SCI’s Women Go Hunting (WGH) initiative is inviting all SCI women members who hunt to document their hunting achievements by participating in the WGH 100 Woman Challenge. The challenge involves entering personal hunting trophies into the SCI World Hunting Awards Program, which includes a variety of award levels and recognitions.
“Don’t think you can’t participate because you don’t have Record Book trophies,” explains WGH Chair Denise Welker. “This program has nothing to do with trophy size, so all hunters can participate.”
Trophies entered in the awards program do not need to meet Record Book entry minimums, as these awards are a supplementary program focused on an SCI member’s personal hunting journey. The Record Book recognizes and documents individual animals reaching the pinnacle of their species along with the destinations and conservation programs that produce them. The World Hunting Awards Program is a visual summary of a person’s hunting career, encapsulating all the places, species and challenges pursued. Whether the animal was taken during a management hunt, as part of a cull hunt, or on a youth hunt, or if it had a broken horn, a spike or a scum cap for a boss, each one counts towards the awards program.
“Many women start hunting while accompanying their partner or spouse on a trip, taking an impala or a wildebeest for camp meat. Or they may have shot a feral pig on their first hunt,” says Welker, who is also the upcoming recipient of the SCI World Hunting Award Ring. “All of those animals count towards the awards program. So, WGH has created the 100 Woman Challenge as a means of encouraging women to take stock and celebrate their hunting accomplishments.”
There are six award categories in the awards program: Continental Awards, Milestone Awards, Inner Circle Awards, Cumulative Awards, and Birds of the World Awards. Each category provides a list of species or species varieties from which the hunter must submit a minimum number of entries. For example, the White-tailed Deer of the World Milestone Award lists 19 varieties of white-tailed deer but requires a minimum of five to receive the award. So, a hunter who has taken a northwestern whitetail, a southeastern whitetail, a Midwestern whitetail, a Texas whitetail, and a Coues deer qualifies for the award. The South American Continental Award requires eight species from a list of 25. Other awards are a bit more elaborate, such as the Animals of Africa, which are divided into five levels (from copper to diamond) with a specific number of animals required in 20+ categories for each level.
That may sound complicated, but the SCI World Hunting Award Field Journal makes it easy to document every species taken, note it in every award it qualifies under and track how many animals a hunter has left to complete an award level. The field journal was the brainchild of SCI member and Diana Award winner Mary Harter. She started by stapling together the pages from the SCI Awards Issue of SAFARI Magazine every year and taking it with her on hunting trips with her husband and EC member Don Harter. One of their safari operators saw her makeshift journal and suggested specific destinations where she and Don could hunt a number of species that would complete award levels in one trip. Harter took her field journal idea to the Record Book Department, and now the journal is available as a free booklet to any member submitting an entry for an award.
“Several women become Diana Award winners after using the field journal to document their past hunts,” says Harter. “Once you start going through the journal and marking off the species you’ve hunted, you suddenly realize you’ve accomplished so much more as a hunter than you imagined. I encourage every SCI woman hunter to get a field journal, check off what she’s already taken and submit her award entries.”
The 100 Woman Challenge kicked off October 1, and closes December 31, 2023. Participants are eligible for prizes, including 15 Allta All Seasons jackets donated by Kirstie Pike of Prois Hunting (proishunting.com) and valued at $189 each. The first five women to enter the contest will receive jackets. The other 10 jackets will go to every 10th entry. So, entrants 1-5 will win a jacket, followed by the 10th, 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th, 80th, 90th and 100th entrants. Also, the woman who enters the most trophies in the award program during the challenge will receive a custom, high-quality felt field hat by Greely Hat Works valued at approximately $499 and donated by Anna V Outdoors (annavoutdoors.com). Winners will be announced and recognized at the SCI Convention in Nashville, where Pike and AnnaV will present them with their prizes. Winners will also gather for a group photograph, and all entrants will be recognized at the WGH Mix & Mingle on Saturday, February 3, 2024.
Although any SCI member may participate in the SCI Award Program, the 100 Woman Challenge is open to women members only. To participate, contact Vanessa Bates (520-535-2878; [email protected]) or Rachel Settle (520-798-4902; [email protected]) in the Record Book Department to discuss the trophies you would like to enter. Submit a completed entry form with a photo of you and your trophy and be sure to declare you are participating in the 100 Woman Challenge. Each entry costs $35. Participants entering a trophy will receive a free copy of the Field Journal to mark and track their eligible trophies and those submitted. Record Book will track all participants and their entries for the WGH committee. Prize winners will be announced before the 2024 convention. For questions about the awards program, contact Settle or Bates in Record Book. For questions about the WGH campaign contact Barbara Crown, SCI Hunter Information Service at 520-798-4859 or [email protected].