Safari Club International has been active and influential since the beginning. Following is a timeline of some of the more important events for SCI since its beginning 50 years ago.
1971 – Safari Club of Southern California evolved into Safari Club of Los Angeles, which formed Safari Club International.
1972 – Safari Club International incorporated.
1973 – SCI holds its first Convention at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada
1973 – Safari Club International Conservation Fund (SCICF) was formed.
1973 – SCI presented its first medallions for major awards at the Convention.
1975 – SCI became involved in its first big advocacy campaign against CBS’ “Guns of Autumn” anti-gun “documentary.”
1975 – The American Wilderness Leadership School concept was launched by SCI Founder C.J. McElroy, with the help of three outfitters, each of whom hosted 20 to 25 students the first year.
1976 – AWLS held a single session at the Box Y Ranch in Wyoming.
1976 – SCI President Andy Oldfield represented the United States at CITES.
1976 – SCICF and SCI Chapters presented the Mexican government two Toyota 4×4 vehicles for use by wardens and biologists in desert bighorn sheep work in Sonora.
1977 – SCICF and SCI Chapters presented the Mexican government two 4×4 Ford Broncos for use in Baja California.
1977 – SCI Spain, the club’s first overseas Chapter, was formed.
1977 – SCI’s first environmental resolution was presented at an international wildlife symposium in Nairobi, Kenya protesting the countrywide ban on hunting.
1977 – SCI incoming President Carroll Mann met with U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus to discuss SCI’s objections to certain provisions of the Endangered Species Act.
1977 – SCI printed its first Record Book.
1980 – SCI formed its first Government Affairs Committee, and 27 of the 39 candidates supported by SCI-PAC in the 1980 elections won their races.
1982 – SCI launched the Big Five Classic Masterpiece Collection of Rifles, elevating the value of custom firearms worldwide. Each year for five years, the amount paid for a Big Five rifle went up, from $41,000 the first year to $201,000 the fifth year.
1984 – Sables were formed and focused on education.
1986 – The first annual Awards issue of Safari Magazine was published.
1987 – SCICF became involved with Becoming and Outdoors Woman.
1988 – The International Wildlife Museum opened and served as SCI headquarters until they were moved to Washington, D.C. in 2018.
1991 – Safari Times newspaper was founded.
1992 – SCI held its first East Coast Convention at the Disneyworld Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Florida.
1994 – Following hard work with Congress by SCI, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed into law amendments to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, allowing U.S. hunters to import legally taken Canadian polar bear trophies for the first time in 20 years.
1995 – The SCI Convention News, a daily newspaper at the Convention, was approved.
1995 – Diana Award created, recognizing women of SCI who have excelled in international big game hunting.
1997 – Richard Parsons was named director of SCI’s Wildlife and Conservation Department. For many years before that, he was SCI’s Governmental Affairs Counsel.
1999 – Safari Times Africa newspaper was founded.
1999 – SCI’s youth magazine Safari Cub began publication.
2001 – Safari Club International Foundation is formed.
2001 – SCIF launched the African Wildlife Consultative Forum.
2002 – SCI Founder C.J. McElroy died.
2002 – The SCIF/SCI Chancellor Washington Headquarters on Capitol Hill opened.
2003 – HUNT FOREVER!, a full-color slick magazine to promote SCI’s hunter advocacy efforts to North American hunters was launched.
2004 – Production began on SCI’s Expedition Safari television program.
2005 – SCI launched the first global hunting effort to honor veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
2006 – Operation Freedom Safari was held in Botswana where SCI members Eric and Oksana Sparks joined Jim Zumbo in hosting wounded veteran Joe Tormala of Michigan.
2006 – Going into the midterm elections, SCI warned all hunters to be aware of deception involving a group that claimed to be mainline hunters and shooters. Such groups have come to be known as “decoy organizations” since they exist to decoy unassuming voters. Since then, there have been other decoy groups pop up from time to time.
2007 – The United Nations voted to officially recognize SCIF as a non-governmental organization with consultative status.
2008 – SCI filed a lawsuit challenging the listing of the polar bear as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.
2008 – SCIF and several SCI Chapters transferred 56 wood bison from the Elk Island National Park in Alberta, Canada to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to achieve the reintroduction of the wood bison to Alaska.
2008 – SCI initiates the annual Wildlife Law Course for lawyers at the Convention.
2009 – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia addressed attorneys at SCI’s Second Annual Wildlife Law Course and then served as speaker for the Convention’s Saturday evening festivities.
2009 – SCI/SCIF prevented listing of the African lion as endangered after working with range states from southern and eastern Africa to defeat the proposal.
2010 – SCI made its first foray into the U.S. Supreme Court in the matter of U.S. v. Stevens, a case testing the constitutionality of a federal law designed to criminalize depictions of animal cruelty. SCI filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief explaining how the law was so broadly written that it could actually criminalize videos of legal hunting activities. Not only did the U.S. Supreme Court agree with SCI’s position and vote 8-1 to strike down the law as unconstitutional, but the court specifically referenced SCI’s amicus brief as providing a key component of the basis for the court’s ruling.
2010 – Safari Times newspaper was made available online for members who wanted to read it in that format.
2011 – SCI produced the Epic Outdoor Game Fair near Atlanta, Georgia.
2012 – SCI Canada celebrated the end of the gun registry in Canada.
2013 – Under the watchful eye of a live African lion, SCI raised more than $1.2 million in a single evening at the Convention to help fund efforts to save both the African lion and the hunting of that species.
2013 – SCI and SCIF celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the International Wildlife Museum in Tucson, Arizona.
2014 – The United States Fish & Wildlife Service published a final rule that affirmed revisions made to existing regulations that control international trade in wildlife and plants protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). One of the many revisions included a new definition of the term “hunting trophy,” which characterized what is and what is not considered a hunting trophy by the United States.
2014 – Vicious attacks in the social media against hunters hit new highs against SCI Member Kendall Jones, who received death threats, among many other threats. Such attacks continue, including a 2018 attack against SCI Member Brittany Longoria.
2015 – Hunting and SCI were attacked viciously after an African lion that some called Cecil was killed by a bowhunter and SCI member in Zimbabwe.
2016 – The SCI Record Book and World Hunting Awards Committee approved and then launched a new program called Game Birds of the World to encourage members to document their bird hunting adventures.
2016 – SCIF was formally accepted as a new member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s largest environmental network and the global authority on species survival status.
2017 – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke created the International Wildlife Conservation Council, which included a number of SCI officials and members.
2018 – The SCI Board of Directors enthusiastically welcomed a new plan for Advocacy Communications that had been approved by the Executive Committee. The plan declared 14 specific principles to help enhance the effectiveness of SCI’s primary mission – protecting the freedom to hunt.
2019 – The SCI World Heritage Rifle Series rifle honoring the Americas by John Bolliger’s Mountain Riflery brought $260,000 at the SCI Convention.
2020 – COVID-19 pandemic set the world on its ear and negatively impacted hunting worldwide. SCI launched Share The Impact, an online effort that raised over a half-million dollars to help guides and outfitters who were devastated when entire hunting seasons were cancelled.