© By Othmar Vohringer
The BC Boat & Sportsmen's Show is the largest of its kind in British Columbia. On Saturday, March 6th I attended the show and right away realized that the attendance was up from last year. A long line of visitors stretched outside the Tradex Center in Abbotsford waiting patiently up to a half hour to get in. Inside the place was jam packed with people, the likes I have not seen in recent years.
For me this show is always one of the highlights of the year to check out all the new products that come on the market. Just as important, if not more so, is meeting with people that I rarely see at other times during the year and make new friends and business connections.
I had the chance to talk to Les Trendall, the show manager, about possibly attending the show next year as a seminar speaker. He told me that he had heard so much positive comments about my seminars that he would like for me to appear on the show.
Other people I spoke too are my good friend and award winning outdoor writer and conservationist Bill Otway. With Wes Swain, the BC Wildlife Federation Hunter Education Manager, I discussed how we could improve the hunter education program, not only make it educational but a bit more entertaining for the students too. Ken Sward, is the Wildlife Chairman of the Keremeos, Cawston Sportsman Assoc. With Ken I talked about my upcoming turkey hunting seminar in Keremeos.
Ken is also the manufacturer of the "Pak-Kart", a big game cart of exceptional quality that lets you haul big game animals out of the rugged back country with ease and comfort. This is a very neat product and much stronger built then similar carts you can purchase from big box retail stores. This is the quality game cart that I have been looking for in all my many years of hunting.
Last, but not least, in the lineup of people I spoke to are Jim Shockey, perhaps Canada's most recognized hunter celebrity. Going by the very long lineup of show visitors wanting autographs of Jim he really is a true celebrity. It was the first time I met Jim and found him to be a very personable man. We have outdoor writing, bow and muzzleloader hunting in common which provided plenty food for discussion. Then I met, also for the first time, with Mike Mitchell, editor of the BC Outdoors Magazine. In the past I have had several email exchanges with Mike, but as things go in the outdoor writer business, editor and writer rarely meet in person.
A long line of people, patiently waiting to get inside the Tradex in Abbootsford to see the BC Boat & Sportsmen's Show.
The show has three distict section. Fishing, Boating and Hunting. In each section visitors were busy looking for good deals to be had and try out equipment.
Throughout the show were hourly seminars and workshops held on the "Angler Stage" and the "Hunter Stage”. Here is BC's very own Brian Chan, one of the most popular flyfishers, outdoor writer and TV show host, giving a demonstration on fly tying. Other attractions available to visitors and widely used were the kids fishing pond, the laser gun hunting game, fly casting river and a computer machine where anglers could pit their skills in reeling a large fish in.
British Columbia is known for its rugged landscapes and harsh Nordic winters. To get in an out of some of this remote places an ATV and snowmobile are essential. Accordingly was the interest of the visitors at the ATV stands. Fun and skill ATV rides outside the Tradex building attracted a lot of young and young at heart people.
Of course no hunting show is complete without displays of stunning taxidermy art and the BC Boat & Sportsmen's Show had plenty of that to admire too. Most people do not realize, until they see all the mounts, that British Columbia and Canada, for that matter, are the number one destination for hunters all around the world. Canada simply has it all from a large variety of upland birds right up to all bear, elk, caribou and ram subspecies, black,- whitetail,- and mule deer to muskox and even walrus. You name the North America native game species and we have it here in Canada, a true hunters paradise.
All in all I had a great day at BC Boat & Sportsmen's Show with many interesting conversation and seeing new products. One of the highlights was when four different hunters, at different times, approached me because they recognized me from my turkey seminars. Each of them thanked me for the seminar. All four of them claimed that it was my seminar that enabled them to get a turkey last spring. That alone makes me feel very good. It’s exactly what I strive to achieve with my seminars. I am looking forward to next year and the way it looks I am going to be a part of it, instead of just visiting.
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