Happy New Year from Reno, Nev.! The second week of the year is particularly exciting for us hunters as Safari Club International gets set to open its 47th Annual SCI Hunters’ Convention here at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, Jan. 9-12, marking the first major hunting show of 2019. Of course, if you’ve attended an SCI show, then you know “major” is an understatement considering the show spans 452,000 square feet of exhibit space, houses nearly 1,000 booths and will draw a good 20,000 attendees during its four-day run.
The SCI show is known as the ultimate sportsmen’s market for good reason. This is where we gather in search for adventure in the off-season—perusing the aisles to chat with exhibitors, see the latest new hunting guns and gear, attend hunting seminars and more. It also is where many of us come to do a little business—maybe to buy that new piece of wildlife art or a fun collectible for the home or to book a hunt. Whether you want to chase whitetail deer in the Midwest, red stag in New Zealand, upland birds in Argentina or Cape buffalo in Africa, if you can dream it, you can find it—and book it—here. That’s the beauty of attending an event showcasing outfitters from six continents.
As in years past, topping the SCI activities list is an array of free hunting seminars conducted by some of the best known names in the hunting world. Though it’s admittedly tough to pull yourself away from the show floor, be sure to work in some time to build your skills.
New to the SCI show scene? The fun doesn’t end when the exhibit hall closes. Each evening SCI members and guests gather to celebrate the all-American hunting lifestyle at banquets and, last time I checked, 10 live and 11 silent auctions. Bid on custom hunting rifles, once-in-a-lifetime hunting and fishing trips, wildlife art, jewelry and outdoor-themed home interior items. Proceeds help to preserve our hunting heritage and foster wildlife conservation worldwide. The show is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. For more information, visit showsci.org.
For more good news, as of 2018, SCI gives attendees free tickets for floor-credit drawings. Winners can use the credits on the show floor the same as cash. Your name can’t be drawn if you don’t attend and fill out a ticket. See you there!