This year marked the forty-first anniversary of Seattle’s SCI Northwest Chapter with the annual celebration held at Seattle’s Hilton hotel with upwards of 300 guests. The successful Washington Chapter holds a long history within our Club, having had a number of remarkable members in its ranks over its four decade history.
A few of them have included Weatherby Award winner Pete Papac and Chris Klineberger who founded Klineberger Brothers, an internationally renowned taxidermy business. Klineberger is a recipient of SCI’s coveted Hall of Fame Award.
The SCI Record Book of Big Game Animals owes much for its outstanding reputation to Washington residents Jack Schwabland and Buzzy Cook who were from the Seattle area. These two men served as editors of the record book for many years and are in part responsible for it’s superb taxonomic notes and text, making the book arguably the finest of its type in the world.
Today, Seattle-based outdoor television personality Alain Smith is active in the Chapter–having also been awarded recently both the SCI International Hunting Award and the Weatherby, too.
Led by President Mike Rex, the Chapter focuses its efforts on family, youth and conservation projects benefiting the State of Washington, while also maintaining a strong presence in state governmental advocacy for sportsmen.
Fourteen-year-old Alyssa Ford has written five stories to date about the Chapter’s youth hunts that the organization takes great pride in conducting and completely funding, according to Cordelia Ford, Alyssa’s mother. Banquet Chairman Gary Tennison and Mike Rex both elaborated that getting kids out into the wilderness and enjoying hunting opportunities is a core objective of the Chapter’s mission. In addition, the Chapter fully funds Dream Hunts for children suffering from terminal illness.
Of late, the Chapter has been supporting and funding wild sheep studies that have been carried out in the Cascades. Washington, like many western states, suffers from an ongoing conflict of domestic sheep herds mingling with wild big-horn sheep, in turn those domestic sheep pass pneumonia and possibly other illnesses onto these wild animals, that can easily decimate populations quickly.
Pronghorn antelope have also been reintroduced to Washington by the collective effort of all the SCI Chapters’ in Washington State. At the Yakima Indian Reservation, a breeding herd of 99 animals was introduced onto tribal lands that in just forty-eight months has grown to 147 animals. Although far from yet being a sustainable hunting population, past Chapter President Chip Emmons remarked that the Northwest Chapter, and the others, are dedicated to seeing the project grow and is proud of SCI Northwest Chapter’s involvement and leadership in pronghorn antelope conservation.
The Hunters’ Heritage Council, a strong and effective coalition of like-minded sportsmen and hunters from the State, was formed to make the hunter’s voice heard with lawmakers. Led by SCI’s Northwest Chapter, the group advises rule and lawmakers on sound conservation ethos and gives hunters a needed voice in State politics.–Phil DeLone, Chief Executive Officer