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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Dallas Safari Club 2015 Traditions Convention

Once again, friends, Rock Island Auction Company was privileged enough to attended and sponsor "The Greatest Hunters Convention on the Planet."  If you missed our blog on it last year, rest assured, it is one of the most well-run, high end, dedicated, events you would likely ever attend.  The Dallas Safari Club's goal is promote and protect, conservation, education, and hunters' rights.  They have funded numerous conservation programs for too many kinda of flora and fauna to list here, they sponsor three primary youth-based programs, and advocate hard against legislation that would negatively impact habitats, hunting, and the 2nd Amendment.  They are an extremely important ally for things that many of us hold dear.  How important of an ally?  How about the ability to raise $1 million dollars in about 60 seconds for youth outdoor education?

These folks don't just have a hobby, they have a lifestyle, a dedication, and a passion for the outdoors the likes of which are seldom seen.  While it's difficult to capture photos to show those qualities, it's NOT hard to take photos that show everything else at the convention.  There are acres of booths containing all manners of safaris, guided hunts, firearms manufactures, ammo manufacturers, gun safes, taxidermists, furriers, jewelers, painters, sculptors, leather workers, outfitters, gear shops, hunting equipment, outdoor vehicles, conservation groups, Aussies, Brits, South Africans, photography, optics, firearms accessories, and more.  It's quite a spectacle and there's never enough time to give all the booths there the attention they deserve, so we've amassed some photos showing just a fraction of the sights from Dallas Safari Club 2015 Traditions Convention.  Enjoy!

Note:  Many of these photographs were taken before the convention had opened to the public, right as it had opened, or just before closing.  So if you see photos with barely any people in it, be assured that is not an accurate representation of how PACKED this show was.

Well-known folks at the RIAC Booth

Here Doug Turnbull, of Turnbull Restoration & Manufacturing, speaks with Larry Potterfield of Midway USA.  both gentlemen were kind enough to stop by for a moment.

Jesse James, of West Coast Chopper and Monster Garage fame, stopped by along with wife Alexis DeJoria

9-time UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes also visited for a bit.  He's no stranger to our Quad City area!

And while he wasn't at our booth, Teddy Roosevelt spoke at the DSC evening banquet on Saturday and was quite good!

RIAC Guns on Display

For those curious, all the firearms that we displayed at the DSC Convention will be up for bid in our April 2015 Premiere Firearms Auction, with the exception of the 1877 Gatling gun.  This is really the first glimpse anyone has had into that sale, so feast your eyes on some of its offerings.

We brought along our 1877 Colt "Bulldog" Gatling Gun.

Some of our high end sporting pieces, including a matching, cased set of Holland & Hollands, a Holland & Holland with a Martini action and bayonet, and a Perrin & Sons, 8 bore double rifle.  The Perrin was far and away the star of the entire RIAC booth.
Here is a close up of the Perrins & Sons' receiver, plus a pair of engraved and gold inlaid Smith & Wesson revolvers in a stunning carved wood case.

Next to that display case, we had our German military handguns and one very special shotgun with an extremely interesting history and a desirable inscription.

Some of the Winchesters, Henrys and foreign military rifles we brought.
The other side of those "waterfall" displays showcasing  more foreign military and early U.S. military arms.
Some of the beautiful U.S. military pieces to appear in our April 2015 Premiere Firearms Auction.
There is a wide variety of M1 Garands and M1 carbines 

Top row: More Colt Lightnings & Thunderers from the William Baird Collection
Bottom Row: Colt SAA revolvers and a Bisley

That's a lot of beautiful revolvers in one case!  it includes, cased Colts, S&W model 320 revolving rifles, Merwin & Hulbert revolvers, Volcanics, a LeMat and more.
One side of the beautiful Browning sporting rifles we displayed.  Plenty of Olympian and Medallion Grade rifles.
And on the opposite side there are more Olympian grade rifles as well as some Midas grade shotguns.  A very popular table with all the hunters in the room.


This amazing mount was just inside the main entrance to the convention.  The last several years this spot has been hosted by the taxidermist Animal Artistry and they always impress.  The mount they showed this year featured two male lions fighting over a kill, while a scavenging dog heads for cover.

Some neat "quilts" made from a patchwork of exotic pelts.

This mount, also performed by the Animal Artistry, has a baboon contemplating the futility of it all.... or practicing his Shakespeare. "Alas, poor Yorick.  I knew him well."

Yes, another astounding mount by Animal Artistry.  With what I assume is a support in the trunk and one heck of a counterbalance in the base, the elephant mount appears to float in midair.

OK , last one from animal artistry.  Given that both of the creatures in this mount seem to be posed in mid-leap, methinks there is more to that tree than meets the eye.

Can you find the pheasants in this
white tail mount?

There they are!

The Wildlife Gallery also always has an excellent display of their talents.


These two!  Always palling around.

A pretty clear photo considering this leopard was 30' in the air, surveying the convention.
Beautiful Red Stag mount.
This picture, taken from above my head, fails to give a perspective as to just how large this mount was.
It was over 6 feet tall.
This cat appears to be looking the wrong way for his supper.
This zebra does not trust you.


Westley Richards was there showcasing there exquisite firearms and accouterments.

From the front, Beretta's booth appears to be a quaint little cabin.

But from the back it's a massive space with an impressive second story showroom!

Hornady was another of the major manufacturers attending.

The always impressive Pendleton Safes again made a nice showing

William & Son made an impressive showing as well.

Very impressive, indeed.

Of course, the Purdey firearms were simply spectacular.  It's a joy to shoulder one.

The stocks on the Purdey firearms are extraordinary.

The Cabela's booth, immediately visible upon entering, was absolutely huge.

From my vantage in some pretty deluxe tree stands, I was able to get some pretty good shots of about one third of floorspace the show encompassed.

Looking down on a completely street legal, double decker Humvee.
Good sized crowds came every day.


Artists of every kind brought their creative talents to the DSC Traditions Convention.  Here's a extremely small sample of what was present.

This bull elk sculpture entitled "Autumn Royalty" by artist Fred Boyer is absolutely massive!  Knowing the height of the average rope barrier put this statue over 10 feet tall.  There was also one of a bull moose.

Lots of bronzes.

That's all she wrote!  Hopefully, that should give a pretty idea of what's at this show, but it will never capture the passion these folks have for their wildlife and the habitat that sustains it.  To help out DSC, next time you make a purchase on Amazon, please do so through this link and they'll receive 4% of the purchase.  That's a pretty substantial donation for just shopping as you normally would and they'll definitely put it to good use.