With $31.4 billion in retail sales last year, the US hunting industry now turns its eyes to Texas for the first economic indicator of the New Year. The Dallas Safari Club (DSC) annual convention and expo, the first major hunting show of 2013, is Jan. 3-6.

The public-welcome DSC expo is slated for the Dallas Convention Center. It offers hunters from across Texas and around the world the year’s first opportunity to book the best hunts and best dates with top outfitters. Attractions also include world-class sporting gear, firearms, art, collectibles, entertainment, seminars, auctions and more.

For registered attendees, the DSC convention offers additional events, galas, awards and fundraisers to be held at the Omni Hotel Dallas.

Details are available at www.biggame.org.

“About 1 out of every 12 hunters in the US is from Texas,” said DSC Executive Director Ben Carter. “So what happens at our show in terms of attendance, sales, bookings, consumer interest and attitude is seen by many in the hunting industry as a predictor for the rest of the year.”

The annual DSC event is on an impressive run of records for size, attendance and fundraising.

In 2012, the event offered nearly nine football fields’ worth of attractions and drew more than 40,000 attendees. With auctions and other fundraising, the event generated a record $1 million-plus for DSC grants to support conservation, education and hunter advocacy efforts worldwide.

Carter expects additional growth in each of these areas in 2013 as well.

Recent federal statistics show that US hunter numbers have increased over the past five years, reversing a long downward trend, from 12.5 million hunters in 2006 to 13.6 million hunters in 2011. The report also shows that hunters’ total expenditures for hunting grew from $22.9 billion to $31.4 billion during the same period.

Weatherby Foundation International recently 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 include 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.

Logo courtesy Dallas Safari Club

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