The live bears, hungry trout and leaping retrievers moving into the Spokane Fair and Expo Center this week will be just a fraction of the attractions at the Big Horn Outdoor Adventure Show.
The 49th annual event, geared to sportsmen as well as families – with plenty of hands-on activities – will run Thursday through next Sunday. The show is sponsored by the Spokane-based Inland Northwest Wildlife Council.
Sign up for hunter education classes or settle the debate on who’s the best shot among your group of friends with a contest for up to four shooters with the new Laser Shot simulator.
Take a shot at archery or air-rifle ranges – and get a little advice on safe gun or bow handling if needed.
Let the kids hook a trout at the fishing ponds or compete with friends in the finesse of landing a lunker with the virtual reality fishing simulator.
More than 200 exhibitors will cover a spectrum of outdoor interests, including guides, resorts, wildlife artists and a wide rage of products.
“It really is a show filled with outdoor-related products and vendors this year,” said Wanda Clifford, executive director, noting that about 25 sportsmen’s groups also will be represented at the show.
Special attractions this year include:
•DockDogs, a popular competition involving dogs leaping off a dock into a pond in events for jumping length and height as well as speed retrieving.
•Muzzy 200 Monster Bucks display, featuring the racks of 12 archery-taken bucks, each of which measured at least 200 net inches by Pope and Young scorers.
•Great Bear Show, a Texas-based troupe of black bears gets daily exercise in an enclosure as they swim, demonstrate their skills and perform for the audience two or three times each show day.
•Gun drawing, adults can buy raffle tickets for firearms to be given away each day.
•Big Horn Foundation dinner and auction for youth wildlife education programs, will be held at the show on Saturday starting at 4 p.m. with dinner at 6. Tickets must be purchased in advance or at the show while they last.
Funds from the show stay in this region to support the council’s wildlife conservation projects and sportsmen’s education, ethics and safety programs, Clifford said.
Continuing its efforts to improve handicapped access to huntings, the council is working with Inland Empire Paper Co., which has donated 25 family access permits that will be given out by a drawing for handicap hunters. Qualified hunters can sign up for the drawing at the show, Clifford said.