DALLAS (Jan. 7, 2013)—The Dallas Safari Club (DSC) wrapped up its annual convention and expo Sunday with record attendance and many outfitters reporting brisk sales during the show’s four-day run. In fact, several safari operators booked every hunting slot for the next two years.
Always the first major hunting show each January, the DSC event was held Jan. 3-6 at the Dallas Convention Center.
Around the world, the event is seen as the hunting industry’s first economic indicator of the year.
“If there was concern about a fiscal cliff, it had clearly subsided by the time our convention and expo opened on Thursday,” said Ben Carter, DSC executive director. “Our preliminary counts show a new record of 44,000 attendees, which is up about 4,000 people over last year. Many came through the doors ready to book a hunt, buy art or purchase outdoor clothing or gear. The mood in the expo hall was very upbeat and positive.”
Big-ticket items moved well—one outfitter sold 10 elephant hunts. Smaller items also moved well—one purveyor of leather hunting gear reported one of his best weekends ever.
The event serves as DSC’s primary fundraiser. Exhibit fees and gate admission will be combined with proceeds from auctions and raffles, new memberships and logoed apparel sales. When the final numbers are in, Carter expects to net a record sum to support DSC’s conservation, education and hunter advocacy programs in 2013.
Grants for initiatives worldwide will be awarded later this year.
Carter said, “We’re proud that our convention and expo is a place where families can enjoy time together, hunters can find what they want and need, exhibitors can succeed and businesses can thrive—and it all works together to support the mission and work of Dallas Safari Club. We can never say thank you enough to our supporters, attendees and volunteers.”
Weatherby Foundation International announced that its prestigious Weatherby Award will be presented in conjunction with the DSC convention and expo beginning in 2014.
Sponsors for the 2013 DSC convention and expo included Orion, Sports Afield, Midway USA, Trijicon, The Hunting Consortium, Capital Farm Credit, Zeiss, The Wildlife Gallery, Ruger, Rock Island Auction Co., Sovereign Bank, EuroOptics, Rungwa Game Safaris, RBC Wealth Management, Yamaha, Blaser, Boyt Harness and others.