For more than a decade the Mid-South Hunting and Fishing Extravaganza has served as the kick-off event for the fall hunting and fishing seasons, a three-day get together for area sportsmen to forget about the summer heat and humidity and talk about hunting, fishing, camping and the multitude of other fall outdoor activities within easy driving distance of the Memphis area.
The Expo South produced MSHFE will roll out its annual outdoor showcase on Aug. 10-12 at Agricenter International, 7777 Walnut Grove Road in East Memphis. Show hours are 2-7 p.m. on Aug. 10, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on Aug. 11 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Aug. 12. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youth (5-12).
As promised, this one will touch a lot of outdoor bases, such as competitive duck calling and a big buck contest.
Arlington-based Jason Ocampo, president and founder of Fallen Mallard Farms Outdoors (www.FallenMallardFarmsOutdoors.com) will host the MSHFE’s biggest and best duck calling competition on Aug. 11, featuring three classes with registration from 10 a.m.-noon and competition set to start at 12:30 p.m. Competition will include Main Street (90-second limit), Senior (any age), Youth (16 or younger) and Meat (Arkansas Style, 90- second limit). There will also be team competition (anything goes for 90 second/four-person limit). Each division will be awarded cash prizes with the divisional winners earning a one-day guided duck hunt at Fallen Mallard Farms near Cotton Plant, Ark.
Fallen Mallard Farms’ goal is to capture many different sets on how waterfowl is hunted throughout the U.S. featuring pro staff members attending hunts from the Kansas corn fields to the flooded timber in Arkansas.
There will be a familiar face at this year’s Extravaganza – a very big face: Brody, a giant captive born 1,200-pound Kodiak grizzly bear and his owner, Jeff Watson of Indiana-based J & L Bruins, will be back in 2012. J & L Bruins specializes in bears only . . . and Brody is its showcase critter.
Brody has been a natural in front of the camera from the time that he was a cub. He has appeared on Good Morning America (at the age of 12 weeks), the Today Show (14 weeks old) and the Tonight Show (when he was five months old). He’s also been featured fighting Chuck Norris in TV’s Walker Texas Ranger.
New for 2012 will be an off-road track outside the Agricenter as part of a presentation by FRS Powersports (2175 Whitten Road just north of I-40 and exit 14 in Memphis) and owners, Harold Gaither and his son, Brantley. Harold started the business in 2003.
“We wanted to bring new powersports brands into the Memphis and surrounding areas,” Brantley said, noting that his business sells Can-Am ATV /Side By Side/ Spyder and Sea-doo, along with Triumph Motorcycles/Victory motorcycles and Hammerhead Off-Road buggies.
For this year’s MSHFE, the Gaithers will bring the Can-Am demo truck (Can-Am Outlander’s, Renegade’s and Side by sides). Besides the off-road outside track outside show visitors will be able to ride any of the Can-am products carried by FRS Powersports. Participants must be 18 or older to drive and 16 and up to ride in one of the side by sides or on a two seat ATV as a passenger, Brantley Gaither said.
Award-winning taxidermist Jody Shults of Coldwater, Miss., will conduct the show’s annual Big Buck Contest. Shults, owner of Whitetail Classics & African Classics Taxidermy in Como, Miss., is a professional wildlife artist and master taxidermist who in his 25-year career has won more than 125 awards in taxidermy competition, including first place at the National Taxidermy Convention competition with white-tail deer (twice) as well as the NTA Award of Excellence in the white-tail deer and game head divisions. He’s been scoring deer antlers for 15 years and is five-time Southern Regional champion and official judge for the National Taxidermy Association (NTA).
This year’s MSHFE will use the Whitetail Classic Scoring System, which Shults believes is the “fairest, highest scoring system ever developed.” There will be no deductions, any antler point more than ½ inch is a scoreable point and the spread will be part of the final score. There will a $10 entry fee. Prizes will also be awarded. Shults, an outdoor writer, said there will be a People’s Choice Award determined by MSHFE visitors. The awards will be announced at 3 p.m. on Aug. 12 with the deadline to enter the competition at noon on Aug. 12.
And, of course, there will be 15-plus hours of seminars, hundreds of exhibitors with everything you’ll need for the hunting season and a live trout pond.
For additional information go to www.memphishuntshow.com or call (901) 867-7007.