Where to hunt Cheetah
Once the cheetah roamed all open arid areas, deserts and semi-deserts in Africa and Asia, up to India. This famously fast creature needs wide open spaces and many small ungulates to survive. With human encroachment on the wilderness, and sheep and goat herders not too happy with the neighborhood of the predators. However, cheetah thrives on game farms and hunting concessions, with protection from poachers and abundance of antelopes, and CITES allocates a limited quota for cheetah hunting for Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
Cheetah hunting usually comes as a part of a plains game hunt. Cheetah is not usually included in package deals. The trophy fee is in the $2,500-$4,000 range for most outfitters. Add to this the daily rate (from $1,500-$2,000 for 5-7 day hunt, although many operations require to book a 12-14 day hunt for cheetah), and the price of other trophies you might want to take, and there you have it.
When to hunt Cheetah?
There is no particular “best” time for cheetah hunting, and you can schedule your cheetah hunt at any time during the trophy hunting season in Namibia, which runs from February 1 to November 30. However, given that the hunter will have to cover a lot of ground looking for cheetah, it’s probably better to schedule the hunt in the end of the dry season, when the temperatures are still not hot, but the game congregates around waterholes.
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Despite being diurnal animals, active mostly in the morning and in the evening, cheetahs are some of the most difficult cats to hunt. They don’t eat game killed by someone else, so the only situation when baiting is applicable is when the hunters disturb a cheetah at its kill. The predator will likely return to it, so it is a good idea to wait in a blind quickly put up there and then. But the most common method of cheetah hunting is by spot and stalk. Hunters will usually have to cover a lot of ground before they can find a cheetah or fresh cheetah tracks. Cheetah are not only predators, but also prey for larger felines, so they are constantly on the alert. The average harvest success rate for Namibia is said to be just 20%.
Why hunt Cheetah?
Why hunt an endangered species? Because legal, regulated hunting can be a powerful tool of conservation. Hunting concessions create perfect conditions for wildlife, by keeping wilderness from being converted into farms and pastures, offering protection from poachers, and working to improve habitat conditions (i.e. make water holes). This ensures high densities of prey for cheetah, and cheetahs actually thrive on game farms and hunting concessions. Income generated by trophy cheetah hunting provides an additional incentive for the local population to tolerate the presence of the cat that is not above snatching a sheep or goat, and for hunting operators to protect and preserve this wonderful predator.
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