Safari Club International’s (SCI) Record Book Committee unanimously agreed to expand photo entry categories and awards for a new program, “Game Birds of the World.” The official launch of Game Birds of the World was in the 2016 Awards Issue of SAFARI magazine.
With more than 50,000 international members, SCI is the global leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. Traditionally focusing on big game management and hunters’ rights since its formation nearly 45 years ago, it will, for the first time, advocate for game bird and waterfowl conservation and the right to hunt managed species across the globe.
“SCI is first for hunters, not just big game hunters. It is time we create a program to support both bird hunters as well as the conservation and sustainability of global species and their habitats,” explained Brittany Hosmer, Game Birds of the World Committee Chairperson.
Though the United States alone has 2.6 million bird hunters, SCI offered no programs for them outside of shotguns and bird hunting trips sold at the SCI Convention, local chapters and through advertisers. Market research shows that 88% of SCI members participate in upland game bird hunting, 77% of members hunt waterfowl, and 80% shoot shotguns/trap/skeet. The Game Birds of The World will attract new members and also provide an incentive for existing members and World Hunting Award participants to continue their collection of global adventures for unique species through programs in the SCI Record Book.
The SCI Record Book is the largest record keeping system in the world, maintaining a history of our worldwide hunting heritage and helping to manage big game species for the next generation. SCI members have full online access to the database and can submit their data to be eligible for annual awards.
The Game Birds of the World Ad-hoc Committee of PhD biologists and known experts in the bird hunting community have worked diligently to finalize a list of acceptable game birds from each continent. There are strict limitations as to what birds can be accepted into the program. They must be approved by the committee and meet the following criteria:
Legally hunted with a shotgun.
Have a known population status.
Have a specific hunting season.
Committee determined as either “Upland Game Bird” or “Waterfowl.”
Is shot while flying.
The full list of eligible birds can be found on SCI’s website, www.safariclub.org.
Members are invited to submit entries by sending a photo entry form and verified field photograph to the Committee. Each entry is only $20. SCI’s Record Book Software will be utilized for all processing of entries, which will be reviewed by the Committee before being accepted. All approved photo entries will be added to a member’s species summary and apply to the Game Birds of the World Awards. The Game Birds of the World platform is stand alone and will not mix with the Big Game platform, yet will be considered for such awards like the Diana Award and Young Hunter Award that recognize the achievements of women and youth.
The program will provide new sources of revenue for the Record Book Department through entry revenue, award listings, sponsorships and strategic partnerships with conservation organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Park Cities Quail Coalition and Rough Grouse Society who have all expressed their support and excitement for the launch of the program.
“This program fits strategically with SCI objectives to appeal to a broader range of sportsmen and women, young and old, that will help SCI diversify our membership while staying true to our mission,” Hosmer elaborated. “It will also provide greater opportunity to expose new hunters to SCI’s way of recording a hunter’s travels and achievements. We hope it also gives an exciting new set of goals for experienced who hunters who have already accomplished a lot within our big game hunting awards programs. One of our primary goals is to engage our next generation in the sport of fair hunting and wildlife conservation.”
For more about SCI International and information on how to join, visit www.safariclub.org