A boyhood dream, generated by exposure to the books of Taylor, Ruark, Roosevelt and Hunter, was to go on an African Safari. This dream was fulfilled in May 2018 when I accompanied my brother Randy to South Africa. We hunted with the Rudman family’s Blaauwkrantz Safaris (http://www.blaauwkrantz.com/) and I was truly fortunate to be paired with my PH, and now friend, Arnold Claassen. More about Arnold in future posts. Suffice it to say that he provided a wonderful experience, and opportunities for harvesting the best representatives possible of a number of species.

After returning home, the long wait began for my trophies to be 1) mounted by a South African Taxidermist (Relive Africa: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Taxidermist/Relive-Africa-Taxidermy-South-Africa-180274468653002/) and 2) shipped to my home near Atlanta. As anyone who has known me for more than five minutes can confirm, I lack the patience allele (I am a Geneticist, so trust me on this). However, much faster than is often the case, I was called to the Atlanta office of Coppersmith Global Logistics (http://huntingtrophy.com) in July of 2019. My time there would involve opening the wooden crate containing my prizes and checking to make certain that all of them were present, accounted for, and in good condition.

After arriving at the Coppersmith offices, and before moving to the crate-opening exercise, I held an interview with Michael Coppersmith. Michael’s Great Grandmother, Adrienne, founded the company in 1948. Being one of only four women at that time to hold a brokerage license in the United States, Mrs. Coppersmith must have been not only highly-intelligent and courageous, but also a visionary. (N.B. The interview with Michael is the basis for one portion of the article series, ‘From Field to Wall’, scheduled to appear in African Hunting Gazette – https://www.africanhuntinggazette.com/)

After a discussion of topics ranging from the development of the Coppersmith company to Michael’s passion for conservation-through-utilization, we moved to the warehouse…

…an unfortunate encounter with a frightening shipping tag…

…to my crate…

…followed by the removal of many screws…

…the lifting of the lid…

…and – with apologies to all the brides and bridegrooms out there – the ‘first look’…

…resulting in a very, very relieved hunter.

Stay tuned for the next installment that will see the delivery to our home and placement of the mounts in my office cum trophy room…

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