Botswana Elephant Hunting

wllm1313

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The other weird thing is this misconception about the meat. If the meat doesn't go the villagers, where do you think it goes? To get you to a remote place where you are 5 hours from a power pole or fuel station, you have a LOT of people in your camp supporting your hunt. What do you think you, your outfitter, your PH, your trackers, skinners, cooks, scouts, rangers, and odd-job guys eat? You eat what you kill, it just doesn't come home with you due to USDA rules.

I'm a foodie. I'm also open to eating ANYTHING. I've been lucky to eat at some of the top restaurants in the world. I've tried it all. Easily, 3-4 of the top 10 meals I've ever consumed have been in the bush in Africa. (Braised Buffalo Tail, Bushbuck marrow on garlic bread, Hippo Steaks, Waterbuck Skewers) You'd think Rinella and his culinary curiosity would get him to actually go try something rather than critique. All his assumptions and statements on his podcast are just wrong.
Check out this thread with you have a chance
https://www.hunttalk.com/threads/donating-meat-what-are-your-thought.289664/

Pretty interesting spectrum on the opinions of meat. Some people find it most moral only to kill to feed yourself and family some find it moral to hunt and provide food for those in need. Either position is morally defensible IMHO, ethics are personal so I don't think you can throw shade at someone who says they personally don't want to kill critters they aren't going to personally eat. (I've not seen Rinella say that, but that is the position you are alluding to)
 

rookhawk

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Kinda hard to put words in anyone's mouth but... Rinella has said he would hunt Africa on numerous podcasts. Also his brand is kinda hunting for the every man, relatively speaking he does a lot of small game and whitetail hunting on his platform and has done few hunts that your average Joe couldn't do, to my knowledge the only guided hunts he has done on meateater were BC grizz and Muskox, those are probably on par with Africa in terms of cost.

Rinella has also articulated that he doesn't like feeling like just a hired gun, that I think is the biggest issue for him with Africa and to be honest mine. If I was to hunt Africa I would go into it knowing nothing about the ecology, nothing about how to navigate the landscape, and I would be seeing all those critters for the very first time (Rinella has said in his books and podcast he feels weird about killing the first of something he sees). My guide we be the one doing the "hunting" I would just be tagging alone, then once I killed a critter I wouldn't do the field dressing and meat care (something done in every meateater episode), the field dressing would be done by a team of locals (sure it helps the economy, but Rinella articulated in the SA episodes that he hates feeling like a colonial), and then you wouldn't keep any of the meat for your own personal use. Rinella has said several times his worst hunt was a guided Red Stag hunt in Scotland on The Wild Within, pretty similar circumstances.

Africa just isn't a DIY, for the meat hunt, it's not in their brand. Sure there is nothing morally wrong with it but it just doesn't make sense for them.
Some things that aren't quite accurate:

to my knowledge the only guided hunts he has done on meateater were BC grizz and Muskox, those are probably on par with Africa in terms of cost.
A great deal of what Rinella does is on par with Africa. Africa runs from $3000 for 14 days to 60,000 for 14 days. Most average is ~$8000 for 14 days.

Rinella has also articulated that he doesn't like feeling like just a hired gun
You're not a hired gun in Africa. The PH's job is to keep you alive and to help you with animal selection, avoiding hazards, and helping you extricate yourself from very dangerous situations. It's not the same as running bears with hounds and then handing someone a gun to dispatch the tree'd bear.

once I killed a critter I wouldn't do the field dressing and meat care
The reason you cannot do this in Africa is that you would RUIN/Discard the meat. When I say EVERYTHING on that animal is used. You would gut the animal as soon as you shot it, for example. Easily one of the top-3 most dangerous situations I've been in: Just finished giving 5000 pounds of meat to 150 villagers and all that is left is wet grass, a rectum, and bones. The villagers started arguing over the rectum when we got-the-hell-out-of-there. It was going to turn violent over who got the rectum and the bones. Friendly villagers were turning into a mob. Steve or any American would discard something that an African would view as their sole source of protein for the year. Nothing is discarded but the feces and the urine. Add to that, if you want to do taxidermy, you better have 3 skinners working for 12 hours straight to get every speck of flesh into the salt perfectly, or that hair is going to slip. They aren't going to let a client screw himself.

These are some of the thousands of examples that you cannot understand as a westerner until you actually go there. We make assumptions based on what we think Africa is like...its not like anything you can imagine.
 

wllm1313

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Some things that aren't quite accurate:

to my knowledge the only guided hunts he has done on meateater were BC grizz and Muskox, those are probably on par with Africa in terms of cost.
A great deal of what Rinella does is on par with Africa. Africa runs from $3000 for 14 days to 60,000 for 14 days. Most average is ~$8000 for 14 days.

Rinella has also articulated that he doesn't like feeling like just a hired gun
You're not a hired gun in Africa. The PH's job is to keep you alive and to help you with animal selection, avoiding hazards, and helping you extricate yourself from very dangerous situations. It's not the same as running bears with hounds and then handing someone a gun to dispatch the tree'd bear.

once I killed a critter I wouldn't do the field dressing and meat care
The reason you cannot do this in Africa is that you would RUIN/Discard the meat. When I say EVERYTHING on that animal is used. You would gut the animal as soon as you shot it, for example. Easily one of the top-3 most dangerous situations I've been in: Just finished giving 5000 pounds of meat to 150 villagers and all that is left is wet grass, a rectum, and bones. The villagers started arguing over the rectum when we got-the-hell-out-of-there. It was going to turn violent over who got the rectum and the bones. Friendly villagers were turning into a mob. Steve or any American would discard something that an African would view as their sole source of protein for the year. Nothing is discarded but the feces and the urine. Add to that, if you want to do taxidermy, you better have 3 skinners working for 12 hours straight to get every speck of flesh into the salt perfectly, or that hair is going to slip. They aren't going to let a client screw himself.

These are some of the thousands of examples that you cannot understand as a westerner until you actually go there. We make assumptions based on what we think Africa is like...its not like anything you can imagine.

Disagree entirely.

#1 What a TV show does a hunt for and what I can do the exact same hunt for are different, you can't really bring his costs into... I bet it runs him 30k just to do a duck hunt in his back yard. My point was that most of his hunts are in reach of a normal person, I have done some version of most of his hunts and always for under $2500, mostly for under $200. I'm juxtaposing him with someone like Shockey, honestly if you are so hot to trot on Africa just watch, Uncharted, great production value, nuanced perspective. I see no reason for anyone to change their brand into something it's not.

#2 You are a hired gun. Do you scout the spot before you get there, do you direct the PH and your team which road to drive down, which water hole to sit, which path you are going to take to make the stalk, if animals blow out do you make the call on what to do? I would say if you are running dogs you are still the hunter provided they are your dogs, same thing with baiting if you set up the bait. What the issue with is you aren't doing all the mental work to make the hunt a success.

Like I said the Muskox episode was fully guided, so obvi meateater will do that... but it's definitely not the same as DIY.

#3 I can't argue with what you experienced... but that's not their brand. Every episode follows this framework 1. ) Talk about the ecology of an area/introduce a hunt ("this week I'm hunting..."), 2.) Show some glassing finding animal 3.) Kill the animal 4.) Show the field dressing of the animal 4.) Cook some of whatever you were hunting. If meateater couldn't figure out how to do this in Africa, then why would they hunt there...

Again, I'm not casting judgement, saying it's not an adventure, etc etc I'm just trying to explain why it's problematic for that platform to hunt Africa.
 

geetar

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Kinda hard to put words in anyone's mouth but... Rinella has said he would hunt Africa on numerous podcasts. Also his brand is kinda hunting for the every man, relatively speaking he does a lot of small game and whitetail hunting on his platform and has done few hunts that your average Joe couldn't do, to my knowledge the only guided hunts he has done on meateater were BC grizz and Muskox, those are probably on par with Africa in terms of cost.

Rinella has also articulated that he doesn't like feeling like just a hired gun, that I think is the biggest issue for him with Africa and to be honest mine. If I was to hunt Africa I would go into it knowing nothing about the ecology, nothing about how to navigate the landscape, and I would be seeing all those critters for the very first time (Rinella has said in his books and podcast he feels weird about killing the first of something he sees). My guide we be the one doing the "hunting" I would just be tagging alone, then once I killed a critter I wouldn't do the field dressing and meat care (something done in every meateater episode), the field dressing would be done by a team of locals (sure it helps the economy, but Rinella articulated in the SA episodes that he hates feeling like a colonial), and then you wouldn't keep any of the meat for your own personal use. Rinella has said several times his worst hunt was a guided Red Stag hunt in Scotland on The Wild Within, pretty similar circumstances.

Africa just isn't a DIY, for the meat hunt, it's not in their brand. Sure there is nothing morally wrong with it but it just doesn't make sense for them. Remember they are running a business, just because he hasn't done something on the show doesn't mean his is against it personally. Randy has never hunted Africa, Randy has also never done hunts back east, why? Because his sponsors are interested in targeting hunters who want to do western big game hunting and have asked him to make that his focus.
I understand your point. Sorry if I came across too hard. I’m actually a big Rinella fan and watch every episode of meat eater and listen to a lot of his podcasts and his Joe Rogan appearances. Love what he does. Guess I misunderstood his take on Africa. My apologies if I misquote his stance or portrayed his views in a bad light.
 

wllm1313

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I understand your point. Sorry if I came across too hard. I’m actually a big Rinella fan and watch every episode of meat eater and listen to a lot of his podcasts and his Joe Rogan appearances. Love what he does. Guess I misunderstood his take on Africa. My apologies if I misquote his stance or portrayed his views in a bad light.
Lol he might hate it who knows... we aren't buddies. Just trying to convey what I've seen and heard.

Meateater is a cool show, but it shows one particular perspective and style... there are lots of ways to approach hunting. If you love Africa more power to you, if your kick is whitetails, have at them... if your more of a walleye guy cool.
 

geetar

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Indeed. The more I listen to Rinella (I do like him, he's entertaining) the more frustrated I am with his biases nested in ignorance. Two things he constantly brings up that I just want to choke him over: His snyde remarks about crossbows (Idiot: Gen Y and Gen Z decide if hunting will continue to be legal...crossbows are THE gateway to get youth into hunting) and his remarks about Africa.

Africa IS a very big place and there are some goofy put-and-take mentality places in South Africa, I get it, silly. However, there are places where I have hunted 10km a day in heavy bush for a week, seen many elephants as close as 15' (where I couldn't tell which end I was looking at...that dense), seen lions, leopards, buffalo, ate like a king, caught tiger fish on a fly rod, and distributed 5000 pounds of meat to a STARVING village that was so happy I was the hunter willing to come to their village as their sole legal source of protein for that YEAR.

The other weird thing is this misconception about the meat. If the meat doesn't go the villagers, where do you think it goes? To get you to a remote place where you are 5 hours from a power pole or fuel station, you have a LOT of people in your camp supporting your hunt. What do you think you, your outfitter, your PH, your trackers, skinners, cooks, scouts, rangers, and odd-job guys eat? You eat what you kill, it just doesn't come home with you due to USDA rules.

I'm a foodie. I'm also open to eating ANYTHING. I've been lucky to eat at some of the top restaurants in the world. I've tried it all. Easily, 3-4 of the top 10 meals I've ever consumed have been in the bush in Africa. (Braised Buffalo Tail, Bushbuck marrow on garlic bread, Hippo Steaks, Waterbuck Skewers) You'd think Rinella and his culinary curiosity would get him to actually go try something rather than critique. All his assumptions and statements on his podcast are just wrong.
) You'd think Rinella and his culinary curiosity would get him to actually go try something rather than critique. All his assumptions and statements on his podcast are just .

This last section is exactly what I was getting at. Being a meat guy I’m surprised he doesn’t have more interest in Africa. He’s free to not do it though and it’s fine with me.
 

geetar

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Lol he might hate it who knows... we aren't buddies. Just trying to convey what I've seen and heard.

Meateater is a cool show, but it shows one particular perspective and style... there are lots of ways to approach hunting. If you love Africa more power to you, if your kick is whitetails, have at them... if your more of a walleye guy cool.
Yep everyone is free to choose what they like. I’m fine with him not going over there if he doesn’t want to. I support all forms of legal and ethical hunting even if I don’t want to participate in all of them.
 

Bozone

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Yep everyone is free to choose what they like. I’m fine with him not going over there if he doesn’t want to. I support all forms of legal and ethical hunting even if I don’t want to participate in all of them.
Don't forget about his Bolivian trips, fishing, spearing, etc. That is pretty "guided" considering the remoteness of the area, reliance on local knowledge and expertise, etc. I can't imagine a place that could wreck your month more than the deep jungle -- poisonous snakes, insects of every kind, etc.
I think they would be down for more "international" hunts as they continue to expand their reach, staff, etc. I could see with their new focus on fishing that the passports get more use. International fishing is way easier to wrangle, and a ton of fun in amazing places, and sitting down on a beach crushing yellowtail sashimi doesn't sound too bad.
 

rookhawk

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Don't forget about his Bolivian trips, fishing, spearing, etc. That is pretty "guided" considering the remoteness of the area, reliance on local knowledge and expertise, etc. I can't imagine a place that could wreck your month more than the deep jungle -- poisonous snakes, insects of every kind, etc.
I think they would be down for more "international" hunts as they continue to expand their reach, staff, etc. I could see with their new focus on fishing that the passports get more use. International fishing is way easier to wrangle, and a ton of fun in amazing places, and sitting down on a beach crushing yellowtail sashimi doesn't sound too bad.
In listening to one of his recent podcasts, he had on a guy that was a long-time safari hunter. Honestly, I did not care for the podcast at all. The "ambassador" did a terrible job defining and explaining the realities of Africa. Steve started with many biases and misconceptions and the guest did nothing to debunk most of them.

Steve would do Africa (just like Bolivia, or the mountain lion hunt, or the Yukon hunt) if Steve had even a modicum of idea of how Africa works. Steve thinks Africa is South Africa. South Africa was exhausted of all game. South Africa then stated "if you fence your ranch, you own all within the fence". Then, ranchers darted and swapped wildlife and built the most successful come-back story of wildlife anywhere. However, the animals in South Africa with little exception are FENCED. What Steve cannot fathom, is that the FENCED property and the privately-owned wildlife in that estate happens to be the size of Rhode Island. Add to that, SOUTHERN AFRICA (Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe) is not that way at all. Those areas use much more of a "NA Public Trust Wildlife Doctrine". Those areas are often national lands or communal lands, totally UNFENCED. Steve doesn't understand this and his guest was not giving him this information. Steve also is naive as we all are before we go to Africa. We think we understand definitions of "danger", "peril", "poverty", "hunger", and "poaching" that are not as defined in Africa. He thinks its like Montana and Alaska because that's what he has experienced to create comparisons. It's not. The chief I visited in Africa, the richest guy in a 50km radius was below the poverty level Steve has experienced anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.

I was beyond frustrated by the misinformation Steve was espousing uncorrected on his podcast that was going unchecked by his guest. Steve left about as naive as when the conversation started.
 

wllm1313

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In listening to one of his recent podcasts, he had on a guy that was a long-time safari hunter. Honestly, I did not care for the podcast at all. The "ambassador" did a terrible job defining and explaining the realities of Africa. Steve started with many biases and misconceptions and the guest did nothing to debunk most of them.

Steve would do Africa (just like Bolivia, or the mountain lion hunt, or the Yukon hunt) if Steve had even a modicum of idea of how Africa works. Steve thinks Africa is South Africa. South Africa was exhausted of all game. South Africa then stated "if you fence your ranch, you own all within the fence". Then, ranchers darted and swapped wildlife and built the most successful come-back story of wildlife anywhere. However, the animals in South Africa with little exception are FENCED. What Steve cannot fathom, is that the FENCED property and the privately-owned wildlife in that estate happens to be the size of Rhode Island. Add to that, SOUTHERN AFRICA (Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe) is not that way at all. Those areas use much more of a "NA Public Trust Wildlife Doctrine". Those areas are often national lands or communal lands, totally UNFENCED. Steve doesn't understand this and his guest was not giving him this information. Steve also is naive as we all are before we go to Africa. We think we understand definitions of "danger", "peril", "poverty", "hunger", and "poaching" that are not as defined in Africa. He thinks its like Montana and Alaska because that's what he has experienced to create comparisons. It's not. The chief I visited in Africa, the richest guy in a 50km radius was below the poverty level Steve has experienced anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.

I was beyond frustrated by the misinformation Steve was espousing uncorrected on his podcast that was going unchecked by his guest. Steve left about as naive as when the conversation started.
"I’ve said many times that I wouldn’t hunt if I didn’t enjoy it, and I wouldn’t hunt if it weren’t for the meat. Both of those things are equally important to me. Remove one and my interest would be gone. I have done some overseas hunting, including in New Zealand and with Amerindians in the jungles of South America. In those cases, I was able to personally enjoy as well as share the meat from my kills. Those moments proved to be the highlights of those trips. "As for African safaris, I might be interested in someday seeing that world, but in all honesty it’s pretty low on my list. I prefer to hunt where I understand the conservation history and the complexities of what’s happening on the ground."- Steven Rinella

Yeah dude, he pretty much admits that... and is the reason he isn't interested in hunting there... not sure what else to tell you...


I love reading Capstick, maybe you should look there for your hunting stories?
 

ajricketts

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Q: Here in Minnesota, we’re in the land of the dentist who killed Cecil the Lion. You’ve said that if it weren’t for the food, you’d quit hunting. So does that mean you’re not interested in overseas trophy safaris, since hunters usually can’t bring meat home from those trips?

SR: I’ve said many times that I wouldn’t hunt if I didn’t enjoy it, and I wouldn’t hunt if it weren’t for the meat. Both of those things are equally important to me. Remove one and my interest would be gone. I have done some overseas hunting, including in New Zealand and with Amerindians in the jungles of South America. In those cases, I was able to personally enjoy as well as share the meat from my kills. Those moments proved to be the highlights of those trips. As for African safaris, I might be interested in someday seeing that world, but in all honesty it’s pretty low on my list. I prefer to hunt where I understand the conservation history and the complexities of what’s happening on the ground.
 

rookhawk

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"I’ve said many times that I wouldn’t hunt if I didn’t enjoy it, and I wouldn’t hunt if it weren’t for the meat. Both of those things are equally important to me. Remove one and my interest would be gone. I have done some overseas hunting, including in New Zealand and with Amerindians in the jungles of South America. In those cases, I was able to personally enjoy as well as share the meat from my kills. Those moments proved to be the highlights of those trips. "As for African safaris, I might be interested in someday seeing that world, but in all honesty it’s pretty low on my list. I prefer to hunt where I understand the conservation history and the complexities of what’s happening on the ground."- Steven Rinella

Yeah dude, he pretty much admits that... and is the reason he isn't interested in hunting there... not sure what else to tell you...


I love reading Capstick, maybe you should look there for your hunting stories?

And again, Steve's concepts are wrong. We know he will enjoy the meat in Bolivia. We know you cannot bring meat back from Bolivia, or Italy, or Scotland, or anywhere outside North America due to USDA rules. Check. Steve still doesn't understand that in most of Southern Africa, you are eating the meat just like he did in Bolivia. He still thinks the meat goes somewhere else in lieu of in his stomach. Because he totally doesn't get it. He doesn't understand that to do a safari in most of those nations you are bringing in a truck full of food staples and no protein. Every meal after the first day or two is RELIANT on a steady aim or a dozen people supporting your safari, along with you, will be eating bread for dinner. This is the stuff that drives me crazy about Rinella, and more so about his guest that didn't explain any of this. The only place you go in Africa, shoot a dozen animals, then retire to the swimming pool before enjoying a black angus T-Bone is a ranch in South Africa. The rest of Southern Africa is largely wilderness. You are eating your meat every day.

I don't fault Steve if he has facts and says "that's not my preference in hunting", but he has misinformation as the basis for his opinion that perpetuates this stigma on his audience.

Regarding participation, you can participate all you want. If you'd like to tie bones to a tree, grab a cup of feces in your hand and throw them on the tree as well rather than the trackers, sure, welcome to do so. (For baiting to get a photo of a leopard, or hunt a hyena, etc, etc.) It's pretty cool stuff if you like wildlife. No one would say you could not get actively involved in many elements of the hunt. I've personally grilled my sandgrouse and guineafowl lunch over a fire after collecting mopane wood, you can do that. You can do all of these things in a wilderness area, just like you can in Alaska. In both cases, there is by law, someone or a group of someones there making sure you don't get yourself killed.
 

deer_shooter

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There are several animals I have no interest in hunting, elephant included. I will however hunt Africa someday and for me, buffalo is at the top of the list.
 

wllm1313

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And again, Steve's concepts are wrong. We know he will enjoy the meat in Bolivia. We know you cannot bring meat back from Bolivia, or Italy, or Scotland, or anywhere outside North America due to USDA rules. Check. Steve still doesn't understand that in most of Southern Africa, you are eating the meat just like he did in Bolivia. He still thinks the meat goes somewhere else in lieu of in his stomach. Because he totally doesn't get it. He doesn't understand that to do a safari in most of those nations you are bringing in a truck full of food staples and no protein. Every meal after the first day or two is RELIANT on a steady aim or a dozen people supporting your safari, along with you, will be eating bread for dinner. This is the stuff that drives me crazy about Rinella, and more so about his guest that didn't explain any of this. The only place you go in Africa, shoot a dozen animals, then retire to the swimming pool before enjoying a black angus T-Bone is a ranch in South Africa. The rest of Southern Africa is largely wilderness. You are eating your meat every day.

I don't fault Steve if he has facts and says "that's not my preference in hunting", but he has misinformation as the basis for his opinion that perpetuates this stigma on his audience.

Regarding participation, you can participate all you want. If you'd like to tie bones to a tree, grab a cup of feces in your hand and throw them on the tree as well rather than the trackers, sure, welcome to do so. (For baiting to get a photo of a leopard, or hunt a hyena, etc, etc.) It's pretty cool stuff if you like wildlife. No one would say you could not get actively involved in many elements of the hunt. I've personally grilled my sandgrouse and guineafowl lunch over a fire after collecting mopane wood, you can do that. You can do all of these things in a wilderness area, just like you can in Alaska. In both cases, there is by law, someone or a group of someones there making sure you don't get yourself killed.
 

Trial153

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This will bring in a lot of the big money guys to the area. Hopefully the funds go towards wildlife and not lining pockets
 
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