The Boddington Fund Those of us who travel afar to hunt in strange lands are certainly pursuing adventure, and I think that most of us believe, either secretly or openly, that we are demonstrating some degree of courage in this pursuit. Perhaps. But whether courageous or not, whether adventurous or not, we visiting sportsmen and women are actually just visitors, tourists of a sort. The guides and outfitters and professional hunters who lead us on our adventures, and do this year in and year out, are at far greater risk than we tourists. I have always believed that they are the ones who show the most courage…and this applies equally and perhaps especially to the people behind the scenes: Trackers, porters, wranglers, drivers. They go about their business unarmed and unprotected, and are essential to making our dreams come true.
This was brought home to me—in spades—when my daughter, Brittany, was involved in a wild melee with a charging leopard that ended with her unscathed and the leopard dead—but one of the dog handlers grievously wounded by one of the bullets intended for the leopard. Immediate first aid and rapid transportation saved the man’s life, but long hospitalization and several surgeries lay ahead. We in western society would assume that insurance would be in place to handle such a catastrophe, and indeed all involved assumed the same. In Third World situations, this is not a safe assumption. Local insurance and public health care systems refused assistance…but the man was still injured, and needed help, both immediate and long term.
Our resources were not up to the task, so we asked for help. The hunting community was incredibly generous, and as result our friend received the best care possible, and today is hunting again with his dogs. He will bear the marks and memory of his ordeal for the rest of his life, as will we, but the fact that he is able to hunt again, albeit with a limp and residual pain, is due to the generosity of other hunters who reached out to assist a man of different culture who most of them will never meet.
What we hunters do is never without risk, and no matter how we try to avoid them, accidents will happen. But we traveling sportsmen have the luxury of putting into place safeguards that will ensure our medical emergencies and our families are taken care of. Many of the people who assist us in our pursuits do not have these options. There are lessons to be learned from any terrible event, and if those lessons are heeded good can come from bad. There are, of course, lessons to be learned from any specific accident, but in a larger sense it seemed to us—Brittany, me, and my wife, Donna—that there was a need for a fund that could provide assistance to people in the hunting industry who are injured in the pursuit of their occupation.
We were fortunate to meet Dave Dunn and his team at Something More Safaris, a unique organization dedicated to adding good works—“something more”—to a hunting adventure. Working together with Something More Safaris, we are working to create “The Boddington Fund,” the sole purpose of which is to provide assistance to hunting professionals who are injured “in the line of duty.”
Craig, Brittany & Donna Boddington
Something More Safaris is a unique organization dedicated to adding good works— “something more”— to a hunting adventure. Working together with Something More Safaris, we are working to create “The Boddington Fund,” the sole purpose of which is to provide assistance to hunting professionals who are injured “in the line of duty.”