Sportsmen Show takes over TRAC

January 17, 2014 

Everyone has dreams.

And for outdoors enthusiasts, their dreams can be answered — or at least sparked — at the 21st annual Tri-Cities Sportsmen Show at TRAC in Pasco this weekend.

Attendance seemed high Friday, but a lot of people felt it might be because the Seattle Seahawks are playing in the NFC Championship on Sunday, so many who want to attend the show do so Friday or today in order to clear up their Sunday for the contest.

“I already heard one guy who works for a vendor say that he was getting out of here early on Sunday so he could watch the Seahawks play,” said Cee Dub Welch, the former PBS television star who hosted a Dutch Oven cooking class show and is running Outdoor Cooking Camp seminars all weekend in the arena.

Still, the show — which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday — has enough highlights to make everyone dream about what they’d like to do in the outdoors.

“I would love to do an Alaska moose hunt, or one in Canada,” said Welch, who drove in from the Boise area for the show. “I’m just intrigued with the country. I put in for a moose tag before but didn’t get it.”

Instead, Welch will have to settle with showing people how to do the camp menu up right. He was teaching people a baked fish recipe with chili, bread sticks and homemade tartar sauce.

Shooting a moose wasn’t just Welch’s fantasy.

Yakima’s Mike Carolus would like to make that happen too.

“I’ve never shot a moose,” Carolus said. “I’ve shot a lot of big-game animals. But never a moose. That’s the one thing I want to do.”

La Grande’s Grant Cooper would like to go to Africa.

“I’d like to go on a safari,” Cooper said. “Not to shoot anything, but just to see the animals.”

To make that happen, Cooper could go to a couple booths in the exhibition hall, where African safaris are possible to book.

About 500 people took in the 4 p.m. edition of Craig Wagner’s and Traveler Hawk’s exhibition, the Great Cats World Park show, which features a tiger, black leopard and other felines.

It’s the newest feature at the show, and the Cave Junction, Ore., pair brought five of their 45 cats with them on this trip.

“Our park has been in existance for 10 years,” said Wagner, “But we’ve been doing this for 31 years.”

Yet even Wagner and Hawk, both of whom travel around the country showing their cats, have their own outdoors dreams.

“I work seven days a week,” said Wagner. “So I haven’t able to do much. But it would have to be some type of boating on a river.”

Hawk was a little more adventurous.

“It would have to be hang gliding over the Grand Canyon,” she said. “But I’m not sure I’d have the courage to do that.”

A lucky few already have completed their ultimate outdoors adventure.

Kennewick’s Kevin Pedersen, who is a teacher and football coach at Chiawana High School, says he and the other Riverhawks coaches take an annual fishing trip down in eastern Oregon on the John Day River.

“I get to do that every summer, usually for about three days,” said Pedersen. “We’ve done it since 1997-98. It’s a bonding experience, and it’s great fun.”

Which is what everyone is looking for anyway at an outdoors show: fun.

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