Fifty hunters met at the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria on a Saturday morning, October 1, 1949, to establish the Transvaal Hunters Association. At that stage, game was shot on an unbridled basis and a hunters’ association was seen to be in a position to change the situation around. Right from the very beginning, conservation was part of the activities of the Transvaal Hunters' Association. The authorities fully supported this development and the Administrator of Transvaal became the patron of the Association. Other honorary members included the provincial secretary, governor general of Mozambique, minister of Lands, deputy commissioner of Police, the conservator of Fauna and Flora and the head of the National Zoological Gardens.
The Association obtained hunting opportunities in Bechuanaland [now Botswana], Angola and Mozambique for its members. In 1957, the Association changed its name to the South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association. Membership numbers increased to 286 with members in the Transvaal, Orange Free State, Natal, Cape Province, South West Africa and Rhodesia.
The Association made donations to the National Parks Board for “Operation Rhino”, the Hungarian emergency relief fund, Pietersburg Municipality Game Park and Wildlife Management Chair at the University of Pretoria.
Membership numbers grew systematically and when the Association reached its sixtieth year it had more than 30 000 registered members represented by 69 branches. By 2015, SAHGCA had over38 500 paid-up members and 74 branches nationwide. SAHGCA also provides support to branches of the Namibian Hunters and Game Conservation Association.
Goal and Mission
- The main objective of the Association is to serve the interests of hunters, sportshooters and game farmers in South Africa through service excellence by:
- promoting and expanding responsible hunting as an important part of sustainable use and nature conservation in South Africa;
- promoting responsible firearm ownership in terms of appropriate legislation;
- Establishing a positive public image of hunting and hunters;
- promoting knowledge about and respect for nature, supporting nature conservation, and developing a conservation ethos among its members and the public in general;
- providing education in all aspects of the culture and ethics of hunting, hunting skills and the use of legal hunting equipment;
- encouraging and/or conducting research in the hunting and conservation industry;
- promoting and establishing sustainable and affordable shooting, hunting and conservation activities for its members;
- promoting and establishing sustainable game farming for its members according to sound conservation principles
- co-operating with and maintaining relationships with other associations and organisations (in and outside of South Africa) with common objectives towards establishing one voice for the hunting and conservation sector;
- liaising constructively with authorities and other interested parties and participating in consulting and decision-making processes; and
- supporting and undertaking community and development projects that complement the objectives of the Association.
Code of Conduct
- With a deep founded gratitude towards the Supreme Being and Creator of all living things and with an intense appreciation of the universe in its totality do I bind me as hunter and as member of the South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association to:
- Respect all the written and unwritten hunting laws and directives and not to remove anything from nature to which I am not entitled to;
- Hunt with compassion and to only remove from nature what I can use;
- Actively conserve the fauna and flora, soil of the earth, water and life and to treat it with love and respect;
- Use my fire arm skillfully and with good judgement and respect towards life
- Hunt with humbleness, to respect my fellow hunter and to promote and build hunting
- The activities of SAHGCA include:
- Administration of membership matters, bookkeeping and the financial management of the Association and coordinating branch and regional affairs;
- Formulating the training and the training of the dedicated hunter and sport shooter in accordance with the requirements of the firearms legislation;
- Managing the requirements necessary for maintaining the dedicated hunting and sport shooting status in accordance with legislation;
- Initiating and promoting conservation and conservation related activities;
- Promote shooting and hunting among the youth and stimulate their interest in nature;
- Promote and organise shooting competitions and formulating shooting regulations and shooting exercises;
- Liaison with the Government at different levels on conservation matters and with the SAPD with regard to the application of firearm legislation;
- Promote hunting activities
- Present the annual HuntEx firearm and hunting exhibition; and
- Publish two hunting related magazines - SA Jagter/SA Hunter and Man MAGNUM - in collaboration with its publishing partner, Media 24.
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