Other presenters included Wilmington's Paul Tremblay with Come Fly The AuSable, Bill Kozel on Deep Woods Deer and Bear Hunting, Marty Simons and Bobby Plude's popular survival lecture, Turkey Hunting with Steve Cuzzacrea, Women gone wild...for the outdoors! with Melanie Houck and a host of others.
Joey Hancock, a southern gentleman, outdoor writer, hunting guide and TV celebrity, delivered the keynote address. He had the crowd roaring with a standup routine that would have made Jeff Foxworthy proud.
However, what impressed me most about the event is not the collective knowledge of the assembled outdoor experts, nor the fabulous Sportsman Show with its many displays and regular equipment give-aways. I am consistently impressed with the friendliness of the participants and the enthusiasm of the many youngsters in attendance.
It is a truly family affair and the children represent the future of our hallowed outdoor traditions. It is encouraging to know that not all of the kids in this country are saddled by cell phones and strapped with iPods.
I offered a seminar on bass fishing, (I know what you're thinking... bass? Well, it is the other white meat and it remains the most popular game fish in North America), and the kids kept me on my toes with solid questions and excellent feedback. After the experience, I am now more convinced than ever that bass fishermen are actually just snowmobilers, enjoying the off season.
The New Season
Speaking of seasons, there is a new one looming on the near horizon as April 1 approaches with the opener of trout season. And with the new season, comes many old promises which I hope will be honored.
I hear about these promises when the frantic phone calls begin, usually in the early part of August. The frequency tends to accelerate as the end of the summer nears. By the time September arrives, there is a noticeable quivering in their voice.