Hunters are invited to enter into a very simple competition that offers as prize a Free Plains Game Hunt in the Free State grassveld during 2010.
On 22 March 2009 I, for no particular reason, offered a very basic hunting safari as a free gift for some deserving and very lucky hunter. This offer was publicized on a number of hunting forums. Almost immediately a lot of interest was generated by the member’s postings on the forums. Suggestions were made, amongst other, to restrict entries to only those hunters who have not yet been to hunt anywhere in Africa. This forum activity resulted in period of great excitement on various forums with lots of posting of suggestions and comments. Most notably a number of other generous forum members stepped forward and offered additional sponsorship for the hunt. Eventually the offer resulted in a 'competition' for which rules of entry were developed and a judging procedure was devised. Judging was to be overseen by the chief judge, Steve Robinson, who is know on many hunting forums as 'shakari' and two other judges to make a panel of three judges.
It is history that a lucky hunter, Mr. Alex A. from North Carolina, known as ChetNC on forums, was declared as the winner. It is also known that he and his young son Mason did indeed take up their winning hunt and enjoyed the hunt, and some additional travel to the Kruger National Park, in July.
ChetNC duly posted his hunt report, IMHO a very favorable one, on one the forum where he saw the announcement. A link to his hunting report can be found on my website that is referenced below my signature.
I now want to make a very similar offer for hunting in 2010.
What is my free hunt offer for the 2010 hunt? Please visit my web site for additional details about dates, inclusions & exclusions in offer, trophy size expectation and a lot else about this offer.
1. Free Daily Rates: For arrival and departure days and, by the winner’s choice, a minimum of 5 days up to a maximum of 10 days fully of legal and ethical hunting. The hunting period can be selected at any time agreed upon in the hunting season 1 April to 30 August 2010.
2. Trophy animals: The following are included as part of my free hunt offer: One each of the very best trophy quality males of the following species that you can find on Mervilla or any one of the hunting concessions in my immediate area: Springbuck, blesbuck and steenbuck. Add to these a female springbuck and a female blesbuck to complete the list of free antelope.
3. Right to hunt additional trophy animals: If the winner of this offer, or a hunting companion, feels that he/she wants to hunt some additional larger animal, or more blesbuck and springbuck, I can arrange to have it hunted at be very reasonable cost.
4. Additional Hunter/Observer: Furthermore if the taker of this offer wants to share his/her hunting with a partner I will host that partner, if a hunter as a 2X1 client, at very low daily rates and trophy fees. These will be determined by direct negotiation with the announced winner. In my setting of these fees the idea will be to just be sure that I cover the additional costs of hosting the second hunter or observer. A small additional charge for guiding both hunters in a 2X2 manner can be negotiated.
5. Anything offered by any additional sponsors.
That's it: Free daily rates for arrival and departure day, plus up to 10 full hunting days, with any Sunday as a ‘go slow’ day, 3 free trophy animals, 2 free females and a bunch of other stuff, also all for free, the option to hunt some more at low prices and the option to bring along a hunting or non-hunting partner at low costs. Then add to this whatever additional sponsors donate for the 2010 Free Hunt.
After posting the notification of the 2009 Free Hunt, a number of very generous souls stepped forward and donated various additional trophies, services and goods to the hunt. I again thank those donors for their contributions, which made the modest hunt donated into something quite remarkable. On behalf of whoever will win this 2010 Free Hunt, I thank any possible donor of trophies, services or goods that you may wish to contribute towards improving the value of the 2010 Free Hunt. Your donations will be gladly accepted and much appreciated.
Strings attached? None! Posting of an honest hunt report on at least the forum on which the winner first saw this announcement is a pre-condition as per rules made by the judges.
Here are the rules of the competition:
Mr. Steve Robinson, known on many forums as 'shakari' will again act as the chief or convening judge. For this year a panel consisting of shakari and 3 additional judges on the entry evaluation panel and help decide the final winner. The three co-judges (at least for the time being) shall remain nameless. All are well known and well respected members of a well known hunting forum and they have decided that the rules will be as follows:
1. The hunt offered is as described fully in the preceding paragraphs. Whatever else may be donated by sponsors will be added to the hunt as part of the prize.
2. The hunt MUST be taken up at dates to be negotiated between Andrew McLaren Safaris and the announced winner during the Free State open hunting season, which for 2010 is expected to be from 1st April to 30th August 2010.
3. Only entries received as e-mails at firstname.lastname@example.org and copied to email@example.com before 23.59 on Sunday 31 January 2010 [South African time] with the words "Entry for Andrew McLaren Safaris 2010 Free Hunt" in the subject line will be considered. The email address from which the entry was sent will be regarded as the hunters official email address.
The email message must contain the following:
o The URL of the hunting forum in which you first saw this announcement. If you are known by any other than your own name on that forum you must provide the "Forum Name" or "User Name" or "Handle" by which you are known on that forum.
o Real name, physical residential or work address and day and/or night contact telephone number(s). [This information will be kept confidential by judges.]
o A clear statement that entrant has not yet hunted as a paying client in any country in Africa.
o A clear statement to the effect that entrant accepts the rules and has the funds available to buy a flight ticket and has the time in the stated period in 2010 to actually go on the hunt if chosen as winner.
o A paragraph or so in which the reasons why the entrant wishes to go on this hunt are described. [A note particularly for those with poor command of English or poor writing skills: This is NOT an essay writing competition; but merely a brief paragraph intended to convince the judges that you have good and worthy reasons to want to go on a hunt to South Africa. The actual content will be much more important than the writing style.]
o If an entrant intends sharing the hunt with another hunter and/or or non-hunting observer(s) write a brief motivation why you wish and choose the particular person(s) to accompany you.
o Tell of whatever you have actually done to plough back something into your passion of hunting. Just tell the judges what you have done to assist others to also enjoy the sport of hunting.
o Undertake to write and post a hunt report in the appropriate section of the Forum where you are most active within one month of the end of the hunt. Even if it is a 'negative' report it should at least reflect if the basic offer was honored or not.
4. The judges will decide on the winner and announce the winner by posting in this thread on or before 7th February 2010. The judges will also select a first, and second runner ups to whom the hunt will be awarded in case some unforeseen catastrophe makes it impossible for the winner to go. [Note: Andrew McLaren will act only in a support role and not as a member of the evaluation or decision panel of judges.]
5. The announced winner has time until 28 February 2010 to convince the judges that he has bought or booked the required flight ticket. Failing to accomplish this will make his entry and the awarding of the hunt to him/her null and void and the first runner up will immediately be given an opportunity to take up the hunt as winner.
That's all I have to say. Maybe I should just mention that if there is anything unclear about the rules and how the 'competition' will be run, there was a number of questions and answers posted under the discussion of the original 2009 Free Hunt for which the URL can be found at my website as referenced below. As alternative members are free to contact me by direct e-mail about this at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask whatever they wish to.
In good hunting.