Rhino Hunting In Namibia
Namibia can boast having black and white rhino forming an integral part of its landscape. These granite grey herbivores have an impeccable sense of hearing and smell, but their eyesight is relatively poor. They will make up for this by either running away or adopting the policy of charging anything that provokes suspicion. This turns them into unpredictable and formidable adversaries.
The Southern white or square lipped rhino is the more common of the species. It is larger in size, weight and numbers than the black rhino. Van Heerden Safaris is able to offer you the opportunity to hunt a black rhino should one become available on quota from the State or white rhino on private farmland in Namibia. Being primarily grazers, white rhino prefer a grassy habitat interspersed with small areas of bush and plentiful water, whereas the black rhino being a browser, can tolerate a wide range of habitats, including arid areas as long as there are areas of dense bush with water.
Black rhinos are usually solitary animals while the Southern white rhino is considerably more passive and sociable than their cousins and form small family units until the calf is old enough to leave. They are creatures of habit and will follow the same paths day after day.
Black rhino in Namibia falls under the ownership of the State. A black rhino custodian program is in place to help safeguard numbers, especially with the continual threat of poaching for its horn and human encroachment. Despite harsh criticism from numerous sectors, Namibia’s Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism has remained steadfast in its resolution to uphold not only the country’s constitution but also the Nature Conservation Ordinance No.4 of 1975 to allow for the conservation hunting of this specie. It further adheres to CITES regulations by strictly controlling the number of conservation hunts for black and white rhino alike.
In support of sustainable conservation hunting in Namibia, only an old rhino bull which is well past its breeding age and is likely to be a menace to any younger bulls, is considered for hunting. Longer horns do not necessarily equate to old age as horns can get damaged during fights or get worn down.
Rhino Hunting Photos
How to hunt Rhino?
Rhino hunting is usually conducted by following fresh tracks on foot until the animal is sighted. This type of hunting involves hours of walking and stalking and can be disappointing if the animal is either a female or a young animal with a short horn. It is also important to observe and determine the sex of the rhino before shooting as it is extremely difficult to see the sexual organs, even from a close range. The animals will need to be watched as to how they urinate and their behavior after they defecate. A bull will habitually scrape the ground with his hind feet, rather like a domestic dog. Females tend to have longer, thinner horns than the male but this method is usually only useful in comparative situations.
Namibian legislation determines the minimum caliber to be used for big game with these species not being allowed to be hunted with any form of bow. The minimum is the .375 H and H, but most hunters prefer something heavier starting with .416 or .458 Magnum upwards, preferably using a monolithic solid. For shot placement, the heart on these animals (rather like a big cat) is slightly further back and slightly lower than most mammals. Use the half and half rule as usual and you'll find the heart in the lowest quarter.
The brain is relatively small compared to the size of a rhino’s head and is located in the uppermost part of the skull which is almost mid-point between the bottom of the ear and eye in a side view. When facing the rhino, a frontal brain shot is midway between the shorter horn and the base of the ear.
After a successful hunt, the horns, made from keratin are measured and weighed. Most hunters opt for a shoulder mount as a full rhino trophy mount takes up a lot of space. Security regarding displaying the real rhino horn can be an issue with criminal elements stopping at nothing to get their hands on a rhino horn. This can be off-set by taxidermists creating replica horns for the mount so the genuine one can be secured.