The San Diego Chapter of Safari Club International is proud to announce and welcome new chapter President, Charles Hartford
Message From the President:
“The San Diego SCI Chapter is a special organization because of the very special people who are part. I am both honored and delighted to serve our Chapter, and I am immensely thankful to those who have led, encouraged, supported, and served this great Chapter, and those who continue to give generously of their time, talent, and treasure to make our Chapter what it is today.
I am mindful of the legacy and example of those who have served before me, and I am excited to continue to make SCI San Diego first for hunters in our region. Please join me in congratulating Mike Rogers Jr. for his outstanding leadership and his promotion to Executive VP of Member Services for SCI Worldwide.”
“The role SCI plays to protect our freedom to hunt and to promote wildlife conservation is an essential and vital one: animals and their habitats have no other advocate if we are silent. We will review the specific ways our Chapter can help and will be outlining our strategic direction in the months ahead. Advocacy, ethics, education, and youth development will be among the areas we will consider as we refine our vision. Member input and engagement is critical and I welcome your perspective and input.”
Get to Know Me.
We’ve interviewed Charles so the members can get to know him a bit better.
1. What’s your name, where are you from, and current occupation?
I have been called Charles, Charlie, and Chuck in the past…I grew up in Bonsall and Fallbrook in North County. (I was the Student Body President for Fallbrook High School in 1984-1985…Met President Reagan on the East Lawn of the White House, and was interviewed by Larry Himmel that I think is on YouTube!). I am a Financial Advisor and Senior Vice President with Merrill Lynch in La Jolla. I formed by own team, the Hartford Group of Merrill Lynch, nearly 10 years ago after “retiring” from the Army.
2. Why am I a member?
To paraphrase President Theodore Roosevelt, wildlife cannot advocate for themselves or their habitat. We must steward this precious resource if animal populations will have any chance to continue to thrive in the future. I am passionate about hunting conservation, about the value of every aspect of hunting, and of the importance of sharing the lessons, challenges, and joy of hunting to my children and generations to come.
3. How and why did you get into hunting? Was there a specific person who introduced you to hunting?
When Saigon fell in the mid-70s my family sponsored and supported a Vietnamese couple for nearly 2 years. We hunted quite a few rabbits to accompany a LOT of rice during that period. During my time in the Army, close friends invited me to go hunting. My journey as an adult began with turkey and whitetail hunts.
4. What is your favorite animal to hunt?
My favorite animal to hunt…is the NEXT ONE! I enjoy every aspect of the hunt: the return to wild environments, the quiet and solitude (mostly), the scouting, and even occasionally, the successful taking of game. It’s a great joy to me as a dad to hunt with my children and even though we’ve had several hunts without taking game, we have memories that will never fade!
5. What is the most memorable hunt you have ever been on?
Most memorable hunt…the LAST ONE! Each one is very special for different reasons. I can include 2 hunting safaris to Africa, one with my then 13 year old son John, and one with the entire family to Namibia just last year (2019). But local hunts have been just as special and include watching my daughter get her first doe in Wyoming, my wife Rebecca taking her first whitetail in Texas, and a good stalk after a long, trying day for a pronghorn.
6. What piece of hunting gear can you not live without?
Gear: I absolutely love my bino setup. I have a harness from Alaska Guide Creations for my binoculars attached to a light day pack that can hold water and a few essentials. I wear it to walk and take it fishing – it’s great!
7. What is you favorite part about SCI? What would you tell others if asked about SCI?
The BEST part of SCI? For me, no question the quality PEOPLE. It is so refreshing to be with like-minded folks who love animals, love nature, and love hunting. I tell others that SCI is a leading organization to protect the freedom to hunt here at home and worldwide.
8. Any recent hunts you would like to share?
Our son George was one of the recipients of the very generous youth hunt from the Chapter’s dinner and auction this past March. That was a fun day to see him patiently wait for a clear, clean shot and take a Barbado ram. I will be guiding my wife Rebecca on a mule deer hunt in Montana this fall, and I have an elk/deer combo hunt north of Bozeman in mid November