Hometown: Tucson, Ariz.
Occupation: Businesswoman, hunting/conservation activist
Family: Three children, five grandchildren
Interests: Big game hunting
Meeting Peggy Vallery for the first time, one could readily accept
the fact that she is past president of the Tucson Opera Dames
and served on the Arizona Opera Company's Board of Directors.
What you might not be able to believe is that she's an accomplished
hunter and conservationist who is highly respected in the hunting
industry. She has hunted all over the world (Africa, Asia,
Australia, Europe and North America) and is a true ambassador
for women hunters everywhere.
Vallery has completed 15 big game African safaris where she has
bagged 70 African species, including the bongo (the most sought
after trophy in Africa), leopard, lion, cape buffalo, sable and
white rhino. And she was the first woman to take an elephant in
Vallery's experiences in Europe include taking a world record
Spanish Ibex and being the first American woman to hunt Bulgaria.
She not only took a fine trophy Roe deer there but also stayed
in the hunting lodge of President Kruschev and attended the opera
with the top-ranking general of Bulgaria, General Christo Rouskov,
and his wife.
In August of 1981, Peggy was allowed to hunt the People's
Republic of China on one of the first two individual visas to
enter China, making her the first Western woman to hunt in that
country. As in Bulgaria and Spain, Chinese officials honored her
at a dinner including many local delicacies. She has also traveled
to Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo to speak about her extensive
A resident of Tucson, Ariz., Vallery also hunts and fishes closer
to home and has taken many game and fish trophies in the U.S.
and Mexico. She serves on the Board of Directors for the National
Wild Turkey Federation; Grand National Waterfowl Hunt Club; Safari
Club International, Arizona Chapter; Quail Unlimited; and serves
on the Arizona Governor's Off Highway Vehicle Advisory Group
as a governor's appointment. Vallery also organized the first
Arizona Women in the Outdoors event and actively supports and
participates in events throughout the Southwest.
She is actively involved in the politics of protecting our rights
to bear arms and hunt. She represented the NWTF at Congressional
Sportsmen's Caucus events in Washington, D.C., and started
and raised funds for the Safari Club International Political Action
Vallery's commitment to hunting and conservation is only
part of her active life. She is a successful businesswoman (a
former corporate efficiency expert), mother of three children
and grandmother to five, active in cultural and political affairs
throughout Arizona, yet she still finds time to enjoy her home
A walk through Vallery's lovely home is not complete without
a thrilling tour of her trophy room. The room is impressive by
the number and variety of trophy mounts, the beauty of the game
but maybe most of all by the sophisticated, soft-spoken, friendly
woman who calmly describes the often terrifying experiences surrounding
the taking of each animal. She downplays any discussions about
the hardships of her hunting trips, though one can be sure there
were many. But she does admit with a small laugh, "Well,
I was a little scared once when my guide told me to shoot anything
that came through the door of my tent!"
Later, Vallery sits on her patio, enjoying the beautiful roses
that surround her yard and watching and listening as quail sound
their assembly call to gather in a covey surrounding her home.
Her love of the outdoors is evident as she talks about "her"
quail and the mountain lions that often prowl the upper edge of
Q&A With Peggy
What hunting trophy are you most proud of?
"I am most proud of my accomplishments because of the time
I accomplished them. Not many women in the late 1970s and 80s
were hunting the species in the places that I did. I am also proud
that I've been able to introduce so many women to the outdoors
and to hunting, to give them some of the opportunities that
What accomplishment in others do you admire most?
"Well, I used to say going to Africa for the first time.
Now I say going turkey hunting for the first time. I've said
many times turkey hunting doesn't even compare to hunting
in Africa. It is the most exciting hunting I've done��hearing
turkeys gobble and seeing them strutting around��wow! In fact,
I told a television reporter in Kansas (following the Kansas Governor's
One-Shot Turkey Hunt) that if men would put that much effort into
impressing women, they would never have trouble getting a date!"
[story and photo courtesy of the National
Wild Turkey Federation]