For all the outdoors lovers who can’t wait for the fall hunting season, the folks in Berks County have planned the 6th Annual Lehigh Valley Hunting and Fishing Extravaganza, which will take place Friday through Sunday at the Kempton Fairgrounds. With a flea market, hands-on outdoor skill activities for the entire family (including the dog), demonstrations and prizes, "extravaganza" seems to be an understatement.
“This has everything a regular sports show has -- new products, sales of outdoor gear, outfitters, manufacturers with their new products and a heck of a lot more -- even an outdoor hunting and fishing flea market,” said event co-director Bob Danenhower.
A Primitive Life Encampment will demonstrate mountaineering skills and showcase historical reenactments of several different war periods performed in honor of the U.S. military.
A buzz is forming around the Glock Gen4 Pistol shooting range, which will give visitors the opportunity to fire three different Glock handguns and other firearms.
“It’s the only outdoors show that offers not only simulated, but actual live fire shooting of muzzleloaders, shotguns and, new for this show, a Glock Gen4 handgun shooting range,” said Danenhower.
A $3 donation is suggested at the shooting range and will help offset the cost of the firearms being discharged at the Primitive Life and Military Encampment demonstrations.
For the kids, there will be a free fishing area where they can try their hand at some primitive trout fishing with a cane pole, hook, line and sinker. Young people ages 16 and younger can test their skills in the Junior Mr./Ms. Lehigh Valley Outdoors Competition, with prizes to be awarded to the top three scorers.
“It’s focused on both kids and adults. It really is a family affair,” said Danenhower of the extravaganza.
In a similar competition, participants over the age of 16 can test their marksmanship in the PA Outdoor Skills Competition sponsored by Cabela's of Hamburg. All equipment will be on hand, but you may want to bring your own shotgun, bow or fishing rod if you want to win one of the prizes.
Special attention will be given to both Boy and Girl Scouts by youth mentor volunteers from regional and statewide sportsmen’s groups. Not only will the scouts get free admission if they come in uniform, but they can also compete in a Daisy BB-gun target shoot as well as contests involving tomahawk throwing, casting accuracy, knot-tying and more.
“The 2010 event drew scouts from three states and 24 troops,” said Danenhower, and with prizes ranging from $25 to $100, what scout wouldn’t find merit in this challenge?
There is even a competition for your dog -- The Top Dog Challenge Bird Dog Competition. If your retriever, flusher or pointer can quickly find a bird in the field, this one might be for him or her. If your dog isn’t quite the "top dog," you might also consider enrolling him in one of the training sessions.
There will be much more to explore at the Lehigh Valley Hunting and Fishing Extravaganza, from sporting clays shooting to archery novelty shoots and white-tailed deer antler measuring. Truly, this is a special event no sportsman or sportswoman will want to miss.
It all starts Friday at noon at the Kempton Fairgrounds, which are located at 9927 Kistler Valley Road in Kempton. Saturday and Sunday show hours are 8am to 6pm. Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children ages 8 to 12. Children under 8 as well as uniformed scouts and their leaders are free.