WildIndiana talks about Wild Indiana

Wild Indiana
Professional angler Mike McClelland will make his appearance at this year's Wild Indiana this Saturday.

EDITORS NOTE: The following column by John Martino previews the 2nd Annual Wild Indiana outdoor expo held in Kokomo, January 16-17, 2016.  The event is a hugely successful local outdoors expo and continues to grow.  However, there is a bit of confusion- purely through coincidence, the event is named Wild Indiana (two words) and is not connected with WildIndiana.com (one word) or the now-defunct WildIndiana print magazine.

After the success of the inaugural Wild Indiana in 2015, where over 3,000 passed through the doors, Ivy Tech Community College has set the stage for the second annual outdoor show.

This year’s Wild Indiana Outdoor Expo has been set for January 16 and 17 and will be conducted inside the college’s spacious Kokomo Conference and Event Center, 1500 N. Reed Rd. (Indiana 931). Admission is $5 at the door, children age 10 and under will admitted for $1.

Sponsored by Financial Builders Credit Union, WWKI Cumulus Broadcasting and Ivy Tech, the program has been targeted to showcase everything outdoors. Enthusiasts of hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, canoeing, kayaking, and just about every other outdoor interest will find a wealth of information and gear to make your 2016 outdoor activities the best they can be.

The show is promised to be a true family oriented, community event. The goal is to attract a wide variety of audiences from the experienced to the beginner. In depth presentations will be offered in addition to exhibits and interactive presentations that will spark the imaginations of those who may have an interest but don’t know the many statewide options that exist or how to get started.

From canoes to campers, bows to bass boats and everything in between the show will beckon a mid-winter chance to look at a wide range of equipment while having an opportunity talk with industry experts.

Edwin Evers will take the stage on Sunday sharing his trade tips and techniques
Edwin Evers will take the stage on Sunday sharing his trade tips and techniques

This year’s headliners include bass fishing superstars Mike McClelland and Edwin Evers. McClelland is a four time Bassmaster Elite series champion while Evers 13-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier.

Others providing informative presentations include Mark Booth of Take Flight Wildlife Education and his highly acclaimed birds of prey. This is a show you won’t want to miss with the entire family.

Professional crappie angler Doug Sikora will take the stage and reveal his tricks and techniques to catching slab-sided crappies. Well known and expert multi-paddler Garry Hill will enlighten attendees with a program explaining how to canoe, kayak and fish mid-central Indiana streams including our local Wildcat Creek. If you have taken a trophy buck this season, or in past years and want to see what it actually scores, you’re in luck. Bob Graber and several other official Boone and Crockett, Pope and Young and Hoosier Record Buck officials will be set up to measure trophy deer taken by successful hunters.

If you are looking to book a hunting or fishing trip many guides have already reserved space to showcase their services. Nearly 70 vendors will fill 100,000 square-feet of space to showcase their outdoor related products and equipment.

Do you have a special tree in your yard that is either dying or in its final stages of life, yet holds some special meaning? Or it could be any tree for that matter. Local craftsman Andy Cole will be on hand offering a unique service. The still youthful artisan can take any sizeable log and construct unique rustic furniture that can be used for a lifetime.

It is no secret there are many area residents who make hand crafted outdoor related equipment in their own mom and pop shops.  From handmade knife sheaths and other products to custom lures and fishing rods, Wild Indiana offers an opportunity to bring these groups together all under one roof.

If you’ve never visited the adjacent Kokomo Automotive Museum this would make a great addition after taking in the outdoor show. The Museum will also be selling raffle tickets for a new Lowe Jonboat and galvanized trailer with accessories. Advanced tickets can also be purchased at supporting businesses which include Adams Auto Group, Bryant’s Outdoor Store, Kokomo Marine, Roby’s Bullseye, Martino’s Italian Villa and Maximum Power Sports.

Additional show information and details can be obtained by contacting Event Center Director Greg Aaron at (765) 854-2301 or at gaaron@ivytech.edu.

Wild Indiana Speaker Schedule

     Saturday, January 16

10:00AM – Garry Hill, Paddling expert

11:00AM – Mike McClelland, Professional angler

12:30PM – Mark Booth of Take Flight!

2:00PM – Mike McClelland

3:00 – Doug Sikora, Crappie pro


Sunday, January 17

11:00AM – Edwin Evers, Professional angler

12:30 PM – Mark Booth

2:00PM – Edwin Evers

4:00PM – Garry Hill

John Martino
Martino is a well-known outdoor writer throughout Indiana and has served as longtime outdoor columnist for the Kokomo Tribune newspaper. Martino has won numerous awards for both his writing and his service to youth, conservation and the community. He recently retired as Superintendent of Parks and Recreation for the City of Kokomo and now works as Ivy Tech Executive Director for Facilities for the Kokomo region.


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