DONOR SPOTLIGHT — STEVE JACKSON
Let’s have a brief discussion about your background with the outdoors and relationship with hunting. What type of activities do you enjoy in your personal time in the great outdoors? It could be hunting or something else you’re passionate about.
I’ve been hunting and shooting since the age of six. My father introduced me to hunting at my first dove hunt. I also get a great deal of pleasure from working my two hunting dogs, a master hunter lab and a young german drahthaar.
Who introduced you to hunting or was it a path of self- discovery?
As before I was introduced to hunting by my father who was a small game hunting enthusiast.
Who do you like to hunt with? Who have you introduced to/mentored in hunting?
Over the years I’ve introduced several people to both hunting and shooting. By far my favorite hunting partner is my daughter Sarah who has hunted a number of Countries with me, shooting both large and small game. She is heavily involved with SCI, especially Sables where she serves on a national committee, as well as being a national director.
Why do you hunt?
Hunting is something that comes very naturally. It is part of our human nature, and it has been ingrained in me from a very early age. This is not mentioning that I love eating wild game. Prepared properly, nothing is better.
One of my favorite things about being in camp is the sharing of stories around the campfire. What is your go-to story to tell?
One of my favorite hunts was a Cape Buffalo hunt in Zimbabwe with the late Owain Lewis. Upon taking the buffalo with one shoot from a 458 lot, we were charged by an elephant that was behind us unknown to anyone in the hunting party. It was a tense few minutes, but the elephant stopped and made an exit at about ten yards away from us.
What do you do with the venison from the hunt?
We eat all our game meat and what we can’t bring back we donate to locals. Nothing goes to waste. One of my favorite things to do with the meat is to prepare meals for friends that are non-hunters. All are shocked at the quality and taste of the meat.
When I say the term hunter/conservationist, what comes to mind?
The hunter/conservationist in my mind puts back more than he takes. That can be in money, time or both. He helps wildlife both game and non-game flourish in this time of disappearing habitat.
How did you get involved with SCI? More importantly, what keeps you involved with SCI?
Many years ago, I realized that I needed to support an organization that not only is conservation driven but also fights for my right to hunt. This search brought me to SCI. After being a life member for several years and attending a number of National Conventions, I really started understanding SCI. Several years ago, on the way home from a hunting trip to Africa, Sarah and I decided that there needed to be a local chapter of SCI in Nashville. When we returned, with the help of Bill and Vickie Swan, as well as ten other like-minded individuals, along with Randall Bush, we formed Music City Chapter of SCI for which I was honored to be the first Chapter President. The local chapters as well as the SCI Foundation keep my interest keen in the organization.
What do you see as SCI’s primary role in the community at large?
SCI from the local standpoint, gives the community a very positive view of hunting. Most chapters are heavily involved in programs such as Feeding the Hungry, special hunts for our wounded veterans, as well as providing an outlet for our school teachers to learn about the outdoors and bring it back to the next generation of hunters in their classrooms.
It seems like every member has a different experience when it comes to our national convention. I’m interested to hear about yours’ Have you ever attended convention? What was your impression?
There is nothing like attending your first national convention. I remember vividly standing in the middle of the convention floor turning in circles in awe of how many people are involved in the hunting industry. It was and still is a mind-blowing event that I try to never miss.
Have you ever attended a chapter event? What was your impression?
I have attended a number of different chapter events especially in the southeast. Each chapter is different making it a new experience each time. Some organizations have a template for their events but not SCI.
What do you envision is the role of the Music City Chapter in the hunting community?
MCSCI I hope will always play a large part in the development of resources for wildlife, especially on the local level. The local chapters without a doubt are a great resource for new hunters to learn and mentor in what truly is a lifestyle.
When I bring up the idea of hunters giving back, what comes to mind?
Hunters giving back is a phrase that conjures up many thoughts. First, time is probably the most valuable thing a hunter can donate. There is more to be done than any state or local organization can do on their own. Of course, there is giving money. There are several ways this can be accomplished, and the foundation has a great staff to help get you started. It is simple and you can give on a small monthly program that you won’t notice. Remember, this is our passion and if we are not the stewards of it, hunting will not exist for us and certainly not future generations.
What do you see as the SCI Foundation’s role in the overall hunting community?
I believe that SCI Foundation’s role may be the most important of all going forward. The Foundation, because of its focus on conservation, can help bring about money through contributions and grants even from non-hunting organizations and businesses.
Now let’s get to the most important question, you have stepped-up in a major way to support the SCI Foundation as a member of Society of the Lion & Shield, why did you do it?
Yes, I am a member of the Lion and Shield. This is a great way to begin creating a legacy for what we are so passionate about.