U.P. Trappers Convention starts Friday
(Reprinted from above link)
ESCANABA — The 57th annual U.P. Trappers Convention & Outdoor Expo will be held at the U.P. State Fairgrounds Friday and Saturday. Convention Coordinator Roy Dahlgren said the convention is among the biggest events of its kind in the nation.
“It’s the largest trapping and outdoor show in the Midwest, and it’s here in Escanaba,” he said.
According to Dahlgren, at least 2,000-2,500 people are expected to attend the convention this year.
Multiple additions have been made to this year’s convention.
“One of our big draws this year … is Joe Goodman,” Dahlgren said.
Goodman, an artist whose work focuses on the outdoors and North American wildlife, has long been a contributor to the magazine Fur-Fish-Game.
“I’ve had artwork in every issue since ’86,” Goodman said.
Much of this work consists of reprinted pieces Goodman drew for Fur-Fish-Game in the past. However, he still contributes new pieces to the magazine today.
Goodman will have a booth at the U.P. Trappers Convention. There, he will sell limited-edition prints, apparel and original drawings.
While Goodman is attending his first U.P. Trappers Convention & Outdoor Expo this year, it will not be his first time visiting the area. He was present at 2014’s National Trappers Convention/Outdoor Expo, which was held at the U.P. State Fairgrounds.
“Him and (his) wife just loved the area,” Dahlgren said.
Goodman returned to the area for the National Trappers Convention/Outdoor Expo in 2018. That year, he got in touch with Dahlgren to reserve space for the 2019 U.P. Trappers Convention & Outdoor Expo while the national convention was still ongoing.
“Those guys did a wonderful job of promoting,” Goodman said of the efforts of Dahlgren and others related to the national convention.
According to Goodman, he is heading up north well before the U.P. Trappers Convention & Outdoor Expo begins.
“We’re going to make (it) a combined family vacation,” he said.
Hundreds of indoor vendors will offer products such as traps, hunting and fishing supplies, guns, knives and more at this year’s convention. Dahlgren noted an entire building at the event will be dedicated to crafts.
“That’s a big draw for the ladies,” he said.
Vendors will also set up shop outdoors during the convention.
Goodman will not be the only first-time vendor at this year’s U.P. Trappers Convention & Outdoor Expo. Newcomers Sawmill Creek Baits and Lures and Mark Steck of Dakotaline Snares will sell trapping supplies at the convention.
Another major component of the U.P. Trappers Convention & Outdoor Expo is live demonstrations. New demonstrators this year will include Ed Schneider, who will present on coyotes and bobcats; Mike Kain, who will present on beaver skinning, fleshing and stretching; and Al Dubord, who will present on marten trapping.
Les Johnson, Ken Luedtke, Lesel Reuwsaat, John Chagnon and Jeff Dunlap will once again provide demonstrations at the convention in 2019. They will present on predator hunting, winter beaver snaring, coyotes and bobcat trapping, red and gray fox trapping and coyotes and state hopping, respectively.
A fish fry catered by Lisa Soderman will take place at the fairgrounds Friday evening.
“It’s something we’ve been talking about doing for years,” Dahlgren said, noting other trappers conventions offer a meal for attendees.
He also said he hopes the fish fry becomes an annual tradition.
The U.P. Trappers Convention & Outdoor Expo will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. There is a fee for admission, though children 12 and under can attend the event for free. Free children’s activities — including fishing — will be available at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Pocket Park.
For more information, including a schedule of demonstrations, visit uptrappers.com.