Arizona Quail Quest

Sonoita, AZ. December 8 ~ 11, 2017. Daughter Britt; Hunting buddy and fellow English Cocker lover, Jeff Sizemore; and our interpreter; all converged on this little quail town for a 3 sub species hunt of Mearns, Gambles and Scaled quail. The 9th we glided over 5 miles of steep grasslands. The 10th we almost doubled our miles walked, but on flatter desert ground. Frankly, I was exhausted and showed it with a nap in the Sportsmobile while the rest of the team headed off for a final push only yards away from the the US / Mexico wall.

Our guide was Patrick of Border to Border Outfitters. The guy covers ground like a Springbok and practically has a name for each Covey we encounter.

Was it successfully? Heck yes!

Stay tuned…

New Game Birds Of The World, Record Book Launched By SCI

Paul Babaz Ready to Usher in a New Age of Wingshooting at Safari Club International
Safari Club International, long-known for big-game hunting and conservation programs, is making a significant push into wingshooting, which we expect to accelerate next year with the appointment of Paul Babaz as the organization’s next President.

Mr. Babaz is now SCI’s Deputy President Elect. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, he’s a big-game hunter foremost but also a wing and clays enthusiast who believes that SCI will benefit from the outreach efforts toward shotgun owners under current president, Larry Higgins. Mr. Babaz’s term as SCI president begins July 1, 2017.

“Wingshooters are a huge demographic of hunters that tend to feel left out of the SCI activities,” said Mr. Babaz.

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Paul Babaz pauses for a photo at Foxhall Resort & Sporting Club before an informal round of sporting clays.

The push by SCI into wingshooting doesn’t diminish its core mission of hunter advocacy. Instead, wingshooting supplements the big-game passions of its members.

Wingshooting grabbed the spotlight at SCI with the recent announcement of Game Birds of the World Grand Slam. Under the auspices of the SCI Record Book Committee and organized by committee member Britt Hosmer, who in turn assumed the position of Game Birds of the World Committee Chairperson, the new wingshooting program supports both bird hunters as well as the conservation and sustainability of global species and their habitats.

Under her guidance and with the support of Mr. Higgins, the Game Birds of the World ad-hoc Committee of PhD biologists and known experts in the bird hunting community have worked diligently to finalize a list of acceptable game birds from each continent. There are strict limitations as to what birds can be accepted into the program.

The initiative played into Ms. Hosmer’s strengths. An avid hunter, she’s also Principal of Rock Environmental – a consulting firm in Fredericksburg, Texas that helps organizations develop high-impact philanthropic action plans for environmental and human-rights projects.

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Britt Hosmer

Game Birds of The World is a recognition by SCI that, although there are 2.6 million bird hunters in the U.S., the organization hasn’t offered programs for them outside of shotguns and bird hunting trips sold at the SCI convention and local chapters. Still, SCI remains steadfast as an advocate for hunters’ rights worldwide.

Of interest is that SCI’s research showed that its primary membership of big-game hunters also enjoy the shotgun sports. For instance, 88 percent of their members participate in upland game bird hunting, 77 percent of members hunt waterfowl and 80 percent shoot shotguns/trap/skeet. SCI has approximately 53,000 members from 106 different countries organized in 206 chapters and also represents millions of other hunters from around the world.

“We looked at the marketing demographics for shotgun shooters,” Ms. Hosmer, explained. “It’s a huge demographic we can utilize, and we have the software to build a truly great database from a scientific standpoint.”

Mr. Babaz is of the same mind – talking about the fact that wingshooters are integral to a diversified marketing push by SCI to recruit younger hunters.

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Paul Babaz keeping score on the sporting clays course of Foxhall Resort & Sporting Club.

And sporting clays factors in as well. Mr. Babaz, his business associate Lee Haverstock and friend Duvall Brumby of Yates Insurance Agency in Atlanta recently started an informal monthly sporting clays group that meets at the beautiful Foxhall Resort & Sporting Club in Douglasville, Georgia. It’s a laid-back afternoon of shooting on the leafy 15-station course followed by catered barbecue in the club house. The get-together reflects the inherent sociability of clays that could serve as a model for recruiting new SCI members through the shotgun sports.

Likewise, with Game Birds of The World, SCI furthers its commitment to attracting new members who are often introduced to hunting through wingshooting. Game Birds of The World also provides additional incentive for existing members to seek out SCI Record Book entries.

In that vein Ms. Hosmer explained that Game Birds of The World is an entrée into the SCI record books for female hunters who are not as inclined to pursue big game as their male counterparts.

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Also a clays enthusiast, Britt Hosmer shoot Krieghoff Sporting Clays Event in Las Vegas.

“The women liked the idea of documenting a hunting legacy,” she said. “We’re adding something that they could strive for and check off.”

For veteran SCI members with declining physical abilities, Game Birds of the Worlds presents an easier way to express their passion about collecting species.

Mr. Babaz elaborated that a growing number of SCI members are slowing down on the mountain hunts as they get older. “We want to take them back to their roots of wingshooting and bird dogs that’s a little less rigorous.”

Since Game Birds of the World only requires photo documentation, acknowledgement by the SCI Record Books is easy.

Members are invited to submit entries by sending a photo entry form and verified field photograph to the Committee. Each entry is only $20.00. SCI’s Record Book Software will be utilized for all processing of entries, which will be reviewed by the committee before being accepted. All approved photo entries will be added to a member’s species summary and apply to the Game Birds of the World Awards competition. The Game Birds of the World platform is stand alone and will not mix with the Big Game platform. Still, participants are considered for Diana Award and Young Hunter Award that recognize women and youth.

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Joe Hosmer

Mr. Babaz served as a catalyst for Game Birds of the World. Friends with former president of the SCI International Foundation, Joe Hosmer, both men had discussed starting their own American quail slam that would entail logging different species of the game bird. However, the idea soon expanded into all game birds. Ms. Hosmer stepped in, acted as the liaison with the appropriate committees, collected the experts and actually formalized and integrated Game Birds of the World into SCI.

“Paul and I have been kidding her all along to do a quail slam and that’s been escalating,” said Mr. Hosmer. “Britt put legs under it.”

“Paul understood why Game Birds of the World is important and got very excited about it,” said Ms. Hosmer.

The announcement of Game Birds of the World took place as Mr. Hosmer was preparing to step down as President of the SCI International Foundation after holding that position for six years. His replacement, Warren A. Sackman, III, is serving a two-year term.

The difference between SCI and the SCI International Foundation is that SCI, whose motto is “First for Hunters,” is an advocacy group for hunters’ rights. By comparison, the mission of the SCI International Foundation is to fund and direct wildlife programs dedicated to wildlife conservation and outdoor education.

During his final days as President of the SCI International Foundation, Mr. Hosmer explained, “As we speak right now we have 60 wildlife projects going on around the world. Its width and breadth is huge. And more in line with shotgunning, we’re looking into more studies relative to upland birds.”

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Joe Hosmer and Paul Babaz enjoy upland hunting together.

Mr. Hosmer’s departure from the SCI International Foundation poses a harmonic convergence of sorts for SCI’s wingshooting expansion. As of July 8, 2016, he was appointed to the National Board of Directors of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever – the largest wildlife habitat conservation organizations for upland hunters.

The move by Mr. Hosmer presents a new-found synergy for SCI in the wingshooting arena. With 2016 more than half over, the remainder of year lets SCI move closer to those upland conservation groups. Beginning mid-2017, however, Mr. Babaz has plans for closer ties.

“I want to work with other like-minded groups for a more unified front to protect our freedom to hunt,” said Mr. Babaz, citing groups such as Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, the National Rifle Association and the Boone & Crockett Club.

As the current SCI administration solidifies a multi-organizational front for hunter advocacy, the SCI International Foundation will cross-pollinate those relationships for more robust conservation programs that will touch the upland community.

Mr. Hosmer expects that a tighter bond with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, for example, would result “in studies that involve quail and wetlands from a conservation point of view. It could take the form of grants with universities and state agencies as we partner with more habitat groups.”

In discussing SCI’s newfound commitment to wingshooters, one point becomes glaringly obvious. The SCI International Convention has a large number of shotgun manufacturers and dealers exhibiting at the show. Ticking off their names builds a premium list including Krieghoff, Griffin & Howe, Holland & Holland, Purdey, Fausti, Beretta, Westley Richards and Peter Hofer.

The exhibitor roster also features wingshooting destinations and outfitters from around the world.

And for the past four years, the Safari Club International Foundation and Krieghoff International have hosted a sporting clays tournament in conjunction with the convention. Held at the Clark County Shooting Complex in Las Vegas, the proceeds from the fundraiser go to the Boy Scouts of America.

With that groundwork already in place, the upcoming convention on February 1-4, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas will focus more attention on SCI’s wingshooting members.

“There will be an area within the convention that’s going to be catering to the wingshooter,” said Mr. Hosmer.

In effect, the current SCI President, Mr. Higgins, has started the upward trajectory for wingshooters that Mr. Babaz wants to fast-track.

“I would say that Paul is very much a bird hunter,” said Ms. Hosmer. “I’ve hunted with him all over the world. It’s nice that someone with that perspective is coming into SCI. It’s a collective sport and very inclusive.”

As a son of the South, Mr. Babaz started hunting ducks and doves as a boy with his older brother and father in New Iberia, Louisiana. Big game hunting entered his life during his teens.

After serving in the U.S. Army as a helicopter door gunner from 1986 to 1996, he enrolled at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he graduated with a bachelor’s of science degree in finance. In 1993 he moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he became Senior Vice President-Investments with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management – a job he still holds.

By 2000, he’d become involved with SCI’s Greater Atlanta Chapter. In the ensuing years he assumed more responsibility within SCI both domestically and internationally, including his involvement with government affairs and on the committee of the Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award presented at the convention’s annual gala. He currently serves on the boards of SCI and the SCI Foundation.

Mr. Babaz is a dedicated conservationist whose energy reaches beyond SCI. He belongs to the Georgia Natural Resources Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Dallas Safari Club, Delta Waterfowl and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

“There’s a lot of legislative work that we need to do,” Mr. Babaz said.

Irwin Greenstein is the Publisher of Shotgun Life. You can reach him at contact@shotgunlife.com.

Useful resources:

Web site for the Safari Club International Foundation

The Safari Club International web site

The 2017 Safari Club International Convention web site

 

SCI Babaz SHOTGUNLIFE 6-page story

 

Pheasants Forever / Quail Forever Nominate Two New National Directors


JOE HOSMER AND BRETT REBER NOMINATED TO PHEASANTS FOREVER’S NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever announce Joe Hosmer and Brett Reber as newly elected members of the organization’s National Board of Directors. Sharing a lifelong passion for wildlife habitat conservation and upland hunting, Hosmer and Reber now serve on Pheasants Forever’s 18-member board, which meets quarterly and oversees the operations of Pheasants Forever, Inc. & Quail Forever.

“Joe Hosmer and Brett Reber come to the National Board of Directors with a long list of accolades and accomplishments in the conservation community to help move ‘The Habitat Organization’ in new and exciting directions,” stated Howard K. Vincent, president and CEO of Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever. “With both individuals possessing dynamic character and diverse business experience, we’re thrilled to have them contributing to the overall mission of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever.”

Joe Hosmer – Hunt, Texas
As a dedicated outdoorsman, Joe Hosmer has spent his adult life fighting for wildlife habitat conservation on state, national, and international stages in various positions with other non-profit organizations and state boards. Of particular note, his leadership has been evidenced as a serving member on the Safari Club International Board of Directors in different capacities since 1994, a member of the Board of Directors for Maine’s Fish & Wildlife Conservation Council in 2004, and the serving president for the Safari Club International Foundation since 2010.
“I’m honored to be selected as a member of the organization’s National Board of Directors,” stated Hosmer. “I look forward to contributing my many years of knowledge in the conservation realm for the betterment of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, as wildlife habitat is currently facing unprecedented challenges in our country. With this in mind, I’m ready to go to work for the nation’s leading wildlife habitat conservation organization, as members and chapters, craft a bright future for pheasants, quail, and other wildlife.”

Highlighting a successful career in business, Hosmer was the founding president and CEO of MOUNTAIN, LTD. – a telecommunications, staffing, and direct hire firm – founded in 1979 and sold in January of 2007 before becoming an independent consultant and president of Durham-Hunt, LTD., a real property corporation which he owns with his wife, Sandy. They now reside in Hunt, Texas, spending their summers along the coast of Maine where they resided for more than forty years prior to 2006. When not fighting for wildlife, Hosmer can usually be found motorcycling, as he is an avid motorcyclist, sidecarist, and adventure traveler.

Rounding out an impressive list of life achievements, Hosmer is one of a select few candidates who has received three Presidential Awards from Safari Club International, was recognized in 2004 with the Ronald Reagan Republican Gold Medal for his support of conservative initiatives within the business community, and won the 2005 “Business Man of the Year” award in the state of Maine. Hosmer is a current member of both Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever.

Brett Reber – McPherson, Kansas

No stranger to the local model of “The Habitat Organization,” Brett Reber is a life member of Pheasants Forever and an active participant for the McPherson Area Pheasants Forever Chapter in Kansas. Reber grew up in a hunting family from Ellsworth, Kansas, before receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas in 1983 and his law degree from the University of Tulsa College Of Law in 1986. Working as an attorney at Wise & Reber, L.C.in McPherson, Kansas, his primary practice is providing advice to clients with emphasis in contracts, business acquisitions, and litigation matters.

Active in state and local community affairs, he is a trustee of the Julia J. Mingenback Foundation, past president and director of the McPherson Industrial Development Company, and past chairman and director of the Kansas Development Finance Authority, as well as the Kansas Housing Resources Council in Topeka. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Directors for Peoples Bank & Trust, McPherson Industrial Development Company, Farmers Alliance Mutual Insurance Company, and the Bradbury Company.

“I am honored to join the National Board of Directors for Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever, and pleased to help them fulfill their mission as the premier conservation and habitat organization in the country,” stated Reber. “As a key state in the pheasant and quail range, I will work to represent Kansas members for the improvement of wildlife habitat and youth involvement in conservation initiatives.”

Reber also serves as president and director of McPherson Valley Uplands – a 46-acre Outdoor Education Center near Conway, Kansas, designed for youth to learn and develop outdoor skills and an appreciation for wildlife and conservation. A cooperative effort between McPherson Area Pheasants Forever and CHS Refinery-McPherson, Reber believes the area serves as a testament to the power of Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s local model. The area has served as a conservation learning center to countless youth participants since its creation in 2008.

Reber was recently elected to the Pheasants Forever Hall of Fame in Kansas, and still spends as much time as possible pursuing upland birds throughout the state. He currently resides in McPherson with his wife, Kathryn, and has four grown children, John, Callie, Joe, and Luke.

About Pheasants Forever

Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 149,000 members and 700 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent; the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent $634 million on 502,000 habitat projects benefiting 14.1 million acres nationwide.
Media Contact

Jared Wiklund

(651) 209-4953

jwiklund@pheasantsforever.org

MOUNTAIN, LTD.™ Founder, Joe Hosmer, Receives Distinguished NAPS Hall of Fame Award

MOUNTAIN, LTD | November 5, 2014
If you’ve ever worked with Joe Hosmer, CTS., founder and former Chairman, CEO and President of MOUNTAIN, LTD., current President of Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF), adventurist, entrepreneur and corporate leader with a list of accolades, awards and credentials that reach around the world, then you’ll be pleased, and not too surprised, to learn he was recently inducted into the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS) Hall of Fame.

On September 17th in Dawsonville, Georgia, at the annual NAPS Convention, Joe Hosmer was recognized for making a significant, positive and lasting impact on the staffing industry – fitting for someone who is known for making such an impact everywhere he goes.

From the start of MOUNTAIN, when a twist of fate in a far off land put him in the right place at the right time, where quick thinking and resourcefulness allowed him to seize an opportunity and organize a team of contract engineers to build a telephone network across remote land in a third world country, to building that small company into a leading telecom staffing solutions provider across this country and beyond, Joe’s aptitude for finding and retaining quality personnel and building a solid company to support its client’s staffing needs is unequaled. Though Joe and his wife, Sandy, sold MOUNTAIN in 2007, as current SCIF President, Joe oversees the organization’s recruiting efforts and about one hundred employees. Joe is also an independent consultant who is sought after and hired by various businesses and professional organizations to assist in their recruiting process.

Everyone at MOUNTAIN knows that the key principals of dedication to excellence, quality and professionalism that serve as the cornerstones of our business philosophy today, started with Joe Hosmer. Joe nurtured our company, and he encouraged and expected his team to take leadership positions in organizations, to promote industry education and to uphold the highest level of ethics. These values are still very much a part of MOUNTAIN’s culture today. No one is more deserving of a place in the N.A.P.S. Hall of Fame than Joe Hosmer!

Original post: http://blog.mountainltd.com/

Leaders of Conservation: SCI Foundation President Joe Hosmer

This week I talked to SCI Foundation President Joe Hosmer about his work with the argali sheep and his vision for the future of his organization.

This week I talked to SCI Foundation President Joe Hosmer about his work with the argali sheep and his vision for the future of his organization.

This interview with Safari Club International Foundation President Joe Hosmer is part of OutdoorHub’s Leaders of Conservation series, in which we sit down with leaders of the North American conservation movement to learn more about the stories behind their organizations and people.

In 1972, two safari clubs—one in Los Angeles and one in Chicago—decided to join up and create Safari Club International (SCI). Over the next four decades, SCI reached out to independent safari clubs across the globe to combine sportsmen in an unified organization. Many people think it was during this time that the Safari Club International Foundation, the conservation branch of SCI, split off from the original organization. Joe Hosmer, president of the SCI Foundation, said that’s not exactly accurate.

“SCI Foundation is the original entity,” Joe shared. “We later created another organization which we also gave the name Safari Club International, and the original club became SCI Foundation.”

The problem of having similar names is that, of course, many people tend to get the groups mixed up. But the goals behind the organizations are self-evident.

“That is the easiest question we get,” Joe said.”SCI is ‘First for Hunters’ while SCI Foundation is ‘First for Wildlife.’ The Foundation is the other half of the equation, and our mission is wildlife and wildlife conservation.”

Although they are different legal entities, Joe said the partnership between the two groups is a harmonious one.

“You’re not going to have hunters unless you have wildlife and you’re not going to have wildlife unless you have good conservation practices.”

Joe is a 15-year veteran of SCI Foundation, spending 10 of those years in the group’s conservation committee. To many, Joe was the obvious choice when he was selected as the Foundation’s president in late 2010. A lifelong hunter and conservationist, Joe also brought the skills he learned from a successful career in the telephone industry.

“It began many, many years ago when I got out of college,” Joe started with a chuckle.

He had followed in his father’s footsteps and went into telecommunications, rising through the ranks and ending up in places like Central America and West Africa as a design and engineering contractor. While training personnel in Liberia, Joe decided to start his own company.

“Twenty-eight or 29 years later, that little corporation had 500 engineers on each continent,” Joe said.

He eventually traded the corporate office for fieldwork.

“At an SCI meeting I raised my hand one time and said, ‘Jeez guys, I sold my company so I got a little time on my hands. Is there anything I can do to help?’ Somebody asked me if I did a lot of work overseas and I said yup. They asked me if I was used to dealing with foreign governments and protocols and I said yup again.

“The next thing I know my wife’s telling me I was away from home almost more than I was at home. I was traveling all over for SCI over wildlife issues, conferring with experts and biologists.”

The home of the argali can be as beautiful as it is remote.

When he was the Foundation’s Conservation Chairman, Joe and Dr. Bill Moritz led field teams to Tajikistan for sheep surveys in early 2010. The Foundation’s focus was on the region’s argali sheep, also known as Marco Polo sheep. Driving Toyota Land Cruisers at an elevation of 17,000 feet, the team conducted sheep counts and calving studies in partnership with the Tajik government. Due to decades of wild sheep management, Tajikistan has the world’s highest concentration of argali sheep and a remarkably stable population. A significant portion of the conservation funds used to protect these animals from threats like poaching or habitat loss comes directly from hunters. However, Tajikistan halted hunting of the animals in 2008 and 2009 despite a minimum population of 24,000 wild sheep. Ironically, this move threatened to remove the protections that the argali sheep enjoyed.

“The establishment of game management areas that provide trophy animals have ensured the survival of wild sheep and other mountain wildlife,” wrote sheep expert Dr. Raul Valdez, who accompanied the SCI field teams. “In these areas, wild sheep are protected from illegal hunting and domestic sheep are managed in coordination with wild sheep to avoid overexploitation of the forage resource.”

As a result of the SCI Foundation team’s surveys, the Tajik government reallowed hunting of the argali sheep.

“That was one of my fondest successes,” Joe said.

For the last three years, the Foundation has sent teams to Tajikistan twice a year to ensure the health of the argali sheep. With 60 landmark conservation projects, Joe intends to lead the Foundation through one success at a time.

Tajikistan's wilds contain the world's largest population of Argali sheep.

“One of my goals for the SCI Foundation is for the organization to mature to the point where it will be recognized as the leader of the hunting community and sustainable wildlife conservation,” Joe shared. “It’s a lofty goal, but it’s one we find ourselves closer and closer to every day.”

But he still finds time to travel and hunt. Later this year Joe will be returning to the high altitudes of Central Asia, but his vehicle of choice will be a little bit different than the last time he went.

“In addition to being an avid hunter and conservationist, I’m also an enthusiastic motorcyclist. I have the opportunity to travel to the Himalayas for three weeks this May, so I’ll be crossing the mountains on a Triumph motorcycle.”

And this time, he won’t have to count sheep.

We would like to thank Joe for taking the time to talk with us. 

Images courtesy Joe Hosmer

Daniel Xu +

 

| April 17, 2014 | Originally posted: http://www.outdoorhub.com/stories/leaders-conservation-sci-foundation-president-joe-hosmer/

Joe Hosmer: SCI Foundation President and Hunting Ambassador to the World

Catching up with Joe Hosmer wasn’t easy. His e-mail auto message said that he was in the field–that could mean any place in the world. Finally, he texted back that he was “chasing dogs that were chasing pheasants in South Dakota,” but would get back soon. At least he was on the same continent.

When we did connect, Joe first sent me pictures of his Gordon setters, which are almost like extensions of his soul. This is a man who deeply loves hunting dogs and hunting in general, and now, after retiring from a very successful career running an executive search business, he is President of Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation), guiding something very new, special and sorely needed by the hunting community.

He explains the difference between Safari Club International (SCI) and Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation) as: “SCI is ‘First For Hunters,’ while the SCI Foundation is ‘First For Wildlife.’ The Foundation oversees Sustainable Wildlife Conservation and Wildlife Education. The Foundation also is a proud supporter of SCI Humanitarian Services and the Wildlife Museum, in Tucson, Arizona. In all this realignment the Foundation is now guided by its own separate, 15-member Board of Directors, for which I serve as its President. The Foundation funds and manages worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian services. It provides the scientific backing of sound wildlife research allowing for pro-hunting regulations and policies to move forward for all sportsmen and women to benefit. We have been charged to independently grow the SCI Foundation and become the foremost wildlife Foundation within the global hunting community. SCI Foundation’s directors are is ready to expand the brand of First For Wildlife to the far corners of the hunting community in support of sustainable use.”

How does one get to do what Joe Hosmer does? Joe Hosmer grew up in rural southern Vermont on a farm that raised standard-bred racehorses and Springer Spaniel grouse hunting dogs. For sure, hunting definitely is in his blood. I asked him about how he got started and Joe spun a good yarn about his first deer.

“Unlike many horse farms in Vermont, ours was not a manicured showplace,” Joe says. “It was simply a well maintained and comfortable piece of ground we all loved. We cut our own hay, maintained a small apple orchard and mucked out our own stalls. The name of our farm was Birchcrest Farm Stables. It was so named for the ridgeline that was covered with white birch trees which served as the backdrop of our house and barns.”

On the farm, hunting was a way of life. “We harvested deer and grouse just as we would pick apples or wild strawberries. Hunting deer, however, was a special event. It was, and probably still is, a social time for hunters that started in early November and culminated on Thanksgiving weekend.

“Our family had a deer camp a couple of towns over in a place called ‘Popple Dungeon’. The area was named for the quaking aspen trees that grew so thickly in the area that the woods always seemed dark, due to the shade from the leaf cover and being in a deep valley. It was, by Vermont standards, big country.

“Our deer camp was an old house trailer with a rough porch and mudroom tacked onto the front. My father was involved in the telephone construction business and would use deer season as an excuse to bring his clients into the social mix as a way of thanking them for using his construction crews. Probably not a politically correct gesture these days, but it the 50s and 60s it was what it was.

“Eventually our deer camp caught the attention of several outdoor writers who were friends of friends. They would even join us for a few days and we would marvel at how our little camp had made the sports section of the New York Times. Lee Wolfe, Jack Carlin and others became family regulars during deer season.

“One year, while I was still in grade school, I was taken out of class on a Thursday so I could be with the ‘men’ in Popple Dungeon for Friday and Saturday. My first deer rifle was an old 44-40 Winchester lever action. The bluing had worn off of it so it almost shined from all the wear. I proudly carried my .44-40 while sneaking through the woods and spending hours atop huge boulders, just waiting for an unsuspecting whitetail buck to pass through my domain. I was always assigned to one of the men so I wouldn’t wander too far astray. I thought this practice was ridiculous since I would travel these woods in the summertime on a regular solo basis, only accompanied by a dog or two.

“My first weekend at deer camp was a rite of passage unto itself. I was now one of the guys. I could spit, drink coffee, hear dirty jokes, and not shower, all without getting ‘spoken-to’! What a wonderful place to be!

“Well, my first weekend came and went and the Vermont deer herd was never bothered by our presence. Mom came on Sunday and dropped off a box of food and supplies for the hunters and picked me up to go home. There is no Sunday hunting in Vermont and it was a day to resupply and say good-bye to some guests and welcome newcomers.

“Monday morning came and I got up early and did my chores of feeding and watering the horses. We kept a few horses in what we called the south pasture, which was a short walk to the gate from the back of the barn. I would fill a couple buckets, one with oats and the other with sweet feed, lug them down to our homemade feeding troths, call in the horses and make sure they were all okay.

“I got about half way down to the gate when I noticed a buck chasing a doe through the orchard, several hundred yards away. I set my feed buckets down and sneaked back to the barn. Once out of sight of the deer, I bolted to the house. I yelled some headlines to my mother as I grabbed my .44-40 and reversed my route. Once in the barn I climbed to the hayloft where I could get a better view of the orchard. I peeked out the loft door and confirmed that the buck was still there.

“Scooting back down the loft ladder and out to the opposite side of the barn from the deer I made a plan. I slipped up along a low spot of land out of sight from the deer. I would occasionally crawl up to a point where I could peer over and see the deer, as I had to reassure myself that they were still there. Finally, when I thought I was close enough, I lined up the open sights on the huge buck and let loose with the old .44-40. I don’t know if I connected with that first shot or not, as I just kept shooting until the deer wasn’t moving anymore. I sure didn’t want to lose him!

“As I approached him he seemed like the biggest deer ever (whereas in hindsight, my monster buck was a rather young and small, eight-pointer).

“Now, as dad would say, ‘the work begins.’ I had never field dressed a deer before, but had seen it done in my young past once. Unsure of myself, I ran home and told mom of my victory and of my dilemma. It was now too late to catch my bus for school and the horses in the south pasture had still not been fed. Mom, unafraid of anything, still knew her limits and field cleaning a deer was not in her basket of skills. Dad was still at deer camp with no telephone and I was willing to try, but there was clearly hesitation. Mom sent me out to finish my chores and give her a chance to come up with a solution. I was done in record time and back in the house awaiting her decision.

“Soon a car arrived in our yard and it was mom’s friend and my school nurse, Cherry Bleakney. Grabbing everything we thought we would need, I led mom and Cherry to the orchard where my deer laid. I remember that I was so relieved to see him still there as I was sure he would regain life somehow and run off. Cherry was a longtime friend of the family and a hardy lady of New Brunswick origin; a hunter in her own right.

“Between the three of us we took care of a very shot-up deer. We hung it in the barn and Cherry drove me to school, after a quick shower and change of clothes. We dealt with getting some tenderloin off the deer and after school mom and I drove to Popple Dungeon to give it to dad. Since there was no phone at deer camp, our arrival was quite a surprise and delight to everyone. We all had a few bites of tenderloin from the cast-iron frying pan and I reveled in my fifteen minutes of fame as a big game hunter. I think mom and dad were pretty proud of their eight-year old grade-schooler, too.

“His hunting buddies, of course, kidded dad, that the women and children of the Hosmer family were the real hunters. That was the only deer taken by our family and friends that year, which made it even more special.”

From his start as an eight-year-old Vermont deer hunter, Joe became the founder and former CEO of Mountain Ltd., a Maine-based global engineering and technical search firm. The business, which boasts over 500 professional specialists, specializes in business staffing, telecommunications engineering solutions, remote area expertise, extensive third world and LDC experience, high-end headhunting, for-profit and not-for-profit business development.

Joe still dabbles in business consulting, when not working with the SCI Foundation (which is like a full-time job), and squeezing in as much hunting as he can. To give you a feel for his schedule,according to Joe’s blog, this has been his schedule for the last couple months: July 17 in Maine for the summer, August 3 in Dallas conducting interviews, August 22 in Jackson Hole for SCI Foundation Board meeting, September 14 in Botswana for African Wildlife Consultative Forum, October 1 in Maine for grouse and woodcock season, October 17 in Texas, and October 24 in South Dakota for pheasant hunting.

Joe assures me that he has plenty of time for other recreation, too. When hunting season ends, and he is home, you may find him riding the backroads of the Texas Hill Country on an Adventure motorcycle or driving a Russian-built sidecar.

When he was recently inducted into the Telephone Hall of Fame, Joe was described as an adventurer, who happens to also be a remote/international/arctic traveler; big game and upland bird hunter; former professional motorcycle road racer and competitive Land Rover enthusiast; published photographer and technical rock climbing instructor; who also happened to build and run corporations and serve on many corporate and public service Boards of Directors, who has no more spare time and is flunking retirement!

As a world-wide ambassador for hunting, I asked Joe what he felt needed to be done to save hunting. Reflecting on the future of hunting, Joe, who recently appeared on a national television show talking about “how green hunting is,” says, “we hunters are often our own worst enemies. The different factions of hunters fighting among ourselves-different groups, different kinds of hunting-is self-destructive.

“We should be uniting to get that positive image of hunting out to that 80% of the population that sits between the anti-hunters and the pro-hunters and votes. We will never change the antis, so why spin our wheels fighting them when we could be building positive alliances and support to keep hunting going and conserve wildlife for future generations?”

As President of the SCI Foundation, Joe Hosmer is in a unique position to make a major contribution to developing educational programs that can help save hunting and the web of life that supports wild game. He said that he’s currently hunting for corporate sponsors and philanthropists to help the SCI Foundation really take off. If you’d like to lend a hand, you can contact him via the Foundation offices.

Written by: James Swan, Ph.D.

Co-Executive Producer, “Wild Justice,” Nat. Geo. Channel
& CEO, Snow Goose Productions

Original post: http://www.outdoorhub.com/stories/joe-hosmer-sci-foundation-president-and-hunting-ambassador-to-the-world/

SCI Foundation Contributes $537,590 To Worldwide Wildlife Conservation Projects Over Last 6 Months!

 

All Media: For Immediate Release
SCI Foundation Contributes $537,590 To Worldwide Wildlife Conservation Projects Over Last 6 Months
Washington, DC – Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation) announced today that it has contributed $537,590 in the past six months to fund worldwide wildlife conservation projects. SCI Foundation strategically focuses funding towards research and management of large predators and their prey, including game species, principally throughout North America, Asia, and Southern Africa.
“The research programs selected by SCI Foundation’s professional biologists inform wildlife managers and policy makers on critical wildlife management needs worldwide,” said SCI Foundation President Joe Hosmer.  “SCI Foundation strives to ensure management decisions are based on the best available science.”
SCI Foundation donated $350,000 to fund multiple predator/prey projects in the U.S. and Canada. Conservation projects include Predator/Prey studies observing rates of white-tailed deer fawn survival in Michigan and Wisconsin, elk survival in Montana, and caribou survival in Newfoundland. The results of these projects will help properly manage both predators and prey in systems where both exist. Donations were also made to wildlife population research and enhancement programs including mule deer in the Eastern Mojave Desert, brown bears on Kodiak Island, black bears in Missouri, and moose in Alaska, among others.
The most recent project is a partnership with Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Kenai Moose Project. SCI Foundation donated $20,000 to learn productivity and seasonal mortality of moose.
In multiple African nations, SCI Foundation has given over $123,000 to wildlife conservation and human-wildlife conflict programs. Most recently, SCI Foundation donated $30,000 for the upcoming African Wildlife Consultative Forum, which will be held in Botswana.
SCI Foundation also continues to fund lion research in Zambia to improve the accuracy of aging lions in their natural environment. Being able to accurately age lions in the field will assist range states develop appropriate lion harvest regulations to ensure sustainability.
“Throughout the year, SCI Foundation contributes over one million dollars to wildlife research, management, and anti-poaching programs. As an international organization, SCI Foundation continues to increase our financial impact for sustainable-use conservation and we hope more organizations can follow our lead,” concluded Hosmer.
Below is a partial list of contributions to wildlife species made over the last 6 months:
Lion (Southern Africa) — $30,000
Elephant (Zimbabwe) — $25,200
Leopard (Zimbabwe, Namibia) — $18,000
Wildlife Genetics (Africa) — $20,000
Brown Bear (Alaska) — $50,000
Black Bear (Missouri) — $25,000
Elk (Montana. & Ontario)–$69,800
White-tailed deer (Mich. & Wisc.)–$75,000
Mule Deer (Calif. & Colorado)–$40,880
Moose (Alaska) –$33,500
Caribou (Newfoundland) — $8,550
Bighorn Sheep (Mont. & Wyo.) — $31,500
Dall Sheep (Alaska) — $5,000
Predator ID Manual (Intl) — $10,000
Conservation Matching Grants — $8,000
African Wildlife Forum — $30,000
Contact:
Nelson Freeman; media@safariclub.org
# # #
The SCI Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization that funds and manages worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian services, including such programs as Sportsmen Against Hunger, Sensory Safari, Safari Care, Disabled Hunter, the American Wilderness Leadership School, Becoming an Outdoors Woman & More and Youth Education Seminars (YES) Outdoors. Call 877-877-3265 or visit www.sci-foundation.org for more information.