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21st Outdoor Weekend set for Sept. 7-9th



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September 01, 2007
Outdoor lovers know when they see a buck shedding its velvet on the cover of the Woods-N-Water News it's time for the Outdoor Weekend! The 21st annual fall affair will take place Sept. 7-9th at the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds in Imlay City and I'd like to invite you to come and celebrate our outdoor heritage.

The "Ultimate Air Dogs" show is back and even more exciting with "The Ultimate Air Game Finals" on Sat. and Sun. You can watch jumping dogs from around the nation compete for the title. If your dog enjoys jumping, it's possible he could win the championship! Talk about an "underdog!" Friday night is set aside for novice jumpers. Milt Wilcox and son Brian have also added the Ultimate Vertical and Catch It where the dog must snatch a bumper suspended in midair eight feet from the dock and catch a thrown toy before hitting the water. It's great family entertainment. For complete details and schedule see MaraLee Richardson's story on page 8 of this issue!

Seminars

Back by popular demand is the father and son hunting duo, Fred and Greg Abbas, hosts of A-Way Outdoors television. They will be giving a new and exciting seminar at this year's event; "Whitetail Success Through Unorthodox Methods." Fred and Greg will be sharing secret deer hunting tactics that nobody in the hunting world has ever seen before. This is a must see seminar!

The proper field dressing and skinning demonstrations of big game by Steve and Sue Francis and family, owners of Country Smokehouse in Almont, has been so popular they will be back again this year. The seminars have turned into sort of an 'everything you need to know about what to do after you shoot your deer!' Steve will also be giving butchering tips demonstrations, big game cooking and tips on sausage making. You won't want to miss these presentations on Saturday and Sunday only.

The ever popular "Mr. Food Plots," Ed Spinazzola of Quality Deer Management fame and author of two books on the subject, will offer insight into improving your deer hunting land. He plans to cover the topic of switch grass this year.

A popular feature writer for Woods-N-Water News, Richard Smith is one of Michigan's most prolific outdoor writers just completing his new bear book, "Black Bear Hunting," along with his series of four books, "Great Michigan Deer Tales" (www.RichardPSmith.com) and will be again offering seminars on a variety of whitetail hunting strategies including how and where the big bucks of Michigan were taken last year and how to bag the biggest bear of your life.

Jerry Allen is the owner of Blood Glow LLC and will again share his expertise in game tracking and understanding blood trails, including identifying wound types, direction and speed of travel. The future of blood tracking is here today and Jerry will share it with you.

The Waterfowlers' Area, sponsored by Freeway Sports Center of Fenton, will offer specialty exhibitors with boats, blinds, calls and decoys for the waterfowler. Dog trainer Charlie Linblade will be doing dog training seminars for waterfowl hunting (Sat. and Sun. 10am and 2pm). Todd Alofs of Quacker Attacker will be doing calling seminars and waterfowl tactics in the dog area (Sat. and Sun. 11am and 3pm) Many of the top manufacturers in the sport will be represented at the weekend, including Avery, War Eagle Boats, Gator-Trax Boats, Drake Waterfowl clothing, Mud-Buddy and Wingfeather. Plus there will be guides and experts on hand.

Also in the dog training area, Bill Wales of J&R Kennels will be doing hunting hounds demonstrations.

Bill Yoder, who's back in the profession he loves, will have his Live Deer Show on display with some dandy bucks this year!

New attractions, seminars and demonstrations are not the only new items; we also have a host of new vendors joining the weekend. Vendors that have knowledge not only in products, but also in all aspects of hunting, fishing and the outdoors.

Weekend Highlights

Terry McBurney, Woods-N-Water News Sporting Collectibles writer will return again this year answering questions and offering free appraisals about sporting collectibles, especially vintage fishing tackle and Coleman camping items. Bring your old "stuff" to the weekend and let Terry give you an idea of what it's worth. He is also interested in purchasing items for his own collection.

Odie Sudbeck's Awesome Antlers Collection from Topeka, Kansas.

These and many other cherished mounts and replicas of world-record whitetails will be on hand during the weekend. The fascinating collection is part of Odie Sudbeck's Awesome Antlers Museum in Topeka, Kansas.

Commemorative Bucks - Deer Contest. Michigan also produces big and unusual bucks, and Commemorative Bucks of Michigan-the official repository for record-book big game-will have scorers the event. Patrons can bring their sheds and mounts to the show and have them professionally measured and compete for trophies in various categories.

Auctions

How about this; a gun auction, a land auction and an Arctic Cat 4x4 auction! Again this year Randy's Hunting Center in Bad Axe (www.randyshuntingcenter.com) has arranged to have one of the largest gun auctions on Sunday Sept. 9 (see page 13 for more details). Immediately following the gun auction, Randy Brown has teamed up with Osentoski Realty and will have a live land auction of 150 acres in the Thumb area (see page 157 for more details). The last of the live auctions will be an Arctic Cat ATV 4x4 provided by Lumberjack Shack in Imlay City. The proceeds from the ATV auction will benefit the Woods-N-Water News Outdoor Foundation to promote outdoor activities through other charitable organizations.

LIVING HISTORY

Primitive skills workshops and demonstrations: Michigan native Lou Becker, who has revived the art of spear throwing in his book "The Atlatl and Dart Workbook" will demonstrate this arcane sport and method of defense. Expert flintnapper Gary Noblit of Jonesville demonstrates the fine art of making arrow and spear points, as well as creating bows and fletching arrows the natural way. Reg Pettibone and his family will teach Native American culture through interpretive dances and artifact displays of the Ho-Chunk nation (Saturday and Sunday).

The encampment will also feature Pat Schnur, naturalist and primitive skills instructor, who will demonstrate native lore, edible, medicinal and poisonous plants. Her husband Joe will be doing flintkapping and wood carving. Husband and wife, Phil and Diane Klimowicz will be showing bowl burning, silversmithing, basket making and corn husk doll making respectively. In addition we'll have Mark Barckholtz, hide tanning, Ruth Rushlow making antler baskets, Patrice Donnelley, copper bowl making and George Turner will be back demonstrating the fine art of blacksmithing.

Richard English has gathered some wild animals that will amaze you, including a couple of African porcupines, otters, minks, fisher, cats and a 100 year old turtle.

The 8th Arkansas - 22nd Michigan Civil War reenactors. The authentic encampment was a big hit when introduced a few years ago and will be back offering an opportunity to visit living history.

The Puppy Area will again have hundreds of puppies to pet, photograph and buy. Most major hunting breeds will be represented.

The Trout Pond (with live fish to catch), Climbing Wall, food and refreshments are all fun for family and kids.

There will be 175 exhibitors with clothing, calls, treestands, blinds, hunting gear, fishing tackle, camping equipment, works of arts and specialty boats and vehicles on hand.

On Sunday the raptors are back! But you don't need to be afraid of these birds of prey! The Michigan Hawking Club plans to return to the Outdoor Weekend on Sunday Sept. 9 only. Their last visit saw the most licensed falconers at one gathering and the birds are so beautiful you don't want to miss them.

Show hours are Friday, Sept. 7 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 8 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Sept. 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Imlay City is between Flint and Port Huron; the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds is located on M-53, a half-mile north of I-69 off Exit #168. Admission is $7 per person. For more information check our website www.woods-n-waternews.comn

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