By Kellen M. Quigley
As the hunting seasons in New York state wind down this winter, the Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino invites all avid sportsmen and outdoors enthusiasts to begin preparing for the next ones this weekend.
On Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3, the casino will host its annual premiere sportsman’s show, presented by York Penn Shows out of Frewsburg.
“We have a lot of new vendors and exhibitors and we’re trying to fit everybody in who wants in,” said Jonathan Buck, co-organizer of the event with his father, James. “We’re selling spaces that we’ve never sold before.”
Throughout the weekend, attendees have the opportunity to buy, sell, trade and browse with hundreds of dealers and experts at over 350 tables and 40 booths set up in and around the casino’s events center.
“I’m probably at even more than that, table wise,” Buck said Tuesday. He said they planned to begin setting up the events center Wednesday. “Trying to get it all put together is like a big puzzle, but it’s going very well
At the two-day event, local sportsmen can find the latest in sporting and fishing equipment, including hunting, trapping and archery supplies, as well as outdoor guides and tours. Besides the hundreds of tables and 40 booths measuring 10 feet by 10 feet, attendees can stop at several 12-by-25 booths in the main hallway.
Vendors scheduled to be at the show include gun dealers, antique firearms, sporting goods and accessories, archery equipment, fishing gear, taxidermy services, outdoor guides, hunting preserves, trapping supplies and more.
“There are some rooms off to the side the casino has that we’ve rented out to places like Tall Tales out of Warren,” Buck said. “It’s going to be busy and full.”
One of the attendees’ favorites, Mark Baker and Eagle Dream Rehabilitation, will be on site again with live birds in the process of rehabilitation. “The birds are always a big draw because they’re live animals and the kids love them,” Buck added.
Other groups working the event include Keystone Elk Country Alliance, Friends of NRA, Bobcat of Olean, Leisure Time Powersports of Bradford, Pa., and others from across the region.
“We’re running the whole gambit,” he said.
Among the biggest changes Buck said he’s seen since they started doing the show at the casino nearly a decade ago has been in the gun laws in New York state. However, he said he also has a lot more dealers this year than in past shows.
Along with the usual booths and tables with items for purchase, the Seneca Nation of Indians Fish and Wildlife Department will be on site with information for attendees as will the radio station WBRR 100.1 FM The Hero Saturday morning.
Buck said sportsman shows like this put all the items hunters and outdoorsmen are looking for all in one place at one time, so whatever they’re looking for they can find it. “They don’t have to go to two or three different towns to find everything,” he added. “They can just go to one place.”
But besides being a place to stock up on all the essentials for future outdoor ventures, Buck said it’s also a family-friendly environment that’s educational for kids.
“They can learn about what’s going on in the outdoor world with hunting and fishing,” he said. “They can talk to the experts and learn from them.”
York Penn Shows are organized by Buck and his father, who is 84. Coming from Frewsburg, about a 30 drive from the casino, they have a personal connection with the area. Plus, the show is a chance to catch up with old friends.
“My dad has been doing shows like this since the 1980s and attending shows like this since the 1970s, so for him it’s a social event,” he said. “For a lot of these vendors, that’s the only time they see each other, and for people who come to the show, it’s the only time the get to see the exhibitors.
“Everybody is there to have a good time and enjoy themselves, and we hope they have a good time,” Buck added.
The doors are open Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an admission fee of $8.
The parking garage and open parking lot have over 3,000 spaces available for attendees.
For more information, visit www.yorkpennshows.com or contact Jim Buck, show chairperson, at (716) 569-6810.