It's hot and humid in mid-July and in Birmingham that can mean only one thing. This time next week the talk will turn to the deer-hunting season even though the chase for white-tailed deer is still months away.
The 31st annual World Deer Expo is scheduled for the BJCC Friday July 18 through Sunday July 20. Thousands of deer hunters from across Alabama will make the annual pilgrimage to see the latest in deer hunting clothing, deer hunting gadgets and other attractions.
It's an annual rite where hunters will reunite with hunters and share stories and cell phone photos from seasons gone by.
"It's a chance to get out of the heat and get around a lot of people that have the same deer hunting interests that you have, " said World Deer Expo promoter Bob Coker. "The deer hunting season may still be several months away but the Expo gets them in the mood."
While show visitors will find aisles and aisles of everything from camouflage clothing to deer calls, the annual show is much more than an opportunity to see the latest items in the hunting industry. The Expo had many sideshows designed to attract many facets of the hunting population including female hunters and youth hunters.
There are even attractions for those who may not hunt at all.
"On Friday, we'll open two hours earlier than we have ever before because we're having a concert with three local groups headlined by the Matt Bennett Band, " Coker said.
The opportunity to meet the stars of TV reality shows has become a huge draw at outdoor trade shows across the nation. Many of those stars will be at the BJCC next weekend.
Dexter Roberts, the American Idol finalist from Fayette, will not perform but will be on hand to sign autographs and pose for photos.
Other reality show celebrities scheduled to be on hand include Swamp People's RJ & Jay Paul Molinere, Shipping War's Jennifer Brennan, the Bone Collector's Travis "T-Bone" Turner, Bobby Brantley of "Lizard Lick Towing, " Discovery Channel "Moonshiners" Tyler Wood, "Bloodline's" Alex Rutledge and others.
The Expo will also continue many of the attractions that have been the show's mainstay through the years. The Alabama Whitetail Records big b competition returns with the opportunity for deer hunters to have their mounted bucks scored and the Bowhunters of Alabama will have its annual archery tournament that is open to the public.
A new attraction this year is the "Shoot Like a Girl" trailer that allows females to enter a shooting simulator to shoot various weapons and receive instruction from top female shooters from across the country.
Another attraction surely to draw attention is the Live Predators of North America show that allows visitors to see the continent's most dangerous predators live.
The show will also feature kid-friendly events including a trout fishing pond.
Show hours are Friday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $13 for ages 12 and older and $7 for ages 4 to 11. Three and under are admitted free.
How is the Mn Horse expo?
I wanted to go the big azz world horse expo and didn't make it (yet). I did manage to go to the Peruvian Paso Nationals in Tx, years ago. It was a blast!!!! I still have a T shirt from it. I refuse to throw it out. lol.
A few hundred years ago I went to the Kansas City Royal. :D
No I didn't go to ride, I was totally a spectator. It was a good thing, I'd have fell off a lot due to all my rubber necking.
I know of one place you might be
Able to volunteer.
Have you ever attended the MN Horse Expo? It is held every year (3rd weekend in April) at the MN State Fairgrounds.
One year, I volunteered to walk horses for the children's pony rides. It just consisted of walking around and around, leading a horse with kids on them.
This would at least give you an opportunity to meet some other horse-centric people. Express your interest in volunteering, and get to know some people in the horse world.
I can find you a link if you are interested?