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This post was originally put up by Simon Clode back in 2013 and it seems more relevant now that we all have more time on our hands!!!! A few newer titles have been released by the modern hunting book suppliers including Kai-Uwe Denkers 'About The Spirit Of The African Wilderness' available from Trophy Room Books, and Robin Hurts 'A Hunter's Hunter' available from Safari Press. Both of these books are destined to become hunting classics and if nothing else they should get us in the spirit for our next safari adventure!

Now to Simon's original posting.

There are literally 1000's of books on the market which touch on our sport, in one way or another. Be they on guns, rifles, wing-shooting or big game hunting the choice is far and wide. Here at Westley Richards many of us have collected books on our sport since an early age and are often showing off to each other the 'rare book' we have just managed to acquire. It seemed appropriate to ask a few other well known book collectors, writers and sellers what their 10 best books were, the ones they feel every sportsman should read and have in their library. I hope it proves informative and helpful.

Anthony Alborough-Tregear "Trigger" runs the gunroom and production at Westley Richards and has been collecting books on guns and hunting since the age of 15.   His list is biased towards Africa and the hunting of Elephants to which he has now progressed after many years obsessively stalking Roe deer.

  1. African Rifles & Cartridges - John 'Pondoro' Taylor
  2. Modern Sporting Gunnery - Henry Sharp
  3. The End Of The Game - Peter Beard
  4. African Hunter - James Mellon
  5. The Maneaters Of Kumoan - Jim Corbett
  6. The Wanderings Of An Elephant Hunter - W.D.M.Bell
  7. The Adventures Of An Elephant Hunter - James Sutherland
  8. Travel And Adventure In South East Africa - F.C.Selous
  9. White Hunters - Brian Herne
  10. Elephant Hunters - Men Of Legend - Tony Sanchez Arino

Ludo Wurfbain is the owner of Safari Press in California who publish many books related to our sport. An avid hunter, wing-shooter and book collector, Ludo is also the publisher of the magazine Sports Afield which was founded in 1887.

  1. Death in the Long Grass - Peter Capstick
  2. Sunlight & Shadows - Gene Hill
  3. After Wild Sheep in the Altai and Mongolia - E. Demidoff
  4. Shikar and Safari - Edison Marshall (later reissued as The Heart of the Hunter)
  5. Horn of the Hunter - Robert Ruark
  6. Great Shots
 - Jonathan Ruffer
  7. Hunter- J. A. Hunter
  8. Karamojo Safari
 - W. D. M. Bell
  9. Man Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag
- Jim Corbett
  10. Hunting and Fishing in Alaska – Russell Annabel (almost no fishing despite title, a GREAT book)

Ross Seyfried. Ross is my 'go to man' on anything guns, especially anything WR as well as ball and shot guns. A long time writer for Guns & Ammo, Ross now writes for amongst others the Double Gun Journal and various NRA publications, as well spending time guiding sportsmen.  A collector of both firearms and books, Ross was unable to count 10 books and gave us 20!


  1. Wild Beasts and Their Ways - Sir Samuel Baker
  2. Maneaters of Kumaon - Jim Corbett
  3. White Hunters -  Brian Herne
  4. Hunting Grounds of the Old World - The Old Shekarry (H.A. Leveson)
  5. Jock of the Bushveld - Sir Percy Fitzpatrick
  6. The Best of Sheep Hunting - John Batten editor, Amwell Press
  7. American Waterfowl Shooting - J.W. Long
  8. The Complete Wildfowler - Duncan & Thorne
  9. Hunting Tales of the West - Theodore Roosevelt
  10. The Wanderings of an Elephant Hunter - W.D.M. Bell


  1. The Rifle, Its Development for Big Game Hunting - Truesdell
  2. The British Shotgun vol. I & II -  Crudgington & Baker
  3. Experts on Guns and Shooting -Teasdell-Buckell
  4. The Gun and Its Development -  W.W. Greener
  5. History and Development of Small Arms Ammunition, vol. Three - George Hoyem
  6. Modern Sporting Gunnery - Henry Sharpe
  7. Hell I Was There - Elmer Keith
  8. Instructions to Young Sportsmen - Peter Hawker
  9. London Gunmakers - Nigel Brown
  10. African Rifles and Cartridges - John Taylor

Douglas Tate is Editor at Large for the Shooting Sportsman magazine and author of British Gun Engraving the definitive work on this subject. Doug reads broadly and wingshoots worldwide.

  1.  A Sportsman’s Sketches - Ivan Turgenev
  2.  Experts on Guns & Shooting - G. T. Teasdale-Buckell
  3.  The Hunters Road - Jim Fergus
  4.  The Gun and its development - W. W. Greener
  5.  The Language of Sport - C. E. Hare
  6.   The Modern Shotgun - Major Sir Gerald Burrard
  7.  Game Birds and Wild-Fowl of Great Britain and Ireland
  8.  The Best of British - Vic Venters
  9.  Shooting - Lord Walsingham and Sir Ralph Payne Gallwey.
  10. The British Shotgun - I. M. Crudgington & D. J. Baker.

Vic Venters is Senior Editor of Shooting Sportsman magazine and is author of Gun Craft: Fine Guns & Gunmaking in the 21st Century and The Best of British. A lifelong hunter and avid reader, he  enjoys hunting wild bobwhites and ruffed grouse in the United States, and woodcock and snipe wherever they are found worldwide. Vic has  also written for  Fieldsports, The Shooting Gazette and Shooting Times in the UK, and The Double Gun Journal and Sporting Classics in the United States. For more information see his website: In his other life, he is a residential real estate developer and proud father.

  1. Making Game - Guy de la Valdene
  2. For a Handfull of Feathers - Guy de la Valdene
  3. Pheasants of the Mind - Datus Proper
  4. A Sportsman Looks at Eire. J.B. Drought
  5. Lock Stock & Barrel - Cyril Adams
  6. Shotguns Technicana - Michael McIntosh and David Trevallion
  7. Shotguns & Cartridges - Gough Thomas and  Lucid, concise, almost always right.
  8. GT's Gun Book - Gough Thomas
  9. The Old Man and the Boy - Robert Ruark
  10.  Anything by Gene Hill, the last classic American essayist on dogs, guns and time spent afield with both.

Ken Halbert  Those of you who know our still working ex-foreman, Ken, know that he retains a huge wealth of information on all things firearms and hunting as well a long time passion for both reading and collecting books.

  1. Elephant Hunting in East Equatorial Africa – Arthur H. Neumann
  2. The Adventures of an Elephant Hunter – James Sutherland
  3. The African Elephant and its Hunters – Denis D. Lyell
  4. Wild Life in Central Africa – Denis D. Lyell
  5. Savage Sudan. Its Wild Tribes Big Game and Bird Life - Abel Chapman
  6. Wild Sports of Southern Africa – Capt. William Cornwallis Harris
  7. Tiger Shooting in India - Lt William Rice
  8. Out in Africa – Andrew Holmberg
  9. Experts on Guns & Shooting – G T Teasdale Buckell
  10. Modern Sporting Gunnery – Henry Sharpe.

Simon Clode complied this list with grateful thanks to those who reacted so swiftly.

  1. Safari- Bartle Bull
  2. African Hunter- James Mellon
  3. Modern Sporting Gunnery- Henry Sharpe
  4. Experts on Guns & Shooting- Teasdale Buckell
  5. A Breath from the Veldt- J G Millais
  6. The Gun and its Development- W W Greener
  7. The Book of Antelopes- P L Sclater 4 Vol.
  8. After Wild Sheep in the Altai & Mongolia- E Demidoff
  9. The Modern Shotgun- Major Sir Gerald Burrard
  10. The Great & Small Game of Africa- H.A Brydon,  Editor

The Explora Blog is the world’s premier online journal for field sports enthusiasts, outdoor adventurers, conservationists and admirers of bespoke gunmaking, fine leather goods and timeless safari clothes. Each month Westley Richards publishes up to 8 blog posts on a range of topics with an avid readership totalling 500,000+ page views per year.

Blog post topics include: Finished custom rifles and bespoke guns leaving the Westley Richards factory; examples of heritage firearms with unique designs and celebrated owners like James Sutherland and Frederick Courtenay Selous; the latest from the company pre-owned guns and rifles collection; interviews with the makers from the gun and leather factory; new season safari wear and country clothing; recent additions to our luxury travel bags and sporting leather goodsrange; time well spent out in the field; latest news in the sporting world; and key international conservation stories.



  • Simon Clode on October 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Thank you Richard, we will put some other lists up later which will hopefully interest and add you to the contributors list!

  • Simon Clode on October 30, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    I use 'British Deer and their Horns' on a regular basis to show visitors to my office how the Irish Elk horns I have hanging were found and recovered, also to give an indication of the scale and size to the Elk who carried them. It is an excellent work and I have always been a great admirer of his sketches, perfect source for the engravers!

    Thank You. Simon

  • Simon Clode on November 9, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Thanks. We are in the process of making the index and search better so hopefully it will be easier to discover missed subjects which may interest!


  • neil mcveigh on April 15, 2020 at 11:46 am

    I would have included something by Robert Ruark myself but thats just nit-picking.Certainly great reading in the chosen ten and indeed my own sporting library has seen lots of action this last several weeks.I think The Explora was Simon's idea in the first instance and what a terrific legacy he let us in this blog and of course the guns!Nice to remember him and very poignant in the current climate.He would be delighted at how the firm has continued to grow and produce the best that can be made.

  • Col. John Linsenmeyer on April 16, 2020 at 4:14 am

    Surely any list of the best hunting books should include LtCol J H Patterson’s “The Maneaters of Tsavo”. No less a Bwana-wa-safari than President Theodore Roosevelt (himself a fine hunter and splendid writer) rated it at the top of the genre.

  • Peter Loam on April 22, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Can I add a couple of books, both set in Ceylon: Hunting and Shooting in Ceylon by Harry Storey and The Jungle Tide by John Still.

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