This is a recommendation of highest praise for John Sharp.
I hunted with Mr Sharp in early June 1984 and was very much impressed by his professionalism, his concern for his clients, his knowledge of game and his ability to direct a hunting crew. In addition, I say that his equipment and its condition is probably the best that I have ever encountered. I have been on 21 African safaris, and scores of other hunts throughout the world; therefore I feel that I have a good idea as to what to expect from a professional hunter.
Shooting and Hunting Editor – Outdoor Life Magazine
Member – Board of Directors NRA
Commissioner – Tennesse Wildlife Resource Trust
Trustee – Hunting Hall of Fame Foundation
I have had the pleasure of hunting with John Sharp – and have had numerous clients guided by him. We have nothing but praise for John’s management skills. He is a great companion, and most important, he is a superior professional hunter, particularly with buffalo, elephant, lion and leopard. John makes our clients happy clients.
Jack Atcheson Sr.
President – Jack Atcheson & Sons Inc. International Hunting, Fishing and Photographic Consultants
I have hunted with some of the very best professional hunters presently operating in Africa, but John Sharp is my preferred companion and guide in the hunting field. I have on two occasions had John beside me when we faced down charging lions, and I know that not only is he an expert marksman, but he is also totally fearless. He instills in me a complete sense of trust and confidence. I have no hesitation in recommending that any serious hunter of the big four, make his African Safari with John Sharp.
I hunted with John Sharp during the 2000 season, and I took some twenty animals with him.
I really don’t know where to begin this commentary, but quite simply, John Sharp is one of my favourite people in the whole world. He’s a true gentleman, and very fair man, and a true pleasure to hunt with. I first became aware of John about four years through the ad he runs in the annual Convention Issue of “Safari”.
Later, I was on a hunt with Jim Carmichel, who went on to describe how very happy he had been with John Sharp as his PH on a previous safari. Considering the number of safaris Jim has been on (far, far more than he’s ever written about) and the amount of trust I have in Carmichel, that came as a very solid endorsement.
My wife and I then met John in person at the SCI convention in Reno, at which point I booked a safari with him. It turned out to be a good decision, as my safari with Sharp will always rank as one of the very finest hunts of my life. All of the animals I took with John were superb, book-class trophies, and the hunts were done the right way. I do intend to hunt with him again.
Here’s what makes John one of the very best PHs in Africa in my opinion: John’s experience, especially with dangerous game, is deep and extensive. He’s been there time and again for over twenty some years, and yet he’s still young enough and fit enough to deal with any ugly situation that might arise.
When you book a safari with John Sharp, you hunt with John Sharp. You’re not farmed out to some other PH or to some green kid. John is honest to his inner core, and his word is absolutely as good as gold. In fact his handshake is better than a lot of other people’s written contracts. John is a man of true courage, but its intelligent courage, not the foolhardy kind. He won’t back down, he never gets flustered, and he never quits.
His ethical standards are very high. He believes in stalking whenever possible, instead of merely shooting animals from the back of the Cruiser, plus he’s highly selective.
John has all of his own equipment, including his own aeroplane (he’s an excellent pilot), and all of it is kept in immaculate, superb condition.
John is the most organised PH I’ve ever hunted with. He can get more work done out of a smaller crew than any outfit I’ve ever seen. His head tracker, head skinner, and head cook have all been with him for about twenty years each now, and they are as good at their jobs as you could ever ask them to be. In fact, John’s cook is the finest African camp chef I’ve ever known, and John goes so far as to send him to various cooking schools in the off-season, believe it or not!
John has access to and hunts only the best areas, and his ethic of putting the client first, taking only the best trophies available, and giving an all-out effort all of the time is something he lives by every day.
I had Steve Tors as my PH in Namibia last year. Steve is another one of those superb, veteran PHs who has over twenty years of experience. Steven used to hunt the Caprivi Strip for elephant, etc., for quite a few years. In his opinion, John Sharp is one of the very best PHs in Africa, and just possibly the best PH there is if you want to hunt elephant. This comes from another professional hunter of long experience, no less!
March 14, 2004
Subject: Letter of Reference for John Sharp
I hunted with John Sharp Safaris during July and August of 2003. Planning for this hunt began at the March 2002 SCI Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Following discussions with several safari operators at the convention and for several months afterwards, I selected Mr. Sharp due to his ability to answer my questions, directness in discussion of fees, sensible expectations of game availability, and, most importantly, my sense of his ethics and professionalism. I met with Mr. Sharp again in January 2003 at the SCI Convention to confirm our arrangements. He was extremely helpful with suggestions for travel and accommodations prior to and following the hunt, as well for hunting clothing and gear. During the period prior to the hunt, all required fee deposits were as originally described.
Travel arrangements were made following Mr. Sharp’s suggestions and the trip to and from Zimbabwe was uneventful. He was waiting for our group upon our arrival and escorted us through immigration with our firearms expeditiously. All travel to and from hunt areas including transfers between areas was well coordinated. Safari vehicles were well maintained and no problems were encountered with them at any time. Just prior to our arrival, he had decided to move us to another operator’s area for buffalo hunting due to concerns with possible war veteran activity in his concession. In doing this he assumed additional cost, however, he absorbed the increases rather than pass them on to my party, since he said the change was his decision.
Camps were clean and comfortable. Staff services and food were very good. Our second camp, which is maintained personally by Mr. Sharp and his staff, was exceptional.
Game quality and quantity was as described during initial discussions at the SCI conventions. Once in camp, game laws and hunting ethics were reviewed, and hunting was conducted using fair chase methods. During hunts for dangerous game, I was confident that Mr. Sharp was prepared for follow-up if required, but he allowed me to do all shooting. His trackers and skinners were very capable and professional. Upon completion of the hunt, all specimens were in good condition upon delivery to the taxidermist.
Final settlement of hunting fees was completed as had been explained at the SCI conventions. There were no hidden fees or any surprises regarding the final bill. When I asked, his suggestions for staff tips were quite moderate based on magazine articles that I had read, and I was inclined to increase the amounts based upon the exceptional service provided.
I look forward to employing Mr. Sharp’s services for my future African hunting.
Please feel free to contact me as follows:
Joseph M. Newell
PO Box 13; New Ellenton, SC 29809: USA
I’ve had two ambitions in life (well, three if you count my wife!) one was naval aviation and the other was Africa. I’ve been in the Navy flying for 23 years now and it has been great. I set a goal for myself to hunt Africa and since I am not a man of many means, I had to choose wisely who I picked to hunt with in Africa. I couldn’t afford to have a bad safari.
I have quite a lot of friends in the hunting world and business. A good friend of mine who has been to Africa in excess of 20 times recommended John to me. I corresponded with John then met him at SCI. From the outset, I was duly impressed with John’s knowledge, meticulous organization and demeanour. From the time he meets you at the airport in Bulawayo to the time you are placed back in the airplane, he makes you feel like you are the most important client he’s ever had. His knowledge of African flora and fauna is quite amazing. I hunted the Malangani preserve with him and it was fantastic. The accommodations are first class as well as the meals, and the amount of game was impressive.
He passed up in excess of twenty Kudu for example before he let me take what turned out to be a 58 1/2″ monster. I’m also planning on being at SCI to rebook with him for buffalo in 05. In closing, the best thing I can say about him is that I can think of no one else I’d rather have at my side when staring down something that bites back, and in my business that means a lot! As you can tell, I can’t say enough good things about the man and his operation! If you like, visit my wife’s website at: www.Lavikinga.com under “the general” and you can see the animals I took with him, or you can call me anytime (904) 276-7717. I live in Jacksonville Florida.
293 SHOREWOOD COURT
FOX ISLAND, WASHINGTON 98333 U.S.A.
March 28, 2004
To Whom It May Concern
Regarding John Sharp, Professional Hunter
It is my sincere pleasure to provide my reference information and comments regarding John Sharp with respect to application for a Professional Hunters License.
I have known John for over ten years now and have the utmost of respect for his skills and judgment in the field and in pursuit of all game species, however, most specifically the Dangerous Game species. I have personally hunted with him in two different areas in Zimbabwe, specifically the Zimbabwe government Forestry Concession for Elephant and plains game, and separately on Malangani Ranch for Leopard and plains game. Both hunts were extremely successful, and outstanding trophies were obtained after pursuing and tracking many different animals, and selecting the best trophies available.
John displays an intense knowledge and respect for all of the species hunted, is personally VERY selective, including even being selective to specific “cull” animals when collecting baits for Leopard hunting! He displays a very high level ability to judge tracks, intensely follows tracks very quietly and carefully interpreting the guidance and direction of the local trackers, while being extremely alert of everything going on around him that might affect a successful stalk. Once on the game, he has an incredible capability to judge the trophy and to position the hunter very carefully for the shot to avoid mistakes and errors. John will NOT unprofessionally shoot and leave animals that others would judge and walk off after making a mistake!!
John provides excellent equipment for supporting the hunting operations as well as being a commercially rated pilot with extensive flying experience in Africa. His camps show the utmost of quality, comfort and convenience for the hunters, as well as being extremely clean and organized. His staff is excellent both in camp and in the field, dress in nice uniforms, are happy, respectful of each other and very much enjoy the safari environment. He is personally very fit, and does NOT consume alcohol during a safari, except for occasionally joining a client in a celebration of a trophy, or the end of the successful hunt.
During the time enroute to the hunting camp and prior to hunting, John thoroughly briefs the clients on the game to be hunted and tries to get a feel for the hunter’s experience. He spends a significant amount of time explaining anatomy and shot placement as well as sharing his broad and intense knowledge of wildlife, flora and fauna surrounding the safari experience. This not only creates a good bond between the client and hunter, it instills great confidence in the Professional Hunter to provide a safe and successful safari, increases success, and adds to the overall ambience of the African safari. John’s many, many years of hunting experience with hunters of all levels of capability, including the ability to deal with hunters with handicaps, provides and excellent platform for success as a professional hunter that will leave lasting memories with all clients after a safe and successful hunt. Around the campfire and over meals, John shares his broad knowledge of history, politics, sports and many other topics that clearly demonstrate his very well rounded education. He is fun, enthusiastic, and respects everyone’s capability to enjoy a successful safari.
After the hunt is concluded, John pays very close attention to the details and paperwork that follows the trophy shipments to the local dipping and packing stations and to international shipment. The trophies are very promptly forwarded from camps to proper dipping and packing organizations, and on to client. This is an extremely important aspect of a successful safari and many times NOT handled well. My trophies were received in excellent condition, shipment was reasonably priced, and prompt. This speaks well for his organization and follow through.
Finally, there are the broad and important issues of honesty and integrity. Soon after I had booked my hunt and paid my full deposit, I was notified that the government had changed the laws on export of ivory from problem animal safaris, which I had booked. I had known John through Safari Club introductions at two conventions, and had previously spoken of hunting a different area for huge trophy elephants. I could not afford that hunt, being almost three times my quoted hunt price. I was offered several alternatives and began to believe that I was becoming involved in a “bait and switch” situation. I declined the various expensive alternatives for trophy hunts and simply asked for my deposit to be refunded. John was so intent on keeping his word with me, regardless of our relationship; he organized and negotiated a short trophy hunt for me that ultimately could have cost him a significant amount out of his own pocket. This is a clear demonstration of John’s real person, honesty, integrity and how important his reputation is!! These actions lead to a very successful hunt, and a long term, mutually beneficial relationship and friendship.
In summary, I have the utmost respect for John Sharp and his abilities in the field, managing all of the details of a safari, around the campfire, and as a great personal friend…resulting from two GREAT hunts!! John is the consummate professional in all respects, respecting the (wildlife) resource, the people and the environment. I strongly and whole heartedly recommend John Sharp for a Professional Hunters license without reservation.
Steven E. Shull
Controller Financial Operations, Weyerhaeuser Company, retired
Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, ReKlaim Technologies, Inc.
Past President-Safari Club Intl., Northwest Chapter, NRA Life Benefactor
Board Member/Treasurer Seattle Sportsmen Conservation Foundation
To whom it may concern,
I have hunted extensively with John Sharp in Zimbabwe, Africa. I have hunted on all the continents and most of the United States including many trips to Alaska. I choose my trips carefully and do not make mistakes with regards to hiring professional hunters. I had heard about John Sharp and decided to meet him at the S.C. I. convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. After many talks, the following year I booked a trip in Zimbabwe with John. The hunt was the trip of a lifetime and my only regret is the unstable condition of Zimbabwe, otherwise I would have been back the following year. John Sharp is the Professional hunter that we are used to reading about in days gone by. From his trackers to his camps and his handling of the hunts, John oversees everything and is the most hands on P.H. that I have ever hunted with. His instincts with regards to the animals are second to none and he judges every situation with pin-point accuracy. He was a pleasure to hunt with and I look forward to the day when we can hunt together again.
Should you need to contact me, please do not hesitate to do so.
Thank you for your time.
William H. Addeo
P.O. Box 104
Stuart, Florida 34995
United States of America
March 10, 2004
Re: Letter of Recommendation for John Sharp
I had the true pleasure to have John Sharp host my first African Safari in August 2002 in the lowveld of Zimbabwe. John was the outfitter and Professional Hunter for my trip – one which exceeded my expectations on every level. He is the consummate professional who practices what he preaches in his approach to hunting, working with people and operating a top-notch ethical business.
John’s attention to the myriad of little details – all of which are necessary to have a successful and safe safari experience was most impressive. He is actively involved in every portion of the trip from the planning stage, arrival in country, the wonderful full days of hunting and then making sure the clients are safely on their way back home. It is this attention to detail that I find the most impressive. He is a dedicated and very driven hunter who pushed hard to ensure I had opportunities to take each and every game animal I desired while at the same time understanding my limitations and relative inexperience
I chose to hunt with John Sharp based on the overwhelming strength of the personal recommendations I received from other hunters and the feeling of safety and security that John provided me. I am now most honored to convey my most sincere recommendation to other hunters who are in search of that perfect African Safari experience. John delivers on what he promises and does so in a manner which brings great credit to the long and wonderful history of the “Professional Hunter”.
290 Hwy 334
Oxford, MS 38655
This is a letter of reference written by a recent client of John Sharp
My name is Kelly Rakes and I live in Seattle, WA. I’m writing you today because my good friend John asked if I would share my recent Zimbabwe hunting experience with you and your wife Beth.
Let me begin by saying that I love to travel but I am not a hunter. My husband, Steve, is the hunter in our family and from there our trip to Zim was born. Because this may have been our first and only hunting trip to Africa we both wanted every aspect to meet or exceed our expectations. We’re both very involved in our local chapter of SCI and have heard many horror stories. John, however, came very highly recommended – and believe me we did our homework long before ever meeting him. Even before we were committed to John, he happily provided RECENT names/references, took the time to communicate items that we may have needed (that weren’t mentioned in other paperwork), provided personal opinions on medication and basically tried to help out a couple of “first timers”.
From the moment we arrived at the Zim Airport, John began his quest of comfort, kindness, humour and safety. John met us at the airport, quickly and safely moved us thru customs (leaving Zim was the same) and away we went to experience what would be the “trip of our lives”. We had travelled for nearly a day and a half just getting there and then found out the clothing portion of our luggage was lost. It was a Sunday or holiday and local stores were not open. Without hesitation, John offered clothing to Steve and made arrangements with a female friend for me. Within a couple of hours, we were fully outfitted – comfortably – and ready to shove off in order to avoid losing any hunting days. Our luggage ended up arrive the following day.
The next 2 1/2 weeks were spent in TOTAL comfort! From Sabina, Peter, Isaac, Kevin, Ngoni, Sicumbhuzo to John and Sashi – everywhere we went, we were met with smiles, humour and warm welcomes! I hunted along side my husband, John and The Guys every day – all day – and I was always more than comfortable. In part, I fell in love with Zimbabwe and the people because of John and his amazing staff. I even considered taking my first animal but it didn’t work out – next time though for sure! We hunted hard everyday but it was all based on our level of desire and comfort. John is a GREAT communicator and always made sure the line of communication was open and honest. I could go on and on about how detailed John is – he doesn’t miss a thing – from a hunting/tracking standpoint to accommodations, special meals, laundry, scenery. Without question, his number one concern is the safety, comfort and overall AMAZING experience of his guests – and you’ll soon find out that many of us quickly go from “guest” to friends!
I wish you both the best trip to Zimbabwe yet – and I’m more than confident that John will deliver! He’s top notch and everyday since leaving we’ve looked forward to our return trip to that unbelievable country. We correspond regularly with John and can’t wait to see your photos on his web-site.