The Washington Sportsmen’s Show, which bills itself as a one-stop shopping destination for hunters and anglers, begins today at the Puyallup Fair & Events Center. It runs through Sunday.
The show also provides a wealth of information through more than 150 how-to presentations and the chance to develop local contacts.
Get connected: The show is a great opportunity to visit with people from the area who enjoy the same activities you do. There will be dozens of hunting and conservation organizations; groups representing different breeds of hunting dogs; and groups with a passion for trout, bass or salmon. Take a moment to chat with the representatives at their booths. They’ll be happy to share some information and you’ll connect with local folks who share your passion.
Listen and learn: One of the best deals the Sportsmen’s Show offers is a full slate of free seminars. The show features more than 10 venues for demonstrations and presentations. Fishing sessions include Buzz Ramsey offering tips on fishing for spring chinook salmon, Bob Kratzer talking about plugging for steelhead, Denny Rickards talking about still-water fishing for trout, and Ron Hobbs giving a primer on smallmouth bass fishing in Washington. Hunters can sit in on sessions about black-tailed deer, elk, waterfowl and predators.
If you’re into camping, the Camp Cooking tent is a great place to get some ideas for your next adventure and a taste or two of some good recipes.
One show regular worth hearing is survival expert Peter Kummerfeldt. One of his presentations is “Emergency Shelters: What Works & What Doesn’t.”
When dogs fly: If you like to see dogs do some amazing things, take in a session of the DockDogs competition. Dogs of all sizes will participate in “Big Air,” “Extreme Vertical” and “Speed Retrieve” skill events. The Big Air finals begins at 2 p.m. Jan. 29, with qualifying during the preceding days. The entire event is open to first-time and experienced canine competitors. For details and registration information, go to www.pugetsounddockdogs.org.
Score a deal: For hunters and anglers, the show is a candy shop. Local retailers will offer deals on gear, while guides and outfitters from near and far will offer trips (often with a show discount) to places like Alaska, British Columbia, Montana, Idaho and across the state for elk, salmon, deer, trout, waterfowl and more.
Show favorites: With the show entering its 25th year, there are some parts that prove interesting year in and year out. Among them is the Head & Horns display and competition, this year featuring full-body big game mounts of a record-setting 2,100-pound American bison, 400-pound black bear and 200-pound mountain lion. The free kids trout fishing pond lets children 12 and younger catch-and-keep or -release a trout and head home with a smile. The pond is stocked with thousands of trout and worked by volunteers. All the gear is provided, including poles, bait and take-home bags.
The 2012 Washington Sportsmen’s Show
When: Jan. 25-29
Where: Puyallup Fair & Events Center
Hours: Noon-8 p.m. Jan. 25-27, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Jan. 28, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 29
Admission: $12 for adults; $5 for juniors (6-16); and free for children 5 and younger. Two-day passes are $18. Tickets purchased at the gate with a credit card will include a $1 fee per credit card transaction. Discount coupons, valid for $2 off adult admission any day of the show, are at participating Baxter Auto Parts and Les Schwab locations and through Fred Meyer Rewards Cards.
Information: 503-246-8291 or thesportshows.com/wss