Remembering My First Time.........at the Safari Club International Las Vegas Convention
February 4th-8th I attended my first Safari Club International (SCI) convention at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. My parents had been many times before, but I thought it would be a great way to meet people to help with my new business, ReelCamoGirl. Who knows more about hunting and fishing than those people at the biggest hunting and fishing convention in the world? Overwhelmed doesn't really even begin to describe the feeling of walking into the entire Mandalay Convention Center and seeing the thousands of merchants, outfitters, retailers, etc set up. Thousands of booths. More than anyone could ever really see in a couple of days. The second day there I logged 9 miles just in the convention center.
Over the course of my 4 days there I met people from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Belize, Peru, Spain, Argentina, Bolivia, Alaska, Botswana, Tanzania, New Zealand, Ireland. I met the greatest people and even though it was my Dad, me and 50,000 of our closest friends, I cannot remember a time as safe as I did here with this many people around me. This is a crowd of people who look after one another.
The animals were nothing short of stunning. Black, Brown & Grizzly bear. Moose, Lion, Elephant, Crocodile, Zebra, Giraffe, Antelope, Tahr, Bongo...I could go on and on.
The auctions (thousands of them) went all day and all night. You could travel to hunt anywhere in the world !(where it is legal). The guns, jewelry, art, clothing and furniture was nothing less than spectacular. Everywhere you turned something was more dazzling than what you had just seen.
Just a handful of the people I met were Don and Will Patterson from Manuka Point Lodge, Peter and Stephan Tam from Tam Safaris, Katherine Grand from Prois Hunting Apparel for Women, Deb Ferns from Babes With Bullets, Susan LaPierre and Susan Hayes from the NRA Women's Network, Nick Ohanesian and Pat Cooley from the Chiredzi River Black Rhino Conservancy, Eric and Ted from Dakota Outfitters, Brian Gliba from Project Wounded Ego, Jim Shockey, Kendall Jones, who was awarded the 2015 SCI Young Hunter Award, Craig Boddington, Mike Rodgers and several Safari Club International Diana Award winners.
Everything ran very smoothly. This was a well done and very large convention. This was an EVENT.
Even if you don't hunt, fish or shoot I would encourage you to see this at some point in your life. The people (as a group) were some of the nicest people I have ever met and it is unlikely that you will ever witness something like this anywhere else. I hope to see you next year!
Like any mom of 3 kids would do when in Vegas I managed to find the time to glam it up a bit and enjoy myself!