Donald Trump Jr's visit to the SCI Convention raised hundreds of thousands for hunter education programs.
Safari Club International's 2020 Convention in Reno was closed out on Saturday night by keynote speaker Donald Trump Jr. The President's son ended up helping raise $340,000, a record for a night's worth of auctioned experiences and items, and it was all in the name of hunter education.
It was already well-known before the convention that a guided, seven-day sitka blacktail deer hunt in Alaska with Trump Jr. and his son would be on the auction block at the event. However, SCI said that Trump Jr. surprised the crowd in attendance by offering a second slot on the trip with the outfitter.
The first slot in the trip sold for $190,000 and the second slot sold for $150,000, both times resulting in an exciting bidding war between attendees. The hunt is slated to take place sometime in November 2020. SCI's website says the party will be headquartered on a yacht for the duration of the hunt.
What a YUGE night at @scishow2020 !! Thank you @donaldjtrumpjr for supporting hunters and SCI! #firstforhunters #firstforwildlife
Trump Jr. was a popular figure and speaker at the event. News outlets reported bidding for the first slot on the hunt started at $10,000. However, by the time all was said and done, the total for both slots on the Alaskan hunt was a hefty $340,000 for the SCI Foundation Sables.
If you've never heard of them, the SCIF Sables organization does hands-on work in educating the public on wildlife and hunting issues. Specifically, they distribute wildlife learning kits to schools and provide several scholarships to universities and the American Wilderness Leadership School. That program has a heavy focus on college-level wildlife management.
They also provide funding for youth programs and grants designed to introduce people both young and old to the outdoors and shooting sports. They also host a network of volunteers to help with these types of events.
SCI says hunter education was a huge focus of the night's speakers. In addition to Trump Jr. commenting on the issue, the convention also saw U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith and several other speakers contribute their thoughts on the importance of hunter recruitment. It's the sort of thing that's on many hunters' minds right now.
While the event was highlighted by notable speakers and auctions for a good cause, SCI also awarded Federal Legislator of the Year to South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan and presented Cabela's Young Hunter Awards to Kenia Link and Zackary Corr during the festivities.
The record-breaking event closed out the 2020 SCI Convention, which returns back to Las Vegas for the next two installments. SCI will be recognizing both the 50th Anniversary of Safari Club International and the 50th Anniversary of the SCI Annual Convention, milestones for the organization doing more for worldwide hunting than any other.