Our hunting life together began with Byron taking me Dove hunting in Mexico and then Whitetail Deer hunting in Texas. Of course, most of the time we were taking customers, but we quickly realized how much fun it was to hunt together.
After almost 20 years of building our business and never being off the job more than a 3 day weekend, we took our first African Safari in 1993. It was difficult for both of us to be gone, but we now had a staff we could leave in charge and we could conduct business by phone. One trip in South Africa and we were hooked.
Byron decided he wanted to get The Big Five with his bow and we had started the journey together with the help of Tony Tomkinson. (The Big Five: Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Lion, Leopard and Rhinoceros)
Sandra's first dream trophy was a New Zealand Red Stag taken with Mike Freeman's Kiwi Safari's and all of a sudden Byron had a full time hunting partner. Lucky for us, we both enjoyed hunting together no matter who was doing the hunting.
Byron then had a new challenge teaching me to be the best hunter I could be. He had a willing and eager student. I even spent a week at BOW, (Becoming an outdoor woman) taking rifle, shotgun and photography lessons.
As Byron continued to pursue The Big Five with his bow we discovered many other areas of Africa and the World where we enjoyed hunting. All of this through our association with Safari Club and the friends and outfitters we have met.
Our travels have taken us to Africa 22 times through 2011.
New Zealand twice and then to Australia. Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Austria, Slovenia, Mongolia, China, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kirgizstan, Tajikistan, Kamchatka, the Arctic Circle. In Canada, the North West Territory, Saskatoon, British Columbia, Quebec and Newfoundland. Of course, The United States, Mexico and Alaska.
We have always spent some of our travels exploring the countries we are in and meeting the people and learning about their culture. There are wonderful people all over the world with different cultures but with friendly open hearts.
We feel blessed to be able to hunt and by doing so we know we are ensuring the preservation of the sporting animals of the world. We have been able to see first hand how hunting has given the people in Africa and around the world a financial reason to develop and preserve the species rather than eradicate them. By putting a value on the animals for the people we have insured their protection.
We have discovered that by using the SCI World Hunting Awards Program as a guide we are able to see what species are found in all parts of the world and we use it to set some hunting goals.
Hunting together strengthens a personal partnership and enables you to see the world and its people, whether you just do it in your own state or around the world.
by Sandra Sadler