Northwest Colorado’s Safari Club gains new trophy for work with veterans | CraigDailyPress.com

Northwest Colorado’s Safari Club gains new trophy for work with veterans

From left, Scott Moore, Ken Fleming and Karl Huntsman display recent honors for the Safari Club International Yampa Valley Chapter received at the SCI annual convention in February, including 2014 Chapter of the Year and a commendation from the larger organization for the local branch's work with disabled veterans. Safari Club will also host its seventh annual fundraiser banquet March 21 at Clarion Inn & Suites.

One local group remains forever on the hunt for good ways to support those in their community.

Safari Club International's Yampa Valley Chapter recently received some significant awards. The Northwest Colorado branch of the hunting and wildlife conservation group was recognized as 2014 Chapter of the Year at Safari Club's annual convention in February in Las Vegas.

If you go

Safari Club International banquet fundraiser

5:30 p.m. March 21

Clarion Inn & Suites, 300 S. Highway 13

— The seventh annual event includes games and auctions both live and silent. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $45 for singles, $85 for couples or $500 for a table and are available in Craig at Rummel Chiropractic, Chapman's Automotive, Craig Chamber of Commerce, Northwest Pawn Shop and Mountain Man Taxidermist. They are also available at the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association and in Meeker at Western States Realty. For more information, call 970-819-2531.

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The local contingency of the club was singled out as being exemplary among chapters with a membership of 25 to 50 people, but that wasn't its only honor. A certificate of appreciation from SCI and the Armed Forces was in store for Yampa Valley Chapter's project of providing guided hunts for disabled veterans.

Group members most recently aided in the process of guided hunts during the 2014 antelope season. The chapter received the same honor the year before for the project, which has been part of their work nearly every year since its inception about seven years ago.

"The rewarding part for me is how they get themselves addressed to the real world again and the injuries they've got to overcome," said President Karl Huntsman, of the guided hunts and those that benefit from them.

He added that hunting specialists in the area, including C Punch Ranch, Double H Outfitters and Bord Gulch Ranch have also provided invaluable help with such endeavors over the years.

"I think it's about as rewarding as it gets," said Treasurer Ken Fleming.

Funding for such hunts is done locally, and the big moneymaker for Safari Club is coming up on the calendar. The group's seventh annual fundraiser banquet will be March 21 at the Craig Clarion Inn & Suites, complete with dinner, games, silent and live auctions and more, including a big prize of an African excursion.

A turnout of about 200 people regularly brings in around $20,000 or more for the group's efforts.

Besides the guided hunts, the Yampa Valley Chapter of SCI also provides support for 4-H Club and helps put together events like the summer Cast n' Blast activities at Wyman Living History Museum and the Lorna Farrow Memorial Shoot in Steamboat Springs.

The chapter plans to keep up the good work throughout the year while also staying abreast of the status of hunting. A panel at the SCI convention addressed issues sportsmen face today.

Huntsman said he felt the information was useful though many of the conflicts for hunters come from bureaucracy and legislation.

"We've got to get together as a unit and put some pressure on them to get through it," he said.

Board member Scott Moore likewise said he would like to see the organization continue to branch out and work in an even greater capacity with groups like Colorado Department of Wildlife and Mule Deer Foundation to achieve the goals for which Safari Club stands.

"We can join together and accomplish something on a bigger scale," he said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

If you go

Safari Club International banquet fundraiser

5:30 p.m. March 21

Clarion Inn & Suites, 300 S. Highway 13

— The seventh annual event includes games and auctions both live and silent. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $45 for singles, $85 for couples or $500 for a table and are available in Craig at Rummel Chiropractic, Chapman’s Automotive, Craig Chamber of Commerce, Northwest Pawn Shop and Mountain Man Taxidermist. They are also available at the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association and in Meeker at Western States Realty. For more information, call 970-819-2531.

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