I've had the great honor of hunting with Kings , Presidents, Generals and many many SCI members but I've heard it said that you haven't truly made it until you've had Country and Western song written about you.....
It is hard to believe that I'm standing here receiving an award for awaking up every day and doing what I love and that I'm so passionate about and to have made a career out of following my dream....
My wife once asked me to describe a perfect day in my life and without hesitation, I said to Wake up and go Hunting and I still feel that way today.
I started professional hunting in the late 1970's , at that time Hunters were respected and envied by the world around us for our life style and our conservation of wildlife.
40 years later , it's a different world we live in , an ever increasingly hostile world , that tries to make us hunters feel that we are the destroyers of wildlife and not the protectors.
The main stream media and social media portray us hunters as evil and makes hunting and hunters out as if we are the reason wildlife is disappearing from the world today.
It's time for us Hunters to stand up and say enough is enough.
Hunters have brought back the wildlife in the US , there are many examples for us to quote.
Tonight I have my first client from 1977 and many from the between years as well as my last client from 2016, they are ladies. The first and last both shot the big five on their first safari!
I've always had great luck with women hunters , they try harder , listen better and have fewer bad habits and the more involved the family is ; the stronger we are as hunters.
As a Professional Hunter we are the last line of defense, he is what stands between you and what's trying to kill you.
Our industry is what stands between you and the anti hunters , and we have the high ground and we are right with our conservation methods of managing wildlife.
African Wildlife must have value or it will be replaced with higher valued forms of land use. SIMPLE....
The true honor of the CJ McElroy Award for me , is that it is given by my peers and fellow hunters , all previous recipients of the CJ Mc award choose the next recipient.
I want to thank SCI for the honor of being the first African Professional Hunter to receive the CJ McElroy Award and therefore recognizing the role PH's play in this great industry of ours.
I also want to thank all those ethical PH's that continue to fight the hard fight to defend African wildlife from the political corruption, anti hunters , poachers , human and wildlife conflict with ever shrinking habitat.
This is the balancing act that we deal with on a daily basis while trying to run a business and still make your safari a trip of a lifetime.
But mostly I want to thank my children Ashleigh and Jared for their understanding of my life and passion for Africa's Wildlife and my amazing wife Kwezi for her continued support, by following me to the far ends of Africa in pursuit of my chosen career.
A Safari is a journey, I've spent my entire career hunting dangerous game specializing in the Big Five , and I want to thank all of you for waking up every day and planning your next hunt , as that's what gives our industry strength and our wildlife value....