The 2011 Summer meeting of the SCI Bavaria Chapter was held in the Alpine mountains of Liechtenstein. Organized by Kurt Jaeger, SCI Life Member # 59 and Founding Member of the SCI Bavaria Chapter, a large group of SCI members met to enjoy a day of mountaineering, paired with various test-stations to answer questions on plants, animals, hunting trophies and finally a shooting competition. Shown are, from left: Doris Dangel, Third Place; Norbert Ullmann, Bavaria Chapter President; Dr. Manfred Spall, King of the Bavaria Chapter Summerfest 2011; and, Second Place Bernhard Schmelzing.
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.
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.
By Corey Jager
Sitkalidak Island is the third largest island in the Kodiak Archipelago of Alaska. These Alaskan islands are celebrated for their abundance of unscathed wild landscapes and provide fantastic hunting and fishing opportunities. Wild salmon streams are among the plentiful natural resources on the island, drawing particular interest from Kodiak brown bears. Although this brown bear subspecies has been genetically isolated on the Kodiak Islands for around 12,000 years, they persist as a robust population and are prized as trophies by hunters. The Kodiak brown bear population throughout the islands has been on the rise due to the security provided by the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, and sustainable harvest managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Although population data have been collected extensively for bears throughout most of the islands, minimal data are available for Sitkalidak Island and the eastern side of Kodiak Island. Research is underway to correct this deficiency through a partnership between the Kodiak Brown Bear Trust, Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. SCI Foundation has joined this partnership by granting $50,000 to support this study, which is aimed at providing a better understanding of bear population size, density, movement and resource use patterns. This research will enhance the current management strategies for Kodiak brown bears and potentially increase the hunting opportunities throughout the Kodiak Archipelago.
Sophisticated research techniques will allow scientists to safely immobilize twelve adult female bears and place GPS tracking collars on them. Blood and tooth samples will be collected to understand the individual health and age of each captured bear. The GPS collars can be used for long-term monitoring of the individual bears and allow researchers to understand where bears move throughout the islands and how they utilize food and habitat available to them. Bears share many food resources with humans, and humans harvesting resources in bear habitat may lead to bear-human conflicts. This study will provide valuable data for mitigating unwanted, and potentially dangerous, bear encounters with local citizens and travelers. Minimizing incidental confrontations with the guidance of updated population data will ultimately benefit both humans and bears on the islands.
SCI Foundation is proud to be involved with another project that embodies the commitment to science-based management of bears. The $50,000 provided by SCI Foundation is necessary for managers to understand the population of bears they are working with. Proper stewardship of brown bears requires information in a timely fashion. Working with partners, funds available for conservation activities go farther than if any of the cooperating entities worked alone. This allows a larger conservation footprint for SCI Foundation and fosters better work to be conducted for many species where federal and state money for research and management have waned.
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.