Bruce Ajari: Outdoor shows offer something for everybody |

Bruce Ajari: Outdoor shows offer something for everybody

With the fishing somewhat limited in our region, this is the time of year when sportsmen turn to outdoor shows to dream about the upcoming season.

Billed as the premier hunting, fishing and outdoor sport shows, the International Sportsmen’s Expositions (ISE) offer some of the best and most diversified of such shows. This is the 22nd year that they have been doing these shows.

They have shows throughout the western United States, two of which are held in Northern California. The series begins with two stops in our state. The first will be in San Mateo on Jan. 8-11 and the second the following week in Sacramento on Jan. 15-18.

The San Mateo show is traditionally the largest of the two, but organizers say that the Sacramento show should be larger this year as well.

The San Mateo show will be held at the San Mateo County Event Center. The hours for the event are Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Sacramento show is at the Cal Expo State Fairgrounds. This is an easy location to get in and out of and provides plenty of parking. The hours for the event are Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you have never been to one of these events, there is truly so much to see that it could take days to cover it all. There are exhibitors showing off their products or travel destinations, seminars and events on hunting, fishing, and everything else outdoors, and competitions.

If you want to see the latest in new hunting, fishing or outdoor gear, the exhibitors will have it. If you want to learn about places to hunt or fish, the seminars and events will not only take you to such places, but tell you how to be successful on your outing.

In the market for a boat or motorhome? There are plenty of these to see and plenty of people to talk to who know the most about them. How about outdoor cooking? You bet. Anything than you can possibly imagine about being in the outdoors is available.

For children there is a great youth fair area that includes the extremely popular kids’ fishing pond. This generates a lot of excitement when kids can catch a fish. There is also a shooting area for soft-pellet rifles and bows and a fly casting area, among other activities.

These shows are popular family events, according to the ISE folks. The show will cost you $15 per adult per day and $7 per youth (ages 13-17). Children 12 and younger get in free at both locations when accompanied by a paying adult. You will most likely have to pay for parking at these events as well. This can run you a bit more money, so be sure and car pool with your fishing or hunting buddies.

Tickets may be purchased online at or at the event. In the past, sponsors such as Longs Drugs have had discount coupons available so you can purchase tickets at a reduced rate. At this Web site, there is everything you will need to know about each show, including lists of exhibitors, layout, and seminars and events and just what experts will be in attendance. You can even get driving directions.

Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.

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