Imagine 17 football fields, including the end zones, packed solid with the finest of anything and everything related to hunting. That is exactly what is happening Feb. 3-6 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. SCI is back in town!

The 44th annual SCI Convention covers more than 1,000,000 square feet of sold-out exhibit and seminar space. During the four-day event, some 20,000 people will walk the aisles, attend presentations from world-famous hunting experts, and participate in an amazing series of auctions. Hunters will be booking up to five years in advance for the most desirable species and dates, and ordering custom firearms that can take at least three years to deliver. Art, rare books, jewelry, and things you didn’t even suppose you needed but suddenly can’t live without are seen at every turn.

Giraffes looking down on the lifts as workers set up for the show.

Giraffes looking down on the lifts as workers set up for the show.

The exhibit hall alone is worth the trip. No where else can one take in such a tremendous display of taxidermy — possibly the single biggest draw — but there is honestly something for everyone and just about any budget on the show floor.

Then there’s the auctions. Of the 1,150 items going under the hammer are one-of-a-kinds and once-in-a-lifetime hunts, firearms, trips, and the best of wildlife art. SCI estimates more than $10 million dollars will be raised from auctions alone, money earmarked for wildlife conservation as well as what is possibly the strongest defense of hunting rights going today. While SCI is approximately 50,000 members strong, the clout it has in Washington, D.C. — and around the globe — is still staggering.

Gerald Fluerty of Wildside Hunting Safaris in New Zealand admires a great stag.

Gerald Fluerty of Wildside Hunting Safaris in New Zealand admires a great stag.

Another interesting aspect are the celebrities: those who simply attend and others who perform. It isn’t uncommon to rub elbows with the heavyweights of the public sector, either. Past Presidents, Congressmen, Supreme Court Justices, and Governors often take in the show. Practically speaking, the show offers a unique opportunity to visit with experts representing hundreds of manufacturers.

From wingshooting to offshore fishing to elephant hunting and everything in between, the SCI Convention is the place to be if you love the outdoors. Think of it as Sporting Classics come to life, and we’ll be bringing you snapshots of some of the best new products and unique opportunities every day. Watch for these dispatches or, better yet, get on a plane and join us! You are sure to have the time of your life.

The world's finest taxidermy is possibly the highlight of the show.

The world’s finest taxidermy is possibly the highlight of the show.

Oak Creek whitetail trophies from 2015.

Oak Creek whitetail trophies from 2015.

 

Jocelyn Russell's latest bronze.

Jocelyn Russell’s latest bronze.

 

Wiping down one of Holland & Holland's finest.

Wiping down one of Holland & Holland’s finest.

 

Another example of the convention's breathtaking taxidermy.

Another example of the convention’s breathtaking taxidermy.

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