Case study of hunting club management with HAMS.online
Features of the club
Membership based hunt club
- It is a joint club of local landowners and their friends
- They have been using HAMS.online since 2017
Location: Hungary, Borsod county
Size: 7301 ha
Check-ins: 1500 average per annum
Land is divided into: 119 zones (ranging from 2 ha-78 ha)
Facilities managed: 79
Number of members: 35
- Age of oldest member: 85
- Age of youngest member: 32
Management team: 3
- Head keeper
- head keeper: 1
- full time gamekeeper: 3
Basic management rules
Cull plan for every year, plan is based on regular population estimation, trends based on previous years and cull reports
Cull data is sent to the authority and to the national game management database. The cull plan is reviewed and approved by the local hunting authority every year.
Cull reporting is part of a mandatory check-in, reporting and checkout process
1 check-in book at the hunting lodge in the closest village (Before HAMS.online they used pen and paper based administration)
Mandatory use of hunting tags to identify big game and to fight against poaching
Hunting tags are in use to identify big-game, also to help the fight against poachers
Head keeper is responsible for accurate admin, planning and reporting, trophy management and communication with local authorities
To set up cull rates, admin has to administrate and report to the local authority that which tag belongs to which hunter
Every land owner is responsible for their own land in relation to damage to crops
The club pays no compensation to the landowners for damage in crops.
No paying guests, only friends and business partners invited
Self reliant club without any “financial pressure”, the membership fees and meat sales provide the income.
Managing members and guests
- Pen and paper based admin, 1 check-in book at the hunting lodge in the closest village. An average of 30-50 km for most members to access the check-in book.
- Some members live 200-300 kilometers from the area, so after 2-3 hours of driving they sometimes discovered the location they wanted to hunt in is already occupied.
- It is mandatory to record the hunter certificate number and hunting licence number of guests. Admin and general paperwork in relation to the guest hunters’ data and documents required loads of admin and organisation.
Illustration: Member and staff management in HAMS.online
Illustration: How to access Land occupancy map in HAMS.
- Reviewing land occupancy and check-in now takes only 30-40 seconds and can be done from home before traveling. Reporting takes a few minute and contains more information than the check-in book entries.
- They can record more bioindicators than ever before and not just age, sex, wieght information. Trophy evaluation data and scoring, jaw length, medical and location information of deceased animal, are all recordable and searchable.
- Check-in and checkout helped to provide fast help to a member who fell off a high-seat.
- Harvested animal cannot be moved or processed before putting a hunting tag into the leg, admin of the tag can be done on the land and avoids mistakes.
MANAGING LAND AND LAND ASSETS
Land is divided into 119 zones (compartments):
- Size of the zones is ranging from 2-78 ha
Zone types in use:
- 2 - check-in forbidden (red)
- 51 - bookable for certain person(s) (orange)
- 7 - stalking only (green)
- 59 - freely bookable by anyone (green)
- 2 - snipe monitoring (2-3 ha zones) (green)
- 76 high-seats/deer boxes
- 3 trail-cams (located at feeding plots)
The use of zones & managing people
- Occupancy of zones was managed in a paper based check-in book with pen.
- Every hunter had to go to the hunting lodge to go through the check-in book to see what zones were free.
- A printed, huge map displayed the names of the zones in the hunting lodge.
- There were cases where hunters unintentionally administered wrong location that caused dangerous situations and conflicts.
- Fast reaction to poaching incidents were impossible because they could not review land occupancy only if they went back to the check-in book.
In the high season often 15-20 hunters are out in the land simultaneously. The use of zones and electronic check-in
- increased safety
- helped to organise people on the land
- reduced conflicts
- helped collect better data with less paperwork
Zones also helps with better, more accurate data, to analyse hunting pressure, location of harvest, preparing for game damage, collecting information of deceased animal and spreading of diseases.
1 poacher was caught and 1 poaching incident was prevented due to HAMS’ real-time land occupancy view.
- No more phone calls organising people and confronting on who goes where and when.
- In zones where multiple people can check in the first person knows who wants to come after them and where they will be.
- Electronic zone occupancy increased safety and real-time access to info and quick info sharing in general reduced conflicts.
- Members can check-in from their home in advance to occupy the zone by the time they arrive to the land. No more pointless trips, driving for hours.
- Travel between the hunting lodge and the target zone disappeared.
- Members are saving time and money by using less fuel.
Cull reporting & hunting tag management
- After culling the animal hunters had to travel back to the hunting lodge and record the hunting tag number and features of the animal, age, sex, weight.
- In some cases the hunting tag numbers were written incorrectly, or the numbers were not easy to read and that caused admin issues in tag use and trophy tracking and reporting.
- Problems in the administration increases workload and conflicts with the local authorities.
- Cull reporting is done through HAMS.online in 90% of the cases on the land immediately.
- Hunting tag management is incredibly easy, seamlessly integrates into the processes and contains no errors.
- Trophy administration is simple and easy, reporting, exporting data is a few clicks. Reports can be sent over to the authorities via email in seconds without additional admin work.
- Locating harvests is accurate now and helps with creating heat-maps, pressure maps. Helping the fight against damage in the crops.
- Uploaded images are helping with more accurate identification of age and weight of the animals.
- Furthermore, they generate more buzz in the community, more communication, more congratulations. All hunters have their own, private hunting memory diary and picture book in one tool.
Management of Staff
Duties and everyday practices of gamekeepers
- Check the feeders everyday
- Guide guests, manage the 4x4s
- Carry out repair works (seats, etc.)
- Record observations
- Record anything unusual
- Clean roads, relocate trail-cams
- Manage and review traps,
- Organising daily tasks of the staff, and reporting was done through phone calls and personal meetings at the hunting lodge. Best case scenario was some written information made with pen and paper.
- Information was lost, forgotten or distorted through calls, paper notes. Data and information were lost over time, and were not easily searchable, or trackable.
- Memories are fading that generated conflicts between the staff and the management team.
- Responsibilities were not clear in some cases.
- Gamekeepers record everything in HAMS using the service log feature.
- If they cannot or don’t want to type they use the voice recognition feature of the phone that transforms audio into text.
- They can take and attach photos where it is necessary or helps with work and explanations.
- HAMS notifies (via email too) the admins about every new service log entry.
- Better information sharing and access.
- Lot less phone calls, everything organised, there is no loss of information.
- Easier, more organised life of the staff and repair works.
- (Gamekeepers started to take pictures of the land and about nature in general and share their nice experiences on the land.)
Quarries for hunt and shoot
Data collection and recording has a tradition as the local regulation forces data collection and annual reporting of accurate data.
For this club big game (deer and boar) management is the main focus.
- Wild boar
- European roe deer
- Red deer
- Brown hare
Pests and predators
- Golden jackal
The management goals are
- To achieve possible lowest game damage in crops
- To protect newly planted oak forest
- Maintain population size that provides enough meat for all families and to invite guests
- As trophy size is an obvious indicator of the quality of the management work they want to achieve as big trophies as possible
Deer Management Strategy
- Cull animals with irregular antlers or weak, unhealthy, bad genetics
- Let the most beautiful animals reach their peak age and cull them after their culmination period with the largest possible trophy
- Population is managed in sex and age groups
- Cull plan calculation is based on to maintain the population size
- Data was recorded on paper then some data copied to electronic data tables burning weeks of work
- If any data (hunting number for example) was incorrect, unreadable that could cause troubles and unnecessary work overload
- Organising and processing the collected data of regular population estimation projects was resource extensive, members did not like it.
- Analysing trends and cross referencing data was close impossible for the head keeper also required months of work to collect and organise data on a computer.
- To review and report hunting tag use was extremely resource extensive, some of the data was incorrect, unreadable (7 or 1, 3 or 8 was written?). Blood covered, wet hands make information unreadable.
- Admin tasks took months of work per year. Often containing admin mistakes.
Illustration: cull plan and facts based on cull report of an estate
- Tracking of plans and actual status is available for every member
- Communication and information sharing is easy and better than ever
- Unintentional over or undershooting of species and plans disappeared as access to data is easy and real-time
- Data analysis of changes and trends are done with custom chart maker of HAMS just in seconds and minutes. Some often used data tables are available after a few clicks immediately.
- They have access to information that was never available due to the resource extensive tasks.
- Better and easier reporting and communication with the local authority
How HAMS.online changed the life of a club that has been managing their land professionally based on adaptive wildlife management methodology?
According to them:
- Accessing valuable, accurate information is now simple, easy and natural
- Both from a land occupancy and wildlife management perspective.
- HAMS.online drastically reduced the costs for members (lot less fuel consumption) and the club
- Land related works, gamekeeping tasks and works are more organised and administered while the hassle around admin tasks is easier, more efficient and natural
- Analysing data, trends, planning, reporting is easier and better than ever before
- Information sharing and access is much better (for example when and where the members should focus more on game damage issues)
What has happened and changed since the introduction of HAMS.online
- 1 poacher caught
- 1 poaching incident was prevented
- 1 member was in danger and got help fast
- Conflicts have almost completely disappeared
- The community spends more time with managing wildlife and less time with admin while admin is more accurate than ever
- The 85 years old member loves HAMS.online, because now he oversees what is happening in the land, who shot what and when so he is more informed than ever about the life of the community
- The local authority mentioned this club as an exemplary land, because processing their data is convenient and easy.