Articles & Blog

My last Newsletter and Blog Post

I celebrated my 69th birthday recently and have been touched by how many people remembered and called and emailed to wish me. Wonderful to be remembered, especially at an age

WWF – Its True Colours

Since my expulsion as a 30 year member and 20 year trustee of WWF Southern Africa for the crime of being a hunter, the controversy surrounding this matter will not

Why Men Trophy Hunt by Messrs Darimont, Codding and Hawke

Did you know that the reason you hunted was solely to boast about it – ‘signalling’ is the word used in the above article – the size of the animals

First Buffalo

Do you remember your first kiss? I mean a real kiss. Not one of those cheek grazing, lip brushing, air kisses into nothingness and nowhere. Do you remember your first

Opposition to the Fair Chase Guild

Fair Chase Guild Membership Documentation I was a teenager when I first came across the phenomenon. My favourite cousin’s husband was doing his internship at Grootte Schuur hospital. I admired

Conversations with my Son

Last month a friend sent me an email he had received from a United Kingdom visitor in response to the DVD he had sent her entitled, The South African Conservation

South African Hunting Statistics for 2015 – Some Observations

I received the South African 2015 hunting statistics this week and was delighted to see that, after five years of steady decline – we reached our peak number of overseas

“Expelled” from WWF South Africa – continued

I received a copy of the WWF South Africa Constitution three days ago. I was in for an unpleasant surprise. Clause 8.2 states as follows: ‘The Board may at any

The Fair Chase Guild – what is it?

Fair Chase Guild Membership Documentation I attended an historic meeting on Tuesday 18 October 2016. Or at least in time to come, I hope people will look back and say

Caveat Congo – the Anatomy of a Hunting Disaster

The sweat shiny, black face and dull black uniform of the huge Congolese policeman blocked out most of the weak overhead light from the yellowy street bulb barely illuminating the

“Expelled” from WWF South Africa

In the last month I have become the poster child for Survival International in what appears to be a nasty internecine fight between them and WWF. I had never heard

What do Bongo and Art have in Common?

When I was researching the chapter on bongo conservation in Kenya for the fifth and final book in the spiral horn series, Hunting the Spiral Horns – Bongo & Nyala

Some Roan I Remember

I like hunting roan, especially in West Africa. I think they are harder to hunt than Lord Derby’s eland, for example, because the big, lone roan bulls seem never to

Zebra – Pyjama Clad Horses?

It is sad but true. We have had a few hunters – or should I say "so-called" hunters – who visited us on our game ranch who had no love

The Five Huntable Hartebeest on Licence in Africa Today

It was my second visit to the 10,000 hectare game and cattle farm near Ellisras in the old Transvaal. The four of us hunters stood with our backs to the

Lies, Bloody Lies and Surveys – Game Numbers

English Translation: “Unbelievable! One dog gives birth to 11 subspecies in one day.” In recent days, two surveys have been brought to my attention which make sweeping and major statements

Lies, Bloody Lies and Surveys – Colour Variants 3

To be honest, there is so much twaddle written on this subject by so many people that should and often do know better that I normally ignore most of it

Leopard Lunacy

As told to Peter Flack by Ryan Cliffe I was 27. Been a PH for exactly three years and an appy for five years before that. Why five years? Firstly,

How to Hunt Hard when it’s Hard to Hunt

I am 67 and there are days when I seem to hear the ticking of Father Time’s clock especially loudly. All those things they told me would not be possible

Colour Variants and Canned Killing – The Namibian Policy

Last night my attention was drawn to a speech by Namibia’s Minister of the Environment and Tourism at the NAPHA AGM last week and I thought it so important that

Speech: Colour Variants and Canned Killing

Three weeks ago I received an invitation from the Department of Environmental Affairs to present a paper to the SECOND NATIONAL DIALOGUE WORKSHOP ON THE INTENSIVE AND SELECTIVE BREEDING OF

Public Relations and Hunting

I have never received a greater response than I did to my blog, “Amateur Hunting Bodies Have Failed Their Members” both in number and the emphatic views expressed, only a

From Barbara Crown, publisher of The Hunting Report

In Response to blog post: Amateur hunting bodies have failed their members Dear Peter, Do you feel like Casandra from the Greek myths? I know I do. Read your blog

Amateur hunting bodies have failed their members

For 25 years my job was to help save failing organisations. A key part of the rehabilitation process was to ensure they had properly funded, professionally managed public relations strategic

Some Erudite Alternative Views

Here are some negative comments I have received recently via Facebook and email: Date: 30 July 2015 From: Shauna Carroll Email: slc2106@gmail.com Comment: You are everything that is wrong with

PHASA President Calls for a Review of Lion Hunting

I received the Press Release set out below directly from PHASA on Friday last week: PHASA President Calls for a Review of Lion Hunting Pretoria, 24 July 2015 – Hermann

Submission to Panel of Experts into South Africa’s comprehensive integrated approach to reduce rhino poaching

14/07/0215 | The following article was sent to me by the CEO of SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association, Fred Campher, for comment: NEWS24 | R440m spent but rhinos still

High Game Prices = Major Conservation Reward

The article below, written by Mr Barry York, an intensive breeder of golden wildebeest, was sent to me for reply by Andre Degeorges, an American who has worked extensively in

Intensive Breeders Sense of Humour Failures

In the March/April issue of African Outfitter (AO), arguably the best hunting magazine currently published in Africa, the half page advert set out below by Take Aim Safaris (TAS) was

Article in Rapport Sunday Newspaper – Death knell for hunting? Artificial breeding of game “damages SA’s reputation as an eco-destination”

The headline article in the business section of yesterday’s main South African Afrikaans Sunday newspaper, Rapport (3 May 2015), was entitled Doodskoot vir jag? Kunsmatige teel van wild “skaad SA

Red Lechwe Ramblings

Well over 30 years ago, I was invited by a friend to acquire a minority stake in a Botswana safari outfitter. We flew up to inspect the main concession in

“Shopping and Shooting versus Hunting”*

Canned Killings and other Unnatural Behaviour in the Game Ranching Industry II In January this year, the Boone & Crockett Club, the foremost hunting association in North America, came out

The Livingstone’s Eland of Mocambique’s Niassa Reserve

If you are a passionate eland hunter, then October in Northern Mozambique’s massive Niassa Reserve is where to be. It is the time and place when the huge – and

Hyenas – The Voice of Africa

I think most hunters would agree that, the more they know about the animal they intend to hunt, the better are their chances of success. For years, however, when it

Second Bull Bandit

A good friend of mine, Peter Kennedy, the king of plus 60 inch kudu hunters, advises that whenever you seek permission to hunt kudu from a landowner, you should always

Game ranchers are the wrong target

See Peter Flack’s response below. Kicker: It is unfair to target game farming as an “economic bubble”. This industry creates jobs and makes a very healthy contribution to the economy.

Rhino in Crisis – Blueprint For Survival

I attended the Cape Town premiere of the 90 minute documentary, “Rhino in Crisis – Blueprint for Survival” produced by the Conservation Imperative, a group of conservationists primarily from KwaZulu-Natal.

Ready to Hunt in Africa?

There are only three things you need to know as an amateur hunter about hunting in countries to the north of us – preparation, preparation and preparation. Preparation of your

The Most Special Spiral Horn?

I have often been asked, which do I think is the most special of all the spiral horns. Well, the first question to be asked is probably what constitutes a

First Lion

There are four basic ways to hunt lions and, at one time or another, I have used them all, and more than once. By far the most popular way today

Eulogy of Opportunities Missed

By: Paul Stones, a member of the SAMPEO Group, South Africa’s most professional and experienced outfitters. Websites: South African Outfitters | Paul Stones Safaris Africa How many times has it

Pyramid Schemes and the Breeding and Manipulation of Colour Variants and other Unnatural Freaks

What do Pyramid Schemes and the latest trend of intensively breeding and manipulating new colour variants and other unnatural freakish animals have in common with one another? Pyramid Schemes are

Canned Killings and other Unnatural Behaviour in the Game Ranching Industry

Why do I and my amateur and professional hunting friends detest the increasing number of incidents involving the killing of canned or put-and-take animals? Why do we also dislike so

Who Shot the Donkey?

Who shot the Donkey? It reminded me of the nursery rhyme song – "Who shot Cock Robin? I said the sparrow, with my bow and arrow, I shot Cock Robin.

Buffalo Blunders

This story takes me back many, many years. To about 1984 as I remember it. The time of a devastating drought that tortured our South African Lowveld for months on

Omo Valley Venture

Johannesburg to Addis Ababa – seven hours on the efficient Ethiopian Airlines. From there, two hours in a Cessna Caravan to the landing strip at Murulle Camp on the eastern

History of Hunting Article Published in Financial Mail

On 17 March I was called by Stafford Thomas, a feature writer at the Financial Mail, South Africa’s foremost weekly business magazine, to discuss the issue of canned lion killings

History of Hunting Article Published in Fairlady

In January this year I was contacted by Robyn Maclarty, a feature writer from Fairlady magazine, one of, if not the, most popular and well established woman’s magazines in South

Wildlife Matters 2

Over a dozen years ago, I attended the SCI Convention at which Zambian officials were also present promoting hunting in their country, when, without sufficient notice to or consultation with

Shooting Or Hunting: What Is It To Be?

By Gerhard Damm And Peter Flack More than a decade ago, representatives and leadership of organized professional hunting in South Africa condemned the practice of shooting canned lions in the

Canned Lion Killing Interview for SBS TV Australia

Watch interview below: Beneath is set out the lengthy question and answer session filmed in South Africa for the above TV program, of which less than 30 seconds was actually

SA Hunters Speech

If you had told me when I was growing up that, one day, I would be asked to make the keynote address at the annual dinner of the South African

Natural History Museums and Hunting – is there a Connection?

Growing up in Cape Town in a strictly non-hunting, non-shooting family, my interest in wildlife and hunting began with a trip to what was then called the Cape Town Museum

Barbary Sheep Hunt in Chad

Chad, Tchad or Tjad. A name to conjure with. I knew it was a poor country, torn by civil war, somewhere in the Sahara Desert. But where was it situated

Hunting endangered animals

Question: I noticed on Iziko Museums’ facebook page a few people were protesting against an apparent exhibition of your hunting trophies. So I googled your name and discovered that you’re

Game price stampede

By  Stafford Thomas, Financial Mail, 16 August 2013 SA’S wildlife industry is seeing a boom in prices paid for superior breeding animals — but it is a boom subject to deeply divided

Rain Forest Elephant Hunting in Cameroon

When I awoke to the first ominous signs at midnight, I knew immediately it was something I had eaten or drunk at supper. I also knew it was going to

G.F.H. in the C.A.R.

Early morning. The grey of early dawn is lifting over the two and a half kilometre long glade on either side of the Batou River in the north central region

The legalisation of rhino horn trading

Cape Times – 9 July 2013 I read the articles by Melanie Gosling and Tony Weaver on the legalisation of rhinoceros horn trade in the Cape Times on Friday 5

Crocodiles – Birds Or Lizards?

It all started many, many years ago. There were four of us. Amongst other things, we hunted together and, because I was the anally retentive one, I got the logistics

The Elephant in the Room

A debate entitled, The Elephant in the Room: The ethics of collecting natural history specimens and their role in today’s society, was hosted by the Iziko South African Museum in

Time to preserve game?

Question: I respect your charter in favour of respectful hunting but can you explain to me why why I find it disgusting to see all these dead animals, notably the

Why do I hunt?

I received an unpleasant surprise concerning some of the responses to the donation of the some 300 mounted animals from my museum on our old game ranch to the Iziko

Cornwallis Harris’s Cameleopard

Last week I was reading the book of the earliest recreational hunter to visit South Africa, Captain (later Sir) William Cornwallis Harris, originally called, Narrative of an expedition into Southern

Letter to hunters

In May last year I was asked to organise a meeting of the major South African hunting bodies to discuss public relations and how necessary I believe it is for

Wildlife Matters

About a dozen years ago, Colin Bell, the then CEO of Wilderness Safaris, an exclusive, luxury photographic safari business catering to the very wealthy, told me and the other guests

Package for you! Wonder what it can be?

English Translation Package for you! Wonder what it can be? A mounted rain forest elephant being delivered yesterday at the Iziko South African Museum in Cape Town. It is one

Hippopotamus – a Curious and Clever Beast

The late Dr. Lucas Potgieter read and commented on many of my articles before they went off to editors or publishers. He was often my litmus test as to whether

The Legend Of Welverdiend

Written by Marinda Groenewald as told to her by Dewald Joubert and translated by Peter Flack with permission of the author If a person wakes in the middle of the

Last Nile Buffalo in Dati

Have you ever had a premonition? I have. The strongest one was on the way to catch a plane to Tanzania – the plane was going to crash! The feeling

“B” is for Big Botswana Bulls

I came to elephant hunting quite late as, for about ten years or so, I was stuck in a rut. Buffalo were my passion – some said obsession – and,

Problem Animal Control in Tunisia or Tackling the Barbary Wild Boar

Many years ago I accompanied a man that was to become my boss on his first buffalo hunt. He was not as fit as he should have been nor as

Geoff Smith’s 100 Pounder

I met Geoff Smith, for the first time, when I returned from Wall Street to take up my position as the youngest and most junior partner at Bowman Gilfillan &

How I Found my Hundred Pounder

Is there an animal that you dream about hunting? Can you see yourself in the dream? There you are, exhausted, sweat stained, unshaven and burnt a rough, raw, reddish brown

“The” African Rifle

I am not a fundi on hunting rifles. I did not have a grandfather, father or older brother to teach me so, on the one hand, most of what I

The Taxonomy of African Game Animals

There are no rules, or so it may appear. That’s right, when it comes to establishing whether an animal is a new species or subspecies, there are no comprehensive, hard

Trackers – The Unsung Heroes

We had been on the tracks for over two hours. Only Martin and I. The rest of the hunting team remained at the salt lick. It hadn’t rained for three

Bongo – the African Hunting Icon

I and four of my friends have hunted with French professional hunter, Christophe Morio, on a number of occasions in both Benin and CAR. In our opinion, he is not

Zambia’s Royal Sable

I stood as still as a statue in the deep, dappled shade of the miombo woodland scarcely daring to breathe. Exactly 174 metres away, through a latticework of thin, brachystegia,

The Unspeakable in Full Pursuit of the Uneatable

October. Suicide month in Tanzania. Especially this year. No rain to speak of last year. No rain at all this year. The big Kigosi River, which joins the Gombe, which

In Foortu’s Footsteps – Hunting in the Umkomaas and Nhlamvini Valleys

Almost everyone knows that a region of KwaZulu/Natal is called The Valley of a Thousand Hills. Some of these hills are so steep even the baboons use walking sticks to

World Record Nyala versus South Africa’s Conservation Revolution

I resigned this month after five years as chairman of Rowland Ward. There are many reasons for my resignation and one of them comes from the first book on management

Of Horses and Rifles

Soon after buying our game ranch 20 years ago, I knew I wanted, no needed, a horse. Although it had been many, many years – 29 to be exact –

Safari Marksmanship

There are at least six separate skills involved in hunting. The fours – shooting, spotting, stalking, survival – flora and fauna knowledge and, finally, game and trophy handling. All of

Sesse Island Sitatunga

Rowland Ward’s Records of Big Game contains the following reference to Island Sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii sylvestris), "Distribution – the Sesse Islands of Lake Victoria (Uganda). The validity of this sub-species

Last Hunt on Bankfontein

I stood in the dining room of our farmhouse, with my arm around the shoulders of my wife as the tears streamed down her face. Our house had been wrecked.

World Record Bongo – Africa’s Top Trophy

I looked at the magnificent, old – no, ancient – animal as it lay stretched out at my feet. I could not speak. I had a huge lump in my