SCI, U.S. FWS Confer About Hunting Matters

As part of the organization’s hunter advocacy mission, Safari Club International officials met recently with the head of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to discuss critical hunting and wildlife policies that affect hunters around the world.

SCI works tirelessly to provide hunters the best opportunities to improve policies that affect hunting, both domestically and internationally. To be an effective hunter advocate requires specific lobbying efforts with high-level government officials.

When SCI President John Whipple, President-Elect Craig Kauffman, Government Affairs Committee (GAC) Chairman Paul Babaz, and GAC Vice-Chair Al Maki visited the Washington, D.C. office in July, they sat down with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Dan Ashe to discuss a variety of important issues and policies that affect hunters and hunting.

Al Maki, who also chairs the SCI Foundation Conservation Committee, asked the FWS to work collaboratively with SCI and SCI Foundation biologists to develop coordinated positions as the CITES Conference of the Parties 16 approaches next year in Bangkok, Thailand. SCI and FWS policies may differ, but developing relationships where there is common ground can help lead to better policies, such as an improved definition of a “Hunting Trophy.”

Director Ashe was invited to the SCI Foundation’s African Wildlife Consultative Forum, which is the largest annual meeting of African government delegations, professional hunter associations, and NGOs.

President Whipple and Director Ashe focused on the need for youth engagement with the outdoors, and building SCI chapter relations with regional National Wildlife Refuge managers nationwide (there are more than 500 Refuges in the U.S.). Each spoke passionately about reducing impediments to hunting and increasing hunting opportunities on the National Wildlife Refuge System.

The discussion also addressed problems with the importation of trophies. Babaz and Kauffman each shared views of how international hunters provide a vital link to conservation funding in economically struggling countries and how international hunters help to place a greater value on wildlife, thus ultimately reducing poaching. Director Ashe embraced this opportunity to discuss his vision to improve working relations with international hunters through education and concentrated outreach directly to SCI, which advocates directly to its members.

Without SCI working actively to protect hunting and advocate for changes in policy, there is little hope for the next generation. President John Whipple is committed to working directly at the highest level of government to ensure SCI remains first for hunters to protect our heritage.

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Leupold Rangefinders Designed Specifically for Archers

Range estimation is critical when hunting —especially bowhunting. Leupold recently expanded its RX line of compact digital laser rangefinders for hunters and shooters with four new models: RX-800i, RX-800i TBR, RX-600i and, designed specifically for archers, RX-FullDraw.

“These new rangefinders are ideal for the serious bowhunter,” commented Pat Mundy, senior marketing manager for Leupold & Stevens, Inc.  “Their compact size and rugged construction make for easy and reliable use in the field, and they deliver the precision and accuracy necessary to make the most difficult shots considerably less daunting.”

At just over four inches in length and weighing seven ounces or less, each model fits in a shirt pocket, yet is packed with features that can help users confirm desired targets, shoot with confidence and boost their effective range.  Each model features DNA (Digitally eNhanced Accuracy), Leupold’s exclusive next-generation rangefinder engine technology that delivers superior ranging speed and accuracy to within 1/2 yard out to 125 yards, regardless of target color.  In addition, DNA enhances ranging dependability against soft, non-reflective targets such as deer and trees.

The RX-800i, RX-800i TBR and RX-FullDraw also offer Trophy Scale, a feature that allows hunters to determine if the animal’s rack measures up to the desired spread size.  With Trophy Scale, users can instantly and accurately judge the width and/or height of the target after setting the preferred baseline measurement (between 10 and 60 inches).

To help ensure an accurate shot on that trophy animal, the RX-800i TBR and RX-FullDraw have Leupold’s proven True Ballistic Range (TBR) technology.  These units can automatically calculate the shot angle and provide the True Ballistic Range rather than the straight-line distance to the target.  With Trig, a new function of the RX-800i TBR, users can also determine the height or length of objects.

The RX-FullDraw’s TBR provides archers with accurate aiming ranges to 175 yards regardless of angle, and delivers line-of-sight readings out to 800 yards.  Its 5x magnification delivers an exceptionally wide field of view, allowing users to quickly acquire a target at closer distances.

Each of the four new models has a multicoated lens system and a new Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) that produce an image up to three times brighter than competitive rangefinders.  Other key features common to all models include actual 6x magnification (5x for FullDraw), fast-focus eyepiece with precision clicks, intuitive quick set menu, three user-selectable aiming reticles, and fold-down rubber eyecups that can accommodate users with or without eyeglasses.  Long eye relief helps make the new RX rangefinders comfortable and easy to use for eyeglass wearers.

Maximum range on reflective targets for the RX-800i, RX-800i TBR and RX-FullDraw is 800 yards. Each model is waterproof and built to withstand the rigors of extensive field use.  Rugged and weatherproof, the affordable RX-600i has a maximum range of 600 yards.

Co-op Program Between Northern New Mexico Chapter And New Mexico Dept. Of Game & Fish Focuses On New Shooters

By Jack McCormick, President, SCI Northern New Mexico Chapter and Herb Atkinson, Region 10 Representative

Like other wildlife agencies across the country, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is concerned about the numbers of new hunters and shooters being recruited to those activities.  One study showed that nationally only 67 young hunters and shooters are replacing every 100 hunters and shooters who stop being active.

The NM Game Department’s shooting program is one response to help reverse that trend.

This year, department officer, Mark Gruber, took the job as the full time Shooting Program Coordinator.  Mark is an avid hunter and shotgun shooter, and has previously been active in the program.

In the early stages of the program, the Department concentrated on training youth shotgun coaches, providing ammunition to the shooting teams, and sponsoring an annual youth fun shoot.  Now that the program has a full time manager, the agency wants to recruit more youth shooters by conducting several “First Shot” events.  “First Shot” is a program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation designed to introduce as many interested youth as possible to the shooting sports.

Always in a need for funding, the Department approached Jack McCormick, President of the Northern New Mexico Chapter of SCI, about the possibility of financial help for the program.  The plan is to assemble an enclosed trailer that can be taken all over the State of New Mexico to conduct “First Shot” events.  The Game and Fish Department is going to purchase the trailer and the Northern New Mexico Chapter is donating the money to purchase a very colorful wrap for the trailer.  In addition, the chapter is purchasing ten shotguns and a ProMatic clay target trap.  Ron Peterson Firearms of Albuquerque has also generously donated $1000.00 to the program.

The total chapter financial contribution to the program is $6,790.00!

Other state Game Departments have similar shooting trailers and find them a great way to attract new shooters.  The NM Game Department has had great success using seven archery trailers across the state.  The trailers have the same bows, arrows and targets used in the National Archery in the Schools Program.  Summer camps and schools that have trained archery instructors, but no equipment, use the trailers until they are able to purchase the supplies and equipment they need.

With the help of Pittman-Robertson Act funds, the department also has plans to help communities build shooting ranges in areas that currently do not have formal places for shooters to sight in their rifles or practice their wing-shooting.

Working with the two Safari Club Chapters in New Mexico, the Department will be investigating new avenues to attract more shooters and hunters to the sport.  We cannot think of a better goal than introducing new shooters to the sport that we all love!

Zeiss Announces 2012 FIELD DAYS Promotion

Carl Zeiss Sports Optics recently announced its largest “Field Days” promotion ever.    From August 1 through December 31, 2012, Zeiss is offering consumers deep savings on many of its most popular optics.

Consumer mail-in-rebates are as follows:

  • $500 rebate on the award-winning 65mm and 85mm VICTORY DiaScope.  Customers who purchase a DiaScope will also receive a free, portable tripod.
  • $300 rebate on the multiple-award-winning VICTORY RF rangefinding binoculars.
  • $50 rebate on the award-winning VICTORY 8×26 PRF laser rangefinding monocular
  • $100 rebate on the new model Conquest HD 42mm binoculars
  • $100 rebate on the new model Conquest 30mm Duralyt Riflescopes
  • $100 rebate on all riflescopes that have any Rapid-Z reticle

“It’s always exciting to ‘gear up’ for hunting season, especially when there are great deals to be had, and it doesn’t get any better than the 2012 Zeiss Field Days event,” said Mike Jensen, President of Carl Zeiss Sports Optics.  “Zeiss offers the best value for superior optics.  Period.  Times are tough and consumers are looking for ways to save money while still investing in their outdoor passion. Field Days is our way of supporting this industry”

All purchases must be made from a Carl Zeiss Authorized Dealer in the United States and rebate request forms must be completed and postmarked within 30 days of purchase.  Payment will be made by a ZEISS Prepaid Reward Card from American Express.  For full promotion details, visit the Field Days area of the Zeiss website.

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