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Passing The Baton
(posted September - 2008)

There are few things in life more satisfying than conceiving of a new business idea and then bringing it to life. If, on top of that, one is fortunate enough to implement his business idea square in the middle of what he loves the most, the satisfaction is even greater. Add the continuing friendship of several thousand people to the mix and one has just about the perfect career situation.

 I say these things because the time has come for me to put my business – The Hunting Report - in new hands. Yes, I am passing the baton of responsibility to my long-time Editor, Barbara Crown, and her husband Kevin Crown. I do so without any concern for the future of the publication I created or the endurance of the vision I had of service to the international hunting community.

 The truth is Barbara Crown has been editing your newsletter now for many months, implementing new reporting projects and planning new initiatives. See her comments about the future below. The bottom line is – this announcement of a formal change of leadership at The Hunting Report does not mean your newsletter is about to morph into something unrecognizable.

 One of the inside jokes here at The Hunting Report over the last several years has been a running commentary about my tendency to behave like a drill sergeant in charge of an editorial boot camp. You mean proof that story again? You mean check again to be sure of the facts? What do you mean the story lacks balance?

 The end result of Barbara Crown’s near-ten-year involvement in the editorial process of The Hunting Report is her complete absorption of the vision of the publication and a sure knowledge of the activities that must take place each month for that vision to stay intact. There will be no editorial swagger on her part, no emergence of an in-house hunting hero. The heroes of this publication will continue to be the subscribers. The publication’s job will be to serve your interests, fight your battles, further your interests, protect your rights and, of course, continue to expose the bad guys.

 My only regrets surrounding this transition are personal ones. I love hunting. And I love people who hunt. Since 1981, when I started The Hunting Report, I have been privileged to know, initially only a handful, but later several thousand of the nicest people in the world. I know I am going to miss interacting with all of you, swapping stories, joking, solving problems, mapping out plans. As for the many professionals I have met around the world – from Namibia to Kodiak Island – I salute you all as I say this fond farewell.

 Just so you know, however, passing the baton does not mean I’m selling my beloved Winchester Model 70s in .375 and .270. I’m still going hunting as before, and I am going to be working closely with Barbara and Kevin Crown for many months to insure a seamless transition. For sure, I am going to be at the next Safari Club International Convention, at The Hunting Report booth, where I hope I have the chance to greet you and tell you just how much I appreciate the chance you gave me to serve the greatest community in the world. – Don Causey,

Barbara Crown Comment: When I first joined The Hunting Report as Don Causey’s Managing Editor, I thought, “How lucky am I? I get to talk, read and write about hunting all day and get paid for it!” Almost 10 years later as Editor, I now say, “How privileged am I to have earned the trust and confidence of so many fellow hunters!” For some years now, many of you have contacted me regularly with myriads of questions about different hunting destinations, traveling with your firearms, problematic airlines, and of course, good and bad hunting experiences. I know how important it is that you get the right information on all of this. One inaccurate detail can lead to a ruined hunt, lost vacation time and unnecessary expenses. The pressure is on each time you call, because I want to get it right – for you.

 My love for hunting has expanded over the years into a love for helping Hunting Report subscribers get the information they need to avoid problems ahead of time, fix them after the fact, and get home safely with good hunting experiences. I have striven to do that all while producing a quality newsletter with the latest developments on hunting around the world. Reporting on the opening of destinations to traveling hunters and the sudden closing of others; warning about problems with permits, firearms and border crossings; and fingering problem-causers, including government agencies, airlines, or hunting professionals… all this has been the focus of The Hunting Report for 28 years and will continue to be for as far into the future as I can see.

 While I have absorbed Don Causey’s vision for The Hunting Report, I also have some plans to enhance the services we provide. To start with, I have already contracted with a new passport service that can help you get an expedited passport or visa. You can read more about this new service on page 3 of this issue. I am also working on a service many of you have requested of us recently, namely trip cancellation insurance. On the publishing side, I have several Country Reports scheduled for publication this fall. They are modeled after the Zambia Country Report we released last year. Look for Country Reports on New Zealand (by next month), Namibia and South Africa, along with an updated report on Zambia. And if I didn’t mention your destination of interest, hold on; I’m working on several others for you. If you liked our Spanish language dictionary, but wish we had something for West Africa, I have a French language dictionary that should be ready next month. If you like those expanded critiques featured in our Good, Bad and Ugly section, I’m looking at ways to provide you with more of that along with more news on different hunting regions. Would you be interested in an Africa Extra supplement? Or maybe a North America Extra?

 Look for enhancements to our web site too. Many of you have asked me about posting airline information. I’m working on it. I plan to add a news blog that you can check several times a week for updates. It will allow me to submit reports and photos from the field, as I will be doing in Uganda this coming November. Right away this month, I am implementing a Video Hunt Report program that will allow subscribers to post two- to three-minute videos of their latest hunts. Check out the first submission from subscriber Manny Camacho of his polar bear hunt last year. I’m also adding a Writers Corner, where you can see what our correspondents are up to and even send them an e-mail.

 Although I have lots of my own ideas, I’m aware that some may not fit your needs as well as others, and I’d like to hear from you about that. Maybe you have some ideas for enhancements that would help you and fellow subscribers research and plan your hunts? Tell me about them. If they’re doable and within our resources, I’ll implement them. You can contact me directly by e-mail at Barbara@huntingreport .com; or give me a call at 305-670-1361 Eastern Standard Time. I’d be honored to hear from you and hope you will continue to allow me the privilege of serving you. – Barbara Crown, Publisher and Editor.


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