by Karen Mehall Phillips, Director of Communications, NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum - Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Honoring dedication to the pursuit of big game hunting worldwide, Safari Club International (SCI) presented Veronica Kosich with its 2023 Diana Award at its 51st Annual SCI Hunters’ Convention in Nashville on Feb. 25. Sponsored by the NRA Women's Leadership Forum, the award recognizes the women of SCI who excel in international big game hunting, demonstrate exemplary ethics afield and advance wildlife conservation and education.
The award is named for Diana, the huntress of Roman mythology who reigned as the goddess of wild animals and the hunt. As a real-life Diana, Kosich has hunted on six continents and taken more than 100 game species in 12 countries. A Life member of SCI and the NRA, she has served on both the SCI and NRA WLF executive boards. She is also a Life member of SCI’s Adirondack Chapter and a Life member and past president of the SCI Foundation’s Education Sables, which raises funds for SCI education programs and hunting advocacy.
Presenting the award were NRA WLF founding member Jane Brown and 2020 SCI Diana Award recipient Susan Hayes, who enthusiastically welcomed Kosich on stage during an SCI convention that was celebrating “Women Go Hunting.” Humbled by the recognition, Kosich said, “What an honor to receive this award in the company of so many great hunters,” adding that she never started hunting in the hope of receiving recognition.
Giving a nod to the role hunting plays in wildlife conservation, Kosich said she discovered hunting on a trip to Zimbabwe in 1989 but did not begin hunting until 2004, the same year she attended her first SCI show. Sharing the joy of hunting with her husband, Martin, she smiled and explained, “My husband became my hunting partner until I could outshoot him,” earning applause from attendees who clearly related to the joys of hunting and shooting with their spouses.
“I want to thank SCI, the NRA Women’s Leadership Forum for sponsoring this award, and the Dianas,” she said, fondly referring to her Diana sisters as ambassadors for hunting, conservation and education. As she went on to thank her son Ransom, brother Ken and her many friends in the room, last but not least, she said, “I also want to thank my husband Martin, who has inspired me and who without him I would not be on this stage. Let’s support SCI the [SCI] Foundation and the NRA.”
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone had a passion for hunting and wildlife conservation and were driven to live life outdoors? When Kosich is not pursuing her passion in the hunting woods, she can be found in Upstate New York where she works as an attorney. A wife, mother and grandmother, she holds an LLM (Master of Laws) master’s degree and operates a general law practice that focuses primarily on Elder Law and Estate Planning.
As Kosich said in her acceptance speech, while receiving the Diana award is an enormous accomplishment, we hunters do not pursue our treasured lifestyle because we strive for recognition. Being acknowledged for doing what we love is never expected, but it is human nature to recognize excellence and honor those who inspire us. And in the case of NRA, SCI and the Dianas, it is fitting to applaud those who meet the inherent challenges that arise on the path to becoming a Diana and to celebrate one of our own.
Congratulations, Veronica! We hunters appreciate your efforts and salute you for your role as the Diana’s newest ambassador for hunting. Thank you for using your time and energy to educate others about hunting and for touting the role we play in wildlife conservation worldwide.
SCI’s Women Go Hunting Celebration
This year’s annual SCI Hunter’ Convention paid special tribute to the hunting community’s fastest-growing hunting demographic: women. SCI celebrated “Women Go Hunting” throughout the annual four-day event, inviting attendees from across the country to continue sharing their hunting stories and special outdoor memories here.
In step with the Women Go Hunting theme, SCI launched its first Ladies’ Mix and Mingle event at the show, inviting ladies of all ages and hunting experience levels to meet likeminded women and share their stories. “I’m proud to see women coming out hunting,” said Kosich.
It was no surprise to learn an event celebrating sisterhood in the great outdoors was organized by fellow SCI and NRA member Denise Welker. Welker was presented with the NRA-sponsored SCI Diana Award in 2017 for her extensive international hunting experience and noted commitment to wildlife conservation and education through volunteer service and philanthropy.
About the NRA Women’s Leadership Forum
The NRA Women’s Leadership Forum is the fastest-growing community within the NRA. Uniting women of influence, it is a philanthropic society of women dedicated to protecting and defending our Second Amendment and the freedom it secures. The sole presenting sponsor of the SCI Diana Award for the past nine years, it celebrates and supports the contributions of distinguished women leaders in hunting and wildlife conservation. Visit nrawlf.com for more information or to join.
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