If you’re one of the thousands of outdoor enthusiasts who had planned on attending the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pa., this Saturday through Feb. 10, be aware that the show has been canceled.
The reason is a large number of the exhibitors, vendors and celebrities, have withdrawn, because Reed Exhibitions, the show’s management company, issued a statement saying, in effect, that in the current climate, they felt the presence of MSRs (modern sporting rifles) would distract from the theme of hunting and fishing, disrupting the broader experience of their guests.
Cabelas announced Jan. 19 on Facebook that after careful consideration it wouldn’t have a presence at the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show. NRA asked Reed Exhibitions to reconsider, and the information I received on the national Outdoor Wire listed almost 200 other local, regional and national companies and celebrities that have confirmed their boycott of the show. The statement I thought would make Reed reconsider its stance was of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).
NSSF said it had been in intense, frank discussions with Reed Exhibitions management in an effort to reverse the decision and had reached an impasse. Reed Exhibitions currently manages the NSSF-owned SHOT Show, but all decisions and policies are made at NSSF’s direction. Because of Reed’s recent actions, NSSF is considering all options regarding the management of future SHOT Shows. The SHOT Show is the largest of its kind in the world and the fifth largest trade show in Las Vegas, something I’m sure Reed already knows and does not want to lose.
Let’s look at outdoors shows that will be presented soon. The first, and the closest to home, is Mike Hauser’s Adirondack Outdoorsman Show (www.adkshow.com) in Johnstown, Feb. 16-17. This is his eightth show and will again be held at the Johnstown Moose Club (109 So. Comrie Ave./Route 30A). This show is definitely geared toward outdoorsmen with exhibits of all types of fishing, archery, hunting, trapping, boating, camping equipment, books, paintings and Adirondack furniture.
Featured guests this year are many, including Don Williams, Adirondacker and writer for “Adirondack Life,” the “Journal of Outdoor Education” and former regional editor of “New York State Sportsman” magazine. Bigfoot fans will be interested in the Northern Sasquatch Research Society and the Whitehall police officer who had a Sasquatch/bigfoot encounter in 1976.
And someone I had the honor of meeting last year while she was out for a walk at Peck’s Lake — 97-year-old Alice Peck, whose background of outdoor activities will amaze you. Last year, Alice published her first book, “Peck’s Lake in the Adirondacks,” and she will be there both days for a book signing. See the website for the full list of who’s coming.
Show hours are Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is adults, $5; children, 15 and younger, $1.
Another popular show close to home is the Springfield Sportsman Show at the Eastern States Exposition, Springfield, Mass. This is its 30th year, and it’s another pure sportsmen’s show with plenty to see, hear and enjoy. This year’s four-day show will run Feb. 21-24. Show times are Thursday, 3-9 p.m.; Friday, noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is adults, $12; kids, 6-12, $5; under 6, free.
Guest speakers included Sportsman Channel’s “Radical Hunter,” Dick Scorzafava, whose tips will definitely better chances of bagging a big buck this fall. Deep sea fishing expert Capt. Bill “Ironman” Brown will be on hand with advice on both in-shore and off-shore fishing. His clients hold six state gamefish
records, one of which is a 506-pound Thresher Shark.
Turkey callers should bring their calls and enter the MA Turkey Calling Contest that’s sanctioned by the National Wild Turkey Federation. All hunters should be sure to enter the Ducks Unlimited contest and win their choice of one of 30 guns. Those in the need of new outdoor equipment will find plenty of what’s new in the woods and on the water for sale. For further details, go to www.osegsportsmens.com.
Returning to the Rockland Community College Field House, Suffern, for the 36th time is the World Fishing & Outdoor Exposition Feb. 28-March 3. Show times are Thursday, 2-9 p.m.; Friday, 1-9 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is adults, $13; children, $3; under 5, free.
Bass fishermen will want to attend the seminars given by highly successful professional anglers Mike Iaconelli, a New Jersey native, and Ish Monroe, both big time money winners in the cast-for-cash game. Saltwater anglers can find out more of the tactics and secrets of ocean fishing by attending Captain Greg Dubrule’s presentation. To pick up some big game knowledge, sit in on Mike Laptew and Rich Johnson’s seminar and learn how they consistently drop big bucks. The Benoits, Salernos and Peter Fiduccia will also discuss their buck hunting tactics.
Don’t forget the kids. This family show will also offer the Two by Two Zoo, filled with all kinds of critters. Other attractions include talons live raptor display, fishing simulator and a lot more. For more information, go to www.-sportshows.com.
Attending these shows will help keep the cabin fever down until spring comes along.