It is the start of a new year and a start to a new term within SCI Houston. Mr. Oscar Taylor’s Chapter Presidency term has ended; however, we are not saying goodbye to him as Oscar is still one of our very important Board members. We are also saying ‘hello’ to our new Chapter President, Michael O’Day. Michael comes to us, having been an SCI Houston board member since 2012. Prior to this, he was a board member with the SCI Alamo Chapter in San Antonio. Michael holds a degree in Wildlife Biology from Texas State University, was a Youth Hunter Award recipient from both Safari Club International and Houston Safari Club, and has hunted on three continents. Along with all of that he’s a husband and a father. But we are not here to read all about Michael, especially in the third person, so let us talk about what his plans are for this year.
This year is all about “giving back”, “getting outdoors” and “having fun”. The first part of the plan is that we are holding our first-ever sole online auction through OnlineHuntingAuctions.com. Proceeds made from our auction will allow the chapter to give back and hold our social events. This will also allow for us to spotlight our outfitters who help support our chapter.
“Giving back”. Now, this to me means a bunch of different things. After the events of last year with Covid, we would like to encourage everyone to have a look at our supporting outfitters and think about paying them a visit. You can check out the outfitters on our website with links so you can get to know them just a little better. One way in “giving back” for us is to continue with our mission’s agenda. Kirk Waldron continues to head this up for the chapter and has done a fantastic job throughout the years. He will continue updating everyone with our past, current, and future through his articles and email blasts, along with updates through our website. Another way of “giving back” is for us to donate our time through charitable events such as helping another conservation group out with their projects, or for us to start a new project. If anyone has a conservation-related project that you would like for us to help with or start, please, let’s get together and make it happen.
“Getting Outdoors”. Anything from going hiking, biking, kayaking to a hunting trip that you have been planning for or even giving back in a conservation project. Throughout the year we will be posting news from the chapter talking about what is going to be going on. We would also love to hear from our members or friends about what they are doing on trips they have taken.
“Having Fun”. The chapter will be holding several events throughout the year. You may have attended some of these previously or have run across posting of these events. Due to Covid and the restrictions we are targeting having a setting where everyone can socially distance along with being able to have fun and mingle. These events will be anywhere from a shooting competition, fishing tournaments, art exhibitions (like ours that is planned for April), wild game BBQs, or just a friendly, hey – let’s get together. James Jeffrey, Kent Robinson, and several others will be working to plan out these events. Let us help support these events along with supporting our chapter and what we all work hard to achieve. Most, if not all of these events will be completely free and hey, you never know – we may be giving away trips, guns, or something else special. Plus, it’s nice to see everyone and hear about what has been going on. Heck, I even have a few bragging stories to tell!
That is it in a nutshell. Keeping this year short, sweet and fun. I look forward to hearing from everyone at one of our upcoming events. Continue to check out our webpage, www.scihouston.org, for any additional news. I also encourage anyone who would like to attend our monthly Board meetings to please do so. Just let me or one of our other Board members know. If anyone has any questions or concerns, my phone is always on. Happy hunting and God bless.
SCI-Houston Chapter President
New Board Members
The votes are in! Presenting the new Board of Directors!
President – Michael O’Day
Vice President – Scott Garret
Treasurer – Salim Ahmed
Secretary – Jeff Lichon
Past President – Oscar Taylor
Hunting Education Chair – Dan Marcasol
Missions Chair – Kirk Waldron
Fundraising Chair – Carl Godfrey
Events Chair – James Jefferies
Awards Chair – Matt Roper
Board Member/Former Chapter President – Kerry O’Day
Board Member/Former Chapter President – Bill Pullen
Board Member/Former Chapter President – Kent Robinson
For more information about our Board Members please visit the About Us page.
Kirk Waldron – Missions Chair
Missions Report – First Quarter 2021
While we have had little funding to accomplish our goals of spending the majority of the funds raised at our fundraiser because of the Covid-19 pandemic we have received many requests for assistance from previous recipients.
|Rifa Camp in Zimbabwe is in serious need of funding for their conservation camp.|
|Our several Wounded Warriors initiatives, not the least of which is the hunt at Sinor Ranch in Three Rivers Texas is always in need of funding.|
|Operation Orphans hopes to resume their various hunts and fishing trips this year when conditions allow and we have offered to supply caps and gloves when they are ready.|
|Trinity Oaks Veterans Programs has submitted a $5,000.00 grant request for assistance with their veteran’s hunts.|
|Texas Wildlife Association is trying to organize the youth hunts that we have assisted in the past. Heidi Rao of TPWD has had to cancel the “Take Me Outdoors” event at Discovery Green this year where we were supposed to exhibit or Sensory Safari trailer and we’ll be there with it this Fall if it’s a go this year. If the Boy Scouts are permitted to hold their annual Jamboree again this year we’ll be there too.|
One bright note is that we were able to recruit an exceptional candidate for our AWLS Camp in Jackson Hole that is scheduled for this summer. She is Monique Degeyter whom we met at Long Acres Ranch in Richmond Texas last summer during our annual Hunter’s Ed Class. Monique is an outdoors aficionado who teaches conservation and shooting sports at several venues around our area. She will definitely benefit from the curriculum at AWLS Camp and the other attendees will benefit from her expertise as well. We have another candidate that we will propose if we can obtain funding for her.
So the reality of our Missions program is that we’re really in a pause mode until we can have our annual banquet and start raising funds again. But as the Covid begins to release its disastrous hold on America we stand ready to do our part to hasten back to normalcy.
Dan Marcasol – Education Chair
“Trophies should be measured by smiles and memories, not age and inches!”
2021 Annual, Award-winning, SCI HOUSTON HUNTER EDUCATION CLASS!
The date has been set. Mark your calendar, folks. This is gonna be a good’un! The 16th annual SCI Houston hunter education class will be on June 26, 2021 from 8am-4pm. Class will be held in Richmond, Tx at Long Acres Ranch.
Open to all ages. I repeat, OPEN TO ALL AGES! If you or someone you know was born after September 1, 1972, and need the class, come on down!
SCI HOUSTON is the largest SCI chapter in the world and one of the largest hunter ed programs in the nation!
SCI HOUSTON covers all expenses for this class. Breakfast, lunch, (provided by Bonfire Wings!) drinks, and snacks provided for all. Lots of cool prizes, too! Students who complete the course and take the exam will have a chance at winning a fully guided 1/2 day duck hunt, a guided hog hunt, a full-day guided fishing trip, or a savage rifle! Who knows, it could be you!
Don’t miss out. The is a perfect opportunity to get your Hunter Education certification, tasty treats, and a chance to win some cool prizes!
If you are interested or have any questions, contact Dan Marcasol at firstname.lastname@example.org
Special thanks to Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Bonfire, 4Ws Outdoors, Fishing Future, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Long Acres Ranch, and the countless volunteers and staff for making this possible.
Labor of Love
Kent Robinson – Past Chapter President/Current Director SCI Houston Chapter Proprietor- Texafari Outdoors
For the past 6 years, I have been able to represent SCI Houston “First for Hunters” at the Sinor Ranch in Three Rivers Texas. Keith and Rae Sinor have opened up their ranch over these past years to show their support for our veterans. And what a wonderful event this has become. I met Rae Sinor through a common Facebook friend. This connection helped me and our chapter become a small part of this event. Rae and Keith have a foundation called MSJ Outdoors in honor of her brother, Milton, who passed several years ago in a hunting accident taking a youth hunting. A terrible ordeal that is just heartbreaking. She and Keith and other donors and volunteers also have a youth hunting weekend with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The Sinor’s have huge hearts and the Veterans weekend is their favorite weekend of the year. With the help of the Boot Campaign, this program was started and the Sinor’s and MSJ Outdoors have made this an even bigger event year after year!
It’s their favorite for many reasons. This weekend is a real “Labor of Love” not only for the Sinor’s but for the 15-20 volunteers that give of their time selflessly to honor our veterans and to give back to them in a very small way for their sacrifice for our country. The volunteers play many roles from guiding, skinning, processing deer, cleaning up, cooking, and more for a 4-5 day period. It’s not work, it’s an honor for all involved.
Over the years myself, and long-time board member, Kirk Waldron, have guided and also helped out in a small way financially with the help of our SCI Houston Chapter and RMEF Houston.
This year was somewhat different with Covid and all. But I was still able to attend and guide my hunter from the 1st Air Calvary Brigade of Ft. Hood. We had several members from Ft. Hood. Other veterans were from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment ( SOAR) or as some call the “Night Stalkers”!
# NSDQ – Ft. Campbell Kentucky.
Just to put things in perspective, nine new veterans attended with six returning veterans also in attendance. All new veterans got a buck, some also took does, a coyote or two were taken, one bobcat, and two javelinas! Some veterans also had their wives and or children in attendance.
I have been so blessed to be a small part of this program as has our chapter. Two years ago another SCI Houston member, Eric Sharar, and son Ryan have also attended as volunteers.
This “Labor of Love” has been a real blessing to all involved and every year new relationships are formed and old ones rekindled. It is indeed one big “Love Fest”!
We thank Rae and Keith Sinor for the opportunity to be involved in such an awesome event that honors our veterans. We also want to thank them for their generosity and hard work that they put in every year to make this event such a wonderful and meaningful five days of fellowship and enjoying God’s creation- the outdoors. We can’t wait until next year!
James Jeffery – Events Chair
With 2020 behind us, we are looking forward to a couple of chapter events for this year.
Our first event this year is an exhibition for our spotlight artist Vickie McMillan. Vickie specializes in wildlife art and has been a longtime supporter of the SCI mission, conservation, and education. The exhibition is scheduled for April 24, 2021, at the new Conroe Taxidermy trophy room, 11845 Clark Ln, Conroe, TX 77385. Get more details and RSVP here.
We are also excited to announce we are organizing a big bore shoot for this year. It will be an excellent opportunity to socialize as well as get out and shoot some bigger guns if you’ve never had the chance, as well as a small competition. We will also be putting together a clay shoot for the chapter. Dates and locations are TBD but will be posted to the events calendar as soon as they are set.
Join us as we look forward to seeing some old friends and making some new ones at the events.