A monster-sized outdoor convention is coming to Reno next week | NevadaAppeal.com

A monster-sized outdoor convention is coming to Reno next week

Don Quilici

The four-day period of time of Jan. 18-21 is when Safari Club International (SCI) will hold its 34th annual Hunters’ Convention at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno.

SCI has 173 chapters in all 50 states, plus another 13 in foreign countries, and boasts of more than 47,000 members.

The convention will take more than 600,000 square feet of space, with 1,100 exhibitors from the top companies in the outdoor world and shooting sports industries.

SCI is expecting to attract more than 22,000 attendees from more than 50 countries, the most-ever.

SCI is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization that funds and manages all kinds of worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian services.

Some of those are: Sportsmen Against Hunger, Sensory Safari, Disabled Hunter, SafarCare, the American Wilderness Leadership School, Becoming an Outdoors Woman & More, plus Youth Education Seminars (YES) Outdoors.

Here is a brief peek at some of the planned 2006 SCI convention activities and presentations:

Ribbon Cutting

The Grand Opening will be held at 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday at the Entrance to Hall No. 3 at the Convention Center to usher in the big four-day, international event.

Sensory Safari

A SCI Orange County, Calif. Chapter 40-foot-long trailer will give Nevadans an opportunity to learn about wildlife using all five of their senses. That exhibit is open to the public, free of charge.

The trailer contains a number of taxidermy big game exhibits, including a life-sized white-tailed deer, a California wild boar, an African lion and a Cape Buffalo.

Originally begun as a program dedicated to educating the sight-challenged, the Safari now reaches all types of people.

It will be located in the North parking lot between the Reno-Sparks Convention Center and the Atlantis Hotel, with hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.

Sportsmen Against Hunger

On Jan. 17, some 1,500 homeless, under-housed and hungry Nevadans will enjoy a hearty meal at the fourth annual SCI and Salvation Army sponsored “Feed The Hungry Feast.”

This will be the result of the donation of over 16,000 meals-worth of Venison by SCI’s North American Handgun Hunters Chapter and sportsmen attending the convention. The Feed The Hungry Feast will be held at the Reno Events Center on the corner of Center and Fourth Streets.

It is being hosted by the Salvation Army of Washoe County, with the joint participation of the Eldorado Hotel and Casino, the City of Reno, C&M Foods and Coca Cola.

Seminars

Some of the seminars being offered at the convention are:

An introduction to reloading.

Making your trophy room your favorite room.

Float hunting Alaska’s wild rivers.

African bowhunting adventures.

Best hunting adventures from around the world.

Wingshooting.

Wilderness/travel medicine.

European game recipes.

Book Signings

During the convention, there will be book signings by the following: Bill Quimby, Craig Boddington, Oliver North, Thomas Hamill, Dick and Mary Cabela and Jim Shockey.

Pathfinder Award

John Ramsey of Alabama and Austin Childers of Georgia will be honored as recipients of the 2005 Pathfinder Award. It is given to sportsmen and sports women who have overcome significant barriers to make contributions to their communities and sport.

They will receive the awards during the Friday night Awards Dinner and Auction.

Live Auction

As part of that Friday and Saturday evening’s activities, there will be a large number of very nice items auctioned off.

Among the many auction items will be unique firearms, once-in-a-lifetime-hunting trips, taxidermy, artwork and fine furniture.

Finally

Be advised that the SCI annual convention is an exclusive, member’s only show.

If you are not a member of SCI and would like to attend the convention, you can join SCI and register for the show by going to the McElroy Room at the Convention Center where they will have a registration team waiting to serve you.

For information, call SCI at (520) 620-1220 or go to website http://www.safariclub.org.

n Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you about another big outdoor convention going on in the Far West at the same time.

If he grins and says, “It is the International Sportsmen’s Exposition being held in Sacramento on Jan. 19-22,” he wins the bet.

n Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.