USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- This past week the SCI convention was held in Reno, which on a side note will move its venue back to Vegas in 2021. It is a fun event to hit up and it is a lot more relaxed and fun to attend than the SHOT. Or maybe the SHOT is more stressful since I’m running from before daylight until way after dark to hit many breakfasts (thank you AmmoLand News), the show and then many times 3-4 dinners/happy hour meetings after the show days.
In fact, a couple of years ago my wonderful wife Katy told me that SHOT is no fun, you work me too hard so she has stayed at home for the last couple of years but she thoroughly enjoys the SCI Conv.
As stated above, for some reason SCI is more laid back and enjoyable. In the last few years I’ve had four seminars which doesn’t sound like much but by the time you get there early and set-up, conduct the seminar and then answer questions and pack you’ve spent a good 10 hours or, a day and a half of the show conducting seminars. Even though I was there for three days, next year I probably need to go a day earlier so I’m able to hit everything that I’m wanting to see.
This year I attended more Media luncheons which are always informative and interesting. They had some good speakers this year as always. There are a lot of gear booths set up but of course not near as many as at SHOT. There are a lot of the big manufacturers such as Kimber (I’d like to use their Caprivi .375 on an African hunt this year and their Classic Select Grade 30-06 on the 2020 Minnesota Governor’s Deer Opener), Hornady, Swift, etc. but something I like is that there are also a lot of smaller companies that are trying to get established in the outdoor world that you likely have never heard of.
The small guys are fun to meet and see what is new and what creative products they’ve come up with. At SCI but you’ll meet up and coming companies like SneakyHunter BootLamps (they have some cool Hunting and Hiking BootLamps).
You’ll also see a lot of elite custom rifle/shotgun craftsmen. It’s not very often that you get to hold a $142,000 shotgun is it? At least at my house, you don’t. So, it’s fun to look at them and their elaborate engraving.
Another thing that Katy loves looking at and taking pictures of are the mounts. These guys aren’t just taxidermist, they’re artists. The mounts they make are unbelievable. And there was one display in which they had numerous animals in a scene that was breathtaking.
Another cool one this year was a huge walleye and perch laying on the ice (The taxidermist had molded plastic to look like ice) with a hole cut in it. It looked like a typical ice fishing scene.
But the main attraction is the guides. If you’re looking to book a hunt or fishing trip you’ve got to hit the Safari Club International (SCI) Convention.
There are world-class guides from all over the world there. I got to visit with Chummy & Lorane from Plummer’s Lodges that my daughter and I fished with last summer. Granted, some of the hunts cost so much that I can only dream of going on one but it’s fun to daydream isn’t it?
There are quite a few Argentina dove/pigeon hunts. An outfit named TGB Outfitters caught my eye. Another cool outfit was named Crocodile Bay which is out of Costa Rica. They offer fishing trips and jungle tours. That would be a fun family trip, wouldn’t it? Gajogo Safarilands looked like a cool outfit. And then, of course, you want to go to Alaska every year to fill your freezer, don’t you? An outfit named Salmon Falls looks like a family-friendly outfit which should be a fun trip.
Then, of course, they hold numerous seminars on a wide range of topics. There are seminars on how to hunt numerous species of game, Hunting Small Game with Airguns, Glassing for Big Game, Knife Sharpening/Choosing the Proper Knives, how to get your trophies back home, etc. etc. There are at least 10 seminars that I’d love to be able to sit through if I had time. As stated above, I probably need to go a day earlier next year so I have more time!
If you’ve never attended an Safari Club International (SCI) Convention, you ought to check one out.
About Tom Claycomb
Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoor writer with outdoor columns in the magazine Hunt Alaska, Bass Pro Shops, Bowhunter.net and freelances for numerous magazines and newspapers. “To properly skin your animal, you will need a sharp knife. I have an e-article on Amazon Kindle titled Knife Sharpening #ad for $.99 if you’re having trouble.”