Three area friends decided to hold a get-together to preview the upcoming hunting seasons. The Midwest Huntfest at Century II’s Expo Hall is next weekend.
Shawn Nielsen is expecting about 80 vendors with displays, an assortment of outdoors celebrities and nightly concerts by well-known country music performers.
Nielsen organized the event with hunting buddy Randy Ginest and Tom McMillan. Vendors range from camping equipment manufacturers and local outdoors stores to jewelry makers and outfitters.
“We’re proud we’ve been able to offer so much,” he said. “If you want, you could come buy a bow, get the bow rigged, book a hunt, then buy all of the supplies you might need.”
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Nielsen said they’ve tried to make the show family friendly.
The first 300 kids to enter on Friday will receive free quail calls. Eagle Valley Raptor Center will give demonstrations with their rehabilitated birds of prey several times per day.
At least five hunting-related seminars are scheduled for each of the three days. Experts at a 40-foot tank will give casting and lure demonstrations.
An ongoing indoor 3D archery tournament is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, with the top archers shooting for a championship on Sunday.
Outdoors celebrities appearing and giving seminars include Travis “T-Bone” Turner and Nick Mundt of the “Bone Collectors” television series. Hosts of other outdoors shows will be at the event.
Nielson credits McMillan, a television host and Stafford County outfitter, for attracting country singers Neal McCoy, Chuck Wicks and Ricky Fugitt.
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism game wardens will have a display featuring about 30 of the trophy bucks confiscated in “Operation Cimarron,” a trophy deer poaching ring in Comanche County. Wardens will explain regulation changes.