OK: Important conservation supporter to host annual banquet

A local conservation organization is hosting a sportsmen-tailored event that offers a chance to pick up new outdoor merchandise while supporting wildlife conservation efforts in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Station Chapter of Safari Club International’s 27th Annual Convention Banquet and Fundraiser is slated for March 3 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. The convention features an auction for a range of North American and international hunting and fishing trips, firearms, wildlife artwork, furs, jewelry and more. By attending, guests can help the Oklahoma Station of SCI support a number of conservation projects throughout the year that are supported by funds raised by the event.

The chapter has used its funds to support several projects, including recent black bear research efforts in northeast Oklahoma. It also helped fund the purchase of the Department’s Operation Game Thief trailer, used to educate people on the importance of wildlife laws and on how to report violations. The chapter also is a supporter of several other projects conducted by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. It has helped fund the purchase of an airboat used by the Wildlife Department on waterfowl surveys and other wetland management tasks, as well as several trailers used in the Department’s Shotgun Training Education Program, which introduces people to shotgun handling and shooting. The Chapter also partners with the Wildlife Department each year to hold an annual youth essay contest that provides youth a chance to share their feelings about Oklahoma’s outdoors and to win great prizes, including a guided pronghorn antelope hunt in New Mexico. Also, the chapter purchased eight elk for introduction into an existing herd in southeast Oklahoma.

Additionally, the Oklahoma Station Chapter also supports the Wildlife Department’s Hunters Against Hunger program, which coordinates the annual distribution of hunter-donated venison to needy, and the Department’s Oklahoma Wildlife Expo.

“Last year, the Oklahoma Station Chapter’s banquet was rated one of SCI’s top five best chapter banquets of all 200 chapters world-wide.” said Mike Mistelske, current member and past president of the Oklahoma Station Chapter. “

Mistelske also said last year’s event was an early sell-out, so guests are urged to reserve their seats.

Tickets are available now for $70, and a limited number of sponsor tables are available as well. To purchase tickets or for further information, contact Judy Rork by e-mail at oscsci@yahoo.com or by phone at (405) 703-3381. Ticket forms also may be printed from the chapter’s website at oklahomastationsci.org and either mailed, faxed or e-mailed according to instructions on the form.

Registration begins at 4:30 p.m., along with the silent auction and various games. The banquet begins at 6:30 p.m. The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is located at 1700 N.E. 63rd St. in Oklahoma City 73111.

SCI membership is not required to participate in the banquet and raffles or to be eligible for door prizes. Bid cards for the auction are available to members at no cost. For questions relating to the banquet and auction, contact Dennis Elliott, current Oklahoma Station Chapter of SCI president, at (918) 298-8299.

For more information on the Oklahoma Station Chapter of Safari Club International, log on to oklahomastationsci.org.

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