THE inaugural Australian Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Expo is fast coming into Tamworth’s sights.
The event, on saturday and Sunday, should fill a huge gap in the outdoors market, organiser and keen outdoorsman Ron Kiehne said.
It’s perfectly placed, too, being at the Australian Equine Livestock and Events Centre (AELEC).
The expo will encompass things like shooting, hunting gear, camping gear, off-road caravans, archery, taxidermy, knife making, hunting guides, 4WDs and dirt bikes.
One regional business which will have a big presence at the expo will be Tamworth Fishing Tackle and The Great Outdoors.
Shop salesman Stephen Peno said a lot of representatives from different companies such as Shimano would be on their stand.
“I thought if we’re going to do it we’re going to do it properly,” Mr Peno said.
Their stand will have a huge range of kayaks on display from several manufacturers and also a massive range of fishing lures.
“Fishing and camping is massive,” Mr Peno said.
Female anglers had also started to get into it more, he said.
“It’s becoming more of a sport now; there’s a lot of catch and release, especially in freshwater fishing – and more and more people are using lures instead of bait fishing.”
This was partly because of advances in technology which meant people were “spoilt for choice” in the amount of gear and equipment available.
Although it will be the first expo held by Mr Kiehne, he hopes it won’t be the last and said Tamworth was the perfect location.
“Tamworth’s an excellent site because you’ve got all that western region out to Walgett and Dubbo,” he said.
“It’s got the scope to grow and grow and grow where it is.”
The impetus for it came when Mr Kiehne attended – and was unimpressed with – one he attended at Coffs Harbour a few years ago.
“I just thought there was nothing in NSW: I thought a gap could be filled,” he said.
More than 60 exhibitors covering all sorts of outdoor pursuits will be at AELEC, with doors opening from 9am both days.
Mr Kiehne said renowned fisherman Rod Harrison would be giving a talk on fly casting, musician Steve Lee will perform and martial arts maestro Anthony Kelly is making a Guinness Book of World Records attempt.
Tickets are $15 per person, $25 for a family ticket or $25 for a single-person two-day pass.
Go to www.ashoe.com.au