Sunday, February 8, 2015

Toronto Sportsmen's Show

Do you suffer from a lack of fishing poles?  Ever felt the need for an outfit in head-to-toe camouflage green?  Do you wish that you had a little wooden box that could replicate the sound of a turkey gobbling?  Then you should have gone to the Toronto Sportsmen's Show! (Final day today.)  Did you miss it?  That's a darn shame.

Ken and I were there.  It was awesome.

Picture a giant convention hall, the size of a city block, filled with vendors of all sorts, advocacy groups, and activities, such as an archery range, an axe-throwing challenge, and a giant indoor pond where you could borrow a little boat and paddle around.

The first thing we saw was a couple of live beavers bustling around in a plexiglass enclosure, nomming on twigs and broccoli florets.  They were there on behalf of a wildlife conservancy group.  Pretty cute, aren't they?  Unfortunately, I did not get to pet them.

I did get to pet a couple of friendly doggies after the exciting WoofJocks Canine Allstars agility show.  The dogs were remarkably well-behaved, except for the one who pooped on the floor.  

That was it for live animals.  All the other furred and feathered guys there were dead.

Coyote perpetually angling for a birdie mcnugget:

Red-tailed hawk with photo-bombing mink:

Fox with photo-bombing mink:

Skunk and skunklet:

Scare-your-pants-off wolf:

The front half of a bear:

I like to think that the hunter made the other half into a pair of fur pants for himself.


There are no gazelles in Canada.  This was at a booth promoting safari trips to South Africa.

If you wanted to be able to make your own dead-guy friends, this fellow was there to show you how:

In answer to my questions, he told me that the owl had been hit by a car (as frequently happens when they dive to the ground chasing prey); it had been dead and wrapped up in his freezer for three years; and it had taken two days to thaw out upon being removed from the freezer because feathers are super-insulating.  Here he is peeling the skin off, after having made a midline incision with the a scalpel (on the table).  I did get a twinge of visceral horror while watching this procedure, but I was fascinated and forced myself to stay and watch a bit longer.

There were many weapons on display, in case you had an urge to make more animals and birds be dead.  I do not have this urge.  However, if I did, obviously I would want this pink crossbow.

Ken took a turn at the axe-throwing challenge.  

He didn't manage to get an axe to stick in the target (a stump mounted on a plywood wall) but also did not kill anyone by accident.  *thumbs up*  Incidentally, the axe-thrower who got the most bull's-eyes while I was there was a woman.  After she got done demolishing the stump, the announcer started telling everyone they'd better throw like a girl.

A couple more cool things:

The ATV of electric wheelchairs.  It's called an Action Trackchair.  It was invented by a guy who wanted to take his paraplegic son for a walk on the beach.  Apparently the U.S. government is providing them to veterans.  

Shiny-shiny truck.

And this thing.

All told, it was an excellent way to spend a wintry day.


LL Cool Joe said...

Well I'm so pleased Ken didn't kill anyone, that's a relief. And there's always someone who poops on the carpet. I think I would if I'd watched that guy skinning the owl. Either that or just passed out. I know, very macho.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

I do love when I walk into a convention and immediately see some beav.... ummmm... aquatic rodents.

Ginny said...

Aww the beaver is so cute!!

DarcKnyt said...

Those shows are so fun! And I have to admit, though my spondylolisthesis won't allow me to walk (or stand, or sit, or...) long enough for them, I feel almost like I was there with your photo essays!

Thanks, Spark! :)

Snowbrush said...

I think a “scare your pants off wolf” would be one that killed people, and then stuffed their corpses and put them on display for other wolves to say, “Ooh, what a scary looking person.” I’ve missed a few vices in life, gambling and hunting being two of them. I eat fish, so I can’t very well bitch about the evils of fishing, I suppose.

Lynn said...

Quite a hobby those folks have!

Jenny Woolf said...

Not a show I would ever have gone to myself but in fact it sounds as if there were some good things I would have missed. So glad you took us with you. I love stuffed animals, somehow. It is funny because I'm creeped out by most dead animals, but they seem to turn into art or something when they are stuffed. I have always been fascinated by Potter's Victorian stuffed animals, he had them in everyday situations, like going to the pub, etc. Kind of creepy but as I said, fascinating.
And definitely I'd like a box that gobbles like a turkey !!

Vanessa T said...

You do epic photo series. :) I always feel like I'm there with you. :)

And, I was LOVE to have pink weapons! LOL They would match my nails, and you know how important it is to coordinate such things. :D