Feb 17, 2023 COLUMBIA BASIN CHAPTER BANQUET TRI-CITIES CONVENTION CENTER
Feb 22-25, 2023 SAFARI CLUB INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION NASHVILLE, TN
Dec 02, 2023 CENTRAL WASHINGTON CHAPTER BANQUET YAKIMA CONVENTION CENTER
Vice President’s Message
“HUNT WITH YOUR KIDS, NOT FOR THEM” – I consider this to be one of the most important of Safari Club International’s Core Values.
As many of you know my son Garrett, daughter Halle, and I spend as much time as we can in the field. Until they were in high school we took them with us wherever we went. Our reasoning was that the “life lessons” they would learn in the outdoors would be of greater value than the “school” lessons.
Once again I will be at the SCI Convention in Nashville this coming February where I’ll be looking for “adventures” and my first consideration will be “Can we do it together?” We have enjoyed goose hunting in Illinois and Saskatchewan, caribou in the Northwest Territory, plains game in South Africa, and fishing the Rio Travessao in Brazil.
I enjoy hunting South Africa because we can do it together. I have heard many people criticize South Africa for its high fence’s. Most of the properties that I have hunted have a mix of brush and open areas (the only “open” property that I have hunted was for rhinoceros). I do not have a problem hunting and shooting from a truck. I would rather hunt and shoot from a truck than sit in a blind. Spotting game from the high vantage point of the truck and then getting out to plan and execute a successful stalk is one of the greatest hunting experiences.
I hunt with Shingani Safari’s in South Africa for several reasons. One, Riaan (the owner) and I like to hunt-Larry Goodwin
together. Two, our children have grown hunting together. On my recent trip, my children couldn’t go but Riaan’s children were in the truck. Of all the sports kids can participate in, hunting is one that we can do as a family. Sometimes we hunt, occasionally we bring home dinner, always we make memories.
You may have already heard the latest craziness to make its way into Washington – THE RE-INTRODUCTION OF GRIZZLY BEARS INTO THE NORTH CASCADES NATIONAL PARK !!!!
Now that you’ve peeled yourself off the ceiling let’s do a little bit of background to understand what’s going on. First, a little biology. There are 3 species of bear in North America. The Polar Bear (Ursus Maritimus), the Black Bear (U. americanus), and the Brown Bear (U. arctos). During the last ice age (approx. 10,000 BCE), the Brown Bears of the SE Alaska Coast became isolated from other Brown Bear populations and thrived in the milder climate and limitless Salmon, thereby increasing their size to rival Polar Bears. The species has been divided into these coastal “Kodiak” Browns (U. arctos middendorfii) and the more common “Grizzly” (U. arctos horribilis) sub-species of the Alaskan interior and the rest of North America. It is the Brown Bear sub-species “Grizzly” – Ursus arctos horribilis, that is the subject of this essay. Grizzles, which once roamed over most of Western North America, did not fare well with the westward expansion of the United States and by 1975 there were less than 800 Grizzlies remaining in the Lower 48 States from an estimated 50,000 in the early 1800’s. Thus they were granted “Threatened Species” status under the Endangered Species Act in 1975.
In 1983 the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) was formed, consisting of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, US Geological Survey and representatives of the state wildlife agencies of Idaho, Montana, Washington, and Wyoming. While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has the lead role in all subjects concerning “endangered species”, the IGBC is an attempt to enlist all concerned parties to achieve the common goal to support recovery, ongoing conservation, and eventual de-listing of the Grizzly. The IGBC has identified six distinct “Recovery Zone” Ecosystems (see map on following page):
- Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), of NW Wyoming, East Idaho and SW Montana
- Northern Continental Divide (NCDE), of North-central Montana
- North Cascades (NCE) of North-central Washington
- Selkirks (SE), area of North Idaho, NE Washington and SE British Columbia
- Cabinet-Yaak (CYE), of NW Montana and North Idaho
- Bitterroot (BE), in the Bitterroot Mountains of central Idaho and West Montana
The Grizzly populations in the NCDE and GYE ecosystems are considered biologically recovered, but not without controversy as to issues of livestock depredation, loss of huntable wildlife and increased human- ear contact. The re-introduction and recovery effort has tripled the number of Grizzlies in the Lower 48 states to a population of approximately 2,200.
Today’s issue is that earlier this month (Nov., 2022) the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service gave notice to the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) that they intend to move forward with an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to consider the alternatives available to implement Grizzly Bear restoration in the North Cascades Ecosystem (NCE). The EIS is considered the first step in re-introducing up to 25 bears into the North Cascades National Park. The WDF&W is committed to working with its partners in the IGBC to bring about the recovery of Grizzlies in all of the designated recovery areas, including the two inside the State. There are more questions than one can answer in the remaining page, but I’m going to give it a try.
What about RCW 77.12.035?
Under State law, WDFW may not transplant or introduce grizzly bears into the state and may only use bears native to the state for management purposes. Which is probably why the USF&W will be introducing bears onto federal land—the North Cascades National Park.
Will the Grizzlies stay within the National Park boundaries?
For a week. Grizzlies, like other bears, are of a solitary nature and each individual may occupy a range of 1,000 to 2,000sq km. The Park constitutes 2,771 sq km. The entire North Cascades Ecosystem (NCE) is about 24,600sq km but much of it is in steep mountainous terrain that is uninhabitable, even for mountain Goats. The bears will move to where there is no Alpha Grizzly and an abundance of their favorite foods—salmon, grasses, berries, ground squirrels, as well as Mule Deer and Elk, especially newborns. Once they find a sheep or cattle ranch, well……
What does this mean for the future of hunting in the North Cascades?
This has been a major contention in the other recovery areas. At issue is what we biologists call “Calf Recruitment” – the number of newborn elk that make it to year one. This is the problem in our Blue Mountains, an over-abundance of mountain lions have reduced calf recruitment to the point where the Elk herd is less than half its historical numbers. In the two recovery areas with the largest number of re-introduced Grizzlies, the North Continental Divide Ecosystem and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Elk calf recruitment has seen a decrease of up to 50%, depending on the studies cited. Interesting note is that in the same studies, the presence of wolf packs in elk habitat decreased recruitment less than 30%. Grizzlies and Mountain Lions are the problem.
MEMBER HUNT – Doug Reimer
FATHER / DAUGHTER DEER HUNT
After my daughter, Hilde, accompanied me on a Spring Turkey hunt in SE Montana earlier this year, we started discussing the potential for her to try her hand at hunting big game. I looked for an opportunity that would erase some of the uncertainty of hunting – public land competition, rough terrain, lack of game, tough shooting angles, uncertain weather—all could negatively affect the results of a hunt. After multiple discussions with outfitters at regional outdoor shows, we decided on an “any” deer tag with Bearpaw Outfitters at their property near Colville in NE Washington the first week of November. We left the Tri-Cities Friday morning and Headed North to Bearpaw’s lodge on a nearly 4 hour drive up into the rolling hills and beautiful pine forests that were to be our home for the next couple of days. There was a bit of a chill in the air—or was that just merely the anticipation of our upcoming adventure?
We pulled into the lodge but before we could unpack our bags we had to perform the ritual that is required of every hunter in every hunt camp from Alaska to Africa – a trip to the range to site-in. I shot first with my Encore single shot chambered in .280 Ackley Improved, which printed its normal group of 1MOA. Hilde was next with her CZ 557 in .270WCF. Her first shots were off the mark but she quickly settled down and shot a group of which a father could be proud. Our guide Ray, was satisfied that we and our rifles were “good to go” and drove us back to the lodge where we unpacked, had a spaghetti dinner and got to bed early.
Saturday morning came early and after breakfast and much needed coffee we hopped into Ray’s Jeep for a drive out to the area of our 1st hunt. We set up on a flat bench on a low hillside in a blind with 2 chairs and a rifle rest on which we set up Hilde’s CZ – she was going to have first shot. In front of us was a grassy meadow the deer had been feeding in for several mornings. There was a good opportunity of a 100 yard shot.
Around 8:30am Hilde turned to me and whispered that there were deer coming out of the trees and into the meadow. I checked to my left with the binoculars and sure enough, there were 7-8 deer coming our way with a nice 2×2 buck near the rear. We whispered back and forth until I was sure we were looking at the same buck. After several long minutes the buck finally separated himself from the others and several more long minutes he turned broadside and I gave Hilde the go-ahead. At the shot the buck dropped in his tracks- a perfect heart/lung shot. What a great confidence booster after her earlier issues at the range.
After a bit of celebration, we called Ray, and he came and helped us with the pictures. We then loaded the buck into the Jeep and drove to the far north end of the property where we field-dressed Hilde’s deer. Ray explained that they were having a problem with coyotes on the property and were going to utilize the gut pile for a little population control over the next few days. We headed back to the lodge where we hung the deer in the skinning shed and finished the skinning procedures. True to my Germanic roots, I slipped the heart and liver into plastic bags for a future schnitzel dinner. As the temperature was already below 41*F, we decided that the deer could safely hang there overnight.
Now it was my turn. That afternoon we sat in a blind on the far east side of the ranch to give me the opportunity to shoot a buck, but even though the area looked like deer heaven, we saw nothing but blue jays and chipmunks. It was back to the lodge for some much needed dinner and a good night’s sleep. The next morning we woke up to a light snow and dropping temperatures. We went to a remote part of the ranch where Ray said the deer might hold up in the deteriorating weather. We were wearing appropriately warm layered clothing but our boots were of the uninsulated variety and our toes were starting to get numb. As we hadn’t seen any deer that morning we had Ray pick us up and take us back to the lodge where we packed up and headed home. After all, we had accomplished 99% of our goal for the hunt when Hilde took her first deer. We arrived home Sunday evening and spent Monday butchering and vacuum packing the deer. Even after the meat is gone, I will always fondly remember Hidle’s first big game hunt. – Doug
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THE SHOOTING BENCH – THE .375 HOLLAND & HOLLAND MAGNUM
It was a no-brainer to decide the subject for this newsletter’s Shooting Bench—the boss (Larry) said “make it the .375” at the last Board of Directors meeting. And while I’m not especially known for doing what I’m told, lets humor the guy just this once.
So, flashback to the early 1900’s – intrepid explorers sailing from London to the colonies with rifles chambered in what can only be described as anemic calibers considering the size and attitude of the dangerous game in these new lands. Many were using the military rifles of the time—fine for quelling an uprising of the local populace, but totally inadequate for wildlife bearing fangs, horns, or enormous weight. Whether it was tiger and leopard in India or the Big 5 in Africa, too many British hunters were getting chewed up or stomped into smithereens from encounters with these beasts.
Enter the venerable London firearms company, Holland & Holland who answered the problem with a very modern solution – the 1912 introduction of the .375 Holland & Holland Magnum cartridge with both double rifle and (the much less expensive) bolt action rifle chambered for the new round. Built as a true dangerous game round from the ground up, the .375 incorporated all of the features required to go into the field against Cape Buffalo, Lion, Leopard, Brown Bear, or even Elephant:
1) ACCURACY – In today’s world of sub-MOA groups with factory rifles and ammo, 1-1/2” groups standard with the .375 H&H may sound archaic but keep in mind that most shots will be way under 100 yards aimed at large and dangerous game with equally large “sweet spots”. Even at 200 yards the .375 will group shots within a 3” circle – more than enough accuracy for any large or dangerous game critter.
2) BULLET DIAMETER & WEIGHT – The heavy weight of the bullet equals greater terminal energy and the larger diameter bullet translates into a larger wound channel – I prefer any bear or bison to bleed out before I have to follow up with a 2nd shot at close range. Just saying……….
3) TERMINAL ENERGY – For dangerous game, the minimum accepted standard is 4,000 ft/lbs of muzzle energy which the .375 H&H delivers as shown in the table below
|Hornady Ammo||Muzzle Velocity (fps)||Muzzle Energy (ft/lbs.)||Trajectory (100yds)||Trajectory (200yds)|
|DGS, 300grain Solid||2530||4264||0″||-3.8|
|DGX, 300grain Soft||2530||4263||0″||-5.6|
|Interlock, 270 grain||2800||4700||0″||-5.6|
4.) RECOIL – If you’re comfortable with the recoil of a .300 magnum, you can handle the .375 H&H. Compared to other dangerous game cartridges; the .416 Rigby, .470 Nitro Express, or the brutal .600 Nitro Express, the .375 is a somewhat gentler push that shouldn’t lead to flinching.
Ammo is readily available around the world, with loadings grouped into 3 basic camps. First is the spire point like the Hornady Interlock. This bullet is great for plains game in Africa or moose and elk closer to home. Second is the “solid”, which, as the name implies, is a non-expanding bullet that will penetrate through thick hide and heavy bone – perfect 1st shot for stopping hippo or elephant in full charge. Last is the “soft point” or bonded bullets. These are expanding dangerous game bullets that will penetrate the heaviest of game while allowing controlled expansion to 1-/2 to 2 times their diameter to create a large wound channel. These bullets are perfect for follow-up shots on the biggest critters or 1st shot for thinner-skinned lion, leopard and big bears.
Sights are usually of two options – most double rifles and some British-made “Magazine Rifles” (their nomenclature for a bolt-action) come with a version of iron sights referred to as “Express Sights”. It consists of a front blade and, as seen in the pic on the right, a set of flip-up blades matched to distance from the muzzle. This setup is great for close up dangerous game as it affords you your entire field of vision. You do not want to be trying to find an Alaskan Brown Bear in full charge looking through a 6 power scope.
Rifles are actually affordable!! Okay, you can fly to London, get fitted for a Holland & Holland Royal Deluxe Double Rifle (pictured below), choose your wood, engraving, and other options and wait 18 months for your rifle to be handcrafted to your specs. Oh, don’t forget to bring cash, lots of cash. A “bespoke” rifle from Holland & Holland starts at $120,000!!
Or you can be like the rest of us and find something, if not as elegant as a double rifle, at least within our meager budgets. While my favorite, a pre-’64 Winchester Model 70, will set you back $3 grand or more chambered in .375 H&H Magnum, there are many other options, including Browning’s X-Bolt ($1,200), a new Winchester Model 70 ($1,500), a Bergara Premier ($2,200), and a Christenson Arms Summit ($4,000). Use the supplied iron sites, add a folding leaf site or pony up for a low-power scope (red dot?) and you’re ready for anything from Alaska to Africa!!
MEMBER HUNT – PHEASANT ESCAPADES
In September I headed North with Chapter V.P. Larry Goodwin to Cooke Canyon Hunt Club, east of Ellensburg, for a morning of pheasant hunting over Sage, my English Setter, and Bandit, one of Larry’s three Setters. I have known the club owners, Doug & Alice, for many years and enjoy their hospitality, clubhouse amenities (including an indoor dog wash), and especially their hard flying pheasants and chukars.
Some hunters disparage the private hunting estates with their planted birds, citing the “staged” atmosphere as compared to wild bird hunts. I get it and would always prefer to hunt the sagebrush of Eastern Washington for wild Quail, Chukar, Huns, and Pheasant. The hunt clubs provide a couple of unique advantages though:
1) They are open well before and after the State seasons, offering 3 additional months of opportunities to get out.
2) The controlled setting is perfect for a pre-season warm-up for your dog. Hunting close, obeying verbal or whistle commands, staunch point and proper retrieves can all be practiced multiple times.
3) 1st time hunters can practice shooting skills and attention to safety rules with less pressure and a better chance at a good shot as compared to the “chaos” of a whole covey of wild quail getting up at your feet.
4) Older or disabled hunters will have hunting areas that cater to their needs for flatter ground.
5) Your party is assigned a hunt area that no others are allowed access, providing an additional layer of safety.
6) It’s a day of fun that ends with smiles on faces and cleaned birds in the cooler – that’s a good thing!!
Larry and I were there for reasons 1, 2, 5, & 6. We arrived early at the clubhouse to beat the heat of the day. After checking in (and paying the daily fee), we proceeded down an irrigation canal road to L-2, a hunt area consisting of native shrub steppe habitat and two draws, one with a year-round creek. A staff member planted 7 pheasants from his ATV over 100 yards apart and our plan was to move down the far draw, cut across a hill and hunt back up the near draw that held the creek. Sage was released first and rewarded us with multiple spectacular points and a couple of half-decent retrieves (not her strong suit). My hunt pack has a built-in one gallon hydration pack, and my dogs are trained to come up to my left side when they need a sip out of the hose. Even though it was early in the day, both Sage and Bandit took several opportunities to re-hydrate during their respective hunts.
Now it was Bandit’s turn. Another set of pheasants were planted and off he went. Again, lots of great points and steady retrieves until something happened that I would not have believed if I hadn’t seen it myself. We were crossing the hill, moving towards the creek when Bandit locked up on a beautiful, tail-high point. I stepped up and flushed the bird. He rose strong and hard in the early morning sun,
reaching 30 plus feet above us when I heard Larry’s gun. The bird stopped in mid-air and his right wing separated from the body – completely separated. It hung there as the body hurtled toward the ground. Finally, the wing spiraled down to earth and Bandit, ever the smart one, retrieved the bird and left the wing where it lay. I’ve often used the term “wingshooter”, not knowing its origins, Now I know, Larry Goodwin is a genuine certified “WINGSHOOTER”!! – Paul Johnson
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Many decades ago, my wife and I left the drizzle and cold of Sammamish to celebrate Christmas in Scottsdale. The place was empty except for a few other “snowbirds” and that night their 4-star restaurant was so deserted that their executive chef had plenty of time to come out to visit the tables. We got into a conversation about an entree’ on the menu that I had tried to make at home. When I suggested that my recipe must have been lacking a few key ingredients his response was that it was culinary skills that were the issue. He spent 2 years in culinary school to learn the theory, techniques, and skills to turn any recipe into a culinary masterpiece. I hadn’t.
About that same time a catalog came in the mail from The Great Courses of the World, a virtual tour de force of courses of every subject under the sun by the best college professors and experts in their respective fields on DVD or downloadable to your Kindle, Apple App Store, Google Play…… Learn Japanese, Tour Iceland, the History of Judaism, Basic Photography – but what caught my eye was The Art of Cooking, taught by chefs of the CIA. Not that CIA, the Culinary Institute of America— America’s culinary college. 64 hours of instruction sounds like a lot but it pails in comparison to the almost 3,000 hours an aspiring chef puts into culinary school thegreatcourses.com
Over the next several years, we will put together lessons on this page of the Newsletter on the fundamentals of cooking techniques with an emphasis on wild game and present recipes that will allow us to practice our new-found skills. Braising, Stewing, Roasting, Grilling, Sautéing, BBQ’ing and much more. All in an easy step-by-step format with pictures and key reminders in Bold Font. The first two lessons are on the next page – Using salt to improve browning of all meats and brining to improve the moistness of game birds are both steps towards becoming a “Wild Cook”.
“I TRIED ELK ONCE AND IT TASTED GAMEY.” Every time I am confronted with this negative reaction to a first experience my mind goes in two directions: 1) another non-hunter with a negative experience and 2) something went terribly wrong from the time the trigger was pulled to when the entrée was placed on the table. It’s this latter piece that we have control over. Shot Distance and Placement – Field Dressing and Temp Control – Butchering, Wrapping & Freezing – Proper Defrosting, Prep & Cooking Techniques. All of these factors combined can result in a culinary masterpiece or disaster. It is our charge to make that first experience with wild game an experience to remember.
SALT : ITS NOT JUST FOR FLAVOR
Before we start, if you still have this container of “Iodized” salt in your kitchen—get rid of it. Iodine infects every food that it touches with the most awful of tastes. Replace it with Morton’s Kosher Non-Iodized Salt. While you’re at it, purchase a salt grinder with at least 3 settings from fine to coarse ($20-30). Now onto the subject at hand. The 1st use of salt in cooking is in the preparation of protein prior to sauteing (pan frying at high heat on a stove top with minimal fat—butter or oil). The application of salt has nothing to do with flavoring but to bring water-soluble proteins to the surface of the meat. When subjected to high heat, these proteins form the complex flavonoids we know as “browning”. This is where the majority of any meat’s flavor comes from. If you doubt this concept, fry one steak in a pan and boil the other and tell me which one you prefer. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1 – Prep the meat. Trim excess fat, silver skin and other “impurities”. Pat dry.
Step 2 – Liberally grind non-iodized salt on a coarser setting onto both sides of the meat. Let meat sit on counter under a cover of plastic wrap for 20-30 minutes. This gives time for the water-soluble proteins to migrate to the surface and also warm up the interior of the meat. Cooking meat straight from the fridge results in burnt exteriors and cold interiors.
Step 3 – Cook according to recipe and enjoy!!
BRINE YOUR GAME BIRDS!!
Whether its Quail or Wild Turkey, Teal or Goose, wild birds can dry out quickly under standard cooking techniques because of the lack of internal fat common to domestic birds. If you don’t want your pheasant breasts to chew like shoe leather, it’s time to brine. Brining is basically a saltwater bath that increases the moistness of the finished product. This is not to be confused with a marinade, whose main purpose is to add flavor and break down muscle fibers to make a more tender bird. Brining consists of 3 steps whether it’s a whole bird, breasts, or legs:
Step 1 – Prep the bird (skin on or off). Remove silver skin, shot pellets and damaged tissue.
Step 2 – Select a bowl or non-reactive dish large enough to entirely cover all the meat.
Add water and non-iodized salt to the ratio of 1 cup water to 1/8 cup salt. Depending on the final product, you can also add raw sugar, thin sliced garlic, black peppercorns, bay leaves or juniper berries to add some flavor.
Step 3 – Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours for whole quail and overnight for whole wild turkey. Remove from brine and pat dry—no need to salt before cooking.
Is it time to re-new your membership? Want to upgrade your membership, add a family member,
or sponsor your hunting partner’s 1st year membership? Its as easy as 1, 2, 3:
1) Go to safariclub.org
2) Follow the RED HIGH-LIGHTED PROMPTS to quickly re-new, upgrade or add new members.
3) Don’t forget to add your CENTRAL WASHINGTON CHAPTER MEMBERSHIP at the prompt to continue to receive this newsletter and news flashes for upcoming local events.
CURRENT SCI LIFE MEMBERS – to continue to get this newsletter and invites to all Eastern Washington events – you need to re-new your CENTRAL WASHINGTON CHAPTER MEMBERSHIP by calling Membership Services at (520) 620-1220. Currently unavailable on-line.
GREAT GIFT IDEA!! I found these specials during a recent on-line search:
- 3-Year Membership for $150 ($45 savings over 3 single year memberships)!!
- Life Membership for $1,500 complete with two four-day passes to the 2023 Convention ($900), ten record book entries ($350) and much more.
- Senior Life Membership (age 60 and over) for $1,250 complete with two four-day passes to the 2023 Convention ($900), ten record book entries ($350) and much more.
- Spousal Life Membership ($750) is available to current Life Members. This requires a phone call to the National Office – (520) 620-1220 – Membership Services.
LOG ON TO SEE WHAT MEMBER OFFERS YOU MAY BE MISSING OUT ON!! DON’T FORGET TO SIGN UP FRIENDS & FAMILY AND RE-NEW YOUR CENTRAL WASHINGTON CHAPTER MEMBERSHIP!!
SOCIAL MEDIA SITES:
FEBRUARY 22-25 — NASHVILLE, TN
Whether your dream adventure is for Midwest whitetails, an international expedition, fishing the world; or your passion is for upland game and waterfowl, the Convention has it, and so much more! Hundreds of professional hunters and outfitters representing every continent are excited to help you to the adventure of a lifetime.
CELEBRITIES & SEMINARS
Over 70 seminars, meet & greets and keynote speakers pack the schedule at the Convention. Educational seminar presentations cover the spectrum of hunting, fishing, shooting and outdoor adventure.
Each evening’s program will feature top-name entertainment and speakers.
Over 20 live, silent, day, evening and online auctions generate the funds to support efforts to protect your rights as a hunter. Bid on once-in-a-lifetime hunt experiences, exceptional firearms, fine art and jewelry, all 100% donated by world renowned outfitters and manufacturers. Proceeds from SCI’s auctions support hunter advocacy as well as SCI Foundation’s conservation and education programs.
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