Safari Club International Convention 2014

Discussion in 'Hunting Conventions, Shows & Events' started by AfricaHunting.com, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    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.
     
  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    It was interesting to see the ebb and flow of energy in the morning walking to the show. People chattering and walking quickly to get in the show and see what was available this year.

    The taxidermy is an integral part of the show. It certainly show cases some of the incredible skill and talent in the industry.
    Creative mounts certainly caught the eye and had the most pictures being taken from attendees.
    You often had to wait in line to get a decent position for a good shot.

    Have to say that is the first life size Elephant mount I have run in to.
    The Elephant a few Leopard, some of the Lions and a Bongo really caught my eye.

    I watched the auction for a few minutes on the Friday. The conservation tags went for some great prices; One went for $75,000.00. I hope the fund get to support a good project somewhere.
    I have to agree that it was good to see the Auction join the twenty first century and go online. It will be interesting to see how this helps going forward.

    It is a great place to meet the industry. I hope it was successful for all the outfitters who attended and manned those booths throughout the show.


    Thankfully, there are holiday package specials for Vegas. I might just have to go again.

    It was certainly a spectacle.
     
  3. jeffb

    jeffb SILVER SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    Well, I really don't know where to start nor how to follow up on this subject. This was my first trip to an SCI show and I must say, it was more than I expected to say the least. I go to the ISE show in Sacramento every year and this show (SCI) is definitely much larger that the ISE show. The ISE show is a lot of fun and they also have a 3D pop-up shoot for bows which I compete in and I thoroughly enjoy.

    I do notice a very different attitude in the guides/outfitters at SCI compared to the ISE show. I met a lot of great people at the SCI show and none of them, no, not one was pushy or trying to talk you into a decision right there. I have noticed that at the ISE show some of the outfitters are simply not interested in talking to you unless you are purchasing a hunt from them, they are not by any means all like that, but, I find it discouraging when it is like that. Quite frankly, I don't see how they can survive with attitudes like that. On the other hand every one I talked to at the SCI show was very polite and friendly and did not mind answering any questions about their operation.

    As far as the taxidermists work goes there was some beautiful work done and almost every display had the taxidermists name who did the work. Makes it hard to pick one as they were all great works of art. the 4 that to me really stood out was the works of Animal Artistry (animalartistry.com), Jonas Brothers (jonastaxidermy.com), Wildlife Gallery (thewildlifegallery.com) and Woodbury Taxidermy (woodburytaxidermy.com). All 4 of these taxidermy studios do outstanding work from what I have seen and every taxidermist I talked to at these booths was very happy to discuss all the aspects of their operation. It was not until I got back to the hotel room after the show on Thursday night that I realized I had taken well over 400 photos of just the taxidermy work. I bet if anyone was watching me they probably thought I looked like a tourist from out of town and had never seen any animals in my life. I guess I was just too impressed.

    The only thing that could have made this better for me was to be able to stay longer and enjoy more. Jerome puts on a great AH get together from what I gather and I sure wish I could have made that but I already had prior engagements back home so I had to leave Friday morning. But, I did learn a lot there as I do here on AH and I am already planning for next years show for the entire time.

    My real highlight was getting to meet Jerome as I am currently in the stages of planning my hunt at his property next year. I have been planning this for a year now and I still have a year and a half to go but I know the wait will be worth it.

    All in all, this show was fantastic, I do not know how it has been, but for my first time I could not imagine it being any better than it was. If anyone out there has never been, you must go and check it out, I am sure that you will not be disappointed.
     

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