25 november 2023

Charging by the inch

A lot can be found about this topic on the internet and elsewhere. It can be a touchy subject for sure…

The purpose of this post is not to convince anyone that there is a “right” or “wrong”. Neither is it to defend or justify some’s way of thinking or to attack or criticise others for thinking differently.

As a hunter, I am not a fan of having to pay by the inch. I want to know before I embark on my hunt what the cost of the hunt is going to be, and I most certainly don’t want to get a surprise at the end of the hunt – getting charged more because one or more of the animals I bagged measured a quarter of an inch more than what I had budgeted on.

As a game rancher, I understand that, if everyone who hunted on my property, hunted for the biggest trophy they can find, it won’t take long before all the big trophies are gone and together with that the genetics that resulted in those big trophies in the first place. Let me use an example:

If I had 2 mature Kudu bulls on my high-fenced ranch – one of 50” and another of 60” and I charged a fixed trophy fee to hunters – regardless of size, what Kudu bull would you as a hunter target? The 10-year-old 50” bull or the 6-year-old 60” bull? I believe the true conservationists amongst us would answer they’d hunt the 50” bull so that the 60” bull can continue spreading its genes and that in another 10 years’ time or so there might be more 10-year-old 60” bulls to choose from. But those who are looking for a “true” trophy and those who would like to get their name in the record books will opt to hunt the 6-year-old bull instead. And by doing this, you’ve pretty much removed any possibility of there ever being another 60” bull on my property…

Now of course I don’t only have two kudu bulls on my ranch. But the principle remains the same – whether there are 2 kudu bulls on my land or 200…

In my opinion, game ranchers would be better off charging by age as opposed to charging by the inch. A 10-year-old 60” kudu bull should sell for less than a 6-year-old 55” bull that has the potential to become 65” when he is 10.

What are your thoughts?