Warren A. Sackman III, president of the Safari Club International Foundation, recently announced that on January 31, 2017, Ron and Jackie Bartels were honored with the prestigious Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award for demonstrating extensive international hunting experience and a lifetime of commitment to wildlife conservation and education though volunteer service and philanthropy.
Ron and Jackie Bartels were married in 1962 and raised six children. Jackie worked for a local bank and retired 18 years later as Branch Manager. Ron worked for Conoco for 15 years and Florida Gas Exploration before starting Eagle Consulting, LLC with his partner in 1981. He sold his portion of the company to his partner and started Eagle Energy Services, LLC, where he is General Manager.
Ron and Jackie started hunting internationally in 1988 after purchasing a hunt in Spain at an SCI event. Since then they have hunted overseas annually, including 19 African safaris, many including family members.
Jackie was the 2007 Diana Award recipient. Ron received the World Hunting Award Ring in 2005. They both received the SCI Hall of Fame Award in 2006.
The Bartels have been volunteers in conservation organizations for over 30 years and are still actively serving on several local and state committees and boards. In 2011, in recognition of their service to Ducks Unlimited and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, the 3,255-acre Point-Aux-Chenes Wildlife Management was dedicated in their honor. In 2012 Ducks Unlimited Inc. and Ducks Unlimited CANADA dedicated the Tidlund Project in Saskatchewan to them.
Over the past 22 years they have put on Sensory Safaris for over 76,000 sight-impaired and sighted children and adults. They are the founding members of the Louisiana Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and were instrumental in getting the Louisiana Constitutional Amendment to include the “Rights to Hunt, Fish & Trap” passed. Their family has grown to include 11 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren, most of whom are hunters and shooting sports participants.
As recognition of the award, Ron and Jackie Bartels received an elegant trophy designed by Beretta and handcrafted in their Italy factory. They will also receive custom gold and sapphire award pins created by master jeweler Madleine Kay.
Finalists for the 2017 Award included Mary Cabela, Ralph and Deb Cunningham, Robert Model, Byron and Sandra Sadler, and Tom Snyder—all of whom were eminently qualified to receive the award. This year’s finalists will automatically be eligible for next year’s award, along with any future nominations.
The Bartels were announced as the award winners at the Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award elegant black-tie gala. The sold-out event was attended by more than 450 guests, including honored guest Dott. Franco Gussalli Beretta. The evening, emceed by J. Alain Smith, writer and host of the Rugged Expeditions television show, consisted of the “Oscar-style” award ceremony, a gourmet dinner, elite live and silent auctions, and an after party featuring entertainment by “The Rat Pack is Back!”