Houston, TX- – Houston Safari Club Foundation (HSCF) is pleased to announce Paul Bamber of Wanganui Safaris as the 2019 HSCF Professional Hunter of the Year.
Paul Bamber grew up on a remote family farm at Jerusalem, on the Wanganui River, farming sheep and cattle. Paul developed a love of hunting at the age of 10 when his dad gave him his .303 to hunt a big boar his sheep dogs were bailing. From that day forward, whenever Paul wasn’t at school, he hunted goats, pigs and deer as well as trapping possums for money in the winter. With huge areas of bush surrounding their farm, and no predators, it was a constant battle to keep wild animal numbers from taking over the land they farmed. Wild pigs would kill hundreds of lambs if unchecked and opossum numbers were out of control. Paul and his brother would hunt stags and goats, retrieve them on horseback and three wheelers, and sell them to buyers in Wanganui. Paul saved every dollar earned to buy new guns and find new areas to hunt. In the 70’s and 80’s, Paul began to trap deer and goats, jumping out of Hughes 500 helicopters. It proved to be more profitable and more fun than farming.
In the late 80’s Paul persuaded his father to give up sheep farming and get into the trophy hunting business. They built a lodge and headed to their first SCI show in Reno. There were about 300 exhibitors in total and only 5 New Zealand outfitters. They only sold one hunt to a car salesman from Nebraska at the show and they remain great friends to this day. Undeterred they returned the following year and attended the Dallas Safari Club (DSC) show as well as SCI. Paul felt the shows were great fun and the Kiwis and African outfitters always teamed up to talk rugby. The following year they added the Houston Safari Club and Nebraska outfitter shows to their itinerary.
In the early 90’s, Kelly Samson of Klineburger Travel asked Paul to head to Mongolia to hunt Elk. Paul loved Mongolia and the people. Paul recalls, “During our many travels we got terribly sick drinking fermented horse milk in remote yurt’s, rode horrible little ponies with horrible wooden saddles, saw thousands of elk, saw the elusive snow leopard and succeeded in getting detained for 3 days by the Russian military as they thought we were CIA spies.” Later, the breakup of the Soviet Union and free market policies ended Paul’s experiences in Mongolia. Trips to Australia to hunt Water Buffalo and Dingo’s out of Darwin and Rusa on Marble Island soon followed.
By now, Paul had two small boys, Earl and William. The boys began to join Paul on trips to hunting shows in the US. At an early age, Paul’s sons began hunting rabbits and running go karts for something fun to do on weekends. Little did Paul know that the go kart hobby would turn into a career of professional driving, as Earl would go on to become a two-time winner of the Porsche Carrera Cup and the Porsche Super-Cup. Earl was then signed as a Porsche factory driver and has since gone on to be a two-time winner of the world’s biggest and most famous endurance race-the 24 Hours of Le Mans.Paul’s son William put himself through university graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Design. William then headed straight to Kuala Lumpur to become a highly successful driver, racing with the Porsche team as well. Paul’s sons have since formed a race car company with Earl running four cars as well as coaching drivers all over Asia.
Over the years Wanganui Safaris has supported many hunting conservation projects but Paul’s greatest pleasure has been in projects as diverse as supporting housing for breast cancer patients in Mexico and hosting many Wounded Warriors over many years. Paul has been attending the US show circuit for 31 years. Paul states, “Without question, our favorite show is the Houston Safari Club Foundation show. HSCF has a great group of passionate members and volunteers supporting hunting and conservation. We know when we support HSCF, the money raised will be used in the best possible way to enhance hunting. We have had the pleasure of hunting with so many HSCF members. I am truly honored to receive the 2019 HSCF Professional Hunter of the Year award.”
HSCF President, Mitzy McCorvey stated, “We would like to congratulate Paul Bamber on being selected as the 2019 HSCF Ph of the Year. He has been a longtime, consistent supporter as well as auction donor of HSCF.”
Paul will be recognized during the Friday night banquet at the 2019 HSCF Convention.
Registration for HSCF’s 2019 Worldwide Convention and Hunting Expo is open. The event will take place January 25-27, 2019 in downtown Houston at the George R. Brown (GRB) Convention Center. Banquet tickets and hotel reservations may be made here.
HSCF sincerely thanks its Convention sponsors: Wildlife Partners, Capital Farm Credit, Enterprise Products Partners L.P., S&B Engineers and Constructors, Global Rescue, Hess Corporation, Conroe Taxidermy, Silver Eagle/Budweiser, Art by L. Mower, B&B Taxidermy, NRA Women’s Leadership Forum, Bushmen Safaris, Travel With Guns, Hawkeye Hunting Club, Pro Cargo USA, Del Rio Powersports, Alliance Graphics & Printing.