Women hunters make up the fastest-growing demographic in the hunting community. To honor these ladies and our rich hunting heritage, SCI is continuing our celebration of "Women Go Hunting" as part of this year's Convention theme: The Future of Hunting. Join us for our Convention from January 31 - February 3, 2024, in Nashville, Tennessee.
Building off last year's inaugural success, we will host our annual ladies only Mix & Mingle on Saturday, February 3. More details to come - join our Facebook group to stay connected and up to date with the women of SCI!
Share Your Stories!
Now, we want to hear from YOU! Share your hunting lifestyle, stories as an SCI member, or your favorite hunting adventure. Whether you're a lifelong hunter or are just getting started, submit your stories for a chance to be featured on SCI socials and publications! Share as much or as little as you like in the prompts at the link below.
From the Women of SCI
"About 7 years ago, I was dating a guy who liked to hunt and would take me on public land whitetail and waterfowl hunts. When a co-worker who was an avid hunter, heard that I was hunting, he then taught me how to use a bow and a climbing tree stand and suburban whitetail hunt. I hunted 5 does that season.
The next spring, my co-worker suggested that I go to Alberta and hunt black bears with a guide friend of his. I had never seen so much wildlife. I hunted two good -sized black bears. My co-worker then suggested that I should go the following fall to hunt mountain goats in Prince William Sound on a boat-based hunt. Prince William Sound was the most awesome place I had ever been. I had never hiked up rocks or shot distances much beyond 200 yards. I hiked up and missed the first goat, which was a big billy. I was very sore but hiked up again and hunted a smaller billy. When I got home, I was hooked on hunting. I promised myself to become a better hiker and shooter. I enrolled in long-distance shooting classes and started competing in local long-distance competitions. All of the guys were very supportive of me and helped me learn. In the next couple of years, I hunted moose, bears, whitetail, antelope, aoudad, waterfowl and axis deer. I then decided to hunt dall sheep. I have since been on three dall sheep hunts in the Yukon and Northwest Territories and was successful twice. My co-worker suggested that I look at hunts through Cabelas/World Wide Trophy Adventures. I looked at the Cabelas website and there was an advertisement for a bezoar ibex hunt in Turkey. I am then on a plane to Turkey. Everyone in Turkey was very kind and encouraging to me and even wanted their pictures with me and my ibex. I then toured around Turkey, which has very ancient history combined with picturesque country.
Now I travel as often as possible to hunt - across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Spain, France, Macedonia, Slovenia, Zambia and more to come. I can shoot reliably past 500 yards and really enjoy hunting and shooting with all of my good friends, who I have met in the last 7 years. Has been some amazing adventures with hopefully many more to come. SCI is important to me because I believe in hunting for conservation. I have seen it in action in many places." -Barbara Solow
"I grew up in rural Montana and started hunting as a young child with my father. I've been hunting my entire life. Hunting always has and always will be a huge part of who I am. Now that I have a child, I'm eager to introduce him to the world of hunting.
A few years ago I decided to physically challenge myself and chase aoudad in Texas Hill Country on foot. I convinced a fellow SCI member to accompany me up and down miles upon miles of cactus-filled hills in search of a large aoudad. Growing up in Montana, I was skeptical that those Texas hills would be challenging, but boy were they exhausting! We saw large herds of sheep, but they were always too far away to get a good shot, and too many eyes would catch us before we could get within 400 yards. After a full day of the aoudad eluding us, we crested one last hill and there he was - a lone mature ram not even 40 yards away. I instantly dropped prone and pulled the trigger, not even wasting a second to dial down my scope. The aoudad dropped and my quest had ended. I couldn't decide if I was more grateful to have had a successful hunt, or that I no longer had to hike those hills in the Texas heat!
No other organization protects the rights of hunters the way SCI does. Without SCI fighting for our rights, hunting in this country - and internationally - would look much differently. I'm looking forward to passing on my hunting heritage to my young son, thanks to the efforts of SCI.
As a 36-year-old female, I'm not who people think of when they envision the typical SCI member. However, I've found SCI to be a very inclusive group of diverse hunters. I've made countless friends in this organization and I'm proud of the efforts that I've been a part of in helping SCI continue to protect the rights of hunters and conserve wildlife across the globe." -Stephanie Hickey
Started helping my dad with tree stands and clearing branches at his hunt club. He broke the rules and took me hunting at his men only hunt club. That was 23 years ago, and I was 12 years old.
First deer I harvested. I was hunting with my dad. He was able to see the deer before I could. He called me on the radio, telling me to get ready. I stood up, turned in my tree stand, and leaned my shotgun against the tree for support. One shot to the lungs, and the deer was down. I’ll never forget that moment, sharing it with my dad makes it even better.
Provides me an opportunity to network with members who love hunting as much as I do.
I love the outdoors, and spend as much time hunting and fishing as I can. I’m enjoying spending this summer teaching my nephew How to fish and the importance of conservation. -Rachel Brichetto
My husband, Henry, introduced me to hunting by persuading me to tag along with him on his adventures. Little did I know that was just the beginning, and it wouldn't be the last time. I had no idea that I would eventually develop a love and passion for the great outdoors. I have been hunting for over 18 years now.
My favorite hunting story is when my husband and I pulled a double. After missing my first attempt at a wild turkey earlier in the season, we decided to go out together again and see what happens. We were set up in a ground blind that morning and after doing some calling shortly after two long beards came into our set up. The plan was to shoot on the count of three. My husband shot, but I did not have the shot and didn’t pull the trigger just yet. In my mind I was thinking “Lakeisha, don’t let this turkey get away”. As my turkey started to run off moments later, “BOOM”, I pulled the trigger and down he went. My husband and I just pulled a double! I couldn’t believe what had just happened! That was one of the most exciting early memories of me turkey hunting. Nothing can keep me out of the woods now.
Our hunting heritage is being attacked daily, and SCI is defending our rights and freedom to hunt while supporting wildlife conservation. They are the front line defense for what we love and hold dear in the outdoors. SCI is doing a great service for the preservation of our hunting heritage.
My hunting adventures with my family are chronicled through photos and videos on social media under the name HALO Hunting, which is an acronym for "Henry And Lakeisha Outdoors".
I started hunting when I met my husband 32 years ago. We started out with pheasant hunting and then I moved onto big game.
All of my hunts have been special to me. Most dangerous was my goat hunt.
Over the years I have made some wonderful friends [at SCI].
I love to travel with Steve and/or our family even if I'm not hunting to experience the different cultures. I like being in remote areas when you are disconnected. -Sue Skold
As the youngest of 4 kids, 3 girls and 1 boy, my dad had hunted with my brother for years and tried to get my 2 sisters interested in it but had no luck. When I was around 14 he asked asked if I wanted to tag along antelope hunting, just to observe and see what it was all about, and I agreed. After that, we started going to the shooting range and have been hunting ever since! It’s been 24 years of adventures so far!
In 2019, my dad and I traveled to Greenland for a musk ox and caribou hunt. This hunt was particularly special because the musk ox was one animal that my dad had wanted to get and hadn’t had the chance to for many years. The outfitter was amazing, we slept in a warm tent, took a flat bottom boat out to the hunting grounds each day, made friends, ate wonderful food and were able to get the animals we came for! My dad got an old musk ox, exactly what he wanted. I got a beautiful caribou, then after stalking a small herd through chilly hills nestled next to the ice cap, I also got a musk ox. It was a trip I’ll never forget because not only were we in the middle of nowhere, no roads or electricity, where it was light out until at least midnight, I was able to experience an incredible, meaningful moment with my father and that means more than anything.
SCI is incredibly important because without this organization, I wouldn’t be able to do what I love and have life changing experiences that cannot be replicated by anything else.
By day I’m a Human Resources professional and when I tell people I’m also a hunter they are always so surprised which I think is such a great thing because I always think you can never assume you know someone until you get to know them! - Jocelyn Guite
I grew up in an outdoor family but mostly did fishing and predator hunting until I met and married my husband in 1997. He is avid hunter and welcomed me along on his hunts and it didn't take long to realize this was a lifestyle I loved! After our children were born we continued to make our hunting trips a family affair and spents weeks on end in the woods hunting together as a family. In 2010 I drew my first big game tag and in 2012 took my first deer. Since then I've hunted every year and taken deer and elk almost every year. Every year my passion for hunting grows and now I even am building my own outdoor business. A particular blessing is now teaching my daughter how to hunt and spending time in the woods with her.
That's hard to pick but probably my muzzleloader elk hunt in 2013.
After listening to absolute silence for the entire first day of the hunt we decided to try a last bugle before calling it quits for the day and suddenly a bull answered us from not too far away. We started making our way towards him, stopping to bugle or cow call occasionally and he answered us every time. We finally made our way to a clearing and spotted some cows feeding about 150 yards in front of us. After just a few minutes we could see antlers starting to come out of the tree line. After what seemed like an hour he finally stepped into the clearing and I squeezed the trigger and the entire clearing exploded with elk running. The bull flinched, whirled and disappeared into the trees again. We gave him a good 20 min and slowly started tracking him. We found a fairly good blood trail and found him bedded in a pine thicket. I sat down and got a good rest so I could try and sneak a shot thru the small opening where his shoulder was. I asked my husband "what if he charges us?" He replied, "they don't do that!". So I squeezed off another shot and hit him right behind the shoulder. He jumped up, made a horrible roar sound and started charging us! Fortunately it was a fatal shot and 5 steps in he piled up in front of us dead. It was a very exciting ending to what had been a very quiet day!
For the worldwide conservation efforts and legislative monitoring and action that preserves hunting for both our and future generations! Without that constant effort I believe hunting could be in jeopardy in the near future.
I truly believe a hunting heritage is so vital to our culture and families and environment! Hunting is conservation and educating our children on how important it is is crucial to our survival as a species and to the survival of all animal species around the world. As a woman hunter, knowing that I can put quality meat in our freezer for our family is something that I take great pride in. - Edna Harlan
“Oh, you hunt too?” people ask. I love it when my husband responds, “She hunts harder than I do!” He knows he can take a nap after waking up before sunrise to get a hunting blind, because I will be watching.
It all began with my love to be outside, but my hunting adventures really grew after college graduation and moving to Northern Wisconsin. One of my professors was right when he said, you pick a spot to live that offers the hobbies you enjoy. Today, my husband and I own 70 acres and take one or two hunting “vacations” per year.
I am pretty humble, but I will say that I have accomplished some cool things because of hunting, and I’ve gone many places just to hunt. For me, any hunting event is a vacation from the world. Hunting isn’t just something I do, it’s become a part of who I am. I literally cannot stop thinking about it while at work. Deciding which stand to bow hunt from based on the wind or an impending cold front, or planning a food plot, or going out to look for shed antlers. I simply never stop working for it because I cannot stop thinking about it. Luckily, I can plan my workdays around the hunting season when it arrives. I also go out in all types of weather; there is no bad weather just wrong clothing. If my feet are warm, I can stay out there forever!
Open our freezer and there is nothing store bought. Hunting is the original way to eat local. The three most important words any woman, girl, mom, daughter, can say to themselves is: Yes, I can hunt! At first you may feel this is impossible. Thinking: I don’t know about rifles, shotguns or bows, or I don’t know what to do, where to go, who to ask. Just start. I taught hunter safety for eight years, and I always encourage the moms to take the course with their child. As you first start hunting you will find other hunters, maybe family members, friends, co-workers who hunt too. The best part is that they will step up to mentor, answer questions, teach and take you along. Then it will be impossible to stop you, or any woman, from hunting.
Hunting offers so many opportunities to experience with others and alone, all of which move you toward the end goal. What is that? Well, hunting isn’t always about the harvest; it’s all about the people, memories and stuff that happens along the way. The experiences change something inside you – and that changes everything.
My favorite hunt is the next one I am going to go on.
I am most jealous of female hunters who can take off their stocking cap after hunting and still have amazing looking hair. My curly hair doesn’t allow this.
Hey, girl! I hope to cross paths with you on my next hunt! -Christine Clark
Lauren grew up hunting whitetail deer in central North Carolina with her father. She freely admits those trips were more about the quality time and the snacks than the chasing of game. In 2021, she joined the North Carolina-based lobbying firm KTS Strategies to start a career in government relations. KTS Strategies helped legalize Sunday hunting in North Carolina in 2015 and is led by Lifetime SCI Member Ches McDowell and Nelson Freeman (Former SCI GA).
With a very healthy hunting culture at her new job she decided she wanted a zebra skin rug for her new office. A few months later, she was on a quick work trip to Champion Ranch in Brady, TX and she had harvested her first animal – a Grant’s zebra. On the same trip she was unsuccessful on finding a big axis deer, but ended up killing a beautiful white fallow deer. When the opportunity came up to go back to Texas for a client trip, she jumped at the opportunity, despite being 7 months pregnant with her third daughter. Lauren is interested in antlered species and really wanted to settle the score on axis or kill her first elk.
After seeing a beautiful stag on the first day and a lot of conversation with the knowledgeable staff at Champion Ranch, the plan changed. Lauren started the morning listening to 400”+ elk bugle and saw the first stag after a few hours. She wasn’t able to get in a position to shoot and the October Texas sun called off the late morning adventure. On the way back to the lodge we spotted a monster stag in the road. Thinking she wouldn’t get a chance at him, we sat for a few minutes and thanks to a little bit of luck, he came back in the road. Lauren fired the Champion Arms 28 Nosler 303 yards and perfectly connected with the stag. She had successfully harvested her third big game animal which green scored 453 2/8” placing it 24th all-time with a rifle in the North American Introduced category. Most certainly number 1 by 7-month pregnant woman! - Lauren B.
My Papa and Dad got me started in hunting and fishing when I was a child. My family has hunted for as long as I can remember. I’ve hunted since I was 9, so 42 years of hunting.
There have been so many, it’s hard to choose. I’ve had incredible hunts with some really great friends that are the stuff of legends, but I think my favorite hunt was all by myself. Going out alone on a turkey hunt, finding tracks, picking my spot, listening to toms thundering in the distance and calling two in to within 20 yards. Shooting one, letting the other one walk, thankful for the successful hunt. It was an incredible, beautiful, perfect hunt. Getting the “was that you???” text from my husband and having him come celebrate the moment with me…it was a perfect morning.
An organization that supports hunters and wildlife, keeps a close eye on what’s happening in Washington and works to ensure the hunting traditions will survive for generations to come should be supported by all sportsmen.
We hunt and fish most weekends and vacations and train our labs in “off seasons” to make sure we’re the ones invited to the hunt because of our dogs. We travel the country to shoot 3D archery tournaments with our hunting bows to stay prepared for season. We’re blessed to have family and friends who share our passion for the outdoors and spend as much time with them experiencing the outdoors as possible.
I’m on FB as Deneshia Larson and The Natural Addiction, IG as The Natural Addiction, YouTube as The Natural Addiction, TikTok as The Natural Addiction. - Deneshia Larson
I grew up in a hunting household. My father was an avid outdoorsman, particularly drawn to dove and deer hunting, though he was known to chase an occasional turkey or quail. He took me out and shared his interest with me. I was also his sidekick when it came time to processing, from butchering our deer in the backyard to stuffing and grinding sausage to running the smoker. I was involved in all parts.
I work full time in conservation. I coordinate a large landscape, fish and wildlife collaborative across 13 states in the Midwest and Central Plains, three Canadian provinces, tribes and other organizations interested in or pursuing fish and wildlife conservation. I work for the US Fish and Wildlife Service in this non-regulatory, voluntary program. In the past, I was the director of fish and wildlife, parks, forestry and conservation law enforcement programs in the State of Iowa. Before that, I was the general counsel for conservation programs of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and for the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
I’m also married and have four kids. With a growing family, hunting connected with my innate desire to provide for my family, even if we have all the modern conveniences of supermarkets. Somehow, when my children eat an elk steak, bear meatball or pheasant breast, something I hunted or was part of hunting, I feel the pride of having provided for them, similar to when I harvest cultivating my garden.
As a conservationist, I promote a holistic approach to fish and wildlife conservation to help ensure every citizen connects to our shared fish and wildlife resources. Hunting is an integral part of fish and wildlife management but also part of our cultural fabric in the United States. Our North American Model of hunting has meant access to fish and wildlife resources for everyone, and our model of funding has made it possible. Thanks to the contributions of hunters and anglers, there are healthy habitats for those resources as well as access to places to hunt and fish and places for species to thrive.
SCI Litigation Associate Madie Demaske
I was only 18 months old when I went on my first hunt. I was strapped in a backpack on my dad's back when he shot a doe. He still remembers my little feet kicking his butt. I swear, since that day I have been hooked. Hunting has taken me to some of the most remote parts of the world and back again. It has also pushed me to pursue a career in conservation law.
I started hunting with my family to provide and extra meat source when I was around 8. I started actively hunting when I was 12.
Favorite hunt: Either in November of 2020 packing my 18 month daughter 8 miles round trip in a back pack and harvesting a mature mule deer buck or this fall of 2022 where my daughter again was in a pack and backpacked in 4 miles through knee deep to hip deep snow where we harvested a 5x5 bull elk at 300 yards solo.
SCI is the largest hunters advocacy network. Plus I've been a chapter member since 2016. My husband is the current president of our chapter and I sit as a committee member and a previous board member and director.
We live a very active outdoor lifestyle hunting over the world and have now actively started bringing our daughter with us at home in Alberta on all our hunts and around the world when it's safe to do so. - Stacey Girletz
Hunting was a natural progression being a life long Alaskan and outdoorsman. I started about 4 years ago.
I ended up getting a last minute phone call from a new friend I had met out sheep hunting only a few weeks prior. The phone call consisted of *hey want to come shoot a goat tomorrow" kinda call. I scrambled to get shifts covered at work and gathered my stuff and was on the way to Valdez. I'm never one to turn down a good adventure so there was no way I was going to let this one slide by. It was the first sunny day Valdez had seen most of the summer and it was a stunner! Not a cloud in the sky and calm seas were served up, I was in heaven. I was able to connect on a very nice Billy and enjoy a summit beer with the most exceptional views Alaska can offer.
I round out this season feeling a sense of accomplishment and excitement for what's to come in my hunting future. If can say anything to those that are interested in hunting but are apprehensive because of intimidation, or money, or knowledge, just remember, everyone has to start somewhere. I'm 37 years old and just purchased my first rifle. You don't need to grow up hunting or only be able to go with your partner. My best advise would be to get involved with hunting groups in your community and connect with like minded people that have the same goals and the rest will happen naturally!
SCI helps new hunters like me get involved and learn about serious issues that need support. - Emily Thompson
I started hunting 22 years ago in college as a way to enjoy the outdoors and put food on my table.
I planned a caribou hunt for our honeymoon since my husband had enjoyed the last time he hunted them so much. I saw the aurora for the first time in the middle of the Brooks Range. We saw grizzlies, wolves, moose and of course came home with caribou and memories.
Advocating for hunting rights takes a big voice. SCI provides that voice and science to help preserve hunting, fishing and the environment for generations to come.
Bring up our daughter in our outdoor recreation and Hunting family is going to be my favorite chapter. - Jessica Manuell
I’m not a lifelong hunter but I hope to hunt the rest of my life! I started with duck hunting in college and have since loved learning new hunts and seeking out adventures. As the Communications Specialist on the SCI Advocacy team, it is incredibly rewarding working every day to defend our freedom to hunt around the world.
We are 15 year old twin sisters from a small town in northwest Ohio. Our father and grandfather introduced us to hunting at a very young age, a little over 12 years ago. Some of our earliest memories involve going out in the woods to sit in a blind or tree stand with them hoping to get a new mount for the wall. Over the years, our love for hunting has only grown and we have gotten some mounts of our own to display.
We have grown up hunting around our area and have been successful, however, we had the experience of a lifetime this past summer. We were able to go on our very first African Safari. It was amazing to say the least. It was July when we arrived in Alicedale, South Africa, in the Eastern Cape to hunt on the Burchell Game Reserve with Frontier Safaris. We were setting out to hunt fifteen animals each, but the one at the top of our list was a baboon. Knowing that a baboon hunt would be a challenge, we knew that was a challenge we wanted to accept. The hunting in South Africa was like none other....the sounds, the smells, and especially the sights....we were hooked instantly! Our hunt started, while it was amazing as we began checking off animals left and right on our list, the one at the top of our list was looming over our heads.
Allison's Story: The day came for me to begin my baboon hunt. My professional hunter, Ryan, and I set out mid morning to begin the adventure. Within twenty minutes of arriving to the blind, along came a group of baboons about 30 yards out. I waited to get the perfect shot. I smoked him in between the shoulder blades with my .270 Winchester Bergara Rifle. The pure thrill of getting the animal at the top of my list was indescribable. I was beyond excited to share the news with my twin sister, but knew she would be bummed that she had not gotten one yet. The race was on!
Addalyn's Story: The last day of hunting was upon us and the pressure was on. I was not going to be happy if I went back to the United States without a baboon. Don't get me wrong, the other hunts were awesome, but I really wanted that baboon! Charl, my professional hunter, and I headed out right as the sun was rising in pursuit of my baboon. A long seven hours passed....yes seven, and no luck. I was beginning to get pretty discouraged at that point. We were debating whether to call it a day when FINALLY a group of baboons came, but the catch---they were 150 yards out and it was going to be tough to get a shot. My patience and perseverance paid off. I got a shot and nailed him at 150 yards with my .300 Win Mag Bergara Rifle. As soon as reality hit that I got him the tears came. Pure happiness, well, and relief. I couldn't wait to tell my twin sister knowing she would be just as excited as me.
The tears didn't stop for either of us the rest of the evening. Tears of joy and happiness knowing that we had conquered our goal of BOTH getting a baboon, but also tears of knowing that the best time of our lives and our first African Safari was coming to an end. Getting to experience something like this with your twin sister and best friend is beyond amazing. We have experienced everything together from day one (well, actually before that really) from our first tooth, to our first steps, to our first day of school, to learning to ride a bike, to becoming teenagers, to beginning high school. Everything. It was only fitting that we experienced our first African Safari together and our first baboon.We could not imagine going through these milestones without each other, especially doing something we LOVE....hunting. At the age of 15, we got to experience something some will only dream of and for that we will forever be grateful!
Our father and grandfather have always stressed the importance of safe hunting as well as legal hunting. Also, they have instilled in us what a privilege it is to be a hunter. SCI is a great organization for many reasons, but one that is important to us is the SCI's determination to support hunters, all hunters, male or female. In the past, hunting seems to have been a male dominated sport. It is amazing to see an organization, SCI, support and recognize women hunters like ourselves.
We both love the outdoors. We are members of our local 4-H club where we have shown swine, cattle, and sheep at our county fair. In school, we are both straight A students. We also are both on our school's varsity NASP (National Archery Program in the Schools) archery team as well as a summer archery team through S3DA (Scholastic 3-D Archery) where we shoot Olympic Recurve bows. We have also just begun raising whitetail deer on our property and enjoy watching them change through the seasons. Hunting runs deep in our blood. - Allison and Addalyn Beardsley
My hunting lifestyle began similarly to many women out there. I have a spouse who is an avid hunter and angler, raised with that lifestyle his entire life. My family has zero history of hunting. - no guns to inherit - no stories of going hunting with dad as a kid. I chose to submerge myself into experiencing this way of life in order to be supportive of my partner and his values. I always enjoyed fishing but hunting quickly became a passion after experiencing the tremendous emotional highs and lows of the hunt.
This lit the fire in wanting to preserve this special way of life, for many like myself, without introduction from a friend or partner, would never feel the intense gratitude that comes from harvesting your own sustenance. That humbling and sad moment where you take an animal yet you are eternally grateful for its life as it reaches full circle.
Fast forward on that journey. Years later, I have become a professional guide specializing in women's hunts with our own outfitter business. I have made it my mission to educate and inform women from any background, starting at any age (I was in my late 20's!) that this is something you can do. Something you can get behind in order to feed your family organic, free range, ethically sourced protein and have a sense of pride and connection to the process. I dedicate countless hours to SCI as our Nova Scotia Chapter president as well as sitting on the Canada committee as our Eastern Canadian rep. I also work with our province to facilitate opportunities to introduce more women into fishing.
I'm proud of where my journey has taken me and I'm proud of being a woman that goes hunting. - Sali Cunningham
My late father started me on a little .22 squirrel gun when I was about 7 years old. I still have the paper plate with my first shots on them in 1993. Over the years his passion for the outdoors was instilled in me, deer hunting one weekend and crappie fishing the other. He would even let me miss school if the weather was right for harvesting a big buck or reeling in a 10lb bass. At 36 years old, my passion is stronger now than it’s ever been.
The last hunt I took with my daddy was my favorite story. He was so weak from undergoing chemotherapy but all he wanted to do was go on one last deer hunt with me. He ended up tagging a buck that morning, no trophy in most eyes, but it was to us. He was too weak to drag him out and field dress so I did it for him. That was in October and he passed in March.
SCI is important to me because it showcases not only the importance of conservation but women in the outdoors as well. There is nothing more important than teaching our children to live on this earth understanding what a gift hunting is to our world.
As a mother living in Ohio, I’m a proud supporter of SCI and all of the conservation acts that I can do. -Casie Tira
Growing up in Iowa I spent a lot of time outdoors, exploring and fishing, but I did not actually start hunting until my early 20’s, hunting rabbits and moved onto whitetail.
I met my husband Louis in 2006, he introduced me to big game hunting in Alaska and the passion of remote wilderness hunting in some of the most pristine wilderness one could ever see. Each year we journey to a lake just north of the Arctic Circle, to start several days of packing gear and portaging our raft just over a mile to begin our adventure into the land where if you don’t bring it, you don’t have and if something goes wrong it’s all on you!
On one of these trips a few years back, after packing gear, we camped on the river overnight. That morning we heard lots of moose activity, grunting and antlers beating on the alders. We decided to hunt in that area that day instead of heading down river. The moose were very responsive. It was so exciting, we called in several good moose. I did have my crosshairs on one, but was convinced that since it was the first day to hold out for a bigger moose. I hoped I would not regret that decision.
Then it started raining and kept raining! We hunted and floated the river in the rain, and we did not see another moose for 15 days.
After 15 solid days of rain, no moose responses since that first day and with the river above flood stage, we decided to call it quits! We planned to float on the 16th day, but Mother Nature had other plans and we were hit with a terrible storm so we hunkered down and held tight for another day.
Late that afternoon the weather broke, and the skies cleared up so we took the raft across the river, hiking to a lake in hopes of calling in a moose. It was covered in moose, we saw three different bulls across the lake and when Louis started calling, one of them came charging across, straight at us and I shot him at less than 15 yards. It was a perfect heart shot, but he was fired up and had enough in him to turn and take two steps back into the lake.
It was just the two of us and now we’ve got a bull in the lake, with dark approaching quickly, I got this crazy idea to take the pump from the raft and put it into the bullet hole and inflate the chest cavity. I'm not sure it worked but with a ton of effort my husband and I were able to see-saw and yard that bull enough to be able to get him gutted.
It’s raining again and hard. We gutted the moose by headlamp, opened him up wide knowing the cold air would keep him until morning.
So now it is cold, raining, and pitch-black dark. You could not tell if your eyes were opened or closed. We could not see anything you could get a reference off, and the GPS is back in camp. Who needs one for a short afternoon trip, right? With no reference points to navigate from we could only hold Louis tight, while I ventured out, with our headlamps, using him as a way point, finding the river after several attempts!
Now it’s 1 o’clock in the morning, I am cold, wet, tired, and starving. It had rained so much while away from camp, the river had risen enough to flood the tents. We managed to haphazardly move camp above the waterline and hit the bed hungry. I'm exhausted and stressed out, I’m crying about what the next day held. That’s when Louis starts singing “the rubber tree plant song”. We woke a few hours later to sunshine. I cooked a big breakfast then we crossed the river, skinned, quartered, and loaded my moose onto the raft, packed up camp and floated to our pickup point with no problems.
I do want to note, I was recently appointed by Governor Dunleavy and confirmed by Alaska Legislature to the State of Alaska Board of Game. As the only woman on the board, I am honored and humbled to have a voice in the regulation process to conserve and develop Alaska’s wildlife resources. -Ruth Cusack
I got started in hunting because my brother didn’t enjoy it. So my Dad started taking me with him around 8 years of age. It has been one of our favorite quality times together! I’ve been hunting now for over 20 years and to this day, my Dad and I take hunting trips.
[Favorite Hunting Story] It’s super recent! My Dad and I both drew an elk tag this year in Montana. As we had no luck with the elk (but fun hunts), on our first day, we came up on two male mule deer. This also happens to be my FIRST archery hunt.
The deer were frozen still looking at us and the guide. My dad says, “Grace, knock an arrow”. My response was, “what?!”, because at this point, my first archery hunt and I didn’t realize I’d be shooting a deer on our elk mission. I knocked an arrow and asked him if I should draw. He said “yes”!. He then ranged 55 yards for me and said, “use your last pin!”. (My last pin was estimated for 55 yards and I had never practiced shooting that pin as we thought I wouldn’t be shooting over 50 yards). I then lined up my last pin on the mule deer and lastly asked, “shoot?”. Clearly, you can see I heavily rely on my Dad during hunting. I shot the mule deer at 55 yards and had a perfect, double lung shot. He didn’t travel more than 20 yards. We were both so excited as this was a hunting trifecta for me: first bow hunt, first buck, and first mule deer!
[Why is SCI important to you?] Because I believe in their mission to protect the freedom to hunt as well as their conservation work.
My Dad and I are always looking for our next hunting adventure! - Grace Murrell
Safari Club International is thrilled to have named Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi as our Federal Legislator of the Year for 2022. Pictured above with her daughter, a former SCI Young Hunter Award Recipient, we are excited to welcome her to Convention in Nashville, TN!
Senator Hyde-Smith’s actions are notable in protecting hunters and anglers in their freedoms to hunt and fish on public land as well as being an outspoken supporter and advocate for sportsmen and their endeavors across the state of Mississippi and the country as a whole.
For over 50 years, Safari Club International has been on the frontlines of the fight to protect freedoms for hunters, anglers, and outdoorsmen. We believe that the growth of this community is crucial for its continued survival. It is for this reason that we hold our Annual SCI Convention so that likeminded outdoor enthusiasts can meet, connect, and share common experiences.
We are honored to host Senator Hyde-Smith to our Annual SCI Convention from February 22-25 in Nashville, TN to present her with this award at our Friday Night Banquet and thank her for her continued support of our great community.
SCI Advocacy extends a huge thank you to Denise Welker, our chair of this year’s brand-new Women Go Hunting initiative. At the head of a family of extraordinary hunters and conservationists, Denise and Brian Welker’s leadership and generosity are unmatched. Women Go Hunting, the theme of this year’s Convention, was a huge success with the women-only sweepstakes, ladies sharing their stories, and our first annual Mix & Mingle where women from all over the world gathered. A very accomplished mother, hunter, and Diana Award Recipient, Denise is a model for all women and hunters to look up to. Thank you, Denise, for your leadership and to all women who participated. We hope to see you all next year!
SCI’s Ladies Mix & Mingle Gathers Women Who Celebrate Hunting
More than 200 women gathered at SCI’s Mix & Mingle event at the SCI 51st Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday, February 25, 2023. Women of all levels of experience and interest in hunting were able to meet their hunting models and icons, network with other women hunters, make new friends and find new hunting partners.
Among the attendees were Former US Fish & Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith and past winners of the SCI Diana Award, the highest honor and most prestigious award presented to a female hunter, as well as SCI Ambassadors, social media influencers, the SCI Foundation Sables who support conservation and hunting education and the women on SCI’s advocacy team. Women members of SCI from around the world, talked hunting and planned their next adventures together.
“Whether an accomplished international hunter, a young woman just beginning her journey or a mom who supports the family’s hunting activities, SCI’s Women Go Hunting celebration gave them a platform to share and support each other in their love for hunting and the outdoor lifestyle,” says Women Go Hunting Chair Denise Welker. “We look forward to another year of spotlighting women who go afield!”
SCIF Sables President, Vicki Swan
My journey to becoming the SCIF Sables President and a member of the SCI Executive Council Vice President has been a long and varied one. When I met and married a hunter, I never envisioned that I would become an advocate for hunters and for spreading our mission of furthering the understanding of our outdoor heritage and the role hunting plays in the natural world to the non-hunting public.
I have made lifelong friends thanks to SCI and its influence in my life. I have had an opportunity to help make a difference in our crazy world today. I have had the opportunity to experience nature, other cultures and places and worlds that most people can only dream about.
Read the rest of Vicki's story here on the SCI news blog!
How did you get started hunting? My husband was a hunter and I was interested. I read books, magazines, watched hunting shows, practiced shooting and bought hunting clothes and told my husband, I’m ready, let’s go hunting. I started hunting in 2003.
What's your favorite hunting story? Oh so many! Hunting with Jim Shockey was wonderful. But my best one was with nine other women I never met and flew to South Africa.
Why is SCI important to you? Conservation and Education! My second Amendment!
Anything else you'd like to share? Enjoy the outdoors and freedom. Enjoy hiking and shooting.
Kelli also received the SCI Central Ohio Chapter's Female Hunter of the Year Award in 2013! - Kellie Frazier
I am 39 and I have been hunting with my dad since I was old enough to walk. Hunting has been a passion of mine all my life. I have 3 boys that I now take hunting…but I still hunt with my dad.
I have so many favorite hunting stories of my own. However, my favorite stories are being replaced by the experiences I’ve shared with my kids. The most recent favorite hunting story was watching my 15 year old hunt Cape buffalo, my 12 year old hunt giraffe, and my 8 year old hunt zebra.
SCI is important to me because it’s a loud and proud voice for all hunting. Whether it’s in the USA or other counties, SCI cares, supports and advocates. All my kids are life members.
I grew up hunting everywhere in Oregon. Deer, elk, and waterfowl every year. I married into a hunting family and they opened my hunting world up to travel and Africa hunting. I’ve been fortunate to have hunted a few times in Africa. I have also been able to take my dad, brother, and all my kids hunting in Africa. We hunt as a family no matter what and where we are hunting. -Wendy Glidden
How did you get started hunting? I have been exposed to hunting since I was born. My dad is a big hunter and I grew up going to my mom’s family farm where we hunted most days! I would say I was mostly an observer until I got older though. I loved going hunting with my dad, brothers, and cousins but didn’t actually start shooting until I was around 15.
What's your favorite hunting story? Oh man, very tough! My first deer will always hold a special place because it just taught me so much. That said, it would have to be my first turkey I harvested totally solo, which was this past spring. I had put in about 4 years of a mixture of hunting with my dad and husband and hunting alone. I had harvested a few turkeys but had always had them there to either call for me or just help me with the logistics. This spring I had put in many freezing mornings and hot afternoons (lots of ticks) trying to call in turkeys. Watching groups of hens literally 3 ft from me and then of course busting a bunch of Toms as I tried to sneak into a new spot. Finally the stars aligned and my patience paid off. I killed a giant bird totally on my own. My grandfather who always was so excited about my hunting journey had just passed away, so when I saw my dad we both cried because we knew how proud he would have been and how badly we wanted to tell him the news. It was a super special day but then I truly cherish all days in the woods that teach me such valuable lessons.
Why is SCI important to you? To be totally honest this is the first I’m hearing about this organization, but love what you all are doing!
Anything else you'd like to share? I will say a huge part of why I love hunting so much as well is being able to watch my dogs work! -Taylor Webb
My Father dreamt of a boy but instead God gave him a girl first, thus I have been dads hunting buddy from the start. At the age of 4 he gave me a bb rifle gun for my birthday and I started off with hunting many birds. I had to eat everything I shot. This principle became a very important part of my life and my hunting ethic. Hunting non surprisingly became a part of my everyday living. Soon I got upgraded to bigger rifles and could hunt bigger game. Later on in my life I started as an avid bow hunter too. Shot many game with my first 50 lbs recurve bow, amongst them being 2 Cape buffalo. I completed my professional hunters course. My dream from a very early age was to own a hunting/ safari lodge in Africa. I became a shareholder in a lodge in Mozambique where I guided over 500 big game (buffalo and elephant) and plains game hunts for 18 years, thus earning the title the Buffalo Huntress of Africa. Craig Boddington featured me in his article "not just a guy thing" after being guided by me on his buffalo hunt in Mozambique. From Mozambique - my late husband and I started an operation, NB Safaris in South Africa where I am still operating currently. Since then I took over with the business guiding and hunting for a living all over Africa with both bow and rifle. I shoot with a 500 nitro double. Africa runs through my veins and hunting here has been my reason for existence for 40 years.
It was the end of November, just before end of our hunting season in Mozambique in the Delta on the Zambezi river. Time of the year to hunt a buffalo for the local community. At 7am we reached our point of not being able to drive on but had to set out on foot. There was a big Marula tree we climbed to spot the direction we need to set foot on. We were 4 in the tree, each to our very own branch glancing. We spotted the egrets that where flying and landing as the buffalo kept moving and grazing about a good 5 - 6 hour walk away. We climbed down the big tree and It was already 38 degrees Celsius, the day customarily hot and humid, in the Marromeu delta / swamps. Sweat drops running down the middle of our backs. I carried my custom built 416 Rigby, with the ammunition I reloaded at that time 400 grain Barnes TSX, 84 grain S365 Somchem powder, with large rifle magnum primers. I carried it over my shoulder and we started the long track to find the buffalo. Had 10 trackers and skinners with me to carry all the meat back for the local communities.We walked for 200 meters and had our first river crossing, the papyrus waving and bending to the breeze, which took us a good 30 minutes being in water up to our waistline, having my crocodile bullet belt slanged over my shoulder to keep it dry. We stopped at a termite mount on the other side to catch our breath and gain strength. I climbed to the top to see if I can spot the egrets or buffalo. I could spot them in the distance, about a good 4 hour walk now, depending on river crossings. ( in the swamps we talk in time not distance ) We walked another 100 meters and had the second river crossing, just got through and my trackers telling me to stop in Portuguese telling me there is a leach on my back. they pulled it off and kept going, at this stage the sun very hot on our backs. We can trace the well-worn paths of the buffalo and elephant that roams the swamp. River crossing after river crossing, and 4 hours later, the heat being 48 degrees celsius, the sun burning down on us. Running the thought of bullet placement and buffalo angle, over and over in my mind, as the last river crossing being up to my shoulders in open water. That was river number 10.
I could smell the buffalo now, I experienced a peculiar and indescribable thrill and excitement. My mind at the moment seem like an African night with a plenthora of sounds, seem like that of a hunter and the hunted emanate from the primeval scene... walking through the last river, I was still half waist in the water and heard cut grass breaking...gripping my rifle a little tighter involuntarily, then relaxes seeing the warthog running out from the mud bath he enjoyed. Now on the short cropped floodplain , water oozing out of our boots and into our footprints. An African Jakana croons her lullaby from the depth of the fern lined papyrus a stone throw away. Still carrying my 416 Rigby over my shoulder, my hand grasping the blue barrel.....sniffing the breeze as I walked.....smelling the buffalo near now. It was 2 pm at this stage. My pace slowing down when I spotted a buffalo about 400 yards in the grass near another river crossing. Pointing out to my main tracker that we should keep low and with a hand festering he showed the rest of the crew to stay down. We stopped and discussed the approach with keeping the wind in consideration, kicking a little dust up with my boot to confirm. We now crawling and very determined to reach the herd without being spotted or smelled. Now we can clearly see the herd of about 800 buffalo. We crawled into a position to glance with my binoculars at least glancing over 200-300 buffalo, others in the back, drinking and lying down with the heat of the day. Which felt like eternity after about an hour I spotted the bull. There I was with the emotion with kindled small fires burning inside me wildly. It is magical....about 150 yards away, rising my iron sighted rifle, placing it on the custom made 3 legged shooting sticks, carefully taking aim, placing the cross on his heart, slowly sqeezing the trigger. boom, I opened the bolt reloaded with another, I smiled and nodded, as if reading my own thoughts.The bull was down.The sky across the tree line is bathed in honey. Gold turns into pink, to deep red. The faraway look was induced by my thoughts. We could hear the last bellow of a dying buffalo. We could see a cloud of dust as the herd now moving around looking for the direction of the sound not seeing us at all. I reloaded to have a full magazine of 4 rounds before walking with extreme caution closer to check on the vitals of buffalo. Approaching the buffalo from behind touching the buffalo eye with the tip of my rifle making sure that the buffalo has succumbed to his wound. Then the hoorah! The sweet contentment for a huntress with success and extreme joy. A place I called home for 18 years.
SCI is a spokesperson for us about norms and regulations and advance our freedom to hunt. They are the leading supporter of wildlife conservation worldwide. They are educating people about the importance of hunting in our industry. Thereby I also like to donate to all chapters and fundraising events. Thank you to SCI
I am also an active guide in Deep sea, rock and surf and tiger fishing. I love wing shooting and active hunting with dogs. I am a pilot of 1700 hours on fixed wing and helicopter which makes it very easy to fly my clients into any destination. I have an active Youtube Channel called Brave buffalo Media. I have guided way over 500 buffalo and hunted myself over 80 buffalo
Brave buffalo media YouTube Channel NB Safaris facebook and website Cast and Blast worldwide We are in collaboration with a US company called Blessman International with Hunt against hunger where we donate our meat to children centres.
I have rifle hunted most of my life and sat with my dad at a very early age. I enjoy the sport and the time in the woods. But it wasn't until my husband bought me a bow for Christmas one year that I truly turned hunting into my passion. I LOVE TO BOW HUNT! My husband and I have been blessed to travel the globe enjoying the sport that we both enjoy. We are both lifetime members of SCI and have attended the dinner/auctions for many years. We have also traveled to Vegas several times to attend the SCI shows there. I am proud to tell you that I have written a book that has sixteen years of bow hunting adventures inside. Many of the hunts were purchased at the SCI auctions. I have journaled all of my hunts and put them into a book that will take the readers from Michigan to the provinces of Canada. They can travel with me to New Zealand, Wyoming, Africa and Texas. Follow Your Arrow is about bow hunting but it is also about so much more. Family, friends old and new. It is about spending time in the woods , mountains and I will even take you across the frozen tundra of the Arctic.
It is hard to pick a favorite but I can do this. My most beautiful is my moose hunt in Ontairo. My scariest is my hog hunt in Texas. My most spiritual is my mountain lion hunt in BC and my proudest is when I traveled to Saskatchewan ALONE for an elk hunt that was filmed for television.
I appreciate all that SCI does for the hunting community. We have been supporters for many years attending dinner/auctions every year. Most of our hunts are purchased at those auctions in support of SCI.
I love to fish in the spring and summer but come fall you will find me either in a tree, a blind or traveling to hunt. My first choice is always my bow but will pick up a rifle if a bow is not an option. I have started predator hunting in the winter and absolutely love it. I was able to harvest my first Michigan bobcat this past season and was proud that all of my efforts paid off.
Follow Your Arrow is my FB page for my book and Judy Lynn Black is my personal page. - Judy Black
Veronica Kosich is an avid hunter and conservationist, and SCI's 2023 Diana Award winner, which recognizes the women of SCI who have excelled in international big game hunting. Nominees show exemplary ethics in the field, remain committed to the mission statement of SCI and personally give of their time and energies to enhance wildlife conservation and education.
How did you start hunting? For Denise Welker, SCI's Women Go Hunting Chair, it was after she and her husband Brian had their third son and she realized it was time she learned to hunt. Brian had been trying to get her started all along, so as he was teaching their boys Denise was always involved - and loved it!
“My husband said, ‘I need you to learn how to shoot a rifle.’ It was July 1987, when my husband, Dick, informed me that he had booked a nine-week hunting safari in Africa for us, and we were leaving in two weeks! I had TWO weeks to learn to shoot a rifle.
“Over 50 years on this earth, I had hunted jackrabbits and birds but not large game. At that point and for most of my life, I was an anti-hunter when it came to big game species, although I understood it was sometimes necessary to put food on the table.
“That August we traveled to Zimbabwe, where I took my first large game animal – a zebra, followed by a waterbuck, kudu, southern bush duiker, warthog and three Southern impalas. From there we hunted in Botswana from late August until early October, where I took two additional warthogs, two tsessebe, a second zebra and a red lechwe. I brought home four record book trophies from that trip and was hooked. The rest is history!
“I never dreamed I would be named a “Diana.” If I could become a “Diana,” each and every woman who hunts or desires to hunt is eligible to become a “Diana.” You, as a woman in the hunting field, do and can make a difference!”
My dad owns a hunting consulting business called A-Fox Hunting. He has traveled the world trying out different outfitters and I was lucky enough to go with him on many hunts. I grew up hunting and shot my first gun, a pink .22, at just two years old!
When I was 9 years old, I was on a wild boar hunt with my dad. While looking for a trophy boar, we saw a beautiful spotted fallow deer 300 yards away and my dad asked if I would like to shoot him. The outfitter said there was no way I could make the 300 yard shot and if I did, the animal was mine free of charge. My dad looked at me and said Sam, shoot it. I dropped the fallow in hit tracks.
SCI is important to me because they fight for hunters rights. They are a community where hunting is appreciated and something to be proud of. Because of the importance of SCI to me, I was voted onto my local chapter's board.
Hunting is my passion and something that is very important to me. For my wedding unity, my husband and I shot a sporting clay together. We also took our honeymoon in Africa on a safari. Now that we have a daughter, my next mission is to teach her about hunting and get her into the sport!
Instagram: @sami_lacourt and @afoxhunting
Facebook: Samantha LaCourt
I started my journey to becoming a hunter in 2020. I grew up in a family that never went hunting, but I had always been interested in the wild and conservation. I decided to get my hunting license by taking an online class and attending a hunter’s safety class by myself! I was 1 of four women in a class of about 100! I was living in California but when Covid hit, I decided to move to Wyoming. I purchased my own rifle, began practicing shooting, took some long range classes, and decided to put in for a bull elk tag for 2021. Much to my surprise, I got it! In October of 2021 I went on my first hunt as the hunter with an experienced guide in the Wind River Range of Wyoming. It was a 6 day hunt and truly one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve never felt so close to nature as I did during those 6 days. My guide taught me so much about the skill of hunting as we spent hours together hiking, calling, glassing. It was truly a life changing week.
During the 6 day bull elk hunt, there were many highs and many lows. We had been calling a massive bull for about an hour at dusk. He was coming to the tree line and I had my shot! He was ~390 yards away and I missed. I’d never felt more discouraged in my life. We were riding back to camp and night was falling but we heard another bull. We jumped off our horses, found the bull in our binos, and I had another chance! This time, I made it!! It was the most exhilarating experience as all these emotions flooded over me - excitement, gratitude for the life of the bull elk, and a massive sense of accomplishment. As I mentioned, I didn’t grow up with a father or friends that taught me how to hunt but I was able to make this achievement of my first successful hunt through the help and guidance of the hunting community.
SCI is important to me because this organization is at the forefront of protecting and promoting conservation through ethical hunting. There is so much misinformation about hunting and this organization is solving that issue through truthful education. I’m so grateful for SCI!
Now that I have my first big game hunt under my belt, I have the honor of continuing my learning process with my husband (we just got married in October 2022). We are planning our 2023 hunting season together. We don’t have children yet, but we have talked about how when we do we want to take them hunting, teach them about the power and importance of conservation, and be able to give back to the hunting community just as it has given to us.
I’ve been hunting since I was 10 years old, growing up in America. Hunting was what brought me to New Zealand 8 years ago where I now spend my time chasing reds, fallow and chamois. I also met my husband here and we recently spent our honeymoon hunting in Africa. We have just had a daughter who at 6 weeks old has already been out for her first deer!
I spent new years a few years ago in the West Coast bush of NZ. We actually didn’t get anything or see anything mature enough to shoot, but it was such incredible country and such amazing exercise. It reminded me why I love hunting and getting outdoors.
So many people don’t understand hunting and have misconceptions. It’s important to have an organization fighting to break that mold.
Despite just having my daughter, I’m trying desperately to track down my first trophy Sika stag this season.
I got my first cougar hound in 2001 & started going on cougar hunts with the boys. I was very fascinated with the whole process. I spent many years just tagging along learning & understanding what it meant to be a Conservationist with the animals you harvest. It is very important to me where my food comes from. Harvesting my own animal in the wild was a life-changing experience for me. I became extremely passionate about hunting & conservation.
When I first started dating My Husband, he had never hunted before, and he was eager to get his hunting license. After he got his hunting license, I took him cougar hunting. I found a fresh track and let my hounds go. As we were hiking in, I looked at my GPS and told him that the hounds had a cougar treed. We continue to hike until we made it to the tree where the hounds were, and sure enough there was a cougar in the tree. This was the first time my husband ever went cougar hunting, and his first cougar harvest. He later told me that when I told him the hounds had a cougar treed, he thought to himself. Yeah right!
SCI it’s important to me because it brings awareness, understanding, and attention to wildlife conservation. Supporting hunters, wildlife & growth in the hunting community as well as offering programs, continuous research & education for everyone.
It is important for us to teach and educate our young ones to be self sustainable. Educate them where our food comes from, and the rewards of harvesting your own animal. We need to teach them to be thankful, respectful & understanding of the life we have been gifted to feed our family.
I started hunting with my husband approximately ten years ago, I had never hunted before just grew up in the outdoors fishing, camping and gold panning. My husband told me one day we are headed to New Mexico and do some grocery shopping; this was when i put down my first cow elk.
My favorite hunting story would have to be sitting in a ground blind for 7 days hunting couse deer. my husband stepped out of the blind to take a walk across the dessert. When he came back I had a buck down, its the tiniest buck you ever saw, with antlers about 2 inches, but took a lot of patience. Archery hunting to boot. This buck hangs behind my desk to this day.
SCI is important to me because it protects hunting and celebrates hunting.
Over the last ten years I have hunted over 15 different states and many, many many harvests. Hunting is our way of life, I love it. I love the time our family spends together while we are doing it.
I can't recall my earliest hunting experience since my father carried me on his shoulders into the wilderness when I was just a child. He dedicated his life to being a hunting guide and outfitter, and at 17, I began accompanying him and groups of hunters. Now, at 25, I work alongside him and our amazing team, welcoming over 300 hunters from all around the world each year.
Our company is more than just a business; it's our true passion. Our ultimate goal is to share that passion with everyone who joins us on this incredible journey. As the first woman in my family to carry on the legacy, I'm motivated to invite more women from across the globe to experience Argentina with us..
Gina De Bernardis
My family owns Maui Hunting Safari so I was fortunate enough to grow up in a hunting camp surrounded by the outdoor industry. I harvested my first animal when I was four years old and haven't slowed down for the last twenty one years.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a hunting camp surrounded by the outdoor industry, attending SCI for for well over a decade. As a hunting guide for Maui Hunting Safari, I have had the privilege to be apart of many hunting memories with hunters from around the globe. Previously, many people were shocked when they would arrive in camp and find out that they would be guided by a young female. You could see the apprehension all over their faces. However, by the end of the hunt when they had a beautiful axis buck on the ground I knew I earned their respect. Being a female hunting guide in a male dominated industry to some might seem intimidating. But for me, hunting and guiding runs in my blood and I’ve been in a hunting camp since I learned to walk. However, within the last two to three years in particular, I have noticed an influx in female hunters, on social media, at industry trade shows, working for outdoor industry companies and in and out of our hunting camp. I’ve made some of my best friends in hunting camp and truly hold some of my favorite memories in the field with other women who love this lifestyle. Women being apart of hunting and the outdoors is extremely important for the future of hunting and I hope to see this trend continue.
SCI helps protect our hunting rights to ensure that our outdoor lifestyle can continue
I started hunting when I was four years old and I never would have dreamed of all of the crazy adventures and opportunities I would have. I've been fortunate to meet the most amazing people through hunting and have made so many life changing memories that I will truly never take for granted.
My 5 brothers have hunted since I was young. I went on a few spotlighting trips with them, but my dad didn't really let the girls hunt. I only ever got to shoot rabbits and prairie dogs up until about 3-4 years ago, when my husband introduced me to archery and bowhunting, which I found was a hidden talent for me!
I have harvested many interesting, exotic and even some very rare animals, but one of my favorite hunting stories was this past summer (2022) when I got the #4 sable in the SCI Record Book with a bow!
SCI is such an important part of keeping hunters active and able to serve the purpose of animal conservation, population control, food preservation, and keeping the art and sport of hunting going! Being a fairly new bowhunter, but being around hunting my whole life, I had no idea how misinformed and misunderstood non hunters have become. I have learned this since getting more into the social media world of hunting and hearing the ignorant comments and negativity surrounding something they simply do not understand. SCI does play a HUGE role in helping to educate the communities about their role and the benefits of hunting and the continuation of animal conservation. This is a great resource for the hunting community and the nonhunting communities, even if they don't know it! I think it's of utmost importance to keep spreading awareness regarding the purpose of hunting and conversation efforts.
I am also working along side my husband to develop and market our new Kanaka Archery products. It has been a lot of work getting manufacturers, patents, and productivity going, but it has been a rewarding challenge.
FB: Kanaka Archery