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9th Annual Junior Pheasant Hunt A Huge Success

By Susan Bowers and Doug Streed

The Ninth Annual San Diego Junior Pheasant Hunt, sponsored by San Diego Chapter of SCI and SCI Foundation, was held in the fields near Santa Ysabel, California, in March.

In all, 72 excited and happy youth hunters checked in at 7 a.m. to start their adventure in the field. Each youth was given an orange hat emblazoned with the San Diego Junior Pheasant Hunt logo, a name tag with their team designation number and color, and a drawing ticket for their pheasant to be mounted by a local taxidermist. A volunteer outfitter headed each team and each held a colored flag for the kids to identify as their team.

San Diego Junior Pheasant Hunt was a great learning experience for the many who attended.

Volunteers for the day included three presidents of related sporting organizations, two San Diego County Fish and Wildlife Commissioners, two college professors, one medical doctor, one California Game Warden, one veterinarian, three San Diego Chapter Board members, five California Hunter Safety Instructors, 12 dog handlers, and 45 other equally important volunteers.

After a safety briefing, a solemn moment to honor our military wounded and fallen warriors, and the pledge of allegiance, the teams moved to one of eight stations.

The stations included an archery field, .22 rifle range, shotgun trap range, dog retrieving exhibition area by Raney Ranch Retrievers, Department of Agriculture Federal Trappers, a seminar about turkeys and then to the fields for the actual hunt for two pheasants each and finally to the pheasant cleaning station with their birds.

When the last team finished cleaning their birds, lunch was served. Janice Mendenhall and her family from My Country Club were busy serving delicious hamburgers and hotdogs with chocolate chip cookies for dessert. While the kids were eating, tickets were drawn for a bow donated by Jim Connors, owner of Willow Creek Archery, and a 5-day hunt in South Africa with Inyathi Safaris donated by Andy Goudeau.

San Diego Junior Pheasant Hunt thanks the San Diego Chapter of Safari Club International and Safari Club International Foundation for their continued support.

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Bavaria Helps Croatia

One of the problems members of the SCI Hrvatska Chapter (Croatia) are facing is the lack of accessible taxidermists to prepare their hunting trophies. Members of the Board of this Chapter contacted the SCI Bavaria Chapter and asked for help. Soon after Ante Biondic from Senj, Croatia, was on his way to Pilsting, Bavaria, to attend a special two-week class on the principles of taxidermy, taught by Bavaria Chapter member and Master Taxidermist Udo Busch. Shown from left to right are Ante Biondic, SCI Hrvatska Chapter; Norbert Ullmann, SCI Regional Representative Europe; President SCI Bavaria Chapter; and Udo Busch, SCI Bavaria Chapter.

Bear Dog Race

One of the events at the 2012 Youth Safari Day was a dog swim to show that bear hunting hounds can swim long distances if necessary during a chase.

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Releases New Guidance On The Importation Of Trophies

Over the past months, SCI staff has been working diligently with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), importers and other members of the regulated community to find a solution to a recent spike in seizures of sport-hunted trophies.

On Friday Feb. 24, the FWS released a memo that clarifies the instructions on tagging and marking leopard, Nile crocodile and African elephant trophies. “We commend the FWS for taking a first step to help reverse the incidences of seizures due to paperwork and procedural problems with importation,” SCI reported. “SCI will continue to work with the FWS to solve importation problems that interfere with trophy importation by many SCI members.”

SCI strongly encourages members who are planning on hunting any of these three species to read through the entire memo and to provide a copy to their Professional Hunter, Outfitter and/or Taxidermist or whoever else might be involved in the preparation and exportation of these trophies.

One particular source of trophy importation problems relates to the tags and/or tusk markings required for the importation of CITES Appendix I trophies. In some circumstances the trophy is taken in one year and imported in a different year. In those circumstances, the tags and/or tusk markings must include different information about the quota from which the animal was taken than must appear on the CITES export permit document.

The memo provides specific information to cover the requirements for these circumstances.

One particularly significant statement in the memo appears in its last line where the FWS explains that, “Sporthunted trophies imported into the United States that do not comply with the marking, tagging or CITES document requirements are subject to refusal of entry or seizure.”

With that sentence, the FWS acknowledges that refusal of entry is a potential strategy that hunter/importers can request to avoid trophy seizures. If and when a hunter/importer is faced with procedural or paperwork deficiencies concerning the importation of the trophy, the hunter/importer may ask for the FWS to refuse entry of the trophy and to return the trophy to the country of export.

A refusal of entry is not a means of fixing existing paperwork flaws. Instead it requires the hunter/importer to restart the exportation process with new exportation and importation documents. While it may be expensive to ship a trophy back to Africa and to seek new documentation, in many cases that cost and effort will be far more reasonable than losing a trophy to seizure.

It is important to understand that the FWS is unlikely to elect to refuse entry unless the hunter/importer specifically asks for that option. For that reason, SCI strongly recommends that hunter/importers who are facing a possible seizure ask that their trophy be refused entry rather than seized. Hunters/Importers should retain the FWS memo and show it to the FWS border official if any question arises. Members who have questions, please contact Bill McGrath wmcgrath@safariclub. org, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lawenforcement@fws.gov.