Hyland B. Erickson, one of SCI’s founders, has died at age 81.
“Sadly, another of SCI’s founders has passed away. Hyland B. Erickson, SCI’s second President (1974-1976), was among a handful of passionate hunters who turned a shared dream into the reality of Safari Club International,” said SCI President Scott Chapman. “Erickson became the first President of the SCI Chicago Chapter in April of 1972, and it was the joining of the Chicago and Los Angeles Chapters that established SCI. He also helped form SCI Houston, SCI Dallas, SCI Denver, SCI Michigan, SCI Pittsburgh and many others during his active involvement with SCI. We all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Hyland B. Erickson for helping to get SCI going in the beginning. Erickson was a visionary, a dedicated international hunter and a tireless worker, without whose efforts SCI could not have become what it is today. He will be missed.”
Erickson also was a founding director of the Hunting Hall of Fame in 1976, a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, and CEO of Borg Erickson Corporation (Borg Scales) from 1963 to 1985, when he sold the business and retired.
He served as a member of the board of the Weatherby Foundation and was a founding representative of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners from 2000 to 2003. Also, he was president of Shikar-Safari International and a member of The Explorers Club of New York and The Adventurers Club of Chicago. In 1967, Erickson went to Kenya on his first of more than 40 safaris to Africa.
Of his achievements during his involvement with SCI, he was proudest of serving as SCI President during the club’s rapid membership and chapter growth, helping establish SCI’s strong bylaws, developing successful annual meetings and recruiting qualified successors.
Hy Erickson took on CBS News and broadcast reporter Dan Rather for what he saw as “smear tactics used to attack hunters” in the “Guns of Autumn” fake news “documentary” in 1975 and forced the network to air “Echoes of the Guns of Autumn.” This second program established and featured SCI as the leader in protecting the hunter/conservationist.
Erickson graduated from Lawrenceville School in 1958 and Dennison University in 1962, with Harvard Business School experience in 1979-1980.
He is survived by Brenda, his wife of 56 years; three children, Kirsten Wildman (Don), H.B. Erickson, Jr. (Heidi), and Deidre Keller; two grandchildren, Logan Spangler and Grant Keller; and his beloved dog Winston.