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The Dr. Bob Speegle Outstanding Hunting Achievement Award (OHAA) Committee has selected Milton Schultz, Jr. as the 2023 Award Recipient. Mr. Schultz will be presented the prestigious award at the DSC Convention and Sporting Expo during the Saturday evening banquet on January 7, 2023.
There are several criteria acceptable for this award, such as collection of the North American 29, the DSC African 32, Wild Goats of the World, and Wild Oxen and Buffalo of the World.
Mr. Schultz, Jr., this year’s recipient, is a two-way qualifier with the North American 29 and the DSC African 32. The North American 29 took 63 years to complete, and the DSC African 32 was accomplished in 13 years. Mr. Schultz, Jr. has been a Life Member of DSC since 1997.
“Milton has dedicated countless hours in the field and as a part of the conservation community to qualify for this award,” said Rick Warren OHAA Chair, “We look forward to celebrating him and his accomplishments this year.”
Mr. Schultz, Jr., took his first deer, a doe, with his grandfather’s World War II open sights Carbine, at the age of seven. This began a 63-year quest for the North American 29. Mr. Schultz, Jr. has hunted across the U.S., Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Arctic Circle and Mexico.
He is a Life Member of several conservation-minded organizations including DSC, Boone & Crockett Club, Texas Bighorn Society, Wild Sheep Foundation (Summit Life Member), NRA, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Texas Trophy Hunters (Platinum Life Member #7).
Mr. Schultz, Jr., has contributed to the conservation of many species through both his time and his money. He is also a former recipient of DSC’s Herbert W. Klein Memorial (1995) and the Africa Big Game Award – Big Five (2019).
Mr. Schultz, Jr., has been a Registered Pharmacist for 51 years and is currently the Director of Pharmacy at Glen Rose Medical Center, and the Owner and President of Pecan Drug in Granbury, Texas.
The DSC Bull Elephant Award will be presented to U.S. Rep Bruce Westerman at the 2023 DSC Annual Convention. The Bull Elephant Award is given to legislators at both the national or state levels who have continually supported legislation and efforts that coincide with DSC’s mission.
U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman is a Hot Springs native currently serving his fourth term as representative from the Fourth District of Arkansas, having first been elected in 2014. Westerman serves on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and as Ranking Member of the Committee on Natural Resources. Westerman also serves on the Minority Whip Team under the leadership of House Minority Whip Steve Scalise.
Prior to serving in Congress, Westerman was elected to two terms in the Arkansas General Assembly, where he was the state’s first Republican House Majority Leader since Reconstruction following the 2013 GOP takeover of the Arkansas House of Representatives.
“Some of my earliest memories are of hunting and fishing near my home in Arkansas,” Rep. Westerman said,”Sportsmen and women are some of the best conservationists we have, because they know the importance of sustainably utilizing our resources to leave them in even better condition for future generations.”
An engineer and forester by trade, Westerman worked for 22 years at Mid-South Engineering in Hot Springs. He was named Engineer of the Year by the Arkansas Society of Professional Engineers in 2013.
A 1990 graduate of the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Westerman was a four-year walk-on member of the Razorback football team. He was awarded the Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 2005 and the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012. Westerman is also a graduate of Yale University, earning a Master of Forestry degree in 2001.
Westerman lives in Hot Springs with his wife, Sharon, and their four children.
DSC is pleased to announce John Hartford as the 2023 Colin Caruthers Young Hunter Award recipient. This award honors young hunters who prioritize their time to be active both in the field and in their school and community.
The award is named for the late Colin Caruthers, an avid hunter and wildlife enthusiast from an early age. Colin spent countless hours at DSC thanks to his parents, longtime DSC Life Members Tommy and Pat Caruthers who have been integral to the development of outdoor education programs for DSC. Colin thrived on the camaraderie of the hunting lease and enjoyed learning from other hunters. DSC honors this young hunter’s devotion to hunting and conservation through this award.
“As hunters, we are conservationists,” said John Hartford. “And if we want our kids and grandkids to have the same hunting opportunities as us, conservation is vital to the growth and strengthening of wildlife populations and habitats.”
A DSC Life Member and senior at La Jolla High School, Hartford is an accomplished hunter and conservationist, having hunted across North America, South Africa, Namibia, and Mozambique. Hunting since the age of 11, Hartford has spent countless hours in the field with family and friends. Additionally, he successfully completed the Kobus Schoeman Hunting Academy Professional Hunter’s Course, certifying him as a South African Professional Hunter. Hartford served as apprentice to Professional Hunter Jacques Strauss of Kowas Adventure Safaris in Namibia for two months during the summer of 2022.
“The major aspect that stood out to me is John’s work ethic,” recounts Jacques Strauss of Kowas Adventure Safaris. “He shows commitment and confidence, while illustrating an eagerness to learn and strong professionalism. I am humbled by his efforts to take a whole summer and dedicate it to worthwhile conservation efforts in Namibia.”
John has also maintained a rigorous academic discipline while being captain and MVP of the High School baseball team, a leader on his rugby team, volunteering with the Rotary Club, and attending leadership camps as an active contributor to his community.
After high school, John is considering an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point or attending a prominent university in Texas. Raised in a military family, Hartford has high regard for service and would ultimately like to become a guide or professional hunter.
“John is very active in the conservation and hunting communities and helps set the standard for what our youth should behave like in our industry,” said DSC President Michael Vernone.
DSC is proud to announce Richard Childress as the 2023 Peter Hathaway Capstick Hunting Heritage Award winner. Childress, a NASCAR Hall of Famer, is a businessman, philanthropist and conservationist.
The Capstick Award commemorates the values of a great man whose love of hunting and respect for wildlife drove a legacy that ensured the conservation of our wildlife and natural resources. To pay tribute to Peter H. Capstick, award recipients have shown long-term support and commitment to our hunting heritage in various ways such as education, humanitarian causes, hunting involvement and giving.
Richard Childress is certainly a conservationist that honors that memory. As chairman and CEO of Richard Childress Racing, he leads one of the most storied teams in NASCAR, but Childress is as much about giving back to wildlife, hunting and fishing as he is about being a successful businessman.
As a Vice Chair on the Board of Directors at Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation, Childress brings the same level of enthusiasm and dedication he brings to racing to ensuring the rights of hunters and anglers. His work with groups like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the North Carolina Wildlife Habitat Foundation, among many others, emphasizes his dedication to conserving wildlife wild places.
Childress is Chairman and CEO of Richard Childress Racing (RCR), a 17-time championship-winning organization. An independent driver who got his start in 1969, Childress climbed out of the seat in the 1981 season, handing over the driving duties to the late Dale Earnhardt. Together they made NASCAR history, winning 67 races, six Cup Series championships, and along the way established RCR as one of the premier teams in all of motorsports. Childress is also the proprietor of Childress Vineyards in Lexington, N.C., as well as the Yadkin River Angus cattle ranch.
Childress enjoys spending his free time outdoors and has been an avid hunter and angler since he was a child. Having traveled to many parts of the world, he became an activist for the conservation of our natural resources. He proudly supports many conservation organizations, including serving on several boards. During the NASCAR off season, Childress can be found hunting at his home in Montana or fishing at his Hampton Estate in Lexington, North Carolina.
DSC has selected Jim Heffelfinger as the winner of the 2023 Conservation Trailblazer Award. This award celebrates the monumental contribution of wildlife professionals to the field of game and non-game wildlife conservation, including wildlife and habitat management, applied research and policy.
Heffelfinger will be presented the award, plus a $10,000 contribution in his name toward the conservation project he selects, during the Thursday night banquet at the 41st Annual DSC Convention and Expo to be held January 5-8, 2023.
Heffelfinger currently serves as Arizona Game and Fish Department’s wildlife science coordinator and as an adjunct faculty and full research scientist at the University of Arizona. He has also worked for private landowners, the USDI Bureau of Land Management, and multiple universities as a wildlife research assistant and wildlife biologist. Heffelfinger was a regional game specialist for the Arizona Game and Fish Department for more than 20 years.
“Jim is a foremost expert on deer in the United States. He is a consummate professional who diligently stands on the side of science and not emotion or politics. The impact of his expertise, leadership with the scientific community, and ability to take complex scientific information and communicate it to a diversity of audiences make Jim worthy of this prestigious award,” Casey Stemler, big game migration coordinator for the Department of the Interior, says.
For more than 30 years, Heffelfinger has focused primarily on big game and various deer species. He’s the chair of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ (WAFWA) Mule Deer Working Group. He authored his own book “Deer of the Southwest,” led the writing of the North American Mule Deer Conservation Plan, and is lead editor of the upcoming book “Ecology and Management of Black-tailed and Mule Deer in North America.” He’s also been instrumental in helping to coordinate and implement the Department of Interior’s Secretarial Order on big game winter range and migration, both in Arizona and with other WAFWA state agency biologists.
Additionally, Heffelfinger has also written more than 300 magazine articles and 20 book chapters in regional, national and international publications. He has published dozens of scientific papers and has written TV script for outdoor TV shows. He’s participated in approximately 25 podcasts and maintains his own website called www.deernut.com.
“Given his incredible body of work and ability to communicate with broad audiences that has manifested into profound conservation impact, coupled with a long list of existing peer recognition and achievement awards for that work and impact, I simply could not think of a better qualified candidate for the DSC’s Conservation Trailblazer Award,” Edward B. Arnett, CEO of The Wildlife Society, said.
The 2023 DSC Convention and Expo will be held in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and Omni Hotel in Dallas, January 5-8, 2022. Sportsmen and women are invited to be a part of another exciting event to help support conservation, education and hunter advocacy initiatives around the world.
DSC is excited to announce its new Utah State Chapter!
Based out of Salt Lake City, the chapter was organized and founded by lifelong hunter and conservationist, Jared Habel.
“We in Utah are so lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth with such a diverse landscape, so we need to do our part to conserve and protect wildlife and their habitat,” Habel said.
Habel noted the chapter idea was born after speaking with local outfitters who were impressed with DSC’s role in conservation.
“I just asked them what could we do to help?” Habel said.
Chapters play an influential role in delivering DSC’s vision of a society that values wildlife, engages in its conservation and understands and supports the role of well-regulated hunting in the sustainable use of wild resources.
The DSC Utah Chapter plans to focus predominantly on youth education and wildlife conservation throughout the state.
Habel is inspired to support hunting opportunities for youth both in Utah and internationally thanks to his experience learning from his father and passing along traditions to his own son.
“My biggest goal is to open up opportunities for kids in Utah to hunt,” he said. “Kids (have a tough time) hunting in Utah. The draws are tough. My son can’t get drawn on a deer hunt. That’s not how I grew up. I wanted to see what I could do to change that.”
A family trip to Africa last year opened Habel’s eyes to the impact it could have on his children.
“My son came back a completely different person,” he added. “He was more confident. My wife asked me what happened to our son?”
The DSC Utah Chapter is one of a growing number of DSC chapters in the western US, and DSC has plans for further expansion.
“Adding Chapters in Western states has long been a goal of DSC, and this is just a continuation of that goal,” said Corey Mason, DSC and DSC Foundation CEO. “In the near future, you can expect more chapters to pop up across the country.”
Photos by Larry Weishuhn Outdoors
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