Outdoor show has something for everyone

Kirk McKendree of central Pennsylvania won’t tell you how many predators he’s killed because he’s humble.

But his reputation as a pro staff member for several hunting gear companies and the fact that he’s on speed dial for many coyote-terrorized farmers should suggest a lot.

McKendree is scheduled to speak today and Saturday about predator hunting during the Alleghenies Adventure Outdoor Show at the Blair County Convention Center.

He hunts all varieties of coyotes, bobcats and foxes throughout the United States and Canada. But he cares especially for the hunting tradition in central Pennsylvania.

“I’m inspired by the number of youth I’ve seen out hunting this year. There’s more youth out there than in years past. I believe there is a heritage in central Pennsylvania, and it will continue to be strong.”

The Allegheny Adventures Outdoor Show opening today is family-oriented, featuring 70 vendors, speakers and exhibits to appeal to children, serious hunters and fisherman, those who just like to be outdoors or those who hunt vicariously through the TV show “Bone Collector” on the Outdoors Channel.

Travis “T-Bone” Turner, one of the stars of “Bone Collector,” is the keynote speaker at this year’s outdoors show. Turner and co-stars Michael Waddell and Nick Mundt will host hourlong question and answer sessions at 1 p.m. today and Saturday and at noon on Sunday at the convention center.

Turner told the Mirror, “We don’t want it to be like a clinic where someone is talking down to someone. We want people to feel like they are camping with us.”

The Bone Collectors aren’t the only ones who will be answering questions at the show.

“Come loaded with questions,” Bass Pro fisherman Jim Vitaro said, taking a break Thursday from cleaning a 5,000 gallon fish tank that he’ll fill with water and game fish. “That’s what we are here for, to educate the public.” Of course, entertainment is another aspect of his fishing demonstrations.

The show will host a National Wild Turkey Federation sanctioned turkey calling competition on Saturday. Winners advance to the national contest in Nashville, Tenn.

Today marks the beginning of the ninth Outdoor Show sponsored by the Altoona Mirror and the Alleghenies Adventure Magazine in partnership with Standing Dead Outdoors.

“We wanted to provide an opportunity for people to meet professionals and celebrities, to educate them, most importantly the youth,” show director and Mirror Marketing Manager Amy Hannah said.

“We wanted to create a show for hands-on activities for entire families. They can get their hands on bows and arrows, guns and fishing rods and experience that together.”

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.