Once again, it is time for outdoors enthusiasts to plan for another year of activities, and the best place to do that is at an outdoors sports show.
For area sportsmen, the wait for another show season is almost over with the Early Bird Sports Expo being held Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 24-27, at the Bloomsburg Fair Grounds. This is the 25th anniversary for the show that annually kicks off the season for show goers.
Up next is the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 2-10, at the State Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg. This show remains the largest of its kind in the country with separate areas for fishing tackle, firearms, archery outfitters, boats, ATVs and vehicles, campers, tourism and more.
This year's Early Bird Sports Expo will have two archery contests and for the first time a youth turkey calling contest for those who have never won a contest. In addition to outfitters, boats and vendors for various outdoors-related products, a series of seminars will be presented in a newly expanded area.
Steve Schicker, Gerry Rightmyer and Cathy Turner of Forever Wild Outdoors TV will present a series of seminars. Schicker will speak on turkey hunting, Rightmyer will speak of deer hunting and Turner will speak on techniques to control emotions when hunting.
Wildlife artists and outdoors writer Ken Hunter will present "So, You Want To Catch More Fish," and also answer questions at his booth; Columbia County deputy sheriff Paul D'Angelo will present a seminar on handgun safety; and Appalachian Reptiles will present a seminar on Pennsylvania reptiles by members of the Keystone Reptile Club.
Early Bird Sports Expo hours are: Thursday, 4 p.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For information and tickets, access the website at www.earlybirdsportsexpo.com.
Planning and navigating a visit to the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show is easier than ever this year with the help of some user-friendly features on the show's website at www.easternsportshow.com. Finding an exhibitor is simple with the My Show Planner feature that enables the creation of a personal account to help organize important information such as an exhibitor's name and location and date and time of a meeting in a personal calendar.
This section also includes a detailed map of the State Farm Show Complex, a comprehensive listing of show events and vendors and a search feature for specific exhibitors by booth name, category, hall location, booth number and the state or country of origin. For use at the show, information can be downloaded on smart phones or web-enabled devices.
Sponsored by The Outdoor Channel and Comcast, Progressive Insurance, Cabela's and Chevrolet, and featuring more than 1,200 exhibitors, The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show offers a wide range of seminars presented by experts, contests and entertainment.
Top fishing experts appearing at the ESOS include Mark Menendez, Tommy Skarlis, John Hansen, III and many local experts. Fishing seminars focusing on Pennsylvania waters will be given by Blaine Mengel, Rod Bates, Frank Angelo and Darrel Gesford.
Hunting experts scheduled to conduct seminars are Vicki and Ralph Cianciarulo, Lee and Tiffany Lakosky, Jim and Eva Shockey, Larry Weishuhn, Stan Potts, Fred Eichler, Sean Mann, Barry and Gene Wensel, Matt Morrett, Alan Probst and Abner Druckenmiller.
ESOS hours are: Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Monday-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. For information and tickets, access the website at www.easternsportshow.com.