SHOT Show – Day 1

Ready. Aim. SHOT Show has started. Like a bullet out of a barrel, you can’t take it back. I’m in it to win it, folks.

Arrived in Vegas late yesterday afternoon, got settled, finished some office work, then headed off to the Hard Rock to have sushi with the marketing team from Yamaha. Those guys are a ton of fun, and I met other media folks and caught up with a few I haven’t seen in a while. People who do magazines, web content and video for organizations like Ducks Unlimited and the NRA. It’s always good to commiserate with your counterpart.

Then I called it an evening to catch a few Zs and fool my body into being A-OK with the Pacific Time Zone. It wasn’t buying what I was selling.

So my 6:45 a.m. alarm came a bit too early. Did my thang to get ready. SHOT Show 2012 … meet Karen.

8:00 a.m. — Arrived at the NWTF booth a half hour before the show started, just to get my bearings. The booth looks great — like if a log cabin and billboard fell in love. It captures the NWTF hometown vibe but sells what we’re cooking, like advertising and licensing opportunities, ways for companies to get involved with the greatest group of conservation volunteers EVER!

The NWTF banner hangs high on the SHOT Show floor. Good thing, since it's like a beacon for this lost chick.

Awesome location, too. Smack between a concession stand and bathroom (good for traffic, good for Karen). Other neighbors include Mossy Oak, Ameristep and Under Armour.

9:00 a.m. — If you sit still long enough, people start finding you, which can be good or bad. This morning, it was great. Got to visit with gobbler-man Preston Pittman, as well as Brian Lovett, the editor of Turkey & Turkey Hunting (and we didn’t get into a West Side story-like knife fight).

10:00 a.m. — Short and sweet product run-down with Tom Cox of Motorola. He showed me the updates on the MS350R/MS355R two-way radios. It has the stuff a hunter needs in the field — 35-mile range, a VibraCall feature that won’t spook game, a built-in flashlight, NOAA weather alerts. But the new, cool feature is that this waterproof radio floats. A radio doesn’t do you a bit of good if it’s on the bottom of a river, even if it’s waterproof. (Cause this girl ain’t goin’ in after it. Eeek!) But this dude bobs right to the top, face side up, ready to fish out with the toe of your boot. It’s available in camo or school bus yellow. Go for the yellow if you have a habit of dropping stuff in water.

11:00 a.m. — Stopped by the pressroom to leech off the free WiFi and peruse the sea of familiar faces, folks like Turkey Country contributor Steve Felgenhauer.

Noon — Lunch in the Sportsman’s Lounge. Listened to the 2012 digital line-up plans for Outdoor Life and Field & Stream. A little espionage goes great with soup and salad. But it’s not really spying if you were invited, right? Learned that more than 85 percent of hunters and shooters get their sporting info from magazines. And about 25 percent dig into blogs and social media. Yeah for job security!

3:00 p.m. — Found out that Jana Waller is just as awesome as I thought. Watched clips from her show, “Skull Bound,” and am convinced she’s the real deal. I can relate to a gal who will get dirty and try something at least once. She’s full of life and creativity. Have plans for featuring her in the magazine. She’s Turkey Country bound! Hop on over to my Facebook page and see the beaded skulls she donated to the NWTF. They’ll be auctioned at our national convention in a couple weeks. Thanks, Jana!

4:00 — Went to a reception at the Benelli/Franchi booth. Didn’t win the drawing for a shotgun. (Boo.) But saw some of the peeps I hunted with last spring on the “Benelli On Assignment” hunt in Texas. (I wrote about it in the January-February issue. I’m sure you remember…)

5:00 p.m. — Met up with a few of the girls I went to Africa with this fall. A brief time to catch up and grab a few laughs.

All right, I’m off the clock. Well, not really, but let’s just catch back up tomorrow…

Night night.

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