Spring Sportsman’s Show to be held in Presque Isle April 27-28

2 months ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Nature threw a wrench in the original plans, but The Aroostook Sportsman Association has reassembled its annual Spring Sportsman’s Show.

The event is slated April 27 and 28 at The Forum in Presque Isle. Organizers rescheduled it from March when a major snowstorm hit the state.

Presque Isle’s exposition is one of Maine’s three major outdoors sporting shows. The Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show was held in Orono March 15-17, and the State of Maine Sportsman’s Show is planned this weekend in Augusta. Even though the rescheduled show will be a little bit smaller because some vendors couldn’t attend, co-coordinator Nick Archer expects some new hunting simulations and shooting ranges to draw a crowd.

“This year we have a brand-new bow range, which is an air bow range, and targets float in the air,” Archer said. “Archery is one of the biggest draws for young people in the outdoor sports world and it’s coming on so strong, so we had to have this.”

The archery range was donated by the McCrum family of Washburn and Mars Hill, Archer said.  

The Aroostook Sportsman Association is the new nonprofit organization of the Presque Isle Fish and Game Club. The show is the group’s largest annual fundraiser.  Last year more than 4,000 people attended.

At 350 members, the club is one of the largest fish and game groups in Maine. The money it raises helps send area youth to camp, provide hunter safety courses and sponsor the Aroostook River Fun Run, an annual canoe and kayak race.

Approximately 50 vendors will participate in the show, Archer said, including the ever popular L.L. Bean-sponsored fishing pond for kids, which features trout provided by the Aroostook Band of Mi’kmaqs’ fish hatchery in Caribou.  

Vendors typically come from throughout New England and Canada. The Maine Spaniel Field Trial Club will be on hand with some dogs and puppies. Local Fish and Game Club members will man electronic shooting ranges, which offer a simulated hunting experience, he said. A pellet gun range is also planned.

A first for this year will be the Whitetail Pub, which will offer beer and food catered by local restaurateur Danny Collins. 

For 20 years, the show was held at Gentile Hall at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, but it outgrew the space, organizers said in January.  

It took some finagling to reschedule the show because a banquet was also planned, Archer said, crediting Forum director Tyler Clark with assistance.

The groups cooperated to share the space, and part of The Forum will be partitioned off for the banquet, said Trisha Ousby, Forum event coordinator.  

The Aroostook Friends of NRA banquet takes place Saturday, April 27, starting at 4 p.m., according to that organization’s social media announcement.  

The Spring Sportsman’s Show will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28.  

The show is typically held in March, but next year the club plans to move the show a little bit later and hopefully lessen the chances of a snowstorm, Archer said. The club will work with organizers of Maine’s other two major outdoors shows to pick a date.

“There’s a reason sportsmen’s shows are when they are, because as soon as the ice goes out, people are outdoors and get busy,” he said. “All three of us work together so we don’t conflict.”