Sportsmen's Expo reels in fans of the great outdoors

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- If you love the great outdoors, the Sportsmen's Expo is the place for you this weekend!

The 15th annual Arizona International Sportsmen's Exposition (ISE) is filling the University of Phoenix Stadium with a huge display of outdoor products, services, exhibitors, attractions, and seminars. This year, the event is also incorporating the Arizona Boat Show.

The ISE will spotlight 250 companies and organizations, including manufacturers and retailers; local, regional and international destinations; guides and outfitters; travel bureaus; enthusiast clubs and groups; and nonprofit organizations representing a wide range of outdoor interests.

The show also presents campers, trailers and a huge selection of off-road vehicles, including UTVs, ATVs, trucks and 4x4s.

In its second year, ISE's co-located Arizona Boat Show will feature 12 local marine dealers presenting 45 national sport- and fishing-boat brands, including wakeboard and ski boats, fish/ski boats, family runabouts, party pontoons, deck boats, personal watercraft, kayaks and stand-up-paddle boards. A giant houseboat will be on hand, too, plus a wide selection of marine accessories.

The event also offers two outdoor-skills and seminar venues.

New for 2015 is the Outdoor Product Showcase, which features new camping, hunting, fishing, boating and off-roading gear from exhibitors and the outdoor industry. Some of the OPS gear is given away daily to show-goers.

Some other highlights:
-A 40-ft.-long aquarium-demonstration tank, hosted by pro bass angler Kent Brown, will be the site for  some of Arizona's top fishing guides and pros, including Phoenix-based legendary angler John Murray. Local pro Joe Uribe Jr. will be on the tank Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Uribe just won $40,000 at a major tournament at Lake Havasu.
-At the Adventure Theater, special guests include Scottsdale-based outdoor-gear guru Tim Ralston, and another outdoor legend from the area, big-game bow hunter Randy Ulmer.

-New this year are special javelina-butchering clinics Thursday and Friday afternoon, presented by the Arizona Taxidermy Artists Association.

-Also new, Kenton Clairmont will give seminars on "The Six Pillars of Hunting Fitness." Clairmont created the Train to Hunt program, which includes a new television show and endurance events throughout the West, including one in Arizona in April.

-Local retailer Shooter's World will discuss hunting with an AR-15, and CG Durda, co-owner of Phoenix-based Destination Scuba, will spotlight destinations and talk about underwater photography. New world champion predator hunter Geoff Nemnich offers daily talks, too.

-The show's 9,000-square-foot, 3D target archery range hosts a high-energy tournament that draws local and other competitors from Colorado, Utah and New Mexico.

-ISE's Youth Fair offers free instruction in catch-and-release fishing. The Airsoft shooting range is hosted by NRA-certified shooting instructor Rob Potter.
-The Arizona Game and Fish Department will once again have several exhibits. The department will conduct its wildlife assets sale, always a big attraction at ISE. The sale enables the public to legally purchase items such as antlers, head mounts, hides and other wildlife parts that have been seized during law enforcement investigations, obtained from animals killed in vehicle collisions, or acquired through donations. The funds raised through this silent auction-format sale are used to purchase equipment or training to assist Game and Fish officers in more effectively enforcing anti-poaching and other wildlife laws.
Other department booths will include general information on hunting, fishing, wildlife and license sales; information on the California condor program and how using lead-based ammunition when hunting in condor country may jeopardize condor recovery; and information on the off-highway vehicle program and the Operation Game Thief program.
You can find a complete list of activities online.

University of Phoenix Stadium
1 Cardinals Drive
Glendale, AZ 85305

No pets, firearms or outside food or drink allowed.
Thursday- 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday- 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday- 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is $12 for adults, and free to youth age 15 and under, and active military with military ID. Parking is free.