2023 Dallas Safari Club Grants

Monies raised by the Dallas Safari Club have gone to support a wide variety of projects and organizations dedicated to its mission of conservation, education, and advocacy. These grants are distinct from other grants made by the DSC Foundation. The bulk of these grants are funded with monies raised at the annual DSC Convention in January.

Corey Mason, DSC’s CEO, discusses the grants made in 2023 in the video below.

These grants range from support of efforts to stop wildlife crime both here and abroad to efforts to support Texas-based food banks which use hunter-donated game meat.

You can see more about the grants made by the DSC Foundation at this link which are in addition to the ones detailed by Corey Mason.

DSC North Carolina Chapter Organizing

The North Carolina Chapter of Dallas Safari Club is in the process of being organized. Currently, the only chapters DSC has in the Southeast are in the Low Country of South Carolina (Charleston) and in Georgia.

I received a text this past week from Emaneul “Kappie” Kapp announcing the formation meeting. He has been active in the Georgia Chapter and is helping organize the North Carolina Chapter.

The meeting is scheduled for Saturday, September 16th, at 11am at Suffolk Punch Bowl Brewing South End. The address is 2911 Griffith St, Charlotte, NC.

Kappie told me in a follow-up email that DSC has approximately 100 members in North Carolina. I would add that even though there is a South Carolina Chapter, Charlotte is a lot closer than Charleston to the Upstate of SC as well as to Rock Hill.

From what I understand, Bruce Boroski, DSC Chapter Development Manager, will be joining Kappie at the meeting.

So if you live in NC, the Upstate, or the Rock Hill area and you have an interest in promoting the DSC mission of conservation, education, and advocacy, I would urge you to attend this meeting. Even though this is a 2 1/2 hour drive for me, I intend on coming down from the mountains to attend.

Dallas Safari Club Annual Meeting

The Dallas Safari Club held their annual general meeting by Zoom on Thursday. They elected new directors, new officers, and made a few bylaw changes.

From DSC:

DSC held its Annual General Meeting last night via Zoom. New Directors were elected, officers were confirmed for new terms and all bylaw changes were approved.YesElections supervised the electronic voting to ensure a fair and 100% secure process.
The three newly elected Directors are as follows:

  • Rick Warren
  • Knighton Sample
  • Joel Swan

Immediately following the AGM, the Directors elected the following officers:

  • Tim Fallon as President
  • Chris Sells as President Elect
  • Michael Vernone as Past President
  • Daniel McGehee as Treasurer
  • John Patterson as Secretary

The bylaw changes passed at the meeting by member vote included cleanup of grammatical errors in the current bylaws, giving the option to extend a Presidential term to include a second year at the Board’s discretion, and making the Chapter Liaison an officer.

Thank you to all members who participated in these important elections. 

While I am a member of Dallas Safari Club, I am not a voting member. I really had hoped to attend their convention this past January but I just could not make attending both it and the SHOT Show work. I did attend last year and enjoyed it tremendously.

I did get to meet Tim Fallon and enjoyed my chat with him at the SCI Convention. He owns FTW Ranch and the SAAM shooting school in Texas.

Pre-SHOT Show Releases, Etc.

I am starting to get a number of press releases regarding new introductions at the SHOT Show. In the coming days I will start reposting them here with little or no editing. I just want to get that info out.

On another note, the Complementary Spouse and I have been approved to attend the Safari Club International Convention as media. I would have liked to have attended the Dallas Safari Club as well but the Biden Economy forces me to make choices. Nashville is within easy driving range while Dallas is about 1,000 miles. That said, I will be posting advance information on both shows if and when I get it.

Having attended both last year, I will say if you are within driving distance of Dallas that the DSC Convention is well worth attending. It costs less in terms of admission and seems, in my opinion, to be more suited for the average guy and gal.

Dallas Safari Club Grants For Conservation

The Dallas Safari Club and the DSC Foundation raise money to fund conservation efforts, for education, for anti-poaching teams, and to counter anti-hunting initiatives.

DSC Executive Director Corey Mason outlines some of their recent grants below. DSC says its mission is education, conservation, and advocacy. Each one of the short video addresses one of their mission goals.

A complete list of the grants made by the DSC Foundation is here.

I attended their 2022 convention held in Dallas and hope to do it again in January 2023. One thing that I found special about their convention was the number of families and school groups that were in attendance. That they went out of their way to make it inclusive for all age groups really impressed me.

DSC Convention Day 3

I am taking this snowy day to finish my posts about the Dallas Safari Club Convention which ended Sunday a week ago. I should be at the airport getting ready to fly to Las Vegas for the SHOT Show and SCI Convention but weather has thrown a wrench in that.

My third day at the DSC Convention was similar to earlier days in that I spoke with outfitters, cruised the aisles, drooled over guns, and attended a couple of seminars. I did see some interesting taxidermy and artwork as you can see below.

My two biggest highlights were chatting with “the” Bill Laughridge of Cylinder and Slide and meeting Kevin “Doctari” Robertson. I chatted with Mr. Laughridge about the Browning Hi-Power as well as the new Springfield SA-35. He thought the Springfield SA-35 was a good upgrade to the Browning model as he had worked on customizing a couple so far.

With regards to Kevin Robertson, I was walking the aisles and heard this guy speaking with a couple of people. I knew that voice! I had recently heard it on John McAdams’ Big Game Hunting Podcast. Dr. Robertson is the author of the The Perfect Shot and The Perfect Shot II. Those books combine his experience as a veterinarian and as a licensed professional hunter in Zimbabwe to provide hunters with the knowledge to make a clean kill on tough African wildlife. As with Mr. Laughridge, he was a very nice gentleman and willing to talk.

I also attended a seminar put on by Hornady on bullet design. The engineer presenting the seminar said they were going to work backwards from the animal dying to find the type of bullet needed for the task. An animal dies from the lack of oxygenated blood to the brain. There are three systems that can be impacted that will cause death: circulatory, respiratory, and nervous. In other words, the animal dies from blood loss, damage to its lungs and/or heart, or from a spinal or brain shot that shuts down the nervous system. When designing a bullet the engineers give consideration to placement, penetration, and expansion. Placement is always important while on some animals you need more penetration and on others expansion is more critical. Unfortunately, I had to leave before they finished the seminar.

The other seminar I attended was put on by Michael Sabbeth who is a student of the media. His seminar dealt with how the media portrays hunting and especially trophy hunting. Much of the seminar was deconstructing an interview done by Emma Barnett of the BBC with Danene van der Westhuyzen who runs Aru Safaris with her husband in Namibia. Danene is one of the few female PHs in Namibia and is president of the Namibian Professional Hunters Association. Sabbeth found Barnett to be a master of rhetorical tricks and unethical in her use of them. You can read his deconstruction of the interview here.

DSC Convention Day Two

Day Two was much like the first day with a lot of walking around. I did get to talk with a couple of Eastern Cape outfitters about trips in 2023. One was Marius Goesen of KMG Safaris who I really enjoyed talking with. My friend David Cole had gone with him on an earlier trip and plans to go again.

Two highlights from the the day were a seminar that was an accumulation of tips and wisdom about going to Africa. As one of the presenter put it, he was just there in November and some things had already changed. His point was whatever happened for a friend a year or five ago is probably already out of date. Thinks change that quickly. I took 3 plus pages of notes and will do a separate post on that later.

The second highlight was a dinner organized by Africahunting.com for those who participate in its forums. I met a lot of great people there and had some really good Tex-Mex food.

I’m keeping this short so that I can head in to the convention. This will be my last day there so I need to make the most of it.

DSC Convention Day 1

DSC or Dallas Safari Club is holding their annual convention in Dallas. Of course, where else would they hold it! This is my first time attending it so I didn’t know what to expect.

First impressions is that it is a lot like the NRA Annual Meeting exhibitions but without the mega-booths from the major gun makers like Ruger, S&W, SIG, and the like. Having attended the NRA Annual Meeting here at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Dallas Convention Center just a few years ago, I have a decent appreciation for how the space is filled. I would put it at about 3/4 of what I saw at the NRA exhibition.

The gun makers were off in a section by themselves and the mix here is widely different than what you’d see at either SHOT or the NRA Annual Meeting. While SIG and Savage both had booths, they were much smaller. Moreover, instead of seeing S&W, you got Rigby, Holland and Holland, and a slew of custom gun makers. The American Custom Gunmaker’s Guild had a section to themselves and their work there would take your breath away.

You of course had outfitters from around the world. There were the US outfitters with hunts for everything from brown bears in Alaska to guide whitetail hunts in Indiana with the western elk and sheep hunts thrown in for good measure.

The African contingent covered the continent from east to west and north to south. In terms of value, a 5-7 day hunt in the Eastern Cape of South Africa goes for $4-5000 plus or minus. For that you’d get upwards of five animals. By comparison, a guide whitetail hunt for archery in Indiana goes fro $4500.

You also saw some interesting things for sale such as this swamp buggy from Argo. I think I heard the sale rep say that the tires can be used for extra fuel storage. I didn’t ask the price. I think it probably is in the range of “if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it”.

Finally, while I have much more to write about the DSC, I’ll save it for another time. I just want to add this last picture taken this morning from my room. I didn’t realize until I look at a map and then looked out the window again that the Texas School Book Depository and Dealey Plaza were a mere block away. I am of an age that I do remember where I was when JFK was assassinated.

South Africa Is Not Happy

The countries in southern Africa are not especially pleased with the rest of the world. This is due to the travel bans being put in place restricting travel to and from a number of southern African nations as a result of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Probably no country is as pissed off as South Africa. President Cyril Ramaphosa was especially angry calling the travel restrictions “unjustified and discriminatory.” He went on to add:

“The prohibition of travel is not informed by science, nor will it be effective in preventing the spread of this variant. The only thing the prohibition on travel will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to, and recover from, the pandemic,” Ramaphosa said on Sunday.

Travel and tourism were finally getting back on their feet in South Africa after being crushed by COVID-19 in 2020. This is especially true for the safari industry. For example, with the US ban on visitors from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique among others, outfitters and safari companies will not be able to send representatives to major conventions in January such as those of the Dallas Safari Club and Safari Club International.

Spike.T, who is a regular on the Africahunting.com forums and who lives in Zambia, posted this somewhat satirical account of the Omicron variant and the world’s reaction.

“In just 48hrs everything just went upside down, looking at all the updates and social media posts I could not help but write the below outlining the absurd response from the countries. Maybe some of them will realize what has actually transpired.”

South Africa: Hey guys, look what we discovered in our labs while researching Covid19 variants and mutations

World: What??

SA: It’s a new variant of Covid19, seems to be different than others, lets work together and study it further.

World: What? You have a new variant of Covid19?!?!

SA: No, we just found a way to ‘identify’ a new variant, it seems it has also already been detected in Hong Kong, Israel and Botswana.

UK: Hey guys, no offence but we already have 45,000 cases a day, don’t wear a mask everywhere, allow large gathering however we cannot risk getting a new variant.

SA: But we just identified it and showed you guys how to check for this variant, it did not originate here. We have advanced labs because we do research on AIDS, TB and other communicable diseases.

UK: Thank you for the research, however a complete travel ban to you and your 5 neighbors.

Netherlands: We heard UK banned flights to you because you have the new variant, we are also imposing a ban to you and your neighbors!

Namibia: WTF! What did we do? We have less than 20 new cases a day since a month now!

EU: Guys, we have a situation in our hands.

Namibia: The situation where Germany has had 76,000 cases a day and Other countries are breaking daily records for cases?

EU: No, not that situation.

Lesotho: Is it that UK still has 40,000+ cases a day and doesn’t seem to have it under control?

EU: No, UK isn’t a part of us anymore, not our concern.

Malawi: We hear Poland has some serious rise in cases and hospitalizations

EU: Really?! We have no idea, we must look into it. But not what we are talking about.

Eswatini: What situation then?

EU: We heard that South Africa has a new variant, their numbers are rising rapidly and since some of you are next to them, we need to close travel to the region with immediate effect!

SA: Dude, we just identified it! We only have a few cases in the region. Especially when compared to what you guys have. What’s with the knee-jerk reaction?

Namibia: Knee-jerk, that’s the word we were looking for.

UAE: We are closing flights to Southern Africa, we don’t want to risk it. Sorry guys.

USA: We are looking into this and studying the variant, we wont ban flights yet.

SA: Thank you USA, finally a voice of reason!

Mauritius: Sorry SA and the variant group, I saw some other countries refer to you as that, we are friends and all but we are concerned about our tourism and economy, so we will also ban you guys for now until we know further.

SA: We thought you were family. Goes to show how money is more important!

Belgium: We already have 1 new case of the new variant, thanks a lot SA.

SA: We literally just showed you how to identify it.

UK: Thanks a lot SA, now we also have 2 cases of it.

SA: What about our vaccinated people?

World: Nope, we need to run tests first and figure out what this virus can do and how effective the vaccination is against it.

WHO: Hey guys, a quick question. The next Greek alphabet is ‘Xi’. What do we do? China? Are you here?

China: Don’t you dare! Leave us and our president out of it. Call it something else. And we don’t allow anyone in anyway, so the variant is not our concern.

WHO: We got it boss. It’s now called Omicron.

WHO: Sorry we meant Sir. China isn’t our boss.

SA: It’s true what they say, no good deed goes unpunished. The next time we won’t tell you guys about the next mutations or variants we find.

World: Sorry can’t hear you, too busy dealing with the outbreak that you caused. How about we talk about this later?

Namibia: It’s the weekend, lets braai & go camping and let the world figure this one out themselves, we are still open to everyone. And if you wish to travel here, ask your leaders to start thinking before making decisions.

To be continued…..

Written by Nrupesh Soni.

I know there is great fear about COVID-19. While I am neither a scientist nor an epidemiologist, it seems that this strain may be more transmissible but on the ground reports indicate that the symptoms tend to be less severe. We shall see but I really hope that we don’t head into another round of lockdowns or even Australian-style concentration camps.

Dallas Safari Club Celebrates 40 Years

The Dallas Safari Club will be celebrating their 40th anniversary in January with the DSC Convention. The convention will be held January 6-9 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

In preparation for this event, they have released a short video showing their progress since 1982.

I have never been to a convention like this and hope to attend in January. My dream is to do a plains game hunt in either Namibia or South Africa in 2023. I grew up reading Hemingway and Ruark. While a two month safari in Kenya aka British East Africa is a thing of the past, a plains game hunt is not and actually can be cheaper than an elk hunt in Colorado.