Archie Nesbitt, president of Calgary Chapter in Canada (right), is shown with Clement Lanthier, president & CEO of the Calgary Zoo, who donated, a priceless behind-the-scenes experience for six people to take the Penguin Plunge. “This is truly a unique and intimate experience,” explained Lanthier as he addressed the Calgary SCI Chapter’s 17th Annual Fundraiser. He also explained that the unique relationship between the Calgary Zoo and SCI makes perfect sense as they are both very conservation-minded organizations and can accomplish great things when they work together. The 100 percent donation sold at auction for $1,600 and Lanthier was so pleased that he offered a second donation to the back-bidder that again sold for $1,600!
The Los Angeles and Orange County, California, Chapters of Safari Club International are holding their 14th annual Youth Outdoor Safari Day next Saturday at the Mike Raahauge’s Shooting Complex located at 14995 River Road, Corona, CA, between the 91 and 60 freeways. Hours are from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. [Click for Driving Directions]
The event was started by the Chapters to reach out and expose as many children from the community as possible to the enjoyment that comes from participating in outdoor activities. Through example and guidance, Chapter Members demonstrate not only their passion for the outdoors, but also educate kids to preserve their outdoor heritage for future generations.
At the all-day event, kids have the opportunity to view and experience firsthand an exciting array of fun outdoor activities. Those activities include archery, BB guns, kayaking, Laser Shot and paintball games. Kids can learn how to make game calls and paint duck decoys. Other activities include walking through the Sensory Safari Van, viewing unbelievable shooting exhibitions and more. Kids can catch fish, see hawks and falcons up close, talk with modern mountain men and cowboys, and win outdoor prizes in the kid’s raffle.
“This event is a great opportunity for us to introduce youths to the outdoor sports,” said SCI President John Whipple. “Through outreach programs such as Youth Outdoor Safari Day, we are educating kids in a way that’s fun and rewarding for them.”
Cost of this fun-filled event is only $30 per family if you pre-register, or $40 the day of the event. Included in the cost are kid’s raffle tickets and all the outdoor activities. Pre-registering here is highly recommended. Lunch is $6 provided by In n Out Burger and you can purchase your lunch at time of pre-registration.
For more information about the event, visit the Youth Outdoor Safari Day website. To volunteer, donate, or otherwise get involved in the Youth Outdoor Safari Day, contact: Mike Raahauge’s Shooting Complex at (951) 735-7981 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lake Superior Chapter of Safari Club International recently donated $9,500 to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) allowing the department to add a third K-9 unit to its ranks.
Dale Bruder, Lake Superior Chapter SCI president, said of the donation, “We believe organizations like ours have to work hand-in-hand with conservation officers because we’re against everything they are against — poachers and violators of any kind. Our board thought it was an excellent idea for the organizations to work together.”
K-9 “Axel” and his partner, Conservation Officer (CO) Pat McGowan of Hastings, have already completed nearly 12 weeks of human tracking, obedience and evidence search field training conducted by CO Travis Muyres, a certified K-9 trainer and experienced DNR K-9 team handler.
According to Lt. Todd Kanieski, K-9 unit coordinator, the dog comes in “green,” which allows DNR to train the K-9 how the department wants. Kanieski added that the internal “working drive” of both dog and handler are paramount to the success of the K-9 team. “Being a K-9 handler carries a lot of extra responsibility,” he said. “The handler must have a proven history of making solid decisions in the field. The dog must be social around people.”
Conservation officers typically work alone in a 650 square mile patrol area and the DNR working dog model is a lot like the civilian law enforcement patrol dog. It takes a dog of steady, stable character but capable of controlled aggression under certain circumstances, such as on command, when attacked, or when the handler is attacked. The added dimension of a DNR K-9, however, is the ability to sniff out game and fish violations, which is a force multiplier noted Kanieski.
“Searching for trace blood evidence or a shell casing in a large field or wooded area could take multiple officers several hours, but with the right K-9 team, that task can be done in minutes and the area would be more thoroughly searched,” Kanieski said,“We have had great success at finding fish/game evidence and shell casings in the field. That evidence helps us in protecting our natural resources. A K-9 makes sure of that.”
The K-9s are a small part of the DNR Enforcement Division and relies primarily on private donations from organizations such as SCI that have a heavy interest in conservation education and humanitarian projects. The ability to protect natural resources was a big reason why SCI made such a generous donation to the DNR K-9 program. “We see the benefits of establishing good rapport with game agencies, so this fell right in line with what our chapters need to do,” said Derron Wahlen, SCI field coordinator. Funds to assist with the acquisition of a K-9 are raised through SCI chapter fundraisers. “Without the support of the Lake Superior Chapter of the Safari Club…we would not be adding a third K-9 unit,” said Kanieski.