Two local outdoor shows offer the chance to talk hunting, fishing and more.
One’s this weekend. The other is about a month away.
But two outdoor shows are coming to western Pennsylvania.
Here’s a look.
Tri-County Trout Club Flea Market
This one’s set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 18 at Arnold Volunteer Engine Co. #2 social hall in Arnold.
Vendors will be displaying and selling new, used and collectible hunting, fishing and outdoor items. Food will be available for purchase, too.
Admission is $3 for adults. Children younger than 12 get in free.
That’s the fun part. Then there’s this.
Supporting the show helps get youngster outdoors.
Ten years ago, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission provided the Trout Club a $5,000 grant to buy fly rods, fly tying kits and all of the materials needed to offer fly tying instruction.
Some of the region’s best fly anglers then developed the in-class and on-the-water curriculum that put them to use.
Every March the club puts a new crop of youngsters through its program. That’s made possible, in large part, using money raised by the flea market.
“We culminate that with sponsoring youth to be sent to the Trout Unlimited Rivers Conservation camp on the Yellow Breeches in June,” said spokesman Michael Tutolo. “The experience is life changing.”
The club puts flea market proceeds into other outreach activities, too.
It sponsors a youth fishing derby at Burrell Lake Park every June, teaches fly tying and casting at Vandergrift Sportsmen’s Club’s annual youth day, and takes parts in assorted Scouting events, Fish and Boat Commission family fishing events, corporate outings and more.
Still more programs, including one possibly for inner-city youths, are also under discussion, Tutolo said.
Allegheny Sport, Travel and Outdoor Show
This one is being held Feb. 14 to 16 at the Monroeville Convention Center. Hours are 12 to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Admission is $10 for adults. Children younger than 12 get in free with a paying adult, as do all Scouts in uniform.
Western Pennsylvania’s oldest show – now in its 35th year – this is also the region’s largest. It will feature numerous seminars, with topics covering fishing, camping, paddling, dog training, wild game cooking and more. There will be a live animal show, too.
For those interested in the unusual, the Bigfoot Olympic Project will be doing a seminar as well as offering information at a booth.
The project bills itself as an “association of dedicated researchers, investigators, biologist and trackers committed to documenting the existence of Sasquatch through science and education.” They’re trying to document Bigfoot’s existence through habitat study, DNA analysis, and game camera deployment.
As always, there will be outfitters on hand to book hunting and fishing trips. Some are offering outings to places as far away as Alaska, Canada and even Africa.
Other vendors will sell equipment, from kayaks to fishing line.
There’s one really big and new thing this year, though.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission executive director Tim Schaeffer will be on hand to talk about all things fishing and boating in the state at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. At the conclusion of that, one winner will be drawn at random to win a 10-year fishing license.
“It’s one of our best prizes ever,” said show organizer Chris Fassnacht.
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