Mark Sullivan kicked out of SCI

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by safari hunter, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. trigger creep

    trigger creep AH Enthusiast

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    Sullivans videos are entertaining. I wouldn't want to hunt with him but the videos are a big hit with fellow hunters when I show them. It's exciting. Something most African hunting videos lack. It sure beats sitting in a blind and watching a waterhole like so many shows portray.
     
  2. safari hunter

    safari hunter AH Veteran

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    Udate from Mark Sullivan

    Here is another statement from Mark Sullivan...


    S C I - 2 0 1 0

    U P D A T E
    as of June 25, 2010

    A Personal Letter

    To all of my loyal Customers, Hunting Clients and Friends

    I purposely have not updated anyone to my SCI situation believing, if not hoping, that SCI would finally come to their senses and invite me back. Sadly, this has not been the case. For reasons known only to the Executive Board they continue to "black ball" me. Here are the facts as I know them. You can judge for yourself.

    In early December of last year, after my return home from Tanzania, I called Larry Rudolph, President of SCI on his cell phone. If nothing else I felt I was entitled to an explanation. After several unsuccessful attempts to reach Larry I began to wonder if I would ever speak to him. I did not leave voice mails. I believed he would not return my call if he knew it was me who was calling. Eventually, Larry called back. He did not know he was calling "me." The moment he called I confirmed I was indeed speaking to Larry Rudolph, President of Safari Club and then I identified myself as, "Mark Sullivan, Professional Hunter—the guy you kicked out of SCI." Larry corrected me by saying I wasn`t "kicked out of SCI but merely not invited to participate as an exhibitor to the Convention." While technically this is a true statement, it was sour grapes nonetheless. I asked him, "Why?"

    For the next twenty minutes he would not tell me nor would he explain SCI`s position. Throughout the conversation Larry was very professional and polite. I cannot and will not say otherwise. At the same time, he would not or could not explain why? What Larry did say is, "at the next Executive Board meeting in February, he would walk shoulder to shoulder with me, friend to friend in front of the board, and support me 100% to get me back into SCI." I responded by thanking him. I affirmed I would be happy to attend. Then Larry mentioned that "It`s the videos that are the problem" and asked, "Would I still be willing to exhibit if I couldn`t show my movies?" I responded immediately by saying "yes." I told Larry I would exhibit anyway SCI wanted, with or without my movies, just so long as I was included. With that Larry was positive there would not be a problem. I confirmed again that I would agree to anything SCI wanted or demanded. The call ended with Larry saying he would get back to me in plenty of time for the meeting in February.

    The days and months passed without a word. Not a call, not even an email. Zip, nada, nothing. I decided to attend on my own. After all, my good "shoulder to shoulder" friend Larry Rudolph would be there. On February 18 I flew from my home in Alabama to Phoenix, Arizona. The next morning I took an early flight to Las Vegas and at exactly 8:35 am I walked through the doors of the Executive Board meeting room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and stood quietly in the room. I did not cause a disturbance. I simply waited for someone to address me. That person was none other than Larry Rudolph. He immediately escorted me out of the room and into the hallway and asked, "What are you doing here?"

    I told him, "I wanted back in like we spoke about, that at the least I wanted someone to tell me why the Executive Board kicked me out. Why after 33 years am I being treated like this and, oh, by the way, since I have not committed one game violation, have not been accused of any wrong-doing whatsoever, have not had any ethical violations brought against me by anyone, on what grounds does the Executive Board have to kick me out?" I went on to say, "Larry, if I have done one thing wrong, if you can tell me one thing I have done to offend anyone, anytime, anywhere, I will turn around and leave this place and never bother you or SCI again." Larry looked at me and said nothing. He knew I was right.

    Larry then said he would call me before the end of the day to tell me if the Board would agree to see me and when. I asked if he had my cell number and he said no. I then opened my wallet and gave him a business card. I thanked him for his time and understanding and confirmed I would wait for his call and be ready at the drop of a hat. Larry turned and walked back into the room.

    I was not convinced Larry would call me. I felt it was just an easy way for him to get rid of me. Call me "old fashioned" but Larry`s suggestion to call me when he didn`t have my phone number did not pass the smell test. I decided to sit in the hallway just outside the meeting room and wait. The meeting rooms at the Mandalay Bay are down a long flight of stairs below ground level. The hallways are wide and vast. The ceilings are so tall they could accommodate three giraffes mounted one on top of the other without worry about touching the paint. The bathrooms, I noticed, were down the hallway 40 paces. I sat and waited where anyone who needed to make the trip would conveniently see me. It wasn`t exactly leopard hunting, lying in wait, but it was close to it. I would sit all day if I had to.

    The first one to exit the meeting room and make it to the men`s room was someone I knew, a past president of SCI. I walked over to say hi. His greeting was cold. Not because of me, I assure you. He did not want to talk. I asked for his help, but he said he had no influence and could do nothing. I reminded him that he helped me before when SCI had done the same thing to me five years earlier. He shrugged his shoulders and left. Ironically, it was this same man who had given me Larry`s private cell phone number and suggested that I call, using his name if need be.

    Next to come out was another past SCI president and someone I knew. I went to greet him. Once again, I was met with the same resistance. He told me he was only there to make a presentation, then leave. He understood my situation, but was not willing to help. He wanted no part of me or my problem. He left.

    At 12:30 pm the meeting began to break for lunch. A professional looking woman walked up to me and introduced herself as the attorney for SCI attending the board meeting. She asked me, "Why are you here? Your attorney has been contacted weeks ago and knows everything. You should talk to him." I asked for clarification, more specifically, who it was who contacted my attorney, his name and phone number. She wrote it down for me. I told her that I was certain no such contact had been made with my attorney. She suggested that I call him and she would check with the Board and get back to me after lunch with further information. I called my attorney and gave him the details of my conversation. He said he had never been contacted but would call the attorney and get back to me.

    Just as I ended the call, a man who I will not identify, walked past me and nodded as if he wanted to talk. I moved to greet him. He said we couldn`t talk here but to follow him in two minutes up the stairs and not let anyone see me. I did as asked.

    I found him waiting for me partially hidden from view behind a large column. He told me everyone in the board room was instructed not to talk to me. That if anyone did, they would be asked to leave. They may even be removed from office for the offense. He told me he knew my entire story, but that he could not divulge any of it to me. It was privileged information. He did say it was all political. I had enemies within the Executive Committee that wanted me out of SCI and that was that. Even though they had never hunted with me, even though they had never spoken with me, or had ever had contact with me, they wanted me out of SCI permanently. It was no more complicated than that. He said there was nothing he could do. It was out of his hands. I thanked him for the information and we parted company.

    I returned to my seat in the hallway. My attorney then called to report he had spoken with the SCI attorney in Tucson, Arizona. Despite what SCI had just told me, the attorney in Tucson had not called my attorney nor had he ever heard of my attorney and had no idea what his call to him was about. In effect, what I was told by SCI`s attorney in Las Vegas was an outright lie. Her representation to me that my attorney knew everything was not true. No such call had ever been made.

    Prepared with this latest information I anxiously awaited her return. In due course, she arrived. I told her what I knew. She could not believe what I was saying. She was sure this had been handled weeks before because of what she had been told by the Executive Committee. The expression on her face told me she was sympathetic to my situation. She then told me that she had just been directed by the Board to tell me from this moment on I was "officially" banned from ever being an exhibitor. That the Board`s decision was final, they will not hear your case, will not let you appeal. With that she turned to leave when I asked her for a moment of her time.

    I could tell she was upset with being lied to by the Board. I explained in detail my side of things, both conversations with Larry Rudolph, and all that had occurred. I asked if nothing else, could I get an official explanation from SCI. She promised she would have her partner in the Tucson law firm, who was closer to the problem than she, call my attorney within two weeks with a formal declaration of my expulsion. To date, I have yet to hear a word. That was over four months ago.

    An interesting side note to all of this. Larry Rudolph`s main concern in our December phone conversation were the movies; "it`s the videos!" Once I agreed not to show them as a condition to exhibiting at the Convention, all was good. Or so I thought. Yet at the 2010 Convention with me gone, my movies were openly on sale on the convention floor with a hi-lite tape showing buffalo and hippo charges, one after the other, and large poster size signs of my most famous movies in plain view. If SCI`s contention were the movies, why then were they allowed to be shown and sold? The hypocrisy is astonishing.

    I am not one to make waves. I go about my business quietly yet professionally. This year, for instance, I have more safaris and clients than I have had in 20 years. Although SCI has decided to ban me as an exhibitor, the world`s hunting public endorses me all the more. I have always loved SCI and always will. I welcome the day I should be invited back.

    Remember, shoot straight and let them come close. That`s what I do.

    Thank you very much and have a great day.

    With Best Regards,

    Mark Sullivan

    Professional Hunter
     

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  3. Cossack

    Cossack AH Member

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    I couldn't make it through the 7 minute YouTube clip. A couple of charges were neat, but the whole thing seemed to place all it's emphasis on animals suffering. Animals were wounded intentionally - if he's such a crack shot, then why were they all wounded and not killed until the charge?

    As has already been pointed out, these do great damage to the future of hunting. This is just the sort of material that gets antis going.

    Someone brought up censorship. This is not censorship. Censorship is when a government does it, and if the government banned these videos we should all get riled up. But this was a club deciding what it does and does not want representing it. When citizens decide not to include someone in their club, or decide not to buy something and tell others what they think - that's freedom.
     
  4. Cossack

    Cossack AH Member

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    I'm not an SCI member and I don't know all of the standards, but if, as some of you claim, there are others who violate in similar (or different) ways, then the standards should be enforced across the board, in my opinion.

    As someone else pointed out, there are numerous ways in which African hunting (or hunting anywhere else) is carried out with questionable ethics, such as small enclosed ares, night shooting, shooting from vehicles, and so on. Any sort of unethical hunting should be a concern to all of us.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  5. safari hunter

    safari hunter AH Veteran

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    I'm with you Cossack :thumb:
    SCI had good reasons to do what they did, it also seems that this matter had been brought up to his attention a long time ago. The SCI going through the motion of a back and forth with Mark Sullivan would not have changed anything!
     
  6. safari hunter

    safari hunter AH Veteran

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    SCI is a great organization and I invite you, or anyone else who is not a member, to join here is the link:

    Safari Club International

    One Year Membership Benefits:
    • Free subscription to SCI's bi-monthly SAFARI magazine and monthly Safari Times newspaper, SCI Record Book eligibility, and Annual Hunters' Convention invitation (entrance fees still apply).
    • Ability to run for office within the SCI organization.
    • National member certificate, red and white member card and logo stickers.
    • Ability to join local, national, and international chapters (If more than one chapter is joined, a $5.00 handling fee is applied).

    Types of One Year Memberships: USA, Canada, Mexico $55; all other countries $80
     
  7. trigger creep

    trigger creep AH Enthusiast

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    If the SCI was a stand up organization they would have treated Mark Sullivan like a man and told him his offences to his face. They seem like "behind your back" type of people to me who can't look a man in the eye and tell him what's what.
     
  8. AFRIVENTURE

    AFRIVENTURE AH Member

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    Christian

    I am 100 persent in agreement with you

    After all I wonder how much money SCI made out of Mark over the years!!!?

    It is all about how BIG your Donation is as to what booth you get - booth prices aside.
     
  9. almostacowboy77

    almostacowboy77 AH Member

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    Be Honest!

    To say things like "animals were wounded on purpose" and/or "SCI had good reasons" are so dumb as to be laughable. No one who has ever hunted with MS has ever collaborated the "wounded on purpose" crap (since it's the client who takes the first shot) and anybody who thinks SCI had "good reasons" must be a mind reader - and incredible naive - since they've never stated their reasons. Typical bureaucratic, cowardly BS. That's why this year I've decided I'll go to DSC and skip SCI.
    If you don't like MS, just say so. But, also be man enough to admit you've never met him, never spent any time with him, never hunted with him and all you know about him is what you've seen on one of his DVD's or read on-line.
     
  10. milford

    milford AH Veteran

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    never met the guy , Just watched a few videos , and the only thing I can say for sure is the videos are not good for hunting , they intentionally or not, give many people the wrong impression of the sport . SCI does everything they can to give back and support hunters . My vote goes to SCI everytime
     
  11. AFRIVENTURE

    AFRIVENTURE AH Member

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    I have met him - I must however admit that to sit and watch a whole video gets pretty boring,
    - BUT he never could have made any of his videos without some very BAD shots made by clients that wounded the animals in the first place!
    Have anybody ever thought that what is showed only tells the REAL story of how bad things get on a Safari?

    As for me I WAS a member of SCI because of a lot of internal BS NEVER again! And it was not over the MS thing- there is a LOT of other reasons.
     
  12. henrygriffiths

    henrygriffiths AH Veteran

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    I have seen several of his movies, I was not impressed from the beginning and most of my hunting clients agree.

    I will support SCI and their decision, to counter the antis we as hunters need to make bold ethical statements and the Sullivan way is not it. But Craig Boddington has done more for African hunting in the last 20 years than anyone else
     
  13. milford

    milford AH Veteran

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    Henry I agree SCi did the right thing , how they did it might be somwhat suspect . Hunting has a much better voice in Craig Boddingtion .
     
  14. Kiwi505

    Kiwi505 AH Veteran

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    I can't really say about mark Sullivans videos as I have only watched a couple of them and that was years ago.
    So I don't have any opinion on it.
    Graig Boddington's books have always been a favorite of mine and I really enjoy them!
     
  15. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    None of this is new! It took SCI years after the DSC (Dallas Safari Club) booted him out back in the 1990s! The only difference is we didn't make a big show of the fact, just politely told he he was no longer welcome!

    His films are only good for two things! #1 They are an example of what should NOT be done by a PH on safari. #2 the films can be used to study the body language of Cape Buffalo, so you know the signs as to what the buff is about to do.

    IMO, the man is an ego maniac, and a thief. The client pays for the safari, and the trophy fee for the buffalo, and Mark shoots the buffalo. For Sullivan the safari is simply having someone else paying the bills, so he can shoot game. The best PH in the world almost never fires his rifle, and, on film, MS has had more charges in a single season that long time PHs who have hunted thousands of cape buffalo, and have never had a single charge! Something smells in Denmark!

    People say he has balls, but He is only brave with Buffalo and hippo, because he knows that the big double will do the job at ten feet where he can't miss thos quite easy close shots.

    If anyone has the film "SUDDEN DEATH" you will see something new! The Lion the young guy gut shot, got away and into the weeds. Along with about ten other rifles, while mark is getting ready to go into the bush with this wounded lion the camera was on Mark, as it always is, you can see the absolute FEAR in his eyes as he checks his ammo in his double rifle. I've been in some encounters with Cape Buffalo, and hippo, and those boys are snails compared to a big male African lion, and far easier to hit properly at very close range. Mark is smart here because he knows the lion is not a sure thing, and he stands a good chance of getting mauled.

    My question to everyone who thinks MS is so brave is, why is it that you never see him provoking a charge from a lion! He may have done it, but I've neve seen him kicking dirt in a lion's face "LETTING HIM DECIDE HOW HE WANTS TO DIE" I wounder why?????????????????
     
  16. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

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    Dugaboy . . . everyone is entitled to an opinion, yet I believe there have been many instances of raw naivete shown throughout this thread. But I think you nailed the situation quite well and are spot on in all you've said on the matter.

    I also heartily agree that if the same disrespect and showmanship were directed at a lion . . . the show would close in the first act and the curtains would be permanently drawn. End of show.
     
  17. safari hunter

    safari hunter AH Veteran

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    Well said DUGABOY1 :thumb:
     
  18. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    I agree.
     
  19. trigger creep

    trigger creep AH Enthusiast

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    I have never seen him shoot a clients Buff, but I have only watched 1 of his videos so I don't know. Are you talking about when right after his client shoots he shoots also?
     
  20. davidarizpe

    davidarizpe AH Veteran

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    What worries me is that MS really has a long list of hunters trying to go hunt with him, that really speaks bad about us hunters in GENERAL, what are we teaching our children, I will turn in my grave if my son when he is old enough and has enough money to go to africa by himself will want to hunt with such a PH.
    I will take my son to hunt africa and hope he ejoys the experience and really hope I can be abble to put the RESPECT of the game FIRST and individual pride LAST.
    I know that if I am not abble to acomplish this I will be sending another fool to MS long list of followers.
     

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