Excessive Journey Firm’s John Burrell
has been there, accomplished that
By Ralph P. Stuart
Images courtesy of Excessive Journey Firm
John Burrell drops two shells into his over/below as deftly as he would plunk Alka Seltzer right into a glass of water. Plop, plop. He eases closed the gun and slips into the grass, stopping shy of the staunch setter. On the handler’s command, the pin is pulled from the ready cocker, which launches like a grenade into the quilt, blowing the covey of quail skyward. Burrell’s gun is up in a flash, monitoring, and when it touches his shoulder, there’s one shot . . . after which one other. Two birds path feathers as they fall to earth. Burrell is reloaded and prepared in seconds. A straggler has made the error of holding, and the canine noses it up. Simply as rapidly Burrell wipes it from the sky.
Watching John Burrell shoot quail, you get the sensation that he has been doing it his complete life. There’s a calm, surgical precision in his actions. He exudes the informal familiarity of somebody with expertise, but there’s an underlying depth and pleasure. Such ardour is borne from a life lived in wild and adventurous locations. Whether or not he’s staring down Cape buffalo in Africa, busting geese from a pit blind in Kansas, or floating dry flies over bruiser brown trout in Patagonia, Burrell is calm, cool and completely collected. What else would you count on from the man who owns “The Been There, Completed That Firm”?
In case you are unfamiliar with John Burrell, odds are you already know his enterprise. High Adventure Company owns, manages or books journeys for among the high searching and fishing locations on this planet. It additionally serves because the Official Journey Concierge for the Beretta Trident Program. From upland and waterfowl searching within the States to dove taking pictures and fly-fishing in Argentina to big-game searching in New Zealand and Africa, HAC caters to those that respect first-rate sport in memorable environment.
The success of the corporate might be traced to the individuals who work there—sporting fanatics all who deal with their purchasers as they’d wish to be handled. They’ve come to appreciate that the important thing to long-term relationships is constructing belief and delivering on guarantees. And nobody is aware of this greater than HAC’s president and CEO, John Burrell.
JB, as he’s identified to shut buddies and colleagues, is sort of a hit story. Born and raised in Lake Metropolis, Tennessee, JB was launched to searching by his grandfather and spent his early years chasing squirrels. When he was 14, his father received him his first chook canine, a pointer, which modified his world. The pair would spend days looking for ruffed grouse, and on a great one they may discover two. However that was sufficient to gas the fireplace.
Following highschool, JB attended Tennessee Technological College. Whereas there he developed a ardour for Labrador retrievers and started trialing. He additionally acknowledged that he was not the perfect pupil and that he wanted to discover a main that he cherished. Wildlife biology appeared an ideal match.
After graduating, in 1994, JB started an internship with Burnt Pine Plantation, in Georgia. By luck, that 12 months Burnt Pine’s homeowners had shaped a enterprise referred to as Excessive Journey Firm and had been constructing lodges in Argentina and Zimbabwe. This allowed JB to do some touring and achieve worldwide expertise.
Nevertheless it was at Burnt Pine that the younger information developed the philosophy that helped him rise above. “I attempted coming at issues from the consumer’s perspective,” JB advised me. “I assumed, If I had been on this hunt, what would make me pleased? If the consumer appreciated Crown & Coke, after I went to choose him up within the deer stand at day’s finish, I’d take him a Crown & Coke. I actually tried to deal with the expertise and hospitality, and purchasers weren’t used to that. However they actually appreciated it, and it made me widespread.”
Finally JB was made Burnt Pine’s lodge supervisor, and his fame unfold. In 1998 he was recruited by camouflage big Mossy Oak to assist begin that firm’s world outfitting company. On the identical time he turned the youngest associate within the agency’s leisure real-estate enterprise.
Two years later Excessive Journey Firm purchased a photo-safari enterprise referred to as SA Adventures and consolidated its workplaces in Atlanta. JB returned to handle the businesses, and in 2006 he purchased out each.
Right now JB is without doubt one of the most revered people within the out of doors trade. He’s a veteran of greater than 30 African safaris and simply as many journeys to South America. He’s the co-host of the tv collection “Brush Nation Monsters,” and he was chosen because the lead information in serving to Eddie Bauer design and check its Sport Store line of clothes.
However it’s the “boots on the bottom” work for which JB is most proud—guiding new and established lodges to realize their potential. From habitat & sport administration, to employees recruiting, to food-service improvement and advertising, the Excessive Journey staff has molded the experiences at among the world’s high locations. Wingshooters will acknowledge names like Cheyenne Ridge Signature Lodge, in South Dakota; Hooray Ranch, in Kansas; and Tipiliuke, in Patagonia. All of those and extra bear HAC’s fingerprints.
In actual fact, JB and his crew have accomplished such a superb job growing properties that they just lately had been approached by the Auburn University School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences to assist create a serious that will mix the perfect of wildlife and hospitality administration. “Are you able to think about that,” JB beamed, “doubtlessly creating the right worker proper out of faculty? That might be a game-changer.”
And for JB, altering the sport is what it’s all about. He takes nice delight in providing distinctive experiences and growing belief based mostly on efficiency. In any case, whether or not a visit is a consumer’s one in every of many or once-in-a-lifetime, everybody deserves to dwell a lifetime of excessive journey.
For extra info, contact High Adventure Company, 800-847-0834.
5 Minutes with John Burrell
We just lately caught up with HAC’s John Burrell on a Georgia quail hunt and requested him just a few questions over sundowners.
So, JB, you’ve had an opportunity to hunt and shoot everywhere in the world. What’s your favourite sort of wingshooting?
That’s a troublesome one. I assume I’d need to say quail searching, as I like watching good canine work. Waterfowling could be a detailed second, due to my ardour for retrievers. Coaching a Lab to run a 400-yard blind and never break when geese are touchdown in your face—that’s one other stage of coaching.
And massive-game searching?
[Cape] Buffalo, as a result of it’s a pure type of monitoring. I additionally love searching crimson stags through the roar.
Are there any locations or species you are feeling are lacking from Excessive Journey’s portfolio?
Wingshooting in Cuba intrigues me. I’d additionally love to do extra chook searching in Africa. As for large sport, I’d develop in South America for stags.
What’s your go-to chook gun?
A Beretta Silver Pigeon 28-gauge.
And massive-game rifle?
A .416 Remington McWhorter. If my home was on fireplace, I’d run in to save lots of that rifle.
Do you’ve got every other hobbies?
Boating. I even have turn into a passionate fly fisherman since discovering Tipiliuke [in Patagonia] and its big browns and rainbows. And with us now proudly owning Port Eads [in Louisiana], I’ve ratcheted up my blue-water fishing for marlin and tuna and fly-fishing for large bull redfish.
Are there any hunts nonetheless in your bucket listing?
Bezoar Ibex in Turkey, which I’m scheduled to do in November. And I’d like to shoot crimson grouse in Scotland.
What are your plans for the longer term?
Truly, we’ve simply been given the chance of a lifetime: to handle all the searching operation on the island of Lanai [Hawaii] via a partnership with Pineapple Brothers. It presents mouflon sheep and one of many highest densities of free-range Axis deer on this planet. It will be wonderful!
Aside from that we merely wish to proceed constructing one high quality operation at a time. That’s how we wish to develop.
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