The ice is all gone off the lowland lakes. The boat and RV dealers have given their best pitches. Now it’s time for the all-things-outdoors-show on steroids.
The 56th Big Horn Outdoor Adventure Show opens its doors on Thursday and will run through Sunday for anyone who wants to compare their antlers to those who want better recipes to making deer jerky.
“This is the second year in a row that we’re filled to capacity,” said Wanda Clifford, the executive director of the Inland Northwest Wildlife Council. “We’re literally as full as we can get.”
The show that began with a bunch of locals who wanted a venue to compare, and rightfully brag about, their trophy antlers has grown into a mega event of 240 vendors who fight for a chance to sell their wares in every square inch of the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St.
Show hours are Thursday and Friday from noon to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
“We have everything from art to camping, hunting and fishing, guides and outfitters, safes, food products, rugs … everything,” Clifford said. “And trophy antlers are still a part of the show. This year they added moose sheds. Folks can bring in their moose sheds, get them judged and put them on display.”
But one of the highlights of the 2016 show is the return of DockDogs, which provide a 20-foot dock and 38-foot indoor pool for dogs to compete in competitions that score Big Air – which judges the distance the dogs leap; Extreme Vertical – which scores the height of the dog’s jump; and Speed Retrieve – which scores dogs on how quickly they retrieve their favorite toy.
“There is a circuit that dog jumpers follow. We had it here in 2008. There was such a demand for people wanting them back,” Clifford said. “You can bring a dog you’ve never jumped. One of the most entertaining things about DockDogs is watching the amateurs.”
On Wednesday, Frank Audelo, of DockDogs, was supervising the filling of the pool and dock setup in advance of the show.
He said the best time for first-time jumpers would be to come on Thursday. But amateurs can jump during any of the days. Dog owners should remember to bring their own toys because dog toys are not provided.
“I met a guy in Montana who never did it before. He won that week. He then went to a second local show and got invited to the worlds,” Audelo said, “and he placed pretty well.”
All dogs are welcome and are categorized so that they compete against like-sized dogs.
The world record Big Air leap is 31 feet; the highest Extreme Vertical was 8 feet, 10-inches and the top Speed Retrieve is under 5 seconds, he said.
“If your dog jumps in the water, then you did well,” Audelo said. “Some world champion dogs took a year before they would jump in the water.”
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