As the 43rd Annual SCI Hunters' Convention comes to a close today, once again I'm left thinking how it's a sheer celebration of the hunter's lifestyle. Whether you're tracking down stories about interesting seminars or attendees, booking your next bowhunt, reuniting with hunting buddies, shopping for firearms and gear, or buying your husband or wife a piece of wildlife art, jewelry or a collectible just in time for Valentine's Day at one of the 2,197 booths here, the hunting theme is the name of the game. When I ran into Executive Director of NRA Publications Doug Hamlin on the show floor and told him I'd just left the Wintershoeck Safaris booth and, as a result, would be spending my birthday in Africa this summer, he was on his way to check out a few booths of his own. His parting comment: SCI is all about our hunting lifestyle. That's the thing about like-minded people. One of us tends to be right in step with the other as we come together to support our treasured traditions.
My husband, Phil, and I have to leave this afternoon so we'll miss tonight's Grand Finale banquet and auction featuring key note speaker Glenn Beck, but at least we made it to last night's main event featuring Archie Manning. As Manning discussed his own treasured family traditions, from hunting to college and NFL football—naturally including a few mentions of his well-respected NFL quarterback sons Peyton and Eli—I sat there thinking it was one of the most entertaining speeches I'd ever heard. Judging from the applause he received, I'd say a good time was had by all!