Why Should You Attend the NRA Great American Outdoor Show? Let Me Count the Ways!

Melissa Bachman is just like you: She loves to peruse the aisles of trade shows and shop, taste and test products, and of course, talk to the thousands of other likeminded Americans who are enjoying all the great outdoors has to offer.

by posted on January 3, 2024
Bachman Gaos Main Hall

The amount of time I spend at tradeshows each winter has been increasing. I truly enjoy the shows and especially talking with people, seeing the various vendors and learning new things while seeing innovative products. For people who have never been to these shows, this is something fun to do in the winter months and get you thinking about guns, hunting and talking with likeminded individuals.

This year I’ll be once again attending the world’s largest outdoor show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The NRA Great American Outdoor Show runs from February 3-11 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex. They have everything from hunting and fishing to guns and bows, RV’s, food and jewelry—you name it, if it’s related to the outdoor industry, they have it. There are even special events and activities planned for everyone to enjoy after the show hours, and with daily celebrity appearances, you never know who you’ll run into.

For me, I really enjoy talking to outfitters face to face before booking a hunt. You can call me old school, but I like to talk to the person I plan to hunt with before spending my hard-earned money. With more than 400 outfitters and boat captains from around the world they offer many options under one roof. Last year I found some amazing home cooked freeze-dried meals, some beautiful cabins that could be moved right onto your hunting property, in addition to meeting so many wonderful people that I look forward to sharing stories with year after year.

I’m also a big fan of trying clothes on before I buy them. This way I can look at everything, try the clothes on, touch the fabric and ensure I’m getting the perfect fit. DSG Outerwear displays a large selection of apparel, and even offers fitting rooms so ladies can try on hunting, fishing and general outdoor gear right at the show.

This is a place for families as well. They have an entire area for the Eddie Eagle Kids Zone along with rock climbing activities that will keep your little ones entertained. Last year I found beautiful unique jewelry, including chukkar earrings. And don't forget, the super popular Wall of Guns raffle where $10 buys you a chance to win a prize from the wall featuring more than 40 firearms.

If your legs or feet get tired from walking the 650,000 square feet of exhibit hall space, know there are more than 200 seminars from experts covering tons of topics daily. Take a seat, relax, get a bite to eat and maybe pickup a new tip or trick to try this fall.

When lunchtime comes around, you can usually find me watching the Dock Dogs big air jumping competitions. These dogs are absolutely incredible, and I always laugh to myself when I wonder how Pork Chop and Ribeye would do in this competition.

So if you’re just looking for something to do or maybe you’d like to test a bow out before you buy, the Great American Outdoor Show is the place to be this February. I’ll be at the show hosting various seminars each day from February 4-9, and hope to see you and your family there!

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