|Planned PH Course|
PROPOSED PROFESSIONAL HUNTERS COURSE TO BE PRESENTED AT THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN WILDLIFE COLLEGE AS FROM 2012
THE NEED FOR A PROFESSIONAL HUNTERS COURSE
Southern Africa is one of the premier hunting destinations of the world and has a large and well established hunting industry employing some 40 000 people and generating in the order of R3.8 billion Rand annually from foreign as well as local hunters. The healthy game ranch industry which has resulted in a greater wildlife population in South Africa than what was present at the turn of the century is largely due to the hunting industry. Industry role players, hunting organizations and stakeholders have identified the urgent need for proper training for professional hunters. A number of Unit Standards were developed specifically by a Standard Generating Body (SGB) for a national qualification for professional hunting and registered with the Southern African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). To date however no body or organization have done anything to put together a comprehensive professional hunters course even though there are existing Unit Standards in place. The Southern African Wildlife College has decided to step up to the plate and take positive steps towards addressing the current inadequacies in the hunting industry. A curriculum has been drafted and the basic groundwork put in place to present a two year professional hunter’s course of which students will attend eighteen months at the Southern African Wildlife College and then move on to a six months apprenticeship with an established and approved hunting outfitter with a good reputation. The duration of the course will thus be two years.
The course content will include not only those unit standards specified by SAQA but a number of additional ones which have appeared to have been overlooked by the SGB. A partial list of modules / subjects to be covered is shown below. There will be a strong emphasis on ethics, sound wildlife management and utilization principles and an understanding of the role that hunting has to play in conservation.
- History of hunting
- The professional hunter
- Hunting ethics
- The role of hunting in conservation
- Philosophy and ethics of conservation
- Ethology (animal behaviour)
- Tracking skills (basic, intermediate and advanced)
- Wildlife and vegetation management
- Hunting law
- Introduction to firearms and ballistics
- Animal studies
- Reptile studies
- Invertebrate studies
- Hunting skills
- Fish studies and sport fishing
- Bird studies
- Bird hunting
- Basic and advanced wilderness first aid
- Hunting planning (non-dangerous and dangerous game)
- Trophy estimation and recording
- Trophy management
- Meat processing
- Hunting wild animals with a client (non-dangerous and dangerous game)
- Infrastructure maintenance
- Survival and bush skills
- Resource economics
- The role of hunting in anti-poaching
- Catering and hospitality
- Firearms skills and ballistics (Intermediate and advanced)
- Business management and marketing
- 4x4 and off road driving skills
TARGET MARKET OF PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS
Preference will be given to prospective students from SADEC countries with previously and presently disadvantaged individuals who meet entry level requirements given priority. A maximum of fifteen students will be accepted and a strict pre-selection process will be implemented to choose the most promising and suitable candidates.
BENEFITS FOR THE INDUSTRY AND FOR THE PEOPLE OF AFRICA
- Professional hunters will be trained to a level of excellence.
- The reputation of South African professional hunters will be improved as they will be able to provide a better service.
- Properly qualified and trained professional hunters will be available in the market.
- Professional hunters will become active conservationists.
- Skinners will be trained to a high level of competence and will instill confidence in clients entrusting expensive trophies to them.
- Trackers will be trained to offer a service of high standard.
- The whole industry will benefit by having properly trained professionals and will attract more hunters to South Africa which can help to boost the regional economy.
- It will provide career paths and better work placement opportunities for qualified professional hunters, skinners and trackers.
- Empower individuals with the skills to operate hunting operations to the benefit of rural and poor communities.
- It can provide a pool of properly trained professional hunters where hunting as a form of sustainable utilization can be put into practice in the buffer zones of Africa’s expanding Trans Frontier Conservation Areas (TFCA’s).
WHAT MAKES THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN WILDLIFE COLLEGE AN IDEAL VENUE FOR PRESENTING A COURSE OF THIS NATURE
The College is situated within the greater Kruger National Park which is one of the largest conservation areas in the world (in excess of four million hectares) and home to a wide variety of wildlife including the “big 5”. What better classroom for practical work could one wish for? Over and above this the College has excellent facilities – the like of which one would expect from a top class learning institution. Comfortable accommodation for students, well equipped classrooms, library and resource centre, computer lab etc. We have immediate access to a 1 000 hectare training area adjacent to the College for day to day training and are in current negotiations with one of the local conservation bodies to use one of the provincial reserves close to the College (7100 hectares) as a dedicated training area for professional hunters, trackers and skinners. If what we envisage can be realized the College will conceivably be in a position to offer the best training in the world for professional hunters.