "northwestern moose." The 68-page petition, filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and Honor the Earth (both of which could be called anti-hunting organizations), identifies moose in MN, MI, WI and ND as a distinct population segment of a subspecies and asks the USFWS to provide protection under the ESA. It should be noted that any distinction of this moose population is legal, not biological, as moose populations in all these states except MI are directly connected to secure and strong moose populations in Canada.<br><br>In May 2016 (Article <a href="" target="_blank">3732</a>) we ran down US moose hunting options, but didn't cover "northwestern moose" because only North Dakota is currently offering moose hunts, and those are for residents only. In North Dakota, moose appear to be expanding their range (and doing very well) in mixed prairie/brush lands, but not doing as well in the small forested area in the Turtle Mountains. Minnesota stopped hunting moose in 2013, and Wisconsin and Michigan have not allowed moose hunting in recent history.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT TWA Auction Offers One-of-a-Kind Hunts <div align="center">By Mike Bodenchuk, Editor-at-Large</div><br><br><em>Editor's Note: Far too many hunting opportunities are offered at wildlife banquets annually for us to cover them all. But every now and then something comes to our attention that we believe will interest subscribers. Enjoy!</em><br><br>Auction hunts can be a good way to discover a new ranch, a new outfitter or get a good hunt at a great price. However, hunting with an unknown outfitter may be rolling the dice, and we've always cautioned hunters to be as diligent as ever when considering an auction opportunity. Increasingly, however, wildlife associations and outfitters are putting together packages that can't be obtained at any price - unique access to ranches that aren't commercially hunted or hunt packages for a group of hunters.<br><br>The Texas Wildlife Association has auctioned some special opportunities in the past. The 2016 banquet offers several one-of-a-kind opportunities for special hunts with reputable outfitters.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT A Roundup of 2016 Alaska Coastal Brown Bear Hunt Experiences <div align="center">By Justin Jones, Assistant Editor</div><br><br>With the spring 2016 bear season in Alaska concluded, we have six subscriber reports that cover a range of options for coastal brown bear hunts: reports from T. Glowka and B. Mabrey on the Katmai Preserve, Dwight Van Brunt on an Alaska Peninsula hunt, F. Drasner and J. Scull on Kodiak Island, and J. Wolfenden on a yacht-based Baranof Island hunt.<br><br>Back in February we updated readers on the two operations in the Katmai Preserve (see Article <a href="" target="_blank">3712</a>), and shared a subscriber report from a hunt with Don Willis' <a href="" target="_blank">Alaska's Extreme Hunting</a> (253-740-3201) in the Moraine Guide Area. Alaska's Extreme Hunting had a very successful first season in the Katmai, and this year's spring bear hunt went equally well.<br><br>In Report <a href="" target="_blank">10543</a>, T. Glowka says that he and girlfriend Kelly Gray hunted the Moraine Guide Area in May with Willis and guide Sky Smith. Gray took what will qualify as a Boone & Crockett bear.<br><br>"I saw over 30 individual bears during the five days it took for both of us to take a trophy," writes Glowka. "My girlfriend harvested a 28-5/16 bear (green) squaring over 10 feet, and I took a nine-foot-plus bear with a 26-9/16 skull.<br><br>"Don and his team make this operation exceptional. They are extremely well-organized and very eager to get clients on large bears. We found the guides and assistant guides personable, honest and extremely hardworking.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT A First-Hand Account of a Driven Bear Hunt in Romania <div align="center">By Tim Jones, Editor</div><br><br> <em>Editor's Note: Have you ever thought of doing a driven bear hunt? Clearly it's an exciting experience, as witness this report (<a href="" target="_blank">10559</a>) from subscriber D. Loren on his April hunt in <strong>Romania</strong>. Enjoy!</em><br><br> A driven brown bear hunt is all that you can imagine and more! I've traveled all over the world but had never been to Romania, so I could not really know what I was in for. I did some checking and learned that Bucharest was a pretty modern city with good food and wine. While doing my homework for a business trip to Europe, I discovered <a href="" target="_blank">Hunt Romania</a> (<a href=""></a>; 011-40-74-52-80-573) run by Marius Merutiu out of Bistrita, in north-central Romania. After looking up his outfit in <em>The Hunting Report</em> [see Article <a href="" target="_blank">3396</a> and Report <a href="" target="_blank">9765</a>] and speaking to a couple of Americans who had hunted with Merutiu, I signed up.<br><br> From Bucharest you can either drive (six hours) or fly to Cluj-Naboca where Merutiu picks you up and takes you to Bistrita (two hours). In Bistrita you stay in a nice hotel with clean rooms and really good food and wine. A nice breakfast is included. The hunt area is 40-45 minutes away by car. I was picked up each morning after breakfast and taken to the meeting location for that day's drive.<br><br> A driven bear hunt is just like a driven boar hunt, but we are talking brown bears here! Brown bear in Romania are fairly plentiful, and they can get big. Romanian forest rangers drive the bears using dogs and occasionally firing guns. When I first heard of this concept I was a bit skeptical, but these men are tough and brave. The forests are like the alders in Alaska-hard to even walk through. Case in point: after one drive, one of the drivers had broken the butt stock off his shotgun going through this dense stuff. Fortunately you as the hunter wait for the bear to come to you in a more open area. This is not a physically demanding hunt.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT We Can Lead You to Water We can lead you to water, but only you can choose to drink.<br><br>Nothing distresses us more than to hear from a subscriber with a problem that wouldn't be if he or she had only seen our latest warnings. Right now, I am holding my breath, waiting to hear from hunters whose trophies have been unexpectedly seized. Why? Well, urgent news broke after our June issue went to press and the only way we could warn you was through a series of email and social media bulletins. If you didn't see them, you could be one of the hunters we hear from.<br><br>Perhaps the most urgent news last month was that USFWS now requires enhancement import permits for ALL elephant. When I say "now," I mean effective-July-6-<strong>now</strong>. You can read the basics in our cover story and deeper analysis by John J. Jackson, III, in the enclosed issue of <em>World Conservation Force Bulletin</em>. But when USFWS made the announcement, everyone assumed that elephant trophies hunted before July 6 would be grandfathered. Many shipping and booking agents were telling clients not to worry about it. But that advice was wrong, and we immediately sent out an <a href="" target="_blank">email bulletin</a> warning readers that any elephant trophy arriving July 6 and later without the new permit <strong>would be seized</strong> and gone forever. We followed those emails with a posting to our <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook page</a> and a message on <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter</a> (@barbaracrown).<br><br>We also sent out emails about a <a href="" target="_blank">new law in New Jersey</a> that bars New Jersey hunters from bringing home lion, leopard, elephant or rhino trophies.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT Digging Up Some Last-Minute Fall Hunt Opportunities from Agents <div align="center">By Mike Bodenchuk, Editor-at-Large</div><br><br>If you didn't draw the tag of your dreams (or if you just have an opening in your fall schedule) hunt consultants or booking agents are often in the best position to quickly target last-minute opportunities. We contacted a number of proven agents looking for their best offerings. Here's what we discovered for this fall. Warning: some are very short notice, so be ready to act quickly to do your own due diligence and decide if the opportunity is right for you!<br><br>Amy Shaffer of <a href="" target="_blank">ProHunt Concierge</a> (970-629-5086) has archery elk hunts near Meeker in NW Colorado for hunters who couldn't secure a tag. All hunts are five days, with guaranteed over-the-counter (OTC) tags on a combination of private and land-locked (low public hunt pressure) BLM lands in Units 11 & 22. For bull elk the 2x1 price is $3,800 (you can go 1x1 for $200 extra per day). Dates are Aug. 27-31, Sept. 2-6, and Sept. 8-12. In the same general area there are leftover rifle cow elk tags available through <a href="" target="_blank">Colorado Parks and Wildlife</a> (), but you must act immediately. A three-day hunt, 2x1, is $2,000; dates are Oct. 28-30, or Nov. 11-13. Still in Colorado, Shaffer has a five-day 1x1 mountain lion hunt with OTC tags for $5,000.<br><br>In Alaska, Shaffer has a 10-day fly-in/backpack Dall sheep hunt Aug. 10-17 for $19,500. A combo is available with added trophy fees: $6,000 for grizzly, $2,500 for barren ground caribou. The dates for combo hunts are Aug. 18-27 or Sept. 1-20 (on this last date you can stay as long as needed due to inclement weather). Prices include charters roundtrip to camp from Deadhorse, AK.<br><br>Heads Up! At press time, Shaffer told us her outfitter in NW Colorado had just received extra mule deer vouchers. She has four 2x1 mule deer hunts (two hunters per time slot), priced at $5,800 for five days, including the landowner voucher/tag. The dates are Oct. 22-26 and Nov. 10-13.<br><br>Clark Jeffs at <a href="" target="_blank">Safari Outfitters</a> (307-587-5596) has a very reasonably priced, meat bison or trophy hunt on a 113,000-acre ranch in the Gallatin Valley near Bozeman, <strong>Montana</strong>. Typically, you will have a set arrival time. This is NOT a fenced hunt.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT New Hunting Opportunity for Roosevelt Elk on California Ranch <div align="center">By Justin Jones, Assistant Editor</div><br><br>Subscriber J. Gilliland filed a rave report on a new opportunity for trophy Roosevelt elk in northwestern California. He took a 337 3/8 B&C bull on the ranch of <a href="" target="_blank">Alexandre Family EcoDairy Farms</a> (707-487-1000) on a four-day hunt last September. Elk tags for the property became available starting in 2015.<br><br>In Report <a href="" target="_blank">10547</a> Gilliland says, "This is a wonderful family farm with landowner tags. There is a resident herd of around 150 elk. I scouted the herd for several days before taking a big bull that weighed around 1,400 pounds. A physically easy, enjoyable hunt."<br><br>Gilliland gave us more details in a follow-up email. He writes, "Alexandre Family EcoDairy Farms is owned by a college friend of mine, and there are free-range wild elk all over his 3,000-plus-acre ranch. I have been looking at the herd for years on visits, and he'd been trying to get landowner tags from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife [CDFW] for five years. Finally he was granted six tags per year for five years starting in 2015, with two bull tags and four cow tags. I was the first hunter he called when he got the tags.<br><br>"My guide was Chris Howard, who works for the dairy business. He grew up in the area and is very knowledgeable about the local elk herds.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT Florida Rifle Hunt for Alligator <div align="center">By Tim Jones, Editor</div><br><br>Alligators can offer a fun, challenging hunting experience for even the most proficient hunter. Subscriber J. Mathisen is enthusiastic about his recent spot-and-stalk rifle hunt (<a href="" target="_blank">10494</a>) in Florida with <a href="" target="_blank">Gator Glades</a> (863-673-0161).<br><br>Mathisen hunted on several private ranches. At one ranch, they spotted several large 'gators within 15 minutes. The sun had just come out and the alligators were basking.<br><br>Mathisen stalked several 'gators, got busted on the first stalk, and shot high and missed on a second 'gator (a 10-footer at 80 yards. Later that day, he shot an 11-foot-8¼-inch 'gator. Mathisen reports seeing over 100 alligators within four hours.<br><br>Gator Glades offers hunts on both private and public property, including a two-alligator (non-trophy) hunt on public water or a trophy alligator hunt on private land. Their private hunts run year round while their public hunts depend on season. The private land hunts can be done day or night using rifle or handgun, bow or crossbow, and for the especially adventurous, snag hook or bang stick hunting.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT An Unusual Nighttime CapercaillIe Hunt in Russia <div align="center">By Tim Jones, Editor</div><br><br>Long-time subscriber D. Yajko has checked in this month with an unusual report on a late April hunt for capercaillie in <strong>Russia</strong>. He booked through Srdja (Serge) Dimitrijevic of <a href="" target="_blank">Safari International</a> (<a href=""></a>; 011- 34-67-121-3205). In a follow-up phone call, Yajko told us, "I've hunted a number of times with Serge [see Reports <a href="" target="_blank">10411</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">9173</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">7688</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">7565</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">6672</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">5610</a>]; we'd been talking about different hunt options and this one caught my attention.<br><br>"I flew to Moscow, then took a train an hour northeast to Tver on the Volga River. The lodge was gorgeous. We hunted capercaillie, black cock and woodcock, and I took all three species. This was an unusual hunt in that we hunted from midnight to 7am and tried to sleep during the day.<br><br>"I took a black cock on the first night, then a European woodcock, which are much larger than the North American woodcock.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT "Rugged" Hunt For White-Lipped Peccary <div align="center">By Leigh Ann Bodenchuk, Editorial Assistant</div><br><br>Subscriber P. McMahon gives a thumbs-up for his May 2016 hunt for white-lipped peccary in Veracruz, Mexico with outfitter Carlos Ros (Report <a href="" target="_blank">10532</a>). McMahon booked his hunt through <a href="" target="_blank">The Global Sportsman</a> (210-602-1266).<br><br>In a follow-up interview, McMahon described the terrain as "rough and wild, not jungle, but dense foliage with extremely deep and steep gorges. Lots of trees, but not large trees. You had to hunt."<br><br>McMahon tells us that if a client can only hunt three days, the outfitter will set out baits prior to arrival. In his case, they had set a bait but did not use it. And, because it rained every day during his hunt, they judged that hunting around watering holes, another frequently-used technique, might not have been productive. So they spent most of their time hiking.<br><br>The effort paid off, as McMahon was able to take a clear, quick shot across a gorge to get his peccary. He used a rifle furnished by the outfitter. McMahon did not bring his trophy back with him but left it to be processed and shipped. We've asked him to let us know when he receives his trophy and will update this report in our database.<br><br>McMahon says the camp consists of "an open-sided dining area about 30 yards from enclosed sleeping quarters." There was also a modern bath and shower building. An older couple did all the cooking in camp and attended to hunters while in the dining area.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT Hunters Report Trouble with Congo Hunting Safaris <div align="center">By Barbara Crown, Editor-in-Chief</div><br><br> Two hunters have filed reports on derailed safaris to Congo-Brazzaville with Congo Hunting Safaris. Both hunters arrived, on separate dates, to find that the company was not prepared for their hunts. Each submitted a lengthy and detailed report on their experiences and the issues leading to their decisions to leave Congo without even attempting to hunt. Their complete stories are available in our online hunt report database, but we have provided here a summary of what happened and the responses from the company's partners who are in the midst of a huge disagreement.<br><br> The first hunter was subscriber and experienced African hunter P. Flack, accompanied by his organizer Christophe Beau of Grand Safari. They arrived in camp on June 1st only to find Flack's hunting license had not been provided and the two PHs and camp manager were being forced to leave the camp under threat of arrest. Additionally, the only vehicle in camp, according to both Flack and Beau, was an old unroadworthy 4x2 Toyota Hilux with no brakes, no lights, no winch and bald tires - completely inadequate for use in a muddy rainforest.<br><br> They were told that former camp manager and PH Andre Van Deventer was on his way to the camp to guide Flack. But Flack and Beau say they did not want to hunt with Van Deventer, due to his prior association with a rhino poaching scandal in South Africa. That, plus the lack of a license, the unacceptable vehicle, and the conditions under which the original PHs left, led Flack and Beau to cancel the 14-day safari, return to Brazzaville and leave the country. A flight from the regional city of Ouesso back to Brazzaville was not available and they chose to drive. Flack details a hair-raising trip, negotiating 21 checkpoints where their possessions were scrutinized by drunken armed personnel who demanded money. We've posted his complete story, <a href="" target="_blank">Caveat Congo</a>, to our website under Website Uploads on the homepage. It is a must-read for anyone contemplating a trip to Congo. As an African who has hunted in more than 19 African countries, Flack says, "I will never, ever go there again."<br><br> The second group, subscribers A. and T. French, arrived in the city of Brazzaville on Friday, June 3, and waited in the airport for two hours before Congo Hunting Safaris representative "Brunell" showed up. She had not secured a rifle permit and claimed they had only been informed of the Frenches' arrival the day before.... The Jul 2016 Issue Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT