The Bushveld Conservation Bureau was established in Johannesburg in 1985, with our base in the Fourways area. We are a not-for profit association and have an annual complement of more than 100 members. Our primary mission is to assist farmers who have “problem animals” on their land by using our hunting skills. When a farmer is faced with problem animals he normally has the choice of watching his crop or livestock be destroyed, or resorting to poison, gin traps or snares. We offer an alternative to these options as we can selectively control the problem animal population without damaging the environment or killing non-target species as poison would. We also supply the farmer with feedback on snares or other signs of poaching found, trespassers seen, sick or injured stock, damaged farm equipment or fences observed during the course of our outings.
As hunters we welcome the opportunity to apply our skills where needed, provided that we are not asked to operate outside of the Law. There is a ready exchange of knowledge within the club on best bullet, cartridge, firearm, calibre, hunting tactics, the correct use of camouflage and predator callers, etc. and since many problem animals may lawfully be hunted throughout the year, our members develop and maintain a high level of hunting skill.
Of paramount importance is all safety aspects of the handling of firearms, which is why all new members are field tested before their application for membership is accepted. It is vital for us to earn and maintain the respect and trust of the landowner and to this end only those animals for which we have the farmer’s written permission to hunt will be shot, regardless of what other animal may cross our path.
In the final analysis, our access to farms and our acceptance by the farmers depends on our efficiently dealing with the landowner’s problem. Our objective would always be to reduce the numbers of problem animals to acceptable levels, as measured by the degree of ensuing crop or stock damage. Our aim is never to eliminate a species entirely from a farm or area as this could cause unforeseen environmental repercussions; for example: if all the jackals in an area are killed, rodent plagues can result.
A regular newsletter is sent to all members and there is a regular weekly gathering which is the ideal opportunity for members to make and maintain contacts and book their next outing to farms. The Farm Liaison Officer is the contact person between the farmers and the BCB members who co-ordinates the members’ activities on BCB farms, and keeps members updated on farm news.
Various club shooting competitions are organised during the year, such as the .22 Chasa, .22 plinking and Dedicated Hunter qualifier shoots. During October we have our annual year-end shoot, which includes shotgun, rifle and handgun competitions.
We are affiliated to the Confederation of Hunting Associations of S A (CHASA) and the Gauteng Hunter’s Federation, and as a result we are able to award Dedicated Hunter status and Sport Shooting to our members upon successful completion of the CHASA Hunter’s Competency course. This enables those members to apply for firearms for dedicated hunting purposes.
BCB Rules and Regulations
Failure to observe these regulations may invite censure, disciplinary action, or expulsion from BCB. A plea of ignorance of BCB regulations cannot be accepted as a valid excuse.
- Any visit to a BCB controlled/obtained farm (henceforth referred to as a BCB farm) must be with the prior knowledge of the committee member(s) in charge of farm bookings (henceforth referred to as the Farm Liaison Officer FLO).
- Proper authorisation in the form of a valid, signed letter of permission must be obtained prior to a farm visit.
- Whilst on a BCB farm members must carry:a. their firearm license(s)
b. current BCB membership card
c. letter of permission obtained from the FLO so authorised
d. valid game hunting license (if applicable)
- In addition, a BCB car identification sticker should be prominently displayed on the vehicle.
- All groups visiting BCB farms will have a "person-in-charge" who will be accountable to the committee and/or the farmer. Individuals in a group should adhere to the reasonable requests of the person-in-charge. The person-in-charge cannot be held responsible for the behavior of any other individual.
- The letter of permission issued by BCB will state clearly those animal species that may be hunted on that particular farm. No other animalmay be hunted for whatever reason.
- Animal species protected by the game ordinance either temporarily (e.g. game birds out of season) or permanently (e.g. protected animals such as python, aardvark, aardwolf, etc.) may not be shot under any circumstances, even if the farmer requests you to do so. The onus is on each BCB member to know the Game Ordinances applicable to a particular species in a particular area.
- No person may accompany a BCB member to a BCB farm as a guest hunter unless included in the category of family member. The exception to this rule is in the case of pigeon shooting only, using shotguns only. The name(s) of such guests must be disclosed when making the booking, as also the name(s) of any other non-hunter(s) accompanying a member to a BCB farm.
- The onus is on the BCB member to acquaint himself/herself with the boundaries of the farm on which he/she is hunting. A BCB member arrested as a poacher is not a good advert for your association.
- The use of firearms that are illegal in terms of State or Provincial Law are illegal in terms of BCB regulations.
- BCB member is not permitted to discharge a firearm on a BCB farm where such may constitute a nuisance or a hazard. Sighting in your rifle in the farmyard at 06h00 on a Sunday morning or leaping out of your car to zap a baboon in the feedkraal that houses the farmer's milk cow herd can cost the association that particular farm.
- Unnecessary shooting anywhere is strongly discouraged. A farmer is likely to view with deep suspicion a report of one baboon killed after he has endured the discomfort of a 100 shot fusillade. He may wonder how many of his sheep have been inadvertently shot!
- Nothing may be removed from a BCB farm without the farmer's permission. You may believe the farmer can readily spare a few mielie cobs from a 50-hectare field, but does the farmer believe that? Remember, the reason why you are there at all is to help him put a stop to "problem animals" removing mielies from his fields!
- No litter whatsoever may be left on a BCB farm. Shell cases must be scrupulously removed, excrement buried and garbage physically removed from the farm on your departure.
- No fires may be lit in open areas without the permission of the farmer. Cigarettes must be carefully extinguished. Never leave a camp - even for 10 minutes - without first extinguishing your fire. Water alone is not adequate - use sand.
- Report-back forms must be completed for every hunt. Failure to provide this association with information requested, could prejudice your access to farms. The committee reserves the right to refuse you further bookings if you do not provide report back forms.
- The premises at Norscot Manor must be vacated before 23h00 (eleven pm) every Wednesday evening. The management of Norscot Manor have an agreement with the surrounding residents that there will be no disturbance, including the start-up of cars or blowing of hooters after 23h00. Failure to observe this simple rule will exclude the BCB from the use of this venue.
- Firearms handling must be especially safe at all times. Drinking while on a hunt, careless pointing of a firearm or failure to observe the basic rules of gun safety will be seen as dangerous behavior which should be reported to the committee without fail. Some of the basic rules are:
a. Treat all firearms as loaded at all times
b. Never point a firearm at a person, whether loaded or unloaded
c. Never rely on the "safety" mechanism of a firearm
d. Never climb over or under a fence with a loaded firearm
e. Check your line of fire and particularly the background to your target before firing
f. Never travel with a loaded firearm in your vehicle
g. Ensure that those in your company can see that your fire arm is safe, i.e. bolt open, shotgun barrels broken
h. Whenever handling a firearm, always check that it is unloaded. Never rely on your memory in this respect. Pulling the trigger is not the way to check whether a firearm is loade
i. Never return a firearm to case or gun bag without first emptying the chamber and magazine
j. Never shoot at flying birds at a barrel angle of less than the safe 45 degrees. Never shoot at birds perched on sunflower heads
k. When assigned a shooting position as one of a group of hunters, do not move from that spot until the agreed end of the shoot
l. Never fire at an animal target unless you have positively identified it. The "right" colour eyes at night is not adequate. An absolutely clear view unencumbered by vegetation is essential at any time
m. A firearm owner may only allow another person to use his firearm while under his direct control. By this is meant within arm's length control.
- Farm/Hunt booking procedure:
a) You may book your hunt with the FLO at the Club meeting on Wednesday evenings when he is present. He will then issue you the Farm Permission documents. Or
b) You may book a new hunt by telephone or email with the FLO from:
a.i) Monday 09h00 to Wednesday till 18h00,
a.ii) Thursdays till 15h00
c) You may enquire about existing hunts, i.e. if there is a Hunt or Bird Shoot already organised for the weekend, until 14h00 on Fridays. The FLO will give you the name and telephone number of the Shoot Leader for that farm for that outing, who may then at his own discretion, allow you to join in the shoot that he has arranged.
d) For more accurate records to be kept, and in the light of trends in the Firearms Control Bill, it is better that each shooter on a hunt (especially on pigeon/dove shoots) fills in a separate Report Back Form and returns/faxes it to the FLO a.s.a.p. after the hunt.
- NB These Report Back Forms are kept on file and copies can be obtained from the FLO to assist members prove "reasonable need" in support of applications for appropriate hunting firearms, as well as for proof of their hunting activities. Likewise, considering the trends in proposed firearm control legislation, it may be a wise move for members to retain their Farm Permission forms on file somewhere to enable them to provide proof to the authorities of their hunting activities. The FLO only records the names of members against the hunts booked.
General Shoot Rules
- THE RANGE OFFICER (R/O) HAS COMPLETE AUTHORITY ON THE RANGE.
- ALL EVENTS WILL START IN "READY" POSITION AS SPECIFIED BY THE R/O
- HANDGUNS TO BE KEPT UNLOADED IN BAGS/CASES OR UNLOADED AND HOLSTERED WHEN NOT IN USE.
- LONG GUNS TO BE KEPT UNLOADED IN BAGS/CASES WHEN NOT IN USE.
- NORMAL SHOTGUN ETIQUETTE TO APPLY: e.g. GUN TO BE HELD BROKEN OPEN UNTIL GIVEN THE "READY" COMMAND.
- FOR SHARED GUNS, THE SHOOTERS SHARING A GUN SHALL SHOOT IN DIFFERENT DETAILS.
- SHOOTERS USING NON-APPROVED EQUIPMENT WILL BE DISQUALIFIED FROM THAT EVENT.
- ONLY THOSE WHO ARE ABOUT TO SHOOT WILL BE ALLOWED ON THE FIRING LINE, EXCEPT: LADIES AND JUNIORS MAY HAVE A COACH / MENTOR ASSISTING.
- SPECTATORS TO REMAIN 3m BEHIND THE FIRING LINE UNTIL THE R/O DECLARES THE RANGE TO BE SAFE.
- NB : UNSAFE CONDUCT WILL LEAD TO DISQUALIFICATION FROM
a) THAT EVENT, OR b) THE ENTIRE SHOOT
- SHOOTERS SHOULD FAMILIARISE THEMSELVES WITH THE SCORING ZONES ON THE TARGETS BEFORE THE EVENT STARTS.
- IN THE EVENT OF A TIE, A SHOOT-OUT WILL BE HELD.
- ONLY THE FIRST ATTEMPT WILL COUNT FOR THE FINAL SCORE: MISFIRES, JAMS & PASTRIES ARE THE CONTESTANT'S PROBLEM; RE-SHOOTS ( IF TIME ALLOWS) WILL ONLY BE FOR THE FUN OF IT AND WILL NOT BE SCORED FOR PRIZES.
- IN THE EVENT OF ANY CONTROVERSY, A TEAM CONSISTING OF TWO COMMITTEE MEMBERS AND ONE RANGE OFFICER SHALL ARBITRATE AND SUCH DECISION SHALL BE FINAL.
- R/O WILL EXPLAIN THE EVENT AND ENSURE THAT EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT TO DO.
- R/O WILL GIVE COMMAND: "MAGAZINE LOAD YOUR WEAPON WITH "X" ROUNDS"
- SHOOTERS LOAD WEAPON AND STAND BY IN "READY" POSITION.
- R/O ASKS: "ALL READY ?" or "READY ON THE LEFT, READY ON THE RIGHT ? "
- SHOOTERS ASSUME THE "READY" POSITION AND CONFIRM "READY", OR REQUEST TIME TO COMPLETE PREPARATIONS.
- R/O GIVES COMMAND: "STAND BY" FOLLOWED BY SIGNAL TO COMMENCE FIRING, (WHISTLE etc.)
- SHOOTERS DO THEIR THING.
- R/O GIVES "CEASE FIRE / STOP" SIGNAL.
- SHOOTERS CEASE FIRING.
- R/O GIVES COMMAND: "CEASE FIRE AND MAKE SAFE"
- NB : ANY SHOTS FIRED AFTER THIS COMMAND SHALL INCUR
a) THE R/O'S WRATH and b) A PENALTY OF - 10 POINTS or c) DISQUALIFICATION
- SHOOTERS, KEEPING WEAPONS POINTED TOWARDS THE TARGETS, SHALL OPEN THEIR WEAPONS' ACTIONS SO THAT THE R/O CAN CHECK THAT ALL WEAPONS ARE EMPTY.
- R/O WILL INSPECT ALL WEAPONS ON THE FIRING LINE, TELLING EACH SHOOTER : "WEAPON SAFE, REHOLSTER / BAG YOUR RIFLE" WHEN HE IS SATISFIED THAT THE GUN IS EMPTY.
- SHOOTERS WILL HOLSTER HANDGUNS OR REPLACE LONG GUNS IN BAGS/CASES, AND REMAIN IN THEIR POSITIONS.
- WHEN ALL GUNS ARE SAFE, R/O WILL ANNOUNCE : "RANGE SAFE, YOU MAY INSPECT YOUR TARGETS"
- NOW SHOOTERS MAY LEAVE THE FIRING LINE AND COLLECT BRASS, CHECK THEIR TARGETS, etc.
VIR VERDUIDELIKING VAN ENIGE VAN DIE BOSTAANDE REëLS, RAADPLEEG VIR VIVIAN JONKER