World-Class Taxidermy and Art Take Center Stage at SCI Show

posted on February 6, 2020

If you are an adventure seeker and love the deep culture of hunting, wildlife habitat and hunters’ rights, the 48th annual Safari Club International (SCI) Convention at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, Feb. 5-9, is the place for you. SCI covers a wide range of initiatives as a voice for hunters’ rights in the United States and around the world. 

When one walks the convention floor of the SCI “hunters’ market,” it leads to a melting pot of adventure, personalities, culture and art.  The 452,000 sq.-foot show floor features a litany of mounted animals depicting scenes from the wild and incredible bronze artwork to decorate your home, along with destinations for adventure from across the globe.  One of the greatest draws of the convention is taxidermy and art. One cannot help but stand in the aisles and feel awe-inspired by the craftsmanship of highly-gifted individuals. It would be a travesty not to dedicate an article sharing the incredible views of the show. 

Getting your harvested game animals back from overseas could be its own article. But Shawn Galea from Advanced Taxidermy told me it is important that hunters have their plan of action in place before the hunt, especially when traveling overseas. “We tell all of our clients to check in with us before they travel so we can give them tips for field care for different animals and to ensure any needed paperwork for the return trip is ready,” he explained. “We encourage our clients to be aware of trophy care best practices and to hold their outfitters accountable during the skinning process.”

The artwork available on the floor is at a premium. Sculptures range in size from life-sized and larger to table pieces depicting scenes from the wild. If you are building your ultimate game room or decorating your ranch, the fine craftsmanship on display at the SCI Convention is where you want to check first before going anywhere else. Master sculptor Fred Boyer told me these pieces are a labor of detail and process. “This piece depicting the pack string and wrangler took me 13 months to complete,” he said. “The nice thing is, once we make the mold we can reuse it.”

The SCI Convention is a reflection and celebration of everything we cherish as hunters. Austen Reid, SCI’s social media manager, reflected on the opening of the show and said, “This is more than just hunting exotic species around the world; it’s standing up for all of us who love the wild.”

The four-day SCI event, which expects to draw over 15,000 people from six continents to book outdoor adventures and contribute to wildlife conservation around the world, kicked off Tuesday night with the Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Gala. Bryan and Denise Welker, who are also supporters of the NRA, Dallas Safari Club and several other hunter-backed groups, were awarded the 2020 Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award for their work, leadership and charity within SCI and around the world. 

For more information on the SCI Convention and its hours of operation, please visit


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