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The Roving Sportsman… It’s SHOWTIME!

Relatively speaking, up until last week or so, we have had a rather mild winter so far. But now Mother Nature has tightened the grip, and for the foreseeable future, a wintrier forecast is slated – to include more snow and more freezing temperatures. With that in mind, it also means it must be time for the annual Great American Outdoor Show!

Held at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA, it will run this year from February 4 – 12 and promises to be even bigger and better than last year. For your planning purposes, show hours are as follows:

Saturday, February 4, from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. / Sunday, February 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. / Monday to Friday, February 6 – 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, February 11, from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Ever since the takeover of the show operation by the NRA in 2014, things keep getting better and better. Wider aisle space, fewer vendors who sell trinkets and non-sports-related items, and simply lots more for outdoor folks to enjoy and see are some of the improvements. Billed as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Show,” it is simply that. The entire Farm Show Complex is chock full of vendors presenting a huge variety of outdoor-related items. Huge rooms house complete displays of boats, outdoor products, and outdoor lifestyle items. Entire halls encompass vendors who specialize in different areas of interest to hunters and fishermen. The Fishing Hall focuses on fishing equipment as well as fishing guides, outfitters, and lodges. The largest hall is the Hunting Outfitters Hall, where hunting guides and outfitters come from all across the country and from around many points of the globe to give prospective clients the opportunity to meet directly with them and get in-depth answers to any questions they may have. It is a unique and once-a-year chance to meet and have one-on-one conversations with such a huge number of vendors who represent almost any hunting opportunity that you can imagine. From giant red stag hunting in New Zealand to hunts for Alaskan brown bears and from nearby pheasant hunting preserves to Southern quail hunting plantations – it’s all there for you to talk with and gather information from a unique array of vendors.

Each day of the show, there are numerous events throughout the complex – from processing deer meat to hunting dog demonstrations to trout fishing opportunities for kids to archery shooting displays. All day long, there are seminars whose topics range from elk hunting out west on your own to trapping and predator hunting and calling to virtually every facet of outdoor interests.

Numerous vendors will include some manufacturer’s representatives who will be able to answer any detailed questions you may have about the products they are representing. Various retailers will have goods on display also – including the latest gear and gadgets that are new this year.

I highly encourage anyone to attend the Great American Outdoor Show since it presents such a massive chance to take in virtually every facet of the interests of sportsmen and women. Vendors travel from all over the world to be there, and attendees come from dozens of nearby states to take in all that it offers. For us, it is a relatively short drive and well worth it to have the chance to feel, touch, and try items of interest or get answers to your burning questions about fishing or hunting trips that you have been daydreaming about.

For more detailed information about the show, go to There are tabs such as “explore the show,” “plan your trip,” and “exhibitors” that will help in determining when to go and what to see while you are there. This show only comes around once each year, and it is in our own “backyard!” Hope to see you there!