Jaffa Show will take your mind off the winter blues

Six weeks more of winter is no surprise, I guess. The Jaffa Outdoor Show always comes in the nick of time to rescue us from the depth of winter depression.

I am bristling with excitement as I see the lineup for the Jaffa Show which will be presented at the Jaffa Mosque on Broad Ave. from Feb. 22-25.

Seminars of all kinds, and by so many acknowledge outdoor experts on such a variety of topics, offer a true smorgasbord of knowledge and information, plus new gear to help us become better at whatever our outdoor passion is.

A few of the guest speakers will be Corey Brossman, an Outdoor TV show expert who will tell us plenty about whitetail deer hunting. Wayne Bush will again this year be talking about basic conceal and carrying of handguns and other types of firearms and what we need to know about this. I was in his seminars last year and boy, they are filled with info we all need to know.

Teresa Patterson, one of our own most proficient outdoor women around, will be presenting a seminar on a unique outdoor pastime, one that a lot of us want to participate in and don’t really know how to approach it. And what is it? “Shed Hunting,” the art of finding antlers that deer have shed in the woods, usually after deer season is over.

There are volumes to be known about the value of this pursuit and Teresa spends a lot of winter time devoted to this pastime, training her dogs to sniff out shed antlers.

There will be demonstrations by local law enforcement people, a demonstration of using the K-9 canine in police work. I sincerely hope I can get to see this one.

I will be presenting a couple seminars this year on “Tricks and Tactics for Modern Gobblers.” I’ve learned a lot of sneaky things to do that buffalo and fool suspicious gobblers from some well — known hunters. I have gleaned a bunch of those tips from my files. I’ve used many of these tricks to fool chary gobblers into believing I was the real thing. I’ll share many of those things with you.

But, let’s get back to a few remarks about shed hunting. A few years ago, at the Jaffa show, Drake, my friend’s Teresa Patterson’s yellow Labrador, was one of the big hits. He lay placidly in his dog crate inside the booth where he was, but everyone who passed noticed him and stopped to “Ooh” and “Ahh” over him. He was superbly trained for hunting waterfowl, but Teresa had also trained Drake to hunt and retrieve antler sheds. Sadly, Drake passed away recently, but Teresa has a new dog and she has avidly trained him in the same art.

Someone had told Teresa that if she let the dog play with an old shed, he’d learn to love it as he does the scent of ducks and geese.

So she gave him an antler and let him have it a few days then she put a shed on the end of a decoy gaff and tossed it out into the yard as far as she could and, sure enough, he chased after it, found it and brought it back to her. They played that game for awhile and so she took him to her hunting grounds and to some woods and told him to go find some sheds are sure enough he did.

Sheds, of course, have a story to tell. What sized bucks are still in an area? And, if you have been watching/hunting for a particular buck for a couple years, finding his sheds will clue you in as to just where you might want to check out for next archery season.

Well, I don’t want to reveal her entire seminar, just to suggest to you that this is one you don’t want to miss.

Of course, there will be all the usual attractions for children: archery shoots, trout pond, and kids really get caught up in the excitement of trying to get a fish on the end of their line. If they can feel that exciting tug on the line that signals a bite, it goes a long way toward wanting to go when fishing begins in the spring.

We are always excited to take a gander at all the new things manufacturers have thought up for this year. Some things will be just preposterous, obvious one-year money makers but the staffs of most big outdoor companies work hard all year trying to refine old things and invent really great and helpful new ones.

And I, like everyone, can’t wait to see all this stuff. I can’t afford to buy everything but once in a while, a new item catches my eye and then I “must” have one.

I remember when the one-man chair blind was introduced to the public some years ago. I got one, found I absolutely loved it for a great variety of reasons and I have not been without at least one of these portable blinds since then.

It’s why the aisles will be jammed during this show, folks gawking and listening and handling new stuff and deciding how much to get and what they can afford.