Event Report: Camo-Therapy
by Linda K. Burch, Pro Staff Coordinator
I felt my face suddenly flush hot, eyes watering, my breath taken away, my nose felt like I’d snorted battery acid and I had a body shudder as if in the electric chair.
Though I was in a crowded convention hall, I felt insulation like suddenly beinalone in a hot cocoon while a thunderous nerve-rattling heat wave overcame me. I doubled over. I snapped back up, wild eyed and clutching my neck. I sucked my breath back into my lungs and let out a glass shattering “WOOOO HOOOOO!” As I was gasping there, red faced, the vendor asked if I was alright.
“I’ll take three bottles,” I squeaked out in response. I had a half circle crowd around me.
I’m sure they thought I might throw myself on the cement floor and do the crappie flop
about then. Instead, I leaned, half crippled on the counter to fumble my VISA card out
of my purse. I turned to face my growing audience and said “this is the best stuff I’ve
ever had!” The group pressed in, waving greenbacks and credit cards. They wanted
some. Horseradish, that is. The vendor was selling “Son in Law” brand horseradish and
gave a knowing grin to every lamb he led to slaughter. It was the best stuff I’ve ever
had and that vendor owes me a commission.
I was at the Ohio Deer and Turkey Expo in Columbus (put on by Target
Communications) with my gal pal Mara. We called this our “Camo-Therapy” girl time.
Mara and I had hunted her family’s land for whitetails and turkey, and she had joined
me in Minnesota on my land for deer hunting as well. But now, it was the doldrums of
March, somewhere between the end of deer hunting and the beginning of turkey
hunting, with cabin fever setting in badly. I had been chained to my desk doing tax
returns and we both needed to escape work for a while. We were itching to get into the
woods or even just have an excuse to wear camo. Mara has lost the latter part of deer
season last year because she broke her foot while trudging from her deer stand through
a corn field at dark. She had been in cast and boot for months. She was just now able
to be walking around to enjoy this type of show. We attended another show the month
before but it was quite disappointing so this was to be our last hurrah and what a GREAT
show it was!
The display of Whitetail deer trophies was phenomenal. Many monster bucks hailed
from the Southeastern part of Ohio which is borne out by the harvest statistics provided
by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Also, many people have seen the photos circulated on
the internet about the three bucks with antlers tangled from fighting and the found
dead in a swamp. Well, the skull and antlers of those very bucks were on display at the
show, with photos and video as well.
Something we do not see much of at shows is a dedication to women’s hunting interests and gear. This year's Ohio show was an exception.
Woman Hunter LLC magazine was there with many of their products, as well as "Shoot Like a Girl" president, Karen Butler, who started her business to encourage women in the shooting sports.
Camo with pink was everywhere! There were also many seminars and speakers throughout the entire weekend. With more than 450 booths, there was no issue with feeling like you missed something. It was ALL there: firearms, archery, clothing, gear, equipment, tree stands, accessories, guides and outfitters from around the world, lifestyle and cabin decorating and of course, venison jerky, killer horseradish and enough food vendors to rival the State Fair which was appropriate since this event was held at the fairgrounds.
So can you get bargains and value at a Hunting Expo?
Oh yes. I bought a triple pack of Primos diaphragm turkey calls with case for my husband for $10.99 that I saw a couple hours later in a retail store for $16.99. I also bought a great turkey vest I’d seen elsewhere for $20 more, and got a great deal on a hickory walking stick with a carved wood morel mushroom handle. Of course I had to get a couple of pink skull & antler stickers saying "Lady Hunter" too. There were a few more things now I wish I’d bought because I’ve seen them for higher prices elsewhere.
This expo focused on three things to have success:
- Great seminar speakers and topics,
- great exhibit booths, and
- their trophy Whitetail Contest.
They also had a New Products Section like the ATA or SHOT trades show have, as well as other contests for outdoor and trail cam photography and for game calling and owl hooting.
So we shopped till we dropped, saw all the latest hunting "stuff" and got our CamoTherapy fix. I am now motivated to go dig out all my hunting gear and get it set up and organized. I might even try to find a wild hog hunt between now and then. I am looking forward to sharing that horseradish with my friends who boast about their being able to eat hot stuff. That item alone was worth the price of admission!
Copyright 2011, Linda K Burch.
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