January 25, 2011
By Brandon Wikman
As the ATA show comes down to a simmer, another gargantuan show begins to sizzle. Nearly halfway across the country, the world-renowned SHOT Show kicks off in Las Vegas.
The ATA show, which is held in Indianapolis, caters to archery hunters, whereas the SHOT Show is targeted to the general hunting population. Both shows are huge and electrifying.
The SHOT Show is an annual tradeshow for the shooting and firearms industry. It is one the biggest event of this type in the world, together with IWA & Outdoor (“IWA Nuremberg”) which also takes place annually. “SHOT”, besides being a general reference to shooting, is an acronym for “Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade” (show). This trade show is open only to those in the trade and the press. It is not open to the general public.
SHOT Show attendance remained strong in 2010, rising 11,000 above 2009’s show in Orlando.You will find some of the following show statistics quite intriguing. The total attendance averages to be about 58,444 people. There are 1,633 exhibitors showcasing outdoor and hunting products. There are over 31,2800 people who attend to write orders, look at the new and exciting products, and meet fellow industry partners. Lastly, there’s 700,000 net square feet for hardcore hunters to use.
The first SHOT Show was held in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1979. The show is owned and sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. It rotates between Las Vegas, Nevada; Orlando, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana, and several other U.S. cities, although in the last few years it has taken place mostly in Las Vegas.
A show like this lasts for several days and makes for an incredible experience. If you ever have a chance to attend such an event, please do. You will be glad you did.
November 30, 2010
By Brandon Wikman
The official 9-day, 2010 Deer Gun Season ended this past weekend. The hype of tradition, heritage, and deer camps across the northern state lost another breath of air. For many hunters across Wisconsin, it will be a bleak final month of late season hunting before realizing their tags won’t be used any time soon.
The blaze orange barrage of Wisconsin’s finest deer enthusiasts hoped to witness a better firearm season than last year’s gong show. The state’s firearm season deer kill was down nearly 30 percent in 2009 as mass numbers of deer were killed thanks to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The WDNR licensed and issued stacks of freebie doe permits. Many hunters took that opportunity to eradicate every fur-bearing critter that roamed the Dairy State. This was a shocking outcome and conclusion for many hunting families.
In some parts of Wisconsin, hunters had to shoot a doe before legally killing a buck. This was called, “Earn-a-Buck.” The entire concept of the WDNR was to exterminate mass numbers of deer that apparently suffered from the Chronic Wasting Disease scandal. At the end of the day, there was no real winner.
This year’s opening weekend firearm season kill was up a smidge at 6%. That ultimately means the average deer kill was still down around 24%. Many hunters have called it quits after seeing more wolves, coyotes, and mountain lions in their woods than whitetail deer!
As for myself, firearm season lacked just about everything… for not only me, but also my family. Opening weekend for me was spent overlooking a large field in the middle of the woods. This was a perfect hot spot for food, travel intersections, and putting my tag on a deer. I sat the spot for two long days and saw three does and one yearling buck. However, I did spot a few coyotes.
As for my family, it wasn’t good. Our farm in central Wisconsin used to be a deer mecca. Farmland mixed with woodlots made for an ideal hunting location. Although, after the last few years of the WDNR eradicating our deer herd, my family saw four does.
It seems that there are several instances of real-life problems that have hit the state of Wisconsin. Our deer herd is not what it used to be and quite frankly, I don’t know if we’ll ever have it back. The days of seeing piles of deer across the Dairy State for many farm families are now only fond memories.