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TUCSON, ARIZONA – Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) and Mossy Oak are teaming up to help hunters and conservation, including funding of white-tailed deer research at the University of Georgia. Mossy Oak is also the newest SCI Corporate Sponsor, supporting SCI’s mission to protect the freedom to hunt and to promote conservation.

Mossy Oak and the SCI Foundation signed an agreement this week to jointly fund a conservation research project at the world renowned College of Veterinary Medicine’s Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) at the University of Georgia. The project will investigate reasons for expansion of epizootic hemorrhagic disease viruses (EHDV) and bluetongue viruses (BTV), better define the impacts of these viruses on deer populations, and then develop recommendations to control and curtail spread of the diseases if possible.

“We are seeing new BTV and EHDVs affecting deer in the United States and in recent years have experienced some major mortality events in wild deer populations. At present, we do not know why these events are occurring and do not fully understand their potential impacts on deer management,” said SCWDS scientist Dr. David Stallknecht, who has been studying hemorrhagic disease of deer since the 1980s.

SCIF conservation, education and humanitarian services work is funded with proceeds from its annual convention each January in Reno, Nevada, and through generous support of its exhibitors, donors, advertisers, members and corporate sponsors like Mossy Oak. Since 2000, SCIF has provided $47 million in these three strategic arenas to help hunters and wildlife.

Mossy Oak has a history of giving back to leading causes and programs that support hunters and conservation.

“Conservation is very important to Mossy Oak in that it allows us to live the outdoor lifestyle we love and pass down that love to our children,” said Toxey Haas, Founder and CEO of Mossy Oak. “We’re proud to partner with SCIF in order to provide an educational opportunity that will essentially help maintain healthy deer populations.”

Mossy Oak and SCIF will work with the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study to share the research findings with the hunting public and the appropriate wildlife professionals concerned about maintaining healthy white-tailed deer populations throughout North America. Additional coverage of the research may be seen on future episodes of SCI’s Expedition Safariprogram on the Outdoor Channel and Mossy Oak’s Hunting the Country.

The SCI Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization that funds and manages programs in North America and overseas dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian services, including such programs as Sportsmen Against Hunger, Sensory Safari, Disabled Hunter and the American Wilderness Leadership School. To donate or to discover more about SCIF, call 877-877-3265 or visit www.safariclubfoundation.org.

Haas Outdoors Inc. is headquartered in West Point, Miss., was established in 1986 and is home of Mossy Oak (www.mossyoak.com). Mossy Oak specializes in developing and marketing modern camouflage designs for hunters and outdoorsmen. Mossy Oak patterns can be found on a multitude of products worldwide. Haas Outdoors Inc. is the outdoor industry leader in modern camouflage design, international licensing and marketing. Haas Outdoors Inc. markets its services and products under widely recognized brands including: Mossy Oak, BioLogic, Mossy Oak Productions, Native Nurseries and Mossy Oak Properties.