Sportsmen's show returns to Big E

The 26th annual Springfield Sportsmen's Show, with the region's largest fishing boat selection, will take place Feb. 19 through 22 at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield. As the largest "pure" hunting and fishing show in the Northeast, it covers more than a half million square feet of booths, exhibits, seminars and action areas. Show goers can preview the show at www.osegshows.com.

The Gamefish Center, a giant traveling aquarium stocked with fish of the Northeast, is OSEG exclusive. Among the features are the "Dog Pond," where working water dogs will perform; two trout ponds stocked daily for fishing; and a casting pool where spin, fly and bait casting experts will perform, teach and lecture.

Top buck hunting expert Dick Scorzafava will be giving away thousands of dollars of hunting equipment from dozens of manufacturers at his insightful and practical deer hunting seminars.

This year there will be a huge assortment of fishing boats, more than any sport show in the Northeast. Bass boats, pontoons, tin and seagoing craft for fishermen's enjoyment will be available at big savings.

The Northeast Big Buck Club will host the seventh annual "Northeast Big Buck Classic" on Sunday where submitted racks are eligible for awards, prizes and drawings. Bring your deer mount and become part of the largest organized deer rack/mount display in the entire Northeastern United States. New record breakers are discovered every year.

The Northeast Indoor 3-D Championship, IBO World Qualifier is back again this season. With 30 new XT Series targets provided by McKenzie Targets, this will make a great shoot for every level of archer. The shoot is taking place in the Stroh Building. Registration can be made at the shoot or to ensure your spot, forms can be found at www.osegshows.com.

Smith & Wesson firearms will host a drawing to give away a model 500 with a 8 3/8" satin stainless steel barrel and five round capacity. The sign-up is at the Smith & Wesson display. They are running another special of three months free range time for signing up for shooting privileges.

Roger Pyzocha, the top New England fisherman in the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, holds the Massachusetts record for two of the largest fish ever. Catching trophy northern pike, tiger musky, catfish, walleyes, carp, perch and bass are in his seminar information.

Billy Decoteau, OSEG's own Mr. "Billy Bass", returns with his always inventive tips and techniques that are guaranteed to put more fish in your boat.

New to this year's fly fishing seminars is Lynn Smith of C-Devil Sportfishing and Lil'Devil Sportfishing. She has been guiding since 1993 and received her US Coast Guard captains license in 1999. When she is not fishing and guiding, she is either instructing fly-casting or speaking at seminars.

Turkey calling pros Joe Judd of Quaker Boy, along with Steve Peperis of Primos, will return to talk about turkey calling and hunting of wild springtime gobblers. Their tips and techniques will help hunters tumble their toms spring and fall.

Turkey callers throughout the Northeast will have a chance to "strut their stuff" on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Massachusetts Turkey Calling Championship. Sign up at the NWTF booth.

Marla Blair will bring all levels of fly fishing expertise, from the very basic of casting to fishing the fly line hot spots. She will cover Alaskan silver salmon on the fly to Patagonia native browns and rainbows on the fly.

The Gamefish Center, a giant traveling aquarium with an underwater scene backdrop, returns again and is stocked with a great selection of trout and salmon provided by the state of Massachusetts. The "Sportfishing Simulator" will again be on hand for free interactive battles with salmon, smallmouth and lakers to be landed.

Del Delmastro, known for downing big game trophies around the world, brings you "dangerous game bowhunting" and will also talk about bowhunting equipment.

If you want to learn about hunting in Africa, you will want to catch the informative seminar by Jurie Meyer of Afri-Bushveld Adventures. He will cover everything you need to know, from shots you will need, clothing, gear, calibers and bow poundage requirements.

Adding to the Saltwater program this year is Capt. Jim White, the White Ghost, with his techniques of using soft plastics to catch saltwater trophies with light tackle. His seminars are hot on the heels of his top selling book on fishing with saltwater plastics, "Monster Shallow Water Stripers."

Hours: Feb. 19, 3 to 9 p.m.; Feb. 20, noon to 9 p.m.; Feb. 21, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Feb. 22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for kids ages six to 12 and children five and under are free.

You can contact OSEG by calling or writing OSEG, Outdoor Sports Expo Group, P.O. Box 207, Granby, MA 01033 or 467-2171; by fax at 467-2174; by e-mail at dougoseg@gogtt.net. Check out www.osegshows.com for seminars, discount coupons and much more.


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