Meet Mia Anstine, active member of SCI, writer, photographer, hunting guide and instructor in archery, firearms and other outdoor-related skills. She’s an engaging speaker, commentator and instructor. Mia’s work has been featured on television, radio and in newspapers and magazines. She is also a champion for hunting, conservation and firearms ownership.
When asked what she is passionate about, Mia said this. “I’m passionate about saving the traditions that my great grandfather passed down to my uncles and my father, who then passed them to me.”
Mia has been active with SCI for over 11 years. As she explains it, “With a passion for hunting, wildlife, habitat and traditions, I held a respect for SCI. Over the years, I had attended the Four Corners Chapter’s banquet/fundraiser events. I supported them enthusiastically, buying items, because of all the outreach they do on a local level. Several years later the Chapter’s board of directors needed help. They reached out to me, and I’ve been helping ever since.”
She attends the annual SCI Convention for a number of reasons. “As a writer, I enjoy the speakers at the convention. I’ve used information, quotes and ideas from their presentations for articles and in several of my speaking events. As a hunter, I enjoy visiting with outfitters and other exhibitors. Above all, the taxidermy is amazing.”
Mia not only joined SCI over 11 years ago, she got involved. Currently she is the Secretary of the Four Corners Chapter, an SCI Regional Representative and an SCI Official Scorer. She has contributed to SCI in a number of ways. “I’ve done work to recruit board members and to help chapters stabilize and gain direction. I’ve created systems and calendars to assist with organization in events and scheduling. I collaboratively created the Tim Cooper Memorial scholarship, which gives to students who want to attend a university, college, or trade school, in honor of a former SCI member.”
When asked what results she has seen from her work with SCI, Mia says, “I’ve seen chapters that were about to fall apart come to life. I’ve seen chapters without direction learn to be a great influence in their community.”
There are always barriers to overcome in an organization and here is what Mia says about the ones she has faced. “The biggest barrier I see is when individuals try to act on their own accord or take the road alone. When one person works to take the glory, the entire community suffers. In the hunting community and on a chapter’s board of directors, it takes a team (or board of directors) to make things happen. When a person can’t work with others, their projects fail, the chapters fail, and hunting will ultimately suffer.”
When asked what barriers she is facing now, Mia said. “A lack of urgency. We’re always up against anti-hunters and anti-gun communities, but I think our largest barrier right now is ourselves. There are a lot of regulations that the antis are trying to pass, and while they’re shouting and shoveling things through legislation, there’s a lack of interest from hunters. We have to get involved in organizations like SCI who work with legislators on a national and state level. We have to attend public hearings. We have to visit with our Representatives, Congressmen and Senators. They should know us on a first name basis.”
Mia has some goals for her work with SCI. “My goal is to get to know more people in SCI and continue to work on strengthening the chapters. This means having strong SCI boards, membership, outreach and image in the community.”
Mia sees SCI differently than other conservation and hunting groups. “SCI is lobbying for our rights, and protecting hunters, on a state, national and international level. Beyond that, SCI gives their chapters a voice and a say in what we do. Chapters are able to raise money and use it themselves to focus on needs in their specific areas.”
Here is what Mia says about other hunters joining her effort. “If you enjoy hunting and want to see future generations enjoy it as well, you need to get involved with SCI. First become a member. If you don’t want to be on a board, join a committee. Committee members can have a voice and help create chapter events and outreach. The rewards from what you do will be tremendous. Become involved and get to know people. Support other hunters and you can start at SCI.”
In closing Mia has this to say. “Initially I supported SCI because they’re the only organization that is working to support hunters on a national level. Later I learned that SCI also works on a local level. Each chapter has fundraising events and 70% of the funds they raise stay in their community. The chapter works to educate, support and become involved in their area. When the chapter raises money, they know where it goes.”
You can make a difference, too. Start by joining SCI at http://www.joinsci.org and attending the 2020 Safari Club International Hunters’ Convention February 5-8, 2020 in Reno, Nevada
Register to attend at www.showsci.org/register-now.