SCI

2020 Arkansas Warrior Hunt

Nominate a military member/veteran for our 2020 hunt!

We had another GREAT European Pheasant Shoot with Caviness Cattle and Quail.  We were joined by our SCI CEO, Laird Hamberlin, who lives in Memphis, TN.  He greeted our crowd and gave a short talk explaining the benefits to hunting that SCI provides.  He invited anyone there that was not an SCI member to join.

Tom Quarles brought his usual crew.  We really appreciate his support.Airman Joe Hunt from the Little Rock Air Base has shot with Caviness before.  This was his first time to shoot with us.  He brought his father, Jim Hunt from Waco, TX and Dr. Ben Fox from Destin, FL to shoot with us.  Jim signed up for a three-year SCI membership and Ben signed up for a one-year SCI membership

I have been on most of our European Pheasant Shoots and I have never seen such great shooting.  The birds were flying high and they kept falling.  We had eighteen shooters and we paid for 200 pheasants.  This meant eight shooting stations had two shooters and two stations only had one shooter.  Mark Jones was one of the shooters that had the shooting station all to himself.  I was close enough to Mark to see what was flying his way.  I will tell you this, I do not remember seeing any bird getting past him

Edward Ragelis brought Valerie McCormick and his dog to shoot with him.  Edward sighed up for a one-year SCI membership

Brent Lesser and Joshua Green also became new SCI members.  We appreciate all the new members support for our Chapter and SCI.

I brought my granddaughter, Morgan Helderman, to take pictures of our shoot and her husband, Mark to shoot with me.  Mark became a new member of SCI.  He had a great time, but he said he was buying a semi-auto shot gun for the next shoot.  The birds were coming too fast for his pump gun.

I mentioned the good shooting. The last count showed that we killed 83% of the birds released.  Harlin described someone as shooting like they were starving!

JIM LEE & LAIRD HAMBERLIN

 

BENNY RICHARDS, KEITH CREWS, RICH RICHARDS, TOM QUARLES

 

JIM HUNT, JOE HUNT & DR. BEN FOX

 

BRENT LAWSON & ERNIE YOUNG

 

MARK JONES

 

EDWARD RAGELIS, VALERIE MC CORMICK and BRANDY (dog)

 

JOSH GREEN & BRENT LASSER

 

LAIRD HAMBERLIN AND JIM LEE

 

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

I hope all is well. The COVID-19 pandemic cases increasing has touch most families by now in one way or another. Hope is on the way with the release of the first vaccine and others to follow shortly. I believe in the next three months most will have had the opportunity to receive the vaccine. The deaths greatly reduced as they cover the most vulnerable first. So, let us keep as safe as possible with the recommended guides and common sense we all have.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and certainly welcome in a New Year. Never forget the true reason for the season. God Bless!

Gary Acord


EDITOR’S NOTES

I view the purpose of this Chapter as an opportunity to visit with good people with similar interest in hunting and to share hunting experiences.  Therefore, I think a newsletter is important.  If you agree, I need your support. Please send me a picture and a short report on your hunts. b.l.fitzgerald@comcast.net

MEMBERSHIP/NEW MEMBERSHIP EVENT

European Pheasant Shoot – February 21, 2021

Please join us for a FANTASTIC outing as part of our membership drive.  A European Pheasant Shoot has been scheduled with Caviness Cattle & Quail, 4906 CT Road, Hazen, AR 72064, 501-516-5687

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED
By February 11, 2021

Limited to 20 shooters with 10 birds released for each shooter.  Registrations will begin 10:00am.  Then we will travel a short distance to the shooting area.  After the shoot, a meal will be served while the birds are cleaned and packaged…

NEW EVENT!  AFTER THE MEAL, THERE WILL BE A DRAWING FOR 10 SHOOTERS FOR A FREE “CLEANUP HUNT” FOR THE BIRDS THAT WERE MISSED PLUS A FEW NEW BIRDS.

Cost:   $250 – Per Shooter (Member and family members)

With the first taste of cooler temperatures the excitement builds. Hunting season across the county has begun. With COVID-19 still causing havoc all over the world. We have been cooped up way too long.

Enjoying the outdoors really became more precious to us than ever before.

Now, understanding the importance why the fight to keep our freedom has never been more important. The opposition against, is relentless on taking away little by little those freedoms. SCI fights vigorously against any attacks to those rights here and around the world. We thank you for your support. If you are not a current member please join if your membership has expired please renew.

Upcoming Events

The European Pheasant shoot is approaching quickly. October 25th. Go to our website and join the shoot. This is a limited event to the first 20 paid hunters…We have a special hunter than has signed up for the hunt…Safari Club International  CEO Laird Hamberlin. He resides in the Memphis area and it would give you a chance to meet and ask any question you may have about the SCI.

Our Christmas party is booked for December 5th at Riverfront Steakhouse in North Little Rock. We will have a great dinner with a few giveaways. Shortly we will be sending out RSVP so be looking for and please respond to invitation. We will be practicing safe distancing as required.

Our annual banquet will be held at the Embassy Suites on March 27th. Our goal due to COVID-19 will be offering as many U.S. based hunting and fishing trips along with guns, jewelry, art, outdoor gear, and some other goodies.

Those that purchased hunting and fishing trips at the last banquet please keep in contact with the outfitters. They all want you to get your trip booked when the time allows them to do so. Outfitters have been the hardest hit with the COVID-19 pandemic. Their livelihoods depend greatly on the future of opening up on travel and rebooking.

Be safe but enjoy every opportunity you can in using the outdoor adventures we have at hand.

Gary Acord

BY BRYAN FITZGERALD

It was early morning on June 3, 2019 and I was sitting in the North Fork River where it joins the White River.  A gentle breeze was flowing with the river dropping the temperature below 60 degrees.  I could see our objective swimming in the crystal-clear water below.  I was with three friends from Texas who had never caught a German Brown Trout.  Larry Rider was in my boat, and his stepson, Butch West, was in another boat with his brother-in-law Jack Hopkins.

BRYAN FITZGERALD

As luck would have it, I caught the first Brown Trout, and it was a nice one.  We fished this spot for an hour and a half.  I caught a second Brown Trout and Butch caught two as well.  My largest was 18” and his largest was 17”.  All were released back into the river.  Larry and Jack failed to catch a Brown Trout.  We then moved into the White River where the fishing would pick up with the adding of Rainbow Trout.

This trip began at the March 3, 2019 Fundraiser for the Arkansas Chapter of SCI.  Larry and his wife Martha were with me and my wife Marilynn at the Banquet.  Mike Harrison of the Norfork Trout Dock had donated three trout fishing trips to be auctioned off during the Fundraiser.  Larry suggested buying two trips.  Each included:

*Two full days guided trout fishing trip for two people on the White/North Fork River in Arkansas.

*A guide, boat, motor, bait, tackle, and shore lunch.

*Lodging not included. Fishermen must stay a minimum of two nights at the resort at regular price.  Our price was $165/night plus tax for four people.

BUTCH WEST

When I booked our trip, I explained how I had bought the trips at the SCI Fundraiser and I was bringing three fishermen from Texas who had never trout fished in Arkansas and had never caught a German Brown Trout. They assured me that they could solve their problem.

There is no limit to the number of Rainbow Trout you catch, but you can only keep five.  The guide can keep five trout for the shore lunch, but he cannot give you his limit.  The pace of fishing picked up quickly when we started fishing in the White River.  My guide, Kenny Moody, took us upriver.  The other guide, Vic Jones, took his fishermen down river.  Larry and I probably caught 15 Rainbow Trout each by 11:30, when we met with our friends for our shore lunch.  The guides had picked a shady spot on the bank of the White River for our chairs.  There was enough room for them to cook and serve our lunch.  Lunch consisted of a heaping skillet of hash brown potatoes, plenty of fried trout, baked beans, and a salad.  Butch had caught the most number of fish.  He and Jack show off their catch that was used for lunch.

BUTCH & JACK

After lunch we continued fishing for Rainbow Trout until about 2:30, and then we headed back to the North Fork.  Our guides were not going to give up on catching Brown Trout.

SHORE LUNCH

Sure enough, Larry caught his 17” Brown Trout and Butch caught his third Brown Trout.  Now it was time to go to our cabin and celebrate with an adult beverage.

Our cabin was a nice two-bedroom, one bath with a large living room kitchen combination.  It had central a/c and a large TV.  There was a large porch overlooking the White River.  For larger groups there was a walkout basement with a bath and additional bedrooms.

For our evening meals, we drove 15 miles into Mountain Home, a town of 12,253 with a good selection of restaurants.  Sunday night we ate at Chili’s.  Monday night we chose a local Mexican restaurant that had excellent service and food.

At 7:30 the next morning we were back at the dock to go fishing.  Like the first morning, we went back to the North Fork of the White River to fish for Brown Trout.  Like the first morning, I caught the first Brown Trout, a hard fighting 20” fish.  Butch caught his 4th Brown Trout.  This one was 19”.  By the end of the trip, Butch had caught 5 Brown Trout, Larry and I had each caught 3 Brown Trout and Jack had caught his Brown Trout.  SUCCESS!  All the Brown Trout were released back into the river.

This time we all fished down river for Rainbow Trout.  Fishing was much better down river.  There were times when I was catching trout as fast as I could release one fish and rebait.  I was convinced that this was the reason Butch had caught more fish than I did the first day.  WRONG.  Butch said he was averaging 12 trout per hour.  He was just the better fisherman.

SECOND SHORE LUNCH

Our guides found an even better spot for our shore lunch down river.  The menu was the same, a large skillet of hash brown potatoes, plenty of fried fish from Butch, baked beans and salad.  After lunch we continued to fish down river from the dock.  At 2:30 we headed back to the North Fork of the White River to fish for Brown Trout.  The high lights of the afternoon were Butch catching his 5th Brown Trout and Larry catching a Golden Rainbow Trout.

LARRY RIDER & GOLDEN RAINBOW TROUT

Due to flood damage to the Jim Hinkle State Fish Hatchery in 2017 AGFC started buying trout from a private fish farm in Missouri.  On May 6 of this year the AGFC stocked 7,500 Rainbow Trout, including less than 100 Golden Rainbow, in the White River below Bull Shoals Dam to the North Fork River.

The trip was an outstanding success.  The whole trip, Butch would say “I cannot believe the fishing.  I never expected to catch this many trout.”  Arkansas trout fishing is on his to-do list for next year.

Hello everyone,

It is beginning to feel like fall finally. The cooler temperatures, leaves coloring up, and hunting season gets into full swing. It’s certainly my favorite time of the year as well with most people.                                                                
We just finished our first ever fun shoot at Blue Rock Sportsman’s Club (10-6) in NLR. This was open to all members and guests. It was not meant to be competitive but an experience in the clay shooting sports. There were 45 shooters ages 9-75, parents, grandparents, and friends for a group totaling upper 60’s. The great thing about this was several had never shot clay targets, skeet, trap, five stand, or moving targets of any kind. It was truly a learning experience even for many that have been shooting shotguns but not clay targets.

We had the idea of putting this event together and the turnout exceeded expectations. The shooters were not the only novice to this event. Thanks to the many that stepped in to help in scoring, pulling targets, and refilling machines, we got it done. I know anytime you want to mention those that helped, you always leave someone out. I am not fully aware of all the names or organizations that helped or attended so I apologize in advance. Saline County Shooting Sports (parents) pulled skeet and scored most of the rounds along with our members. That was a tremendous help to the success of the event. With the introduction of clay shooting, youth participation, promotion of our chapter, and signing up nine new members, the day was a success.
Our Next Event is approaching on October 28th.  European Pheasant shoot……You must hurry to the website to register. Our chapter comps a portion of the cost to members and non-members that sign up memberships at the event.

Membership Promotion
First twenty members that sign up will have their names put into a drawing for an Orca 45 quart cooler with AR SCI logo valued at $349.00.  Non-members over 18 months to qualify. Max of twenty entering and will be awarded at our Banquet March 2nd.  We signed 9 at the fun shoot so we have 11 remaining. Sign up or get your friends signed up with SCI………$30 discount from regular dues to boot!

CHAPTER OFFICER AND BOARD CHANGES
After serving many years from the initial start of the Chapter in 1990, Bryan Fitzgerald has decided to step down as Treasurer. Bryan has had many roles in the chapter from being the second President (1990), Secretary, and most recently Treasurer for the past 14 years. He has played a vital role in the promotion of the Arkansas Chapter and in its growth. Bryan wants to pass his role to the next generation that will continue to carry on this important part of the Chapter. Amanda Gore is going to handle these duties on a short-term basis.
This position is open and needs to be filled. Anyone that is interested should contact me ASAP with any questions they may have. It is a very important that we have someone fill this position that has desire in playing a vital role in the chapter. Bryan has agreed in helping transitioning his experience to the next Treasurer.    
I personally want to thank Bryan in his dedication to the Chapter. He became a good friend to so many over the years in his involvement with the chapter. Our friendship has taken us on several hunts and even travels with his wife Marylyn.

Dr. Rick Gore has also decided to step down as a board member. He also served as past President and was on the board for several years. Rick has also played a vital role in the promotion of the chapter. His participation in banquet preparations along with input has been priceless. I am hoping we can still draw on him in the future.

What I do know is that being apart of this chapter and working with so many involved, you become very close. That relationship is strong because we enjoy and believe in the same principles. Retaining the rights we have and being able to pass on to the next generation.

New Board Members

Matthew McWilliams
David Short
Darrell Daniels
Liz Caddell

(If you would like to serve on our board, please contact me immediately. We are looking to fill several spots!)                                                                                                                                          
They have already been helpful in pushing forward the venture in our social media program. All are younger and more in tune with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. What I do know is there is so much information passed through these formats we can get more of our messages out faster.

Social Media Promotion
Our Chapter has hired Clay Newcomb Media to promote a social media program for us. He is a native of Northwest Arkansas, and publisher and editor of the only Bear Hunting Magazine in the nation. This task can only be successful with content. Content from our members is greatly needed. Hunts, fishing trips, travel experiences, do’s and don’ts in traveling. If you have any photos you would like to share we would greatly appreciate it. Trophy hunt pictures must be clean and respectful of the quarry. If desired, we can blur out faces of folks who wish to remain anonymous. This foray into social media is just now getting started so content is needed to build site. The more we have the quicker we can make a presence in the social media field.

Save the Dates:
Christmas Party- December 1st Riverfront Steakhouse 6:00
Banquet date set for March 2nd Embassy Suites Little Rock

Thank you for reading this message and supporting your chapter.                                                              
Gary Acord 

EUROPEAN PHEASANT SHOOT

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2020
CAVINESS CATTLE AND QUAIL
4906 C T ROAD
HAZEN, AR  72064

200 BIRDS

$250 PER GUN

INCLUDES BIRD CLEANING AND MEAL

LIMITED TO 20 SHOOTERS

REGISTRATION OPENS AT NOON. SHOOT BEGINS AT 1:00 PM

MEAL FOLLOWING SHOOT

ALL SCI MEMBERS SHOOTING WILL BE ENTERED TO WIN AN RTIC COOLER TO BE GIVEN AWAY AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE HUNT

2 3/4 INCH SHELLS ONLY

ORANGE HAT OR CAP AND EYE PROTECTION REQUIRED

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT JIM LEE
VP@SCI-AR.COM OR 501-472-1376

by Morgan Helderman

My adventure starts March 14th, 2020 at the SCI banquet for the Little Rock Chapter.  My husband, Mark, and I had been wanting to take a hunt together ever since he taught me how to shoot a gun back in 2014.  We had never had an opportunity for us both to go due to our work schedules and vacation time. Before we left the house we decided that we would look for a hunt that could turn into a small vacation for us.

When we got to the banquet, we looked over the live auction hunts to see our options. 

One hunt stood out to us, it was a Hog and Axis Doe hunt.  We were fortunate to talk to Mike and Cathy Wheatley, the owners of MC Outdoor Adventures and Hickory Knoll Ranch before the auction began. They filled us in on more details on the hunt and other possible hunts at their ranch. After talking with them, we knew this would be a perfect hunt for us.  We ended up paying more than retail value of the hunt because we wanted to help support the local chapter.  After the auction was over we talked with the Wheatley’s and told them we would call in the coming weeks to set a date.
A few weeks later we called and set our hunt date for July 24 – 26, 2020.  Mike was extremely helpful in answering all our questions and concerns.

As we drove up to the gates of Hickory Knoll Ranch on July 24th, 2020 excitement filled the truck.  This would be my first hunting experience.  I had practiced with my rifle before the trip and felt confident I would be able to make a clean and ethical kill.

We were greeted by Mike and Cathy Wheatley, Carter Hall, and their dog Gunny.
After we got settled in, we began to visit and discuss the plans for the night.  Mike showed us pictures of the Axis and where we would be hunting in the morning.  Then he showed us the layout of their property on the map and where we would be hunting that night for the pigs.  We changed clothes, grabbed our rifles, and loaded into the side by side they called the Wagon.
Cathy would be my guide for the trip.  That night we went to the stand they call Aoudad to hunt for hogs.  She set up a tripod for my rifle to sit on to help hold it steady.  I placed my custom-built AR 15 in 300 Blackout on the tripod.  Cathy explained to me that Mike would come by with the Wagon and lay some feed down shortly, and then at 7pm the feeder would go off.

When the first group of hogs came out from the left, Cathy whispered to me, “Pick one, follow it until you can take your shot.”  She also reminded me where to aim, right by the ear.  I picked my pig, took a deep breath, and pulled the trigger. PIG DOWN! Its legs started shaking immediately.  Heart racing, I turned to my left and looked at her.  She gave me a fist bump.

She told me to keep watching it, as she has seen them get up and run.  As I watched my pig, her feet continued to shake.  After a minute or so they stopped.  This was my first hunting shot to take, and my first kill ever.

FIRST HOG

Cathy told me that was about a 30-yard shot and she thought the pig weighed 65 lbs.  This was 7:15pm.

At 8:25pm I thought that would be it for the night, until a second group of pigs came out from the left.  At first all I saw were baby pigs, and they began eating corn.   I waited for the female hogs to come out.  I would be able to shoot the mom when we saw one.  A few minutes later we saw two females come out. Cathy told me again, “Pick one of the bigger ones and aim at the ear.”  I picked my pig.  They were about to leave when I got my shot.  The pig immediately fell.  Then the legs started shaking.  I kept watching through my scope to make sure she did not get up.

Heart racing again, we gave each other fist bumps.  We let Mike know I had gotten another pig and we were ready to be picked up.  Cathy told me that the second pig was probably 100 pounds, but we would wait and weigh them when we got back to the lodge.

Mike and Cathy loaded my pigs on the front of the Wagon and headed back to the lodge.  We pulled up to the skinning shed, Carter and Mike got my hogs feet hooked up so they could weigh and skin them.  The first pig I shot weighed 65 pounds and was hung on my right.  The second pig I shot weighed 113 pounds and was on my left.

TWO DEAD HOGS

The next morning, we woke up at 5 am and loaded into the Wagon at 5:30. Cathy and I went to the Protein 1 stand. We saw several White-tail Deer and a few Axis came out from our right. Unfortunately, I did not get to take a shot as the Axis got spooked and ran off.
That evening, we set out to try one more time to get an Axis. Cathy and I went to the Hay Barn Stand. This was a ground blind that was metal and larger than the others we had hunted.
Because it was larger, we did not need to be as careful when talking. Mike came by and laid some corn down just as he did our first night. Several White-tail Deer came to the feeder and began to eat. Then to my left in the tree line I saw some deer. I asked Cathy if they were White-tail because it was hard to see. She looked through her binoculars and said, “Those are Axis.” I got ready and started looking through my scope so I could see better. We saw three Axis, two small ones and a buck. It took us a few minutes to see the buttons on one of them, so I knew I would not be able to shoot that one. The other was a doe and I started looking closer. Cathy told me she may be too small, but to keep looking. Several minutes later, she called Mike letting him know what we were looking at and telling him the doe was really small. He gave us the go head to take the shot.
At this point, the doe was behind the feeder. Unable to take a shot, I kept on her and moved with her. She finally moved to the right of the feeder giving me a better opportunity. Each time I was about to pull the trigger a White-tail buck would bend down, and his antlers would block my shot. A few minutes later he moved far enough away, I pulled the trigger. All the deer in the area scattered. I looked at Cathy. “Did you see her jump?” Cathy asked me. I told her I only saw the deer scatter. This being my first deer to kill, she told me that was a good thing. It was about 110 yards away. Cathy called Mike and told him I got her and to bring Gunny, to help track her down.

Once Mike and Gunny pulled up, Gunny went straight to work.  He found the doe about 50 yards away in the trees.  We got her out with no problem.

When we got back to the Lodge we took her to the skinning shed. She weighed 57 pounds.

CATHY, MORGAN & AXIS DOE

This was a great first hunting experience for me.  Mike and Cathy Wheatley, and Carter Hall made this a fun experience.  The food was great, and the company was even better.  We formed some great friendships.  We highly recommend MC Outdoor Adventures and we are looking forward to our next adventure there.

I must start out by apologizing for the long delay in getting out Chapter updates. We were lucky to have our Banquet just a few days prior to the state shutting down of event gathering all together. We were luckier than 40% of the other chapters that had to cancel or try to reschedule this fall. Our attendance was down from last year (-40%) with the hovering of the COVID-19 already in the air. Those that attended certainly did their part in bidding and enjoying the evening. Revenues compared to last year was only down 22%. Our offerings in silent, raffle, and auction were as good as we have ever had. We had around 24 guns spread out over all three combined!!!! Most of the hunt/fishing trip auctioned were North American with exception of a fantastic New Zealand hunt.
We also awarded the Arkansas Warrior 2020. Major (retired) Robin Tolliver was in attendance with her husband and two beautiful girls. M C Adventures is going to put their family up at the Hickory Knoll Ranch in Texas for an adventure they all four will never forget. Thanks to Cathy and Mike Wheatley.

The money raised has supported the following:

AR. Hunters Feed the Hungry $2,000
Saline County Shooting Sports $1,500
Avilla youth sporting $1,500
Youth Hunter Education Challenge $5,250 – We supported both state and regional competition.
SCI Colorado Wolf Initiative $2,000
Blue Rock Gun Club $2,600
Benches with AR Chapter SCI logo in support of rebuilding after flood.  Several of our chapter members made personal donations in support to the rebuilding as well.
 
I know that many hunting and fishing trips were cancelled.  Not only out of the county but even out of state closed turkey hunts to non-residents.  The cost to outfitters all over the world has put them in major financial distress. Hunters not only support the outfitters but the communities and countries ability to protect wildlife.  Hunters are the main support system to long term survival of wildlife through conservation efforts.  Safari Club International will be auctioning off donations through their website.  100% of the proceeds will be going to a fund to help those who have supported SCI for so many years.  It is time to give them a much support as possible in their time of need.  Another great way is to book a hunt with one of the outfitters.
 
Let us do our best to keep safe. Thank God we have the outdoors to enjoy.

Latest News


Newsletter December 15, 2020

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE I hope all is well. The COVID-19 pandemic cases increasing has touch most families by now in one way or another. Hope is on the way with the release of the first vaccine and others to follow shortly. I believe in the next three months most will have…

President’s Message October 2020

With the first taste of cooler temperatures the excitement builds. Hunting season across the county has begun. With COVID-19 still causing havoc all over the world. We have been cooped up way too long. Enjoying the outdoors really became more precious to us than ever before. Now, understanding the importance…

Norfork Trout Fishing

BY BRYAN FITZGERALD It was early morning on June 3, 2019 and I was sitting in the North Fork River where it joins the White River.  A gentle breeze was flowing with the river dropping the temperature below 60 degrees.  I could see our objective swimming in the crystal-clear water…

Letter From the President

Hello everyone, It is beginning to feel like fall finally. The cooler temperatures, leaves coloring up, and hunting season gets into full swing. It’s certainly my favorite time of the year as well with most people.                                                                 We just finished our first ever fun shoot at Blue Rock Sportsman’s Club…

PROTECTING THE FREEDOM TO HUNT AND PROMOTING WILDLIFE CONSERVATION WORLDWIDE

Chapter members meet together regularly in organized meetings to discuss their mission and how best to accomplish it. These regular meetings involve not only business, but time to get together with old and new friends to talk about hunting and the things they all have in common.