Washington, DC - - While the U.S. and the rest of the world navigate the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Safari Club International (SCI) is actively monitoring the disruptions the pandemic is wreaking on the global hunting community. Our global membership at SCI includes hunters, outfitters, guides, and operators who will all likely face unforeseen restrictions that will have a negative impact on many businesses in the industry.
In order to help all of our members mitigate the economic impact from the coronavirus, we encourage everyone to check in with relevant authorities regarding rapidly changing travel restrictions, border closings, and business closures. In addition, we encourage all hunters to communicate problems concerning scheduled hunts with all relevant stakeholders as soon as possible so that contingency planning can be done as smoothly as possible.
While the length of this crisis is unknown, SCI is aware of the plight of members in places currently at the peak of their hunting season like New Zealand and Argentina, which are currently under quarantine or quarantining foreigners, respectively. West, Central, and Southern African countries are all currently hosting early hunting seasons while facing an unknown future, with additional seasons scheduled to start over the next several months. Due to the extensive planning many hunting trips require, a number of additional hunting seasons in the summer and fall may also be at risk of low participation if severe travel restrictions continue.
Though times are uncertain for hunters and the hunting industry, it is important that every member and stakeholder in our community come together to support one another. The global spread of the coronavirus will not deter anti-hunters from their attacks on our way of life, so it is important that hunters use this time to maintain our reputation of leadership in social responsibility. In the meantime, SCI will continue to fight in every available avenue for the protection of our right to hunt, so that when this crisis is over we can all freely return to pursuing our passions in the outdoors.
Barbara Crown operates SCI's Hunter Information Service, providing members information on hunting-related activities and travel. With 20 years' experience reporting on hunting news worldwide, she is following the effects of COVID-19 developments on the hunting industry. She can be reached at HunterHotline@safariclub.org, at 800-997-0179 or 520-798-4859.
Additionally, SCI's member-exclusive Hunter Information Service has made its COVID-19 advisories available to the public at safariclub.org.