ECGMA was the first game ranchers association acknowledged as such under certain provisions of the Firearms Control Act. For a game rancher to license firearms for game ranching purposes, the rancher must – amongst other criteria – belong to a recognized game ranchers association.
On provincial level, ECGMA represents its game ranchers on SECSICOM (Stakeholders in the Eastern Cape Safari Industry Committee). Furthermore, ECGMA is represented on the Board of EPAU (Eastern Province Agricultural Union), where direct input can be made on behalf of its game ranchers members.
ECGMA offers consultation services on all aspects of game management, is involved on an adhoc basis in training of students on the Game Ranch Management Course of NMMU (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University), and personnel has been involved as expert witness in a number of court cases where game ranching or professional hunting matters had been argued.
A dedicated Executive Committee member oversees all game ranching matters, and the office arrange regular game rancher meetings on an ad hoc basis.
For a number of years running, the Eastern Cape attracted the most foreign hunter visitors of all the provinces in South Africa, generating the highest income of foreign currency via hunting amongst the provinces. The training, quality and ethics of Eastern Cape Outfitters and Professional hunters are also amongst the highest in the country, inter alia reflected by an almost total absence of cases against Eastern Cape PH’s or outfitters, lodged with PHASA (Professional Hunters Association of South Africa). Reasons for the popularity of the Eastern Cape amongst visiting hunters is contained in Advantages of the Eastern Cape elsewhere on this website.
ECGMA has developed a comprehensive set of criteria for Hunting Outfitter facilities and Services to comply to, and offer Inspection and Accreditation Services, the latter recognized by the Subdirectorate Nature Conservation of the Eastern Cape. Outfitters’ facilities accredited by ECGMA thus don’t need to be inspected by the Subdirectorate.
ECGMA is also a partner in a nationally accredited Professional Hunting School, Eastern Cape Academy of Professional Hunting (ECAPH).
Representation of recreational hunters on:
The hunter must know the Law pertaining to the area in which he hunts and it must strictly be adhered to. He should also report unlawful and unethical practices.
The hunter must be skilled and practiced in hunting in order to assure quick, clean kills, and should conduct his sport with due regard to his physical capabilities. In the event of an animal being wounded, every effort must be made to find and kill it as soon as possible.
Only firearms and other arms of such caliber and power that are capable of killing game quickly and efficiently at practical ranges should be used.
The hunter should at all times use his equipment, be it either firearms, knife, vehicle, etc. with the utmost regard for the safety of his companions, assistants or anybody else in the neighborhood. Gun safety should be a matter of habit and practiced at all times when handling firearms.
Hunting should involve self-sufficient, free roaming animals, not captive fed or domesticated animals.
“Fair chase” must be pursued at all times. Hunting methods should not include unfair advantages to the hunters such as night shooting with the aid of spot lights - except in the cases of Cape Grysbok and bush pig which may be “collected” by these means (on open farms with a valid permit only). The use of vehicles to shoot from or to drive the game with is not acceptable (is unlawful on open farms).
Hunter/Landowner relationships should always be above reproach. The hunter should respect and safeguard the landowner’s property, game, stock, staff and facilities and should preserve the environment whilst hunting. The landowner should extend every courtesy and all possible assistance to a member who hunts on his property.
No animal that is obviously pregnant or has dependant young, or animal that cannot be fully utilized by virtue of its trophy or flesh should be killed for sport. All game meat must be utilized, not wasted.
Landowners/ranchers and professional hunters/guides must ensure that their clients are fully aware of and understand the Code of Ethics and standards that will be up-held during the course of any hunt.
A professional hunter or guide should not - by lowering ethical standards - allow inexperienced clients to buy their way into the hunting fraternity without earning it, thus offending life-long, ethical sportsmen-hunters. Clients should also kill their own game.
The Association recognizes that ‘culling’, ‘capture’ and vermin ‘control’ activities are a necessary part of game management as long as they are conducted - within the law - with consideration and humane treatment of the wildlife involved. However, at no time can or will these activities be regarded in the context of hunting.
ECGMA is a founder member of CHASA (Confederation of Hunters Associations of South Africa), and CHASA’s current (2009) Chairman and Secretary hails from ECGMA.
ECGMA is accredited by the Central Firearms Register as a Hunters Association, thus enabling the association to give Dedicated Hunter status to those members who comply to the relevant criteria.
East Cape Hunting licenses are being sold by ECGMA on behalf of Nature Conservation, as a service to its members and the public. Furthermore, ECGMA’s personnel are qualified as assessors and moderators, and with ECGMA being an accredited training facility in accordance with the Firearms Control Act, it allows ECGMA to train its members and the public in the use of firearms, not only for hunting purposes.
For members to be listed as Dedicated Hunters, one of the criteria entails that members must take part in Association activities on a regular basis. In order to facilitate this, for the convenience of members, and to prevent members from the rural areas having to travel long distances to ECGMA’s office in Despatch, branches have been established in various regions. The following branches are currently in existence: