National Sporting Fraternity

The Amwell Press

In March, 1976 Jim Rikhoff founded the National Sporting Fraternity and its publishing arm, the Amwell Press. Jim had come into the sporting publishing scene through Winchester Press (which he also had founded) and was both known and liked throughout the industry. The goal for his new company was to offer international sporting trips and to publish primarily limited edition books. Because of Jim’s popularity, he was able to get a who’s who of international big game professional hunters and sport hunters as authors. The titles he selected to publish became instant winners, sought after by readers and collectors alike. All of the early books were signed, numbered, limited editions housed in slipcases. Jim himself was an avid and experienced big game hunter as well as astute marketeer and, by paying careful attention to content, his early big game hunting series were almost 100 percent winners.

Tony Dyer’s The East African Hunters was the first in Amwell’s African big game hunting series that would eventually include original works by professional hunters, works by active sport hunters, anthologies that contained selections from both contemporary hunters and classic works and reprints of sought after titles. These four different content types allowed for both a nice variation and discriminating selection. Thus these good reading books continued to garner acceptance in the collecting and reading market.

We are delighted, therefore, to maintain a very active market in the limited edition big game hunting books (Africa, Asia and North America) issued by the National Sporting Fraternity’s Amwell Press.

Having made these flattering statements, and given an enthusiastic recommendation to collecting all the Amwell Press big game hunting titles, we also would like to note one or two issues for the collector to be aware of.

  1. Some of the popular titles were issued with so-called “out of sequence” as well as regular numbers (e.g., AA#1, BA#2 etc). While these copies are identical to regular numbered copies (1 to 1,000) they do not have anywhere near the same value on the collecting market.
  2. As with all “Press” books, putting your bookplate or writing your name in the book detracts from resale value and desirability. Keep the book as close to as new condition as possible. By the way, this “evidence of former ownership” seems to affect prices of most books printed after 1970.
  3. A fair number of Amwell Press titles were later issued as unnumbered, unsigned trade editions. The bindings differed and they were slipcased BUT some retained the original title pages. Those familiar with the books or with the book industry had no trouble telling the difference. However, those not familiar with the books were not able to describe the editions properly. Always ask if this is the signed and numbered limited edition and whether there is any evidence of former ownership in the book.

A note about slipcases. All of the Amwell editions were slipcased. Some selections came in two and three volume editions and were heavy. Compartmentalized slipcases tend to wear or damage more than their one-book counterparts. Furthermore, slipcases in general do wear when being taken on/off shelves or when books are taken from/put back into them. So even fine copies of books may only be offered in vg slipcases. Both book and slipcase condition should be described by sellers.

We have prepared a list of Amwell Press limited edition big game hunting titles for those interested in starting or filling in their collections or for those who have titles to sell. We maintain active wants lists so if you seek a special title let us know. We try to maintain a good inventory of books but most titles in stock are one of a kind. After contacting us we will get back with you regarding availability.

Good luck with your collection. Trophy Room Books has been a longstanding book dealer and a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America. We believe that an informed collector is the best kind to have, so, thank you for reading this introduction.

See Our Collection of Amwell Press Books


List of big game hunting titles published by the Amwell Press

Allen, Bunny First Wheel 1983
Allen, Bunny Second Wheel 1985
Angier, Bradford The Best of Colonel Townsend Whelen 1983
Annabel, Russell Alaskan Days-Mexican Nights 1987
Askins, Charles Unrepentant Sinner 1985
Barnett, Dave The Upper Yukon 1983
Bates, Robert H Mountain Man 1988
Batten, John H The Best of Sheep Hunting 1980
Batten,John H The Best of Tiger Hunting 1986
Batten, John H The Forest and the Plain 1984
Batten, John H The Formidable Game 1983
Batten, John H Skyline Pursuits 1981
Brakefield, Tom The African Book 1984
Branham, Bud Sourdough and Swahili 1989
Carmichael, Jim The Modern Rifle (The Rifle Omnibus) Ltd 750* 1976
Castle, Lynn Hunting and Fishing in Alaska 1991
Collins, Douglas T A Tear for Somali/Another Tear for Africa 1980
Dyer, Anthony The East African Hunters 1979
Foran, W Robert Elephant Hunters of the Lado 1981
Gates, Elgin T Trophy Hunter in Africa 1988
Gilchrist, Duncan Journal of a High Country Hunter 1992
Gilchrist, Duncan On Bears and Bear Hunting 1984
Hartley, Lionel A H Hunter’s Heartbeat 1985
Henley, A M H Round the Campfire 1989
Herne, Brian Desert Safaris 1984
Herne, Brian Tanzania Safaris 1981
Herne, Brian Uganda Safaris 1979
Howard, John E North American Big Game in the 1800’s 1982
Lee, Robert M China Safari 1986
MacLagan, Angus A White Hunter’s Life 1983
Madariaga, Valentine de Big Game Hunting In Central Europe 1981
Manners, Harry Kambaku! 1986
Merritt, John I Baronets and Buffalo 1987
Negley, William Archer In Africa 1989
O’Connor, Jack The Best of Jack O’Connor 1977
O’Connor, Jack Game in the Desert Revisited 1977
O’Connor, Jack The Last Book 1984
O’Connor, Jack The Hunting Rifle (The Rifle Omnibus) Ltd 750* 1976
Page, Warren The Accurate Rifle (The Rifle Omnibus) Ltd 750* 1976
Patterson, Gareth Cry For the Lions 1988
Percival, A Blayney A Game Ranger On Safari/A Game Ranger’s Notebook 1985
Popham Jr, Arthur Stalking Game, from Desert to Tundra 1985
Randall Maurice Game, Glory and Bitter Blood 1990
Rikhoff, Jim Fair Chase 1984
Rikhoff, Jim Hunter’s Luck 1993
Rikhoff, Jim Hunting Africa: Kenya 1992
Rikhoff, Jim Hunting the African Buffalo 1984
Rikhoff Jim Hunting the African Elephant 1985
Rikhoff, Jim Hunting the African Leopard 1995
Rikhoff, Jim Hunting the African Lion 1989
Rikhoff, Jim Hunting the Big Cats 1981
Rikhoff, Jim Hunting the World’s Mountains 1984
Rikhoff, Jim Mixed Bag 1979
Rikhoff, Jim Taking Your Chances in the High Country 1994
Roush, John H Antlers Afield 1988
Samson, Jack The Bear Book 1979
Samson, Jack The Grizzly Book 1981
Samson, Jack Hunting In the Southwest 1985
Sanchez-Ariño, Tony Ivory 1981
Schroeder, Steven F The Best of John Jobson 1982
Sheldon, William G Exploring for Wild Sheep BC 1981
Sheldon, Charles Wilderness(Triliogy)** 1983
Swank, Wendell & Skirka, Peter African Antelope (Ltd. 200) 1971
Taylor, Tory Hunting on Big Game Trails 1988
Tennison, Harry An African Affair 1988
Underwood, Lamar The Deer Book 1980
Underwood, Lamar Hunting the North Country 1981
Wincza, Ada and Laddy Bush and Plains 1984

*Three separate titles were published in one book.
**The Wilderness of Denali, The Wilderness of the North Pacific Coast Islands and The Wilderness of the Upper Yukon.