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NEWS FROM   News from Peter Flack
Hunter, Writer, Conservationist, Retired Game Rancher

25 November 2016 | www.peterflack.co.za

Newsletter - November 2016

Dear <<First Name>>

It has been ten months since the last newsletter. In the interim, I have travelled to the UK twice, the States twice, Johannesburg four times, Durban twice and the Congo once. I have also completed the production of Hunting the Spiral Horns – Bongo & Nyala – The Elite African Trophies, at 432 pages and 679 photos, the largest project of this kind that I have tackled on my own. It was a monster – effectively three books in one - but, at the end of the day, there were no compromises and I am very happy with the end result. The reviews have been uniformly excellent and sales have been good for a book about animals that many people know little about. I hope the book will change some of this over time.

Then I completed what will, in all likelihood, be my last book on hunting and probably my last book full stop, namely, Hunting the African Buffalo – Nature’s Debt Collector – The Six Subspecies. I am about a month behind schedule but, as my book designer, Peter Bosman, has family commitments which have also prevented him from working on the book, nothing would have been gained had I been on schedule. There are some things that are clearly more important than book production.

The Buffalo Book is even bigger than the Bongo Book and I am absolutely delighted with the contributions I have received from the Who’s Who of past and present buffalo hunters for all six subspecies. In addition, the photographs I have received to illustrate the book are the best I have received for any book and that says a lot. To be honest, I did not know that such huge, free range buffalo existed in Africa and they caste serious doubt over the statements of certain South African intensive game breeders who claim to be breeding back the kinds of buffalo that have been wiped out in Africa by hunters, which corroborates the statements of Dr. Jeremy Anderson, who also contradicts this view in his erudite and interesting scientific chapter on these wild bovines.

I have covered the Congo trip in an article in African Outfitter and will not do so again here but, if you have not read it, you can find it on my new website – up and running for the past week - which was the brainchild of Eileen Flack, my multi-talented and beautiful daughter-in-law, whose profession this is. Since its publication, Mr. Gert Saaiman has threatened to sue the magazine for defamation and Mr. Edgar Owany Opani has threatened to close the magazine down. Both men were mentioned in the article.

ARTICLE: Caveat Congo – the Anatomy of a Hunting Disaster

The sweat shiny, black face and dull black uniform of the huge Congolese policeman blocked out most of the weak overhead light from the yellowy street bulb barely illuminating the traffic circle guarding entry to the outlying suburb of Brazzaville. His right forefinger prodded my chest while his left forefinger and thumb rubbed against one another millimetres from my nose as his paint-stripping breath nearly made me gag ...

Despite the nightmare trip to The Republic of Congo, I have not given up on African hunting and am currently training for a Lord Derby’s eland hunt in Cameroon with Franz Coupé in January straight after the Dallas Safari Club Convention I have a friend who says that those countries that need tourism most, make it the most difficult to visit and Cameroon is certainly one of the leaders in the field. The amount of bumpf you have to provide to secure a visa and firearms permit is incredible, not to mention that it adds about $1 000 to the direct costs. How anyone can secure these permissions without a computer, scanner, high speed internet connection and a dedicated and competent assistant, I do not know.

I have also spent the last year working with the president and CEO of SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association, Gerhard Verdoorn and Fred Camphor, respectively, to establish The Fair Chase Guild under the auspices of this body which, with over 40 000 members, is the largest organisation of its kind in the southern hemisphere. The formation was announced at their annual convention and AGM on 4 November and it is one of the things I want to devote my time and effort to once book production is out of the way.

The main aim of the Guild is to promote the fair chase of game in their natural environments on an unashamedly ethical and sustainable basis pursuant to a dedicated three year strategic public relations plan administered by one of the top professional public relations firms in the country. The subsidiary aims are the conservation of wildlife and wildlife habitats and the education of our youth. An article on the Guild appeared in the December issue of SA Hunter and can be found on my website. Those of us involved in the formation of the Guild have already started handling applications for membership. Read more about it below.

ARTICLE: The Fair Chase Guild – what is it?

I attended an historic meeting on Tuesday 18 October 2016. Or at least in time to come, I hope people will look back and say it was an historic meeting. Fittingly, it was held under canvass at the HQ of SA Hunters and chaired by its President, Gerhard Verdoorn. Present were ten other people, including the CEO and Conservation Manager of SA Hunters, most of whom had walked the long road over the past year leading to the establishment of The Fair Chase Guild, which was formally announced at the SA Hunters Congress on Friday 4 November 2016 ...

While I am talking about the future, the other thing I want to devote more time to is the Spiral Horn Antelope Club or SHAC as it is usually known. Membership has grown to the extent that its future seems assured and I would like to create an online forum for those interested in the spiral horns. A place where members can share photos, stories, advice and anything else relevant to the amazing animals.

Last but not least, I would like to blog more and write more regularly for the magazines I have traditionally written for. These activities have been severely curtailed by the books which have morphed into a full time job.

Rumours are insidious things. They creep in everywhere and so, by now, some of you may have heard that I have been expelled from WWF South Africa. The facts are, of course, very different and you can read the entire exchange of correspondence between WWF South Africa and the Survival International blurb which gave rise to it by reading the post below.

BLOG: “Expelled” from WWF South Africa

In the last month I have become the poster child for Survival International in what appears to be a nasty internecine fight between them and WWF. I had never heard of Survival International before and never encountered them in all my years of travelling, working and hunting around Africa but there you are. They purport to act on behalf of indigenous people around the world and have used a photo of my Cameroon rain forest elephant hunt, without my permission, as a stick with which to beat WWF – of which I am a member and trustee – in their attempts, as I see it, to divert the flow of funds from urban wallets into their bank account as opposed to that of WWF ...

Lastly, I will be at Booth 1912 at the Dallas Safari Club Convention in January 2017, where I will officially launch Hunting the Spiral Horns – Bongo & Nyala – The Elite African Trophies, the fifth and last in the five book spiral horn series, next to my friends, Paul Phelan (Paul Phelan Safaris) and John Tolmay (Bronze Africa). I hope to see some of you there.

Stocks of the first two books in the series on Kudu and Eland, respectively, are very low and all but sold out in Africa so, if you want to be sure of collecting all five of the series, you need to please act sooner rather than later as we will not be reprinting these books.

As for Hunting the African Buffalo – Nature’s Debt Collector – The Six Subspecies, the book goes into production today when the layout of the book begins. We hope to catch up on lost time and have it available by October next year.

In the meantime, I hope you will all have a very happy and peaceful Christmas next month and start the New Year on a positive note!

Kind Regards

Copyright © 2016 Peter Flack, All rights reserved.


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