Charleston’s annual West Virginia Hunting and Fishing Show has seen upwards of 15,000 attendees every year, and keeps on growing. This year’s show opening 20th January will be a three-day event that will feature more than 230 outfitters and outdoor-equipment vendors.
Now in its 26th year, the show draws attendees from throughout the Kanawha Valley and much of southern West Virginia. Jarrell said that if always-unpredictable January weather is bad, attendance show suffers a little, but not much. In good weather, crows jam the Civic Center floor.
Outfitters and vendors are only part of the show’s appeal. Exhibits, seminars and auctions attract a great deal of attention, too. Many of the exposition’s most popular events will occur on Saturday, Jan. 21.
Renowned coyote hunter Tom Bechdel will conduct two seminars on coyote calling and hunting, the first from 11 a.m. to noon and the second from 2 to 3 p.m. Representatives of the West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center will conduct a live Birds of Prey seminar from noon to 1 p.m. The show will feature hawks, owls, and “Thunder,” the center’s resident bald eagle.
A pair of auctions will give show-goers a chance to snap up equipment and guided outings at below-market prices. The first, scheduled for 4 p.m., will be a silent auction. The second, at 5 p.m., will be a full-fledged auction. Col. Larry Boggs will serve as auctioneer.
As in the past, profits from the auction will be donated to wildlife and conservation organizations throughout the state. Jarrell said past recipients include Archery in the Schools, Hunters Helping the Hungry, Trout Unlimited, the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Show hours are noon to 9 p.m. on Jan. 20, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Jan. 21, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 22. Admission is $7 for adults, $1 for children ages 6 to 12, and free for children under age 6.