His customers made some requests last year and Shawn Nielsen has provided. A sizable gun show will be part of the 2014Midwest Huntfest, Friday through next Sunday at Century II.
“The public said it would be nice to have both kinds of things so we’ve offered 110 tables for a gun show and they all sold out,” said Nielsen, Huntfest partner and promoter. “We’ll still have 130 booth vendors, too, with all the regular outdoor and hunting stuff.”
This is the third year for the event that’s designed to help sportsmen get ready for upcoming hunting seasons. Nielsen said the vendor booths will hold a good selection of outfitters, guides, taxidermists and assorted equipment manufacturers.
The show is also trying to improve the family appeal of the event, with a variety of activity for kids. That includes air gun shooting opportunities, laser shot games at moving targets, bumper boats and Nielsen’s favorites: bumper runners.
“That’s where a kid actually gets in a big ball and takes off running across the water,” he said. “My wife and I saw them out at the sports show and really enjoyed it. We got them to come this year.”
The show has also greatly increased the amount and value of prizes attendees may win, especially through their Points for Prizes contest.
“Any time you stop in and see a vendor and look at product, you can be eligible for point vouchers,” Nielsen said. “You get them if you go to a seminar, or do the archery shoot and you get points every time you buy something. You want to get as many as possible and those who accumulate the most can win some pretty cool prizes.”
Nielsen said about $14,000 in prizes will be distributed through the top five point winners. The top two prizes include guided hunts in Kansas, and a wide selection of free hunting equipment.
Diamond Archery will again be hosting a 3-D target shooting competition within the show. Blake Nowak, of the Wichita archery shop, said archers can register in one of four classes — open, bowhunter, ladies and youth — and shoot 10 targets out to 40 yards. The top six shooters in each class on Friday and Saturday will compete in a shoot-off for prizes on Sunday. Nowak said the top prize is $2,000 for the winner of the open class.
Nielsen said this show will also have a shed deer antler contest so attendees can bring in their matched sets of shed deer antlers. The antlers will be scored and prizes given to the largest in typical and non-typical categories.
As with the first two shows, the public will be able to meet a variety of hunting industry celebrities. This year that includes Matt Duff and Jeff Danker of Major League Bowhunter television show. World champion target shooting champion Jesse Duff will also be at the Huntfest.
Show hours are noon-8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
Costs are $10 for adults, $5 for children 8-12 years old and free for and children seven and under.
For more details go to www.midwesthuntfest.com.