Have you gone stir-crazy yet?
Winter is certainly one of the slowest times on the Hoosier outdoor calendar. Here in central Indiana the hunting seasons are nearly over, ice-fishing is spotty at best and we’ve settled into the post-holiday doldrums of cold, gray days punctuated by the sounds of our failed New Year’s resolutions shattering on the floor.
One of the bright spots in this otherwise dreary period is the fact that January and February are the “Show Season,” a time when the Hoosier outdoors enthusiast can join thousands of their brethren and sisters standing elbow-to-elbow, patiently filled with giddy anticipation while waiting to get through the beer line.
And, there are also seminars, displays and far too many toys to ever hope of purchasing.
Running down the calendar, we will now present our mostly-comprehensive guide to central Indiana outdoor shows.
The Archery Trade Association (ATA) Show, January 10-12, Indianapolis- This is an industry-only show that bears mention because it will take place squarely in the middle of Indiana this year and the fact that nearly every business and personality in the hunting and bowhunting world will be present. If you work in the archery business, this show is a no-brainer because it is literally in our backyard.
We have attended the show for several years now and it is growing leaps and bounds. To attend, you or your business must be a member of the Archery Trade Association. At this date, only online registrations are accepted. Visit http://archerytrade.org for details.
Wild Indiana Outdoors, January 16-17, Kokomo- This relatively new show on the Hoosier outdoor scene opens its doors for the third time in two weeks.
Held at the Kokomo Conference and Event Center, the well-produced event is growing like a morel mushroom after a warm rain. It features the standard fare of speakers, seminars, deer scoring, boats, educations exhibits and activities.
To clear up a common confusion, the show isn’t associated with the website WildIndiana.com of which Your Faithful Correspondent is the publisher. The names are merely similar.
Admission is $5 with children age 10 and under admitted for $1. The doors are open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday and until 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit http://facebook.com/wildindianaexpo
Outdoor Sports Lake and Cabin Show, January 27-29, Fort Wayne – The progeny of the ‘old’ Fort Wayne Outdoor Show, it is considered one of the oldest continuously operated theme shows in the country. This year marks more than 50 years for the expansive regional Outdoor Sports Lake and Cabin Show.
Held at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, admission is $10 with children 12 and under free. The show is open noon to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information visit http://outdoorsportslakecabinshow.com
Indiana Fishing Expo 2017, January 28-29, Franklin- This is a fishing-only show held at the Johnson County Fairgrounds.
With seminars and exhibitor booths that include both national manufacturers and retailers, this is a great event for the avid angler looking to stagger home with sacks full of ever-more angling goodies.
Admission is $4 for adults with children 16 and under free. The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Parking is free.
The Ford Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show (BSTS), February 17-26, Indianapolis.- What can be said about the “Big Daddy” of Indiana outdoor shows?
Running for 10 days at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, this show takes several hours to visit. With seminars by big-name fishing experts, dozens of booths by both local and national resorts and guides, a kids trout fishing pond, more boats and RV’s than you could tour in a day and a huge array of items for sale by various vendors, this show is the one that all others are measured against and truly a Hoosier outdoor tradition.
On the final weekend of the BSTS in an adjacent building is the incredibly-popular Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo. This event would be a good-sized outdoor show by itself and is a valuable bonus to a BSTS ticket on that final weekend. There also is the Indiana Motorcycle Expo held in conjunction with the first weekend of the show.
The hours of the event are variable; admission is $14 for adults, $12 for seniors (60+), $8 for children 6-12 and free for children 5 and under. For more information, visit http://indianapolis boatsportandtravelshow.com.
Hopefully these events are enough to shake off the worse case of cabin fever. Even if the weather is foul, make the journey to one of these shows and enjoy a few hours of anticipation for warmer weather, hungry fish and outdoor adventure.
Also, make sure you look me up to say hello. I’ll probably be in the beer line.