There is a time for everything. The Bible taught us so. This newsletter is later than usual because I wanted to include important decisions that the Extended Board took on 7 March.


SA Hunter Magazine

Since 1983, SA Hunter communicated with members by newsletter. Initially, Lou van der Merwe produced a four-page newsletter that was printed and posted to members. In May 1985, the first edition of SA Hunter appeared in an A5 format, followed by an A4 version. In 1993, with Frikkie Bouwer in the chair, the first colour photographs were included. In 2000, André van Dyk became the editor and the magazine was first published to a target audience other than the members of SA Hunters when a small number of magazines were distributed through firearm dealers. In September 2000, it exceeded a circulation of 20 000.

At this stage, 45 122 magazines are printed every month of which SA Hunters orders 32 847 copies. Approximately 2 300 copies are sold in shops or sent to subscribers.

In 2007, SA Hunters bought a shelf company, Pedal Trading 43 (Pty) Ltd and changed the name to SA Hunt Publishing (Pty) Ltd. The magazine, its registered trademark and the name SA Jagter/SA Hunter were transferred to this company and Media24 bought 50% of the shares.

The conditions of this agreement with Media24 included that SA Hunters would continue to purchase copies of the monthly magazine for every ordinary member of the Association. This agreement is still applicable today and SA Hunters continues to place its monthly order.

SA Hunters pays 50% of the shelf price for the total order which is part of the official ABC circulation figures.

Each copy of SA Hunter costs us R21 per month compared to the shelf price of R42. Individual annual subscribers of SA Hunter receive 30% discount and only pay R28 per copy per month.

SA Hunter is sent by ordinary mail, but hand delivery is available to members residing in large cities and towns. The magazine is also available electronically to members.

During a strategic planning session SA Hunters discussed its membership fees, which are deemed a bit high for the current economic climate. One way of reducing membership fees, is to isolate the cost of SA Hunter from the membership fees and give members the option to subscribe to the magazine.

During the 2018 Congress, a quick survey was done among delegates to test their view on the magazine. The results were as follows:

  • 141 members were satisfied to continue receiving SA Hunter as part of their membership fee, while 66 members preferred not to.
  • 132 members indicated that they would subscribe to SA Hunters if they no longer received it as part of their member benefit, while 75 members were not interested in subscribing to SA Hunter.
  • 118 members indicated that they would not want to pick between receiving SA Hunter and Magnum, while 89 members preferred to choose.

After considering the results of this survey, the Board decided to conduct a more comprehensive survey to determine members’ views.

Subsequently, we sent out a questionnaire with the January newsletter and encouraged members by e-mail to participate in this exercise towards reaching a meaningful conclusion. The results were as follows:

  • 4 303 members completed the questionnaire of which 3 757 indicated their satisfaction with the content of the newsletter (6+ out of ten) while 546 members were dissatisfied with the content (5 out of ten).
  • 2 459 members (57,15%) said they preferred to choose whether to receive the SA Hunter, while 1 844 members (42,85%) did not want to choose.
  • 41% of members were satisfied to pay membership fee that include the magazine with its current content. 26,61% of members were satisfied with the current membership but wanted to see an improvement in the content of the magazine.
  • Only 10,04% of members said they preferred to receive a different magazine while 22,03% of members selected not to receive a magazine at all and rather pay lower membership fees. Therefore, we can assume that we could sacrifice the sales of approximately 8 000 magazines if we excluded SA Hunter from the membership fees.
  • On the question of which magazine members would prefer to receive as part of their membership fee, 77,48% chose SA Hunters; 4,94% chose Magnum; and only 7,58% chose to receive a different magazine.

The following preferences with respect to the content of SA Hunter were listed:

Hunting 72,65%
Conservation 75,63%
Responsible hunting/conservation/wildlife 79.41%
Responsible hunting/conservation/wildlife 62,54%
Wildlife tourism and hunting destinations 77,83%
Firearms and ammunition 93,74%
SA Hunters activities 71,58%
New products 88,24%

Other subject matter that members are interested in are:  

  1. Reloading and ballistics
  2. Utilisation hunting and hunting destinations
  3. Bow shooting and long-distance shooting
  4. Bird hunting and firearm history

This list included 71 different topics.

1 300 members commented about poor postal delivery and postal services; no delivery of SA Hunter; requests for cheaper electronic versions; and some other complaints.

It seems that many members are not aware of the hand delivery and electronic magazine options, which confirm that some members are not reading the newsletters.

The most important deductions from this survey are:

  • The majority of members prefer to exercise their choice in receiving a magazine.
  • The majority will probably still choose to receive SA Hunter as part of their membership fees.
  • English speaking members prefer Magnum over SA Hunter.
  • A significant group might prefer to receive both SA Hunter and Magnum.
  • A significant number of members want to see an improvement in the content of SA Hunter.

The above information was provided to the Board. Meanwhile, SA Hunt Publishing (Pty) Ltd decided on 7 March to review the content of SA Hunter to include a bigger variety of articles as indicated in the survey.

Unfortunately, there is little SA Hunters and/or Media24 can do about poor postal deliveries. We will continue to recommend the alternative options of hand delivery of the magazines (which has its own problems that we are attending to) and the electronic version of SA Hunters to members.

At its meeting on 7 March, the Extended Board decided that from the new financial year starting on 1 July 2019, members can choose if they want to include SA Hunter/Magnum as part of their membership fees or not. Therefore, members will have a choice of paying their annual membership fee only, and order either SA Hunter, or Magnum, or both, with the subscription fee included in their membership fee. Members that do not choose a particular option, will continue to pay membership fees that includes the subscription to SA Hunters.

Members that choose to pay for one or both the magazines as part of their membership fees, will still benefit from the 50% discount on the regular price. The same principle is applicable to members that subscribe to the electronic version of SA Hunter.

Members that subscribe independently to any or both the magazines, will only qualify for the 30% discount on the regular price that applies to all subscribers of these magazines.

The Board appeals to members to continue subscribing to SA Hunter because it would be a shame if the magazine that had started in 1983,were to discontinue.

Court applications and expired licences
It is common knowledge that GOSA succeeded with its interdict at the end of 2018, in preventing the SAPS from prosecuting any individual whose firearm licence had expired and from confiscating any such firearms.  

The Police was granted an appeal against this interdict, which is odd because the interdict only provided temporary relief.

Meanwhile, SAPS missed the deadline for filing papers for its court application with the Court of Appeal. Therefore, the North Gauteng High Court’s order stands. If SAPS intends to proceed with its appeal, it would have to apply to the Appeal Court for permission to file papers after the deadline.

The status quo remains until GOSA’s application is heard and finalised. This is very similar to the situation of SA Hunters after the court’s judgement in 2009. We will have to wait and see.

Following the High Court’s judgement on the GOSA case, SAPS is of the opinion that they may not continue with the implementation of a firearm amnesty. Therefore, an amnesty is out of the question for now.

Although the court application by firearm dealers against the Minister and the CFR continues, a court date has not yet been determined.

SA Hunters’ advice to members are:

  • If your firearm licence has expired, do not use the firearm. Keep it locked away in the prescribed safe and wait for further developments.
  • Make sure you know when your firearm licences expire.
  • Apply in time for the renewal of your firearm licences.
  • Use the facility on SA Hunters’ member administration system that reminds you in time about the expiry dates of your firearm licence.

SA Hunters turns 70
SA Hunters was established as the Transvaalse Jagtersvereniging in a coffee shop at the Pretoria National Zoological Gardens on 1 October 1949. The name was subsequently changed to the South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association as we all know it today. In 2019, SA Hunters will celebrate its 70th birthday with various projects.

Memorial edition
The establishment and history of SA Hunters has never been documented officially. Some information was shared at the 50th and 60th anniversaries and a supplement on the history of the Association was published in SA Hunters to commemorate the 60th birthday.

Two years ago, the Board agreed to publish a memorial edition on the history of SA Hunters to coincide with its 70th anniversary. Since then, Oom George Nell and after his death Prof. Potgieter compiled documents and photographs for the memorial edition. Herman Jonker is writing the content and has already done a lot of preparation for the book.

The book will be a combination of a coffee table edition combined with the history supplemented by photographs and snippets of important information and achievements.

We plan to launch the memorial edition at Congress 2019. This is not a money-making exercise, but an opportunity for members to acquire the book at a reasonable price and to focus on the history of the Association.

Jewellery
The manufacturing of jewellery using the ivory bequeathed to us by Nic van Rooyen, is progressing well. Designer Maryna de Klerk of M2 Jewellery is making and selling the ivory jewellery and shares the profit with SA Hunters.

Maryna will submit designs of two affordable jewellery ranges to SA Hunters over and above her unique and exclusively designed items. The two affordable ranges will sell between R800 and R1 000 and between R2 000 and R5000 per item respectively.

There is a lively interest among members to purchase these ivory items and the demand for cheaper, exclusive designs will give more people the opportunity to own an exquisite piece.

Knives
SA Hunters is manufacturing a numbered range of knives with ivory inlays from the Nico van Rooyen collection. These knives are unique, yet reasonably priced.

A cheaper version with ivory handles on one or both sides will be made and sold at between R800 to R1 000 each. It is unlikely that this cheaper range will be hand-made.

Rifles
To celebrate SA Hunters 60th birthday, Gerrie Coetzee made two rifles that were launched in Bloemfontein and donated as raffle prizes. The Extended Board decided to commission the manufacture of two rifles in classic calibres (7 X 57 en 9,3 X 62) that members can win in a raffle. Sufficient tickets must be sold to cover the cost of the rifles. The intention is not to make a lot of money with this, but rather to offer items of value to our loyal members.

HuntEx2019
HuntEx2019 will be held from 25 to 28 April 2019 at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand. Most of the visitor tickets for VIP day on 25 April are exclusively available on invitation only. However, members may purchase tickets at R200 each.

On 26, 27 and 28 April tickets cost R110 per person. We have an agreement with our shareholder in HuntEx, that members of SA Hunters only pay R80 per ticket on condition that they purchase their tickets in advance online at the HuntEx website.

Previous years, the verification process at the gates to prove membership caused huge delays and long queues. Therefore, it as decided to only offer the discount for tickets purchased online.  

Membership
On 28 February 2019, SA Hunters had 42 152 paid-up members. Over the past five years, the membership figures remained stable around 42 000 with small variations during the course of the year. We recruit approximately 4000 members every year, but we also lose about 3000 members that do not renew their membership.

The Board will request branches and members to focus on member recruitment and retention during 2019.

Every member of SA Hunters that recruit ten members during the year, will receive free membership for the following year. Branches are also acknowledged for recruitment and receive a portion of the membership fee over and above the branch subventions.

Carl Arnold, President of SA Hunters, set a target to grow the membership with 4000 in 2019 and 2020. Help us to achieve this goal.

Fundraising for anti-poaching
During the 2018 congress dinner, Jan Lubbe of Sons of Guns and Johannes Coertze of Formalito donated a CZ .375 H+H that SA Hunters will raffle during 2019 to raise money for anti-poaching activities in SANParks.
Unfortunately, anti-hunting comments expressed by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on the Environment jeopardised our plans. We already discussed the matter with SANParks and we agreed that the timing was unfavourable to launch our fundraising drive at this stage.

Photographic competition
Our photo competition continues as we reported in January in 2019. We already received the first few photographs for our 2019 competition. The finalists’ photos can be viewed here on our website. These members will receive their certificates on their online profile.

Our sponsor donated a new camera for the winner of the best photograph. The prize will be handed over to the winner during the congress gala evening at the end of the year. We are also trying to obtain more prizes for different categories.

Our categories for the 2019 competition are:

  1. The Hunter (Not hunted animals) – Images that depict a hunter, man or animal, in nature
  2. Nature Talks –Images from nature that talk to your soul, i.e. landscapes with extraordinary backgrounds or colours
  3. Wildlife – Images depicting any animal life (land, bird or marine life)
  4. Shooting – a dedicated sport – Images showing the action, dedication, gear and preparation of the sport shooting competitor

Read here on how to enter.

Commercial affairs
Herewith the links to our website for more information on suppliers that give special discounts and offers to members of SA Hunters:

  • Toyota SA
  • Westvaal Nelspruit    
  • Wildman Hunting and Outdoor
  • Hokaai Slaghuis
  • Die Wildshoekie Vleismark
  • LAVA Vakuumverpakking
  • Selftrack
  • MAINSU Kragopwekkers
  • Cens Digital Gehoorbeskerming
  • Uitlaatstelle van De Graaf Autosentrum in Van der Hoffweg Pretoria
  • Helle-messe
  • Nitecore Flitse
  • Cassie Nienaber – Ladingontwikkeling en Herlaai

Click here for more information.

Kind regards
Fred Camphor
SA Hunters: CEO