Safari Club International's 43rd Annual Hunters' Convention doesn't even start until tomorrow, but the joint is already jumping. With 1,100 exhibitors from six continents and 33 countries setting up 2,197 booths at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino as I type this, the event is once again gearing up to be "the ultimate hunter's marketplace." My husband, Phil, and I just got our media badges and look forward to walking the aisles here in Las Vegas, Feb. 4-7, with 25,000 of our closest hunting buddies!
The SCI Convention directory highlights 559 guides and outfitters, 32 gear manufacturers, 29 booking agents and 55 world renowned wildlife artists alone in addition to countless firearm, archery, ammunition and optics manufacturers and even makers of wildlife-themed home furnishings and jewelry. And did I mention the 100-plus taxidermy booths? I just got a sneak peek at some of the world-class animal mounts being rolled into the exhibit hall—everything from monster whitetails and Western big game to African plains game, sheep species from around the world and, last but not least, an elephant. Have you ever considered what's involved in transporting a life-sized African elephant mount? As you might guess, it takes many sets of hands!
And by the way, the 2015 SCI Convention is a really big show—literally—considering the convention floor spans 572,000 square feet!