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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There may be several outdoor show news and articles coming.

Outdoor shows offer plenty for sportsmen

http://www.mlive.com/outdoors/statewide/index.ssf?/base/sports-0/1136331603160520.xml&coll=1

Friday, January 8, 2006 By Bob Gwizdz

There are two main seasons for sportsmen in Michigan: hunting season and fishing season. Then, there is the third season -- show season -- which is getting underway.

After deer season ends and before spring arrives, hunters and anglers have to make due with what they can. Show season, during which manufacturers and retailers trot out their toys, helps to fill in the gaps.

Boats and tackle are big draws for sportsmen, of course, but there's plenty more at these shows. Seminars on all manner of fishing and boating (such as on-board cooking) occur almost non-stop. And there are always entertaining diversions for the rest of the family.

Show season kicks off Thursday in Novi with the Ultimate Sports Show, produced by Showspan, which also puts on an Ultimate Show in Grand Rapids, the Grand Rapids Boat Show and the Lansing Sportfishing, Boat and Travel Show.

Show producer Adam Starr is especially excited about one of the displays -- a De Havilland Otter bush plane on loan from the Canadian Bush Plane Museum in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. But that's just the start.

The show features a 100,000 gallon pool, "Lake Ultimate," from which angling experts will present on-the-water seminars. The lineup is impressive: Bass pros Kevin VanDam and Joe Thomas will be on hand, as will walleye pro Keith Kavajecz.

Skeeter Boats is bringing in an interactive trailer geared toward young bass fishermen. But what is most unusual about this year's show is that boat dealers will be allowed to bring in current stock -- as opposed to 2006 models-only -- so would-be buyers may be able to find something a little less hard on the wallet.

As a bonus, the first 400 attendees on opening night will receive complimentary Dardevle lures in commemoration of the Dearborn company's 100th anniversary.

Outdoorama, which is an annual production of Michigan United Conservation Clubs, always accents family entertainment. This year, it will feature the Paul Bunyan Lumberjacks' hour-long stage show (log rolling, tree climbing, etc.), including "the world's only lumberjacking dog." Also, Radio Disney will present a family-themed outdoors stage show and MUCC's usual educational programs are on tap.

Outdoorama is slated for Feb. 22-26 in Novi.

If boats are really what flips your switch, the 48th Annual Detroit Boat will have 1,000 or so on display, including antique boats and a number of sailboats, which are back after several years absence.

One of the largest boat shows in America -- based on attendance, size and sales -- the Detroit Boat Show will feature an expanded fishing seminar schedule and a new section for tackle retailers. For the family, there will be an art wall where youngsters can contribute to a mural, and an extreme sports zone, where some of the newer pastimes (wakeboarding, for instance) will be highlighted.

Also scheduled at the Cobo Center from Feb. 18-26 is the Discover Boating Center, where boating experts will be on hand to explain the pros and cons of various models.

The Lansing Center show (March 9-12) will feature a live alligator show. The Grand Rapids show (March 16-19) will have the Ultimate Air Dog Show featuring retrievers.

And some of the best-known Michigan anglers -- Mark Martin, Gerry Gostenik, Jim Barta, Bob Brunner and more -- will be on hand at many of the shows across the state.

With winter weather sometimes making hunting and fishing problematic, show season offers everyone a warm, dry place to do the next best thing to hunting and fishing -- talking about those pursuits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Feel a warm tug by donating rod and reel

Want to save the $9 entry fee to one of the country's biggest outdoors shows and get some warm fuzzies at the same time? Then show up for today's opening of the Ultimate Fishing Show in Novi with a rod and reel to donate to a program that teaches needy kids how to fish. Or take food you can give to Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060112/SPORTS10/601120549/1058
 

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Thanks for the post, HR. But that only applied to yesterday, the first day of the show. I went to the opener, donated a pair of rods and reels and walked in for free.

Great show, by the way. Best in years. Worth the trip.
 

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I tried, but I was at the DNR-NRC meeting in Muskegon yesterday and slow behind the 8-ball with postings. I'm just having trouble keeping up with everything. However, posting this idea of donations at the shows will keep the idea in mind for other shows next year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Huntin' Time Expo has a little of everything

Friday, January 27, 2006 By Howard Meyerson Press Outdoors Editor

The stories about Goliath are legend in hunting circles. Not the biblical Philistine, but the biggest whitetail deer ever raised in captivity, a monster buck with antlers to beat all world records, a 375-pound giant that got deer-napped in 1999 because its semen would be worth a fortune to a deer breeder.

"What's amazing is that the crooks cut the fence on this deer farm in the middle of the night and darted Goliath to sedate him. It had to have been like breaking into Fort Knox," said Tom Antor, the organizer of the 15th annual Gander Mountain Huntin' Time Expo that opens today at DeltaPlex, where the deer's massive antlers will be on display.

More amazing was that the FBI got involved and a $100,000 reward was offered, but the deer was not recovered until four years later when it was spotted on another Pennsylvania deer-breeder's farm 50 miles away from where it was stolen.

The then-6 1/2-year-old deer had a 52-point rack that scored 410 by Boone and Crockett Club scorers. It never made the record book, which only tracks wild kills, but the Boone and Crockett world record for a non-typical whitetail deer is 333 7/8. Do the math.

The story of Goliath, who died in 2004 on the farm where he was first raised, is just one of many highlights sure to tickle hunters at the Expo this weekend.

"We're going to have almost 350 exhibition booths this year," Antor said. "But every year we like to have something different at the show."

Goliath is one of several deer displays scheduled through the weekend. Commemorative Bucks of Michigan, the official state record keeper for Michigan deer kills, will have its Bucks of Michigan Wall of Fame. Volunteers with CBM will be on hand to score any hunter's trophy at no charge.

Bill Yoder, the deer breeder who was once gored and carried around by one of his deer, again will return with two big, live bucks.

Vic Bulliner, the Michigan hunter who killed a world record 8-pointer in Hillsdale County, will have his trophy on display along with Aaron Davis, the 29-year-old Holland bowhunter whose 20-pointer became a state bowhunting record when it was scored at the Expo last year.

"One of the most popular booths at the show last year was the Michigan Hawking Club, which will have an assortment of live birds again at the show," said Antor. "Its not often that people get a chance to see these birds up close."

New to the show this year is a gun auction Sunday featuring more than 135 rifles, shotguns and handguns.

"Guys love auctions and guys love guns," Antor said. "It's a perfect combination plate, like ribs and chicken. We plan to auction off every gun."

The Huntin' Time Expo also promises deals, according to Antor. It is a gear fest for hunters, mostly for archers. But there also will be booths that cater to gun hunters whether they hunt turkey, whitetail or bear.

"Some of the state's largest retailers bring their inventory and blow it out," said Antor.

The show drew 15,000 last year. The same is expected again this year. Its seminar lineup features familiar faces.

Rod Benson, the turkey call maker and guide from Muskegon, will present advanced turkey-hunting techniques. Richard P. Smith, the Michigan author who writes about big deer, will present a talk on "Learning from Michigan's Biggest Bucks."

Greg and Fred Abbas return to offer advice about deer-hunting aids.

"We also have more hunting guides and outfitters with booths than any other show in Michigan," said Antor.
 
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