After opening with some fanfare, questions about the safety of this hunt emerged, particularly after the US State Department officially listed the National People's Army as a terrorist group. The NPA was known to be in the general area Carlson was hunting. Carlson reacted to the adverse publicity by moving to a new hunting area that he pronounced "completely safe."
The move to a new area must have worked because Carlson says he has all the clients he can handle for this year. He is, in fact, in the Philippines conducting his first hunt of the year as this is written. Before he left, we asked him to drop us a note about the hunt and how it was going. He wrote:
"I am indeed all booked for 2004, but I still have an opening for 2005 and one for 2006. These hunts, I've found, are best marketed to the SCI hunter/collector who's looking for unique species found nowhere else. I can currently offer clients a great, safe trip for all the jungle species available in the Philippines, including Asian water buffalo, sambar deer, bearded pig, Asian boar, mouse deer and several other species that are legal to collect but not exportable. These hunts still run 14 days and include 10 days of hunting. The cost is $11,500, excluding airfare and hotels before and after the hunt in Manila.
"The animals collected on this trip all qualify for the SCI Asian Awards Program and are listed in the SCI Book. We can offer our clients 100 percent opportunity for Asian buffalo and wild boar, but the rest of the species are offered on an opportunity basis. The hunt is a jungle hunt, very similar........(continued)