By W. Laird Hamberlin, CEO Safari Club International
There is so much going on in the hunting world that it is difficult to keep up with even a tiny bit of it. And that’s exciting because great things come from great efforts.
I talk constantly about the six pillars upon which the future of both SCI and hunting rest: Advocacy, Chapters, Event Services (Convention), Hunting, Membership and Conservation. Now is a great time to address the Hunting pillar. This is because hunting is an extremely personal thing for each of us, and it also is a collective reality upon which our entire hunting culture is based.
Institutionally, we all celebrate hunting at the annual SCI Convention — the biggest and best event of its kind in the world. But it is not the only hunter event. To wit: Texas Trophy Hunters Association’s three annual Hunters Extravaganzas. I recently had the pleasure of attending two of the TTHA Extravaganzas. They are superb events that involve thousands of hunters, many of whom haven’t yet attended an SCI Convention. Certainly, I met a lot of SCI members at the Extravaganzas. The quantity and quality of hunters at those events demonstrated that bringing TTHA into the SCI family was totally the right thing to do. Most impressive at the Extravaganzas was the number of women and children who are living examples of how the hunting culture is a family matter. It made me even more enthusiastically optimistic about the future of hunting.
I invite all SCI members to join TTHA and to attend one or more of the Extravaganzas next year. You’ll be glad you did.
Whether it is the SCI Convention or a TTHA Extravaganza, those events accomplish a number of things simultaneously. They are marketplaces for all of the guns and gear needed to hunt, and they feature the world’s best guides and outfitters. But they are so much more. Something magical happens when we hunters gather and talk among ourselves about hunting. I submit that during those times, we are more human than at any other time or place.
To be a hunter is to be human. It has been that way since the beginning. And it is because of this that in the end, we win and the antis lose. Their outright lies, deceitfully artificial and contrived attacks on hunters and hunting fall apart in the face our natural and eternal truths. Of all the pillars, Hunting is perhaps the strongest and most profound. After all, it is why SCI exists. It is who and what we, as hunters, are.
With that in mind, I invite all members to do two things:
1) Go hunting, and
2) Register for the SCI Convention Feb. 22-25 in Nashville.
This is the hunting time of year throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere. And there is no reason to think in terms of either-or. Do it all. Go hunting for big game, small game, waterfowl and upland birds. Thanks to the effective conservation efforts of hunters, nature truly does offer a bounty. Be part of the hunting culture. You’ll be more human because of it. Thank you for being members of SCI. Invite your friends and family to join or upgrade. The more of us there are, the better it is for hunting overall.
Thank you for being members of SCI. Invite your friends and family to join or upgrade. The more of us there are, the better it is for hunting overall.