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Russel Annabel?

JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
Anyone know who I'm referring to? He was a guide, trapper, hunter, outdoorsman and author who worked in Alaska in the 30s, 40s and 50s. Sometime in the 50s, he decided that Alaska was getting too crowded and moved to Mexico. He was also a war correspondent during WWII.

From what I know, most of what he wrote were stories for outdoor magazines of the day, such as Sports Afield, Outdoor Life and Field and Stream. He may have embellished a bit, but I think for the most part he wrote based on his own experiences.

When I was a kid in the late 50s and 60s, my dad had a subscription to Sports Afield. This was before it turned into what it is now. Then, it was all about hunting and fishing, and each issue usually had a story by Annabel. His stories would always be the first one I read in every issue I could find.

About 15-20 years ago, Safari Press released a 6 volume set of his stories. Since my dad had always been a fan, I bought him the set for Christmas one year. Dad passed away a little over 10 years ago, so the books are now mine. I recently started reading volume one, and now remember why I so enjoyed his writing.

Anyway, I'm just wondering if anyone else is a fan, or even knows who he was. If you're never heard of him, look for some of his writings. You'll probably enjoy them.

Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.


  • TeachTeach Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    I remember reading a lot of his stuff back in the late 50's and early 60's. Pretty good writer, as I recall, not a thinly disguised gun salesman like a lot of "writers" these days!
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Posts: 18,356 Senior Member
    Yep...read his stuff for years...very good writer.
    Sadly, he, along with Corey Ford, Nash Buckingham, Gordon MacQuarrie and even Gene Hill have been largely forgotten nowadays.
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Posts: 8,811 Senior Member
    I remember his work!
  • shootbrownelkshootbrownelk Posts: 2,035 Senior Member
    I have several of Russel Annabel's books. I always enjoyed reading his stories about the outdoors when I was a kid.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Posts: 14,840 Senior Member
    Off topic, but I see John Connor did not have a column in Guns magazine this past issue I have, anybody know what happened, quit, retire, not renewed, deceased?

    I will look for Russel Annabels book, thanks Jerry:up:
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • jaywaptijaywapti Posts: 5,114 Senior Member
    A name i haven't heard in years, i remember him from the 50s.

  • Vic's ViewpointVic's Viewpoint Posts: 1,221 Senior Member
    What Jayhawker said! I remember him well! Pretty sure I have a couple of his books here in the house somewhere. I remember him saying that the reason he left Alaska was the influx of oil workers to the North Shore oil fields back in the early '60s, and their undisciplined manner of chasing after game and shooting anything that moved. Authorities eventually put a stop to that, but by that time the place was just too crowded for him, so he pulled up stakes and moved out. He was also disenchanted by the way that the "New York" hunting magazine executives treated him on his mandatory, once per year trips to the home offices of the magazines he wrote for. Rightly or wrongly, he felt that they talked down to him, didn't believe the veracity of his stories, and wouldn't meet him eye to eye. The whole scene, from Alaska to New York, just left a bad taste in his mouth, so he (apparently) retired from writing altogether.

    I vividly remember a pic of him standing inside a group of bighorn sheep that were bedded down all around him. They were so far back in the mountains that they had never been hunted, and had no fear of man. Absolutely amazing.

    I have almost all of Gene Hill's works; I even had the pleasure of chatting with him briefly. Back in the early '80s, Beretta opened one of their upscale stores in Old Town Alexandria, Va, and I went to see him there when he was autographing books for his loyal fans, like me. A more congenial man you're unlikely to meet, and a real expert on the subject of both guns and gun dogs. A man's man through and through. Those were interesting times, and I dearly miss all of those writers.
    Member formerly known as "vlafrank."
  • bisleybisley Posts: 10,815 Senior Member
    I think he was probably one of those writers of that time that my dad considered to be dime novelists. My dad subscribed to or bought off the news stands many magazines such as Sports Afield, Field and Stream, all sorts of shooting magazines, and occasionally a True Magazine or Argosy. He generally left most of them laying around for me to look at, so, occasionally, I would read a story and ask him about it, and he generally shot most of the adventure stories down as pure fiction, and encouraged me to read the more technical articles about shooting that tended to debunk a lot of the stories. I liked the adventure stories best, even knowing that most were embellished quite a bit, but the good gun writers tended to poke a lot of fun at them. This was probably my first real effort into learning how to become a cynic.

    Still, I couldn't resist a good Robert Ruark story about hunting man-eating tigers in India.
  • shootbrownelkshootbrownelk Posts: 2,035 Senior Member
    Peter Hathaway Capstick has penned some good African hunting books.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    I have now finished 2 of the first 5 volumes. The 6th volume is more of a history of Annabel, and not his stories.

    If anything else, he reveals his utter hatred of wolves and coyotes. His claim is that these two predators kill more game than any other. He claims that wolves kill just for sport, and often only eat part or none of their kill.

    Oddly enough, he seems to have a soft spot for bears, even the giant browns.

    I know that some of his writings are fiction passed off as the truth, but it's still a pleasure to read them.

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
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