Professional Hunter

Hunters stalk, track and kill animals for their clients for money, or for the government. Some hunt with others, while others work alone using dogs to track and corner prey.

Some hunters collect animals for museums. All legal hunting activities are monitored and approved by government agencies. If hunters hunt without the necessary approval, they can be fined and even sent to jail.

Hunting and trapping are often confused. Trappers catch animals using scented camouflaged or baited traps, cages or nets. Some hunters skin animals to sell the skins and pelts. Hunters may be involved in wildlife management (relocation of animals), research activities (blood sampling etc.) and disease control (destruction of various animals that threaten animal and public health and safety).

Personal Requirements

  • at least 18 years old
  • physically strong and fit
  • courageous when facing danger
  • enjoy outdoor life and camping
  • self-motivated
  • excellent knowledge of guns of all kinds
  • good knowledge of South African flora and fauna

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Contact the individual schools for information on criteria for selection and entry requirements.

What to Study

In-service training may be provided under the supervision of an experienced hunter. Professional hunting schools may have specific selection or entry criteria.

The legal requirements to be met before a hunting outfitter or professional hunter can obtain a license are:

Obligatory attendance by the candidate on an in-service training course at a Professional Hunting School, which is registered with and approved by the Provincial Conservation Departments, and administered by qualified professional hunting instructors. The course covers a wide range of subjects including bush knowledge and animal behaviour, the identification of spoor, tracking ability, assessment of horn lengths, firearms, ballistics, shooting and hunting ability, skinning and the preparation and care of trophies, trophy requirements for record books (SCI & Rowland Ward) and first aid.

On successful completion of the course, the candidate is required to pass written examinations set by the Provincial Conservation Departments, on all subjects covered on the course, and another requiring a comprehensive knowledge of the laws pertaining to hunting in each Province.

Having passed the course and the written examinations, the candidate is issued with a license to operate.

A candidate wishing to operate as a hunting outfitter, besides passing these examinations, must also have the facilities inspected which he offers to clients. Hunting camps, trophy preparation facilities, vehicles and staff are required to conform to set standards. Publicity material must be submitted to the Nature Conservation officials before distribution as a safeguard against misleading advertising. Regular follow-up inspections are carried out.

Further protection is provided by the legal requirement that, prior to the hunt, the outfitter and his client must enter a written agreement with regard to species and sex of game offered, fees for trophies and services provided, duration of hunt and daily rates.

The introduction and enforcement of legislation in the professional hunting industry, geared primarily to protect the client from malpractice, has effectively raised standards.


  • government
  • wildlife organisations
  • self-employment

Further Information

Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa
71 Lobelia Lane
Irene, Centurion, 0157
Tel: (012) 667-2048

Contact the individual schools for information on course dates, duration, curricula and cost.

Getting Started

  • get to know various types of guns, animals and what the hunting seasons
  • get some in-service training under the supervision of an experienced hunter

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