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Judged by its cover,as well as the content!

It was with real anticipation that I opened the parcel delivered by courier. Inside was the latest handbook about professional hunting – ‘The complete Professional Hunter’s Handbook’


The modern front page impressed me instantly; it certainly contributes to the title and ad that extra profession to the entire book that comprises 475 pages. Written by three highly acclaimed hunters, conservationists and firearm experts, Cleve Cheney, David Sutherland and Pierre van der Walt this handbook is a complete guide for anyone who wants to become a professional hunter. But it will also be of great value to anybody that is not really interested in becoming a professional hunter but wants to learn more about hunting. It covers all the necessary topics likes Hunting Ethics, Conservation, Bow Hunting, Shot placement, Marketing, Firearms and Ballistics, Tracking – in fact you name the topic and you will find it in ‘The Complete Professional Hunter’s Handbook’.

I know all three of the writers: Cleve Cheney wrote some articles about tracking for Wildland; Pierre van der Walt is a regular contributor to Wildland covering a range of topics about cartridges and firearms and David Sutherland is undoubtedly one of the more experienced and successful professional hunter trainers in South Africa.

Throughout my hunting career (nonprofessional) that spans over 50 years I learned to judge hunters by two very important and difficult topics – hunting ethics and shot placement. After reading David’s impressive poem ‘A Hunters Tale’ in the front of the book, I immediately paged to chapter two – Hunting Ethics. In total 10 pages are dedicated to this very important topic and every single word is true. I quote the two first paragraphs “Hunting ethics are a set of moral ‘rules and regulations’ that govern our behavior towards fellow hunters, non-hunters, anti-hunters and the animals that are hunted. Every hunter should be very clear on how and why he/she hunts and should be able to defend the morality of hunting with sound ecological reasoning. If you cannot do this, do not hunt- you will bring the activity into disrepute” That to me is exactly the crux of the matter about hunting ethics – if you can’t defend it, do not hunt - this statement hits right on the nose.

The second topic of shot placement is also right down to the point – ‘shoot at a target inside the animal and not on its skin’. All the hunters that know me will also know that I promote this statement regularly, in fact I also wrote a book about it ‘Shot Placement: The Facts Speak’. It was with excitement that I read this topic and realized that the authors know exactly what they talking about. Especially the sketches of shot placement on elephant and buffalo are an eye opener for any would be professional hunters as well as leisure hunter. The position of the elephant’s head is of paramount importance when you calculate the angle at which your bullet must hit the head in order to find its path to the brain. I have never seen a better explanation anywhere!

I can really get ‘ballistic’ about the content of this book and I am going to study it bit by bit in order to make me also a better hunter. I judged this book by both its cover and its content! Congratulations – this is a much needed and superior book!

For more information please visit www.huntacademy.co.za or call David Sutherland 0n 083 325 8956.

To get the this article and others get the February 2021 edition of WILDLAND here.



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