Outdoor expo draws enthusiasts to Eagle
Western Colorado Outdoor & Sportsman’s Expo
Sunday, April 8 Schedule
9 to 9:15 a.m. — Welcome and sponsor announcements
9:30 to 10:30 a.m. — Elk Hunting 101 presented by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ray Long, Jim Gonzales and Robert Gonzales
10:30 to 11:15 a.m — U.S. Forest Service Pack String demonstrations
10:30 to 11:30 a.m. — Fly Casting Instruction hosted by Kelli Jackson of Anglher
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 pm — Classic Air Medical helicopter demonstration
1 to 2 p.m. — Brookside Gun Dogs outdoor demonstration
2 to 3 p.m. — Midge Fly Tying with Rick Takahashi
3 p.m. — Winner of event fly tying competition announced
3 to 4 p.m. — Fly Casting Instruction hosted by Kelli Jackson of Anglher
3 to 3:45 p.m. — U.S. Forest Service Pack String demonstration
EAGLE — Dave Meehan figures he is on the road about 225 days a year, bringing the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Great American Elk Tour Display to outdoors events around the country.
This weekend, he is in Eagle and he likes what he has seen at the inaugural Western Colorado Outdoors & Sportsman’s Expo.
“I am into youth outreach and you have a lot going on with the youth here,” said Meehan.
Meehan, who is based out of Missoula, Montana, noted the Great American Elk Tour Display is traditionally a big draw at outdoors shows and he usually visits events that are a lot larger than Eagle’s first effort. “But this event fit and our timing worked out,” he said.
His appearance is also working out for the local chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
“We are getting memberships and raffling off a gun,” said local member Ed Coulter.
A crowd of hunting, fishing and outdoors enthusiasts were out in force bright and early Saturday, April 7, to check out the expo. Displays featuring everything from big-game hunting to mushroom foraging to stand-up paddleboarding are part of the expo layout. There are mules from the U.S. Forest Service specialty pack string and hunting dogs from Brookside Gun Dogs, a family-owned training and boarding company that has been in business for 30 years.
At the back of the Eagle River Center, expo goers can tour campers and RVs from Humphries RV of Grand Junction and kids can shoot archery targets under the supervision of the Colorado Bowhunters Association. Everyone who comes to the event is handed a card to present at various vendor booths and the completed cards are then placed in a drawing for door prizes.
Adam Parr, of Quiet Kat, is one of the expo vendors. The Eagle-based company manufactures E-bikes — a vehicle that meshes mountain bikes with electric bikes.
“This event is a good fit for us because our target customer is the outdoorsman who wants to access the back country,” said Parr.
Customer Kevin Rowe was one of those target customers, hanging out at the Quiet Kat display Saturday.
“I have a couple Quiet Kats and I am in the raffle to win a third,” Rowe said.
On the subject of prizes, local fly-fishing enthusiasts have a special opportunity at the expo. A fly-tying competition hosted by Force Fly Fishing invites competitors to bring a pre-tied fly to the company’s booth at the expo. Competitors tag their creations with information and the fly name and Force Fly Fishing has a board set up with all of the entries, along with a ballot box. Attendees will vote for the fly of their choice. Sunday, April 8, at 2 p.m. the ballots will be tabulated and the winner of the vise will be decided at 3 p.m. The winner will take home a Predator Fly Tying Vices, valued at $595.95, as the grand prize.
The show continues today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Eagle River Center at the Eagle County Fairgrounds. Tickets are $8 at the door. While the various vendor booths and most activities will be held inside the Eagle River Center, some expo events will happen outside. Please dress accordingly.
To learn more about the Western Colorado Outdoor & Sportsman’s Expo, visit the event website at westcoexpo.com.
Every person who has ever strapped into a board owes a debt of gratitude to Burton.