Up In Arms: Controversial Dallas Safari Club Convention Opens

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DALLAS -- It’s the largest gathering of big game hunters in America. We’re not talking BB guns and squirrels here.

The Dallas Safari Club opened up its annual convention on Thursday, bringing hunters from every corner of the globe in.

“This is the first day of probably the 35th Annual Dallas Safari Club Convention where we’ll have approximately 1,000 exhibitors taking up 2,000 spaces from every corner of the world, offering every type of accessory or hunt available around the world,” said former president of the club, Richard Cheatham.

Well, last year this convention courted a little controversy when they auctioned off a black rhino hunt in Namibia for $350,000. The black rhino is considered an endangered species.

The DSC is still waiting on word from the U.S. government on whether or not they will approve an import permit to the hunter that won the bid.

“I think it could come anytime now,” said Cheatham on his expectations on when the final decision will come down. “I think probably in the next 60 days at least.”

These big game hunters are clear. They feel that conservation is their most important mission, and what they do helps in that mission.

“Hunting is the basis of the North American model of conservation which has been the most successful model of conservation in the world,” said Cheatham. “It’s actually been a model that’s been adopted around the world. But our money goes right back into anti-poaching, habitat protection and wildlife protection.”