On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me... sorry I digress.
The first part of the New Year in Chautauqua County generally begins with the sound of beagles chasing rabbits, looking for geese and ice huts popping up. The beagles have been doing their fair share of chasing, geese are flying and hard-water anglers are starting to get into some early season action.
There is another tradition to beat cabin fever - attending a sportsmen show.
Each year thousands of sportsmen attend sports shows throughout the United States in search of the special new widget that will make their next outing more enjoyable.
Like many of you, I have been attending sports shows for as long as I can remember. One of the first shows I attended was a small one in Frewsburg at the Blue Building. It was a small show (if you know the Blue Building, you'll understand), but none the less I've been hooked on sports shows ever since.
Today I spend the majority of my time during the first quarter of the year traveling the northeast attending shows as a vendor. The side of the table I stand on is much different than the side most folks who attend sport shows see. It's not an easy life. In fact many vendors that have been doing shows for years say it's kind of like being in a rodeo. You spend a few days in one town, then you're off to the next.
I don't spend as much time on the road as I have in the past, but I still enjoy doing shows and meeting new folks as they share their hunting and fishing stories with me.
The sports show season kicks off next weekend at the Warren Mall with the Warren Sports Show on Jan. 12 and 13. The Warren County Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with local sportsmen to hold this annual event and exhibitors travel from the tri-state area to show off the latest and greatest in outdoor sports equipment.
There are a bunch of things I enjoy about the Warren County Sports Show, but the one that is groundbreaking to me is that admission is free. Yes folks, there is no charge to get into the show.
The Warren County Sports Show also offers numerous free seminars. Seminar speakers will discuss everything from muskie fishing to fly tying to predator hunting to beginning duck hunting and everything in between. I will be giving seminars throughout the weekend explaining how to film yourself killing your next deer or turkey.
The Oakridge Girls will be at the Oakridge Game Calls booth showing off their 2013 Women in the Outdoors calendar on Saturday from noon until 3 p.m. and Sunday from 1 until 3 p.m.
I'll be giving away a free call to first 25 youngsters that stop by the Oakridge Game Call booth each day. The only thing I ask is that the youth share a hunting or fishing story with me.
For those that would like to watch the Major League Fishing show on the Outdoor Channel, with the help of Greg Peterson, the Outdoor Channel airs on local cable channel 126.