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Spaulding never misses a Boat, Sport & Travel Show
Spaulding Outdoors
By Jack Spaulding

I am a die-hard multiday-attendee of the annual Boat, Sport and Travel Show. The yearly show held in Indianapolis offers the best of the best, whether it is equipment for hunting or fishing, the latest in boats and camping equipment, or guided adventure and family vacations. For me, the show goes beyond hardware, as it is a chance for me to check on old friends and renew acquaintances.

Among some of my old friends are the very family members who run the show. Danny, Kevin, Mark and Todd Renfro all carry on the quality event first established by their mother, Maxine and their father, the late Harry Renfro. Harry was the originator of the modern sport show, and the annual Indy get-together has been the hallmark for all other shows across the country.

One of the biggest attractions coming to the show in recent years has been the “Big Air Jump Competition.” Guaranteed, anyone into waterfowl hunting, or anyone who enjoys seeing well trained dogs should see this show.

When I first witnessed “Big Air” competition, I was blown away by the distance these waterfowl dogs could jump. Great show, but unless you have on your raingear, my advice is don’t go for a ringside seat. It has become family tradition to meet my wife’s sister and her husband at the show. Where do we meet? Where else but the huge semi-trailer size, glass aquarium stocked with fish…. the Hawg Trough. Every year, top anglers from around the country share and show you their secrets from atop the huge tank.

A few scheduled for this year include: Spence Petro, walleye; Mike Hulbert, muskie; Dan Armitage, ice fishing; Rick and Bob Jones, crappie; and Dave Stewart, Chris Walker, O.T. Fears, Mike Delvisco and Bill McDonald, bass.

My personal agenda for the show always includes picking up my stamps, permits and licenses for the upcoming fishing and hunting season. The DNR booth can outfit all of your license needs with one-stop shopping.

Often the registers are operated by Indiana’s finest afield, and our state’s conservation officers would much rather help you decide your license needs at the show rather than write you a ticket later in the field. For me, the basics will include a 2006 combo hunting and fishing license, trout and salmon stamp, game bird habitat stamp, and spring wild turkey license.

The show runs from February 17 to February 26 this year with the first weekend promoting the Indiana Deer & Turkey Exposition and the last weekend featuring the Indiana Motorcycle Exposition.

Tickets are $9 for adults, $8 for seniors 60 and older and $6 for children 6 to 12.

Show hours are: Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 22 and 23 - 3-9 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 24 - 3-9:30 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 25 - 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 26 - 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

DNR turkey hunt drawings
Indiana wild turkey hunting enthusiasts need to get their reserved turkey hunt applications in the mail before March 15. To expedite applications, the DNR is now taking them online.

This year’s drawing will be somewhat different as the location has changed to the Indianapolis DNR office. The DNR’s reserved turkey hunt drawing will be held in Indianapolis on March 20.

Public drawings will not be held at the individual DNR properties, as printed in the 2005-2006 Indiana Hunting and Trapping Guide.

“Last fall, the DNR decided to allow hunters the convenience of applying for reserved hunts through the DNR’s website - www.wildlife.IN.gov - as well as by mail.” said DNR wildlife biologist Mark Reiter. “The hunting guide was published before we centralized and improved the application methods.”

Mail-in turkey hunt reservation cards are in the 2005-2006 Indiana Hunting and Trapping Guide, available at most sport license vendors and DNR property offices.

The DNR reserved turkey hunt reservation deadline is March 15, 2006. All applicants will be notified of the results by mail. DNR turkey hunt reservations can also be made online at www.wildlife.IN.gov

The DNR offers reserved turkey hunting dates at 16 DNR properties, one military property and two national wildlife refuge areas during the 2006 spring turkey season. Selected DNR property hunters cannot bring a reserved-hunt partner this year.

The 2006 spring turkey season runs April 26 to May 14.

Turkey Hunting Seminar
O’Bannon Woods State Park is hosting a Turkey Hunting Seminar on April 8.

A Sportsman Challenge “Turkey Hunting 101” turkey hunting class for beginning turkey hunters will be Saturday, April 8. Cost for the Sportsman Challenge session is $10 per person. Please register in advance by calling 812-738-8234.

Readers with questions or comments can contact Jack Spaulding by e-mail at outdoors@cnz.com or by writing to him in care of this publication.

This farm news was published in the February 22, 2006 issue of Farm World.

2/22/2006