2011 Dallas Safari Club Convention


Apr 16, 2009
JD338 asked me to report on the 2011 DSC Convention.

I attended yesterday, the opening day. It was the only day I was be able to go. Attendance is usually lower on Thursday, which is the reasons I go at that time. It is much easier to talk to folks and get questions answered. That being said, I thought the attendance was good for the first day. The big crowds are on Saturday and Sunday. Friday gets pretty busy too.

The first thing I noticed was the addition of a new hall that was added due to the growth and popularity of the show. They added about 300 more booths. The real nice addition was another food court area. Last year there was only one. Folks can get their food and drinks much faster, which was really nice.

I went by the Nosler booth and talked to Shawn Finley and Kevin Abell. I enjoyed visiting with these two young men as they were very nice and knowledgeable. They were running a special on the custom rifles at the show (I think the show price was $2495). The rifles they brought with them had been lost by the airlines and they expected to have them by Friday (today). They made some suggestions about which Nosler bullet to use on PG. I think Shawn has been on a PG hunt. They even gave me a Nosler cap. :grin:

I went by and talked to several PH's and vendors. I spent a couple of hours with Brent Hein of Zimbabwe. He operates in the Bubye Valley Conservancy, formerly known by many as the Lemco. He also operates in other areas as well (Omay, Chrisa, and Matetsi to name a few). Brent is a very talented PH and a really good and honest man. His web address is: http://www.brentheinsafaris.com. If you are looking for a Dangerous Game or Plainsgame safari, contact Brent. I hope to do PG hunt with him in the near future. I have known Brent for about ten years.

Other booths I visited were: Ruger, Trijicon, Nikon, Sako/Beretta/Tikka, Tuffpak gun cases, as well as a few other Zim operators and Tracy Vrem's Blue Mountain Lodge in Alaska. Tracy and his wife Linda are very nice folks. I talked to them about a fly fishing trip. I also had a nice visit with Frank Stukel owner of Stulel's Upland Adventures located in Gregory, SD. They have a great Pheasant hunting operation. http://www.stukels.com

The DSC show is known for lots of African hunting. However, there are many outfitters from Alaska, Canada, and the lower 48 as well as from all around the world. I saw some operators booking hunts and getting checks. That's a good sign, especially on the first day. I talked to one operator in Alaska that thought there were too many Alaska outfitters selling Brown Bear hunts thus diluting the market. A few of the the Alaska operators I talked with that are normally booked up on Brown Bear and booking for 2012 and 2013, had hunts available.

I had a nice visit with Craig Boddington. What a nice and very humble man. As a left handed shooter myself, we talked about different rifle and caliber options for my, hope to happen, PG hunt. Craig takes the time to talk to everyone. He takes time to answer your questions and does not hurry you up just to move on to someone else. As you can imagine, he draws a big crowd. He also stated that his business is slower than normal due to the economy. He also told me the Bubye Valley Conservancy, ie Lemco, is an outstanding DG and PG area. If you are thinking about going to Africa as a first timer, I can recommend his two DVD set African Experience. I have watched it so many times, I have lost count.

The taxidermy on exhibit is worth the $20 admission alone. It is unbelievable! Many, many full mounts of North American as well as African species. For the ladies, lots of clothing (She Safari has a very large booth), jewelry, furs, etc. Cabela's had many double rifles for sale. Other rifles makers attending included Kimber, Blaser, Christensen, and Krieghoff, just to name a few. Lots of doubles!

Another personality that always draws a crowd is PH Ivan Carter from Zimbabwe. Ivan has filmed many shows on Tracks Across Africa conducted with Chifuti Safaris that hunts in the Zambezi Valley of Zim. He and Craig Boddington have done several DVD's together. I did not get a chance to speak with him this year, but my brother did. Ivan is a another real nice guy. He is mostly known as an Elephant PH, but hunts all species. He also PH's some with well known Botswana PH Johan Calitz. Several years ago Johan nearly lost his life from a Buffalo charge that went bad. Johan draws a pretty good crowd himself. Another nice man. Have visited with him in the past.

Please do take my visiting with some of the hunting celebrities as boasting. It is something that anyone can do at the DSC show. I'm just another face in the crowd. I have had the fortune to get to know a few people because of living in the Dallas area. I can remember when the show was small, very small. It has been lots of fun to see it grow over years. It is an annual event I always look for to attending. Come on 2012! :grin: It is the only time I get to see folks from other parts of the world. I feel fortunate to have gotten to know many of these fine people.

If you have never attend this show, you should treat yourself if you can. It is well worth the time and expense.

The Dallas Safari Club (http://www.biggame.org) is NOT a part of SCI. They are a stand alone organization. The Houston Safari Club is the same, but is a much smaller group. They both support each other.

I hope I have done a decent job of reporting on the convention. If you have any questions, I will be glad to try to answer them.

Take care,


Excellent report. Thanks for taking the time to fill us in.

Great report! Thanks for taking the time to share your visit with us.

Paul, awesome report. I like Craig Boddington alot also. I met him the first time when I was a Lance Corporal in 1997 and he was a full bird Colonel. He took the time to speak with me and talk about hunting and even signed a book I had bought and brought up to him. He is truly an awesome hunter and seems to be very down to Earth.

Thanks again for writing all that down. Sounds like an awesome show. Scotty