Glenwood’s Dr. Yajko receives big honor
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Safari Club International has named Glenwood Springs surgeon Dr. R. Douglas Yajko the recipient of its ultra-select lifetime achievement honor; the SCI International Hunting Award.
He was presented with the award in front of an audience of more than 3,000 on Jan. 26 at SCI’s International Hunters Convention in Reno, Nev.
Safari Club International aims to protect the rights of hunters while promoting and instigating wildlife conservation initiatives worldwide. The SCI International Hunting Award was established to honor the great hunters of the world. Selection is based solely on specific and well-defined hunting achievements, numbers and quality of trophies entered into the SCI Record Book, number of countries hunted, total number of hunts taken and level of entries in the SCI World Hunting Awards.
“I am very grateful to the many outfitters who got me started on this elite path and I made a point at the convention to recognize each,” Yajko said.
In his 52 years of hunting, Yajko has collected 244 big game species. He’s been on more than 130 hunts in 29 countries. He has 30 animals in the SCI record book in the top 10 and 28 animals in the top 20. He has 14 species of sheep and 20 species of wild goat. Yajko has 26 of 27 North American species. He has successfully hunted the Big Five and Spiral-Horned Nine on the Dark Continent. SCI has bestowed the World Conservation Hunting Award for completing 14 Grand Slams and 23 Inner Circles at the Diamond level. The OVIS Grand Slam Club designation was awarded Yajko with the Triple Slam, Grand Slam, Super Slam of Sheep and a Capra Slam.
Yajko has served eight years as chairman of SCI’s Trophy Record Committee. He was responsible for the first Virtual Record Book introduced at the SCI 2007 Convention. He served as SCI’s 17th President from 1993-1994. Yajko was the recipient of SCI’s Hunting Hall of Fame Award in 2000, for exceeding a half century of dedication to hunting and conservation efforts. He founded the Upper Colorado River Chapter of SCI and was chairman for eight years.
Yajko has raised funds for the Colorado Division of wildlife for sheep and moose transplantation, anti-poaching enforcement and emergency winter feeding programs. He has served as Chairman of Ducks Unlimited in Colorado. The Colorado Division of Wildlife appointed Yajko to the committee to select the art for Colorado’s first duck stamp.
Yajko is a published hunting novelist. Besides his “Walk with the Eagles: Hunting North American Big Game,” he has written more than 90 articles on hunting.
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Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon closed around 9 p.m. Thursday for a flash flood warning.