On The Ridge with Joe Judd: See you this weekend at the 40th Annual Springfield Sportsmen’s Show

Published: 02-21-2024 5:06 PM

Right now, people from across New England are gearing up for this year’s 40th Annual Springfield Sportsmen’s Show, as OSEG’s (Outdoor Sports Expo Group) Doug Sousa again welcomes folks to the Eastern States Exposition for this week’s event being held Friday through Sunday.

The Springfield Sportsmen’s Show is the largest pure hunting and fishing show in the Northeast, and will once again be filled with hundreds of booths and vendors dedicated to exhibiting the latest and the best outdoor gear which includes hunting, fishing, boating, camping and other outdoor gear that you can think of. Another added treat is that this show also offers seminars with some of the top hunting, fishing, boating, and camping pros in New England and beyond, which allow people to learn some of the tricks of the trade from professionals that have been doing it for decades.

Doug Sousa himself will tell you, as his father Frank did before him, that “A lot of people come to our show that have never hunted or fished before. And our goal has always been to provide people with a positive environment, while showing them, and teaching them, about the equipment and the knowledge they will need for a better outdoor experience, whatever that may be. My father and I, and everyone involved in this show over the past forty years, hope that people who visit our Expo gain an appreciation for the great outdoors.”

And I’m here to tell you, having been involved in this show myself for 40 years, that the Sousa family has done exactly that, exceeding all expectations over these many decades of bringing this amazing event to Western Massachusetts. Doug goes on to say that “There’s something for everyone that enjoys the outdoors at this show. We have a lot of different things over the entire three days that people can see and do, and much of it is direct, hands-on activities! And if someone has ever thought that they might like to hunt or fish, go camping or boating, on all sorts of level, this is the place to start learning about it.” And Doug is spot on about that!

At this “One Giant Building Show,” you’ll find everything you need if you’re an outdoor person trying to get started in hunting, fresh water, or deep-sea fishing, or looking to learn about new gear and how to use it from outfitters across the country and beyond which includes boating, charter boats, camping, guiding or whatever your interests may be. Or, maybe you’re a seasoned outdoors-person, just looking for that one extra tip you don’t already know, just trying to get a little better. You will find it here, along with some very special pricing for purchases on just about everything there.

Experts like Dick Scorzafava, “The Radical Deer Hunter and master outdoorsmen” whose seminars are always a major event, plus an outstanding learning experience, will be at the show, along with expert deer hunter and tracker Lanny Benoit, whose name alone pretty much says it all. That is a seminar you do not want to miss!

Randy Flannery and Paul Beauregard, both legendary Maine guides pursuing black bear, deer, and moose in the great North Woods, are certainly two guys you should want to meet and have a long chat with! And my old friend Al “Gag’ Gagliarducci, the International Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Famer, will be there, and he will teach you more about lures and fresh-water fishing than you ever dreamed of. Gag is authentic, and he’s going to be there for the weekend.

The Northeast Big Buck Club will return, “doing that thing they do,” which means measuring trophy bucks from across New England and displaying the finest exhibit of big bucks you will ever see anywhere. And the National Wild Turkey Federation will again be there to “talk turkey” with anyone interested in turkey hunting or who wants to find out more about the work the NWTF does to ensure the continuation of this great bird.

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And these are only a small number of the people that will be there as part of this great line-up of experts, which includes a schedule consisting of 40 seminars that will be going on throughout the entire weekend. Add that all up, and this 40th anniversary show might just become the best one ever. The show runs Friday (noon-8 p.m.), Saturday (9 a.m.-7 p.m.) and Sunday (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) I’m going to be there as well, so I hope you look me up, as I’m looking forward to seeing YOU at the show!

Joe Judd is a lifelong hunter and sportsman. He is an outdoor writer, seminar speaker, member of the New England Outdoor Writers Association, and a 2019 inductee into the N.E. Turkey Hunting Hall of Fame. Joe is also on the Quaker Boy Game Calls and Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Pro-Staff. He can be reached at jjontheridge@comcast.net