The Peter Hathaway Capstick Hunting Heritage Award (PHCHHA) was announced in Dallas, Texas, at the Dallas Safari Club (DSC) Annual Convention, January 9th, 2004.
Named after the well-known American author, whose defense of the international big game hunting community and the role of hunting in the conservation of wildlife and its habitat made him a household name, the announcement was made to an enthusiastic audience by Capstick’s widow, DSC friend and Life Member, Fiona Claire Capstick.
Award criteria include active involvement in: education, hunting, conservation organizations, humanitarian causes, research, permanent endowments, and charitable giving. The intent of the PHCHHA is summed up in the Award Committees’ words:
The objective of this award is to bring honor and recognition to an individual, organization or group whose achievements reveal a sustained and significant contribution to the conservation of wildlife and its habitat. Additionally, the winner will have shown long-term commitment to our hunting heritage by pursuing that goal for the benefit of future generations.
The PHCHHA honors the memory of a great man whose writings captured the essence of his love of the hunt and his respect for and understanding of wildlife and wild lands. It is intended to fulfill Mr. Capstick’s lifelong desire to promote a hunting legacy and ensure the conservation of our wildlife resources.
The establishment of this premiere hunting award heralds a milestone for the international hunting and wildlife conservation community by highlighting individuals or groups responsible for the long-term support and commitment to our hunting heritage.
The Award Committee is chaired by Tommy Caruthers and the committee members include past and present Presidents of Dallas Safari Club and Dallas Ecological Foundation, Board members of each organization as well as Ms. Fiona Capstick.
Numerous international organizations and groups have been invited to submit nominees for
this prestigious award. A partial list follows.
Organizations and Groups
Bear Trust International
Becoming an Outdoors Woman
Boone and Crockett Club
Bowhunting Preservation Alliance
Buckmasters American Deer Foundation
Camp Fire Club
Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation
Dallas Ecological Foundation
Dallas Safari Club
Foundation for North American Sheep
Houston Safari Club
Int’l Assoc. of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
Int’l Foundation for the Conservation of Wildlife
International Hunter Education Association
Int’l Professional Hunters Association
Izaak Walton League of America
Mule Deer Foundation
National Rifle Association
National Shooting Sports Foundation
National Wild Turkey Federation
North American Bear Foundation
North American Assoc. of Fish & Wildlife
North American Grouse Partnership
Orion—The Hunter’s Institute
Outdoor Writers Association
Pope and Young Club
Professional Hunters Assoc. South Africa
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Ruffed Grouse Society
Safari Club International
Sand County Foundation
Shikar Safari Club
Texas Wildlife Association
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Wildlife Habitat Council
Wildlife Management Institute
U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance
The Peter Hathaway Capstick Hunting Heritage Award recipient will be announced and presented their award at the Dallas Safari Club’s Annual Convention in Dallas.
According to Fiona Capstick, “Peter was an introspective, quiet man. Peter’s lifelong love affair with hunting is encapsulated in the following quote, taken from his fifth book, SAFARI: THE LAST ADVENTURE.”
Nowhere on earth can the senses as well as the emotions wallow in acombination of stimuli such as are found in the African bush: the whine offlies, the moan of a sway-bellied lion leaving his kill in the carmine dawn,the hacksaw rasp of a leopard in the gloom, the bowel-freezing scream of abull elephant catching your wind.
Ms. Capstick graciously supplied the following biography to Dallas Safari Club.
Peter Hathaway Capstick—Peter was born in Orange, New Jersey on 11 January 1940 into a prominent family of Anglo-Irish origin with its roots in textiles, land development and banking. His great uncle, The Honorable John Henry Capstick, was a two-term Republican Member of Congress for the Fifth Congressional District of New Jersey, dying in office in 1918.
Peter settled permanently in South Africa in 1982 where he died in hospital in Pretoria on 13 March 1996 after undergoing multiple bypass heart surgery. His only sibling, a brother called Thomas, predeceased him in 1981. Peter had no children.
A fourth-generation American, Peter hunted and fished from childhood with his father and brother. A gifted child, Peter was a talented linguist and very musical. He developed a passion for Africa while still at grade school. A precocious reader, he devoured many of the classics in African big game hunting by the time he had reached his teens. The die was cast. Peter wanted to hunt and he wanted to write about hunting. There was no way he could have known of the high level of success that awaited him or of special honors such as having a caliber named after him, the .470 Capstick. His writings are credited with vigorously reviving an entire literary genre and, indeed, with inspiring a new generation to go on their first African safari.
Peter wrote numerous articles for a great variety of outdoor magazines throughout the Englishspeaking world, starting well before the appearance of his first book, Death in the Long Grass, in January 1978. This book, a publishing phenomenon that is now in its 26th year and that recently appeared in Mandarin Chinese, was followed by twelve other books, a fine reprint series from his own library, limited editions of his own books, books on tape, special taped interviews on hunting and firearms, a request to write the foreword to a reprint of two of Robert Ruark’s books published by Stackpole Books, a series of award-winning hunting videos as well as several major book tours in the States and an appearance on Larry King Live. His final book appeared posthumously. The books, in publication order are as follows:
|Death in the Long Grass||1978|
|Death in the Silent Places||1981|
|Death in the Dark Continent||1983|
|Safari: The Last Adventure||1984|
|Peter Capstick’s Africa: A Return to the Long Grass||1987|
|The Last Ivory Hunter: The Saga of Wally Johnson||1988|
|Last Horizons: Hunting, Shooting, Fishing on Five Continents||1988|
|Death in a Lonely Land: More Hunting, Fishing and Shooting on Five Continents||1990|
|Sands of Silence: On Safari in Namibia||1991|
|The African Adventurers||1992|
|A Man Called Lion: The Life and Times of John Howard Pondoro Taylor||1994|
|Warrior: The Legend of Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen||1998|
The world and the hunting community suffered a great loss with the untimely passing of Peter Hathaway Capstick at the age of 56. His ashes were scattered at sundown in the Chobe River of northern Botswana in the presence of a large herd of elephant. The hunter was indeed home, his spirit alive in his books, now being enjoyed by a new generation. The PHCHHA will serve to recognize a truly special and deserving champion of wildlife and the sport of hunting as exemplified by and to the very special
credit of the award’s distinguished namesake, Peter Hathaway Capstick.
This Award honors the memory of Peter Hathaway Capstick whose writings shared his love of the hunt and of the wilderness and his desire to promote the hunting legacy and its role in the conservation of the wildlife heritage of the world for future generations. The objective is to identify and bring honor to an individual or to an organization of whatever country, whose record reveals a sustained and significant contribution to the conservation of wildlife and habitat \and an understanding of the hunting heritage in pursuing that goal for future generations.
The Award will be made annually, or as the Dallas Safari Club sees fit, at the Club’s Annual Convention.
Harry Tennison (deceased)
Baron Bertrand des Clers (deceased)
Theodore Roosevelt (deceased)
The Boone & Crockett Club
John and Chrissie Jackson