The Great American Outdoor Show 2016
The Great American Outdoor Show is a nine day event dedicated to hunting, fishing and the outdoors. The show features hundreds of exhibitors ranging from guns to fishing poles and everything inbetween. Not to mention concerts, fundraising dinners, speaking events, archery competitions, celebrity appearances, seminars, demonstrations and much more!
I have never attended anything like The Great American Outdoor Show before this trip. I had no idea what to expect and nothing to compare it to. The only thing I knew about it was that it’s where the biggest brands in the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and firearms come together under one roof. I should have known two days was not going to be enough time to see everything, but I made the most out of the short time I was there. I met some awesome people, discovered new brands, and purchased a few items. I can’t wait to go back again next year.
Tom and I arrived at the show around 10am Saturday morning. I learned right away how massive the show was when I had to leave Tom at the entrance to go locate my ticket at willcall. I was there representing Sportsmen’s Box so I got a fancy VIP badge with my name on it. We made our way to the Sportsmen’s Box booth and finally got to meet the founders/owners, Adam and Will. I also met fellow field operatives, John Harman and Hanna Frank, who were also there representing the field opts team. It was wonderful meeting people with similar passions for the outdoors. Everyone was so genuinely nice and easy to talk to. It was humbling and made me even more appreciative to be a part of the team.
We spent most of the day helping pass out coupons and telling people passing by what Sportsmens Box is all about. If you don’t already know, they are a monthly subscription box that delivers hunting and fishing gear to your door. The price varies based on the amount of months you sign up for. The average cost is around $38/per month but the price of the items you receive is a much greater value. It’s a great way to discover and test new products. Sign up for a box and receive $5.00 off when you use the coupon code: FODELATTRE.
We were at the booth when Kip Campbell from Red Arrow TV stop by to meet fans and film the February “unboxing” video. I enjoyed seeing the look on the faces of his fans as they approached him for pictures, particularly the younger ones who looked up at Kip completely star struck. He was really down to earth and easy to talk to. We chatted about hunting, guns, and game of thrones… three of my favorite things. You can watch the new season of Red Arrow TV when it returns July 2016!
After the show on Saturday we joined Adam, Will and John for dinner at a place called The Brew House. It was a nice opportunity to get to know them better. All of them are true sportsmen that share the same passion and love for the outdoors. It was fun sharing our different hunting and fishing stories. We even discussed some plans for a future field operatives hunting retreat. It is top secret so I can’t say anything more.
Sunday we got up early so we could get a decent parking spot and also help prep the booth for the last day of the show. Doors didn’t open until 10 which gave us a chance to walk around to check out the other booths. First stop was obviously the archey section. I had a blast looking at all the new 2016 bow models. Tom even convinced me to test out a Matthews (I’m more of a bowtech girl). I can’t lie, it was a really smooth. I also shot a recurve for the first time. I was a little hesitant but John gave me a few tips and I ended up really enjoying it. I think I need to buy one for myself. Also, John if you are reading this thanks for the tips. I had a chance to say hello to the boys from Bowhunter Brotherhood who were working at the flying arrow booth, they were really nice and I am excited to see what the future has in store for their brand.
Shopping time! If you know me at all then you know I didn’t leave empty handed. I purchased myself a beautiful hat from The Buffalo Wool Company and some smoked trout. Two completely different categories, but I love food and fashion so it makes sense. We also spent a decent amount of time in the firearm showroom. Talk about getting distracted. Everytime I turned around there was something to look at. Guns, guns, and more guns. It was awesome! Benelli and Smith Wesson were probably my two favorite booths. I just ordered the Benelli Super Black Eagle 2 for my upcoming goose hunt, so I kept going back to look at it. Next year I hope to spend a little more time in the firearms area.
Finally the perfect ending to a great weekend was meeting Lee and Tiffany from Crush TV. We were getting ready to leave when we saw them hanging out at the Polaris booth. There was hardly anyone around so we decided to go say hello. They were both so nice in person. We got to talk to them for a little bit about archery hunting and even showed them the bucks we harvested during the season. They are truly an inspiring couple. Tom and I hope we will be able to hunt together all over the world someday too. They are living example of the phrase “couples who hunt together, stay together”.
If you spend a little time with me you will quickly learn I am very clumsy. Which is why it doesn’t surprise me that I tripped over the sportsmen’s box sign a few times. The best part is that John happened to be filming a timelapse on his GoPro and caught me graceful moment on video. Here it is, enjoy!