Robert M. Lee never got over his first trip to Africa in 1955. He was so taken with the people and the wildlife that he soon gave up an active role in his successful construction business and began spending six months of every year the e. In 1959 he founded Lee Expeditions, Ltd., an agency that plans, outfits and conducts big-game hunting and scientific expeditions all over the world. Each time Lee went on a safari his friends would ask him to bring home skins or anything he might think of interest. He had a lot of friends, so, using them as a core, he last year opened a mail-order house to sell African trappings and trophies. Many of the items in Lee's 48-page catalog are made of zebra skins. He buys his skins and trophies from professional European hunters. "I have never used native African professionals," he says. "They are unexcelled in tracking ability and have fantastic eyesight, but they just do not have the feel for trophy hunting." Lest anyone cry out to the SPCA, Lee is quick to tell you: "Hunters and sportsmen have always been the most ardent conservationists, and I like to think I am both." All his game skins are obtained from licensed hunters who engage in strictly controlled game-cropping programs. Springbok and impala skins are obtained through ranchers who harvest their own large stocks. Leopards and lions are bought from licensed hunters or conservation authorities. Whole zebra skins are available from $195. A springbok or impala circle of eight skins, about six feet in diameter, costs $250. Rectangles and single skins are also available. An attractive zebra hassock costs $100 (in springbok it is $95), and chairs range from $42.50 for a triangular safari seat in zebra to $295 for a zebra-covered butterfly-wing chair with a foldable metal frame. Less expensive gifts are a walnut humidor covered with select zebra skin for $50, a combination wallet and change purse of leopard or elephant-ear for $20 and, for $5, a set of three lucky bracelets of elephant-tail hair to ward off evil spirits. Mounted trophy horns are $350 for buffalo or kudu and $45 for springbok. Trophy heads have to be specially ordered. The catalog also offers miniature solid-ivory game birds, hand-carved and painted in Japan. A male ruffed grouse is $30, a ring-necked pheasant $20. Beautiful leather shell bags, gun cases and rucksacks, designed with extra pockets and straps and expandable openings, range from $55 to $125. They are handmade in Spain of cowhide, deerskin and calf.
For the catalog write to Hunting World, 420 East 51 st Street, New York, N.Y. 10022.