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Las Vegas, NV (Feb 8) – Kevin Anderson, SCI President, and Brian Krolicki, Nevada Lt. Governor, officially opened the 40th annual Safari Club International (SCI) Hunter’ Convention in a ribbon cutting ceremony at Mandalay Bay Convention Center February 1st, 2012. SCI, First For Hunters® is the only pro-hunting organization located in Washington, DC with a staff dedicated to hunters’ rights.
Seminars and workshops were held each day during the convention to discuss wildlife legislation and compliance with the Endangered Species Act. SCI’s legal counsel work to stop anti-hunting legislation. The attendance and exhibitor booths exceeded expectation and there was something for everyone; handguns, knives, art, safaris, furs, auctions and a Patrons’ lounge for those bidding a minimum amount each year at the live and silent auctions.
Freedom Arms® founder, Wayne Baker, was present at SCI demonstrating the quality of the handguns his company manufactures. Freedom Arms® is the manufacturer of the World’s Finest Handguns. In 1984, Wyoming Governor Edgar J. Herschler wanted to give a gift to King Hussein of Jordan in appreciation for the large quantities of grain purchased from Wyoming. He chose to give him a set of Freedom Arms guns, all custom engraved with the king’s crown inlayed in gold in the grip of each gun.
Mr. Baker’s biography, Above the Clouds, The story of an American Entrepreneur, was available for purchase at the show. Mr. Baker is a World War II hero, receiving The Distinguished Flying Cross in 1944. A charming man to visit with, “My life has been about freedom, finding it, enjoying it, making use of it, challenging those who would take it away from me, and doing what I could to protect and defend it”, Wayne Baker.
Several fur exhibitors offered special deals to attendees. Great Rocky Mountain Fur displayed Boot Covers, High Fashion Jackets, Luxurious Scarves, and Elegant Capes and wraps. Custom handmade knifes by Carlton R. Evans were exhibited. His knifes are individually handcrafted, signed and numbered with a Certificate of Authenticity. They are equipped with a handmade leather sheath and every knife has its own unique set of handles. Material is shaped and sanded to a handcrafted fit. Drew Stevens, Lightning Access Décor, exhibited a one of a kind item for any home. “The Drop”, hidden in plain sight yet with instantaneous access to your valuables, this product is like nothing ever created. Go to www.lightningaccessdecor.com for a video demo.
Safaris were the largest exhibitors and Australian Big Game Safaris owner, Simon Kyle-Little, had attendees lining up for information. He has been doing these safaris for over twenty years and he promises you will have a good time and a great hunt. Big Buffalo, Great Wilderness Concessions, a whole family experience, and spectacular fishing from the comfort of the Walker River base camp.
Other companies offering hunts; Itcha Mountain Outfitters, Quesnel, British Columbia, Tanzania Adventures, Inc., Professional Hunter, Russell Tarr, R & R’s Alaska Peninsula Guide Service, Yukon hunting, Huntinamibia and many others were signing members to hunts. The SCI convention is the very best place for members to see all these exhibitors have to offer.
Live auctions were held during the day and evening. Over $8,000,000 was donated this year with many items sold at the silent auctions. SCI’s 2012 Conservation Artist of the Year, Tom Mansanarez, donated an original oil on canvas titled “First Shot a Miss”, with a Donor’s Valuation of $30,000.
Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter, sponsored the Patron’s lounge, the best-kept secret at the show. The Patrons’ lounge is SCI’s way of demonstrating its appreciation to the members who spend at least $10,000 each year bidding in the live and silent auctions.
The items auctioned are donations to help support the SCI organization. You and a guest have access to the lounge during the convention where you can relax with members, have breakfast, lunch, and drinks. You are also invited to the exclusive Patrons’ Reception prior to the evening auction with a special meet and greet with the donors.
SCI’s next annual convention will be held at the Peppermill Casino and Resort, Reno, NV January 23-26th. Membership is easy and inexpensive. Ask a current member to sponsor you and join everyone next year in Reno.
Brenda Hyatt – WorldNewsVine
Photography by Donald Scelzo – WorldNewsVine