Outdoors

It’s show time for hunters, fishers, game wardens

It’s the feel of the outdoors with all the warmth and dryness of being indoors.

The fishing, hunting and boating show season begins this weekend with the three-day run of the annual Tri-Cities exposition that wraps up today.

Following close on the heels of the Pasco event is the coming week’s five-day O’Loughlin Trade Show exhibition at Puyallup, the lone surviving Western Washington hunting and fishing oriented event, which starts Wednesday, Jan. 21.

Also starting this week is Seattle’s 10-day boating extravaganza _ the combined Indoor and Boats Afloat shows _ in the Soto and Lake Union districts of the Emerald City. The boat show promises to go just nine days if the Seahawks go Super Bowling.

February in the Northwest tri-state area (Washington, Oregon and Idaho) brings three more shows and in the outdoors equivalent of madness in the month of March, five regional exhibitions, including one north of the border, are slated then.

Several changes of note include the cancellation of the Wenatchee Valley show usually taking place in February and put on by Shuyler Productions. It is slated to come back in 2015.

Also, the two-day Fly Fishing Show has returned to Western Washington in February but in Lynnwood this time. The Lewis and Clark Valley Chamber of Commerce’s winter ATK show also is no longer on the calendar.

With controlled hunt drawing application periods already started in Wyoming and Idaho’s non-resident deer and elk license sales underway, it’s time to begin planning next summer or fall’s great fishing and hunting trips. Attending one or more of these winter outdoors shows is a good place to start.

TRAVELING TO THE SHOW

Taking in the Puyallup and Abbotsford shows requires the shortest, most convenient commutes for Whatcom County residents.

However, if you find yourself out and about elsewhere in the greater Northwest on late winter trips, they could coincide with the run dates of other outdoors shows.

Here’s the list of those regional events in case your travel plans mesh.

Washington Sportsmen’s Show in Puyallup. Jan. 21-25 at Western Washington Fairgrounds. Hours: Weekdays, 12 p. m.-8 p. m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: adults, $12; youth (ages 6-16), $5 and kids (five and under), free; $2 discounted online coupon available. Get it at: http://www.thesportshows.com/shows/washington/discount-coupon/. Parking: free.

A variety of hunting and fishing seminars every day, Head and Horns competitions, the indoor steelhead river, Fred Meyer Camp Cooking demonstrations and wilderness survival training.

Organizer on line at: thesportshows.com/shows/washington/

Seattle Boat Show (combined indoors and afloat) in Seattle. Jan. 23- Feb. 1 at CenturyLink Field Events Center and Chandler’s Cove South Lake Union. Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a. m.-8 p. m.; Fridays 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; First Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Second Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission: adults, $12; youth (11-17), $5 and kids (10 and under), free; “Big Show” pass (five-day), $24. For other promotions or to order tickets online go to seattleboatshow.com/buy-tickets.html. Parking: $10 or 13 per day depending on lot (also $5 after 5 p.m. at Centurylink venue. There is a free parking pass offer, too. A free shuttle runs between the two venues.

This show features more than 1,000 watercraft will be on display plus boating accessories vendors, how to seminars and financing options. If the Seahawks play in the Super Bowl, the Boat Show will end Saturday, Jan. 31.

Organizer on line at: seattleboatshow.com/

Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show in Portland, OR. Feb. 4-8 at Portland Expo Center. Hours: weekdays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission: adults, $12; youth, $5 and kids (5 and under), free and two-day pass $18 advanced sales. Parking: free.

Organizer on line at: thesportshows.com/shows/pacific-northwest/

Fly Fishing Show at Lynnwood. Feb. 14-15 at the Lynnwood Convention. Hours: Saturday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Admission: adults, $15 or $25 for two days; military, $10; scouts 16 and under in uniform, free; kids (6-12), $2, under 6, free. Parking: free.

Tyers, exhibits with local flavor.

The International Fly Fishing Film Festival runs Feb. 14 evening tickets separate.

Organizer on line at: http://flyfishingshow.com/lynnwood-wa/

Central Washington Sportsmen Show in Yakima. Feb. 20-22 at the Sundome. Hours: Friday, 1-7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: adults, $9; youth (ages 6-12), $4.50; kids (6 and under), free. Discounts for military, seniors and families. Tickets valid for all three days. Parking: no details.

The second of the Columbia Basin shows, this has daily seminars including regional focuses on fishing and hunting in the Columbia Basin. Northwest Big Game Display, outdoor cooking camp and trout races. For kids, air rifle and lunker trout pond.

Organizer on line at: shuylerproductions.com/cwss.php

Idaho Sportsman Show at Boise, ID. Mar. 5-8 at the Expo Idaho Center in Boise. Hours: weekdays, 5-9 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: adults, $5; seniors 62 and older, $4; kids (12 and under), free. Parking: no details.

Features outfitters and guides from Idaho and Montana to Alaska, Central Idaho air and Snake River boat charter services

Organizer on line at: idahosportsmanshow.com

BC Boats and Sportsmen’s & BC Hunting Shows in Abbotsford. Mar. 6-8 in the TRADEX building at Abbotsford, B.C. Hours: Friday, 12 p.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: online discount coupon available. Parking: no details.

Major North American vendors and hundreds of outfitters, resorts and guides from British Columbia.

Organizer online at: on Facebook and at masterpromotions.ca.

Central Oregon Sportmen’s Show, Redmond, OR. Mar. 5-8 at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center. Hours: weekdays, 12 p.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: adults, $10; youth (ages 6-12), $5 and kids (5 and under), free; discount coupon available online. Parking: free.

Central and eastern Oregon hunting and fishing venues will be highlighted in seminars.

Organizer on line at: http://www.thesportshows.com/shows/central-oregon/

Northwest Fly Tyer and Fly Fishing Expo, Albany, OR. Mar. 13-14 at the Linn County Expo Center. Hours: Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: $10 a day, no charge to Federation of Fly Fishers members, veterans and youth age 18 and under. Parking: free.

More than 200 tyer stations where you may sit and watch, 50 vendors, 50 classes plus fly casting demonstrations and talks about fly fishing getaways. Daily raffles, banquet and auction Saturday night.

Organizer on line at: nwexpo.com/

Bighorn Outdoor Adventure Shows in Spokane. Mar. 19-22 at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center. Hours: weekdays, 12 p.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: adults, $10; seniors, military, youth, $8; kids (6 and under), free, admissions good for all days. Parking: free.

Boone and Crockett together with Pope and Young trophy judging contest in all firearms and weapons categories, laser shooting simulators, trout fishing ponds for kids, fishing demo tank and vendors from as far away as Africa and South America.

Organizer on line at: wildlifecouncil.com/bighornsubsite/

EXPERIENCE TOUCH AND FEEL

It takes a lot of coordination and hours of study to bring off a satisfying and successful angling or big game adventure especially one to new territory.

These shows offer an opportunity to do some first-hand comparing and contrasting of basic details about an intended hunting locale or fishing venue.

And they make subsequent scheduling of annual leave, booking of guides, making reservations for accommodations and consulting the family CFO to see about financing of your personal safari much easier to do.

If lacking even a hint of inspiration is your problem, checking out a winter show or two is a must. While these shows all operate on a similar formula, they do offer hunters and fishers a third-dimension that’s lacking in simply surfing the Web.

You will be able to see and talk directly with guide service or resort owners and, in many cases, see first-hand the trophies and mounts that are the fruits of their efforts.

Also available to examine in hand for comparison will be a wide array of boats, equipment, firearms and tackle.

Those are two things you can’t do through the monitor screen of your computer.

WASHINGTON’S WARDENS GET SCREEN TIME

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Police Department has announced that officers of its 144-member field staff will be the focus of six one-hour programs of a debuting series called Rugged Justice.

The primetime premier is Sunday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. on the Animal Planet Network (Channel 43 in Bellingham) with an episode titled ‘The Thin Green Line.’

In it, according to an Animal Planet promo, the department’s Karelian bear dogs are seen in action and you will be in on undercover anti-poaching operations, witness fugitive manhunt arrests and encounter a junkie with an unusual stash.

Washington’s ‘game wardens’ are fully commissioned state law enforcement officers with a unique and wide-ranging array of training and skills that equip them to handle and protect both wildlife and people.

They’ll be featured in an amazing variety of work venues from Washington’s ocean coast and its inland marine waters to metropolitan streets of its urban centers and the considerable outback of Cascade Mountains and the eastside’s desert country.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Police Department, in a prepared statement, said that its officers featured in the series did not receive any compensation from either the show’s producers or the Animal Planet Network.

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