Chicago Sun-Times
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Chicago outdoors: Chicago Outdoor Sportsmen Show

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Putting down some show notes from Saturday, my second day, at the Chicago Outdoor Sportsmen Show.

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Yes, there were people. I left about 4 p.m. Saturday. Up until then, it had been a steady stream, most concentrated in the opening few hours.

The show runs through today at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

In my column today in the Sun-Times, I used the word buzz. And there was that buzz or hum of a good show. A buddy, who tends to be crotchety, used the word "vibrant."

It's a show smaller than previous ones, but better laid out and with the feel of a real live show.

Highlights included Cook County board president Toni Preckwinkle showing up in the afternoon for the official release of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County's new and revamped Fishing Guide.

That fishing guide is something wonderful, and the fisheries deserve a lot of credit. For that matter,so does Preckwinkle. I don't ever remember a Cook County board president showing up at the Rosemont Show, but maybe my memory is faulty.

Nick Tassoni--the 15-year-old who caught the Illinois-record walleye (14.75 pounds) from the Pecatonice River on Jan. 7--did a solid job in his first appearance as a speaker.

The crowd for him, a couple dozen, was less than I expected. The real disappointing crowd was to hear IDNR director Marc Miller discuss something really important, the state of the IDNR finances.

But overall, it felt like a live show, a real show.

Nice to bump into people as varied as "Green Acres Mike," even if his lunch spread had already been consumed, Spence Petros, Jeff Nolan of Bridgeport Bass, and tons of failthful readers who stopped by the Heartland Outdoors booth to chat.

It was a day to hear and tell stories.

I was glad to be there both days.

It's a good foundation for the new owners to build and expand from.

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4 Comments

Would love to hear more about Mark Millers talk about the IDNR finances . There was a lot of things going on at once and I did not make it over to his speech/talk. Also it was nice to hear a Cook county president made it out to a outdoor event .I hope it is a sign of things to come, more involvement and resources given to the anglers and hunters of cook county .

Jeff, more to come on that.

went to the show on thusday, nicely laid out, much smaller than the past. I have been a vendor there for 30 years with kingfisherman charters and the noknot the small line connector that eliminates knot tieing. since I was not there this year a large number of people who came to get the noknots called me so I agreed to sell them at the show reduced price. Most told me the show was to small for the price to get in. My reply was hope it will be better and bigger next year and I think it will be. Capt Bob White

I was at the show for the weekend and I think traffic was up and there was a positive mood.The show was a bit smaller than last year but we have to keep in mind it was put together in 2 months. If they did this in 2 months think what they can do with a year to get ready. They did do some interesting things for people looking for a deal if you got tickets on line you got a free subscription choice of 2 outdoor magazines which made it free to enter. Also they let people know that they could park at the CTA lot and only spend $5.00 to park.
Chicago needs a big show again like in the days of the past when we would spend 2 days just to see everything at the amphitheater and then find out you missed something. I think we should do all we can to make positive remakes and support the show so it grows and becomes the Big Show again. As long as someone is willing to put an effort into bringing back the Big Show we should put effort toward giving positive support before their effort is gone forever.
Chicago should not be without the Biggest Outdoors Show in the Midwest. We have some of the Greatest anglers in the country and they deserve it. I'm looking forward to next year to see what the show looks like and I am going to stay in touch with the promoters to do all I can to promote the show as much as possible.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on January 29, 2012 6:38 AM.

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Radio waves: Bob Bluett on river otters & bobcats is the next entry in this blog.

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