An event beginning Friday at the Agri-Plex at the Allentown Fairgrounds is stirring up a buzz among outdoor enthusiasts.
The Lehigh Valley Sportsman Show, Feb. 28-March 2, is another signal that spring is just around the corner.
Hunters, fisherman and other outdoor sporting advocates are expected to flock to the fairgrounds to close out the expo season and begin gearing up for the hunting and fishing seasons.
In 2014, thanks in part to the support of Cabela's Hamburg store, the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association and vendors, this year's show is expanding to a three-day weekend from last year's Saturday and Sunday format.
By expanding the show to its original three-day format, more vendors, exhibitors, guides and outfitters will attend, organizers say. In addition, there will be an expanded schedule of seminars and special events — most notably the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association auction of merchandise and trips, prizes that are donated by those at the show and others. The auction, from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, benefits outdoors youth education projects.
The association has raised more than $400,000 through its auctions. Proceeds support scholarships at Penn State University and University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown for journalism majors with an interest in outdoors communication, as well as underwrite youth projects such as field day, conservation camps, fishing events, shooting events and school nature activities.
With the show expanding to three days, more Western Plains, Canadian and East Coast waterfowl outfitters will be attending, offering the opportunity to hunt game such as caribou, bear, deer, elk, mountain lion and pronghorn antelope. For those looking for that once-in-a-lifetime hunting adventure, professional hunters will be in attendance to book hunting and photo safaris.
Also at the show, there will be fishing guides and charter captains from Lake Ontario, the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, as well as river and stream guides from destinations such as the St. Lawrence River, Delaware River, Susquehanna River, Potomac River and many trout streams.
Consultants representing a variety of guides and outfitters will be available to meet one-on-one with those looking to plan their next outdoor sporting adventure.
For those looking to upgrade equipment, there will be vendors selling firearms, archery equipment, fishing tackle and big-ticket items such as boats, motor homes, campers, log homes and ATVs.
Seminars that have been scheduled for the 2014 Lehigh Valley Outdoor Show are:
Butch Mellinger: A nationally recognized bow hunter and the first hunter to complete the African Big 5 Grand Slam with a crossbow.
Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation Center: Certified with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and U.S. Department of Agriculture, the facility cares for injured and orphaned wild animals until they can be released back to the wild. Species include owls, raptors, mammals and reptiles.
Delaware River Shad Association: Will present the history of shad fishing in the Delaware River and tributaries. It is the objective and purpose of the organization to protect the migratory fish species by keeping the river flowing, free of obstructions.
Single Action Shooting Society: The group will give demonstrations of what's commonly known as "cowboy action shooting."
Shawn Kotchey: "Calling and Understanding the Wild Turkey," which includes tips and tactics of hunting and calling the wild turkey. A pro-staff member for Mossy Oak, Kotchey is a professional turkey guide who has bagged wild turkeys in 21 states, placed in more than 30 professional turkey-calling contests and owl hooting contests and owns Millcreek Valley Game Calls in western Pennsylvania.
THE LEHIGH VALLEY SPORTSMAN SHOW