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Jono SCI Interview

Jono’s passion for Africa, conservation and nature combined with love for the outdoors led him to become a Professional Hunter. Growing up in Southern Africa, he learned about hunting the African Bushveld from his father and uncles. Jono describes himself as a second generation African Bushveld craftsman. His father, a businessman, though an avid hunter, is not a PH.

In Jono’s early years his uncle Neville, a PH based in Namibia, was his mentor. Family hunting trips, conducted across Southern Africa, gave him in-depth knowledge of the conditions and the terrain.

Jono hunts all across Southern Africa – South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia.  Amazing and interesting areas in South Africa will satisfy all hunters from the novice to the most experienced.

In Zimbabwe, hunting areas Gonarezhou and Matetsi are among the best of the free-range fair chase areas.  In Namibia, a family ranch of 12,000 hectares is run by Jono’s uncle. Hunts are offered on their ranch situated three hours from Windhoek near Otjiwarongo. The low fence ranch forms part of a 100,000-hectare conservancy that is free-range fair chase hunting for plains game and leopard.

As a double rifle fanatic and fully licensed PH, Jono’s special interest is in big game, dangerous game hunting. He is a partner in JWK Safaris, which has guided more than 500 big game hunts for various species, including nearly 250 buffalo, 150 elephant, 30 leopard, 60 hippo and 30 lion.

Excitement is always high with plains game hunts. Jono contends that record qualifies JWK Safaris team as big game specialists, an opinion shared by their clients. Jono comments on JWK’s operation: “Though there are many outfitters, I consider myself and our outfit amongst the upper echelon of what is offered in Southern African hunting. I am a young, enthusiastic, honest, well-educated PH possessing the ability to satisfy clients by meeting their expectations. Traits that make a safari successful.”

When afield, Jono reveals his choice of firearms: “I am a competition award-winning double rifle fanatic. I carry a .500 Nitro Express Heym rifle because for me, there is no better double rifle on the market. I also own a Blaser .470 Nitro Express double that I use often. This rifle has been my go-to for some time and is exceptionally accurate.

On plains game hunts, I use a .300 WM or .375 H&H. From a caliber perspective, I really like the big bore rifles shooting heavy bullets that allow you to finish definitively, ending any dangerous situation you encounter. I have an affinity for double rifles and really enjoy shooting them. It’s a personal choice.

My advice to clients is when selecting your big game hunting rifle, is it is not a choice to make lightly. Make sure you can hit the mark with whatever rifle you choose and you will be fine. Shot placement is the number one rule above everything else. Practice shooting as much as possible and be confident with your rifle no matter which caliber it is.

“I shoot 200-plus double rifle shots a month at the shooting range on our own ranch in South Africa and I load my own ammunition,” he explained. His tracking dog, Gypsy, has been with Jono for nine years and hunts with him when he guides.

Having guided all of his adult life, beginning with plains game on the family farm and progressing to a PH in his late 20s and early 30s, Jono has had many varied adventures.  Recounting the thrills and spine-tingling excitement of every hunt, Jono commented,

“To pin one experience as the most memorable would be difficult,” he said. “Charges by dangerous game are unwanted, but exciting. Suffice to say I am grateful for every hunt and thankful to every client who has hunted with me and us at JWK Safaris.”

A member and committee member of PHASA (Professional Hunting Association of South Africa), Jono is involved in many special projects ranging from fighting the battle against poaching and educating anti-hunters to providing homes for underprivileged families. PHASA is a strong community that gives generously. JWK works with SCI and thanks SCI for the continued valued support.

JWK Safaris donates meat from hunts to local communities and employs staff from them. Dollars from clients’ hunts have built schools, drilled boreholes and provided medical care.  Jono invites anyone who would like to get involved in charity or anti-poaching programs to contact him.

JWK Safaris is a main event exhibitor at SCI Conventions and the team are SCI individual members. Cape buffalo hunts have been donated to SCI for sale at auctions and for fundraising. “Our relationship with SCI is constantly evolving and developing. We are grateful to be a part of the big show and be able to showcase and offer our hunts to SCI members,” Jono remarked.

Newsletter 53

Dear Hunting Friends

I hope this newsletter finds you well.

Since my last newsletter on the 24th of March we have had some great hunts in the Gonarezhou safari areas, including this 61 pounder elephant bull that was hunted by a TAS client from Europe with PH Lloyd Yeatman, this bull was shot crop raiding in the maize fields as you can see in the photo. These crop raiders cause massive damage to the locals fields, in fact one bull can destroy a maize field on his own in one night. The community “campfire” programs we form part of allow us to hunt these bulls on the local peoples land (only bulls come into the maize fields) whereby they get issued permits to hunt these damage causing animals that we in turn buy from them, the money the locals get from the hunt is used for sustenance including but not limited to school fees and school clothes, on top of the money they receive the locals get all the meat from the hunt, the meat does not belong to the Operator or the PH, the client gets the trophy including the skin, tusks and bones, this system works perfectly.

I must say that if hunting had to stop I feel that the locals would have no choice but to poison these bulls to protect their crops that in turn support their families. Anyhow I don’t want to get into a long pro hunting vs anti hunting debate here, these are the facts from on the ground where the elephants live and not from the armchair of the not very active “activists”.

This 61 and 60 pounder tusks elephant was hunted during April 2016 as mentioned above:

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On the same hunt our client hunted this fantastic leopard tom cat with a pumpkin head that I put in the 100 kilogram class, this leopard was described to me as the equivalent of a 100 pounder elephant, I do agree with that.

This is a typical Lowveld leopard at its maximum size, they get this big down our way as there is mainly flat ground here, not many mountains to keep climbing and because of the abundance of plains game in our areas.

Congrats to our client from Europe on this monster cat:

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(Of course it is very sad that nowadays we need to cover our clients faces to protect them from the arm chair conservationists)

The same lucky hunter managed to get this giraffe bull:

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Also during April in the Gonarezhou Safari areas PH Matt Pilkinson guided another TAS client on this elephant bull hunt, this bull is in the late 40 to early 50 pound class:

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Also during April Lloyd Yeatman guided another TAS client on a buffalo hunt, our client from Europe shot this very good Dagga Boy Buffalo:

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Last but not least my sons enjoyed their first hunt with their Dad, we hunted in Musina and enjoyed a great few days together, we hunted on foot and managed to hunt this Oryx bull that we will enjoy eating over the next few months. For those of you young hunters reading this these young boys are hopefully (for me) the next generation of African PH’s.

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As always a big thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter, please contact me for any big game hunts you would like in either Zimbabwe or South Africa. I do have quota and dates available on all big game, please contact me for a quote.

Lastly we have a lion on quota in the Gonarezhou that has not been sold yet, this is the first lion on quota in the Gonarezhou area for 8 years, there is a very healthy lion population in the area.
There are currently 3 rouge male lions killing cattle in the communal areas adjoined to the safari areas, the local community is angry as these lions have killed at least 30 cattle in the last 5 weeks. We are looking for a short notice hunter for one of these lions and are prepared to offer the best priced wild lion hunt available in Zimbabwe today, the lion is fully exportable, please contact me for more info on this hunt.

Please feel free to share my newsletters with your hunting friends.

 

Newsletter 52

Dear Hunting Friends

I hope this newsletter finds you well.

Our hunts have started for the year and I am happy to be able to report that we have had good success on trophy elephant bulls in the Gonarezhou Safari areas that as you know are in my opinion the best areas in Africa to hunt trophy elephant bulls, (and wild trophy buffalo bulls) these areas consistently produce elephant bulls of this quality year after year month after month, in fact it is fair to say that the hunting in the Gonarezhou safari areas of Zimbabwe is getting better and better.

There is almost no poaching in the Gonarezhou thanks mainly to the hard work of the National Parks Scouts and the hunting Operators anti poaching personal that control and patrol the Gonarezhou National Park and the areas adjoined to the Gonarezhou and KNP Parks that would otherwise be used as staging or hosting areas for poachers to enter the Parks including the Gonarezhou and the Kruger National Park that has many kilometres of unfenced shared boundaries with the Gonarezhou hunting areas, both these parks and the Mozambique National Park benefit from the anti poaching work the hunting Operators do. Without hunters coming to hunt here there would be no hunting Operators and no Operator anti-poaching units, we hunters are conservationists this is an undeniable truth.

I have said it before and I will say it again: In my opinion Zimbabwe is the number 1 hunting destination in Africa today, there is NO REASON why you should not be booking your hunt in Zimbabwe. Of course I believe that the areas I offer my clients are the best that Zimbabwe has to offer and below this text is why.

Without a doubt RSA is a wonderful country to hunt and offers hunters many different hunting options and an abundance of species to hunt, such habitat and species diversity cannot be not found anywhere else in Africa. I am able to offer you both South Africa and Zimbabwe so please contact me for more info.

This 70 pounder elephant was hunted by a European client of ours in the Gonarezhou area (Sengwe 2/Dumisa) during February 2016, the hunt was guided by Zim PH Nixon Dzingai:

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This 58 pounder was hunted by a European client of ours also during February in Malipati Safari area, guided by Zim PH Dean Green pictured here with PH Simon Dzingai:

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This 75 pounder was also hunted in the Gonarezhou area (Chibedziva), this one was hunted in March by another European client who was guided by Zim PH Steve Meyer:

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Hunters let’s be honest with one another here, these are all old bulls that have spread their genes and are age appropriate for hunting, just look at the tusk and body condition to help make your own determination. Of course we cannot promise 70 pounders to every client but you can be sure we are hunting age appropriate animals, you will do the same when you book with us.

This buffalo was hunted by a client from RSA and to be honest not recently but until now I have not had a photo of the buffalo and have not been able to share it with you so I am doing so now. The buffalo was hunted in the Gonarezhou safari areas guided by Zim PH Simon Dzingai.

This hard boss bull measured and un-believable 51 inches in horn width and is age appropriate for hunting. Can this be done again? Would you have said it was possible in the first place? Same story as the 122 pounder we hunted last year? You need to book with us and come hunt your bull.

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Thanks for taking the time to read my newsletters, I do have quota and hunting dates available on all big game including elephant, leopard, buffalo, lion, hippo, croc, sable and plains game in top concessions in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Clients, agents, PH’s and Outfitters please contact me for more info on our hunts.

With the USA stopping the import of lion trophies into the USA there is a fair amount of 2016 lion hunting quota available, please contact me for a fair priced lion hunt, this may be the year I get my own lion.

For all our RSA clients please visit us at Huntex Hall 4 stand #416 from the 14th to the 17th of April 2016.

Hunters best wishes

Carl Knight