August 29, 2007 "In The Crosshairs"

In The Crosshairs Newsletter

August 29, 2007

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SCI Protests Hawaiian Airlines Ban on Firearms Carriage to Sydney

In a strongly worded letter, SCI requested that Hawaiian Airlines remove its ban on the transport of firearms on flights to Sydney Airport in Australia. SCI's research showed that Hawaiian Airlines allowed the transport of firearms on all other flights and that no other carrier prohibited the transport of firearms into Sydney Airport. SCI also determined that the purported reason for the ban -- an alleged difficulty in satisfying the import requirements of the Airport -- was unjustified and, in any event, is the responsibility of the hunter. We will keep you posted about any response from the airlines. To view the letter, visit here.

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New CITES Regulations Published

After seven years of proposals and public comments, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife has finally published extensive revisions of the regulations used by the U.S. to implement the CITES treaty (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna). The document containing the new regulations, which go into effect on September 24, is 93 pages long. SCI is analyzing the document and will publish a summary of key points for the hunting community shortly. We have already noted that the definition of hunting trophies has been restricted to “natural” items – items manufactured from an animal taken by a hunter, such as a briefcase made from elephant hide, would not be considered hunting trophies. We will have more in the coming weeks.

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South Africa To Put Out More Rules on Hunting

Stewart Dorrington, the president of the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA), told the SCI Board of Directors last Saturday that South Africa would be coming out with more rules on hunting. The current rules include norms and standards that deal with such things as darting, hunting from a vehicle and the use of lights or hounds, but they only apply to animals that are protected under South Africa ’s endangered species law. The government of South Africa plans to put out additional regulations covering all species hunted in that country. Dorrington spoke to SCI’s Board of Director’s at the recent board meeting in Tucson, Arizona. SCI will keep our members informed of any new rules as they become available.

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SCI Meets with Core Conservation Groups

Earlier this month, SCI attended the annual meeting of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP). The AWCP, partially founded by SCI, brings together over 40 groups dedicated to hunting and conservation from around the United States, including Ducks Unlimited, NRA, NWTF, TRCP, the Campfire Club, and many more. In between tropical storms at the King Ranch in South Texas, the group was able to cover numerous issues including the Farm Bill, energy policy, federal and state legislation and more. At the end of the meeting, the groups were treated to a Spanish-style “Columbarie,” a pigeon shooting competition, accompanied by a mariachi band.

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PA Goes Forward With Gun Check Shutdown

“Late last evening, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell rejected pleas of hunting groups and gun dealers to delay next weekend's planned upgrade of the state's criminal history database. Rendell rejected all alternative proposals to postpone the scheduled upgrade to the state's Pennsylvania Instant Checks System (PICS) and announced the shutdown will proceed as originally planned. On 6 p.m. Sunday evening, September 2, the system will shutdown for upgrades, remaining offline until ‘at least’ 6 p.m. Wednesday, September 5. That shutdown prevents dealers from making firearms sales on the weekend retailers, including Bass Pro Shops, say is historically the "biggest firearms selling weekend of the year." The last hope of dealers to prevent the shutdown appears to be a Commonwealth Court hearing on Friday in which they will make a last-ditch appeal for the court to stop the project. Sheriffs and municipal departments will also be unable to access the system that serves as the central repository for all existing criminal history records. A notice from Pennsylvania State Police Lieutenant Gary L. Schuler, Director of the PSP Firearms Division to dealers and law enforcement suggests that all firearms dealers, sheriffs and chiefs of police ‘hold calls until the system is fully operational.’” (Source: The Shooting Wire)

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Crosshairs Helps Fuel Book

Author, actor and SCI member James Swan, Ph.D. called upon SCI members to provide him with tales of their favorite out of the way hunts in preparation for a new book, Chasing the Hunter's Dream, co-authored with TV-hosts Jeff and Sherol Engel. Guides, outfitters and members from around the world responded, adding to the 600-page comprehensive listing of hunting destinations available in print. Chasing the Hunter's Dream is now done and available here. SCI members who played an instrumental role in finishing this project include: Joe Hosmer, Tom Dum, Robert Keagy, John Sievers, John Banovich, John Janelli, Wayne Lau, Ivan Carter, Jameson Parker, Srdja Dimitrijevic, Donald William Craig Patterson, Jerome Knap, John Hagen, and Bjorn Birgisson

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Calling All Diana’s!

September 1, 2007 is the deadline for getting in applications for this prestigious award to be given at the Reno convention, January 23-26, 2008, along with the other major awards. The Diana Award is presented each year to the woman hunter who has excelled in international big game hunting and remains committed to the SCI mission statement. Of express importance is the time and effort candidates have personally given to enhance wildlife conservation and education. One of the most prestigious awards bestowed in the world of hunting, the Diana Award promotes, encourages and recognizes that special woman hunter who has elevated the sport and inspires others to do likewise. We invite women hunters to participate in this exciting process. The deadline for completion and return of these applications is September 1, 2007. Nomination forms can be sent electronically if you contact Doug Luger at the Trophy Records Department, (520) 620-1220, ext. 265. If you have any questions, please contact Arlene Hanson at (307) 587-5796, or Trophy Records Department.