CHARLESTON, W.Va. — More than 15,000 could pass through the doors of the Charleston Civic Center for the annual West Virginia Hunting and Fishing Show. This weekend will mark the 30th anniversary of the largest exhibition of its kind in West Virginia and one of the most coveted by vendors nationally.
“We get calls all the time from vendors who say, ‘Hey, I hear I need to be in your show,'” said Glen Jarrell, of the West Virginia Trophy Hunters Association.
The show includes more than 200 vendors occupying nearly 350 booths. There’s a long waiting list to get in each year, but this year’s show features more than 30 first timers.
After 30 years the show has become a winter time staple for many avid outdoor enthusiasts in West Virginia. Many of those involved look forward to just catching up since last year. Others will reunite with an outfitter who took them hunting or fishing last year and will rebook for the coming year.
Outfitters from all over the world are part of the event. You can book a hunting trip to Africa, Colorado, Canada, or Alaska. You could charter a fishing trip on a remote lake in Ontario, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, or down the New River in West Virginia. A lot of vendors offer everything from turkey calls to gear bags in the area of outdoor gear.
One of the most popular attractions is the Whitetail Hall of Fame. The display, in a room all to itself just off the show floor, features some of the biggest bucks ever killed in West Virginia. Jarrell said an added attraction this year will be an 11 foot Kodiak bear displayed by an Alaskan outfitter visiting the show.
Jarrell expected a lot of new displays in the hall of fame after the recently completed buck season in West Virginia.
“We’ve heard rumors and seen some pictures on the Internet,” said Jarrell. “We’re expecting some really big bucks this year and a bunch of them.”
Most of the bucks are brought in by show visitors to find out just how big they are. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will have official Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young scoring judges on hand to handle the measurements.
There will also be displays of West Virginia fish in a large aquarium, birds of prey, and activities for children. The show hours are Friday 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $1 for children 6-12, and under age six are admitted free.
Be sure and swing by our West Virginia Outdoors and Ram Trucks display. We’ll have two 2016 Ram Trucks there. Also on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. I’ll be live on the air with a special edition of West Virginia Outdoors on our flagship station, 580 WCHS live from the show floor.