Conservation page

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Simba Scholarship Fund

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Please review the record of our new Scholarship Program the “Simba Scholarship Fund”.  This fund was conceived by Bullet Safaris and currently delivers 100% of its donations to worthy candidates for college level courses to the top Game Rangers in Tanzania.

November 18, 2015

I have recently returned from another great season in Africa. We worked very hard and hunted well. We had great success on lion and leopard as usual in Tanzania; we shot several great buffalo, sable and roan. Our plains game hunts in RSA continued to produce great trophies and a true African experience. Thanks to my guides and staff for another great season.

The ban on importation of Ivory from Zimbabwe and Tanzania is killing more elephant than it saves – it is also cutting down on the effective amount of money that gets to the people on the ground protecting these animals. I hope the USF&WS can see this and lift the ban. Legal hunting of Mature Male Elephant is scientifically proven to have no net effect on populations of elephant and only aids the species preservation by providing money and boots on the ground to protect these animals from poachers.

Please see this video (UPLOAD VIDEO) . This short clip explains some of the work we do and what the reality of elephant conservation in Africa is. Poaching this year was very prevalent due to the dry conditions and our hunters coming to Africa to support conservation there has never been this important – thank you.

August - 2015

Lion Hunting in Africa – by Nathan Askew as written from his safari camp in Tanzania on a lion hunt in 2015 in the wake of the ‘Cecil’ incident.

Big game hunting in much of Africa is the lifeline keeping the ecosystems intact and poaching under control. We take only mature male animals, and it is scientifically proven that our minimal off take of animals has no negative effect on the population. In fact, the opposite is true. Without legal, regulated hunting, certain animals in Africa will be extinct or no longer be able to survive in the wild. Without the money generated from hunting lion and other species, their habitats would be destroyed in a very short amount of time.

Many of the hunting areas are not suitable for photographic safari operations for various reasons including that they are too remote. Without the funds generated from hunting, we would not be able to control these areas and conserve the animal habitats. Without our efforts and the assistance of certain African governments, all species will suffer and decline. The African governments do not have enough money and resources to protect all these wild areas on their own. Conservation requires private companies working with government. The positive economic impact brought about by hunting incentivizes governments, landowners, and companies to protect the animals and their habitats.

If hunting is outlawed, private companies like mine would cease operations. Immediately, poachers would come in and kill all the elephant. Then the timber cutters and meat poachers would come in and take all the desirable species. Then domestic cattle herds from nearby villages would penetrate these areas. Cattlemen will then poison all the predators. In short, outlawing big game hunting would have a nuclear type of effect on these areas. The lion habitats will be gone forever along with all animals big and small.

Please think about this before you make your personal judgment on hunting, and especially lion hunting, in Africa. Hunting is the most effective means of conservation for these areas and a valid tool that works in rural Africa. Legal hunting promotes conservation and helps protect the animals. Anti-hunting advocates are effectively advocating for the destruction of habitat and eventual elimination of the animals they purport to want to save.

I recently finished a lion hunt, and we shot a lion. One lion was taken in over 1,500 square miles of wilderness that we control with the government. This animal being hunted legally, the dollars spent by the hunter, and our efforts on the ground in conjunction with the government saved countless animals. It is the only way to effectively manage these remaining areas in Africa—a fact that becomes more important for the conservation effort as the human population in Africa skyrockets in the near future. Hunting provides a way for these areas to pay for themselves and be a long term asset to the developing countries in Africa. It also brings in significant revenue and creates jobs in places where revenue and jobs are scarce.

Do not let your emotions surrounding one incident, or ignorance of the real situation in much of Africa, put a stop to the effective management of a renewable resource.

You don't have to take it from me. If you do more than listen to brief, reactionary, one-sided "news" stories on tv, you will see that the media is very rarely presenting the facts. Here's a start:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/11/world/africa/outcry-for-cecil-the-lion-could-undercut-conservation-efforts
http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2015/07/legal_trophy_hunting_isnt_a_problem

 

Outcry for Cecil the Lion Could Undercut Conservation Efforts

cecil

Trophy hunting, which has been viewed under a harsh public spotlight since the killing of Cecil, a lion in Zimbabwe, is part of a complex economy that is an...

nytimes.com|By NORIMITSU ONISHI

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To whom it may concern:

My name is Nathan Askew, I own Bullet Safaris and I hunt. I have shot hundreds of animals and been responsible for the death of thousands more. Before you write me a nasty email, threaten my life or post ignorant comments on facebook – read this letter and educate yourself on how hunting and conservation actually work. I am going to give you a few examples, facts, and my personal take on some issues. It is up to you to educate yourself based on factual information and only then should you decide how you feel about hunting.

I have spent my entire life trying to save animals and their habitat across the world. I am formally educated in biology, ecology and animals sciences; I also have a lifetime of real world experience. You can choose to not like hunting; but it's an ignorant point of view to say that hunting doesn't work as a management tool. To say that properly managed hunting is bad for animal populations is going against science.

Hunting and animal rights...first of all people have rights, animals do not have rights. The majority of the world has never even considered the idea of an animal having a right. America and Europe are the only places that have an 'animal rights' movement. That's because the rest of the world is basically worrying about human rights and surviving – survival that you most likely wouldn't understand. I am sure that as you read this on your iphone in your oversized living room, in your secure home with food in the fridge, you haven't even considered your survival. Is survival a right that you perceive to have? The bulk of humans on earth are worried about having something to eat and staying out of the rain. They haul wood to keep warm at night and draw their water from a hole hoping it's clean enough to drink. Trust me in the fact that your illusion about animals having rights is just that. Don't you think it is a misdirected effort for a person to worry about the size of a chicken's cage in California when a member of the human race is fighting malnutrition? This struggle for human survival is in your own country, the country next door, and the entire continent of Africa. In many ways hunting improves the life of people in areas where they are struggling to survive. Get your priorities straight and do something that can change a life...a human one.

Hunting...All of the animals that we hunt are pursued legally with a strong emphasis on respect for the animal. A quick kill is our goal followed by full utilization of the animal. I will not apologize for killing animals for food or for a trophy. I consistently take the time to explain it to people that don't understand hunting. Most of the time it is not their fault as they have grow up in a world where food comes wrapped in plastic from a store down the street. I assure you that your chicken sandwich didn't start life that way.

It is important to understand that hunters pay for the protection and proliferation of the animals they hunt. The harvesting of a few select animals benefits the population, this is a fact. Some will die so that others can survive. It has been that way since the beginning of time. Man is the ultimate predator – but this comes with a responsibility. Modern day hunters are well aware of this responsibility and we give back more than we take, this is a fact. Money generated by the sale of hunting licenses in the USA alone totaled over $796 million in 2011. Conservation efforts by SCI and DSC promote animal protection and rural development in third world countries. Hunters pay a self imposed tax via the Pittman-Robertson act of 1937 at the tune of a 10% tax on ammunition, firearms, licenses, and equipment sales (this alone has generated around 8 billion dollars for conservation). In total hunters contribute over 1.6 billion annually to conservation.

Hunting and Africa...it is my passion and my profession. Much of my time is spent in these wilderness areas assisting in anti-poaching patrols, protecting the animals and their habitat, and improving the situation for wildlife in Africa. I have spent my life working to preserve and increase the wild areas available to animals. I have done this with the money my clients spend on their safaris, and the money they pay the African Governments to hunt various animals. These animals have a price on their head and it's a great thing. This system works and creates a value for these animals. Things of value tend to be taken care of and thus the animals are able to pay for their existence in this ever-shrinking world. This money goes to the governments to fund their national parks, anti-poaching patrols, animal studies, and education of the local people.

In Africa, hunting areas and national parks operate together and in most situations are managed by the same government offices and people. The national parks are generally smaller, more aesthetically pleasing locations designed to attract tourists. The hunting areas are usually marginal areas that are difficult to access, large in size and have less animal densities than national parks. Overall, the hunting areas constitute more heads of game and habitat range than the national parks and must be managed effectively. The way to do this is through hunting; it increases game numbers and keeps rural development and abuse out of the areas. The type of development I am writing about is not a shopping mall or the new convenience store on the corner. I am writing about the unregulated abuse of land, first, through poaching; second, through unregulated pastoralist abuse; third, a slash and burn deforestation to create farmland for subsistence farming. This type of development is unsustainable and widely accepted as the worse utilization of habitat.

Hunting and emotional reaction...I am tired of snap reactions from misinformed people on hunting. Misinformed people bash a hunter for shooting an elephant; when that elephant is an old bull that is not necessary in the viability of a population in areas where elephant hunting is conducted. Misinformed people accuse me of illegally killing a cheetah; when what I am displaying is a dead leopard and it was killed legally. There are many leopards out there and the mature animal my client hunted put over 15,000 USD into conservation for its species. How much did you donate to preserve leopard habitat this year? Like it or not that animal dying in the bush or spending its last days picking off dogs from the local village is not the right way. The goal is to keep these populations healthy, intact, and out of the local people's way of life. Ever heard of a farmer in the USA going hungry because an elephant ate half his crop and trampled down the other half? No you haven't, but it is common in rural areas in Africa. It is mandatory to address the human animal conflict issues in Africa and hunting companies also help with this. I am frustrated with ignorant people talking about elephant hunting- please research the difference between hunting and poaching. Also try to understand the challenges faced with managing mega fauna like an elephant.

How you can help...your donations to animal rights' organizations are simply padding the pocket of the people that persuaded you into believe their nonsensical rhetoric in the first place. I have yet to see any of that money actually help in the real world. The money that they receive from you doesn't go directly toward conservation in the proportions that a hunter's money does. The best thing for you to do is to buy a ticket to Africa and go on safari; go to several different countries as the challenges facing the Republic of South Africa are way different than the situation in Tanzania. Give the money to Africa yourself – don't take the easy way out then complain to me that I am the problem with declining animal populations, destruction of habitat, and extinction of species. The money you will spend on your safari helps give Africans a job and keep them from poaching or destroying habitat. It also goes to the government departments that run the national parks and hunting areas and in many cases directly to the local villages surrounding the area you visit. That will help way more than writing me a nasty email, sending the human society $500 check, or signing an online petition about animals you don't understand and have never seen in the wild. Put your money where your mouth is, or pick up rifle and join me in the field for anti-poaching patrols. Either way I am eager to help you save animals in Africa.

Sincerely,

Nathan Askew

Professional Hunter / Conservationist