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Sportsman's Show kicks off Thursday

It’s that time of the year again. The 15th Annual Central Oregon Sportsmen’s Show will be held March 6-9 at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond. If you’re interested in fishing, hunting, camping or any outdoor activity, you’ll definitely want to stop by for a visit.

Besides a few hundred exhibitor booths, there will be daily seminars that include camp cooking, fly tying, fly casting, fishing techniques, horse and mule packing, bow hunting, elk bugling, field caping and skinning, bird dog training, turkey hunting tactics and GPS use just to name a few.

For those into fly-fishing, you’ll want to check out the fly casting competition. If you want to take your interest in fly-fishing to the next level, then visit the casting pool and fly tying theater for some personal instruction.

One of my favorite parts of the show is the mouth-watering camp cooking demonstrations. Not only can you learn how to cook some tasty camp meals, but you also get to sample the finished product. With over 100 years of outdoor cooking experience combined, skilled chefs and experts including members of Dutch Oven Cuisine at the Crooked River Ranch, Herb Good and Tiffany Haugen, will lead daily cooking demonstrations.

The Crooked River Ranch chefs will give demos on “Beginning Dutch Oven Cooking” as well as “Breakfasts, Main Dishes and Desserts.” They’ll show how this versatile cookware is not only a camp cooking must-have, but also very useful at home, in the backyard or even at a tailgate party.

Herb Good has been a guide and outfitter for more than 30 years. His demos include “Outdoor Cooking: Quick & Easy” as well as “Filleting, Grilling, Canning and Smoking Salmon.” Known as the “Camp Cook Improv King” for his creative food substitutions, and famous for his humor and common-sense tips, he explains the “whys” and “hows” of basic camp cooking.

Tiffany Haugen is the author of 11 cookbooks and one of the nation’s leading outdoor cooking columnists. She covers everything from cooking game birds, salmon and seafood, to smoking, grilling and sweets. Her demos will cover “Wild Game Cooking Tips” and “Camp Pizza.” She’ll share tips and recipes on turning a variety of game animals into delicious meals as well as share her secrets to making delicious camp pizzas that will delight every member of the family.

Another highly anticipated event is the Head & Horns Competition where hunters vie for records and prizes. Hunters are invited to bring in the head, horns or antlers of any big game animal to be officially measured. There are prizes for the top three places in each category - mule deer, black-tailed deer, white-tailed deer, Rocky Mountain elk, Roosevelt elk, bear, cougar, bighorn sheep and pronghorn antelope - all the big game animals that are in the Oregon synopsis. Those with high enough scores will be entered into the Oregon record book.

Entrants pay a $25 deposit that’s refunded to those whose entries don’t make the official record book. Horns must be attached to the skull, found within the states of Oregon, Idaho, Washington or Montana, and killed under fair chase conditions. Prizes are awarded in two separate categories: “past harvest” for those taken prior to 2012 and “current harvest” for those taken during the 2013 hunting season.

Prizes are awarded for all three methods of harvest: rifle, archery and black powder. The top past entries for each of the big game categories will be on display throughout the show. Official entry deadline for the competition is 6 pm, Saturday. The winning entries will be on display at the show on Sunday.

The grand prizewinner will be selected from the 2014 Washington, Pacific Northwest and Central Oregon Sportsmen’s Shows and will receive a brand new Fort Knox Protector Safe – Model 6031. Additional prizes will be awarded by ATK Federal Premium, Bushnell and Ruger.

The Kids’ Trout Fishing Pond is one of the show’s most popular attractions and it’s free for kids 12 and under to catch a live trout to keep or release. Over the years, thousands of children have caught their first fish at these shows. Decoy painting is another favorite for kids.

The Freshwater Demo Tank will return again this year. The 40-foot-long, 3,000-gallon tank, sponsored by Bi-Mart, will assist seasoned experts in sharing their knowledge of the Northwest’s best freshwater fishing opportunities and the latest techniques. Expert anglers will demonstrate fishing strategies and techniques in hourly “through-the-glass” presentations.

Back by popular demand is the high flying X-Treme AirDogs competition, featuring three exhilarating sports for experienced dogs as well as the Give It A Try program, which brings new competitors into the sport. This competition provides entertainment for spectators and participants alike, featuring dogs launching themselves into a massive swimming pool at high speeds.

Each day will feature various competitions, training and demo sessions, including X-Treme Air, a long jump for dogs; X-Treme Vertical, a last-dog-standing high jump; and X-Treme Retrieve, a race against time. Some dogs jump upwards of 25 feet.

Awards will be given per competitor, including trophies in novice, amateur, and semi-pro divisions, and cash prizes for the pro division. World-class competitors and dogs from around North America will be at the show.

There’s also a boat and RV show, offering everything from the latest watercraft and fishing boats to tent trailers and motor homes. There should be some incredible deals on personal watercraft, ski, wakeboard and fishing boats, kayaks and canoes, plus a huge selection of accessories, fishing gear and more.

The show features hundreds of vendors, offering the best in outdoor tools, tips and gadgets as well as local and national outdoor experts who will be giving free demonstrations and seminars. This is your chance to connect with guides and outfitters from all over the Northwest and around the world. It’s that time to set up the dream trip of a lifetime.

Hours are noon to 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for juniors (ages 6 to 16) and free for kids 5 and under. A two-day pass is $15. There are $2 discount coupons available at Baxter Auto Parts stores, Les Schwab Tire Centers and at www.thesportshows.com.



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