What we say, when coupled with the focus we have, helps to define us, both among ourselves and with non-hunters throughout the world. This is important because we need to be singing from the same page in the hymnal, so to speak, and we need to focus clearly on what is really important. Words matter. As self-explanatory as that simple statement is, I feel that it is extremely important for all of us hunters to take our words seriously — say what we mean and mean what we say.
With that in mind, I want to add two more “pillars,” or words, to the bases upon which the future of SCI rests. The two additional pillars are Hunting and Chapters. For several years, I have stressed that the future of both SCI and hunting rests on four pillars: Advocacy, Membership, Event Services (Convention) and Conservation. Now, I am adding two more pillars: Hunting and Chapters. This is because without hunting, we would not exist as hunters, and without Chapters, SCI would not exist as the foremost protector of the freedom to hunt worldwide.
As I was thinking about the Hunting pillar, it occurred to me that SCI has been the most consistent organization on earth when it comes to protecting ALL hunting by ALL hunters. Then I recalled recent studies that have indicated a growing number of female hunters around the world. Of course, I thought to myself. That is self-evident.
But is it obvious for other hunters and non-hunters? If not, it soon will be because SCI is going to focus more sharply on women in hunting and promoting women in hunting more completely, starting right now. As certainly as history is on our side in this recognition and celebration of women in hunting, the future of all hunting absolutely hinges on the phenomenon in which women maintain their rightful spot in hunting.
That’s the way it was in pre-history, that’s the way it has been in mythology and, frankly, that’s simply the way it is in the world. Only in comparatively recent times have women not been as prevalent in hunting as they originally and naturally were. Following a number of archeological discoveries in the past few years, some researchers have suggested that in pre-written history, about half of all hunters were women, and about half were men. That makes sense.
More recently, Artemis was recognized as the classical Greek goddess of the hunt, and Diana was the Roman goddess of the hunt. And today, the SCI Dianas are among the most serious and dedicated hunters on Planet Earth.
With all of that in mind, I welcome SCI’s current focus on women in hunting and invite all SCI members to welcome female hunters into the culture and to actively recruit girls and women into SCI. This is one reason why our theme for the upcoming SCI Convention in Nashville Feb. 22-35, 2023 will be Women In Hunting.
That is the only way that SCI truly can be first for ALL hunters. And by doing that, SCI will assure a bright future for both hunting and the organization itself. What we do now, will determine what the future of hunting will be. Thank you for being a part of SCI and for supporting the freedom to hunt.