The days are little shorter, the mornings a little cooler, sure signs of fall. There’s no more perplexing time for the outdoor enthusiastic…Michigan wonderful fall opportunities are so immense it almost hurts to make a decision, whether it is a hunting day or fishing day. Once you’ve decided what type of day it’s going to be, then a decision on what method and what specie you’ll pursue. A wonderful dilemma!

Nothing could be more of an indication of fall than the upcoming 24th Annual Woods-N-Water News Outdoor Weekend. This year’s fall extravaganza will take place Sept. 10-12 at the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds in Imlay City. We’d like to invite you to come and celebrate our outdoor heritage. We’ve put together a great event this year, bringing back some of our showgoers’ all-time favorites, and adding a new event we’re sure will become a favorite.

Back for a second time is the Outdoor Weekend’s 3-D Shoot, held each day of the show, offering a youth shoot on Friday, a team shoot on Saturday and an individual open shoot on Sunday. We’re certain you’ll find it to be entertaining. X-Factor Archery has agreed to be our partners in this event, bringing their computerized 3-D pop-up and moving target system. For more information or to enter call our friends at X-Factor Archery, 517-524-7230. Deadline to enter is September 3rd.

The “Ultimate Air Dogs” show is back with Milt Wilcox and son Brian and should be even more exciting. For more details see page 115 of this issue or go to to pre-register to enter!

The proper field dressing and skinning demonstrations of big game by Steve and Sue Francis and family, owners of Country Smoke House in Almont, has been so popular they will be back again this year and they’ve added Chef Ryan, who will offer cooking demonstrations. The seminars have turned into sort of an ‘everything you need to know about what to do after you shoot your deer!’ Steve will also be giving butchering tips demonstrations, big game cooking and tips on sausage making. You won’t want to miss these presentations on Saturday and Sunday only.

Over The Top Deer Hunting Seminars!

The Country Smoke House seminars are part of a program that’s “over the top” for deer hunters. If you’re serious about deer hunting you won’t want to miss this amazing collection of deer hunting experts.

Do you want to consistently harvest trophy whitetail bucks? Is your small acreage hunting property not living up to its full potential? Is your property in a high pressure hunting area? Then you won’t want to miss Tony LaPratt’s seminars! Tony has developed cutting edge concepts, tactics, and new discoveries that are 10 to 20 years ahead of their time on whitetail deer and land management for whitetail hunting. Tony LaPratt is a professional trophy deer hunter, habitat management expert and hunting consultant. Tony leads the nation in manipulation and influencing the habitat and bedding areas to attract large mature bucks.

The best known father and son deer hunting team of Greg and Fred Abbas ((A-Way Hunting Products/A-Way Outdoors TV) are Michigan trophy deer hunters with over 50 Michigan trophy buck entries between them in CBM, P&Y, Buckmasters, and the Long Hunters Society. If you love deer hunting you won’t want to miss their seminar; “Whitetail success through old sign and new tactics!” Both Greg and Fred are outdoor writers and have written exclusively for Woods-N-Waters News for over 15 years. (See Fred’s “Deer Calling” story on page 126) and don’t miss their seminars.

We’re continuing with the expanded “Creating Coverage Cover And Forage Fields!” The ever popular “Mr. Food Plots,” Ed Spinazzola of Quality Deer Management fame and author of two books on the subject, will offer insight into improving your deer hunting land.

Jerry Allen is the owner of Blood Glow LLC and will again share his expertise in game tracking and understanding blood trails, including identifying wound types, direction and speed of travel. The future of blood tracking is here today and Jerry will share it with you.

A popular feature writer for Woods-N-Water News, Richard Smith is one of Michigan’s most popular outdoor writers and will again be offering unique seminars this year, like the possibilities of a “Michigan moose hunt,” “Field Judging Bears” and hunting big bucks in Canada

The Waterfowlers’ Area, sponsored by Freeway Sports Center of Fenton, will offer specialty exhibitors with boats, blinds, calls and decoys for the waterfowler. Dog trainer Charlie Linblade will be doing seminars on waterfowl hunting techniques, decoy spreads, blinds, etc. The ever popular Todd Alofs of Quacker Attacker will again be doing calling seminars in the dog area also.

New attractions, seminars and demonstrations are not the only new items, we also have a host of new vendors joining the weekend. Vendors with knowledge not only in products, but also in all aspects of hunting, fishing and the outdoors. The hottest topic in the hunting community is crossbows and we’ll provide the experts and the products. If you’re curious about these primeval weapons upgraded with modern technology the Outdoor Weekend is the place to come.

Terry McBurney, Woods-N-Water News staff writer, will return again this year answering questions and offering free appraisals about sporting collectibles, especially vintage fishing tackle. Bring your old “stuff” to the weekend and let Terry give you an idea of what it’s worth. He is also interested in purchasing items for his own collection. See Terry’s article in this issue about the finds from previous Outdoor Weekends (page 90).

Commemorative Bucks of Michigan -the official scorers for record-book big game-will have scorers in Imlay City. Patrons can bring their deer, bear, elk or turkey mounts to the show and have them professionally measured.

In addition to the CBM big buck contest, this year the “Big Buck Pole” Kick-off Party will take place Saturday. Tim Hart and crew; creators of Michigan’s largest (free) buck pole contest, open to all hunters, will host a kick off party Saturday evening on stage with a few of last year’s huge bucks and their stories along with giveaways and a breakdown of how the contest works and where you can register – it should be a fun time.

Primitive skills workshops and demonstrations: Expert flintknapper Gary Noblit of Jonesville demonstrates the fine art of making arrow and spear points, as well as creating bows and fletching arrows the natural way. Reg Pettibone and his family will teach Native American culture through interpretive dances and artifact displays of the Ho-Chunk nation (Saturday and Sunday).

The encampment will also feature Pat and Joe Schnur, naturalist and primitive skills instructor, who has lined up a great group to demonstrate primitive skills and George Turner will be back demonstrating the fine art of blacksmithing.

The 8th Arkansas – 22nd Michigan Civil War reenactors’ authentic encampment was a big hit when introduced a few years ago and will be back, offering an opportunity to visit living history.

The Puppy Area will again have hundreds of puppies to pet, photograph and buy. Most major hunting breeds will be represented. If you’re interested in selling quality, healthy hunting breed pups call 810-724-0254 or check out

The Camp Chili Cookoff on Saturday, September 11, features 20 teams competing for $750 cash with judging at 3:00 p.m.

There will be 175 exhibitors on hand with clothing, calls, treestands, blinds, hunting gear, fishing tackle, camping equipment, works of arts and specialty boats and vehicles.

On Sunday the raptors are back! But you don’t need to be afraid of these birds of prey! The Michigan Hawking Club plans to return to the Outdoor Weekend on Sunday, September 12 only. Their last visit saw the most licensed falconers at one gathering and the birds are so beautiful you don’t want to miss them.

Show hours are Friday, Sept. 10, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 11, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Sept. 12, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Imlay City is located between Flint and Port Huron; the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds is on M-53, a half-mile north of I-69 off Exit #168.

Admission is $7 per person.

For more information check our website

We look forward to another great show, welcoming back old friends and making new ones!