I received a lot of responses in response to my post in the video section where poachers decimated the rhino's. Instead of responding individually, I guess I'll do an AMA and see if it leads anywhere. First things first:

  1. I'm nowhere near as experienced as some of the Africans that have been doing this for 20+ years.

  2. I'm a white guy from the US so my experiences in the matter differ from white Africans and differ completely from black Africans. Yes, I experienced what you could call racism but the populace generally liked me as I was there to help catch poachers.

  3. Tracking poachers is seriously hard work.

  4. There are a million ways to combat the poaching problem and some of them will probably be unpopular on reddit but the information needs to get out there.

Anyway, if people have questions, I'm at work doing nothing (just opened a business) so I'm here for a few hours to answer.


And here is a picture of my vacation in South Africa to get some R/R after working hard. I highly suggest a visit to a lot of places in Africa for those on the fence about it:


edit 2:

Finally done with my days tasks and time to hit the gym and relax. I appreciate the positive support from anyone and if anyone has any questions in the future about this stuff, please don't hesitate to PM me. Best wishes.

Comments: 400 • Responses: 77  • Date: 

kkk123eee2 karma

What battalion?

US_Ranger3 karma


MonitoredCitizen2 karma

A couple days ago in this thread: http://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/1xspe1/slaughtered_for_ivory_65_of_forest_elephants/ someone mentioned the possibility of hiring contractors to hunt poachers.

What are your thoughts on that?

US_Ranger5 karma

I'm all for it. It would cost a lot of money though and there would need to be a very serious vetting process involved. A lot of guys are "in shape" but can't do the 20-30 mile patrols. You also have do be used to carrying less ammo and supplies and living off the land. A lot of logistical nightmares and a lot of liability problems.

Still, I know there are plenty of contractors who would be all for it (that's how I got started after being in the rangers) and with the right pay incentives, it would attract a lot more people than those like me who do it for free.

PeaceOfficer4202 karma

Do most poachers seem mean and violent like the stereotypical image most people have of them or do they seem like normal people trying to make a living?

US_Ranger4 karma

Good question. Most of very normal and trying to make a living. However, there were certain groups that were known to threaten families of the local game scouts who were working the land to protect the animals. They were good at poaching and it went to their head. That's what happens when you sell bushmeat at 50,000 kwacha per pound vs beef which was usually 32,000. It's a lucrative business and brings in the bad people.

Generally though, just hungry people. Still, some of them were dangerous and very good at what they do.

Angel_Zpiritus2 karma

Thanks for this man. I have a really random question. What survival skills do you think would be most useful for any person to know? ya know...just in case??

US_Ranger2 karma

  1. Where/how to find water.

  2. Where/how to make shelter.

In a general sense, it's worth spending 100 dollars on supplies and a nice little backpack that you keep in your closet. Something you can live a week off of in case of natural disaster, major events like that, etc. Being prepared is the biggest skill because it's the one that any of us can do.

Being able to shoot and hunt is big too.