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Washington, D.C. – Safari Club International is pleased to announce South Carolina State Representative Mike Pitts as the 2009 State Legislator of the Year.

Representative Pitts has been a leader in the sportsmen’s community since taking office. As founding Chair of the South Carolina Sportsmen’s Caucus, Representative Pitts works hard to introduce non-hunting/fishing legislators to the outdoors, teach kids to hunt & fish, and to protect and preserve our outdoor heritage and traditions.

Representative Pitts was elected by his peers from across the country to serve as the President of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Executive Council. As the Board’s President, he will help craft pro-hunting and fishing model legislation that will be introduced in the 37 states that now have a Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.

“Leading the NASC Executive Board gives Representative Pitts a unique opportunity to truly lead the hunting community in the halls of state legislatures,” said SCI President Merle Shepard. “We have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy working with Representative Pitts into the future on pro-hunting state legislation.”

“I am proud that SCI has recognized such a deserving individual for this prestigious award,” concluded Shepard.

In 2008, Pitts worked with SCI’s Peru Chapter to help open sport hunting in the country. With this effort, Peru reverses 40 years of closing hunting opportunities in Latin America. SCI was the only source of funding for this effort through several years via the International Affairs and Development Committee.

Pitts is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, a member of the North American Hunting Club and North American Conservation Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk, South Carolina Waterfowl Association and the SC Outdoor Press Association.