ESSEX JUNCTION - The 19th Annual Yankee Sportsman's Classic Show will be held Jan. 14-16 at the Robert E. Miller Expo Center in Essex Junction.
The three-day, 100,000-square-foot event brings together 15,000 sportsmen, women and their families from all over to celebrate Vermont's hunting and fishing heritage.
During this long weekend, visitors can enjoy free seminars, check out the latest gear, take advantage of show specials, talk with wildlife and fisheries experts, and book a hunting or fishing adventure of a lifetime. The kids can hold a hawk, owl or falcon as part of the Talons Birds of Prey experience, try their luck at the catch-and-release trout pond, take part in the kids' archery shoot, BB gun shoot and casting competition or climb the 20-foot rock wall and practice on the shooting simulator. With nearly 175 exhibitors, people can feel the shock and awe of the Muzzy 200 Club Display, learn to fly fish, or demo equipment at the indoor fly casting pond. The Roots School will be teaching wilderness survival, primitive hunting and tool-making techniques
With more than 45 free seminars, everyone gets answers to their questions. Whitetail hunting will be presented by nationally acclaimed hunters such as the Benoit's, Scott Kirkpatrick, Ken Hammel, Joe DiNitto and Jim Massett.
Driven TV's celebrity hunters, Pat Reeve and Nicole Jones will be on hand to share their hunting adventures and expertise.
The Whitetail Symposium will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 15, when all the expert whitetail hunters will be on stage to answer questions. Expert gun dog trainer Alec Sparks, famed Quaker Boy Turkey caller Joe Judd, top predator hunter P.J. Clark and waterfowl hunter Bradley Carleton will all be on hand to share their secrets. Vermont's fly-fishing guru, Bob Shannon, will share his proven fly-fishing tactics. Master Maine guide, Bob Howe, will teach how to lure trophy trout. Dave Genz, the Godfather of ice fishing, will talk ice fishing done right. And Vermont's own 2011 Bassmaster Classic Qualifier, Sean Alvarez, will talk about Bass-to-Basics. For more information, call (802) 238-7501 or visit online at www.yankeeclassic.net.
With one in five Vermonters taking to the fields and streams and spending $258 million annually, hunting and fishing is important Vermont's culture and the rural economy.
Show hours are Friday, noon-8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $3 for children under 12, and free for children under 3. Parking is free.