We Need Unity Among the Hunting Community

SCI President Calls for Unity Among Hunting Community

WASHINGTON, DC – Larry Higgins, President of Safari Club International (SCI), noted the resignation of Stan Burger from the position of President of the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA) earlier this week. He said that the global hunting community would miss Burger’s dedication to the cause of protecting hunting. Higgins called on the hunting community to carry on Burger’s passion for focusing on the threats to hunting.

President Higgins stressed the need for the various organizations in the hunting community to work together in order to deal with the growing threat of the anti-hunting zealots. He referred to a recent article in National Geographic written after a South African professional hunter was killed by an elephant last week while doing his duty to protect his hunting party from dangerous game. The article was callous about the hunter’s death and used it as an opportunity to slam hunting.

Higgins said, “Today we are dealing with heartless and cruel people who know nothing about wildlife conservation and seem not to care about a human death. There is something horribly wrong with this misguided approach to the values of human life and death and wildlife conservation.”

Last year, under Burger’s leadership, PHASA made a decision to distance itself from hunting lions within enclosures. SCI followed that decision by saying that it opposed hunting of any animal within an enclosure if the hunt did not meet SCI’s fair chase standards. These standards include the following requirements:

  • The animals hunted must have freely resided on the property on which they are being hunted for at least six months, or longer.
  • The hunting property shall provide escape cover that allows the animals to elude hunters for extended periods of time and multiple occurrences. Escape cover, in the form of rugged terrain or topography, and/or dense thickets or stands of woods, shall collectively comprise at least 50% of the property.
  • The animals hunted must be part of a breeding unit that is a resident on the hunted property.
  • The operators of the preserve must provide freely available and ample amounts of cover, food, and water at all times.
  • Animals that are to be hunted must exhibit their natural flight/survival instincts.

More recently, the SCI Executive Committee approved a decision by the SCI Record Book Committee that it would require an affidavit for Record Book entries of predators hunted within an enclosure. The affidavit must be signed by the hunter and the guide certifying that they have met the fair chase standards for estate animals.

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Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visitwww.safariclub.org or call (202) 543-8733 for more information.


Chapter Grants, Scholarships and Awards

CHAPTER OUTREACH


Grants

Grant requests are due April 1st and October 1st of each year. Requests are reviewed and voted upon, in May and November, unless other causes justify an urgent meeting and vote, by the acting Four Corners SCI board. All approved grants are issued within 30 days of the board meeting. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT, AND HOW TO APPLY FOR, CHAPTER’S GRANTS.


Scholarships

The Four Corners chapter of Safari Club International (SCI), sponsors two local teachers to attend the American Wilderness Leadership School (AWLS) during the summer of each year. All interested teachers need to have applications submitted to Four Corners SCI, for grant review, by February 15th of each year. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT, AND HOW TO APPLY FOR, AWLS SCHOLARSHIPS.


Awards

We are pleased to continue our support of the Legacy Project, a program to help and encourage youth in conservation, hunting, and education. The project helps youngsters not only get outdoors but stay out, enjoy it and then pass it on to others, thus establishing a Legacy. Each year, at our annual banquet/fundraiser we present one local youth with a new rifle. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT, AND HOW TO NOMINATE YOUTH FOR THE, LEGACY AWARD.


Four Corners SCI
MISSION STATEMENT

To promote good fellowship among all who love the outdoors and hunting.

To promote conservation of the world’s renewable wildlife resources, recognizing hunting as one of the many management tools.

To educate youth, sportsmen, and the public in conservation of our wildlife and our forest, which is our natural heritage.

To share our knowledge and hunting experiences among all our membership.

To operate the association as a non-profit organization, consistent with its charitable purposes, while providing enjoyment for our members.  Always with the goal of helping to conserve the animals that we love to hunt today, for those who will come to love the sport tomorrow.

We support our mission through our fundraising efforts and providing grant donations. Our annual banquet/fundraiser is the primary source of funds. All monies collected go toward our efforts. The good news is 70% of all funds raised stay here. That’s right the majority of our efforts stay local. If you or someone you know have a group which would like to apply for a grant, please submit your application to the address below.

Submit all request to:

Four Corners SCI
attn: Grant Request Committee
PO Box 1401
Bayfield, CO 81122 


Is Your State Represented in Protecting Hunting Freedoms?

First For Hunters Blog

Thirty-OneStates Will Not Speak for SCI on Lobby Day – Unless You Register Now!

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Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia have no SCI members registered to visit House and Senate offices on SCI’s Lobby Day on May 11, 2017.

Without representation from those states, there will be no one from SCI to inform the Congressmen and Senators from those 31 states about legislation that SCI wants to see passed this year and no one to explain about the important issues that this new Congress and new Administration should work on in the next several months.

For the first time in many years, our country has both a Congress and a President who are supportive of hunting.  This provides us with an excellent opportunity to educate our government leaders and policy makers about changes we would like to see made in legislation and rules affecting hunting, wildlife management and conservation, and access.  Now is the time to take advantage of this invaluable access to supportive leadership and to meet with the officials who can make the changes for which we have waited so long and worked so hard.  This is not a Lobby Day to miss!

SCI’s Lobby Day will take place on May 11, 2017.  It is the largest annual lobbying event in Washington, D.C. that focuses solely on hunting and conservation.  SCI’s Washington D.C. Hunter Advocacy Department will organize meetings so that you, as a hunter-conservationist, can speak with your members of Congress and legislative staffs about the issues that are important to SCI and to you!  SCI’s Hunter Advocacy staff will also prepare you with briefings and documents, so that you can provide your Congressmen and Senators with important information about our issues and with contact information so that they can continue to work with SCI, long after Lobby Day, to get favorable legislation passed.

If you are a resident of one of the 31 states listed above – your Congressmen and Senators won’t hear SCI’s message; won’t learn about legislation important to SCI and the hunting community; and won’t understand that SCI can provide them with background and resources to help develop and support laws favorable to hunting.  SCI’s voice will be absent and a tremendous opportunity will slip away.

It will soon be too late to register for Lobby Day.  The deadline to register is Thursday, April 20 by clicking here.  Make your plans to come.  Encourage your friends to register.  Don’t let your state go silent on Lobby Day.

SCI has always been a leader in advocating on behalf of the hunting community and the 15.5 million hunters in the United States.  As an SCI member, you have an invaluable opportunity to be part of that advocacy effort and to make certain that Congress hears what is important to hunters, hunting, and conservation.  Don’t miss this excellent opportunity to take an active role on May 11 in the changes taking place in Washington, D.C. and throughout the country.

If you are interested in participating in SCI’s efforts to protect the freedom to hunt, please register for SCI’s Lobby Day immediately by clicking here.


Using Form 4457s for Traveling With Firearms

First For Hunters Blog

Latest Update on Using Form 4457s for Traveling With Firearms

Apr 17, 2017

SCI has contacted U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for assistance in dealing with South Africa’s decision to accept only 1) Form 4457s with expiration dates that follow the date of travel or 2) Form 4457s without expiration dates that show proof of being issued in 2017.  Please see this previous article for more background information.

CBP acknowledges that some local port of entry offices around the country have been issuing forms with expiration dates that have already passed or with no expiration dates at all.  CBP’s Washington, D.C. office is communicating with branch offices to try to remedy this problem.  Although all CBP offices should be using the newest version of Form 4457, some local offices may not yet be aware that the form has been updated.

The current Form 4457 is now available from the agency’s website, located here:  https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2016-Aug/CBP%20Form%204457.pdf.  The expiration date on that form is 08/31/2019.

According to CBP, individuals who are planning to travel with their firearms outside of the United States, including to South Africa, should obtain and travel with the newest version of the form.  To best ensure that the CBP office signs and verifies the correct version of the Form 4457, CBP encourages hunters to download their own blank form/forms from the CBP website and take the blank forms with them to the CBP port of entry office for processing.

CBP personnel at local offices should sign and verify the new forms, even if the traveler already has a Form 4457 for the firearm(s) with which they intend to travel.  If hunters encounter CBP personnel who have questions about obtaining and/or signing and verifying the latest version of Form 4457s, hunters are directed to inform those personnel to contact Carrie Ehrgott, International Trade Specialist, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Trade, Washington, D.C., (202) 863-6508.


Delta Airlines: New Requirements for Carrying Firearms in Checked Luggage

Delta Airlines: New Requirements for Carrying Firearms in Checked Luggage

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SCI has just learned that Delta Airlines recently adopted some new procedures for passengers who carry firearms in their checked luggage.  Checked bags containing firearms will receive special tags.  These tags are intended to alert baggage handlers not to put the bags carrying firearms on carousels with other types of luggage.  Instead the checked bags containing the firearms will go directly to a baggage service agent.  According to news articles on the changes, (1) owners will be required to show proof of identification to pick up their luggage; (2) the baggage service agent will use zip ties to secure the bag before releasing the bag to its owner; and (3) at least at some airports, a police officer will be at the location when the passenger picks up the baggage.

The full text of Delta’s procedure for traveling with firearms in checked luggage is below:

Shooting Equipment

Shooting equipment is allowed as checked baggage only. It must fit within the very specific criteria that we outline below.

  • Declare to the Delta representative that you are checking a firearm.
  • Declare the existence of a firearm to security personnel if there’s a security checkpoint before the Delta counter.
  • All firearms must be declared by the passenger to a Delta representative at the main ticket counter.
  • Present firearm(s) unloaded and sign a “Firearms Unloaded” declaration.
  • Firearms must be packed in a locked manufacturer’s hard-sided container specifically designed for the firearm, a locked hard–sided gun case or a locked hard-sided piece of luggage. Handguns may be packed in a locked hard-sided gun case, and then packed inside an unlocked soft-sided piece of luggage. However, a Conditional Acceptance Tag must be used in this case.
  • Maintain entry permits in your possession for the country or countries of destination or transit.
  • Ensure small arms ammunition is packed in the manufacturer’s original package or securely packed in fiber, wood, plastic or metal boxes and provide separation for cartridges.
  • You are responsible for knowledge of and compliance with all Federal, State or local laws regarding the possession and transportation of firearms. For more information about this regulation you can visit the TSA website.
  • If you are transporting a firearm to the United Kingdom, a permit from the United Kingdom is specifically required. You must contact the United Kingdom for more information about securing this permit.
  • Until further advised, passengers departing Brussels, Belgium are not allowed to check weapons including, antique, sporting, hunting or toy rifles in their checked baggage.
  • All firearms checked as baggage must be picked up at the Baggage Service Office upon arrival.

The following types of ammunition are not accepted:

  • Gun powder; such as Pyrodex or Black Powder
  • Ammunition with explosive or incendiary projectiles
  • Ammunition, including case, exceeding 11 pounds (5 kg) gross weight per passenger

Pistols and accessories must be included in one case and contain:

  • Pistol telescopes
  • Noise suppressors
  • A small pistol tool case
  • No more than 11 lbs. (5 kg) of ammunition, including case

Rifles and shotguns must be packaged as follows:

  • One hard sided case containing up to four rifles, shotguns, shooting materials, tools
  • The case must completely secure the firearm from being accessed. All areas designed to be locked must be locked.
  • Locked cases that can be easily opened are not permitted. Be aware that the container the firearm was in when purchased may not adequately secure the firearm when it is transported in checked baggage.
  • One hard sided case containing up to five handguns, one scope, tools
  • One bow and quiver of arrows and maintenance kit enclosed in a case or container strong enough to protect the bow and quiver from accidental damage
  • No more than 11 lbs. (5 kg) of ammunition, including case

An excess baggage fee will apply if checking more than one gun case.

These instructions can he found on Delta’s website, found under “Sports Equipment,” then “Shooting Equipment,” here:  http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/traveling-with-us/baggage/before-your-trip/special-items.html (emphasis highlighted).

To SCI’s knowledge, the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) has not issued any requirement for any airline to adopt all of these same procedures, although TSA does impose some similar requirements, https://www.tsa.gov/travel/transporting-firearms-and-ammunition.  While all airlines regulate the carriage of firearms in checked bags, SCI is not aware of any other airline requiring customers to pick up luggage containing firearms at a special location, using zip ties to secure such luggage, or having law enforcement at the special baggage office.


Latest Version of the Sportsmen’s Act

Senate Committee Launches Latest Version of the Sportsmen’s Act

On March 30, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed Senate Bill  733, a bipartisan bill entitled the “Sportsmen’s Act.”  The bill’s purposes include to “protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting.”  S.733 was introduced on March 27 by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Jim Risch (R-ID), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Deb Fischer (R-NE), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).  Just three days later, the Senate Committee passed the bill by a voice vote.

This latest version of the Sportsmen’s Act includes a number of provisions designed to improve opportunities and access for hunters, anglers, recreational shooters, and those who provide services to the sportsmen’s community.  S. 733 also increases agency transparency and accountability for the decision-making that affects hunters and the resources that federal agencies use to provide hunting opportunities.

Key provisions in S. 733 include:

  • Specifically declaring the policy of the United States to include the enhancement of hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting opportunities on federal lands;
  • Continuing to recognize the States’ authority and responsibility for wildlife within their borders;
  • Establishing that Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service lands are open to hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting unless specifically closed to those activities;
  • Placing limits on such closures and imposing requirements for the process for closing lands;
  • Requiring the creation of a list of federal public lands that allow hunting but for which access is a problem;
  • Exempting commercial filming permits for film crews of three or fewer, or for news gathering purposes;
  • Amending the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to allocate funds for construction and expansion of public target ranges on BLM and Forest Service lands;
  • Adding agency reporting requirements to the Equal Access for Justice Act for monies spent in litigation settlements and awards;
  • Establishing a statutory Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council to advise the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture on wildlife and habitat conservation, hunting, and recreational shooting;
  • Allowing the transport across National Park Service (NPS) land of bows or crossbows that are “not ready for immediate use”; and
  • Confirming it is proper to use qualified volunteers from the hunting community to cull wildlife on NPS land.

Although the bill contains numerous sections providing benefit to hunters, it does not include several provisions that had been part of earlier versions of the Sportsmen’s Act and that are of particular interest to SCI members (e.g., importation of polar bears harvested in 2014).  S. 733 represents a significant start in this Congress’ effort to adopt important sportsmen’s legislation.  SCI will be working with both the House and the Senate toward passage of a bill that will address S.733’s provisions as well as others of concern to our members.  Please continue to monitor your SCI communications and publications for updates on this issue.


Entering the bear den: CPW concludes study on human-bear interaction

To our members, followers and supporters. Here is a conclusion and update to a Colorado Parks and Wildlife bear study, here in Durango. This is just one organization who has received support from Four Corners SCI via grant money.

Colorado Outdoors Online

CPW-durango-bear-research-37 CPW Researcher Heather Johnson. Photo by Nora Logue/CPW.

On a sunny March day, a group of eight crouch silently outside a bear den dug into a ridge near Durango as Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Heather Johnson literally pokes the sleeping mama bear inside.

This expedition is part of the conclusion of a first-of-its-kind study conducted over six years in southwest Colorado. It is one of the most comprehensive studies to date on human-bear interactions and the impact of urbanization on bear populations.

“This study was motivated by the increase that’s happened in human-bear conflicts in Colorado. As the state wildlife agency that manages those conflicts, we wanted to better understand what was causing those conflicts to increase, and ultimately what we should do about it,” said Johnson, a wildlife researcher.

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You Need to Attend SCI’s Congressional Lobby Day

On May 11, 2017, SCI will host the largest annual lobbying event in Washington, D.C. that focuses solely on hunting and conservation.  SCI’s Washington D.C. Hunter Advocacy team will organize more than 200 face-to-face meetings for SCI members with U.S. Senators, Representatives, and their legislative staffs, so that you, as a hunter-conservationist can speak with your elected officials about the issues that are important to you!

Lobby Day is not for other people to get involved with SCI’s advocacy.  It is for YOU!  Don’t leave your hunting opportunities to others to protect.  Be part of an opportunity to educate Congress and the new administration about the changes needed to protect hunters, provide access, and promote conservation.  Now is our time and you need to be part of it.

If you are interested in participating in SCI’s Congressional Lobby Day to protect your freedom to hunt, please register by clicking here.  SCI’s Hunter Advocacy Team will help you through the process, including alerting you to important issues and proposed legislation, and by providing you with talking points and the messages we are trying to convey.

SCI has always been a leader in advocating on behalf of the hunting community and the 15.5 million hunters in the United States.  As an SCI member, you have an invaluable opportunity to be part of that advocacy effort and to make certain that Congress hears what is important to hunters, hunting, and conservation.  Don’t miss this excellent opportunity to take an active role on May 11 in the changes taking place in Washington, D.C. and throughout the country.

Want to become part of SCI’s advocacy team?  Please use the form attached here to register today!  Now, more than ever, it is important that hunters speak with a strong, unified voice.  This is your chance to be part of that effort.  Don’t miss it!


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