Dave Mansfield Snr. June 2002, May 2003, May 2004 and July 2005
Dear Fellow Hunter,
Andrew McLaren asked if I would write something in testimony of how I experienced his services. Let me introduce myself. I am a friend of Andrew McLaren and a frequent customer of his hunting outfitter business. I will be glad to give an unconditional recommendation for any ethical hunter to book a hunt with Andrew.
I have hunted in Africa a number of times, first with another outfitter, and then six times with Andrew. I have now bagged a wide selection of plains game trophies, all of which qualified for the Safari Club International standards and quite a few are good enough for entry into Rowland Ward's record book.
Now that I’ve hunted with Andrew, I’m ashamed to admit how I was taken for a ride on my first African safari. It was offered as a typical package deal hunt by an outfitter who that promised, and also guaranteed, "five animals in a five day hunt" for a fixed price. I now know that it is easy for any outfitter can arrange such a hunt in an area where animals have been bought at an auction and recently released, thus guaranteeing your ‘trophy collection’ success. Also typical of most "package" deals these animals were searched for with a vehicle, driven around by a single Professional Hunter who was guiding four hunters at the same time, who had to take turns to shoot, (which I now know to be an illegal practice). The PH even wanted us shoot those animals from the truck after chasing them across the desert until they stopped from exhaustion. The PH was drinking as we rode along all day. If you were to visit and study this outfitters’ web site, you would never guess that you would be offered this type of service. Never again! I can assure you that Andrew will not do this. He attracts hunters and sportsmen to hunt in ethical manner for truly wild game in a natural environment. He is not into giving trophy animal shooters guaranteed trophies.
I have had these (and all my other) trophies finished as "European mounts" or skull mounts. This mount displays the horn and bare skull in an interesting manner but it is very inexpensive when compared to head mounts with hide and horns. It took the first outfitter over a year to get my trophies from the taxidermist. And it cost me between three and four hundred dollars to get my trophies from the importer after I had paid the freight!
In 2002 I met Andrew and we hunted in the proper fair chase fashion for excellent animals. In 2003 I was happy to gather a group of friends and family to hunt with Andrew again. Again we enjoyed excellent success in a fair chase manner. Furthermore, we all had our trophies delivered within ninety days after getting home. The work was very good and I will be glad to send you pictures of any of the animals or mounted trophies. (The female members of my family refer to my den as the "Museum of Natural History". Needless to say I am proud of all of them.)
Last year I again accompanied a number of clients to Africa to hunt with Andrew and all later said that they had the "TRIP of a LIFETIME". Again the trophies were completed in record time and shipped at a reasonable cost. After having hunted with him a number of times I can assure you that Andrew can customize a hunt for you that will be unmatched in trophies, enjoyment and value for money spent. There are so many things that he will provide that you will not get from other sources that you can't know until you have made a few trips with inferior outfitters. I hope you can learn from my experiences.
Between my son and I we have been on fifteen different hunting concessions with Andrew and at all of these we have only hunted animals that have been reared in the area, not purchased and released. The normal hunting procedure with Andrew is to walk-in-search or track the animals by a local tribesman (no, he wont be wearing a loin cloth and carrying a spear anymore) followed by Andrew and you. Once the animal is spotted the tracker takes a backstage position and it is up to Andrew to complete the stalk and get you into a position for shot with high probably of success. A heart shot is preferred and a short search may be required to locate the trophy. African animals are very tough and take a lot of killing, often running some distance after receiving a fatal shot, however the tracker will have no problem finding it.
Fortunately for Andrew's customers, he doesn't own a large tract of land for hunting. He is an outfitter and has made arrangements for many different concessions throughout the northern area of South Africa. We have hunted open savannahs, dense bush veldt to farmland. In 2004 Andrew had twelve concessions to choose from for various types of game. He had wing shooting in sunflowers for doves and pigeons that could only be surpassed by Argentina. He had open savannah where we shot blesbok, oryx and black wildebeest. We hunted kudu, waterbuck, hartebeest, and impala in the bush veldt. Later we hunted bushbuck, nyala, and warthog in the jungle thick river bottoms. Ducks and geese were hunted in the rolling hills surrounding water holes used for irrigating farms. I missed the evening hunt this year, but Andrew usually arranges an evening varmint hunt for caracal, hyena, and jackal. It is amazing what you see after sundown.
I guess the reason I hunt with Andrew is because of the flexibility that he has to arrange whatever I want to do. I have worked in South Africa and have known him and other members of his family for several years. He will do everything in his power to see that you have a trip of your lifetime. Incidentally, my friends and I have taken about ten animals that qualify for Rowland Ward Record book while hunting with Andrew. That is another advantage of hunting with someone with the flexibility to hunt so many different areas.
Specifically, I can attest that Andrew will exceed your expectations.
I know it is tough to decide with whom to hunt and where to go because they all sound good. That is the job of a web site. I am giving this testimonial because I have been there a number of times and you cannot get a better hunt than with Andrew. The food is terrific and much better than you can imagine; accommodations are very comfortable and clean (they may even wash your clothes if you leave them on the floor at the foot of your bed), the expediting of the trophies isn't even offered by others, the size of the trophies is better than you can possible expect on a low cost hunt, night varmint hunts, wing shooting for thousands of doves and pigeons when transferring to and from the airport, etc...
Please feel free to call me in Baton Rouge if you have any questions about a planned trip to Africa. (Phone 225 261 8371) I may be able to help you with getting the best airfare. My son has an import license so he can save you a few hundred dollars when your trophies are imported into the US. He has handled a number of safari shipments this year and saved inspection and demurrages charges that are so common for African imports! I now know how to avoid these charges.
I have copied Andrew on this memo because I want him to know how much we appreciate the extra steps he has taken to make sure my friends and family have enjoyed the African experience. I hope you also have this opportunity before it is gone or too expensive to enjoy on a working guy's budget. The first time I went the exchange was ten rand per dollar and today the rate is less than six rand per dollar. I'm not sure I will be able to go again because the cost is getting higher as the dollar weakens. I can say though, that I have a lifetime of memories thanks to Andrew and his team.
Dave Mansfield 11543 Blackwater Road Baker, LA 70714 083 237 8066
Dave Mansfield Jnr.
Richard Pelc May 2004:
My opinion of the Andrew McLaren Safari Hunt on a scale of 1-10 is you get a 10, which is the best. You and your crew saw to it that all requests for personal comfort was met during my entire hunt. In addition the two bird hunts were an unexpected bonus, as was the visit to Kugersdorp Private Reserve where I got to see Lions from 25 feet away. Your taking us into Jo'Burg to do some shopping for our families was unique, as most safari hunts would not do something so personal as you did and take the time out.
Accommodations were very clean, and comfortable, with plenty of that good African Food which is absolutely delicious; After all I did not want to go there to eat pizza and hot dogs. Prices for the hunt and each individual animal were a bargain when you consider the size of the trophies which all exceed SCI qualifications. The hunt itself was outstanding in that it involves tracking the animals, instead of shooting them from the back end of an old Ford Pickup.
Personal safety involved in the hunt ranging from accommodations to making sure the game is dead, and danger from creatures such as snakes and other vermin was looked after by the entire crew. I thank you for a very satisfying hunt, and the beautiful animals you allowed me to harvest.
Richard and Freda Case - May 2004
"Freda and I think of you often (everyday, in fact, as we gaze at the African trophies on our den wall).
We are very, very happy with our trophies. One entire wall is assigned to our African specimens. We are proud of them and have had many friends and others over to marvel and hear the stories behind the hunting experience with you and "Andrew McLaren Safaris" - The taxidermy work was excellent. The total monetary cost of the entire trip was much less then expected, a real bargain.
Please be assured that our African hunting experience with you was nothing but "outstanding". We have already recommended you to our friends. You are "well connected" in the hunting fields as well as the social fields. We tell our friends of the happy and rewarding experiences of the hunting, tours, travels, meals, and other social events with you, your guides, and your gracious friends. We miss see all of you."
Richard and Freda Case - Bouge Chitto Mississippi, United States of America
Walter Krousel Jnr.
Walter Krousel III
Huber - July 2005:
Andrew, I wish to thank you again for the wonderful time that I, my wife Janet and my son Jim had while on safari with you. The accommodations were wonderful (Janet was happy to see flush toilets), Cecilia's meals were of chef quality, the scenery beautiful and the animals, oh my God, the animals.
To shoot a Rowland Ward black wildebeest as the first African animal I've ever taken was a dream come true for me. The numbers and quality of the animals seen and taken far exceeded my expectations. My son still breaks into a huge grin whenever I say "Africa" and my cameraman Randy cannot believe that he was actually there AND got to shoot a springbok.
All I can say is I cannot wait until next year when we do it all again and I've been telling everyone that I come in contact with that they really need to consider booking a hunt with you.
The friendships made during this trip, the trophies taken and the memories, while they will last a lifetime, aren't enough for me. I have to come back!
Anyone considering a trip like this? Feel free to contact me and I'll tell you how excellent the trip was and how well we were treated.
Steve, Janet and Jim Huber - Rhinelander Wisconsin, United States of America
Read more about Steve's experiences with AMS at any of the links below:
1. story of Steve’s Black Wildebeest hunt from Mervilla - Reborn on the 4th July. http://www.outdoorfrontiers.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=263
2. The Story of Steve’s Blesbok Hunt From Mervilla. - Doin' the Free State Shuffle. http://www.outdoorfrontiers.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=264
3. The story of Steve’s Gemsbok Hunt from Mervilla. - A Gem of a Gemsbok. http://www.outdoorfrontiers.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=266
4. The story of Steve’s Springbok hunt at Mervilla and the success at Ribbokrant. - A Pox on Springboks. http://www.outdoorfrontiers.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=268
5. The story of Steve’s hunt from Schoongezicht. A Limpopo we will go… http://www.outdoorfrontiers.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=271
6. The final story of SDteve's hunt at Robbokrant. East Cape, Paradize Found. http://www.outdoorfrontiers.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=276
Troy Wiebe - August 2005
1. Troy Wiebe’s Testimonial: PM goes to Africa - FINALLY the hunt report http://www.predatormastersforums.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=52161023&an=0&page=0#52161023
2. Troy Wiebe’s Testimonial: PM goes to Africa – Part 2 http://www.predatormastersforums.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=52161024&an=0&page=0#52161024
3. Troy Wiebe’s Testimonial: PM goes to Africa - Part 3 http://www.predatormastersforums.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=52161027&an=0&page=0#52161027
Maynard McLaren - October 2005
2. Clients guided in my days as a part-time hunting outfitter:
Dr. Karl Weyers
Kevin Haight. "Let me start by saying that you totally held up your end of the bargain during my hunting trip."