ST. GEORGE – Hunters and preservationists joined forces in the name of conservation at the eighth annual Safari Club International banquet and auction Saturday night at the Dixie Center St. George. With chapters all over the world, SCI has played an important role in the conservation of wildlife and in the protection of hunter rights all around the world.
Last year, the Utah SCI chapter arranged a Hunts for Warriors and Disabled Hunters project. This included facilitating and arranging a hunting experience for David Gardner, a wounded warrior; Ryan Johnson, a quadriplegic; Lance Hunt, a quadriplegic; Vance Anderson, a paraplegic; and Justin Fuller, a paraplegic. The hunting process is already difficult enough for able-bodied hunters, but the determination and talent of these hunters made up for their physical limitations and made for a successful hunt. The five chair-bound hunters, along with a crew of drivers, experienced hunters, SCI members, and friends were able to successfully take five hogs in the Castle Dale area.
Although the banquet and auction only happen once a year, those who are interested can network with current members and supporters and stay active throughout the year. There are almost 200 chapters throughout the world, and there is representation in all 50 states. Contact resources for the St. George chapter are included at the close of this report.
After a dinner, the auction was held for the over 400 people in attendance, along with drawings, and raffles for women and children. Rifles, hunting gear, fishing supplies, and trips around the world were all auctioned off, many of which sold for amounts in the thousands. The best part is that many of the items are donated to the cause by scores of local businesses and retailers.
“SCI’s message is based around conservation and the preservation of our heritages,” Jason Campbell, Vice President of the Southern Utah SCI Chapter, said. “We have wonderful support from our local businesses, and they come out to donate. The majority of the auction items are donated.”
The money raised will go to protecting hunting and promoting conservation by educating those in positions to make the laws, and advocating policies that will protect wildlife and hunting.
SCI aims to be a family-friendly organization, and advocates the education and incorporation of young people into the hunting and wildlife preservation culture.
“SCI is the greatest group of hunters the world has ever known,” SCI President John Whipple said. “We have been at the top for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that SCI members and chapters are more committed to the hunting heritage and to the mission programs. By joining forces when it makes sense to do so, we can increase the impact and effectiveness of what we do; we can realize better returns on our investment of time, energy, and money.”
Another example of conservation made possible by responsible hunters in cooperation with Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources, was given in January, 2013, reported by St. George News with videocast, When Big Horn Sheep Fly. That relocation of big horn sheep, geared to helping big horn sheep repopulate and to study the health of the herd, was funded largely by conservation tags, tags for which, Lee Howard said, hunters will pay up to $90,000 each.
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Southern Utah SCI, 158 W. 1600 S. Suite 201, St. George, UT 84770
Contact: Josh Harris / 435-656-0206 / email [email protected]
Email: [email protected]
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