DALLAS — It’s the largest hunting expo in Texas, and it's back in Dallas! Yeah, the Dallas Safari Club’s convention is back in town and only getting bigger.
“The first year, we were here we were probably about 700 booths in the convention center,” explained Ben Carter, executive director of the Dallas Safari Club. ”At this point now, we’re going to be at 1,850 booths. We’ll probably grow a little bit more next year, and then there’s no more room in the convention center for us.”
Yeah, recent bad press around big game hunting has done nothing to slow the DSC’s growth.
Two years ago, controversy surrounded the convention when a chance to hunt an endangered black rhino was auctioned off.
This year, it’s a white rhino up for auction, but the hunter will be armed with tranquilizer darts not bullets, and the rhino will get a checkup from a vet.
“I think what attracts people to us is our culture,” said Carter. “We all care about wildlife, we all care about conservation and this is a way to get involved and do something that they feel like they’re giving back to what they’re passionate about.”
Besides conservation, the DSC is all about hunter’s rights and was a huge part of the amendment added to the Texas Bill of Rights by 81% of voters that guaranteed the right to hunt and fish in Texas.
“It won by a landslide,” said Carter. “Which tells you that we’ve still got a very strong hunting culture here in Texas.”