Pathfinder Auction Hunt

The SCIF Pathfinder Program raises funds to help reengage disabled hunters, including wounded veterans, individuals and youth in their passion for hunting while adapting to life changes and challenges.

Each year, a generous hunt donor comes forward to support SCIF Humanitarian Services Programs including the Pathfinder Program through the sale of the Pathfinder Auction Hunt.  The hunt is auctioned annually at the prestigious Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award Gala on Tuesday evening before the start of SCI’s Annual Hunters Convention.

The Pathfinder Auction Hunt donation not only includes a hunt for the prospective buyer but also for a Pathfinder and their caregiver.  This is a mutually beneficial endeavor enabling donors and auction buyers to come together in support of SCI Foundation mission programs. 

All funds raised from the sale of the Pathfinder Auction Hunt are dedicated to Humanitarian Services Program – a (501c3) mission program under SCI Foundation. 

Learn more about the impact this vital program has had on the lives of prior year Pathfinder Auction Hunt recipients.

2019 Pathfinder Auction Hunt Winner – Paul Spurgin

Venator Cardrona Provides Veteran with the Stag of His Dreams

By Paul Spurgin

I was contacted by Safari Club International Foundation that a Mr. McGinnis had bid on a hunt in New Zealand and won and was looking for a veteran to donate it to.  I consider myself extremely lucky that that veteran was I. Thank you Mr. McGinnis.  You have no idea of the fantastic hunt and lodge that I was honored to be a part of for this.  Without question more than a hunt of a life time.

I learned from others who have visited New Zealand to book our flight out of Los Angeles, California. That shortened the flight time to Auckland to 13 hours or less.  We enjoyed an overnight stay in Queenstown and were picked up the next day by Venator-Cardrona Safaris located in Wanaka N.Z. The scenic view from Queenstown to Cardrona Safaris lodge was breathtaking, which is 100% of an understatement.  Upon arrival we were escorted to our rooms that were more than luxurious and the staff was incredibly gracious and ever caring about the guest.

The first day of the hunt I was honored to be guided by owner and outfitter Mr. Duncan Fraser. Although I did not have an opportunity to have a shot at a stag, I was amazed again by the scenery that surrounded the hunting area.  It was like I was in a different world.  I literally could have sit down all day in the same spot, gazing over the high ridges and enjoying the beauty of New Zealand.

The second day again I was honored to have a guide by the name of Josh, a Canadian young man that was well attuned to the Red Stag hunts and a great sense of humor.  I could not have been with a better person.  At 2:00pm normally the time to head back we had a maybe 10 second conversation and decided to stay in the bush till we found a Stag.  Not surprisingly at 4:00pm we spotted 4 red stag deer. To get within shooting distance, Josh and I had to close the distance with a vigorous stalk.  Unfortunately, when I got into position, all 4 stags were staring at us.  As fate would have it, the biggest one turned broadside, and my aim was true.  I was completely in awe at the magnificence of the stag I took.

I would be remiss without telling everyone about the accommodations at Cardrona’s lodge. In my world travels, I have dined at some really great restaurants that by no means can hold a candle to the dinners we enjoyed every night and the breakfasts every morning.  The staff, from housekeeping to Tanya, who can book you any excursion you would like to try.  My thanks to Mr. McGinnis, Safari Club International Foundation – Pathfinder Committee, SCI Lehigh valley Chapter, and last but no were close least Mr. Duncan Fraser and his great staff. My experience hunting New Zealand with Venator Cardrona Safaris was beyond-the-hunt-of-a-lifetime.

Past Recipients

2018 Pathfinder Auction Hunt Winner – Chip Madren and Robin Clark

Watch this amazing video of Chip and Robin’s Pathfinder Hunt generously provided by Venator Cardrona Safaris

Cardrona Safaris’ New Zealand Pathfinder Hunt:  A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience!

By Robin Clark, Pathfinder

Each year the SCI Foundation (SCIF) honors a few special recipients who have faced challenges in life causing them to find new ways to live.  These special recipients are known as “Pathfinders,” and I was one of the lucky ones chosen to go on this hunt.  To overcome these life changing obstacles, Pathfinders like myself turn to outdoor activities to re-engage our lives.  We also dedicate time to help others in our communities and are hunting advocates for other disabled hunters. Recognizing this, SCIF provides a Friday night auction hunt each convention that allows for a buyer, and in this case, two Pathfinders to go on a world class hunt.   The Pathfinder hunt donated at the 2017 Convention was a safari to New Zealand donated by Owner and Outfitter, Duncan Fraser of Cardrona Safaris.  This unique opportunity was a once-in-a-lifetime hunt for red stag and other trophies.

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Since 2000, SCI Foundation has provided more than $80 million to promote science-based conservation through wildlife research, capacity building in governments, youth and teacher education, and humanitarian programs that show the importance of the hunting community in society around the world. Growth of SCI Foundation has continued to gain momentum through charitable donations from SCI members and direct grants from local chapters and the SCI organization. Throughout the world, SCI’s approximately 50,000 members and 190 chapters contribute time, talent, and financial support to local, national, and international projects.


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