Wildlife Systems, Inc.
ENews

Serving Hunters' and Landowners' Needs Since 1987
August 8, 2018
Editorial

 
Image is Everything


Recently, the Minister of Environment and Tourism of Republic of Namibia distributed a memo to all Namibian safari operators, requesting that safari operators and guides (PHs) no longer post or send harvest photos (kill pics) on public platforms, such as social media. As one might expect, this attempted 
policy-positioning created quite the poopy storm within the safari industry of that country. The primary basis for the Minister's actions, as I understand, were to address the negative attention that the Minister felt was being created through  photos of dead animals being used to promote a form of tourism in Namibia; I suspect there was pressure coming from an anti-hunting faction(s) that was creating noise in the Minister's ear, and the Minister apparently felt like the noise could perhaps be managed through a moratorium on harvest photos. Personally, I do not see such a moratorium serving as an effective remedy to that particular concern, but I do think that there are considerations that the hunting community should contemplate before posting harvest photos on public platforms. As they say, "Image is everything." Well, maybe not everything, but our cultural sideboards certainly interact with these cues.

For starters, we must recognize that we now live in a society where our American culture is highly sensitive toward animal welfare, and that's fair enough to me; after all, animals do deserve a degree of respect and when humans utilize animals for various purposes, should there not be some amount of dignity that is held during the process? These days, the public demands that there be some amount of reasonable rationale behind the use of animals, especially when it involves the killing of those animals, such as with hunting. The public's perception on these matters is often shaped through imagery, such harvest photos that hunters share through private and public forums. For me, these photos are part of the hunting experience; I love the challenge of capturing excellent photos of harvested game, similarly to how I love creating a beautiful meal from game meats. It's all part of the hunting experience....an extension of the hunt, and I love it.

So, my point is that we need to be extremely conscientious about harvest photos, both from a standpoint of capturing quality images that show respect for the animal, as well as how those images are deployed. Social media has proven that certain images or messages can absolutely go viral, literally within hours, if not minutes. With hunters representing a meager 4% (currently declining) of the adult American population, it does not take a statistician to reconcile the notion that our critical mass is at a very fragile position. If hunting and hunters are going to remain relevant within our society, our hunting community must learn to play the game smarter and harder....otherwise we will get beat. We are getting beat now!

And for my critics who say that referring to these pics as "harvest photos" is a weak and inaccurate description of these images, because "harvest" is what we do with farm crops, then that's fine, too. Call them kill photos, or whatever, but my choice is to generally refer to these pics as harvest photos. Even Webster says that the word "harvest" implies, "The quantity of a natural product that is gathered during a single season." Game meats seem to be just as "natural"  as corn crops. If it's good enough for Webster, it's good enough for me, so I'll stick with "harvest photos" as part of my vernacular.

In the classic novel, The Old Man and The Boy, Ruark says "The best part of hunting and fishing is the thinking about it before you go and the talking about it when you get back." And photos help foster this romance and excitement that's associated with the hunting experience. Further, these photos can either build or burn bridges for hunting, so let's be smart about how we play this game. In the next WSI ENews, we will have a section that discusses techniques for capturing good harvest photos, and as the famous photographer Ansel Adams once claimed, "You don't take a photograph, you make it."

I hope that all is well for each of you. We still have openings on some great whitetail hunts for this fall if you'd like to ponder the possibility of booking a trip for North America's most popular big game animal. And by the time you receive our next WSI ENews, the fall fest will be in place, with hunting seasons opening, Friday night lights shining, and the first cool fronts emerging. Ahh, tis the season....almost.

Cheers,

Greg Simons
WSI GM/Principal

    
 

Texas Alligator Hunts



If you are looking for a late minute, exciting and unique outdoor experience, we have just the ticket. We are excited to offer a very limited number of alligator hunts on the Texas coast, scheduled for mid-September of this year. This is a 2 night all-inclusive program, including 2x1 guide, meals, and lodging. Each hunter be allowed one gator, with the possibility of adding a 2nd gator for an additional fee. Comfortable lodging will be provided on a neighboring property and meals will include a seafood and Cajun influence. Here's what the program entails:


  • Day 1- Arrive after 4:00, put away gear and relax with a cool beverage. Host will provide an orientation, discussing the strategy of the hunt, as well as providing a brief seminar on alligators and alligator ecology. Dinner will be served ~7:30.
  • Day 2- Breakfast will be served at 7:00 and paired hunters will leave for the field to check gator lines ~8:30. Hunters will reconvene at camp ~1:00 for lunch. The afternoon will be spent sorting out details for gator processing and taxidermy arrangements. A tour of a portion of the bay area will be provided from 4:30 - 6:30. Hunters can then freshen up, enjoy a cocktail, and then be served dinner.
  • Day 3- For those hunters who are still trying to "fill their tag", the second morning will be a repeat of the first morning, except hunters will return to camp ~11:00. Final details will be sorted out, lunch will be served ~noon, with departure from camp by 1:30.
  • By law, all gators must be taken on a line, similar to a throw line, and can then be dispatched after surfacing the gator. Since this is a 2x1 guided hunt, each hunter will alternate on taking a gator until 4 gators are perhaps taken between the 2 hunters. Price includes hunter choosing 1 gator to keep, with an optional fee to keep a second gator.
  • Gators make beautiful tanned leather, rugs, or mounts. Also, gator meat is excellent table-fare.







Price: $3,200 per hunter

Inclusions: 
Guide, meals, lodging, 15 pounds of pre-packaged gator meat, and Texas alligator tag. Price includes 1 gator with add-on cost of $1000 for second gator.

Exclusions: 
Skinning ($300), tanning, taxidermy, alcoholic beverages, license ($48 non-resident) and gratuities. 
In addition to the 15 pounds of pre-packaged meat, hunters can purchase additional meat on a per-pound basis.





Once again, WSI is offering some of the finest dove hunting opportunities in the San Angelo area. The fields that we have available are located on the edge of town, where some of the highest concentration of birds exist. These fields typically have a combination of whitewings, morning doves and collared doves. These shoots make for great corporate outings, groups of buddies, or family events. We offer day hunts with a 2-person minimum, and a very limited number of 2-day all-inclusive packages for larger groups. All hunters are conducted from September 1-20. Call for pricing, details, and availability, 325-655-0877.





 
Hunt with Larry "Mr. Whitetail" Weishuhn

 

This is a unique opportunity to hunt with one of the  true legendary figures in the hunting world, Larry Weishuhn. Known by many as Mr. Whitetail, Larry has written hundreds of magazine articles, authored several books, is one of the highest demand speakers in the hunting world, and has served as a television celebrity for many years, including DSC's Trailing the Hunters Moon, which he owns and co-hosts. Hunt is limited to 8 hunters and will take place on the Cargile's Rocky Creek Ranch, which is a wildlife paradise comprising 25,000 acres of low-fenced country, located 20 miles west of San Angelo. Each hunter will be allowed to harvest 1 mature buck of their choice, 2 does, and each hunter will also receive a 40-quart ORCA cooler and ORCA Chaser, both with WSI logo, and each hunter will also be placed in a drawing to receive a free shoulder mount of their deer. You'll also enjoy being able to spend plenty of campfire time with Mr. Whitetail and will experience how a television show is captured on the scene. Only three openings remain on this unique hunt.



  • Hunt:  Rocky Creek Ranch
  • Host: Wildife Systems, Inc.
  • Price:  $4500 per hunter
  • Includes: Guide (2x1), meals, lodging, game care, 3.5 hunting days, 40-quart ORCA cooler and Chaser
  • Only two spots remain open.


     

(325) 655-0877  
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