SCI Questions and Suggestions - Make Them Here!

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Royal27, Feb 26, 2018.

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  1. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Fellow AH Members,

    I've asked both @Rick Parsons and @Paul Babaz if they would be willing to take part in an SCI thread, and they have graciously said they would be happy to. So, if you have questions or suggestions for SCI here is a place where you know you'll be heard.

    A few simple rules for the thread:
    • BE CIVIL - having a voice here does not give you the right to forget your manners. As stated in the posting guidelines "This is a friendly community based on mutual respect".
    • Rick and Paul both have fulltime day jobs, families, and significant SCI responsibilities - they will answer as they can and may not be on AH as much as some of us are. Be patient!
    • There will likely be questions or details that they cannot discuss for confidentiality reasons. Be understanding!
    The goal of this thread is to share information that will be beneficial to SCI as well as AH Members. Keep that in mind at all times please. It should be a two-way conversation but again, there may not be an answer to every post. Remember, there are a lot more of us (and all of ourdiffering opinions) than there are of them! :)
     
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  2. Tom Hawk

    Tom Hawk AH Veteran

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    Stirred up an old one, support the SAVES Act. This law limits the ESA to domestic species, so not a big hassle anymore for hunt. Thank you for your consideration.
     

  3. IdaRam

    IdaRam BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    @Royal27 , thank you for starting this thread! I think it is a great idea and hopefully it will result in some productive dialogue.
    @Rick Parsons and @Paul Babaz , thank you for agreeing to participate in this thread.
    Here’s a few thoughts, comments and questions. Would appreciate any thoughts you guys have.

    I believe SCI has an image problem. Many people I know view SCI as an organization for rich “trophy” hunters. People who hunt for the record books, not for the joy of the sport. Even some SCI members feel this way about the leadership and the culture of the organization.
    Most hunters who are not members of SCI don’t have a clue about some of the great things SCI does. Word is not getting out about all of the wonderful things the local chapters do either. Most local chapters don’t have the resources or the expertise to get the word out and publicize the work they are doing. Could SCI leadership provide some guidance and support to Chapters about how they might “spread the good news”?
    For example, my local chapter does an annual coat drive, and this year shoes and socks, for school kids who’s family may be struggling and don’t have the money for back-to-school necessities. There are all kinds of conservation activities the local chapters engage in. But does anyone outside SCI hear about these things? I think there are many opportunities to shape the perception of the non-hunting public in a positive way, but most of them go unrealized.
    I see comments on this forum and others about SCI leadership and members who are interested only in another “gold medal” entry in the record book. Comments like “blue bird” slam. I do think the perception of the SCI record book and Slams has hurt the organization. I believe SCI needs to take a hard look at their image within the hunting/conservation community.

    That’s it for now. I look forward to more discussion.
     

  4. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Elite

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    First of all membership is key. The power and clout of members and money cannot be underscored. SCI has 60,000 members?? NRA boasts 5 million members. We need to increase membership 10 fold, at least. I understand there is a proposal in front of the membership committee to start a junior program at little or no cost for young people under 18 to join SCI. We must get our young people involved. Challenge every member to sign up at least one new member each year.

    Paul, some of this may be familiar....

    Get away from the perception that SCI is a group comprised of and dedicated to advancing the interests of elite hunters that spend more money hunting annually than most people make in a year. Become inclusive and embrace the weekend deer and waterfowl hunter. Changing the name of the organization to reflect greater inclusion would be a good first step. Cast a broad net and respect the role that all hunters play in preserving the sport.

    De-emphasize the whole notion of hunting awards and hunting inner circles, pinnacles, and the like. It detracts from the conservation idea and perpetuates the idea that these people are looking for trophies instead of embracing the outdoors. It also is another aspect of how SCI drives away the great majority of hunters and sportsmen. It also opens the organization and its members up to attack by outside groups as just a bunch of killers looking for something to hang on the wall instead of a group that pumps millions of dollars annually into conservation and habitat preservation.

    This is a start, more to come after this initial conversation....
     

  5. buck wild

    buck wild BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I would agree with the above. I’ve been a member since 2007. True story I basically joined because Jim Shockey said I should. I consider Mr Shockey to be about the most genine hunting personality out there and if he endorsed it, that was testimony enough for me.
    I agree the awards seem trivial to the average guy but I do enjoy looking over the records entries. I’ll continue to support the organization but there must be better ways to spend the money and as noted attract more membership.
     
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  6. Tom Hawk

    Tom Hawk AH Veteran

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    A better idea might be to show our conservation side to the public. Totally agree with the younger than 18, but I’ll add something : activities for them, like archery competitions. This will make hunting great again!
     
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  7. cagkt3

    cagkt3 PLATINUM SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    This.

    My local chapter partners with another foundation that takes vets and children of fallen first responders on hunts, introduces kids to a sporting/outdoors culture, and processes tens of thousands pounds of venison which is then distributed to area food banks etc. The more we show that we are part of the communities we live in, and care about much more than just "trophy hunting".
     
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  8. Tom Hawk

    Tom Hawk AH Veteran

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    :cry:
    Unfortunately, that never makes the anti hunting biased news
     
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  9. IdaRam

    IdaRam BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Absolutely true and correct. However... ;):)
    There are places around the country that local news stations are willing to air conservation and community news. The rural, conservative areas...
    In today’s social media world, there are more opportunities than ever to get the word out. “We” just need to be a lot more savvy and high tech about it.
    It seems SCI may be well served to consider a two pronged approach/philosophy. Image within the hunting community and message/image to non-hunters.

    A good start within the hunting community is Rick and Paul showing up here to discuss the issues.
    Another possibility might be a Forum on AH in which local SCI Chapters could share info about the activities and events they have going on. There are a lot of people who lurk, but never join or post on AH that would see this info. The coat drives, the summer camps for kids, the archery instruction, the firearms instruction, etc. Invite non-SCI members from the local area to come out and participate. Be an active member of the community! Post a notice at the local sporting goods store, get them on board.
    Partner with other small, local groups. Church groups, conservation groups, etc. Strength in numbers and leveraging resources. Networking.
    I bet if SCI-HQ came out with a clear message, an objective, and ideas to local chapters about transforming and promoting SCI’s image through grass roots action, the local chapters would find amazing, innovative ways to build on this and accomplish the objective. There just needs to be a recognition of the need for change, a clear objective, a “rough” road map and a clear voice from the front.
    Better networking infrastructure for chapters across the country to be able to work together and collaborate might be beneficial?
    Talk with local game departments about their needs for a conservation partner. There are projects game agencies have going on where labor or materials are needed. Pitch in and then provide a “press package” of the event to the game agency to post on their website. Pics from the activity and a brief blurb. Pre-package it so all they have to do is hand a thumb drive to their IT department.
    Just some more ramblings and random thoughts... :)
     

  10. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Agree 100% about Shockey!
     
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  11. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Good thread to get going @Royal27.

    @Paul Babaz and @Rick Parsons, I'm going to be fairly blunt in this post. Bluntness however should not be confused with being inpolite. I am politically challenged in that I call things as I see them. However my post is not intended nor should it be taken as an attack on either of you. While I realize your in SCI leadership, I have no knowledge of how long, what you have or haven't done since being in that position.

    I also appreciate the fact that you have lives outside of SCI. I am posting this from the Ft. Lauderdale airport at the end of what was a combined trip of traveling with my 85 year old mother to NY and from there to Miami for work. In a couple hours I will hopefully be on my way back to Phoenix.

    My first observation that I think needs addressed by SCI is it's image and purpose as has been noted in previous posts. If my facts are straight, SCI got its start in the early 70's. I was just a kid at the time, if hunting was something I was even aware of, it was just a dream. I didn't start hunting until 1986 when I was a sophomore in college. My hometown is in Maryland, quite well known for its waterfowl hunting and at least to some extent deer hunting. While I was certainly aware there were those who opposed hunting, I'd confidently say that even within Maryland, they were considered more on the fringe and really not a threat to hunting. In other places and in the early 70's I'd have to guess that no one would have imagined that we as hunters would be where we are today in respect to fighting for hunting.

    Having said that, that would be frame within SCI got it's start. The fight may have existed for conservation, but I'd have to imagine no one at that time seriously thought we'd be fighting to hunt legally. So what is SCI's mission now in the 21st century? The mission statement that SCI is First for Hunters rings hollow with me. The image I have in my mind is First for Rich Hunters. I don't think I am alone in that opinion. I would much rather SCI have an image of First for Conservation, where hunting is seen as a tool of conservation.

    The plethora of awards that SCI hands out (some "achieved" through questionable/illegal means) does not serve the purpose of being first for conservation. It would serve the purpose of the "club" mentality. It is in my opinion this club mentality what is being used against SCI and hunters as a whole. It's time to be rid of this, it is doing no one any good. It serves to only puff up someone's ego and is seen as doing so at an animal's expense.

    Enough for the moment. I may think of more and post again within this thread, but this was what was first on my mind. I look forward to your replies.
     

  12. billc

    billc AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I would like to see if at all possible some way for non sci members to be able to see the show. I think to gain members you need to get non member there some how. Pricing would need to be made that the general public could afford to come visit and hear the sci message. That is one small step that could help.
     

  13. Rock375

    Rock375 AH Senior Member

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    I couldn’t agree more with billc’s opinion on this one. I’ve attended DSC many times and am not a member, but at least they get something out of me and hundreds of others. I get close to joining DSC every time I go and probably should to support them. I used to be a member of SCI and should probably re-join them also.
     
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  14. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Elite

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    @Rock375,

    There is an SCI chapter in Lafayette now if you are interested.
     
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  15. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Elite

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    Paul, Rick

    SCI is a business and should be run as such. While what the business is maybe up for debate (conservation business, PAC business, convention business, award business...) the manner in which the business is structured and operates should be efficient.

    If you owned a business would it be structured like SCI currently is? What changes could/should take place (board and executive leadership) to make it a better run organization able to tackle the problems of the 21st century? And I am not talking about people I am talking about organization structure, how decisions are made, guidance from the board, the powers of an executive director.....

    If we want to remain a good ole boy club of hunters patting each other on the backs we are fine in the current model.
     
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  16. jeff

    jeff AH Elite

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    I would also like to see the record book open to entries for a every one like B&C and the P&Y club, not exclusively for members only, it seems it would be a way of creating quite a lot of extra revenue and would give the hunting public a feeling that SCI is not just for the rich and elite but for all hunters.
     
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  17. Tom Hawk

    Tom Hawk AH Veteran

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    Record book entry price would be higher though, and for awards like Grand Slams at
    least 51% entries would have to be entered as a member, as done by DSC
     

  18. Rick Parsons

    Rick Parsons AH Member

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    @Tom Hawk, We would love to get SAVE passed! It automatically brings all the antis out of every corner of course so it has its challenges. My specialty with SCI is CITES and I have watched the negative impact of the US and the European Union on the conservation efforts in Africa when the shipment of trophies is blocked because of anti-hunting politics in those areas. There are smart and well-intentioned people in the governments in the destination countries, but at the end of the day public sentiment rules.
    The image issue is one of our main topics of discussion. We've been advised by some real pros in public communications to own where we come from and what we are, while at the same time making it clear that we truly give a hoot about all kinds of hunting. That sounds easy on its face but figuring out how to get that across is not so easy. For one thing, most people are overloaded with information and they just don't read a lot stuff that they get. It takes a darned good writer, visuals, etc. to get people's attention.

    We have also spent time looking at our awards system and the Record Book. As you might expect, there are lots of opinions.

    Part of our answer it that we are implementing an aggressive communications approach that cuts across organizational lines and stresses good writing, visuals, and the use of social media. Our experience is that what catches the attention of hunters are cool stories about great guns and great hunts, so we're working on ways to marry that to good about all the stuff we do.

    Good point about chapters. Here's an interesting part of the challenge in telling that story. For years, off and on, we've asked, pleaded and begged for information from the chapters. We've gotten some, but chapters are made up of volunteers and when they have free time, where would they rather be? In front of a computer sending me stuff or hunting? Not a hard question, is it. If we had lots of staff, we could be going through chapter newsletters and websites pulling out some good stuff.

    My intention is to expand our communications ability so that we can do all of that because I and our leadership are convinced that the cultural war over hunting is going to be won or lost on that battleground. It looks like other hunting organizations have come to the same conclusion, so we all need to tell the stories that show everyone what good people hunters really are.

    I'm open to ideas on how to get the word out better than we do.

    Rick Parsons, CEO
     
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  19. Rick Parsons

    Rick Parsons AH Member

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    Those are two really interesting ideas. I can tell you that in regard to our Convention our exhibitors like the idea that it's a for members-only show because they get serious buyers coming through, as opposed to a lot of tire-kickers. But it's the greatest hunting show on earth and if people could see it somehow they might get really interested in the whole experience.

    I'll open discussion on both ideas and let's see where it goes. Thanks!

    Rick Parsons, CEO
     

  20. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I think this sums it up quite nicely. The question of course is now can we all come together, especially the big organizations such as SCI and DSC. I'd love to see some "common ground." More of "we support whatever it is that the other is doing." I've seen a great example of this over the last week with both SCI and DSC coming out in open support of the NRA. I'd love to see the next step being SCI and DSC coming out in support of each other, without politics and money being involved, or at the least kept to a minimum.

    No easy task I understand, but someone has to take the first step. I posted elsewhere recently that I didn't really think the antis were more "together" than we are, but they do seem that way, and perception is so important.
     
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