Meadville Tribune

October 6, 2013

Kids, crowds engaged at annual Antlers and Anglers outdoors expo at fairgrounds

By Lisa Byers
Meadville Tribune

MEADVILLE — Landon Pierce, like many children, enjoys playing video games and watching television.

But given the choice, Pierce would far rather be outside casting a fishing line or digging for grubs and worms, according to his grandfather, Dave Pierce.

“He’d rather be outside than just about anything,” Dave Pierce said.

Fishing, though, is one of Landon’s favorite hobbies and at just 5 years old, he already has a number of stories to tell. He added another Saturday afternoon.

Landon and his grandfather were among a group of about two dozen people, who gathered at Home Show Building No. 1 at the Crawford County Fairgrounds for a kid’s fishing demonstration by freelance outdoors writer Dan Armitage.

Armitage tossed bobbers into the crowd, placed worms in the hands of those not so willing and even filled one a spectators’ New Orleans Saints football hat with minows (Yes, live minows) to pass around to engage the children and teach them about fishing.

And when it was all finished, Armitage invited Landon of Guys Mills to join him up on a platform overlooking a large traveling fish aquarium to try to reel in a fish with a cane fishing pole.

“I knew I could come on and try,” Landon said. “I just knew it.”

Landon wasn’t able to hook a fish, but that didn’t seem to bother him as moments later he was off shooting a bow and arrow. Earlier in the day he enjoyed a demonstration by Bob Bush and Blackwaterdogs Retrievers from the Presque Isle Retriever Club, featuring the well-trained labrador duo of Pepper and Texas.

That is the opportunity the annual Antlers and Anglers Showcase gives not only children, but all outdoor enthusiasts. It gives them a chance to see and participate in a number of outdoor activities and look at all the latest gadgets.

“This is a really nice event,” Dave Pierce said. “It’s really nice for the kids.”

Antlers and Anglers continues today at the Crawford County Fairgrounds from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Armitage will be back on stage for his Kid’s Fishing 411 demonstration at 12:15 and 2:30 p.m. at Home Show Building No. 1.

Armitage is a syndicated outdoor radio show host and travels throughout the country leading fishing and boating seminars.

Terry Ferrell is on stage at 11:30 a.m. for “Hook Line & Stitch Fly Tying.” Dale Black will demonstrate Gamma Fishing Lines at 1 and 4 p.m. Tamarack Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation takes the stage at 3:15 p.m. Tom Bechdel finishes things off with his “Hunting the Eastern Coyote” seminar at 4:30 p.m.

Kids bow shooting and aerial archery shoot are also scheduled throughout the day. A number of vendors will be on hand as well.

You can go

The Antler and Anglers Showcase continues today at the Crawford County Fairgrounds. Cost is $2 or two canned goods per person. The first 100 kids (ages 14 and under) receive a bamboo fishing pole. Here is today’s schedule:

Terry Ferrell, Hook Line & Stitch Fly Tying, 11:30 a.m.; Dan Armitage, Kid’s Fishing 411, 12:15 and 2:30 p.m.; Dale Black, Gamma Fishing Lines, 1 and 4 p.m.; Steve McGranahan, Worlds Strongest Redneck, 1 and 4 p.m.; Tamarack Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, 3:15 p.m.; Tom Bechdel, Hunting the Eastern Coyote, 4:30 p.m.