Category Archives: Guns & Hunting

Enjoy exciting hunting stories told by SCI members and read about the latest guns and gear they’re using in the bush.

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.

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Flintlock On Safari


When asked what he hunts with, SCI Member Mike L. replied with an unusual brace of guns he recently took to South Africa.  Mike writes:

“Last year I had the good fortune to hunt in the eastern cape of South Africa. I was hunting at East Cape Safaris located near Somerset East. I wanted the hunt to be something a bit different from what most hunters do, so I chose to take a flintlock Kentucky rifle and a miniature (20% smaller) Sharps model 1874. I wanted to hunt with open sights one more time in my life.

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“The miniature Sharps was made by Little Sharps Manufacturing at Big Sandy, Montana, by Ron Otto and Aaron Pursley. The rifle has a 29-inch octagonal barrel and is chambered in the old .38-72 Winchester with a .375 bore. The smokeless loads are the equivalent of a .375-06 or a .375 Scovil. I was able to make effective kills with open sights to 300 yards with it utilizing Barnes .375 250-grain TTSX bullets.

“The second rifle is a .54 caliber Kentucky flintlock rifle in .54 caliber with a 42-inch swamped and flared barrel. It was made by rifle maker Charles Heistand of Marietta, Pennsylvania. A 230-grain roundball proved very effective. The sugar based Sanadex powder available in South Africa shot clean and ignited quite easily. I used this rifle on medium sized game and for culling springbok from the herds.”

Ruger’s Ken Jorgensen’s Choice of Guns


By Ken Jorgensen

I saw the “Just Wondering” column in the July/August issue of Safari and your request for info on what hunters are using these days. Having only hunted big game with a rifle since I came to Ruger nine years ago I don’t have a lot of history to fall back on but I have had the opportunity to pick from lots of rifles and calibers. I have used a No. 1 in .30-06 on several trips to Africa and shot plains game with it. I have shot several animals in North America with an All-Weather .270, including the blacktail I shot while we were hunting in Alaska a few years back. I have also dropped a few animals with .44 revolvers over the years and still enjoy that when I keep my skills up through regular practice.

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My last four trips to Africa have seen me use either a .375 Ruger African or a wood and blued M77 .300RCM. The .375 Ruger has taken animals ranging from Cape buffalo and sable to bushbuck while the .300RCM has accounted for gemsbok, springbok, kudu, impala and other plains game. I like both calibers quite a bit for their respective applications but if I had to choose one for all African hunting it would be the .375.

I really do like the Ruger Gunsite Scout in .308 Win. While I have used it on hogs, the .308 has never been my first choice as a hunting round, and I am not sure why. My daughters success with the .308 in a 20” barrel Ruger M77 RCM style rifle in Namibia a couple years ago opened my eyes. I did acquire one of the “International” versions of the Ruger Scout with its 18” unthreaded muzzle barrel and do anticipate taking it on more serious hunting trips in the future. Maybe even using the forward mounted Scout Scope optics as I have spent considerable time shooting that way and find it very usable. The Scout rifle/optics package makes a very compact, easy to handle combo when carrying a rifle long distances and the shorter barrels doesn’t give up much with today’s ammo, especially the Superformance loads from Hornady.

Favorite Guns of SCI Member Bill B.


In recent years I have become very fond of two rifles and their cartridges. Aside from the .45-70, it has become apparent to me that I don’t need the big guns for most of my hunting. I really like my Marlin Guide Gun in .45-70 even though many of the animals I took with it could have been done just as well with my favorite .308, a Remington Model 7 Custom KS. It’s light, easy to take with, and accurate.

With the .308 I have taken all manner of African plains game, elk and deer at home; and it was perfect for my last hunt in Scotland.

My 45-70 was an engraved parting gift when my term on the AZ G&F commission ended. Though limited by trajectory, it has served me well when conditions were appropriate for it. With it I have taken muskox, elk, American bison, Argentina water buffalo, and wild boar in Argentina and the US.

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