Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Virginia Outdoor Sportsman Show is the biggest event of its kind in the state-and getting bigger. Housed at the Richmond Raceway Complex (600 E. Laburnum Ave.), the 2013 edition will feature more than 400 wall-to-wall exhibits and a bunch of outdoor celebrities who will mingle with the crowd and put on seminars.
The Aug. 9-11 show is sponsored by the Virginia Deer Hunters Association and put together by veteran promoter Hugh Crittenden, www.sportsmanshow.com.
"You've got to come to this one," said Denny Quaiff, executive director of the deer association. The turnout is expected to be around 20,000, many of the visitors looking for the latest tips and tackle for the upcoming hunting season.
Guest celebrities include Dave Poteat and Jim Anello, hosts of the TV show "Inside Outdoors," which gets the highest rating on the Outdoor Channel; and Pat and Nicole Reeve, who have appeared on "Driven TV" since 2007.
An extra building has been added to the show, the Green Top Pavilion, which will feature 25 booths of decoy carvers and collectors, along with fun things for kids.
The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will have a heavy presence at the show, including displays by its K-9 Team.
The show will feature two major contests: The Virginia Deer Classic www.virginiadeerhunters.org and the Virginia Open Turkey Calling Championship. Information on the turkey contest, sponsored by Green Top Sporting Goods, is available from Phil Wyatt email@example.com
Admission to the show is $10 daily or $15 for a three-day pass. Kids under 15 get in free if accompanied by an adult.
Few changes to dove, woodcock, early goose regulations
There are few changes from last year to hunting regulations for doves, woodcock, rails, September geese and early teal.
The board of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries last week set a three-way split dove season for Sept. 2-Oct. 14; Oct 19-Nov 2 and Dec. 31-Jan. 11. The daily bag limit is 15. Hunting during the first segment is from noon to sunset. After that hunters can be afield after doves from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
- Woodcock hunters will have a split season Oct. 26-Nov. 1 and Dec. 5-Jan. 11. The daily limit is three.
- The September goose season will be open Sept. 2-25 with a generous 10-per-day limit.
- An early teal season is set for Sept. 16-30 east of I-95 only.
- Rail hunting season is Sept. 7-28 and Sept. 30-Nov. 16. The limit on clapper and king rails is 15; for sora and Virginia rails it is 25.
Flounder fishing productive for this novice
I met the stranger at the Cape Charles launching ramp. We were taking our boat out and he and three companions were putting in a small boat. His license tags showed he was from Pennsylvania.
"Where is Buoy 36A?" he asked.
We told him which way to head to find the popular flounder fishing spot.
"Flounder fishing is sorry," I warned him. "Has been all year."
He appeared to be puzzled by my statement. Then he told me that a couple days earlier he had fished at the High Rise section of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel where he and his family had caught nine keepers, one of them 20-some inches long.
"Isn't that the way," I told my partner as we left. "Here is a rookie who comes in and loads up on flounder and doesn't even know how fortunate he is while people who know something about flounder fishing are...well...floundering."
- A survey of breeding ducks by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revealed that the population is down 6 percent from last year, but the 45.6-million count still is 33-percent above the long-term average that dates back to 1955. Of the 10-species surveyed, seven were similar to last year, including the popular mallard. Widgeons were up significantly while scaup, blue-winged teal and northern pintails were down. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is scheduled to set waterfowl regulations in August.
- Just when you think there is nothing left to invent for anglers, along comes the power pole shallow-water anchor, which is a hydraulic device that quickly stops and holds your boat with the touch of a button. JL Marine Systems' Power Pole Micro Anchor won best in the show at the recent ICAST event in Las Vegas. For information on the product go to: www.power-pole.com/JLMarine/Power-Pole/about.aspx.?P=PPA
- Missile Baits, a fishing lure company operated by pro B.A.S.S. angler John Crews of Salem, has expanded its popular line of D Bomb flipping baits with a smaller version of the offering. Crews said the new lure is deadly on a shakey head. It is available in eight colors.
- David Dudley of Lynchburg is one of 46 anglers to quality for the 2013 Forest Wood Cup, to be held August 15-18 on the Red River at Shreveport, La. He is the only Virginian vying for the $500,000 top prize.
- Cobia have been a recent bright spot in what has been a lackluster saltwater fishing season. A new leader in the cobia category of the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament is being posted nearly every week. This week's addition is an 83-pound, 4-ounce catch by Paul Busovne of Willard, N.C. He reported hooking the fish along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel where anglers have been sight fishing on sunny days. Tarpon have been spotted rolling along the Eastern Shore Coast, but none has been entered for a citation.
- The sale of Duck Stamps has been declining during recent years and wildlife officials say this has the potential of significantly lowering money available for wildlife work. Officials are citing fewer duck hunters as the reason for the decline. The 2013-2014 stamp now is on sale and is required of duck hunters. It also is a collector's item. The new stamp, the work of artist Robert Steiner of California, depicts a drake common goldeneye and sells for $15.
Events, seasons, dates
- Smith River Trout Unlimited Chapter stream clean up, July 20, from Philpott Dam to Town Creek, get work assignment 8:30 a.m. on Franklin County side of the dam accessed by Riverbrook Road (Virginia 727), work followed by cookout and fishing, information from Shane Pinkston, 276-732-5090 or Al Kittredge, 910-624-3457.
- Sportsman's Warehouse Expo Aug. 3, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., features factory representatives, the new Roanoke branch of the Quality Deer Management Association and Hunters for the Hungry. No charge.
- Meeting of the new Roanoke Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association, 6:30 p.m., Aug. 6 at Sportsman's Warehouse in Roanoke, will feature a presentation on Deer Management Assistance Program by DGIF biologist Dan Lovelace.
- Virginia Outdoor Sportsman Show, Aug. 9-11, Richmond Raceway Complex, sponsored by the Virginia Deer Hunters Association, www.sportsmanshow.com
- Roanoke Chapter of National Wild Turkey Federation banquet, Aug. 16, Valley View Holiday Inn, tickets from Billy Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org, Jim Basham, 540-521-8274 or at Sportsman's Warehouse in Roanoke.
- Triangle Archers 3D tournament, August 18, on club range between Christiansburg and Blacksburg, $12, $25 per family, cub and pee wee $6, information from Jim Overfelt, 540-552-8023.
- Friends of NRA Banquet, Aug. 24, Salem Civic Center, doors open 5:30 p.m., 25 firearms up for grabs, tickets $45 for a single, $80 for a couple, $35 for youth, information and ticket available from Mike Kessler, 540-529-7304, and Al Milton, 540-797-7777.
- Hunters for the Hungry banquet, Sept. 14, Moose Lodge on Virginia 311 in Roanoke County, tickets $25 for a single; $40 for a couple, tickets and information from Ralph and Lois Graybill, 540-427-5125, and John and Wanda Reed, 540-427-4788.
*Western Region Big Game Show, Sept. 14 and 15, Rockingham County Fairgrounds, Harrisonburg, this is the show that measures for the Virginia record book deer, bear and turkey killed the past season. Awards ceremony 3 p.m. Sept. 15. Information from Jon Ritenour, 540-434-8028 or check www.VPSA,org. State Championship Sept. 28 & 29 (see below).
- Jakes event sponsored by Botetourt County Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Sept. 21, registration at noon, activities 1 to 6 p.m., seven rotating stations set up to teach youngsters about turkey hunting, no charge, but for $10 you can become a member of the NWTF Jakes program, door prizes, information from Richard Pauley, 540-992-1883 or Pauleyr@nationwide.com. Earlier this year, the Botetourt chapter won the NWTF's top award for its Jakes program.
- Triangle Archers 3D tournament, Sept. 22, on club range between Christiansburg and Blacksburg, $12, $25 per family, cub and pee wee $6, information from Jim Overfelt, 540-552-8023.
- Eastern Regional Championship and State Championship Virginia Big Game Show, Sept. 28 & 29, Southampton County Fairground, Franklin, information from www.VPSA.org or Kenneth Pickin, 804-633-0275.
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