Just Back from the Safari Club International Convention 2010 Just returned from the annual SCI Convention on Sunday evening having spent five very busy and enjoyable days in Reno. My wife and I have been attending the SCI show for fourteen years and I can honestly say that we wouldn't miss it for any reason. I am always impressed by the quality of the show on every level. Firstly, the SCI staff and volunteers deserve to be commended for how well they put together this amazingly large and complex show, from the convention itself to all of the evening events and entertainment, the informative seminars and auctions to the transportation they provide everyday to the convention center, events and between hotels, just an all around superior organization. Having said that this year the attendance seemed a bit less than years past, with the exception of 2009, however those who did attend seemed to be serious and there for a purpose. Most of the outfitters that I spoke with said that they weren't sure what to expect this year after last year but were suprised at how well they booked up their calenders. Oddly enough, I heard over and over again that there seemed to be more interest from hunters wanting to book for 2011 and beyond. I know that there are some stellar deals out there right now for 2010 and anyone considering doing a hunt this year can expect to still find openings with outfitters who have been, in years past, already booked up this close to the date. I do believe that this economic situation may well cause many of the weaker outfitters to go out of business leaving less capacity for those who wish to hunt Africa. Putting it shortly, booking in 2010 (or early for 2011) may be your best bet for getting a great deal for quite some time because it might not last. The highlight of the show for my wife and I has always been having the opportunity to see old friends from every corner of this world and meeting new ones and this year was no exception. I was very fortunate to be able to meeting many members from AH and quite a few self proclaimed "lurkers" who do not post but come to read the site on a regular if not daliy basis. It was such a pleasure to have been able to meet in person so many new people especially ones that I feel I have already gotten to know through their posts on the site. I have been duly reprimanded by my wife for not organizing some sort of meet up for AH visitors at this years show, so I have put her in charge of putting together an official event for our group next year and hope to see you all there. There are several exciting new areas that I will be posting about in the next week or so as well as the companies that are developing them, including Uganda with Bruce Martin, Angola with Roger Whittall and the opening of the Waterberg Plateau National Park for hunting with Hunter's Namibia Safaris. All great new areas with exceptional wildlife and nature. New areas especially in new countries always give me hope that hunting in Africa is gaining ground not losing it, although it is not always easy to measure. For those of you who have never attended the SCI Convention, I have to say that it is truly an unforgetable experience that every hunter who loves Africa should do at least once, as the show is strongly geared towards Africa. Just the shear size of it, knowing that everyone is there with the same passion for hunting. All of the outfitters from every imagineable part of the earth under one roof. The impressive taxidermy, I have included many pictures of the taxidermy displayed at the convention however the pictures don't do them justice. Manufacturers of everything hunting related, as well as all of the firearms you can imagine; from the most incredible, expensive fine english antiques to the latest cutting edge technology... it's overwhelming but also wonderful. The only thing to complain about is sore feet. Those cement floors are a killer, give me a good pair of hunting boots and an 8 hour trek through the bush any day! What I saw this year that stuck with me was the world record book "pick up" Cape Buffalo, 63" of spectacular "Buffaloness" (see below). I don't know what else to say about it, just impressive! For any of you who are not already members of SCI, I really encourage you to join. There is no organization out there that is doing more to be the voice, doing as much for conservation and protecting the rights of international hunters anywhere in the world.