'Game hunting necessary'
LAST month The Morning Bulletin published an article about a Rockhampton resident shocked by one stall at the Hunting, Fishing and 4WD show.
World Wide Hunts offers a range of trips where one can hunt animals ranging from wild pigs to lions to elephants.
Upon returning from an African hunting safari, Greg Coyne felt compelled to share his thoughts. He said in two weeks of hunting in Zimbabwe he took only three animals, while bowhunting for trophy elephant. In the end he was outsmarted, but said for him hunting was more about the journey than the kill.
A commercial fisherman in St Lawrence, Mr Coyne has been hunting and fishing since he was four, following his grandfather as he checked traps and snares in the bush.
He operates his fishing business off his 1214-hectare property where he has also been hosting both Australians and foreigners to hunt wild game for the last two years.
He has been to Africa on five separate hunting trips - "nowhere else in the world can you find such a diverse range of animals to admire and hunt at very reasonable rates," he said.
"Hunters in Africa are also generally admired, respected and above all welcomed by almost everyone in the entire country."
Greg Coyne shares his thoughts on hunting:
WELL, I've only just seen the article in the July 21 Weekend Bulletin titled 'Hunting Stall Upsets Patron' which happened at the recent fishing expo held in Rockhampton.
I'm a little late in responding to this as I have only recently returned from a hunting safari in Africa. I feel that as a hunter and a true conservationist it's my duty to try to properly inform this fellow along with all others that may agree with him.
Now, if it wasn't for hunters like myself there actually wouldn't be any elephants or hippos or any other large game left in the world for that matter, period.
Because we actually put a value on an animal's life, this is why conservation is working in a lot of areas.
If it wasn't for some governments along with a large number of other folk with a vested interest in the hunting industry doing their very best to protect the large majority of species from the poaching activities that are running rife in the world, then most of our larger animals would had been extinct long ago.
It is mostly only from fees earned by governments and outfitters through hunting that allows anti-poaching operations to be carried out.
'Greenies', and most other so called 'wildlife conservation organisations' mostly don't know what they are on about and are by the majority not even in touch with themselves let alone nature.
They are not capable of taking care of our wildlife no matter how much money they throw at their so-called cause.
It's only hunters and people like us with deep feelings and a good sense of well-being for the land and the animals that live here, that place any real value on this resource.
I do say "most other organisations" because, actually, unbeknown to most people in the big wide world, the largest conservation organisation in the world, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) actually works hand in hand with the Safari Club International (SCI) which is also the largest hunting organisation in the world.
Yes, that's right, "hunting organisation".
Together they have been directly responsible for saving a great number of our animal species from the very brink of extinction.
You won't hear about this from anyone else in your community and most probably you will never ever hear it repeated again because this is very serious business and it is kept very low-key by parties concerned for fear that the WWF would lose vital funding from individuals that are willing to donate huge sums of money to the cause.
Although well-intended, these donors are more often than not uninformed and misguided and just wouldn't be able to understand the complexity of the situation.
So WWF figures it best to just keep them in the dark.
What they don't know can't hurt them. You would have to travel to the farthest reaches of the world, perhaps to some remote hunting camp in deepest darkest Africa.
There you may be lucky enough to meet up with some WWF representative that is visiting the area to observe how some species was recovering under the watchful eye of "the hunters" the only true "wildlife warriors".
Environmental and habitat management is probably the biggest major concern in any wildlife area.
Far too big an issue for myself to go much into here but folk may be interested to know that the Green movement has been successful in all but ending all forms of hunting in Botswana.
This breeds disaster either to all the animals in that country or perhaps to the land first, followed then by the wildlife.
Without proper management, if the population isn't poached and slaughtered as recently seen in Zimbabwe, then the herds will breed up out of control and eventually denude the whole countryside.
This is already the case in large parts of Botswana because the country is currently carrying over 100,000 elephants where the carrying capacity in reality is less than one-third of this number.
Because of over grazing in areas, particularly along rivers, the bush has been almost totally denuded for up to 20 miles back from either side of both river banks.
I have been told by reliable sources that the countryside has the appearance of a lunar landscape.
This has already displaced many species especially those creatures that require thickly vegetated habitat as normally found alongside river banks.
Zimbabwe was once the number one hunting destination in the world, earning untold millions of dollars in revenue for its people.
However, since Mugabe gained power a little over a decade ago, the wildlife has been decimated.
The whole country has literally gone to ruin.
I know because I was there a little over two weeks ago.
It's now only a shell of its former self and even if it immediately came under proper management, it would take perhaps 30 years to return to what it once was.
However, sadly this is not likely to happen.
On another note, all animals are not lovable furry things.
In India alone something like 50,000 natives get killed by various critters each year. Surprised?
Well don't be because it's the reality.
Misguided folk see the African hippo, which is portrayed on TV as the lovable happy, jovial beast, as just that.
In reality the hippo alone attacks and kills hundreds of people each year in Africa.
Not to even mention what the other big six dangerous game animals over there kill.
Now, I'm not saying that because these beasts need to be slaughtered.
Quite the opposite in fact. They have the right to be where they are and they need to be protected the same as all other species, and the best way to protect any animal is to have regulated hunting.
See part two of Greg's views on hunting in tomorrow's edition of The Morning Bulletin.