Interview with Mitch Rohlfs

Mitch was my first interview for SCI-CWC. It was great to hear from him and how realistic it really is to jump out there and go hunting.

He is an Entomologist – an insect researcher. He became an SCI member in 1993, before there was a Central Washington Chapter. Taught by his dad at a young age, he’s always been a hunter.

It was amazing to me. I was just enthralled with it, it was a wonderful experience. I feel like I was released in the Garden of Eden with a rifle.

Mitch’s first trip ended up in africa and hadn’t even hunted before. the sci experience really helped him out.
Mitch has written a few books on hunting, like “Cottontails to Kudu – A Hunters Journey”. It’s about becoming a hunter from childhood and on. Each chapter is a short story and a different aspect on hunting.

“Safari Club International (SCI) is a vital organization to maintaining hunting as a legitimate activity and arm of conservation. SCI has encouraged people to expand their hunting experiences beyond just being a local hunter to travel.”

“For people who have never really hunted before, SCI would be an opportunity for them to have people that can mentor them. The sport of hunting depends on a mentorship type program. For those of us that were lucky, we had parents or grandparents that took us under their wing to show us the sport. For people that aren’t that lucky, you really need a mentor to become a hunter.”

“From what I know, SCI is the only organization that I know that really gets involved in the politics of hunting. This is really important because there are a lot of people in the political realm that are trying to get rid of us.”

“Illegal hunting is tremendously detrimental to wildlife. Legal hunting has been proven to benefit wildlife in a mired of ways. For example, if there are too many deer in an area, and the game warden tells hunters to shoot only so many, then it starts to help the environment from having too many ‘pests’. That benefits wildlife, very different from illegal hunting/poaching.
Poaching is a business; they do it sell the meat in the cities and towns. They’re stealing wildlife from the public and then selling it again.”

So much of the time, we just preach to the choir. We need to reach out more to people that don’t know a lot about hunting.

About the Author

Pennsylvania born and raised, W. Mitchell Rohlfs was born in Philadelphia in 1953 and grew up in Lancaster and Wynnewood. He graduated from Ursinus College in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, then completed a Master’s Degree in forest entomology from Auburn University in 1978 and went on to complete a Doctor of Philosophy Degree from Auburn in 1983. He worked as an agricultural research scientist for Abbott Laboratories from 1983 to 1995 and began Rohlfs Agricultural Research in 1995, a business he continues to operate out of Yakima, WA.

Mitch has been an avid hunter since early childhood and has hunted big game in 11 countries on five continents, plus New Zealand. Despite his extensive big game hunting, Mitch identifies himself as primarily an upland bird hunter. He is especially passionate about hunting chukar partridge with his German Longhaired Pointers.

He has published 21 scientific articles as well as many popular articles in such magazines as Guns and Hunting, Safari, Idaho Outdoor Digest and Washington Game and Fish.

His first book, Cottontails to Kudu – A Hunter’s Journey was published in 2007. Mitch married his high school sweetheart , the former Claudia Wilson in 1973 and they have lived in Yakima, WA since 1986. They have two daughters, Charlotte Brulotte and Gretchen Kopp and four grandchildren.

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