The Super Bowl is not the only attraction in town. February is also the month of the sports shows.

In our home area, there are three of these shows that fall in the month. The first of which is running now and, of course, I am referring to the huge show in the farm building in Harrisburg. Some people make the show an affair over more than one day while others drive to and from the show the same day. The show is large enough that it can easily be a two-day affair.

It has been quite a while since I, with the help of Eileen, worked that show and we were amazed at the number of exhibits and the equally high number of visitors. A few years ago, this show, which I believe is the largest in the eastern part of the country, had a major problem over firearms exhibits and many of the exhibitors walked out. The answer to the problem was easily found and now the show is done by the National Rifle Association. Along with the NRA came one section of the building directly aimed at firearms and equipment associated with guns. Just visiting this part of the show is alone worth the trip.

It is a no-brainer that many hunting trips, and likewise fishing journeys, are put together at one of the shows and it is Harrisburg that will be the information center of most of them.

If I make it to the Harrisburg show, I enjoy spending time in Matt Shoemaker’s booth. Matt is the owner of Macon County Outfitters in Missouri. Most of Matt’s clients come from Pennsylvania, thanks to the Harrisburg and Monroeville shows. What do I think of Matt’s operation? Well, I started out as a client and now call him a friend, and no I don’t get paid to say that. But do me a favor by stopping at the Macon County Outfitter’s and tell Matt I said hello.

Following the Harrisburg Show, there will be a smaller but still big enough show at the Monroeville Convention Center. If I am able to walk I’ll be there and will be found swapping stories at Matt’s table. Since most of his clientele are from this area I am sure he will have someone’s photo displayed. The older I get the better this show looks, for the one in Harrisburg tires me out. The Monroeville one is more manageable for me. Again, if you are there stop in and say hello to Matt and he will know if I am in the building. Maybe I will see you there.

Then there is the local one held at the Washington Crown Center in Washington on Friday, Saturday and next Sunday. I will be involved in the deer measuring again this year. Actually, Matt Weinzen will be the head honcho this year as I silently step aside and hand the baton over to him. It’s his turn as I did it long enough. I, along with Eileen and John Dino, measured a lot of deer over the years and found it a pleasure to work with the hunters of Southwestern Pennsylvania. You’ll have a hard time finding a better bunch of people than those who stopped to chat with me.

This year, like the last two, we will be presenting the George Block Conservation Scholarship to one deserving teenager from Greene and Washington counties. The presentation will be held at noon Saturday in front of the former Bon-Ton store. Unlike the other two years, I will have a table at the show, so if you have the time stop in and say hello.

There will be a table set up by the National Rifle Association, sponsored by the Dormont-Mt. Lebanon Sportsman’s Club, with officials from both organizations present to support the second amendment of the constitution. Stop and visit because there will be some well-known people there along with some of your representatives who hold public office. Take the time to stop and voice your opinion on the subject of oppressive gun laws.

George Block writes a weekly outdoors column for the Observer-Reporter.

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