Monday, March 14, 2011

Recap: Fred Hall Show in Long Beach, CA
The 2011 Fred Hall Fishing Tackle, Boat & Travel Show is now over for Long Beach, CA. There is the show in Del Mar at the end of the month in case you missed this one.

Attending this show is something I look forward to each year. I am not the fisherman like my dad is. He loves it a great deal more than I. I like to fish, but I truly love to bow hunt and every chance I get I am out at the range or in the forest. This show is 95% about boating and fishing, fresh water, deep sea and getting people involved in them. So to me, it's a bummer to have to walk through the entire floor to get to the stage for the hunting seminars. My mission was simple. To get back to the hunting area, check out the seminars and talk to some of the companies dealing with hunters.

The seminar seats were packed when I showed up for the Jack Dagger - King of Fling show. 

"Jack is a world champion in his field and a member of the knife throwing hall of fame. Jack will dazzle you with his knife throwing expertise. This is an exciting performance that will leave you sitting on the edge of your seat."

Honestly, I have never seen the seats as packed as they were. It was standing room only! If I had to guess, I would say well over 300 people were watching his act. Jack put on a great display of comedy, knife-throwing skills and audience interaction. The part of his show that captivated me the most was what he did AFTER the main show. A couple of parents brought their kids up to talk to him about his knives and such. He took his time to directly explain why he throws the knives he throws. He explained that each was not sharp like the knives we see and that knives should NEVER be thrown around like he does without the proper training. Mind you, he didn't just breeze over this. He looked right at these kids and explained this and made sure that they knew what he was saying. It brought a smile to my face to hear his explanation. 

After that, he walked right over to me, introduced himself and spent some time chatting with me. I learned how he got his start, how he trained and how hard he works to stay keen with his skill. Believe it or not, he practiced by throwing between 800-1200 knives a day for a month with his trainer. He said it was 'like going to see Yoda.' Awesome discipline! 

Check out Top Shot on the History Channel tomorrow night, March 15. He gives the crew lessons on tomahawk throwing that shouldn't be missed.

You can find more about Jack Dagger on his website. Jack, thanks for taking the time to speak with the children, their parents and me after your show. You are a class act!
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Seminar number two was one I wanted to attend for a couple reasons. The seminar was about preserving "our hunting and fishing heritage from inside the citadel of Hollywood." It was given by successful actor, director and PR guy, Patrick Kilpatrick. Now, most celebrities or people of that status will show up to these seminars, speak their mind and take off without giving you the time of day. Patrick was the polar opposite. Before he started his seminar he asked everyone that wanted to get closer to fill in the seats nearer the stage. As I looked around there were maybe a dozen people filling the seats. Pretty disappointing showing for me, but it didn't seem to bother Patrick. What he did next let me know he was very serious about what he believed in. He went to each and every person and asked your name and introduced himself. He mentioned his background as a writer, a PR person, actor and director. He also explained his roots as a hunter, fisherman and outdoorsman. 

He made a point that hits a lot of us outdoor men and women pretty hard. The Anti's! Instead of getting bitter, Patrick decided to do something to change it. Here are some of his ideas. I'll admit, I am paraphrasing his presentation, but if you really want to catch it you can contact his office to see where he'll be speaking next.

  1. He speaks what's on his mind and doesn't hide it. 
  2. He invites the press and becomes friends with them. 
  3. Bring the fun and align it with charity. 
  4. Use PR and advertising skillfully and use creativity in marketing.
  5. You can always ask for money from investors, but you have to remember that you will need to pay it back - with interest. You have to be frugal with the money you do get and use it wisely.
  6. You have to serve the sponsors. No sitting around doing nothing. You have to be sure the sponsors are ALL taken care of.
  7. Reward the people that do the right thing and step out. (Could be in the form of swag or something else).

Patrick is hosting the 2011 Hollywood Celebrity Sporting Clays Invitational on June 11, 2011 in Newhall, CA. This event is to promote firearms and hunting in Hollywood and to get other celebrities involved. This is a Pro-American, Pro-Military, Pro-Hunting, Pro-Shooting event. You would be surprised to hear how many celebrities shoot or hunt and don't talk about it. This event is open to the public, with the purchase of a ticket of course. You can purchase the entry ticket, get set up on a team and have a fun day of shooting, getting to know other shooters and best of all - having fun! I'll post more about this event as it gets closer. A big thank you to Patrick and his team for putting together such a great event.

This was a great quote from Patrick that I can't get out of my head:
'I drive a Prius and I have a shotgun in my Prius.'
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The third, and final seminar on my agenda was with Dieter Kaboth on DIY public land elk hunting. Dieter is a World Elk Calling Champion and Hunters Specialties Pro Staffer, but he didn't focus on that subject at all. Instead, he focusing on calling and hunting and how calling involves a lot of luck. Hunting takes on an entirely different breed. Dieter has spent his life pursuing elk on public land and his seminar was very well done. He was short on time, only five of us showed up for his seminar, but I took a great deal away from it. As a first time elk hunter this year I need all the help I can get. His approach was awesome. Dieter never touted his years of hunting or saying he was an expert. He actually said he wasn't an expert, but knew plenty of tactics to get close to elk to hunt them. 

He gave some great pointers on what calls to use and when to use them. Best of all, he talked about being an aggressive hunter and not a passive one. One example he gave was if you spook elk, and you will spook elk if you are doing it right, chase after the cows. Get behind them and give a little spike bellow. Then sit tight because more often than not, the herd bull is not going to tolerate a spike or raghorn invading his territory and chasing his cows. Your opportunity at an archery shot will be much greater than sitting and watching the cows run away and hoping to maybe get a shot.

For only having a short period of time, Dieter did a great job of instructing us and giving is tips on hunting the Wapiti this year. I know I cannot wait to get out there! Thanks, Dieter!
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All in all, I enjoyed the three seminars. I do think that the Fred Hall Show managers should try to get more hunting/archery shops in there though. I don't know why there aren't more than one, but I have some pretty strong opinions on the guys manning the archery booth that was there. 

I hope next year has some more seminars and events related to hunting. If not, I may not be attending. I am just not that much into fishing and boating to go down and try to catch a good seminar. I can hit up Bass Pro for that while still getting a great deal on gear. Anyone else go and have a different experience?

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