Sportsman’s Expo – a day of fun
The Sportsman’s Report
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By Bill Hanson  December 13, 2013 12:00 am

There are a zillion gift ideas for the sportsman in your family, and here are a few of my best ideas for the outdoorsman, woman, child or family.

The annual International Sportsman’s Expo comes back to Sacramento Jan. 9-12. In it you will find more stuff to do and miles of things to walk through than days in the week. Some of the highlights are fishing and hunting equipment, camping gear for any type of camper, boats aimed at the sportsman, sports dog demos, lectures, featured demonstrations and a youth fair under the big top. Admission is $15 for adults, and youth 16 and under will be admitted free.

This is a wonderful way to spend a day or two on an often cold and rainy January day. It’s guaranteed fun for the whole family. One of my favorites is the Dock Dog competition. Dogs leap off a platform into a big pool to catch a flying toy. Their leaps are measured for the longest distance. This is a hoot to watch.

For more information and tickets, go to and drill down to the Sacramento show.

What used to be an inexpensive “stocking stuffer” is now the price of a real gift. The annual fishing licenses are available at most stores that carry sporting goods. They cover the calendar year, and $46.44 covers the basic license fee. Check out details and discounts at:

Aside from the mushroom books I recommended last week, there are some great things a mushroom hunter will need. Start off with a cool basket imported from Ghana. They are one-of-a-kind and have a hand sewn leather handle…a good deal at $35-ish. Available in many retail shops, I found a good selection at Oliver’s Market in Cotati. Also for the fungiphile, consider joining the local mushroom club at $20 per year for the whole family. Go to for more information. Also consider a nice folding knife, a walking stick, daypack, rainproof hat for the damp jungle and a hand lens for close-up study of the individual features of our fungal friends.

There are some excellent ideas at the local professional fishing supply store, from a can of worms to hand-made fishing rods to outstanding trips for the dedicated fisherman. Also consider a tour of the gun store. To purchase an actual gun requires a waiting period for a background check. The folks at B-2 can help you make it work for something under the tree. For those interested in diving our cold and temperamental ocean, go to your local dive shop and talk to them about classes. You will also find enough gear to sink your financial boat.

Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.

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