Daily Rate – The term Daily Rate is universal throughout the hunting industry. The Daily Rate is the fee charged by a hunt provider for each day of services. The Daily Rate generally covers all the costs of their guiding services, lodging, food, and transport while on the actual hunt. The number of days the Daily Rate is charged can vary from country to country and animal to animal, and is based upon a variety of factors that could include the number of days that are commonly needed or legally required to be successful on hunting a particular sport-hunted trophy. The animal’s regional rarity can affect the Daily Rate multiplier as well. Supply and demand applies! For instance, in the country of Tanzania, it is a government requirement that Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Greater Kudu, Lesser Kudu, Sable, Eland, and Crocodile require a minimum of 21 days booking plus a 21-day hunting license and a 21-day government concession area rental fee.
Concession Fees – Concession Fees are a rental of either government or private lands in the hunting industry terminology. Like the daily rate, Concession Fees are based upon supply and demand of a species. Area rental fees have other terms based on the location. Game Management Area Fees (GMA) are used in Zambia, Africa. Conservancy Fee is the term used in the countries of South Africa and Namibia, Africa. In Canadian areas, the rental of public land (Crown Lands) requires a user fee. On United States soil, utilizing public lands such as United States Forest Service (USFS) or United States Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge (USFWS), United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and State lands, also require a user fee and are generally based on 3% of the gross base price of the hunt
VAT/GST/Sales Taxes – VAT/GST/Sales Taxes are normally applied to all costs on the trip. In other words, if the dollar moves, the tax applies. Value Added Tax (VAT) is the term used in Europe, Asia, and Africa. This fee varies from 16% in Spain, 14% in Namibia and South Africa, 2% in Zimbabwe. The Goods & Service Tax (GST) in Canada is 6%. State sales taxes in Idaho are 6% and Nevada is 7.3.
Commercial Air Charges – JAS were licensed travel agents until 1998 when the internet sales overran the mom and pop travel industry. Air costs have pretty much remained unchanged over the last three decades. Travel costs to Africa, Europe, and Asia have remained stable. Personal experience and clients discussing the costs of their trips have related these fees to JAS. A general estimate of $2,500 for the African continent, $1,500 for South America, $1,500 for Australia, $2,000 for Asia, $2,000 for Canada, $1,000 for Alaska, and $500 for western states. These are based on coach fare multiply by 4-6 for business class.
Charter Flights – Charter Flights are another region wide terminology. Many areas hunted around the world are in some of the most remote regions on the planet. Air charters are often necessary to reach these areas, as they are completely inaccessible by any other means. There may not be any roads, bridges, etc. The charters could include helicopters in Asia, as there are no fixed wing aircrafts. Helicopter charges have remained at approximately $1,000 per hour for the last decade. Most areas required eight to ten hours of helicopter time to transport clients. In Alaska and Canada, a combination of floatplanes and short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft are used. These aircraft, depending on the size, will run $500 to $1,000 per hour. Typically speaking, an area will be one to two hours each way for the aircraft. In Africa, much larger distances are often encountered, as far as three hours, one way. Due to safety issues, more expensive to charter twin-engine aircraft are often used. Air charter rates in regions that require two to three hours of flying time, at $500 to $1,000 per hour, can reach very costly levels. As an example, one hour from hunt provider’s camp to plane base equals leg number one, leg number two returns the plane to its base, leg number three takes the plane back to the hunt provider’s camp, and the final leg returns the client to a departure point for home. So, four total hours charter costs at X dollars per hour = charter flight cost
Hunting License – A sport Hunting License is a legal prerequisite to a hunt specimen, and then to possess a specimen, this is a worldwide condition. Hunting licenses provide a sport hunting specimen with required documents for legal ownership of a trophy, required legal documents for export/import of a sport-hunted specimen, and it also provides a sport-hunted specimen with a traceable history as to where the animal was taken, thus giving the specimen legal and science-based identification. The wildlife specimen’s scientific Latin name, common name, date taken, and hunting unit or area, are generally listed on a hunting license. Many countries have specialized laws regarding wildlife possession or transfer. In the United States, the Endangered Species Act specifically lists common name and scientific Latin name as a guideline to allow or disallow import, based on the country’s wildlife rules. Wildlife specimens taken in open hunting areas without a hunting license maybe considered contraband and seized. Hunting licenses are used by a state or province to underwrite the cost of managing wildlife populations and curb illegal wildlife trafficking
Air Freight – The term Air Freight applies to charges of shipment of a big game specimen from the point of harvest to the sport hunter’s home. The cost of shipping a trophy via air freight uses an equation, weight plus the cubic dimensions of the crate of the trophy. The minimum amount of air freight in just about any location on the planet in recent years was $500. Larger, heavier trophies such as elephant skin and ivory, moose or large antlers like caribou and elk, could create a crate with a higher cubic inch, thus a higher air freight costs.
Expeditor – An Expeditor is a shipping and freight agent. In all international or domestic regions shipping of trophies is a complicated process. Expeditors handle a multitude of legal requirements for a sport hunter wishing to ship his trophies home. The expeditor can in some cases, also be a taxidermist. An expeditor’s duties may include the following: The specimen’s skull or skull plate with antlers or horns must be completely free of any dead tissue and must be boiled to achieve the required conditions for transportation. The skins of the animals are salted and dried to a condition known as flint-dried, essentially rock hard rawhide. The reason for this is the concern includes prevention of insect larvae, ticks, and other parasites, as well as viruses such as CWD, from being transported internationally. The expeditor also would be charged with obtaining the necessary clearance documentation to export the specimen from the host country’s game department, provides an invoice listing the animal’s common and Latin name, and a release confirming payment of trophy license and trophy fees. Veterinarian certificates with statements on any disease issues present at the time of export must be obtained. The specimen must be crated in durable boxing to withstand international or domestic shipping. The crate must be composed of treated wood. Use of raw, untreated lumber is not allowed as parasites can be shipped within raw lumber. The expeditor also arranges for delivery of the trophies to a freight company for forwarding onto the client. The expeditor provides the client with a detailed invoice of the contents of the crate. Air bill numbers and the charges for gathering the necessary import/export documentation and total freight/expediting charges are often lumped for convenience on final payment. The charges vary from region to region; most are paid via wire transfer or credit card. Expediting/freight charges on single small species in the America’s, Australia, Africa, Asia, and Europe at $500-750. Larger shipments or those requiring additional paperwork including CITES* (see below) issues could result in higher charges and lengthy documentation periods and was $1,000. Multiple species can run $1500 to $3000. CITES application charges are charged by host countries in preparing CITES export documentation on Elephant, Leopard, and Argali Sheep from Asia. Application fees per species have been around $100 to $1,000.
Dipping, Packing, and Trophy Documentation – Dipping, Packing, and Trophy Documentation is a generic term used primarily in the country of Africa. Many hunting companies have their own in-house shipping agent or expeditor. The hunt provider charges a set fee to provide this service. The skins are often dipped in pesticides prior to shipment. Packing refers to the crating and packaging of this specimen. Trophy documentation would include obtaining export permits from the host country’s game department, veterinarian permits, and delivering the parcel to an air freight office after arranging air freight home.
*CITES – CITES is the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora. It is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wildlife and plants does not threaten their survival. CITES was formed in the 1960s. The annual international wildlife trade is estimated to be worth billions of dollars and includes hundreds of millions of plants and wildlife specimen. In 2006, there were 900,000 recorded fauna and flora transactions tracked by CITES per CITES news releases. CITES host countries set a bi-annual export quota for each country for each wildlife specimen. To export that specimen, a CITES export permit must be transferred from that quota pool and then completed. In the case of a big game hunter, once that big game hunter’s expeditor or representative applies for the export permit, the hunter’s name and contact information is placed on that individual CITES export permit. The permit is valid for one year. The permit is valid for one export and one import only. Host countries do charge a CITES export fee to handle the paperwork. This fee varied from $100 for Zimbabwe Elephant and up to $1,000 for Mongolian Argali.
US Fish & Wildlife Import Permits – The US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) is in charge of all wildlife imports on United States soil. The USFWS requires special advance import permits for threatened or endangered species and documentation on all other common species (see USWFS 3-1777*). This form is required to import any wildlife specimen and requires a hunting license number, common and legal name of specimen, and if it is a subspecies with legal protection. The country where taken must be identified on the form, as some species are protected in some countries and not in others. Species such as Leopard, Elephant, and Argali are listed as endangered, and an USFWS import permit must be applied for in advance for the wildlife specimen to be legally imported into the United States. In many cases, there must be proof of an import permit before a hunting license is issued in a host country. The USFWS import permit yearly quotas are generally on a more restrictive quota than the CITES export permits quota. The USFWS permit application fee is $100. The USFWS import permit is surrendered to the USFWS agents upon final customs clearance of the specimen to the United States. The USFWS Import permit is valid for one year from the date it was signed and if needed the application can be reissued for an addition year if there are import delays.
Wildlife Import Broker – Due to the complications of importing wildlife shipments, most hunters hire the services of an import broker. Less than a dozen cities in the United States allow the import of wildlife shipments. Wildlife brokers would handle the oversight of reviewing export documentation before the shipment leaves foreign soil; the United States has a zero tolerance on paperwork errors of any type. Professional pre-screening of the import documentation helps reduce seizes of shipments. The wildlife specimen is air or land freighted to the wildlife broker’s host city for import and shipped under wildlife broker’s business address under the client’s name. The client signs a power of attorney to authorize the import broker to import the specimen on behalf of the client. The client provides his contact information and social security number. The import broker will take delivery of the trophy, generally storing the parcel at their warehouse in bond, while import documentation occurs, which can be from days to weeks. Once US Customs, US Department of Agriculture, and USFWS clear the trophy, the parcel is delivered to a freight company and transported on to the owner’s taxidermist or tannery. Trophies can only be imported and sent to certified taxidermists or tanneries in most cases.
Trophy Fee – Trophy Fees are fees collected for a wildlife specimen. In Africa, a trophy fee is generally collected only after the animal is taken (killed) or wounded by the sport hunter. In either case, the permit is considered filled or the fee charged. In Africa, government wildlife managers review each individual area to set quotas. In the case of private lands, the landowners and wildlife management representatives do the quota review, based on availability, a seasonal quota and fee is established. Quotas can be changed without notice. The fees can change from region to region depending on supply, availability, and demand. Many countries or states or hunt providers charge a fixed base which can be a Daily Rate or package fee. If the specimen is taken or wounded and lost, the trophy is charged and the taxed in some cases. Trophy fees are covered in all supporting documentation provided and are applied to the specific specimens. Trophy fees underwrite management costs in both private and government hunting areas.
Airport Transfers – In most regions, a sport-hunting client will travel to a regional transportation hub. While air charter can often be the means of transporting the client from the hub to the hunting area, in some cases, road service is a possibility. The transfer fee generally covers the daily wage of a driver and the fee of delivering the client to the hunting area. This is repeated in most cases when returning the client back to the transportation hub.