It is with mixed feelings of gladness and relief as well as sadness that the end of the hunting show season is upon us with the conclusion of the SCI show last week in Vegas. I can say that every year for the past 18 years I look forward to and enjoy the SCI show most of all. From the first year that I attended in 1997 until present the show never fails to get better and better. Perhaps it is the relationships and fond memories that I have forged at previous shows or that I can catch up with friends I have made on the dark continent or the chance to transform acquaintances I have made on AH into friendships in the future, but I believe that is only a part of why I enjoy SCI so much. The SCI has been doing it better than any other show for as long as I have been going. This year was no exception, I really felt like there was a good turn out. The floor was not as packed as years past in Reno (which is a good thing) however the convention center floor is so much bigger in Vegas allowing for more booths and wider aisles that it made it much more pleasurable to take it all in, the amount of walking on the other hand was also more than Reno. Put me on a stalk, I'll walk all day without a care, but put me in a convention center...not the same thing at all. Next year I may rent a Rascal!!! In the taxidermy department they never fail to impress! This year a massive full mount elephant bull at the entrance ushered visitors into the hall and was a fitting emblem of what was to come. Of course the variety and quality of the mounts was nothing less than spectacular from big cats to bears that looked more like monsters, and giant crocs to the smallest forest antelopes, plus there were birds, fish and every conceivable animal that lives on the land in between?asically it was all there! I have noticed over the years that they have made a concerted effort to increase the percentage of outfitters (50 percent of the booths) in relation to some of the other kinds of exhibitors. I for one am glad that they have tightened up their guidelines on allowing some of the more extraneous exhibitors that had nothing to do with hunting. Of course some may disagree (my wife like to shop, but there is still plenty for her to do) but I think the balance is in line now. Something that they started doing that I think is super smart, albeit a bit overdue, is that they have started offering some of their auctions online. The hunting community is not what I would call on the leading edge of technology, but bravo to person who pushed that idea, it's a change that will benefit everyone who wishes to take advantage of some of their diverse offers who can't or don't attend the show. SCI will undoubtedly fetch higher bids earning them more to fund the many important projects, protection of hunters rights and wildlife conservation that they support. The evening events had great headliners this year, Jeff Foxworthy being a sell out long before the show. It seems like they have been trying to make the dinner events more full of what people want and enjoy while cutting back some of the things that members were less interested in. It's not always easy to steer a big ship and to remain adaptable but considering the size of the organization they are heading in the right direction. As a final note, if you are not a member of SCI, I encourage you to join. To find out more, go to Safari Club International.