William Edward (Bill) Poole, Big Game Hunter

Discussion in 'Hunting North America' started by monish, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    William Edward (Bill) Poole, Big Game Hunter

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    William Edward (Bill) Poole, Big Game Hunter

    Born in Oceanside, California on April 10, 1922, to Herbert and Faye Poole, Bill was the only son with two sisters.

    After graduating from high school in Lomita, CA in 1940, Bill began earning money by driving trucks. While driving through Oregon, he heard of the attack on Pearl Harbor and pulled off the road to enlist in the United States Navy. During his service, he excelled in the field of aviation by teaching aerial gunnery, machinery and flight theory. When his service ended in 1946, he came home to Southern California and returned to the sea, starting a remarkable sixty-two year career in sport fishing.

    Bill Poole is not considered just a pioneer in long-range sportfishing on the West Coast, he is considered the pioneer, a veritable legend! Through his hard work, adventurous spirit, and never quit attitude, Bill was the leader who redefined an industrythat continues to thrive today.

    By questioning the theories of the day and utilizing his vast knowledge of the sea and boats, Bill took sportfishing to the extreme. Many followed in his footsteps but none have ever matched his pace. Determined to succeed, he expanded his waterfront involvements by developing and owning sport fishing landings, marinas, fuel docks and a boat building company, creating his own line of aluminum sport fishers and superior luxury yachts from sixty to one-hundred twenty feet in length.

    Bill’s hunting adventures started in 1932 at age ten, when his father allowed him to purchase his first firearm, a single shot .410. Small game and birds were his first quarry and soon Bill was keen to try hunting bigger game. As he showed an unusual determination to hunt, he was encouraged by his father who always found time to take Bill and his friends hunting. His father took him blacktail and mule deer hunting that same year and, after three deer hunts in four years, he finally took his first deer at age fourteen. Bill took many bird hunting trips to Canada and Mexico but it was not until he was in his thirties that he began hunting big game away from home, the first trip being a caribou hunt in Canada in the 1950s. Thus, a lifetime hunting challenging game began and continues today with the same degree of passion.

    Like most traveling hunters, his first hunts were near home with virtually all of his trips from the 1950s and 1960s being confined to North America, primarily because Fall was the off season for fishing at that time. Although his collection of species grew, his determination was again beginning to show as Bill’s love of hunting mule deer and elk were continuous throughout these years. It is not simply “meat for the freezer,” for Bill, it is a quest to seek larger trophies that drives him to hunt and re-hunt certain species. Such is his determination to better his best trophy that he often returns home having not fired a single shot. He has been on many dozens of elk and mule deer hunts, looking to take a bull of 400 B&C or a muley of 200 B&C. Likewise, Bill has been on more than twenty five brown bear hunts. Still looking for his honest ten-footer, he has taken just five brown bear.

    Bill completed his Grand Slam of North American Wild Sheep in 1980 and he considers his “slam ram,” to be the toughest trophy he ever took. This Rocky Mountain bighorn required six trips for a total of fifty-seven hunting days before he took a ram to his liking, a ram that barely misses the all time B&C minimum. A close second place for his toughest hunt would be his desert bighorn. On one of his four hunts for this species, Bill went without water for almost five days in heat reaching 120 degrees in the canyons. He returned without a ram and lost seventeen pounds in seven days.

    In 1965, Bill married his amazing wife Ingrid. The two of them worked as a team both in raising their combined family of six children and in keeping their long-range fishing business going. In 1972, with his business and home life starting to stabilize, Bill took his first trip to Africa, specifically Botswana, where a love affair with the greatest game animals of that continent began and has since flourished. His determination for taking the toughest and greatest trophies is equally evident in Africa. Lion, leopard and many Cape buffalo have been taken by Bill on more than twenty-five safaris in ten African countries. Giant (Lord Derby) eland, bongo without using dogs, mountain nyala, many bushbucks and sitatunga are also evident in his trophy collection. The spiral horned antelope are extremely well represented with more than a dozen specimens and many repeated.

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    William Edward (Bill) Poole, Big Game Hunter

    Perhaps Bill’s greatest show of determination and desire to hunt the toughest species is displayed in his hunting the African elephant in the dense rainforests. Having loved his two savannah elephant hunts and wanting the challenge for a bigger bull, Bill decided to hunt Ethiopia as he felt it held his best chance for a true trophy sized bull. The extreme danger and physical trials of his first hunt only fueled his desire for more adventure and Bill returned to hunt this area five more times. His bulls are magnificent with the smallest having tusks of seventy-one pounds each. Bill considers these adventures to be his favorite.

    In 1975, Bill began to hunt sheep on an international basis with his first hunt in Iran. On that hunt, Bill was able to take a bezoar ibex , Transcaspian urial, Armenian and red sheep. Two years later, he went to Mongolia where he took a great Altai argali and Altai ibex but that was not enough. He returned the next year and took an Altai argali which, after thirty-years, is still in the top five ever taken by a sport hunter. Sheep and capra hunts in Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Russia soon followed and with a similar commitment to the alpine species of Europe, Bill has taken a remarkable selection of mountain animals.

    To date, he has completed the Ovis World Slam with twenty-three specimens of fifteen species and the Capra World Slam with seventeen specimens of fourteen species. Combined with his Grand Slam, Bill is proud to hold the Triple Slam.

    It would be impossible to write a biography about Bill’s hunting career without prominently mentioning his wife, Ingrid, who does not simply accompany Bill on his hunts but is a tremendous hunter in her own right. She has amassed an amazing trophy collection and hunts because she truly loves the adventure and challenges.

    As a conservationist and ardent supporter of pro-hunting and fishing causes, Bill Poole has a track record that is most admirable. He is a progressive leader and has done everything from physical labor to congressional lobbying to support and elevate the image of hunters worldwide. He holds membership in more than forty conservation organizations, being a charter or life member in dozens. Likewise, his financial contributions are astounding.

    In 2007, a biography was written on Bill’s incredible career in sport fishing. The book, entitled “Fish or Cut Bait”, is a wonderful account of the often dangerous, sometimes humorous situations Bill found himself in as a sport fishing captain. The proceeds from this book along with a $100,000.00 donation by the Poole’s, have been directed to the newly established non-profit organization, The Bill and Ingrid Poole Foundation, established for the sole purpose of providing fishing and hunting opportunities for deserving youth. Bill firmly believes that good character is developed through an appreciation of the outdoors and the disciplines that are required of the true sportsman.

    At the age of eighty-five, Bill is not slowing down. In the next twelve months he and Ingrid will be hunting in Cameroon, New Zealand, Spain, Argentina, Mongolia, looking for elk and mule deer on their Montana ranch and, of course, wetting a line in Costa Rica, and in Mexico aboard their grand sport fisher, the 124 foot EXCEL.

    William “Bill” Poole is indeed a very determined “tough hunter” and a worthy recipient of the 2008 Conklin Award. He admits to feeling extremely honored to be receiving this award considering his close friendship and admiration for Dr. Jim Conklin. Mr. Poole has asked that his $2,500.00 honorarium for receiving the Conklin Award go to the Grand Slam Club/Ovis.


    Monish
     

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