Mostly Trapping

Smokey McNicholas trapping talk at Sportsman show
Jan 13, 2020 08:07 ET

(Reprinted from above link)

MOUNT HOPE — The Northeast Ohio Sportsman Show, which got its start back in 2009, will begin a new decade of entertainment, information and opportunity when the 2020 show kicks off on Thursday, Jan. 16 at the Mount Hope Event Center.

The show will run three days, opening Thursday at 2 p.m. and running until 9 p.m., then starting back up again on Friday, Jan. 17 at 9 a.m. and running until 9 p.m., and capping the weekend on Saturday, Jan. 18 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

“One of the best moves I’ve ever made was starting the show on Thursday,” said show promoter Jody Witzky, who has been in charge of the Northeast Ohio Sportsman Show since taking over from Wayne Miller of Kidron Sports in 2010. “Our Thursday crowd is just as big as our Saturday crowd.”

With the event being held in the heart of Amish country, holding it on a Sunday is out of the question, so Witzky went to a Thursday opening as vendors didn’t want to travel long distances just for two days.

“That’s a valuable lesson I learned over the years,” said Witzky, who routinely runs 20,000 spectators through the doors at his annual show.

This year the show has 180 vendors in the main event center, as well as a food court, then will hold its hourly seminars on hunting and fishing in the upper building, which this year will also include a trout pond for the children.

Witzky purchased his own “Hawg Trough” this year for the fishing seminars, which will include the popular kids show on Thursday only by Buckeye Sportsman radio show host Dan Armitage. Armitage will do his seminar on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Other fishing seminar speakers this year include Jack Kiser on panfish and steelhead fishing, Bink Fox on catfishing, Carl Bachtel on crappie fishing and ice fishing, Ron Slater on bass fishing, and DJ Custom Lure on walleye techniques.

On the hunting seminar stage will be show favorite Tony LaPratt on setting up your property for successful deer hunting, Bill Epeards on bow hunting whitetails, Tom Mesnard on land management, Joe Zaffuto of Night Eyes on predator hunting and Chris Skrant of Flyway Outdoors on waterfowl hunting. Also, show veteran Smokey McNicholas will be doing talks on trapping and Mike Barnes will talk on minerals and supplements for deer health.

“We’ve got four new fishing seminar speakers and three new hunting speakers,” said Witzky, “but the majority of the vendors are what I’d call good ‘booth’ speakers. They all want to talk with you and share their knowledge. There’s 5-7 on stage, but way more speakers on the main floor.”

Of this year’s 180 vendors, over 30 are outfitters, covering Canada and Africa, to Colorado, Montana, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Illinois, Idaho, Maine, Florida and North Carolina.

“You can book a gator hunt in Florida, a hog hunt in North Carolina, or a moose hunt in Alberta, Canada,” said Witzky. “The outfitters keep coming to the show because people want to book a hunt or fishing trip, and we have it.”

Returning to the NOSS this year are boats, as two dealers have rented booth space.

Some of the giveaways at this year’s show include the fishing trip with The Daily Record’s Art Holden, a gun safe by Fin, Feather, Fur Outfitters, and HD binoculars and a scent bag by Kidron Sports. You can register for these and other giveaways at the sponsor booths, or at the Northeast Ohio Sportsman Show office.

Admission to the Sportsman Show is $10 (children under 10 admitted free), while parking is free. Staff will monitor the parking lot and a shuttle service to the front door is available.

For more on the Northeast Ohio Sportsman Show, and a schedule of seminar speakers, go to http://ohiosportsmanshow.com/