Working Ranches Keep Habitat Intact for Greater Sage-Grouse

A win for everyone. This is a good illustration of two major points I have tried to make over the years. 1.). SCI Foundation does more than support lion research in the wilds of Africa, and 2.) This goes to the Marta of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever that it is all about habitat!

First For Wildlife


Arid prairie lands in the western United States are filled with sagebrush wildlife, but changes to this wide-open landscape have led to losses in migratory songbirds and greater sage-grouse populations. Livestock grazing is the dominant land use shaping this steppe ecosystem.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) recognizes that the interaction of wildlife and livestock in sagebrush steppe is an important relationship. New conservation grazing programs, supported by the Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI), aim to benefit both the wild species and domestic livestock of the region. However, more research is needed to assess how well the initiative’s recommended grazing practices help the habitats of migratory songbirds and greater sage-grouse.

Sagegrouse trapping-1_Heather_Nenninger.jpg Sage-grouse trapping

Safari Club International Foundation is one of multiple partners supporting research on SGI’s rest-rotation grazing practices. Rest-rotation is simply the practice of giving a pasture rest from grazing pressure the year after its summer use.

View original post 300 more words

Hosmer Inducted Into Safari Club International Hall Of Fame 

Joseph Hosmer, Safari Club International Foundation Immediate Past President, was awarded the prestigious Hall of Fame Award by Safari club International at the 2017 SCI Convention in Las Vegas, NV based on his history of service to the world hunting community, dedication to Safari Club International’s goals of conservation, protecting the freedom to hunt, and educating of the people.
Hosmer received his award and custom bronze at the Saturday night awards banquet on February 4th, 2017, attended by almost 2,000 SCI members and guests. Hosmer delivered a stirring acceptance speech punctuated by a challenge to the audience to “…find their passion.” Hosmer continued by saying, “… that while SCI Foundation would provide the best science in the hunting world; and SCI would provide awesome legal talent; it was up to the individual members to provide the passion in delivering the message, because that was where the anti-hunting groups were eating our lunch!”

The SCI Hall of Fame Award, introduced in 1984, is one of the most prestigious honors which can be bestowed upon an SCI member. Potential inductees are nominated by fellow SCI members and the winner is determined by the Hall of Fame Award Selection Committee based upon ranking determined by a list of set criteria.
SCI Hall Of Fame Members include Roy Weatherby, William Ruger, Fred Bear, Bert Klineburger, and numerous other notable outdoorsmen and women. 

I forgot about this older article and it should be here…

Hunters Value WildlifeBY JOE HOSMER
+Joe Hosmer is the president of Safari Club International Foundation, a grassroots organization dedicated to promoting wildlife conservation through sustainable use.
Hunting is vital to the conservation and sustainable management of wildlife populations. Both the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species recognize the importance of hunting in conservation and have special provisions in their regulations to ensure hunting continues. Animal rights and welfare activist groups fail to recognize the value of hunting in conservation and even claim hunting is a leading threat to wildlife. In fact, hunting remains a timeless tradition, a livelihood, and a necessity for conservation.
Hunters pioneered sustainable wildlife management through the creation of North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. After early settlers diminished wildlife populations through unregulated harvesting, hunters and anglers assumed responsibility for the management of wildlife and worked to conserve species through harvest limits and the establishment of conservation organizations. Since its implementation in the 1860s, the North American Model has been responsible for the revival of multiple species, including white-tailed deer, elk, and black bears among others. Deer populations have grown to 32 million since the mid-1900s thanks to the North American Model, where science and sustainability are central. Research is conducted yearly to ensure that harvest is sustainable and adapted to meet the management goals set for the population size. Further, state conservation programs provide groundbreaking research into the most pressing issues facing wildlife management and rely heavily on revenue generated by hunters to remain at the forefront of those issues.
Through legislation such as the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, better-known as the Pittman-Robertson Act, excise taxes and fees paid by hunters are directed to restoration programs to be used exclusively by state fish and wildlife agencies. The revenue from an 11 percent tax on long guns, for example, is distributed nationwide and assists with conservation research and project funding. Last year, the US Department of the Interior announced that $1.1 billion of excise tax revenue paid by sportsmen and sportswomen would go toward funding state conservation and recreation projects. Programs like Pittman-Robertson and personal donations to conservation organizations allow sportsmen and sportswomen to contribute billions to conservation annually. In 2011, North American hunters spent $38.3 billion with $3 billion directed exclusively to conservation initiatives. These efforts are the foundation of the conservation funding system.
The practice of funding conservation programs through hunting revenue is not only applicable to North America, but has been shown to be effective internationally. As in the US, hunting revenue from the sale of licenses and tags in Africa and Asia also goes directly to funding wildlife management and other conservation efforts. Many African countries rely on tourism for economic stability; one of the highest grossing forms of tourism in Africa is hunting. Hunting tourism means jobs to local peoples of Africa. According to a 2004 study, in Tanzania hunting tourism employed approximately 3,700 people annually. In turn, those workers supported 88,240 family members.
Many wildlife organizations recognize the benefits hunting tourism brings to African communities. A recent World Wildlife Fund community-based natural resources management report states that the economic benefits of hunting “quickly reinforce the value of a conservancy’s wildlife resource and such community awareness is a powerful anti-poaching stimulus, creating effective internal social pressures against the illegal harvesting of game.”
Creating value for wildlife is a key aspect in ensuring wildlife survival and that is exactly what the presence of hunting accomplishes. Habitat loss and human-wildlife conflict are growing threats to wildlife populations. This is due to land-use change for various human purposes, such as agriculture. As long as wildlife attack livestock and eat or trample crops, local people will continue to indiscriminately kill intruders that they perceive as a threat to their livelihood. Scientifically based, regulated hunting provides value to wildlife for these local communities by showing the profits that can be generated by the legal harvest of a single animal. It is also conducive in creating socially acceptable population numbers, which ultimately decreases the possibility of wildlife conflict and therefore decreases the number of retaliatory killings, further conserving species.
Many opponents of the hunting industry ask: “If hunters love wildlife, why not donate the money instead of using it for hunting?” But no one asks a marathon runner to only write a check instead of actually running in a breast cancer awareness race. It is commonly understood that providing an opportunity for a person to contribute to a cause, while participating in something they love, increases the likelihood that a person will continue to contribute in the future.
Hunters respect wildlife and seek to conserve the wildlife that they hunt to ensure sustainable populations for the future. It is a lucrative form of tourism that not only creates value for wildlife, but also supports conservation programs, feeds local communities, provides jobs, and funds anti-poaching efforts. And, hunters also write checks for conservation, in addition to hunting.
Hunting is indisputably an effective form of conservation recognized by governments and wildlife organizations throughout the world. It generates revenue and provides tremendous opportunities for communities reliant on wildlife. Science dictates harvest numbers and research showcases its positive effects. Year after year, sportsmen and sportswomen demonstrate their impactful role in conservation and their efforts should not be stifled by the futile emotional arguments of those who harbor a moral grudge against the hunting industry.

Improving Your Wingshooting

I have never gone to a seminar of this sort when I haven’t learned some little trick that helped me. I just can’t understand why I am not a great shot by now? Hope to see you there.

Hunt Forever

gila-ndvickiash 111412Gil and Vicki Ash have been coaching world class shooters and providing tips on shotgunning in Safari Magazine, now you can join them in person at this important seminar.

Vicki and Gil will be showing new ShotKam video footage of kill shots on four different species: ducks, pigeons, quail and doves. They will also discuss innovative ways of getting back on track when you lose your bird in the field.

Join your shotgunning editors for a fun-filled session where you will actually learn something that will make you a better shooter in the field and on the clays range. Short Q&A session to follow.


View original post

Wild Harvest Initiative Makes Progress Acquiring Big Data

Very interesting project which effects sportsmen and women, of all interests and levels, all across North America. I will be following it with interest so stay tuned.

First For Wildlife


In a recent update from Conservation Visions Inc., the Wild Harvest Initiative has made significant progress acquiring data from public online sources and jurisdictional representatives. The initiative, funded by SCI Foundation and a coalition of hunting organizations, is working to estimate the value of recreational wild protein harvest from the 15.5 million hunters and 37 million anglers across 69 U.S. states, Canadian provinces and associated territories.

A harvest database is currently being developed into a custom graphical user interface. Once completed, wildlife agencies, researchers, and conservationist can use this information to identify existing gaps and address weaknesses across North American study areas.

Objectives for the next quarter include continuing database development, calculating harvest biomass for select species, collecting more angling harvest data and building additional support for the initiative.


The Wild Harvest Initiative is the first attempt to systematically quantify wild protein harvest on such a large scale and seeks to…

View original post 103 more words

Weekly Update: Newfoundland Caribou Project Reveals Habitat Key to Sustainable Management

“For every problem, there is a simple and obvious solution; which is will not work!”

This was an amazing project that I was happy to be involved with. I had friends and associates telling me it was all due to coyotes, or bears, or lynx, or who knows what, but everyone had a theory; that was proven wrong!
Congratulations to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador with Shane Mahoney’s overall leadership, Safari Club International Foundation with Matt Eckert’s guideness, and a whole herd of professional individuals, volunteers and Educational institutions.

First For Wildlife


For over eight years, SCI Foundation has partnered with the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Department of Environment and Conservation to support a major research program on Newfoundland Island’s woodland caribou population. The long-term scientific study has made these caribou one of the best studied wildlife populations in the world. We are pleased to present results from the project’s final report, which lays a foundation for a new comprehensive management plan.

In the 1990s, Newfoundland’s large population of caribou began to crash. The magnitude of the loss, a decline of approximately 62% of the population in one decade, and uncertainty over the causes sparked concern for local stakeholders. Woodland caribou represent an important natural resource for the island’s economy and culture. In 2008, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Sustainable Development and Strategic Science Division established the Caribou Strategy, a 5-year research initiative, to determine the factors driving…

View original post 455 more words

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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

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