"Absolutely," said Michael Racz when asked if his 16-month-old daughter Harlie will hunt with him some day.
"I got to get her prepped up before Mom turns her into a cheerleader," he said from inside the Blair County Convention Center where he and his family came to explore the fifth annual Outdoor Times Hunting & Fishing Show.
Dad, mom and baby were among the more than 800 people who turned out for the first day of the three-day event.
(Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski)
Dennis “Bubby” Hammer III, 5, of Entriken reels in a trout at the Biller Trout Pond & Pistol Shoot Friday during the fifth annual Outdoor Times Hunting & Fishing Show at the Blair County Convention Center.
PA Outdoor Times general manager Terry Hyde said he was worried attendance might dip because of the economy, but attendance was up from last year's 670 first-night patrons.
"We're very pleased," Hyde said of the turn out.
The show continues from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Racz said he came out to the show to plan his next hunting trip for black bear in either Canada or Maine.
''It's only scary for them,'' he said of hunting such an intimidating animal.
He said he's looking for ''different terrain'' and a ''whole other realm of black bears'' for his next trip.
Peter Fiduccia knows a bit about different terrain.
Fiduccia, known as the Deer Doctor, has hunted across the country on his 28-year-old television show "Woods N' Water" and is the author of several hunting books, including "Whitetail Strategies - The Ultimate Guide."
The show's host and producer is considered one of the nation's top white-tailed deer gurus by sportsmen and women throughout North America.
Fiduccia and co-host and executive producer Christopher S. Dalti were among the more than 40 manned stops spread throughout the center's upstairs.
''There's so many beautiful sights to enjoy,'' Dalti said.
Other stops include Aunt Carol's Gourmet Dips, the Pickle Shack, the Raystown Striper Club and Roland Metal Art, and Central PA Labrador, Finders Keepers Mining, Animal Land, Bobcat of Martinsburg and other vendors have taken over the center's downstairs.
Fiduccia said the attraction of hunting is found in the camaraderie and nature.
Fiduccia's and his wife Kate, who hosts the segment ''Going Wild In Kate's Kitchen'' on the show and is a cookbook author, will speak today in the ballroom at noon and 1:30 p.m., respectively.
Mirror Staff Writer Amanda Clegg is at 949-7030.