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CLUB HISTORY by CHRIS KLINEBURGER

Safari Club International started in 1972, but was actually a name change from the Safari Club of Los

Angeles which was established in June of 1971.

There were very few clubs at that time that entertained the international travelers that hunted “faraway

 places with strange sounding names”. The San Francisco based Mzuri (meaning “good” in the Swahili

 language) Safari Club, along with the Shikar Safari Club, both of which were membership controlled

 and limited to an elite group of individuals that did, in fact, have a background of hunting overseas,

 were by far the oldest of such clubs. Game Conservational International (Game Coin), established in

 1965 in San Antonio, was the first to hold an International Convention (in 1966) open to hunters big

 and small and heavily attended by the International set, including professional hunters from overseas.

 It was a gigantic success and set the stage for the importance of sportsmen joining together to fight for

 hunters rights and for conservation of wildlife.

C.J. McElory (Mac), an officer of the Southern California Safari Club, had great visions of a strong

 international club and what it could do for hunters and wildlife. He ran into opposition within the

 conservative ranks of the Club, so he and a small group of supporters split off and started the Safari

 Club of Los Angeles. The following year they felt “Los Angeles” was too confining a name, changing

 it to SCI.

In 1972 the move was made to Tucson and thus the name change to Safari Club International. The

 first SCI Convention was held 24‐27 January, 1973 at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas with an

 attendance of under 300 people.

Right away when moving to Tucson, SCI started “Chapters”, the first being the Los Angeles Chapter in

 1972, quickly followed the same year by the Chicago Chapter. In the meantime Chapters were

 springing up all over the USA and a few foreign countries. Mac kept after me year after year to get a

 Seattle Chapter started and finally in 1974 I agreed. We called for an informal meeting of a handful of

international hunters at the premises of Jonas Bros of Seattle Taxidermy and Travel (since then the

 Jonas name was dropped and the Klineburger name used). They included Tony Sulak, Dr. Charles

 Day, Dennis Dean, Eric Jensen, Joe Malinowski, Robert Ray and Al Shontz along with Chris, Colleene

 and Gene Klineburger.

It was agreed by all to go forward with the idea and the name was to be the “Northwest” Chapter of

 SCI, with the idea of reaching into Alaska, British Columbia, Oregon and other states near

 Washington. The “Committee” wanted me to be President, but I declined for the reason I felt it would

be a conflict of interest, being a professional in the hunting business. I did agree to serve on the Board

and provided the use of our mailing list, office, mimeograph machine and secretarial services as the

 headquarters for the Chapter (all free) until they established their own facility (this arrangement

 continued for a number of years). Mac supplied us with a list of the “at large” members of SCI in our

geographic area, a grand total of 16! The first official meeting was planned to be held at our 12th

 Avenue facility. We made temporary assignments of officers and directors with Charles Day, President

 and Tony Sulak, Secretary/Treasurer. The notice was sent to our Northwest Mailing List and the 16

 person list from Tucson. The meeting was well attended and we became the 19th Chapter of SCI. The

yearly dues were about $25.00, $5.00 of which went to Tucson. The $5.00 sent to Tucson went $3.00

 to SCI and $2.00 to SCICF (SCI Conservation Fund).

Our Membership grew rather slowly, as we didn’t have a high percentage of heavy duty hunters. But

 we did have quality, and soon we started our own tax free Sportsmen for Conservation Fund, with

 the idea of putting most of our money into conservation projects in our own region.

In 1989, the Sportsmen Against Hunger Program started (originally by Thompson Temple, exotic game

 guide in Texas who, with an abundance of meat left from hunts decided it should go to the hungry).

 The Northwest Chapter immediately jumped into the Program under the able guidance and

 encouragement of Doug Robinson. Our Chapter set a model for the Program for the other Chapters.

The Northwest Chapter has done very well over the years, growing steadily with a current Membership

 of 133 hunters, most of which are actively involved in major hunting. Included are a number of

 professional outfitters, artists and taxidermists. Considering the Eastern Washington Members split off

in 1980 to form the Inland Empire Chapter, Oregon a couple of years back, as well as B.C. and Alaska

 forming Chapters. There are now 120 Chapters worldwide with 22,000 Members in 16 countries

 including “Field Members”, a force to be recognized internationally in Wildlife Conservation and in the

 protecting of Hunters Rights.

EDITORS NOTE: Chris Klineburger was a Charter Member of the initial Club, Safari Club of Los

 Angeles, prior to it becoming Safari Club International. His Company had the first and only

 commercial booth at that historical Convention in Las Vegas in 1973 and has been a great supporter

 thru the years. His Company also assisted in organizing the first Hunters Conventions, Game Coin in

 1966 in San Antonio and Mzuri Safari Foundation in 1967 at Lake Tahoe, the latter having the first

auction to raise funds for conservation.