by Karen Mehall Phillips - Friday, January 26, 2018
Clearly “The Migration Has Begun!” as hunters as far as the eye can see fill the exhibit hall at the George R. Brown Convention Center for the 2018 Houston Safari Club Annual Worldwide Hunting Expo, Jan. 25-28. Thousands will attend the three-day gathering celebrating wildlife and wild places as they visit with worldwide guides and outfitters, taxidermists, makers of guns and gear; and wildlife artists and makers of outdoor-themed collectibles. But even more popular on many attendees’ must-see-and-do lists is the HSC’s Youth Wildlife and Conservation Experience (YWCE) sponsored by MidwayUSA designed to expose youth to the fun and excitement of spending time outdoors and participating in our hunting and conservation traditions. The camaraderie and family fun will continue into the night at the HSC’s evening fundraising banquets and live and silent auctions set to raise millions in support of HSC’s mission to preserve hunting through education, conservation and the protection of hunters’ rights.
Giving Back to Hunting’s Future
Here are just a few examples of the HSC in action.
• Youth Scholarships: In conjunction with its charitable 501(c)3 arm, the American Conservation and Education Society (ACES), the HSC furthers the education of students pursuing a career in conservation through its Dan L. Duncan Scholarship Program. Established in 1999, the program supports students who are involved in studying wildlife management and/or range management, providing 475 scholarships totaling $2 million to date.
• Grants: The HSC provides financial aid to deserving projects and organizations. Millions of dollars have gone to support wildlife and wildlife habitat worldwide through habitat protection and anti-poaching initiatives, wildlife research and wildlife population management.
• Military Veterans Program: The HSC works with several wounded and disabled veteran organizations, reaching out to those who are recovering with activities including hunts for duck and deer and fishing trips.
• Youth Hunting Program: Every year young people who meet the HSC youth program criteria are nominated to participate in HSC’s youth program. Houston-area boys and girls from local schools and groups are introduced to sport hunting, fishing and wilderness conservation.
And speaking of HSC youth programs and the HSC’s Youth Wildlife and Conservation Experience (YHCE) I mentioned, it appears young hunters are “running” the show. It is fun to watch school students moving about the convention floor and convention hall, scrambling to get to special youth sessions on wildlife biology, conservation, taxidermy, gunsmithing and hunting. Their energy and positive attitude is just one more indication that hunting’s future is in good hands.
Come Join Us!
The HSC show at the George R. Brown Convention Center runs Friday through Sunday, Jan. 25-28. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. More information, visit houstonsafariclub.org/convention/.
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