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

 

Letter On Behalf of AWCF Participating Nations:

Letter sent to: Sally Jewell, John Kerry, Eric Holder

Cc’ed: Barack Obama, Susan Rice, Michelle Gavin, Douglas Griffiths, Wanda Nesbitt, Patrick Gaspard, Alfonso Lenhardt, Mark Storella, Charles Ray, Machivenyika Mapuranga, Palan Mulonda, Liberata Mulamula, Ebrahim Rasool, Martin Andjaba, Amelia Matos Sumbana, Tebeleo Mazile Serestse.

“…. In conclusion, we urge the implementation of the Executive Order to incorporate a formal plan for strong cooperation and collaboration with African countries to better leverage and allocate resources throughout the world on the poaching crisis.

Respectfully,

Joseph H. Hosmer, President

Safari Club International Foundation

On behalf of the 12th Annual African Wildlife Consultative Forum attended by the representatives of the following countries:

Botswana

Ethiopia

Mozambique

Namibia

South Africa

Swaziland

Tanzania

Zambia

Zimbabwe …”

 

READ THE FULL LETTER!

Letter On Behalf of AWCF Participating Nations

12th Annual African Wildlife Consultative Form Wrap-up

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Today the 12th annual African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF) came to an end, and the attendees provided insight into Africa’s pressing wildlife policy and management issues.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Senior Wildlife Inspector Jay Pilgrim presented the details of President Obama’s Executive Order on combatting wildlife trafficking. The AWCF delegates expressed concern that Africa’s ideas and cooperation was not adequately included in the United States efforts to curb poaching and illegal wildlife trade, and will share these concerns in a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. The letter will include African government recommendations for consideration by the Executive Order’s Task Force and Advisory Council. It also suggests the Task Force reconsider the appointment of SCI Foundation to the Advisory Council, stating a resolution that SCI Foundation is to serves as formal liaison for African issues in the United States.

Wednesday’s discussions on the African lion spurred thought-provoking deliberations as the US Fish and Wildlife Service continues to decide if it will list the African lion as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act.  Two lion experts, Dr. Dennis Ikanda of the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute and Dr. Paula White of Zambia Lion Project presented to the delegates about their ongoing research and the status of the African lion. They also discussed their recent experiences of communicating lion expertise to Members of US Congress, the US Government and NGOs while in Washington DC in June and September.  These efforts were in concert with providing decision makers with all the information necessary on lions, in order to prevent an unwarranted listing decision.

 

In response to these presentations, and following a presentation given by SCI Foundation on the Fighting for Lions campaign, the AWCF governments drafted a letter to Mr. Dan Ashe, Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The African governments wanted to express their concern that the United States did not properly consult African governments for information regarding the African lion as part of the United States led species status review.  The status review is part of the process of considering the lion for listing as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. The letter also voiced disappointment that African governments were not involved or even invited to provide information to the USFWS at the June 2013 lion workshop that was held in Arlington, VA.

 

Reports from each country will be presented to close out the meeting. Through these presentations the delegates have the opportunity to show how their countries management and policies are benefitting conservation. SCI Foundation is proud to see that our efforts promote capacity building within the governments and continues to show the global importance of the hunting community. The Foundation looks forward to keeping our readers informed as new information develops.

 

Follow JOE HOSMER on TWITTER @JoeHosmer, INSTAGRAM, AND FACEBOOK!

Inspirational sportsmen will be honored – 2013 SCI Foundation Pathfinders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 10, 2013

Tucson, Ariz. – Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation) will recognize the amazing achievements of Doug Bermel and Brad Garfield on Jan. 25, 2013 in Reno, Nev.  These inspirational sportsmen will be honored as the 2013 SCI Foundation Pathfinders in recognition of their outstanding achievements.

“It is an honor and a privilege for SCI Foundation to confer this recognition upon extraordinary sportsmen like Doug and Brad,” said SCI Foundation President Joe Hosmer. “All sportsmen and women should be proud of these two men for their outstanding personal achievements in the face of such daunting life-challenges.”

SCI Foundation coordinates world-class hunting safaris for the annual recipients of this recognition. The Pathfinder is presented to individuals who are faced with overcoming a physical challenge or disability that is otherwise capable of interfering with a routine way through life; he or she must discover previously unexplored regions of self-esteem, self-worth, courage, persistence, and determination. The recipient is someone who has a “never quit” attitude and who is recognized as an ambassador for other “pathfinders” seeking leadership when faced with similar challenges.

“Please join us in Reno, Nevada on January 25th where we will recognize both Doug and Brad,” concluded Hosmer.

Doug and Brad will be recognized at SCI’s 41st Annual Hunters’ Convention in Reno, Nevada on January 25, 2013. If you are interested in attending the convention, please visit ww.showsci.org.

More about Doug Bermel:
At the age of 27, Doug Bermel was diagnosed with Adrenoleukodystrophy [ALD] which is a progressive heredity disease with symptoms similar to Multiple Sclerosis.  As the disease progressed, Doug switched to using a crossbow and adapted his hunting style to accommodate the disability and weather conditions.  Doug became the 2001 NRA Beeman Shooting Champion after a 14-city tour in the US and Canada, acquiring 10 gold medals and qualifying for the World Championship in Korea.  He is the former Disabled Shooting Coordinator for the Archery Trade Association and a retired United States Paralympics Shooting Team Member, competing in Germany, France, Holland, Italy and Canada.  Doug represented the US in two World Championships: Korea 2002 and Switzerland 2006.  Doug’s current activities include writing a monthly column for Bowhunter.net, serving as President of TIP (Turn in Poachers), a board member with Minnesota Bowhunters Incorporated, a Disabled Coordinator with the International Bowfishing Association, and serving as the President and co-founder of Minnesota Broken Wing since 1992. Doug remains active with Physically Challenged Bowhunter of America and has been a Minnesota Firearm Safety Instructor for 31 years. He is also the Past President of Capable Partners (CP), an organization that matches a disabled person with an abled body person in specialized hunting and fishing events.

More about Brad Garfield: 
In May of 2005, Brad Garfield was medevac’d from Iraq when an IED he was attempting to neutralize detonated. After a very long recovery period, and numerous surgeries, Brad was able to complete the remainder of his 30 year career in a non-deployable assignment at Quantico, Virginia. He subsequently retired as only the fourth Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CWO5) in the history of the Marine Corps’ Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) field. Brad received the Marine Corps Engineer Association’s EOD Officer of the Year award 5 times.  His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Purple Heart, The Navy Marine Corps Commendation medal (with “V” and two gold stars), the Army Commendation medal, the Navy Marine Corps Achievement medal (with gold star), the Army Achievement medal, The Combat Action ribbon (with two gold stars), the Marine Corps Expeditionary medal, the Humanitarian Service medal (with bronze star), the Outstanding Volunteer Service medal (with bronze star), and the Marine Security Guard ribbon.  Brad earned a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Webster University. He is involved with many wounded warrior support organizations including Patriots and Heroes Outdoors, Idaho ‘N’ Heroes Outdoors, Hunts for Healing, Safari Club International (Former Co-Chair of the Humanitarian Services Committee, Chesapeake Chapter), Paralyzed Veterans of America, LEEK Hunting and Mountain Preserve, and Chappy’s Outdoors (VP of Operations), to name a few.  Brad loves to hunt and has traveled the world harvesting animals with all manner of tackle including, rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader, flintlock, compound bow and crossbow.  His passion is hunting and giving back to those who have given so much in the service of their country.

MEDIA CONTACT: Nelson Freeman; Nfreeman@safariclub.org

– SCIF –

 Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) 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. Since 2000, SCIF has provided over $50 million to these causes around the world.  Call 877-877-3265 or visitwww.safariclubfoundation.org for more information.


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The Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) and partners are working to advance sound, science-based management of wildlife resources worldwide. SCI Foundation’s Conservation Committee invites you to attend our wildlife conservation-related seminars at the 2013 Safari Club International Convention featuring North American, African and Asian species.  Learn about new ways international hunters are contributing to science-based conservation worldwide. Check out the topics below, spread the word and then drop by and join the discussion! See you in Reno!

Seminars

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/

Welcoming Bob Benson as SCIF’s Executive Director!

An Introduction to the New SCI Foundation Executive Director, Bob Benson

Bob Benson (right) and Joe Hosmer, SCIF President (left) stand at Jackson Hole, Wyoming at the SCIF American Wilderness Leadership School property.

 

With experience from a large list of prestigious conservation associations under his belt, Bob Benson is taking on another challenge as the Executive Director for the Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF).

First off, what is the difference between the SCIF and Safari Club International (SCI)? In the words of the new executive director himself, “as SCI advocates, lobbies, and fights to keep hunters afield, the SCI Foundation 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.”

Benson was born and raised in Grove City, Pennsylvania where he hunted whitetail deer and ruffed grouse on farms and the “big woods” of the Allegheny National Forest with his father and friends. That laid the foundations of his passion for the hunting lifestyle. In 1993, he moved to Austin, Texas to began his conservation career with Bat Conservation International. He has also spent time in Germantown, Tennessee working for Ducks Unlimited.

Read Outdoor Hub’s exclusive interview with Bob Benson below to find out more about his other hobbies, his partnership initiatives with African conservation organizations and his goal of global sustainable-use programs.

Outdoor Hub: What is your background?

Bob Benson: I have a B.S. in Communication from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, with nearly 20-years of wildlife conservation experience. I’ve had a variety of positions with four well respected conservation organizations with special foci on management, leadership, development and communication work.

OH: Can you elaborate on your experience in wildlife conservation and your role at SCIF?

BB: Throughout my career I have worked to improve a wide array of habitat conservation efforts. With previous conservation organizations I have focused on bats, waterfowl, colonial waterbirds, and game birds. I have been charged to raise the financial resources necessary for all the SCI Foundation’s programs, science-based conservation, wildlife education and humanitarian efforts.

SCI Foundation’s directors are ready to expand the brand of First for Wildlife to the far corners of the hunting community, and with my experience I know I can bring consistent growth to an already large and diverse conservation organization.

OH: Outside of the organization, what are some of your pastimes/hobbies?

BB: I have a serious passion for many, many types of outdoor recreation; hunting and fishing are my true passions and are a serious reason why I moved to Texas for my career. I also enjoy hiking, mountain biking, boating, and kayaking – or as you can tell, nearly anything outdoors. My wife and I also have three golden retrievers, and they seem to enjoy the outdoors about as much as I do!

OH: What are your personal conservation beliefs and goals?

BB: I believe that the U.S.-based North American Model for Wildlife Conservation is the preeminent system for wildlife management in the world. Through the years, the SCI Foundation has worked with partner countries in southern Africa to develop a similar model that builds the conservation funding mechanism jointly with the hunting and sporting community.

The SCI Foundation annually hosts the African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF) and the 2012 AWCF will be held in Botswana. I believe the collaborative approach to bringing together government representatives, the professional hunter associations, the regional leaders, and conservation non-profits opens the doors to improving conservation that otherwise would never exist. SCI Foundation has truly pioneered this model and that is why they are the most respected conservation organization representing hunters in Africa today. Other organizations have never been success with such an ambitious goal of bringing so many “players” to the same meeting.

I tell you this background on the AWCF because I believe SCI Foundation will soon expand the AWCF to embrace more central, western and east African nations in its annual meeting. Secondly, the success of AWCF is not a one-off, flash in the pan. I know that SCI Foundation with our incredible staff can replicate the AWCF in other regions of the world with strong hunting cultures, including Europe, Asia, and South America.

A view of the International Wildlife Museum in Tucson, Arizona, which is operated by the SCI Foundation.

OH: What initiatives will you tackle first?

BB: I will tackle strategic initiatives to continue to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of SCIF. Special focus will be placed on growing global sustainable use conservation programs through a wide array of creative development and communication strategies. I will work in concert with the board and staff to communicate why people should support the mission of SCIF.

OH: Have you participated in anything with SCI Foundation before your role as executive director there?

BB: I have not worked with SCI Foundation or SCI in the past, but with the organization’s strong presence in Texas, and around the country, I was excited to learn that I could possibly work with such a dedicated and focused organization for international conservation.

More information on the Foundation

The Foundation is a 501(c)3 tax-deductible organization that promotes sustainable wildlife conservation and education by focusing on the positive role of the hunter in species management. The Foundation,

  • offers financial support, expertise, and a network of researchers dedicated to global sustainable-use wildlife conservation projects;
  • owns and operates two educational facilities, the International Wildlife Museum in Tucson, Arizona and the American Wilderness Leadership School near Jackson, Wyoming;
  • and develop humanitarian initiatives through the wide array of international sportsmen and women who provide needed educational or medical supplies to economically underserved regions of the world.

Find out more from their website, www.SafariClubFoundation.org.

Or read about its conservation projects at http://FirstForWildlife.wordpress.com.

Joe’s speech in DC – Greatest Wildlife Recovery Story Ever Told

The Greatest Wildlife Recovery Story Ever Told:
How Conservation is Creating Prosperity and Stability in Rural Namibia

U.S. Congressional Briefing
Featuring Digu Naobeb. CEO of the Namibian Tourism Board, and speakers from WWF and the Safari Club International Foundation

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 – 10:00 am -11:00 am

Room H-137
U.S. Capitol Building

Speech, as it was prepared. It was however presented with several tangents and twists…

Joe

 

Good morning, my name is Joe Hosmer, and I am delighted to speak on behalf of the hunter-conservationist community today. I serve as the president of Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) and am a lifelong hunter. I am proud to be able to join the Honorable Minister and Mr. Dillon to share the story of Namibian wildlife recovery and how international hunting has been central to developing sustainable income for rural communities. SCIF commends the success of wildlife management programs in Namibia, and we are working to apply them to other countries that are struggling to modernize their own wildlife conservation policies.

First, I would like to tell you a little bit about our Foundation. Safari Club International Foundation is the charitable arm of Safari Club International. SCIF’s missions include promoting and funding wildlife conservation, outdoor education, and humanitarian services. Currently, we have over 60 ongoing conservation research projects. Over the past decade, SCIF has contributed over $50 million to advance global wildlife conservation. SCIF has worked tirelessly to increase wildlife management capabilities throughout Southern and Eastern Africa through strategic partnerships with African nations and conservation NGOs. In Namibia, for instance, SCIF is working with the government to obtain the best science available regarding the population status of leopards.

Safari Club International Foundation has also awarded multiple grants to land conservancies in Southern Africa that serve as important reserves for black rhinoceros and other wildlife. Since 2008, an increase in rhino poaching has been reported in southern Africa and SCIF has responded by providing over $80,000 to fund rangers, aircraft, trail cameras, telemetry equipment and other tools to combat the increase in poaching. Collaborative efforts among conservation organizations and the hunting industry are using hunter-generated revenue to successfully prevent poaching. Ensuring that animals harvested lawfully do not enter the illegal trade and tarnish the reputation of legitimate conservationists is a major consideration of SCIF. Poachers and smugglers should not benefit from the dedicated work of conservationists by skimming the gains made after decades of investment in conservation.

The largest of SCIF’s programs in Africa is the African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF). SCIF hopes that this cooperative forum will help spread the Namibian successes in wildlife conservation to the rest of Africa. AWCF is an annual forum that convenes delegates from most of the sub-Saharan African governments for a week-long discussion on wildlife management, conservation, and hunting priorities. The forum provides an opportunity for these countries to come together to compare problems and develop common approaches to future management of their wildlife resources. Over fifty participants attended the 2011 AWCF in Swaziland. Contributors included wildlife professionals, regulatory officials, and representatives of the hunting industry. By providing the forum for wildlife professionals across Africa to discuss successful management approaches SCIF believes that best practices can be shared amongst partners and the success of sustainable-use hunting will spread across Africa.

Over the past decade, the AWCF annual meetings have included major themes in African wildlife management. Human-wildlife conflict, wildlife population management, predator-prey interactions, habitat use, hunting regulations, and anti-poaching campaigns have all been central to the Forum. Key topics at the most recent meeting included rhinoceros conservation, leopard population status, lion management. Attendees also heard reports on current policies and regulations for each country present.

One of the most critical issues addressed in the 2011 AWCF was the landmark agreement to organize and support the collection of current lion census data from all of the range state nations. The attending government entities agreed to fully cooperate to address the ambitious deadlines set for the CITES Periodic Review of the African lion. The Periodic Review will use the best science available to determine if lions are appropriately listed in the CITES Appendices.

Enhancing wildlife management in Africa is only part of the solution, and cannot succeed in a vacuum. The success of the sustainable wildlife conservation program hinges on the dedicated funding that international hunters provide to these communities. Hunting has funded the enhancement of many species around the world, including a long list we are all fond of here in North America (elk, white-tailed deer, wood duck, wild turkey, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, bison and more). It is the license fees and taxes on hunting gear that fund conservation in the United States, and international hunters provide the same steady revenue stream to African communities.

International hunting has been one of the main economic engines in rural communities. In many countries of southern Africa, agrarian or pastoral economies cannot flourish, due to limited land suitable for agriculture or grazing. In these areas, regulated hunting has been a consistent form of revenue for local communities. To take better advantage of sustainable wildlife use, many governments have begun Community Based Natural Resources Programs. These programs, in essence, devolve power from the central government so that locally created community councils can regulate and manage wildlife in their areas. Their mission is to utilize wildlife so that it remains a sustainable resource.

These communal programs have been successful because they effectively create a financial incentive for the rural communities to actively conserve wildlife. Revenue retention rules ensure that money generated from sport hunting ends up in the hands of indigenous people. In the case of international hunting in southern Africa, communities in the most rural areas of countries reap the benefit of conserving wildlife through Community Based Natural Resource Programs.

Creating this incentive to coexist with wildlife has been a central reason why so many populations of species are now thriving. The growing population of white rhino has been one of the most notable success stories. Namibia has been the leader in this area with I believe zero rhino poaching in the last two years. It is not terribly surprising that in countries like Kenya, where wildlife utilization by indigenous people is extremely limited and where hunting does not exist, wildlife population levels are now low and in continuous decline. Hunting was banned in Kenya in1977 and this ban has resulted in an accelerated loss of wildlife due to the removal of incentives for conservation (Baker 1997; Lewis & Jackson 2005).

SCIF’s sister organization, Safari Club International (SCI) recently held its annual Hunter’s Convention where over 2,200 outfitters came together and raised $16 million dollars, a substantial portion of which will contribute to international wildlife conservation. Many of these outfitters booked trips to Africa that will support these community based conservation programs, build value into these wildlife and support these rural economies.

I would like to leave you with just a few thoughts about how you can help. One way is to continue to fund programs such as Namibia’s LIFE program at high levels moving forward. The LIFE program is funded by USAID and has been central to building community based natural resource management in Namibia. Programs that promote sustainable-use conservation such as the LIFE program are not just aid, but an investment that helps build a self-sustaining rural economy while creating community incentives to protect these treasured species.

There Is yet another key component to the success of sustainable-use conservation where more work is needed — reducing regulatory burdens. Often times international hunters are faced with obstacles at the U.S. border. Sometimes it is a problem with bringing a favorite hunting rifle with them on their hunt. More frequently, it is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stopping a hunter from bring their legally harvested animal back in to the U.S. These barriers discourage hunters from travelling, reduce the value of overseas wildlife and take much needed dollars out of rural African communities. It is vital that the United State modernize the border process for wildlife so that millions of dollars of African conservation dollars are not lost because of over-zealous wildlife inspectors and byzantine regulations. Over the 20th Century, hunters brought back the great herds of the United States through their funding of conservation. All we ask is that the U.S. government helps hunters do the same in Africa.

Thank You.

Taking Action Against Poaching!

Taking Action Against Rhino Poaching: The Safari Club International Foundation
by OUTDOOR HUB REPORTERS on FEBRUARY 24, 2012
submitted by: AGNIESZKA SPIESZNY – Original post.

It’s become a hot-button issue since the price of rhinoceros horn increased. Poachers are scrambling to deliver the valuable product where demand is high. The rhino was a nearly extinct species in Africa one century ago, but through intense conservation efforts its population flourished.

Now in 2012, the rhinoceros has been hunted to extinction in Vietnam and now buyers are paying a high price for the horn that they believe cures cancer. It is estimated that there is one rhino killed for its horn every 18 hours in Africa. Last year, there were almost 450 rhinos killed. That number has skyrocketed considering that there were only about 15 rhinos killed per year in previous years when the price of the horn was lower.

Safari Club International Foundation President Joe Hosmer vehemently opposes the poaching. “I believe it to be absolutely horrendous,” Hosmer said. The SCI Foundation (SCIF) is battling the issue throughout the entire African continent at the governmental level.

SCIF has an office in Pretoria, South Africa where they are able to monitor all rhino activity on a routine basis. Their main objective is to make sure each country involved knows what other countries are doing. “If there are known poachers in an area we make sure to send out a warning.”

Current operations

In partnership with the Friedkin Conservation Fund, SCIF has acquired a micro-light (or ultra-light) hang-glider which runs daily patrols over thousands of acres of rhino habitat. If suspicious activity is spotted, the pilot will get GPS coordinates of the location and then a ground crew that is associated with the government will go in to investigate.

So far, with the help of SCIF, Swaziland tells one of the most successful anti-poaching stories. The country has only had three rhinos poached, but in turn has shot three poachers who opened fire on rangers who caught the three men.

Hosmer said there have been plenty more poachers already stopped, although efforts are far from over. Facilities in Zimbabwe continue to monitor a number of rhinoceros that were moved from a park to a confined area where they are physically guarded until the issue is resolved.

The issue is taken on one day at a time. Just recently rhino poaching received more national attention through a report on NBC’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams”. Below is a clip of the segment. A link to all the segments is available on Hosmer’s blog.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640