It’s the show season.  That means it’s a chance to get out of the house.  It’s a chance to see and try out the latest in hunting and fishing gear.  It’s a chance to plan and dream.

Whether you attend a small show or one of the mega shows, such as SCI, Dallas Safari Club, or Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show, you’ll get the most out of it with a little preparation.  Think about your goal for the show.  Do you want to book a hunt?  Do you want to see all the new products?  Do you want to browse and check out everything?

Check out the show’s website. Most have coupons for ticket discounts or pre-show order discounts.  Take advantage of this and you’ll have a few extra bucks that you can spend at the show!  If they have a floor or show layout, check out the areas that you really want to see and be sure to head to there first! Some shows are so big you’ll never see everything, and you don’t want to miss what you really came for.  Be sure to check out the seminars or special events ahead of time.  If something catches your eye, be sure to plan your trip around that event, and get there early.  Many fill up fast if they’re really popular.

Go prepared!  If you’re going to collect a lot of literature and buy some ‘stuff’ bring your back pack or other bag to gather your valuable finds.  That leaves your hands free to get more stuff, and to check out all the exhibits.

Go green! Take only what you think you will really read or use.  Exhibitors spend a lot of money on brochures and give aways, and they really want YOU to buy their products or book with them.  By the end of the day your arms and back will be glad you were selective!

Do your homework!  Are you planning to book a hunt?  This can be very overwhelming when you may have literally hundreds of outfitters to choose from.  First, decide the type of hunt you are planning.  Whether you are looking for North American or African hunt, narrow down the location and specie.  Some shows, such as the Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show, list all exhibitors, and some have direct links to their websites.  Check out a few before you go, you’ll find a vast difference in how they charge, what they offer, and what is included.  If they look like they will fit your needs, note their booth number and visit them.  Don’t get overwhelmed!

Pace yourself!  Take breaks, bring a few snacks, hydrate yourself regularly, and be sure to know where the ‘restrooms’ are.  You’ll save time standing in lines if you avoid eating at the peak times.

Last but not least… Enjoy the experience!  You get to hang out with your buddies.  You’re at an event where everyone enjoys the same hobbies or passion.  And you know you’re going to get new ideas, a wish list for new products, and maybe even book the hunt of a lifetime.

Ginny & Don (HuntingLife Pro-staffers)