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Rod, Gun & Game: Outdoor shows get going, including online, in new year

ONLINE SHOW — The newest form of outdoor shows has gone online with the North American Sportshow. No parking issues, unlimited re-entry and no worries about the weather. Image Courtesy of North American Sportshow.
Outdoor folks look forward to the outdoor sport show season that normally occurs during the first few months of each new year.

Locally, Western New York enjoyed one brand new outdoor show last week when Niagara County sponsored its first ever event in the Niagara Convention Center, featuring Mike Iaconelli and other bass pro anglers, as well as Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Anglers seminars and a flea market. It provided a new twist for outdoor shows with that flea market, which gave those in attendance the opportunity to bring in items to sell or trade.

In that respect, folks were able to gear up with equipment, boats and vacation plans for the upcoming season, but they still had to fight the nasty cold weather, find a distant parking spot, pay to enter one time and walk from aisle to aisle to identify things at the show. While that’s fun, now there is another new way!

As part of a new concept that started last month, a new outdoor show was launched in the world’s largest convention center — the Internet. The first-ever 2014 North American Sportshow is a “VEXPO,” a virtual exposition. With a virtual outdoor world reality, the show is open 24/7 for 90 days. One ticket is valid for as many days as you would like to attend.

I like this concept because it allows us to go back time after time, handicapped persons the ability to enjoy the entire show from their computer chair and we can save catalogs to a file and check out all the lure colors and sizes at our leisure, along with all of the other things likes fishing rods, boats and so on. You can go back and study details — something all sportsmen like to do.

David Gray, founder of the VEXPO show idea is not new to the outdoors. He was involved with the early development and design of Ardent fishing reels, invented Carbon-X fishing rods, worked in the bait and tackle business and has the respect of all the top names in the outdoor world. He also has been here to Western New York twice in the last two years.

The affable Gray adds, “Most folks attending outdoor shows want to know what’s new, what’s hot and get in on show specials. They want information from pros, to shop for gear or a boat and to plan a great outdoor trip or vacation — we offer all that.”

The show is running on-line right now, at a standard or premium pass cost, during 90 days from Jan. 7 through April 7. If you enter with the premium pass, there are big advantages and because you are reading this column, I have a discount coupon code for our readers: use code KH9FB when you go to enter the show at www.nasportshow.com.

“We are giving away a Ranger bass or walleye boat and entering the drawing is easy,” added Gray. “Premium Pass attendees receive discount coupons worth up to $1,000 or more from our exhibitors, who are all in the fishing, marine or tourism categories. Sportshow attendees will find great products to shop and great destinations to visit. Many exhibitors have free drawings in their booths for items that range from a new Polaris ATV to fishing trips, tackle, and vacations.”

“There are so many ways the VEXPO mirrors a convention center based sport show with the newest products, show specials and entering contests for prizes,” added Gray. “And none of the hassles, no driving, no parking issues, no weather problems. The North American Sportshow is easy to attend.”

Attendees navigate around the show floor and then deciding to enter a booth by clicking the computer mouse on the booth. Once in the booth, you can learn a lot more about the company, the show specials and the newest, hottest products. There are over 100 booths. Gray pulled together top quality fishing companies, including Rapala, Yakima, Eagle Claw, St. Croix Rods, Northland Tackle, Yamaha, Garmin, Gene Larew, Eppinger, Frabill, Sufix, Range Boats and Alumacraft.

What’s more, show attendees can save any information from any booth to their digital show “Literature Bag” and this Show Bag can even save videos. Planning a trip has never been easier, as resorts and great fishing destinations will have all their information at show-attendees fingertips.

On the local side, check out the fishing guide listings. You’ll find Captain Tom Marks and Captain Fred Forsythe from the WNY Lake Erie fishing arena, Captain Frank Campbell and Captain Randy Lingenfelter from the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario fishing, and Captain Larry Jones from the Upper Niagara River and Chautauqua Lake musky fishing world. To get started, visit www.nasportshow.com and enter the show.

The usual WNY Sport and Travel Outdoor Show will run at the Hamburg Agricenter from March 6-9 if you would rather be among the “park your car and walk crowd.” See you at that one too!

Outdoor calendar:

– Feb. 5 – 8: Safari International Annual Convention, Las Vegas; visit www.showSCI.org or call 888-SHOW-SCI.

– Feb.7: Indoor Winter 3D Archery, West Falls Conservation, 55 Bridge St., Friday fun shoot, 7 p.m. Call Mike Cummings at 337-0126 for more information.

– Feb. 7 – 9: Coyote hunt contest, White Sulphur Springs Firehouse, Sullivan County, $2,000 grand prize for heaviest coyote, women’s and youth division, entry, fee. Call 845-482-4987 or visit www.sullivancountysportsmensfederation.com and click on news.

– Feb. 8: Niagara Frontier Chapter of National Wild Turkey Federation Annual Banquet, Lucarelli’s Banquet facility, Lackawanna, 5 p.m. Call Al Gai at 937-3271, for more information.

– Feb. 8: Orvis Fly Tying Classes, free, Eastern Hills Mall at Orvis store. To register, call 276-7200.

– Feb. 9: WNY Winter 3D League Shoot, Collins Conservation, Conger Road, 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. Call Mike Matala at 337-0126, for more information.

– Feb. 15: Southtowns Walleye Annual Banquet, Lucarelli’s Banquet facility, call Antoinette Grote at 684-9523.

Send outdoor information to Forrest Fisher, 10 days in advance, at nugdor@yahoo.com.
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