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SCI’s Hunters Convention attracts a huge audience
The 48th Annual Safari Club International Hunters’ Convention ended a fabulous 4-day run at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center this past week. This unique venue showcased the finest in firearms, taxidermy and fine art, along with fantastic hunting and fishing destinations from all over the globe. This hunting-based expo is the largest in the world. There were in excess of 1,000 exhibitors, representing 70 countries and well over 15,000 attendees at this great outdoor orientated show.

Western Outdoor News spent 3 full days covering the convention and still ran out of time to spend with many outfitters and guides and some of the greatest far off destinations where dreams become a reality at this venue.


trophyclass
TROPHY CLASS WHITETAIL DEER — Trophy hunting lodges were well represented at SCI Hunters’ Convention in Reno. WON PHOTO BY JIM NIEMIEC


Some of the finest antique firearms ever manufactured were on display and representatives from many rifle, shotgun, pistol, knife and ammunition companies were on hand to show off the newest in products for 2020. This show is open to SCI members, the general public, and from walking countless isles I have to admit this year’s show was well attended.


One of the main reasons that hunters, shooting enthusiasts and big game anglers come to the Hunters’ Convention is to talk to outfitters, guides and representatives from around the world. WON’s interest in attending SCI’s biggest event was to gather information on hunting conditions and the status of wild game around the world. Of course, of much interest was the status of big game and upland game birds here in California, and our adjoining states of Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and Mexico. Specifically I was interested in finding out what hunting options are newly available on the mid-Atlantic islands of Iceland and Greenland, of which both are now being targeted by big game and avid waterfowl hunters.


The premier hunting outfitter for both Iceland and Greenland is Bjorn Birgisson, owner of the Icelandic Hunting Club, +354-894-3095 or email tobb@islandia.is. Western Outdoor News hunted with Bjorn a few years ago in quest of the pink-footed goose in what turned out to be a very unique worldly waterfowl adventure.


WON met up with Bjorn at his SCI booth and began talking highly of the hunting opportunities now open on Greenland for musk ox and reindeer hunts, with the possibility of the opening of King Eider duck hunting during a special period when these large sea-going ducks are in full plumage.


“Jim, I know you are a very avid waterfowl hunter and have spent a lot of time collecting different species of waterfowl all around the world. We are now working with the government and biologists of Greenland to open up a special season for hunting King Eider ducks when they are in full breeding feathers. I will keep you posted on that waterfowl hunt,” said Birgisson.


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BOOKING AN ELK HUNT AT SCI — Many SCI show attendees book a hunt of a lifetime at the biggest hunting expo in the world. WON PHOTO BY JIM NIEMIEC


Birgisson then went on to add, “Our late-summer combination hunt for musk ox and reindeer is based out of our main lodge in the rural city of Ivituut, Greenland. The area hunted has one of the highest concentrations of game on the island. It’s a very unique hunt as we scout the coastline in a 30-40-ft. mothership and then transfer to a small craft to stalk the animal. This maneuver can be repeated a number of times until we find a trophy bull.”


In addition to hundreds of hunting exhibitors at this show there are plenty of hunting seminars, informative conservation sessions and huge fund-raising auctions and banquets to attend. WON was invited to a media event at which Prince Benjamin Dipati Maenetja of South Africa, talked about African Wilderness Safaris and their ongoing efforts to monitor leopard populations on the Dark Continent in the best interest of future hunts.


This show is a great venue at which to meet up with guides and outfitters to find out what options one might have in hunting any particular species of big game animal, upland game bird or waterfowl. The event not only allows attendees to check out a hunt, but in the fishing village area one can meet up with booking agents for exotic fresh and saltwater fish such as tiger fish, peacock bass, golden dorado, bonefish, and giant black or blue marlin.


There were many new hunting rifles and shotguns to shoulder, booths were filled with the latest in optics from Trijicon, Swarovski, Leupold, Carl Zeiss and Burris/Steiner Optics and the number of booths filled with hunting accessories, packs, and hunting clothing was simply amazing.


The SCI Hunters’ Convention for 2021 will be held in Las Vegas at the Convention Center, running from Feb. 3-6, 2021 and the event will mark the 50th anniversary for Safari Club International. For SCI membership information, show tickets or additional details log on to the SCI web site at sci.com.

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