Michigan is home to more than 1 million hunters and anglers, most of who reside within an hour’s drive or so of Novi. They will fill the aisles at Outdoorama while looking for deals on boats and sporting gear, for conservation education that includes nearly 100 free seminars, and for family entertainment and features.
Returning to crowd fanfare are favorite attractions like “Big Buck Night” (Thursday only), “Wildlife Encounters” (all 4 days) and “Ultimate Air Dogs” with Milt Wilcox hosting daily demonstrations and weekend competition. New this year is the WOW Whitetail display featuring some of the most famous whitetails of all time including the X-Factor buck, the Hole-in-the-Horn buck, and several others.
Although hunting and fishing are the show’s roots, Outdoorama has long appealed to legions of conservationists who enjoy hiking, camping, boating and canoeing, and who pursue bird watching, wildlife photography and mushroom hunting.
Adding to the show’s appeal is the 6th Annual Cottage & Lakefront Living Show, which runs concurrently at Suburban Collection Showplace. Patrons to either event receive free crossover admission. “We’ve kept the admission fee low again this year,” Starr said. “It’s only $10 for adults and $4 for children 6 to 14. Kids 5 and under get in free.”
For those interested in booking an out-of-town adventure, Outdoorama features dozens of lodges, outfitters, guides and charter boat captains from Alaska to Africa and across North America. Show patrons also can expect to find great deals on fishing and hunting boats, pontoons and pleasure boats, docks, lifts, hunting and fishing gear, and camping supplies.
Besides Ultimate Air Dogs, family fun activities include a Trout Pond with live rainbows, a pellet shooting range, free Casting Kids Contest, a video fishing simulator, Wildlife Encounters with live native Michigan wildlife, and the Sportsman’s Grill with fried fish all four days of the show. Premier Animal Attractions is bringing several exotic creatures to the show.
National turkey hunting authorities Seth McCullough and Greg Abbas lead an all-star cast of hunting seminar speakers. Steve Francis, owner of Country Smokehouse, will demonstrate field dressing, skinning, and butchering a whitetail; Jason Herbert with “Hunting on a Dime;” and Ed Spinazzola and Doc Morrow on food plotting.
Walleye pros Mark Romanack, Mark Martin, and Lance Valentine headline the Fishing Academy of veteran speakers that also includes bass pro Wayne Carpenter, fly-fishing expert Mike Schultz, muskie-fishing guides Bob Brunner and Mike Pittiglio, perch-fishing guru David A. Rose and river-fishing expert Jim Bedford.
Traditional skills expert Jim Miller offers demonstrations on building birch bark canoes, making fire with a wooden stick, and tanning hides the Native American way.
Team Morel wild mushroom expert Theresa Maybrier will be on hand all four days of the show to share techniques for hunting, preserving and preparing the delectable fungi. The Huron Valley Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will host an open turkey calling contest on Saturday
The first 500 attendees on Thursday and Friday receive a free, collectible Dardevle spoon from Eppinger Manufacturing Co. in Dearborn. The first 500 attendees on Saturday and Sunday will receive a free Quick Fillet Tool from Quick Fillet Productions in Plymouth.
The show that celebrates Michigan’s great outdoors is February 21 to 24, 2013. Show hours are Thursday and Friday, 2 to 9:30; Saturday, 10 to 9; and Sunday, 10 to 5. For more information, go to http://www.Outdoorama.com or call 800-328-6550.