The Column, No. 77:
Safari Club Internationalís 40th Annual Convention
Hunters from around the world just concluded the largest ever SCI convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Mandalay Bay resort/casino. The convention hosted 23,267 attendees that converged on Las Vegas to browse 2,200 vendor booths covering over 1 million square feet. Attending this yearís convention was an adventure in itself, as there were so many places to go and things to see.
It was impossible to visit every booth and chat with all the exhibitors. There were outfitters from every continent, except Antarctica, and venders selling everything from exotic native art to high-end jewelry. There really was something for everyone and for every pocketbook at this yearís convention. We would encourage every reader who hunts for anything from rabbits to elephants to attend the next convention in Reno in 2013. The Safari Club International is truly an organization for hunters and is dedicated to the fight for hunterís freedoms, as well as efforts to expand conservation around the world to insure that our renewable resources are there for years to come. SCI is truly an organization for ALL hunters, not just the rich. Mary is a life member, while I am an annual member (at the young age of 73, Iíd have to live to over 100 to break even), and we are far from rich.
The few minor complaints that we heard were not about the convention, but about it being in Las Vegas. Reno is a much friendlier town for visitors and not nearly as expensive. As an example, parking was at a premium at Mandalay Bay and for those of us who drove to the convention, it was a battle to find a spot each morning. We stayed at the Hacienda Hotel and Casino in Boulder City for $20 a night, compared to the prices in Vegas. Instead of having to pay $25 for a hamburger at the Paris (at the SHOT Show in January), we had the prime rib buffet for $8.95 each night at Hacienda.
The record receipts of $16 million dollars from members and donors attending the convention insure that SCI will be able to pursue our interests in the coming year with renewed vigor, without running out of funds. We would be remiss if we did not mention the corporate sponsors this year, who contributed greatly to the success of the convention. These include: Bob Allen, Boyt Harness, Browning, Cabelas, Fauna & Flora Customhouse Brokers, Global Rescue, Hornady, Midway USA, Outdoor Channel, Trijicon, Stealthcam, Swarovski, Optik, Walkerís Game Ear, Yamaha and Zeiss. In the coming year, when you are planning to make purchases, make sure you give these companies a shot, as they put a lot of money ďinto the potĒ without asking anything more than to be able to buy booth space at the SCI convention.
Other benefits of the convention included:
We hope to see all of you at Reno next year for the 41st Annual Hunterís Convention; baring ill health or sick animals on the farm, we will be there. Driving from New Mexico in Maryís GMC 1-ton diesel dually is definitely not politically correct. However, we rarely are!
Copyright 2012 by Dr. Jim Clary and/or chuckhawks.com. All rights reserved.