One of the events at the 2012 Youth Safari Day was a dog swim to show that bear hunting hounds can swim long distances if necessary during a chase.
Over the past months, SCI staff has been working diligently with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), importers and other members of the regulated community to find a solution to a recent spike in seizures of sport-hunted trophies.
On Friday Feb. 24, the FWS released a memo that clarifies the instructions on tagging and marking leopard, Nile crocodile and African elephant trophies. “We commend the FWS for taking a first step to help reverse the incidences of seizures due to paperwork and procedural problems with importation,” SCI reported. “SCI will continue to work with the FWS to solve importation problems that interfere with trophy importation by many SCI members.”
SCI strongly encourages members who are planning on hunting any of these three species to read through the entire memo and to provide a copy to their Professional Hunter, Outfitter and/or Taxidermist or whoever else might be involved in the preparation and exportation of these trophies.
One particular source of trophy importation problems relates to the tags and/or tusk markings required for the importation of CITES Appendix I trophies. In some circumstances the trophy is taken in one year and imported in a different year. In those circumstances, the tags and/or tusk markings must include different information about the quota from which the animal was taken than must appear on the CITES export permit document.
The memo provides specific information to cover the requirements for these circumstances.
One particularly significant statement in the memo appears in its last line where the FWS explains that, “Sporthunted trophies imported into the United States that do not comply with the marking, tagging or CITES document requirements are subject to refusal of entry or seizure.”
With that sentence, the FWS acknowledges that refusal of entry is a potential strategy that hunter/importers can request to avoid trophy seizures. If and when a hunter/importer is faced with procedural or paperwork deficiencies concerning the importation of the trophy, the hunter/importer may ask for the FWS to refuse entry of the trophy and to return the trophy to the country of export.
A refusal of entry is not a means of fixing existing paperwork flaws. Instead it requires the hunter/importer to restart the exportation process with new exportation and importation documents. While it may be expensive to ship a trophy back to Africa and to seek new documentation, in many cases that cost and effort will be far more reasonable than losing a trophy to seizure.
It is important to understand that the FWS is unlikely to elect to refuse entry unless the hunter/importer specifically asks for that option. For that reason, SCI strongly recommends that hunter/importers who are facing a possible seizure ask that their trophy be refused entry rather than seized. Hunters/Importers should retain the FWS memo and show it to the FWS border official if any question arises. Members who have questions, please contact Bill McGrath wmcgrath@safariclub. org, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service firstname.lastname@example.org.
When asked what he hunts with, SCI Member Mike L. replied with an unusual brace of guns he recently took to South Africa. Mike writes:
“Last year I had the good fortune to hunt in the eastern cape of South Africa. I was hunting at East Cape Safaris located near Somerset East. I wanted the hunt to be something a bit different from what most hunters do, so I chose to take a flintlock Kentucky rifle and a miniature (20% smaller) Sharps model 1874. I wanted to hunt with open sights one more time in my life.
“The miniature Sharps was made by Little Sharps Manufacturing at Big Sandy, Montana, by Ron Otto and Aaron Pursley. The rifle has a 29-inch octagonal barrel and is chambered in the old .38-72 Winchester with a .375 bore. The smokeless loads are the equivalent of a .375-06 or a .375 Scovil. I was able to make effective kills with open sights to 300 yards with it utilizing Barnes .375 250-grain TTSX bullets.
“The second rifle is a .54 caliber Kentucky flintlock rifle in .54 caliber with a 42-inch swamped and flared barrel. It was made by rifle maker Charles Heistand of Marietta, Pennsylvania. A 230-grain roundball proved very effective. The sugar based Sanadex powder available in South Africa shot clean and ignited quite easily. I used this rifle on medium sized game and for culling springbok from the herds.”
A record crowd turned out this past weekend to enjoy the Annual Youth Outdoor Safari Day put on by the Los Angeles and Orange County, CA, Chapters of Safari Club International. As you can see in these videos, everyone had a great time and looks forward to returning to the event next year. Look for additional coverage in your upcoming Safari Club publications.