I am about out the door for the second biggest weekend of outdoors shows this winter.
I am anxious to see what the Chicago Outdoor Sportsmen Show brings to Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.
Brody the Bear in the YouTube video above is one the show's family draws.
COSS opens at 2 p.m. today and runs through Sunday. I plan to be there for the opening to see how things look, then again for a good chunk of Saturday.
Saturday looks to be the big day with a campfire chat with IDNR director Marc Miller at 12:15 p.m.; then Nick Tassoni talking about his Illinois-record walleye at 3 p.m.
Another highlight should be Spence Petros speaking on catching more panfish at 11:15 a.m. Sunday, then followed by his friend ``Green Acres Mike'' on cooking panfish.
Strictly Sail Chicago runs through Sunday at Navy Pier. The highlight is largest yacht displayed indoors at a U.S. boat show, the 86-foot flagship of Pinnacle Yachts.
Downstate, the Illinois Fish & Feather Expo is Friday through Sunday at the Interstate Center in Bloomington. The headliner is Steve Welch on crappie fishing.
The Hammond Outdoor Sports Show is Saturday and Sunday at the Jean Shepherd Community Center in Hammond, Ind.
This is the best show for a focus on local interest. I am glad that Jim Sajdyk brought Mike Norris back. Norris will speak daily at 10:30 a.m. on grand slam fishing for bass, pike, trout and walleye.
This is a good family show with minnow races, a catch-and-release trout pond and Capt. Ralph Steiger teaching kids fishing at 11 a.m. daily.
I plan to visit the show on Sunday.
REMAINING 2012 CHICAGO-AREA OUTDOOR SHOWS
Feb. 3-5: Great Outdoors Fishing, Hunting, Boat, and RV Expo, Best Western Timber Creek, Sandwich
Feb. 11-12: Tinley Park Fishing and Outdoor Show, Tinley Park High School
Feb. 12: Henry Decoy Show, Henry-Senachwine High School
Feb. 15-19: Chicago RV & Camping Show, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont
Feb. 17-26: Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, Indiana State Fairgrounds
Feb. 17-19: Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo, Indiana State Fairgrounds
Feb. 17-19: Our World-Underwater, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont,
Feb. 17-19: Rockford Boat, Fishing and Vacation Expo, Indoor Sports Center, Rockford
Feb. 25: Chicago Maritime Festival, Chicago History Museum
March 3-4: Great Outdoors Expo, Woodstock North High School, Woodstock
March 3-4: Elmwood All Outdoors Show, Elmwood High School and Grade School
March 7-11: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show, Wisconsin State Fair Park, West Allis, Wis.
March 9-11: Canoecopia, Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis.
March 10: Indoor Fishing Flea Market, Rolling Meadows High School
March 16-18: Lake Home & Cabin Show, Schaumburg Convention Center
March 23-25: Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic, Peoria Civic Center