SCI Convention: 2016

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By: Roy K. Keefer
By: Roy K. Keefer

Recently I attended the 44th Safari Club International convention in Las Vegas.  In case you’re not familiar with it, the convention is an outdoorsman’s paradise.  There’s everything for you to see and experience.  I’ll try to give you a flavor of what the convention has to offer.

First, it’s big – taking up nearly 1,000,000 square feet with 1200 exhibitors.  Over 20,000 people attend the 3 ½ day affair.  So if you plan to go to the next one, wear some comfortable shoes.

Hunting – you name it and it’s there.  You can see exhibitors offering hunts ranging from the affordable to the “out of the common person’s reach” trips.   Lots of deer and elk hunts are offered.  You can go on high or low fence hunts.  Some of the high fence bucks/bulls on display were unreal.  How about a 240” whitetail or a 500” elk.  They were there.  The low fence hunts were reasonably priced and several states were represented.

Or you can consider an extended safari or maybe an Ibex hunt in Turkey.  Sheep hunts are out of sight cost wise.  Stone sheep hunts I saw cost $30,000 plus.

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The taxidermy on display is some of the best you will ever see.  Some really talented taxidermists were there to show their skills.

If you’re a bird hunter, you have a choice of US or foreign country hunts for quail, turkey, ducks, etc.  A few of them were reasonably priced.

Fishing – quite a few offerings of bass, trout, deep sea, etc.  The one that’s always caught my eye is a South American peacock bass trip.  A little pricey, but what an experience.

Guns – wow is all I can say.  Custom rifle and shotgun makers had products beyond my means.  I saw some double rifles and shotguns costing in excess of $50,000.  If you have to ask the price you can’t afford one I guess.

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Auction trips – every day afternoon and evening auctions are held.  The first one is for trips retailing at $5,000 or less.  The evening auctions are for the rich and I didn’t attend them.  If you do your homework you can get a bargain on some of the day auctions.  Just a word of caution, read the details of any trip being auctioned for hidden costs – licenses, transportation, shipping, trophy fees, etc.

If I have turned you off to the idea of attending, don’t let that be the case. It’s really worthwhile especially if you have a hunt in mind that you want to book in the future.  You’ll have the opportunity to visit with booking agents and guides first hand and hear what they have to offer.  As I noted there is a wide range of prices charged for the hunts and fishing trips; you just have to find the one that matches your billfold.  Plus you will have the chance to meet one of the celebrities that may be there.  In the past US presidents, movie stars, generals, etc. have attended.

You have to be a member of SCI to attend and there is an admission charge.  Daily and all event tickets are available.  The convention next year will be held February 1-4, 2017, so put it on your schedule.

For more please go to: Roy K. Keefer

For Safari Club International go to: SCI