January and February have become the months of outdoor conventions and banquets.
The 2016 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) show, the Safari Club International (SCI) Convention and the OVIS Slam Quest Sheep Convention are in Las Vegas this year. The Wild Sheep Foundation will also be meeting in Reno once again and it’s one of the best mountain hunting expositions in the world. Yes, we Nevada sportsmen are especially fortunate to have several of the largest international hunting events here in the Silver State.
We’re also looking at several local and regional banquets, including the Sportsman’s Unlimited (NSU), Fraternity of the Desert Bighorn and the Wildlife Habitat in Nevada (WHIN) banquets coming soon. See the upcoming events list below.
It’s a great chance to get together with friends, old and new, and there is no better place to visit with hunters and fishermen to discuss the best locations to apply for this year’s hunt tag and learn of local or regional opportunities. In addition, it affords an opportunity to visit with sportsmen from around the world, discuss new equipment, trends, government policies and the changes in state, national and international regulations.
The food is always great; there are prizes, raffles and auctions. I like them all and therein lies the problem if you’re someone like me, who can’t resist a bargain or under-valued auction item; things can get out of hand. I’m running out of wall space for fine prints, and table or counter space for beautiful sculptures of ducks, moose and elk.
I enjoy hunting, fishing, and travel, which equates to a few trophies on the wall or rugs on the floor. I don’t need more stuff, which brings us to the dilemma and my current situation. You may relate to this. If so, we may have comfort in shared guilt.
This year I’ll have my eye on bargain hunting and fishing trips, certainly deer and elk opportunities here in the states, fishing in British Columbia, Alaska or Central America and possibly an African safari. These conventions and banquets are the place to find all of these and the equipment I’ll convince myself that I need.
Here’s my itinerary. Feel free to join me:
The SHOT Show is the world’s largest hunting and firearms trade show. You won’t see it all in one day as virtually all the world’s leading firearms and outdoor equipment manufacturers will have their traditional, as well as latest, items to show and demonstrate.
This year hotel rooms are already filling, at exorbitant prices, and buyers from both large and small retail outdoor stores from around the world will be busy ordering the latest “tools and toys” for their customers back home. Times are good in the outdoor sports industry.
Safari Club International is the largest international hunting and conservation organization and the largest convention with hunting outfitters and guides, both local and international. This is the place to find that guided hunt bargain of a lifetime and again all of the equipment, clothing and “stuff” you can, or can’t, imagine.
If you’re interested in wild sheep and sheep hunting here or around the world the Ovis Grand Slam Sheep Club has something for everyone. From outfitters and exhibitors, world-class auctions and raffles or special tags and seminars, this is the one for you.
The Wild Sheep Foundation is another group specializing in sheep and sheep hunting. It’s one of the oldest and most respected groups and a favorite of mine with the more relaxed atmosphere of Reno where you will meet and make new friends. It’s world class with all of the outfitters, auctions, raffles, banquets and events one would expect.
Wildlife Habitat in Nevada (WHIN) has an excellent banquet hosted by a regional (Las Vegas) group that is active in promoting conservation, hunting and fishing projects. Expect great auctions, raffles and guests. They will even raffle several African safaris as well as firearms, jewelry and outdoor-themed items.
The Fraternity of the Desert Bighorn is one of the most active and “hands-on” groups in Nevada. They actively work with the Department of Wildlife in construction of water projects, “guzzlers,” as well as relocation and enhancement of sheep populations and habitat. If you want a “hands-on” Desert Sheep experience with a group of dedicated folks, this one is for you. Their banquet is one of the best and the place to meet and make friends if you’re looking for that elusive sheep tag or hunt.
SHOT Show; Jan. 19-22 at the Sands Expo Center. Go to shotshow.org.
Wild Sheep Foundation; Jan 21-23 at the Reno Sparks Convention Center. www.wildsheepfoundation.org. NSU; Jan. 23 at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino. Call 702-558-2825.
OVIS Grand Slam Club; Jan. 27-30 at Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino (Formerly the Hilton). Go to wildsheep.org.
Safari Club International; Feb. 3-6 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and the Las Vegas Convention Center. Call 888-764-9724.
Fraternity of the Desert Bighorn; May 21. For more information call 775-830-5848.
WHIN to be announced.