From the Editor
Moose vs eland...
This issue came under discussion once again at the recent African Hunting Events hunting show in Calgary, Canada. I realised that we as African outfitters still have a lot of work to do in educating the international hunter about the cost of hunting in Africa. I personally think that we should talk price long before we talk venue, outfitter or professional hunter. As Dennis Hilling, a Canadian who is a salted hunter on African soil and who, with his lovely wife, Julie, has taken many plains game, leopard, lion and elephant, explained to us – to go on a moose hunt in the Yukon for example will set a hunter back $8 000 to $10 000. For the local US or Canadian hunter who has not been exposed to hunting in Africa but who might consider to do so one day when his finances allow it, the logical assumption is that if a moose hunt will put him back $10 000 and a four-day whitetail hunt around $5 000, then an African hunt cannot be less than $30 000 to $40 000. This is where our problem lies – education, education, education...
As an outfitter, you know what you can offer a first-time international hunter for $8 000 on African soil. We do not want to scare off the first-time hunter with our invoices; instead we need to create a returning customer. As Dennis explained to us – his first budget to Africa was $8 000; he and his wife had a wonderful first hunt and so the hunting budget was increased every year, sometimes even doubled, and eventually it included members of the Big Five! He also pointed out that we should focus more on the middle class and the age group where the kids are out of school and there are no bond or car repayments, resulting in a bigger hunting budget. I know all of us want the client with an unlimited budget and two-page hunting list, but there are just so many of them.
We need to find new customers continuously – once the client has hunted all the plains game species you have on offer, he moves on, so you need to source new customers all the time to replace the lost ones.
African Outfitter undertakes to launch various programmes this year to educate the international audience about the affordability of hunting in Africa. We have some great plans for 2015 but for that we need more hands, so I am happy to welcome Beatrice Grobler to the African Outfitter team. She will assist Yolande van der Merwe with advertising and marketing, striving to offer an even better service to our loyal advertisers and marketing the magazine to an even greater international audience.
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