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April 7, 2008

Safari Club International's Record Book

A showcase for bloodlust

The Humane Society of the United States

Safari Club International offers dozens of awards for killing an assortment of its more than 500 different "record book" animals, ranking the biggest tusks, horns, antlers, skulls and bodies of hunted animals.

Hunters receive "Grand Slam" and "Inner Circle" award trophies, among others, for shooting a prescribed list of animals. For example, the "Trophy Animals of Africa" award requires the hunter to kill 79 different African species to win the highest honor.

SCI has an award for "Introduced Trophy Animals of North America," glorifying hunters who frequent captive hunting ranches.

To earn every SCI award at the minimum level, a hunter must kill at least 171 different animals. Many members go well beyond that number. One has more than 600 different animals listed in SCI's record books.

Rewarding Cruelty

SCI has dozens of award categories. A handful of the awards that SCI presents are:

  • The C.J. McElroy Award, which paradoxically requires that nominees show exemplary ethics.

  • The Diana Award to encourage women to hunt.

  • The Young Hunter Award to encourage children to hunt.

  • The International Hunting Award, based on the number and quality of trophies, the number of counties hunted in, total number of hunts taken and the level of entries in the record book.

  • The World Conservation & Hunting Award, which has nothing to do with conservation. Rather, hunters must kill more than 300 species on six continents.

  • World Hunting Award Rings require 11 Grand Slams, 17 Inner Circle Awards at the Diamond Level, the Fourth Pinnacle of Achievement and the Crowning Achievement Award—which amounts to a huge menagerie of dead animals.

  • Inner Circle Awards include Trophy Animals of Africa, Spiral-horned Antelopes of Africa, Pygmy Antelopes of Africa, Wild Turkey Trophy Animals of North America, Introduced Animals of North America, Trophy Animals of South America, Antlered Game of the Americas, Trophy Animals of Europe, Trophy Animals of Asia, Trophy Animals of the South Pacific, Wild Pigs and Peccaries of the World, Antlered Game of the World, Mountain Game of the World, Wild Sheep of the World, Chamois of the World, Red Deer/Wapiti of the World, Predators of the World, Ibex of the World, Gazelles of the World, Wild Oxen of the World and Wild Goats of the World.

  • Grand Slams, including the African Big Five, Dangerous Game of Africa, African 29, North American 29, Cats of the World, Bears of the World, North American Wild Sheep, North American Elk, North American Caribou, North American Deer, White-tailed Deer of the World, European Deer, Moose of the World, South American Indigenous Animals and Wild Turkey

Browse through one of Safari Club's magazines, Safari: The Journal of Big Game Hunting, and you are blitzed with ads touting captive hunting ranches all over the world. Ads for African safaris are littered with smiling hunters beside dead rhinos, lions and elephants—alongside ads for taxidermists to mount the kills for display.

Updated April 7, 2008 

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