Royal Quest: The Hunting Saga of HIH Prince Abdorreza Pahlavi
This is a limited edition book by Safari Press Inc. 2004.
HIH Prince Abdorreza Pahlavi of Iran is argueably the greatest worldwide hunter and wildlife conservationist to have lived. As a hunter, his peers could only include the likes of James (Jay) Mellon, Herb Klein, Elgin Gates, and C.J. McElroy. Granted, the Prince's financial and political status open doors to hunting worlds afforded to a very select few, but he was a dedicated hunter, more at home in the mountains and plains than in a palace, and one of the greatest marksmen of the 20th Century. The Prince passed away in March 2004, shortly after the release of this book, at 80 years old in Florida. He helped set up conservation units across the globe, donated his time, money, and political pull for the preservation of hunting and wildlife.
The book was written by Bill Quimby, aided by the Prince's recollections and reconstructed hand written notes, in 2002. Because the Prince was in the U.S. when the Ayatollah Kohmeni overthrew the sitting government (Prince Abdorrezza's brother, the Shah), all of Abdorrezza's photos, notes, and trophies were in Tehran at his home and in the Tehran museum when the coup occurred, so the Prince lost those.
Photos were donated by other publishers and the Prince's friends, including Mellon, O'Connor's estate, CJ McElroy, many of the Prince's guides or PH's, and others.
The book doesn't go into great detail about many of the hunts. I suppose, at least in some instances, nearly half a century between the hunt and the idea for the book had dulled the Prince's recollection. The chapter about hunting Kenya in 1964 is a mere 4 pages long, much of that space is taken up by large photographs. The text could probably be condensed to 1 or 2 pages. This is pretty typical throughout the book, though chapters about hunting Iran and the Prince's conservation work and achievements garner more print.
The photos are incredible, and the book is dominated by photos.
Quotes by the Prince included in the text are more about his overall recollection of the safari as a whole, other than any particular hunt. He does relate scolding a few PH's that he felt were too trigger happy. He does relate the close relationship between himself and James (Jay) Mellon. Mellon had preceded the Prince in many of the more rare hunts in Africa, though he was several years the Prince's junior. Mellon accompanied the Prince during the hunts for Walia Ibex and others, making trophy recommendations and area recommendations.
Reading through the Prince's achievements in the game fields around the world, his hunting ethic, his determination, and his marksmanship, I do believe he belongs in a class of hunter with few contemporaries. Maybe James Mellon, Herb Klein, Elgin Gates, and CJ McElroy could be considered his peers. I don't suspect any hunter beginning a world quest today would ever be able to accomplish the feats of these gentlemen, not with the political strife and conservation efforts that abound.
This book offers a glimpse into hunting exploits of one of the greatest hunters of any time. This is the only book I have come across that speaks of his hunting passion, conservation and adventures. He has been mentioned in Elgin Gates' two books of hunting, some of Jack O'Connor's writings (Jack was the man that persuaded the Prince to begin using rifle scopes after giving the Princess an Al Biesen scope sighted 7x57), and in James Mellon's African Hunter.
While this book is fairly light on details of many hunts, I believe it is a good accounting of worldwide hunting from the 1940's through present day. As a limited edition, it is fairly expensive (even though I didn't spring for the Limited-limited edition), but will have a place in my home. If you are interested in HIH Prince Abdorreza Pahlavi or international big game hunting (especially mountain game) this is a very good reference.
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OVIS/Grand Slam Club - Life Member
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National Rifle Association - Life Member
Last edited by alyeska338; 07-04-2004 at 10:01 PM.