In the midst of winter, the Washington Sportsmen’s Show is a five-day extravaganza of fishing, hunting and camping. This year’s show opens Wednesday at the Washington State Fair Events Center.
Show attendees will have the chance to learn from experts; meet professional guides, outfitters and resort owners; check out some of the newest recreational vehicles; and check out fishing boats.
There will be about 500 exhibitors and vendors on hand, including local hunting dog clubs, hunting and fishing groups, gear manufacturers and outdoor retailers.
Outdoor education: This year’s show has a lineup of 150 hours of free presentations and seminars on fishing, hunting and survival at the Indoor River and five theaters. Presenters will include first-time speaker Jim Burnworth, known as the “Extreme Archer” and host of the Outdoor Channel’s “Western Extreme.” The Northwest native and current Spokane-area resident will share highlights of exciting past hunts and provide insights on the growing sport of archery hunting. Brett Stoffel will give presentations on wilderness survival and outdoor safety. Other sessions will provide tips for fishing for salmon, steelhead, trout, bass, walleye, halibut and kokanee, while hunting sessions will include calling elk, black-tailed deer hunting, hunting pheasants in Western Washington and turkey hunting.
Meet Brutus: Another new face at the show belongs to Brutus, a 900-pound grizzly bear. His appearance at the show is part of the Montana Grizzly Encounter, an education and care center in Bozeman, Montana. Like the other bears at the center, the 15-year-old Brutus was born in captivity and could not be returned to the wild.
Hands-on fun: There will be several ways to get in on the fun at the show. Volunteers from the Pierce County Sportsmen’s Council will be there to help and educate young anglers at the free kids trout pond. Children 12 and younger can catch and keep or release two trout. All the gear is provided, including fishing poles, bait and take-home bags. At the 3-D archery display by Skookum Archers Club & Range, children can learn the basics of handling a bow and arrow safely with instruction by experts.
Big-game displays: The “Tour of Northwest Big Game Animals” is an exhibit of world, national and regional record-setting big-game trophies. Among them will be the world and Washington state (archery) record California Bighorn sheep, taken in Chelan County, as well as the second-largest Shiras moose ever taken in Washington. The “Head & Horn” competition and display allows local hunters to bring their trophy heads, horns or antlers to the show for scoring and entry in the competition.
Camp cooking demo tent: There will be some new faces giving presentations this year. The lineup includes Dutch oven cooking expert Cee Dub;, Roger Neufeldt talking about sausage-making for beginners; Smokehouse Products’ pro staffer Glenn Thornton on backyard brisket; rustic cooking expert and television personality Bethy Rossos on cooking pizza on the grill; author and outdoorsman Scott Haugen on basic big game butchering; and Milt Gudgel of Pacific Salmon Charters on filleting salmon and tuna and tips for taking care of your catch.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640
Washington Sportsmen’s Show
When: Noon-8 p.m. Wednesday-Jan. 27, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Jan. 28 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 29.
Where: Washington State Fair Events Center, 110 Ninth Ave. SW, Puyallup.
Admission: $12 for adults; $5 for ages 6-16; and free for children 5 and younger. Coupons, valid for $2 off adult admission Wednesday through Friday, are available online and at participating Les Schwab and Baxter Auto Parts locations. $18 two-day passes are also available.