Importing Your Bontebok Trophy into the US

Posted On : Apr 1, 2014

Posted By : DAH

Importing Your Bontebok Trophy into the US

Importing Your Bontebok Sport Hunted Trophy

The bontebok (Damaliscus pygargus dorcas) is an antelope that historically occurred in the Western Cape of the Republic of South Africa. It became nearly extinct from overhunting and loss of habitat due to expanding agricultural needs. The bontebok population went from a low of 20 specimens in 1930 to more than 2,500 today. The Republic of South Africa’s Department of Nature and Environmental Conservation established a management program in the early 1980’s to encourage private game ranchers to breed and maintain bontebok herds. The management plan allows controlled hunts of excess males from registered captive herds to provide an economic incentive to ranchers for maintaining bontebok populations and their habitat.

Bontebok at high alert

Do I need a permit?
Yes. The bontebok is protected in Appendix II under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and is listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA).

To import your botebok into the US, you need a CITES export permit from the Republic of South Africa Management Authority and an endangered species import permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Management Authority (DMA) prior to bringing a personal sport-hunted bontebok trophy into the United States.

Why are permits necessary?
The main purpose of CITES and the ESA is to conserve protected wildlife for future generations. The issuance of permits is used to monitor the international movement of wildlife in trade. For species protected under the ESA and included in Appendix II, permits ensure specimens will be:
â–  legally acquired.
â–  imported and exported in a manner that will enhance the survival of the species.
â– consistent with country harvest limits and have no detrimental effects on wild populations.

The Service has determined that the limited hunting of male bontebok through controlled hunts on ranches that participate in South Africa’s management program will enhance the survival of the bontebok, provided that trophies are imported by the person who hunted them and are for his or her own personal use. The Republic of South Africa registers private game ranches to ensure they maintain pure-bred bontebok herds.

How does the Service know which game ranches are registered?
The Republic of South Africa periodically sends the Service a list of game ranches that are part of their bontebok management program. If you apply for an import permit for an animal taken from a ranch that does not appear on the list, and South Africa cannot confirm the ranch is registered, your permit request cannot be approved.

How long will it take to get an import permit?
Apply for a permit at least 90 days before your departure. Under the ESA, the receipt of applications must be published in the Federal Register to allow the public 30 days to comment on the proposed import.

What should I know before I go hunting?
â–  Confirm that the game ranch on which you propose to hunt is registered with South Africa’s bontebok management program.
â–  Obtain a letter from the landowner giving you permission to hunt a male bontebok on his/her property. Send a copy with your import permit application.
â–  Understand and be aware of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s requirement that to import your bontebok into the US, an import permit for a bontebok trophy may only be issued for your own personal use.
â–  If you are considering buying wildlife souvenirs, check with the DMA to determine if you will be allowed to import them.

What steps should I take?
â–  Obtain an import permit from DMA by submitting application form 3-200-22 ( The permit does not need to be issued before you go on your hunt. However, if it has, you may want to take a copy of your permit when you leave on safari to provide to your outfitter.
â–  Leave the original permit at home as you will need to present it at the time the trophy is imported into the United States.
â–  Comply with all foreign laws during your hunt.
â–  Obtain a CITES export permit from the Management Authority of South Africa prior to importing the trophy.
â–  Check expiration dates on your import and export permits before having the trophy shipped to you.
You could lose your trophy if it enters the United States after your permits have expired. Import permits are for six months, as required by CITES. If the import permit expires before the trophy is imported, you need to apply for a new permit. Return the original unused permit, a renewal application form (3-200-52; and the processing fee. Allow at least 30 days for processing.
â–  Import through a United States port designated for wildlife ( le/ImpExp/Contact_Info_Ports.htm). Please be aware that there may be inspection fees at the time of import.
â–  Speak with the Service wildlife inspector at the port of entry to arrange for inspection at least 72
hours prior to import. At the time of import, you will need to present the original import and export permits, as well as a completed Declaration for Importation or Exportation of Fish or Wildlife (Form 3-177), obtained at the port directly or by visiting the following website:

Source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service International Affairs - Oct. 2012