It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again. The Eland bulls have come out of hiding, the cows have had their calves, and the world seems a richer place for it. It may sound strange, but it’s our sign that mid-summer has arrived, and with that a look back at the year that has been.
It feels like yesterday that we were traveling throughout the United States and Europe visiting our many friends from around the world. Since then we have been blessed with yet another fun-filled season of hunts, seen the safari world of John X Safaris grow from strength to strength, and welcomed the next generation to the family.
The birth of our son, Brett, was not only one of the highlights from the past year, but also the perfect start to what has been an exciting season.
Our hunts started much earlier than usual, with our first safaris enjoying the warm February weather. Those early hunts experienced heat like few have seen before; it proved to be a sign of things to come.
Our areas have had to deal with very little, or no rain at all. The game has astonishingly lived as if the crisis was not as severe as we may think, but as the season drew on, so did the apparent need for rain become critical. A feeling of angst had started setting in throughout most our areas by late October, with the promise of the arrival of summer rain a mere tease in the form of thunderstorms on the horizon each evening.
By mid November the heavens finally opened, and the scorched country side gave way to a blanket of green and a paradise of life.
While the drought dominated our year, it did make for exceptional hunting, and the opportunity to hunt the older, and often weaker animals, ultimately the better trophies. It has proven once again to an ever-changing society that sustainable hunting is single-handedly creating the most sustainable value for animals past their prime. Those that otherwise would have died due to the severe drought conditions.
Our teams in the field saw a change of guard during 2013, but what started out as a bunch of enthusiasts, has been modeled in a formidable unit. They, together with our loyal trackers, trusty lodge crews, and long-standing team members, have once again proven why they’re considered some of the finest in the industry.
They, together with you have worked hard to achieve each hunter’s goals during 2013. Some of you were luckier than others, finding yourselves in the right place at the right time, and in so doing, enjoyed the privilege of hunting that record-breaking dream trophy/s.
To those that feel we may have missed YOUR best trophy of 2013, we’d like to apologize in advance; at no stage was that our intention. On the contrary, I may sound contradictory; I recently read an article by our good friend, Ivan Carter. The heading to his article read, “Cary salt instead of a tape measure.” During these times, where the threat of non-hunters has scaled new heights, Ivan’s heading to his article carries so much more weight than that of the article itself. Now is the time where we as hunters need to stand up and be counted for through our actions and not only our words. Hunting is a matter of personal preference, something intimately personal that cannot be explained to someone who has never attempted to partake in this tradition. The difference to merely being an observer of nature, compared to involving oneself in nature are worlds apart, something we as hunters should cherish and do our utmost to preserve and protect.
It is for this reason why this year we’ve not done a countdown of the luckiest hunters who hunted some of the better trophies during 2013, but more importantly, we’ve included a picture of every single one who chose to be a part of this fine age-old tradition called hunting.
This is a celebration of you and your safaris, a personal adventure, each with its very own story, one we hope you share with family and friends as often as possible. For it is in the sharing of the adventure that our hunting tradition lives on…..
For all the fun that was had by each and everyone on their safari, with responsible hunters being the common ground among us all, it was rewarding to see the lead taken by so many of you during 2013 in support of the John X Foundation. This year has seen the foundation reach new heights with not only our Humanitarian initiative going from strength to strength, but the launch of our highly successful Conservation initiative.
The Siyakhula Pre-School and its students once again enjoyed your visits and generosity, while the Small Cats Breeding Program at Lalibela would not have been possible without your support. More recently, the John X Foundation has answered the call of our friends from Zambeze Delta Safaris in Mozambique. The response to the anti-poaching auction campaign has been exemplary, and for that we can only commend and thank you.
It goes without saying, the John X Safaris Foundation would not be where it is today without the generous support of the following individuals during 2013.
Eric, Kristie, Hunter & Kasey Arnette, Bertil Friman, Benny Fredriksson, Uno Kristiansson, Thomas Nyden, Bjorn Hagman, Martin Ostholm, Brett Nelson, Jeff Edland, Chad Badger, Dennis & Nan Roberg, Brian Nelson, Joe Kapaun, Brian Gebeke, Randall Spence & Emily Belue, Jim Haselberger, Sabrina Haverfield, Sydney Scott, and Robert & Wendy Haverfield.
This year not only saw our teams do an outstanding job in the field by achieving another season of first class results, our marketing and communications teams were hard at it too, receiving raving reports from many of you. Our monthly newsletters continue to be a well supported forum with over 20 000 readers following our news from the field during 2013.
Our John X Facebook fan page continues to grow at a steady rate, one we’d like to see improvement on during 2014. While many of you may feel Facebook is not for you or your friends, it is the medium of the youth. If we are to protect and promote our hunting tradition, we must do so through reaching the youth, they are after all the future. Why not recommend our John X Safaris Facebook fan page to your grandkids or kids during 2014, it may provide the link you were after in getting them outdoors, and ultimately spending more time with you in the field.
After the amazing success of John X Safaris’ first Coffee Table Book during 2010, we’ve continued on with the popular tradition. This year’s book is without a doubt our finest to date – a must for any past, current or future John X hunters’ Christmas sock! Feel free to purchase “The Safari World of John X Safaris 2013” @ http://www.blurb.com/b/4723630-john-x-safaris-2013
Looking towards the future and 2014, bookings are coming in at a steady pace and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible during our upcoming travels. Below is a quick reminder of our 2014 Show and Travel Schedule. If you or any of your friends are interested in meeting with us, please drop us a line, we’d be glad to fit you or them into our schedule.
USA / MEXICO – January/February 2014
Dallas Safari Club Show – Dallas, Texas: 9 – 12 January 2014
Athens, Texas stop-over: 16 – 19 January 2014 – COCKTAIL EVENING with the Arnette’s & Spence’s, Saturday 18 January.
Washington, DC stop-over: 20 – 22 January 2014
Salt Lake City/ Eagle Mountain stop-over: 22 – 24 January 2014
Omaha – Nebraska stop-over: 24 – 29 January 2014 – COCKTAIL EVENING at The Pheasant Bonanza, Omaha, NE with Steve & Jill Evers 25 January.
Fargo, North Dakota/ Bemidji, Minnesota stop-over: 30 January – 2 February 2014 – COCKTAIL EVENING in ND with Brett Nelson & Friends – 31 January in Valley City, ND & 1 February in Bemidji, Minnesota.
Safari Club International – Las Vegas, Nevada: 5 – 8 February 2014
SCI Monterrey Convention – Monterrey, Mexico: 14 – 16 February 2014
SPAIN – February/March 2014
CINEGETICA Hunting Convention – Madrid, Spain: 27 February – 2 March 2014
Lastly we’d like to thank our hunters who we’ve enjoyed guiding and hunting with throughout our renowned concession in South Africa, Mozambique, and Botswana. Without them and their continued support we would not be able to choose Africa’s great outdoors and the safari world as a way of life.
It is a privilege and experience somewhat different to most. When others leave home for the office and sit in forty minutes of traffic, we sit in an Elephant road block, waiting for these giants to feed clear of the road. When they check into the office – we check into the bush. Our television mostly broadcasts reality shows, with our favorite being safari news around a crackling campfire at the end of a rewarding days’ hunt.
Our world is one from a forgotten era, one we’d like to share with you during 2014.
A merry Christmas and festive New Year!
Carl, Trish, Brett & The entire John X Safaris Team
Please note – John X Safaris will be shutting down from 12 December 2013 until 4 January 2014. We will be checking mail on a weekly basis during the festive season. For any urgent bookings or safari related inquiries, contact Carl on firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on our hunts and current updates about John X Safaris; follow us on Twitter, connect with us on Facebook and visit our website!