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If there is one thing that can get an outdoorsman through the winter doldrums, it’s the Springfield Sportsmen’s Show at the Big E in West Springfield, Mass.
Hard to believe that this will be the Springfield Sportsmen’s Show’s 36th annual event.
Without a doubt, this show, which runs this year the weekend of Feb. 22-24, is for all outdoor folks no matter what your pleasure. Over the years, I have spent a day at the show and never saw everything there was to see. It really lives up to its billing as “the largest pure sportsmen’s show in the Northeast.”
If you are a deer hunter, either just starting or “been there, done that,” you will enjoy seminars presented by my old buddy, Dick Scorzafava, who over the years has taken bucks with racks many of us only dream about.
Make no doubt about it, Scorzafava is an expert in the hunting field. He has also authored three books worth the read: “The Radical Bowhunter,” “The Radical Bear Hunter” and “Spies In The Deer Woods.”
Dick will be signing books and giving away hunting gear to attendees of his seminars.
Also for deer hunters: Ten Point Gold pro staffer Dean Varnier will be back to share his 35-plus years of hunting expertise.
And something for our veterans: The Department of Veteran Affairs and the Springfield Vet Center will have representatives at the show to meet military veterans and their family members to assist them with connecting with benefits.
As a thank you to those who served, there will be a special $3 military discount at the show Friday. Go to Door 7 and present the proper ID to get the discount.
With carp fishing making the headlines everywhere, anyone interested in this growing sport will want to go to one of Dave “The Carp King” Pickering’s seminars. He will be sharing strategies and various topics on catching big carp.
If bass fishing is your thing, you might want to catch Skip Bryant’s talk. Bryant will be more than willing to share his knowledge on catching huge lunker bass.
And for me: my old buddy, Al Gag, a name familiar to just about everyone in the fishing industry with his variety of fishing lures, including some new ones.
Gag is an avid fisherman and he’s always coming up with a new twist when it comes to a fishing lure that works. Gag is also a supporter of the Meriden Rod & Gun Club’s St. Jude Day on the last Saturday in March.
Speaking of fishing, the Springfield Sportsmen’s Show is a good place to stock up on fishing gear for the coming year. There will be many vendors offering good buys on rods and reels as well as hard and soft plastic baits, plus fishing kayaks and boats.
They will have plenty of saltwater tackle on board as well.
Those of us who like to hunt wild turkeys will find plenty of gadgets, calls, camo and other products related to the craft.
Renowned turkey hunter Joe Judd will be on hand to share his passion. Judd is a member of the Quaker Boy pro staff. If you have any questions regarding calling and hunting wild turkey, then Judd is your “go-to guy.”
Do you have a bird hunting dog? Geoffrey English can provide you with the very best information on how to get the best out of your hunting dog.
A Connecticut bowhunter, Del Delmastro, will also be on hand to share techniques. Del has taken game all over the world using only his bow. Stop by and tell him I said “hello.”
Just about every deer hunter I know loves to look at bucks with huge racks, and the Northeast Big Buck Club gives them a chance to do just that. The Big Buck Club is a nonprofit organization dedicated to Northeast hunters and outdoorsmen.
Each year, hundreds of volunteers measure trophy bucks from New England, New York and Pennsylvania, and many of them will be on display at the show. You might be surprised by some of the bucks that come out of Connecticut.
But the Springfield Sportsmen’s Show is not just that. You will find ways and products that can increase your game cooking skills.
Looking for a new adventure? This show is an excellent place to find it, anywhere in the lower U.S. up to Alaska, the Canadian Provinces and even Africa, from big game to waterfowl. This show has a variety of outfitters eager to book you for the hunt of a lifetime.
Admission is $16 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12. Kids under 6 are free.
Show hours are noon to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24.
The preliminary deer harvest report for Massachusetts shows a record year with 14,513 deer.
During the state’s Youth Hunt on Sept. 29, 138 deer were harvested. Three more were taken during the Paraplegic Hunt on Nov. 1-3. Archery season brought in 5,190.
Shotgun season saw 6,495 deer tagged and primitive firearms season had a harvest of 2,687.
That’s a total of 14,513. The buck total was 8,173.
Haven’t seen the Connecticut total yet, but I will let you know when I do.
See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops wherever they may be protecting our freedom.