Around the Campfire with John Oosthuizen
Seasoned PH John Oosthuizen looks back over a career spanning three decades.
His favourite game animal is the buffalo and he believes that a .375 H&H is a must in any PH battery.
Great lion hunters of yesteryear
Tony Sánchez-Ariño tells the story of some of Africa’s great lion hunters of yesteryear, hardened men who hunted free-roaming lions the ethical way in order to protect people and livestock.
Hunting sitatunga in the swamps
“Of all the non-dangerous game animals I have hunted, I enjoy sitatunga the most. The swamps abound with animals, and even if one does not spot sitatunga, it remains a wonderful experience.” – John Coleman.
The modern-day conservationist
While filming a TV series about wildlife/human conflict, Ivan Carter came face to face with rhino poachers in the Kruger National Park. The realisation of what modern-day conservation means, shocked him to the core.
How hard is your brass working?
Cartridge cases are prone to work-hardening. Ballistics expert Chris Bekker discusses aspects such as chamber size and case life, measuring the chamber’s neck diameter, case-neck splitting, neck-sizing and bullet line-up, and brass thickness and turning.
From the Editor
AFRICAN OUTFITTER CELEBRATES 10 YEARS
Early in 2005, discussions started around a trade publication aimed at African outfitters – a medium to communicate, inform, educate and entertain. Firstly, we had to come up with an appropriate title. In retrospect, “African Outfitter” was the perfect choice, although we had to explain many a time to our fellow countrymen that we do not manufacture or market African clothing but rather tell stories about hunting in Africa. For the international market, the name was just perfect, as overseas readers associated the term “outfitter” with someone guiding them on a hunting safari on the dark African continent.
Although it is more than 10 years ago, it feels like only yesterday that we arranged and rearranged the items for our first cover photograph in the studio. One of my guidelines from the beginning was not to use any pictures of live animals, hunted trophies or hunters on the cover. On that particular day, we played around with all the “props” and our team came up with our very first cover for the Dec 2005 / Jan 2006 issue (see photo above). And so African Outfitter was born, creating its own unique identity and finding its own niche in a very competitive market. To be totally honest, this is still my favourite cover of all times.
Every so often I still look at my initial business plan; all the ideas we had, the marketing plans, topics for articles – to have witnessed the change over the past decade has truly been amazing. It is hard to believe what has happened over the last 10 years, how everything has evolved into the magazine we offer our readers today. In retrospect, one obviously sees all one’s mistakes and the school fees that had to be paid, but we were also showered with blessings from Above and today we can proudly say that we had made it to adulthood. I was once told that if one can survive the first seven years of a publication, you have a good chance of making a success.
The most important shift of focus took place after the very first issue when we realised that not only outfitters but also hunters enjoyed the magazine. Within two years it became a well-read publication among international hunters hunting in Africa. African Outfitter brings you stories about hunting in Africa, by Africans – no bells, no whistles, just hard hunting in the African bush.
Such a project would not have been possible without the wonderful team that understood the challenges, people who were and still are prepared to walk the extra mile. Over the years, staff members came and went, each making their own unique contribution, however small or big. I do not want to single out specific individuals. However, I owe it to myself to mention Elfriede Ainslie, who has been with me since the very first issue in 2005. She is like the bright shining star on a moonlit bushveld night; I am the one sitting under an old camel-thorn tree during the African Outfitter hunt – my trusty, open-sight .458 Ruger No 1 next to me while guarding against the ruthless “predators” of the night, lurking, waiting for an opportunity to pounce … but I can rest assured, for even when the new moon arrives and I cannot clearly see all the threats, that bright star will still be there …
May you all enjoy a blessed Christmas and festive season with your loved ones. African Outfitter will see many of you in January on the other side of the “big pond”.
(You are welcome to join the African Outfitter group on facebook!)