The four seasons of the year are a bit different for me than the average person. The seasons are divided into outdoor trade show season, spring hunting season, fishing season and then fall hunting season.
The outdoor trade show season starts right about now and lasts approximately until the middle of April.
Outdoor trade shows are a great way for me to see new hunting and fishing gear that will soon be available in the shops.
The trade show season is also the time in which I partake in seminars and various workshops and events. Meeting other hunters, anglers and industry people is always a special highlight of that time.
Seminars are another way for me to reach out to hunters and educate them about our rich hunting heritage and our responsibilities as ethical hunters, stewards and conservationists of wildlife, and the importance of passing this honoured tradition to the next generation.
When it comes to outdoor trade shows our province is somewhat of a sleeper. The biggest show in B.C. is the Boat & Sportsman’s Show held annually at the Trade-Ex in Abbotsford. This year the exhibition runs from March 4 to 6 — it is also the show’s 25th anniversary this year.
For that occasion the show has been enlarged with additional exhibitors from the boating, fishing, hiking and hunting sector. In addition, the archery shooting range will be expanded and the famous hunting and fishing film tour is free of charge, as are many hunting and fishing seminars/workshops presented by some of the most recognized experts in the industry.
Much closer to home, in Kelowna, the BC Interior Sportsman Show is scheduled to open its doors from April 9 to 10 at the Capital News Centre.
After two years of planning this will be the inaugural opening for this show. I am particularly honoured that I’ve been slated to appear at this venue with my turkey hunting seminars.
I hope to see many of my more regular readers at the BC Interior Sportsman Show — stop by and say hello.
Daily admission rates are reasonable for individuals and families, and children under the age of 12 get in free.
The BC Interior Sportsman Show focuses on fishing, outdoor recreational activities and hunting.
That rounds up what’s on offer in British Columbia. Alberta and Ontario in contrast have huge and well-established outdoor oriented trade shows. If you happen to be in Calgary between February 4 to 7, be sure to take in the Calgary Boat & Sportsman Show at the BMO Centre Stampede Park.
Besides the Calgary Boat & Sportsman Show there are affiliated shows in Edmonton on March 10 to 13 at the Edmonton Expo Centre, Northlands and the Toronto Sportsman Show on March 16 to 20 at the International Centre.
These three shows are as big as they get in Canada, attracting millions of visitors with thousands of exhibitors, activities, entertainment and a long lineup of who’s who in the outdoor industry.
Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec and the other provinces have their own outdoor trade shows of various sizes and traditional status.
All in all, these trade shows are a sign that the hunting and fishing heritage is alive and well in this great nation of ours.
For me it is of particular interest to see that each year more young people visit these shows across Canada, a sure sign that our hunting and fishing heritage is being successfully passed on to the next generations and with that will continue into the future.
Othmar Vohringer lives in the Nicola Valley. He is a animal behaviourist and outdoor writer for hunting magazines in Canada and the U.S. www.othmarvohringer.com