ESCANABA - There is an enhanced opportunity for those who have wanted to invest in a hunting or fishing trip, but have hesitated due to cost or uncertainty regarding the guide or outfitter.
The Northwoods Chapter of Safari Club International (N/SCI) has been in existence for nine years and will once again present the annual fund raising banquet Thursday at Terrace Bay Inn.
While the celebration is typical to other conservation organizations, serving as a main source of project revenue, the way they break away from the standard is to present a variety of hunting and fishing trips, both domestic and foreign, that usually come in at a greatly discounted price via live auction.
The Delta County 4-H Shooting Sports youngsters sparkled at the 4H State Shooting Tournament recently. Morgan Schram won Junior Individual Unsighted Archery and joined Steven Schram, Derek Krenek and Devon Allen to win Unsighted Archery Team.Krenek was third in Junior Individual .22 and Mariah Kestila was third in Senior Individual Unsighted Archery. For details on the club, call MSU Extension 4-H Programs (786-3032). From left, are Kestila, Allen, Steven Schram and Morgan Schram.
The guides and outfitters are screened by N/SCI for business practices and reputation. Many have been with the International for years and have given options for additional outdoors opportunities.
Those planning to bid for a hunting or fishing trip can also meet several of the outfitters during an open house at the Rusty Rail Wednesday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
In addition to the dinner and live auction, there will be a grand door prize, bucket raffle, silent auction, various drawings and games of chance.
The live auction will also offer some special items, including a beautiful custom made, one of a kind Big Game knife set from Rapid River Knife Works.
There's also a Bansner Alpine Hunter 300 Winchester magnum rifle valued at $2,600, a hunter and spouse life membership to SCI, Raven Wear clothing, and a special VIP table for 8 at a 2010 spring banquet. The table includes 8 chapter shirts, $400 in bucket raffle tickets and two bottles of wine.
Lt. Gov. John Cherry is also scheduled to attend the banquet and will make a presentation as part of the program.
If you aren't already familiar with N/SCI, you may be asking why they're here or what they've done with the money raised in the UP?
The SCI International and Michigan Involvement Committee were instrumental in financing the re-introduction of moose in the Upper Peninsula. They have also continued funding the annual research regarding moose. The Northwoods chapter has also donated to the cause.
Today the moose have sustained a population that to a point where MDNR Wildlife Director Russ Mason believes a lottery hunt may soon be available to the public.
This year Safari Club and the Michigan Involvement Committee initiated a research project never before done in Michigan. It is being accomplished in cooperation with Mississippi State University and MDNR.
The work includes a predator, prey, habitat study in three-year increments over three different snowfall zones. It includes analysis of black bear, coyotes, bobcats and wolves as predators on whitetail deer, especially fawn recruitment.
There will also be monitoring of winter severity within each study area and a forest cover habitat assessment.
It will parallel work previously done in Minnesota, however, refined to better handle animals and absorb data. Once completed, there will be more definitive science information on wildlife sustainability.
Wisconsin is now monitoring the process in the UP as natural resource managers consider doing the project in that state.
SCI has also maintained a sponsor program that offers special opportunities for kids with long term disabilities and/or terminal disease, to fulfill their dream and wish to hunt. Each participant is outfitted and guided on their hunt at the famed Legends Ranch in northern Lower Michigan.
These are but a few of the conservation focus of N/SCI.
Safari Club International has invested approximately $90 million globally since first opening their doors. In recent years they have spent over $46 million in the US alone.
SCI is the only hunter based conservation organization with headquarters on Capital Hill in Washington DC, and have direct influence in the federal legislature. The International has also aligned with many other organizations in combating the anti-hunting and animal rights extremists.
One case in particular was an effort to stop a move by the antis in 1996 to ban bear hunting in Michigan.
If you are interested in attending the N/SCI banquet, you can purchase tickets directly from N/SCI by contact Sandy Godwin at (906-864 - 1347), or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets and other banquet information.
You can see more details on the banquet and prizes by viewing the N/SCI website: www.sci-northwoods.org.
Tickets are $70 per person or you can select from one of the club's new "combo" packages.