Then and Now

By Steve Comus, Director of Publications

Hunt now because no one knows what will happen in the coming years. This is not a doom-and-gloom statement, but rather a reality check in which positive action now and in the future can assure a full and rewarding life journey (safari). 

The world is still feeling the sting of the pandemic, there’s a war being waged, and inflation is robbing folks of much of their hard-earned money. With all of that “somebody done somebody wrong” stuff happening in the world, how is it that we can even think about going hunting?

It’s really easy because we’re hunters, and that’s what hunters do. And it was pretty much the same song back when SCI was formed a half-century ago. 

For example, in 1972 terrorists at the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, killed nine Israelis. During a firefight, five of the terrorists were killed. 

The war in Vietnam continued to drag on that year, which also was when the Watergate scandal began. One good thing is that pocket calculators were introduced then. 

In 1973, the U.S. pulled its last troops out of Vietnam and America’s first space station (Skylab) was launched. 

The next year, heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army and President Nixon resigned over the Watergate scandal. I covered both of those news items as a reporter at the time. 

Yes, the world was all messed up during the early years of SCI and some might suggest that it always has been and probably always will be a mess. 

But that didn’t hinder SCI Founder C.J. McElroy or any of the other charter members from launching SCI and going hunting around the world. 

So, why should a messed-up world interfere with international hunting now? It shouldn’t. With that in mind, there are lots of hunting opportunities available now and in the near future, ranging from wild turkeys in North America, to birds and beasts in South America, to full-on safaris in Africa. 

SCI Founder Mac always envied anyone who was going on a first safari. There is always something special about a first safari. That makes sense. 

But not many folks talk a whole lot about a last safari. As much as every safarist must have a first safari, he or she also will have a last safari — even if the first one also happens to be the last one. 

Some hunters are fortunate enough to be able to plan their last safaris. They are the ones getting long in the tooth, who, for any number of reasons, decide that the time has come for one last hurrah before doing a final safari and then hanging up their rifle that one last time. 

Other hunters are not so lucky. Sometimes they are incapacitated or die before they have gone on what they would have liked to have been their last safari. Other times, they may have thought about doing one last safari but just never got around to it until it was too late for them. 

About the only way to address this situation productively is to plan another safari every year, treat each like it might be the last and therefore increase the enjoyment of all of them until the last one is in the books. 

As all true hunters know full well, the only time we aren’t thinking about hunting, planning a hunt, or actually hunting is when we’ve crossed over to the Happy Hunting Grounds where, if all goes well, we can continue to hunt. Or not.