Ah, Africa! I have to Africa one time, but hunting was perhaps one of the furthest things from my mind. While serving in the U.S. Army in France, I traveled to Morocco for a few days of playing 'tourist'.
Hunters going to Africa have really increased as many of the poor countries with good wildlife populations have discovered that it's a great way to bring money into their country. Because the value of the animals increases as people are willing to pay more to hunt them, it means that there is greater pressure on the authorities to keep the poachers down to a minimum. Because the poachers aren't interested in the 'sporting' aspect of hunting, they often carry AK-47's and other high firepower weapons that give them an advantage over park rangers and anyone else who gets in their way - intentionally or otherwise.
But just as Kevin says, he's been bitten by the bug, and can't wait to go back. Here's hoping that the perpetrators of this recent crime will be caught and put where they cannot hurt others.
Hunting Africa is still one of the best hunting values out there. I went to Namibia a few years ago and did a ten day hunt. The cost of the hunt was $210 per day. That included a wonderful place to stay, great meals, fantastic hospitality, daily maid and laundry, services of a professional hunter and several trackers and complete care of any game animals I took. I had a list of animals and the price to shoot each. Relatively speaking, they were cheap.
My gemsbok was US $600, kudu was $900 and my Hartman Mt. Zebra was $800. Nowhere can you match that price for such amazing animals. Top that with great food, a cool drink around an evening campfire, lots and lots of stories and an abundance of game and you have a total package experience that's hard to beat.
If you shop wisely, you can even find economical flights. BUT, be ready for one long airplane ride. We flew out of Seattle into Atlanta and from there to Africa. Between Atlanta and Johannesburg, we were on the plane for 19 hours straight. There was a one hour stop for fuel but we were not allowed off the plane. Beyond that, it's one of the greatest experiences I've ever had.
A perk of majoring in wildlife biology in college is the plethora of hunting knowledge that you collect throughout your course load. One of the most important factors in whether an area can hold large quantities of animals or produce large antlers is forage.
Most universities, state schools and even community colleges offer basic botany courses and plant ID courses. Although it might not be feasable for the average middle age hunter to pay tuition and go back to college to learn hunting...