John J. from New York writes to ask whether attending winter sports shows, “is worth doing.”
John, that all depends on you. You get at least three things from winter hunting and fishing expos. First, there are almost always some excellent seminar speakers. These alone can make attendance worth doing.
Dr. Dave Samuel and a Coues whitetail.
Second, there are guides and outfitters there. This can be a mixed bag. Some guides are there because they just need hunters, and this is how they get them. Of course, most of these guides are good, but some are not. It’s easy to get burned if you don’t do some homework after coming home from the show. Make lots of calls to hunters who were successful and those that were unsuccessful in these camps.
It’s interesting, but some of the best outfitters go to these shows, even though they are fully booked. Why do they go? They go to see their former customers. Hunters love to chat with guides they hunted with the previous year or two, so it’s great PR for some guides to be at these shows.
Finally, another reason to attend these shows is because there are lots of new products to see. Here again, go easy on purchasing at these shows, but there’s nothing wrong with looking and learning. If you find something you like, buy it. But if it is a big-ticket item, just look, get educated, go home and think it through before you purchase.
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Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for sportsmansguide.com. If you have a question for Dr. Dave, e-mail your question to Dr. Dave in care of Tom Kacheroski, senior editor of www.sportsmansguide.com‘s content at email@example.com. Dr. Dave studied deer for 30 years as a wildlife management professor at West Virginia University. In addition he has been a bowhunter for over 40 years, with deer being his main prey. He’s also an outdoor writer and has been with “Bowhunter” magazine for 31 years.