CASTALIA, N.C. — During the next 4-6 weeks outdoors enthusiasts will be traveling throughout Pennsylvania to attend a variety sports shows that target their many interests.
This year there is an alternative choice for those looking to get a jump on planning outdoors adventures and reaction during the upcoming year. Rather than traveling to interact with guides and outfitters, Cabela’s Hamburg will have an array of them under one roof, Saturday, Jan. 13, when it presents Guides and Outfitters Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the hunting and fishing departments.
“Cabela’s will have a major presence at the Great American Outdoors Show in February, at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, but we wanted to present the Guides and Outfitters Day for those looking to book a trip in a more relaxed setting,” Cabela’s special events coordinator Ron Leh said, “In addition our neighbors from Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Board Safe Accessible Kayak Launches, Susquehanna Team River Runners, Lehigh Valley Team River Runners, Individuals Abilities in Motion, the NRA Adapted Shooting Program, L and C Huntmaster Equipment and the Pennsylvania Game Commission will be represented.”
Most of the guides and outfitters have been exhibitors at previous Cabela’s outdoors programs and with the statewide deer seasons in Pennsylvania now over most hunters have already began to think about the approaching spring gobbler seasons. As such, in all likelihood many visitors this Saturday will be visiting the booth of Fair Game Outfitters.
An annual exhibitor at the GAOS and National Wild Turkey Federation Pennsylvania State Chapter Hunter Heritage Banquet and weekend at Cabela’s, which this year is Friday-Sunday, March 15-17, Fair Game has established itself among Pennsylvanians as one of the premier out-of-state hunting destinations for spring gobbler and deer. Greg Schrider and his staff of Brian Platt and Jay Ridgway have a combined of plus-70 years of guiding from Montana to New York to North Carolina.
“Last year we revamped the operation when we bought out the previous owner to focus on a hunting experience that provided a quality experience,” Schrider said. “As a result we are booking fewer hunters for three-day spring gobbler hunts and five-day deer hunts.
“We provide second-to-none lodging, accommodations, hunting properties and our low hunter-to-guide ratio provides the opportunity to take the trophy of a lifetime. We enforce a 6-point antler rule with no width restrictions, and this “Quality Deer Management” policy guarantees mature deer for future years.
“Our core hunting properties are four farms of 2,000 to 10,000 acres, adding more as needed, and our hunting properties are agricultural, and include cattle ranches and farms growing soybeans, sweet potatoes, and corn. We’ve also added blinds to give deer hunters more accessibility to prime locations.”
Pennsylvanians fell at home hunting the Western Zone of North Carolina as the landscape consists of oak ridges, farm fields, hills, persimmon trees and pine groves. Wild turkey and deer feed on the groups throughout the year and corn feeders are added during deer season.
This year spring gobbler season opens Saturday, April 13, and closes Saturday, May 11. There is a limit of two gobblers per license and hunting can be done all day – except from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday for North Carolina’s “church rule” that prohibits discharging firearms when hunting.
Both turkey and deer hunts will begin before sunrise with a continental breakfast before heading afield, with full and semi-guided hunts are available for spring gobbler. Hunters return to the lodge for a hot lunch then return to the field and conclude the day with dinner at the lodge prepared by a chef.
Hunts are designed to meet the physical capabilities of the clients and the four-bedroom, three-bathroom lodge is fully furnished with linens and bath towels provided and designed with luxury in mind. There are flat screen TVs throughout the house, central air conditioning, a double-sided fireplace and a Jacuzzi air jet tub.
“Obviously, we will be booking deer and turkey hunts at Cabelas, which will give clients a jump on prime dates before Harrisburg,” Schrider said. “We’re looking forward to being part of this venture.”
In addition to Fair Game Outfitters, others who have committed to attending Guides and Outfitters Day are Bobby Hart of Robert W. Hart and Son Rifles, Private Acres, Wack ‘em Salmon River Guide Service, Dan Wyant Adventures, Capt. Paul Eidman of Reel Therapy, Sky Blue Outfitters, Westwind, Reel Simple Fly Fishing, Irish Knots Sport Fishing, Bingo Sport Fishing, Lock N Load Sport Fishing and Hammerhead Charters and Tackle. An added attraction is the second annual Accessibility to the Outdoors from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Conservation Mountain presented by organizations that provide outdoors opportunities for disabled individuals.
Information about turkey and deer hunting at Fair Game Outfitters is available by visiting Greg Schrider at Cabela’s Guides and Outfitters Day, Saturday, Jan. 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; the Great American Outdoor Show, Saturday, Feb. 2-Sunday, Feb.10, at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg; and the National Wild Turkey Federation Pennsylvania State Chapter Hunter Heritage Banquet and weekend at Cabela’s, Friday-Sunday, March 15-17; access the website at www.fairgameoutfitters.com, call (315) 525-1684 or (919) 727-0434 or email: email@example.com.
(Dietz is a member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association)