It’s Trade Show Season, With All the Hot Deer Gear

Vegas airplane

When the trade show “season” gets rolling, views like this are common for folks in the hunting industry more accustomed to woods, camo and whitetails.

This is one of the craziest times of the year for folks in the hunting industry and yet while we’re running around like our hair’s on fire, no one really complains too badly.

That sounds like a silly statement but it’s true. Here’s what I mean, and I doubt you’d find much disagreement among those in the hunting industry fraternity.

Deer season opened about six months ago in central California and south Florida, black-tail in the former and whitetails in the latter. Few folks outside of those two areas are even thinking about deer hunting in mid-July and early August but that’s when the whole shebang kicks off. Then the season opens in South Carolina and after that it’s Katy bar the door.

New gear, like the LaCrosse Aerohead Sport for 2016, is the attraction for industry buyers and media to the SHOT, ATA and dealer shows in winter.

New gear, like the LaCrosse Aerohead Sport for 2016, is the attraction for industry buyers and media to the SHOT, ATA and dealer shows in winter.

Through all the hunts in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico we saw summer disappear, autumn arrive and now we’re in the throes of winter. Deer season has closed in many states, especially the Midwest and Northeast, but in some Southeast states it’s still going strong. Alabama, Mississippi, the Florida Panhandle, Texas and elsewhere. Even some urban bowhunts for antlerless deer management will continue into March in Maryland.

While that’s going on, “dealer shows” kick off what the industry calls Show Season. Retail distributors hold regional shows to display the new gear for the buyers. We have the giant Archery Trade Association Show and Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show each January, along with SCI Dallas, the Safari Club International Convention, QDMA convention, National Rifle Association Convention in April and others here and there.

Industry folks are running nilly-willy from hunting season to shows to doing photography or filming winter scenes for late deer or predators. Some television shows are still filming, as our own Deer & Deer Hunting TV was doing down in Mexico. DDH Editor Gordy Krahn was with two other writers, Linda Powell from Mossberg and Ted Jaycox of Tall Tine Outfitters. They were hunting Coues deer with the Mossberg Patriot, Swarovski optics and while rugged, tough hunting, some fine bucks were killed. You’ll have to wait to see the show next season when DDH TV begins in late summer.

And, then we go full bore into predators and turkeys before catching our breath (a little bit!) to get ready for summer planting, treestand maintenance, camera surveys and the new season.

Whew!

The views aren't always scenic in the trade show season and occasionally we get to see something unusual, like this rain in Las Vegas!

The views aren’t always scenic in the trade show season and occasionally we get to see something unusual, like this rain in Las Vegas!

Hey, no complaints. We’re accustomed to it. Krahn has been to 25 SHOT Shows and I have at least a dozen under my belt. DDH Editor-in-Chief also has about three dozen SHOT and ATA shows to his credit. We’re old salts, as are many in the industry fraternity. Some within its ranks have been to all or almost all of the 38 SHOT Shows that have been held. Impressive.

What we’ll do here this week is, like at the ATA Show, give you daily updates of new gear. We’ve already started the SHOT Show presentations and hope you’ll take a gander each day. And we’ll be looking for more great deer hunting gear from our advertisers, sponsors and others to showcase in upcoming issues of DDH, including the Equipment Annual.

By the end of the week, though, we’ll be ready to flee Vegas, head back to our homes and don some camo and hunt something — deer, small game, predators — a few more times. Before long spring will be here and it’ll be turkey season.

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2016 DDH Whitetail Wall CalendarFrom Deer & Deer Hunting Magazine, the 2016 Whitetails Wall Calendar features the work of deer researchers Wayne Laroche and Charlie Alsheimer, who reveal the 2016 whitetail rut prediction, based on years of lunar cycle research. Utilize this deer moon phase calendar to find out which days the deer will be seeking and chasing so you can time the rut for the best time to hunt.

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