Problem Leopard - Namibia

#1
Hi folks, just a very quick update on the problem cats I'm handling (not literally) in Namibia.

So we had 2 problem Leopards, one male and one female - these are now both on their way to Retoma Taxidermy for a long soak in the bath before journey's to Canada and Texas respectively - shame these are not coming to the UK, but there you go. In addition we had some problem lions - more on those shortly.

As of today we have a fresh 'problem' leopard. This one is on over bait right now and is thought to be circa 75kg - he's a Tom btw. He's new to the region and is getting himself established so if you're interested, sooner rather than later folks!

Lions - we now have 5 (FIVE) problem lions over 3 farms. We have been issued with cities documentation for them already, as we have for the leopard, and so if you fancy a bit of big game hunting, now's your chance!

We are emailing our client list today but I'd like to give you chaps the chance to get in before the Amercan's this time! If you'd like any further details or would welcome a chat about them, or any of our other hunting opportunities in Namibia, South Africa and Argentine, please feel free to get in touch - thanks!

***EDIT***

Namibian Airlines fly out of Gatwick every Friday evening - so we could be hunting this on Saturday evening folks - this coming weekend!
 

john.d.m

Well-Known Member
#4
Just a couple of queries ref problem animals.
1.Does a "problem" animal stay a problem until a paying hunter is found to deal with it :???:

2.Does an outfitter let the animal stay being a problem when a client has booked and paid deposit to hunt it :???:
3. If you don`t get a buyer for your 5 problem Lions, will you leave them being a problem until you get a buyer, or will someone, or yourself hunt them for free?
I was offered a problem elephant in Zim a few yrs ago with a very good mate of mine but I had to be on a `plane to Zim as soon as I got the phone call, as it was a problem there and then, I couldn`t book to hunt a problem animal for 6mnths or a year in advance.
My leopard was "believed" to be a problem animal and we came on him by chance.
I have seen/heard various horror stories ref to problem animals and personally would be very very wary of booking a P.A.C hunt.
I do know of a very novice hunter (mate of mine)booked a problem Lion hunt in Namibia a couple of years ago, for 6mnths in advance and when I asked him,how they know they will have a problem animal in 6mnths time :???:
He thought about it, asked the outfitter, and my mates conclusion was, either they aren`t real problem animals, or if someone else had already paid and shot it, the outfitter would walk him about for a week and wouldn`t come across the "problem" animal.
This is just my experiences/opinions.
 

Andy L

Well-Known Member
#5
I guess there are outfitters and there are outfitters! Same as there are problem animals and there are problem animals!
If a leopard is eating skinny namibian cattle than I expect that an outfitter would wait until an overseas client could come to put a bullet in it. I would then hope that a percentage of the money from the hunt went to the locals that were losing said cattle. I am sure that £5000 or whatever it is would buy quite a few skinny cows!!
If a problem Lions is killing skinny namibians then I would like to think that a little more urgency would be shown! :lol:
 
#6
Hi folks, thanks for your interest, much appreciated.

OK, so I think it's best to deal with John.d.m.'s comments first although I'm assuming that a PAC hunt means problem animal cull?

So, what is a problem animal? Well, that's easy, it's an animal that is specified as such by the Namibian Govt's Dept of Nature Game and Conservation - not me, not the farmer, not the outfitter - we can't class any animal as such, only the Govt agency that deals with issuing Cities certification and hunting permits.

So what is a problem animal - well, it's illegal to keep preditors on a farm, not that you'd want them clearly as they eat their way through sheep, goats and cattle at an alarming rate! So, if you have cheetah on a cattle farm, it's not always a drama as they tend not to attack them, but that's not true of lion, leopard and hyaena. Similarly, sometimes we get problem buffalo and elephant - in fact we have a problem elephant to deal with right now, the third such creature this season unfortunately, and each of these was responsible for killing humans - the local black fella's have their own territories and the net revenue from any animals shot in these area's go directly to the locals - so, a problem elephant or buff is generally one that's either already killed or is posing such a threat and hasn't left the area despite the best efforts of the locals.

ats and Hyaena though, that's a different story - here's a picture for you, I'll tell you the story afterwards:

Quite a pussy huh, well this 83kg leopard was shot within 200 metres of this guys farm house - it had eaten his dogs, several sheep, 3 new Brahman calfs and had attempted to get into the house where Jassie (pictured) and his wife and two young children were sleeping. A medicinal does of .458 resolved this particular problem, but a problem out there, and this farm is about 36km from the nearest small town, is very different to a problem in the UK - in fact, lets just say that if we had 83kg cats knocking on our back doors of an evening, we'd have a different view of them to the rose-tinted bs that many of the 'Nature' channels would have us believe!

As I understand it, in 2006 there were 23 leopards officially shot under licence by trophy hunters in the whole of Africa - yet in the same year, over 50 were shot by farmers in the Outjo region of Namibia, all had been officially classed as problems - and represented a serious threat to human life. I hope that explains how they are categorised.

As for time scales - again, if you were a cattle farmer in Namibia (and it's classed as being semi-desert so arable farming isn't an option for 90% of the country) and you had a large preditor eating your stock, then you'd want it gone asap, and that's the case here too. Right now, the problem leopard that we are dealing with are actively eating the farmers stock and the Nature Conservation have aproved these as problems so hunters can come in and shoot them legally and export the trophy once it's been prepared. Certainly the farmer will receive the lion's share (joke - geddit) of the money for the animal, but the more stock he looses, the worse off he'll become, so a quick resolution is what's best all round!

The way that it works is this. To hunt anything in Namibia you must be escorted by a certified 'Professional Hunter' and that person charges a day rate for his or her time. This covers your accomodation, food and so on, together with the time of the PH. There is a trophy fee which goes to the farmer although generally the farmer and PH split this too. We take a modest % for our time and that's pretty much it!

Problem animals tend to come and go, but there's always some sort of preditor activity as my region boarders the Etosha National Park - so imagine something like Woburn Wild Animal Kingdom, except there are no internal fences and it's 110km x 65km wide and boardered on all sides by farmland, separated by a basic ire fence. The Etosha National Park is said to be the largest natural and un-spoilt peice of real estate in the whole of Africa, and it's full of game - but, lions and leopard, just like us, take the line of least resistance. So certainly, Springbok tastes great to a lion, but that means lots of running around and so on, whereas every farm has cattle, sheep and domestic animals, most of which can be caught easily in their compounds, and lions, like foxes, will go through a herd and kill everything in one hit, even if it's not going to eat it, so if you'r a cattle farmer and you get a visit from lions, not only can you not insure against this, if you don't stop the problem, you'll be out of the farming business pretty quickly!

We can't sell problem animal hunts in advance, life isn't like that, although I was in Namibia during most f June and we shot 7 lion and 8 Hyeana while I was there - all problem animals.

So, A problem animal is shot ASAP - there isn't really another option unless they get the hint (if a hunter misses and frightens it) and move off to another area - in some cases they force their way through the fences at night, eat their fill and return to the National Park the next day. These animals are also problems but can only be shot on farmland (there's no chasing them over the boarder!)

Do we leave problem animals in place? Well, the farmer looks upon the problem animal as a revenue source, so if he's looking to receive circa £2000 back for the animal, but it's eaten 5 calfs at £400 each, then it's break even. Sheep are not such a problem, and what generally happens where possible is the farmer starts shooting bait which is hung from trees ect to keep the preditor away from his stock - baboon / warthog / donkey are usually used. It's basic ecconomics to the farmer - the quicker a hunter can be found the better, but if no hunter is found then generally the farmer will loose patience and shoot it himself. Generally we offer any problem animals to hunts already in country first, and that's the case everywhere, but urgency is the key!

Prices then - OK, so a leopard will cost you circa £2500 and a lion £8000, in addition you will be paying a ballpark of £200 / day for your PH and preditor hunts such as these are generally over a minimum of 10-14 days - these animals will not just roll over for you and must be stalked and hunted hard!

In addition to lion and leopard, we also promote Outcast Hunting - hunting the Hyaena packs and Jackal that are causing such a problem this season - next year will be worse - besides, the jackal pelt is stunning and hyaena hunting is hard, dangerous, challenging and huge fun - take a look at the trophy gallery on my site at http://www.thehuntingagency.com/default.asp?ID=4 and take a look for yourself!

I hope that goes some way to explain what we mean by problem animals, and I know how hard it is to believe how many preitors there are in Namibia in the face of natural history programmes telling us that the end of the world is coming - it is, but there's so many of them that you simply wouldn't believe it!

Tell you what, I've got some Namibian PH's coming over in Feb 09 for a visit and we'll be holding get togethers for UK stalkers to meet them and hear for themselves how it really is. We have a couple of venues sorted so far, one in Somerset and another in Gloucestershire so if you'd like to come alone, meet me and them then you'll be very welcome - if you're reading this in other area's of the UK and know of a venue and interest in your area, please feel free to contact me and we'll set something up!

Hope this helps!

Cheers

Roo
The Hunting Agency

PS - if it helps, I will gladly come over with any of you guys who may be interested in going to Namibia game hunting - can't say fairer than that can I!
 
#7
Andy L said:
If a problem Lions is killing skinny namibians then I would like to think that a little more urgency would be shown! :lol:
LMFAO - nice one!

Ok, so I'll not get involved with the skinny cow debate and as for skinny Namibian's - I've yet to meet one! Seems that diet of biltong Boerworst and beans makes a Boer pretty porky!

Urgency - you got that right, it's just economics really, the sooner it goes, the less loss of stock and the higher return for the farmer.
 

shakari

Well-Known Member
#8
TheHuntingAgency said:
As I understand it, in 2006 there were 23 leopards officially shot under licence by trophy hunters in the whole of Africa
I don't know who told you that. Tanzania alone shoots considerably more than that number every year. Usual Leopard quota for most if not all blocks in Tanzania is 4 per block and the SGR alone has something like 38 hunting blocks. Even if a third of the blocks were rested and the remainder only shot half their quota the number of Leopards taken out of that reserve alone would be something like 50. I don't remember the numbers taken in recent years but a guesstimate would be close to three times the number you mention.
 
#9
Sorry to mislead you, it was from memory although I thought the data came from the WWF, but I'm probably wrong as you say. I think the point I was making was that there are plenty of them around although hunting them is so difficult that having a known animal with it's own territory makes things a whole lot easier, although there's still no guarantee of success!

Anyway, thanks for putting me straight, wasn't my intention to deliberately mislead.

Cheers Roo
The Hunting Agency
 

shakari

Well-Known Member
#10
No problem.

The toms all have their own territories and the girls usually overlap more than one..... the real secret to hunting Mr Spots is doing it with a PH who's really good at it...........
 

PeteL

Well-Known Member
#11
"The toms all have their own territories and the girls usually overlap more than one..... the real secret to hunting Mr Spots is doing it with a PH who's really good at it..........."
Shakari, Do you know any PHs who are really good at hunting Mr. Spots, then? :lol: :lol: :lol: Sorry, couldn't resist !. :p
Roo,
Correct me if I'm wrong- I've never hunted Hyena(never wanted to) but I would think it would be easy enough. All you have to do is wave some meat about in camp and they're laughing and giggling all over the place. :lol:. I don't like ol' Fisi, too clever and cheeky for me. If you can take Simba's dinner off him, you've got to be pretty smart. However, I would think that leaving decent baits out in several places would soon attract hyena by the bucketload - they are, after all, Africa's dustmen and it's partly due to them that the veldt is not littered with carcases. As for the danger, well I've never heard of Hyena charging on being shot, have you?.
It is not my intention to cast aspersions in your direction but, it is my opinion that one should be very wary about taking up offers to hunt problem animals.
Peter
 

shakari

Well-Known Member
#12
A lot depends on the area you're hunting them in and the particular circumstance and indeed the particular PH. I seriously hate the stink of hyena and don't even like to shoot one a long way from camp as I'll have to sit with it in the back of the truck all the way home, so I try to set the hyena shoot up with a bit of prior planning.

Most if not all true wilderness areas have a vulture restaurant close to camp and the hyena quickly get into the habit of feeding there. I usually wait for a night where there's no old carcasses there and then have the guys drag a biggish piece of old bait etc from the vulture restaurant to a fairly open area behind the skinning shed and then leave the sticks and a spot lamp set up in a suitable place beside the skinning shed.......... then we go to dinner. If I've timed it right, we'll hear the hyenas coming in between main course and pudding and sneak down to the shed, put the light on the bait, shoot fisi and then go back for pudding and coffee. :D

Well, there's no point in my getting old if I don't get sneaky huh? :D

Another way is to drive back to camp a bit late and look for them close to camp........ I've found a predator call usually stops 'em dead and gives time for a quick shot..... but I only do that if we're very close to camp for the reason stated above.

In fairness, they're not always as easy as that and hyenas on game farms etc tend to be more educated and often need a bit more planning to take them. They're not usually particularly difficult though.
 
#13
Sounds to me Gents that I need to take the pair of you to Namibia so you can show us all how to do it!

By way of explaination then - Anthrax and Rabies have hit the antelope populations of SW Africa pretty hard this last year - nothing like this in 29 years, so a shortage of Kudu and Gemsbok plus the carcasses caused a bit of an explosion in the numbers of scavengers - Hyaena and Jackal in particular.

Trouble is that lots of people (trophy and sporting hunters) are reluctant to shoot them in favour of more exotic species, and as such, these inflated packs of hyaena need increasing amounts of food now for their growing families and that means that they are attacking not only beef and sheep stocks, but game stocks actoss the region too. One of my farmers has lost 75 (of an original total of 85) Gemsbok in the last 3 months, and that's a big and growing problem unless it's addressed.

Hunting these guys isn't the walk in the park that you may previously have experienced as they have become very used to being hunted by the local farmers and are wary and cautious. As for charging after being shot - that hasn't been a problem and to asnwer your question, no, I've never heard of that either, but last time I went we counted 14 around us and the closest got within 20 metres, and that's a lot of teeth and snarlin' to be having that close!

It's not everyone's cup of tea folks, but fun's where you find it.

PeteL - just one final word - it does seem to me that "casting aspersions" is exactly what you are doing and it's directed straight at me and my company - now we've never met, but if you'd like to meet up and have this conversation with me, that's fine by me. We all have opinions, I don't know you or anything about you, and to my knowledge, we've never met and therefore the same must be true for you of me. Bottom line is that it looks very much to me that you're calling me out and suggesting that my agency is not reputable here - perhaps you'd like to qualify and clarify exactly what it is that you are saying here please?
 

shakari

Well-Known Member
#14
Roo,

I really don't think that Pete was casting aspersions on your offer, I think his comment was a more general observation and he's quite right in that it's not uncommon for terms such as PAC to be misused by some agents and outfitters etc. This is sometimes/often caused by the fact that the person originating the offer often doesn't speak English as a first language and doesn't understand the subtleties of the language. Then the slightly incorrect term gets passed on by the agent etc.

Often, though not necessarily in this case a better term to use might be non-exportable. ;)
 
#15
But these are exportable - they have cites documentation issued by the Namibian Government - diesn't get much more exportable than that - but thanks for pouring a bit of oil on here, I'm still pretty sore about the inference or otherwise - that's not how we do business and it's certainly not how we would exect any of our outfitters to behave - any sniff of anything illegal and we drop them - no warning and no second chances, that, IMHO is why trophy hunting in RSA has gone down the toilet - reedy PH's and lazy hunters.

But that's another story!

Cheers
 

shakari

Well-Known Member
#16
I also was generalising when I referred to non exportable etc.

(Generalising again!) The problem with all of these terms is that they're so vague and open to misuse. (Both intentonal and unintentional) Pretty much anywhere in Africa, a true PAC animal is one that has had some kind of destruction order placed on it by the PB/GD etc that is for a specific animal or occasionally group of animals that has committed 'specific crimes' and these orders are to be executed (pardon the pun) ASAP. Where a similar package is offered to clients who can book at their leisure, it's usually the case that PAC might not be the most accurate of terms to use. Especially when a large number of unrelated animals are offered together. - Note I said usually and not always.

Another way PAC is very often misused is when a farm owner etc has animals that are just doing what comes naturally. For example, he might have a few Elephants on the farm that are in the habit of digging up water pipes etc........ that's what Elephants do, but it doesn't make them PAC animals, it just makes them Elephants but the it's not uncommon for the landowner to get fed p with fixing waterpipes and instead decides he wants the culprits shot and so offers the hunt as a PAC hunt, either with or without export permits. - I know of cases where this has happened in 3 seperate African countries. - It's a bloody shame but the reality is that these sort of things do happen.

Going back to my original point, if you're representing who I think you are, it could well be at least partly caused by his lack of English.......... which is even worse than my Afrikaans or German! ;)
 
#17
I'm a bit lost to be honest - who I represent is clearly covered on our website and communication isn't an issue between me and the outfitters that I represent - beyond the obvious African issues of power problems and telephony connectivity of course. With hindsight it does seem that there's a degree of 'sniggering at the new boy' going on here which is a shame as we only agreed advertising terms with John yesterday - 24 hours later and if I had any interest in hunting in Namibia, I'd be thinking twice about it after reading your respective comments - seems the damage has been done - thanks - I'm not sure I really deserved any of it.

The range I represent is in excess of 685000 hectares, and however you look at it, that's a hell of an area, and we cover most of the perimiter of the Etosha National Park too, but that's by the by. Simple fact is that in a territory that size you are going to get problem animals more often than with outfitters that only cover a modest area.

Elephants - personally I'd leave them alone too, but those that we have had permits for this year were all killers of bushmen and were therefore found guilty and executed. It's a shame there isn't more room for them to be able to live the life they were supposed to IMHO, but there you are. We currently have a problem elephant available now, but it's most likely to go to a Texan - I have clients who have full mounts of Elephants in their houses and most of those are American, either that or Eastern Europeans.

Anyway, I think this thread has already done enough damage to the interest of readers looking for a genuine safari experience in Africa so I'll sign off now and take this up with John tomorrow - again, shame as we only agreed advertising terms with him yesterday and wthin 24 hours it seems that our welcome hasn't lasted.
 

Andy L

Well-Known Member
#18
Roo, Don't be too put off by Shakari and PeteL, They are a bit of a tag team when it comes to African Hunting and will pounce on anything that they can pick holes in. I know nothing about african hunting other than what I read from guys on this forum. I have been to RSA as a tourist and hope to one day take the rifle.
Maybe Shakari is annoyed that he has competition at close quarters?
 

PeteL

Well-Known Member
#19
Roo,
I'm sorry to see that you've taken my remark personally, you can be assured that it was not, emphatically NOT, directed at you or your Company. I thought I had made that clear. You must see that I have no reason to direct such a remark in your direction as I do not know you or your organisation. So, if I have, albeit unintentionally, offended you or your Company, my apologies.
As I said, I am open to correction with regard to Hyena and you have made it clear that it's a lot more difficult in Nambia than in the rest of Africa, because of the circumstances, so I stand corrected. In fact, it sounds as though Hyena hunting in Namibia is a lot more dangerous than some of the Dangerous Game!.
Peter
 

shakari

Well-Known Member
#20
Andy L said:
Maybe Shakari is annoyed that he has competition at close quarters?
Not at all. I'm lucky enough to have been in the business for more than long enough to have built a reputation that's more than good enough to mean I don't have to advertise anywhere except on my own site, I don't attend the conventions, (actually I went once some years ago and decided it wasn't worth the money etc) I don't make hunt donations to any organisation whatsoever and I only very rarely use agents or pay commissions. - Maybe two or three times in the last 5 years or so. We get all our business from personal recommendation, repeat bookings and web sales. - You'll also have noticed that I don't try to sell safaris on the forums other than the very occasional cancellation etc.

You might also have noticed that I try to make a point of correcting misconceptions and incorrect statements. I do this because I believe in the truth and that without that, the African hunting industry will suffer and probably eventually die.

Nothing I've said has been an attempt to undermine Roo or his company. I don't know him from a bar of soap and I know nothing of his operation but I wish him well in his business and I certainly don't see him as any kind of competition.

All I did was point out that some sectors in the industry misuse terms like PAC either deliberately or by mistake. - I didn't say or intend to say his offers were dodgy in any way. I do however, stand by my statement that PAC is a much abused term in African hunting.

And I wasn't aware I needed anyone's permission to express an opinion here or anywhere else! :rolleyes:
 

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