Tag Archives: Safari Club International

Clarification on Zimbabwe Importation Prohibition

No Change in Zimbabwe Importation Prohibition

Despite recent rumors to the contrary, the existing bans on African lion and elephant importation from Zimbabwe remain in effect.  SCI received confirmation of this information yesterday from the U.S. Department of the Interior.  Unfortunately, press releases and news reports coming from Zimbabwe during the last several days incorrectly reported that the U.S. position on importation of lions and elephants from Zimbabwe had changed.

In April 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service imposed a ban on the importation of legally hunted elephants from Zimbabwe.  SCI and the National Rifle Association sued to challenge the ban and the case continues in federal court.  SCI and NRA have already seen some success from the case.  The district court held that the Service illegally imposed the ban before announcing it in the Federal Register.  As a result the Court held that the ban could not commence until May 12, 2014, when the agency published its formal notice.  Several SCI members and others who successfully hunted elephants between April 4 and May 11, 2014, are now in the process of importing their elephants.

In January 2016, the Service adopted regulations requiring individual permits for the importation of each African lion into the U.S. Since that date, the FWS has not granted a single permit for the importation of a legally hunted lion from Zimbabwe.

Although the Department of the Interior has not lifted either the elephant or lion importation ban, SCI is optimistic that we will see changes to the status of importation from Zimbabwe in the near future.  We will continue to monitor the importation situation, and will immediately alert our members to any changes.


New Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Gregory Sheehan Appointed Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

WASHINGTON, DC—Safari Club International (SCI) today praised the appointment of Gregory Sheehan as Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Director Sheehan has served as the Director of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources since 2012. He is a member of SCI and has been a key participant for several years at SCI’s annual Western Directors’ Forum at the SCI Convention.

He is an avid hunter and has hunted in the U.S. and in Africa. Director Sheehan is very familiar with many of the issues that affect SCI members and their abilities to hunt and participate in sustainable use conservation in the U.S. and abroad. He has served as Chair of the Threatened and Endangered Policy Committee of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and has been a member of the U.S. Fish andWildlife Service Federal/State Joint ESA Task Force. He also serves on the Board of the Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports.

Director Sheehan has worked for 25 years in the natural resources and wildlife management community. In Utah, he championed a proactive approach to growing and sustaining wildlife populations. During his five years as Utah’s Director, the state’s mule deer population increased by more than 100,000 animals, leading to increased hunting and viewing opportunities for the public.

He is also long-term advocate for shooting sports. Under his leadership the National Archery in the Schools program in Utah tripled its number of participants.

Director Sheehan earned his degree at Utah State University and later received a Masters in Business Administration. He and his wife have been married for 30 years and have two sons.

SCI welcomes Director Sheehan to Washington, D.C. and we look forward to working with him to address the domestic and international wildlife management and conservation concerns of SCI and the broader hunting community.

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SCI has a U.S. based-membership of approximately 38,000 but through our Affiliate Member program we represent930,414 sportsmen and women. Worldwide SCI has 51,000 members and 8,613,742 represented through our Affiliate Membership.

Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. 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. Visit the home page www.safariclub.org or call (520) 620-1220 for more information

Washington, District of Columbia · Tucson, Arizona
www.safariclub.org · www.safariclubfoundation.org

Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. 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. Visit the home page www.SafariClub.org, or call (520) 620-1220 for more information.
International Headquarters Tucson, Arizona · Washington, District of Columbia · Ottawa, Canada www.SafariClub.org

Olivia Opre on the Anti-Hunting Movement and What We Can Do

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Olivia Opre on the Anti-Hunting Movement and What We Can Do…

As hunters, we face many challenges in the field: weather, migrations, moon phases, terrain and sometimes plain old bad luck. But, with the onset of social media, our challenges in protecting our hunting traditions have moved into our living rooms and increased exponentially. Social media has allowed anti-hunters to claim an identity otherwise too daunting to embrace, while hiding in the safety of their home behind a computer. As their confidence is gained and their true character is revealed, they become more brazen in making ignorant accusations and spewing vitriol that hurts us as individuals and as hunters.

Many of us fear jeopardizing the safety of ourselves, family and our careers; subsequently, we retract by becoming extremely private and oftentimes avoid engaging in any sort of communication on a social media platform. Where this is completely understandable, there are some of us willing and capable of taking on the fight. To those of you free to embrace this battle, there are things we all need to be on the same page about… starting with a similar message based in good science and facts. Hunting is conservation, and we need to be constantly driving this point home to ensure that it is heard.

As hunters, we also need to be cognizant on how we portray ourselves and the use of trigger words like ‘trophy’, ‘record’, etc., so as not to end the argument before it starts. Additionally, the tastefulness of photos we post often sets the stage for reaction. Finding common ground can be a huge help; for instance, most people appreciate the locally sourced food movement and everyone hates poachers.

The future of our traditions depends upon reaching those on the fence about hunting and in educating our youth… the same people who actively engage on social media. Together, we can share all of the facts and create a more positive public image of hunters and hunting.

I support SCI Foundation and you should too. Stand with us to support science-based conservation and education.

Yours in Conservation,

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Olivia Opre

Hunter, 2014 SCI Diana Award Recipient, Conservationist, and co-host of “Eye of the Hunter”

SCI FOUNDATION is stepping up its fight against “False News” and “Alternative Facts,” and we need your support to make a difference.

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(click above image to learn more)

DONATE TODAY AND DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT!

A generous SCI member and Foundation donor has challenged us to raise more funds for the mission by offering to match the first $25,000 raised. In turn… we are now challenging you to “Double the Impact” of your gift to support wildlife conservation by participating in this limited time charitable giving opportunity.

To learn about more giving options, contact Kimberly Byers at 520-620-1220 ext. 322 or kbyers@safariclub.org


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.


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