The Column, No. 42:
Another Successful Year for SCIís Reno Convention
By the Guns and Shooting Online Staff
Guns and Shooting Online was well represented at the annual Safari Club International convention, held at the end of January 2009 in Reno, Nevada, by staff members Rocky Hays, Rita Lencioni, Jack Seeling, Mary Clary and Jim Clary. (See Column 43 for the Clarys' take on SCI 2009.) Owner/Managing Editor and SCI Member Chuck Hawks had planned to attend, but missed out on the fun due a last minute cancellation.
A good time was had by all at the planet's biggest and best gathering of sport hunters, guides, outfitters and taxidermists from around the world. Particularly well represented were outfitters from Canada, Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Alaska and Texas. Outdoor and wildlife artists of every stripe were present, along with many members of the outdoor media.
In the evening after the show, members relax and enjoy top entertainment and speakers. The SCI auctions, generating funds that help preserve our hunting heritage and enable conservation efforts, were well attended. These auctions feature fine firearms, safaris and other great hunts, and fine pieces of art.
The SCI annual convention is so large that it is difficult to take in and even harder to describe in a brief column such as this. Fortunately, the press people at SCI sent their synopsis to all accredited media and this is what they had to say:
"Safari Club International (SCI) this week is thanking exhibitors, donors and members for making its 2009 Annual Huntersí Convention successful in the face of a tough economy. The Reno convention raised millions of dollars for SCIís mission of hunter advocacy, conservation, education and humanitarian services in North America and worldwide.
With approximately 20,000 attendees, nearly four miles of aisles and 1,100 vendors and exhibitors, SCI attendees had more hunts, guns, gear, mounts, jewelry and art to see at the 2009 Convention than at any other hunting show around the country. This yearís show also boasted numerous seminars, led by outdoor celebrities such as Craig Boddington, Jim Shockey and Mark Watts on hunting abroad and how individuals can pursue their hunting dreams.
'In 2009, about 90% of the people I waited on were new customers, which speaks very highly for SCI's ability to mobilize the hunting community and entice them into coming to SCIís show, the world's largest gathering of elite hunters, professional hunters and gear companies' said Richard Sanders, President of Tiffin Hill Marketing Communications. This was Sandersí 25th year working at the SCI show with client Russell Moccasin.
One of the biggest highlights of the show was the auction of a deer hunt in Michigan with baseball superstars Kirk Gibson, David Wells and Jake Peavy, which brought in $100,000 to help fund the SCI Foundationís Disabled Hunter program.
Another highlight this year was the SCI Sportsmen Against Hunger community event, held in conjunction with the Reno chapter of The Salvation Army. In a single evening, more than 1,400 people in need were served meals that included high protein wild game meat donated by SCI members committed to helping the less fortunate.
'The 37th Annual Huntersí Convention was a success for SCI because our members, exhibitors and donors place a high priority on their passion for hunting, as reflected in their unwavering commitment in coming to Reno and seeing the best there is in the world of hunting. This commitment translates directly into SCIís strength for 2009 across the spectrum of our advocacy, education, conservation and humanitarian programs,' concluded Merle Shepard, President of SCI.
Avid hunters who are interested in joining SCI and attending the SCIís next convention in Reno, Nevada, January 20-23, 2010, are invited to discover more at www.safariclub.org"
We would merely add that if you are, indeed, an avid hunter, you need to join SCI and attend the 2010 Convention in Reno next January. See you there!
Copyright 2009 by chuckhawks.com. All rights reserved.