Safari Club International - SCI - is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide.
That's why SCI members are active in more than 100 countries and why you'll cherish your involvement with SCI.
SCI fights tirelessly to protect the hunting heritage enjoyed by 15 million Americans and 45 million families around the globe. Together we help every sportsman and woman understand how, and why, SCI is truly First for Hunters.
By joining SCI, you join the ranks of hunters spanning more than 100 countries who share the same passion for our hunting heritage and wildlife conservation as you.
After several weeks of traveling I have returned to Jacksonville, ready for the fall hunting season to begin. I am also eager to work on the agenda of events for this year with the newly elected board of directors. I am pleased to welcome several new members to the board: Derrell and Betty Griner, Robert racewell, Jeff Boyd, Dale Loosier and Phil Stinnett.
Our next member meeting will be at the Club Continental August 21. I hope to see you there. We will also have our Oyster Roast October 16 at John and Dorothy Gillette’s beautiful home. Our Christmas Party, Friday, December 14, will again be at Toney and Bonnie Sleiman’s, and who could forget the fine time we all had there last year with their fantastic Christmas decorating. Our Christmas Raffle this year will feature several guns and a grand prize of a pistol or $1,000.00 cash (need not be present to win), plus a number of other prizes for attendees at the party. Raffle tickets will be available for sale soon, courtesy of AJ Pionessa.
While on my travels, primarily in Montana and Wyoming, we were driving to Virginia City, Montana, one afternoon to hear bands (Montana Rose and Dave Walker) that were playing that night and we ran into an enormous traffic jam. Traffic was stopped and people all at the side of the road with their cameras. It was a bear gaper block! There was a cinnamon phase black bear about one hundred yards from the road walking along doing what a bear does, minding his own business and acting as if there was not a soul near him. I had never seen a cinnamon phase black bear before so I slowed to give him a good look. He had no hump on his back so we were certain it was not a “grizz” but a black bear in cinnamon color phase. What a beautiful animal!
Yellowstone Park is so beautiful in the summer. Leaving the park behind and driving through Gallatin National Forest the road parallels the Gallatin River, then some large lakes and eventually the Madison River. Along the bank and in the Madison River are dozens of people fishing every mile. Back about ten years ago when I got to fish one August day, I received a lot grief for fishing in shorts and tennis shoes and not wearing waders. I did not mind the cold water and waders are hot and take time and can leak and smell really bad if you know what I mean. Well, things have changed. Now about 1/3 or more of the people are not wearing waders and vests and all that expensive and cumbersome stuff. Instead, a vest a small pack and just wading shoes and blue jeans or shorts is the norm. Another example of being yourself and the world will catch up. However, I am still a rank amateur at fly fishing.
I used to paddle my father around in a canoe here in Florida and he would fly-cast with a self retrieving reel, using foam bugs with long legs called bream-killers and other poppers. That was a lot of fun and we ate the fish we caught. A lot of those memories came flooding back one day when we chartered a guide in a drift-boat on the Madison River. Charlie, the guide, was originally from Virginia and he was a fly fishing expert and excellent teacher. We were catching fish within minutes of leaving the boat ramp. The long oars were used to keep the boat in the best water and put us in the right spot. Brown Trout, rainbow Trout and Native Mountain Whitefish were all strikingvhungrily at our lures, showing us lots of jumps and runs. At one point we could see 10 other drift-boats and large rafts on the river near us. Steering and paddling these boats were professional guides like ours, as well as little old ladies, young girls and boys, and father and son teams taking turns fishing and paddling. The Madison River is world famous as a blue ribbon trout stream and I had a day well spent with fine people who enjoy the outdoors and live the outdoor life.
We also got to spend some time on the lakes, trolling and casting hardware but the fish were not co-operating as well. Lots of skunks were mellowed by cold locally brewed beer, some fine grass fed beef, and absolutely the finest mutton I could ever imagine. The local restaurant supply outlets in the big cities do a great job of importing shrimp, tuna and other seafood as well. Seeing all the tents, camping trailers and motor-homes in Montana and Wyoming finally came to an end. Back at home I now have more great pictures, memories, and new friendships. They make me want to get back to the mountains again soon.
It was with great sadness that I learned of the loss by Tim and Leslie Ward of her recently married 27 year-old son Scotty to an automobile accident. I would ask that we all keep the family in our prayers as they work through this unimaginable grief.
God Bless and Good Hunting
Tom Powell, President
North Florida Chapter