As I pen this week’s column, the tractor has cooled off from pushing snow around, day temperatures are in the 40s and Christmas is here. With the 2019 deer season finally coming to a close, many take this time over the holidays to sit back and reflect. Heck reflect, I haven’t finished putting my gear up yet. Either way, the holiday season is a time to spend with friends and family, trade stories, take a break and begin to look toward the next season. Unless, like some of us, you are still chasing birds around.
A new calendar year brings one thing many look forward to each year — sportsmen show season. Whether you are looking to expand your gun collection, find a new piece of clothing or gear or finally take that hunt of a lifetime, show season gives us all the opportunity to see what is out there.
Back in the day I would head off the week after New Year’s to start the show circuit and be back sometime before Easter. It sounds exciting, but after more than 20 years on the road doing shows I’m able to pick and choose the ones I personally attend now and have Pro-Staff doing ones closest to them. Show season kicks off with the Archery Trade Association annual show in Indianapolis on Jan. 8-11.
The ATA show is the largest archery trade show in the industry and is mainly for buyers and media. The show offers more than 500,000 square feet of anything and everything to do with hunting and the outdoors.
The ATA Trade Show is the only industry show that funds archery and bowhunting growth. To date, the ATA has invested and pledged nearly $1 million to bring archery shooting facilities and introductory programs to U.S. cities. The association also fights for bowhunting rights in courtrooms across the country. No matter the distribution method direct to dealers, through distribution, chain and box-store sales and even international sales the ATA Trade Show attracts all types of buyers. Face-to-face interactions are rare in today’s digital world. The ATA Show gathers hundreds of industry members and archery insiders in one place. One of ATA’s biggest features is the show’s Featured Products Showcase. It allows folks to see tons of products in one place, at the same time.
I will be passing along to you all updates from ATA beginning next week, and continuing to pass along new products as time goes on.
As we pack up in Indiana, the road show heads to Las Vegas for the National Shooting Sports Foundation annual SHOT Show, Jan. 21-24. The Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show is the largest and most comprehensive trade show for all professionals involved with the shooting sports, hunting and law enforcement industries. It is the world’s premier exposition of combined firearms, ammunition, law enforcement, cutlery, outdoor apparel, optics and related products and services. The SHOT Show attracts buyers from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.
At the 2019 SHOT Show, more than 58,000 industry professionals packed the aisles over four days eager to view new, innovative products used for target shooting, hunting, outdoor recreation and law enforcement purposes. The 2020 event should be a must stop for any serious sportsmen and is always fully loaded with anything and everything to do with the outdoors sports.
The ATA and SHOT Show are, for the most part, a dealer/manufacturer show but the “Harrisburg Gala” that the NRA puts on is geared toward the public and it’s not only the largest sportsmen show in the world but it also has something for everybody.
The Great American Outdoor Show, Feb. 1-9, is a nine-day event in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that celebrates hunting, fishing and outdoor traditions treasured by millions of Americans and their families. This a another must stop if you are into hunting and fishing. Show hours this year are Saturday, Feb. 1, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Monday, Feb. 3 through Friday, Feb. 7, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 8, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Here a few of “local” sportsmen’s shows for the 2020 season. The Outdoor Sports Trade Show, Jan. 9-12, with show hours of Thursday and Friday, 1-8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., New Jersey Convention Center in Edison, New Jersey.
Our friends at the Destination Niagara USA are hosting the Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo at the Conference & Event Center in Niagara Falls, Jan. 17-20. The New York Sportsman’s Expo will be held at the New York State Fairgrounds Expo Center in Syracuse on Jan. 23-25. If you are into fly fishing, the Fly-Fishing Show at the New Jersey Convention & Expo Center, Edison, New Jersey will be held Jan. 24-26.
This year’s presentation of the Twin Tiers Outdoor Expo will be held at the Grand Central Plaza in Horseheads on Feb. 15-16. The World Fishing & Outdoor Expo will be held again at Rockland County Community College Fieldhouse from Feb. 27 to March 1.
The Erie Sports and Travel Show is scheduled to run Feb. 28-March 1 at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie. The Western New York Sport & Travel Expo is being held at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg from March 5-8 The Turning Stone Resort and Casino is playing host March 20-22 to the Big East Camping and Outdoor Show in Verona. The Finger Lakes Trollers Association Flea Market at the Watkins Glen Community Center in Watkins Glen (9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 29) always offers some great buys and is well worth the trip.
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