After a big turn out last year and much praise, it looks like the Gateway to the Sierra Sportsmans & Outdoor Expo at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds is turning into an annual fall tradition.
The three-day event, slated Sept. 30 through Oct. 2, brings together more than 4,000 sportsmen, women and their families from all over to celebrate hunting, fishing and the great outdoors.
During this long weekend, enjoy free seminars, check out the latest gear, take advantage of show specials, talk with wildlife and fisheries experts and book a hunting or fishing adventure of a lifetime. The kids can try their luck at the catch and release trout pond, take part in the kids’ archery competition, try their hand at gold panning and practice at the Crossman air gun shooting range.
With dozens of exhibitors, demonstrations and free seminars there is something for everyone and everyone gets their questions answered.
Learn to fly fish or demo new equipment at the fly casting pond, make your own trolling lures with Ken Mathis of Ken’s Custom Tackle or check out the ins-and-outs of hound treeing with representative from the California Houndsmans’ Association. Doug Huffman with the Sierra School of Survival in Placerville will be on hand to teach wilderness and urban survival tactics. Expert dog trainer Jana Love, Kokanee experts Gary Coe and John Lico, top Northern California duck hunter Bill Mays, and Marc Kenyon, the Department of Fish & Game’s statewide black bear program coordinator, will all be on hand to share their adventures and expertise.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite be sure to sample the “people’s choice” tastings for the barbecue competitions. Saturday is the “Smokin’ for Gold” California State Championship. Then, on Sunday, the amateurs take to the grills in the Sportsman’s BBQ Grill Off.
The Gateway to the Sierra’s second annual Sportsmans & Outdoor Expo takes place at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville. Expo hours are hours are noon to 7 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets prices are $7 for adults, $4 for children 7-12, and free for children younger than 6. Parking is $5.