Game Fair opens next weekend for its 31st year

Tails will be wagging and the hunting dogs will be on point for the 31st annual Game Fair.

Morgan, a yellow labrador retriever, competed in the 2011 Game Fair dog jumping competition. File photo by Tammy Sakry

Morgan, a yellow labrador retriever, competed in the 2011 Game Fair dog jumping competition. File photo by Tammy Sakry

The two-weekend event opens Aug. 10 at Armstrong Ranch Kennels, 8404 161st Ave. N.W., Ramsey.

The event takes place 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 10-12 and Aug. 17-19.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors age 65 and older and $5 for children. Children age five and under are admitted for free.

Game Fair offers a variety of events for hunters, fishing enthusiasts, archers, children and dogs, said organizer Chuck Delaney.

“This is an event for outdoor people,” he said.

In addition to having more than 250 exhibitors offering hunting, fishing and other products, there are numerous seminars, demonstrations and competitions throughout the event.

People are encouraged to bring their dogs, leashed please.

The fair has several competitions for the dogs to compete in, including the long jump off the dock, an obstacle course and decoy retrieval.

The crowd loves watching the dog competitions, especially the bad dogs, said Delaney.

The bad dogs, which run to the end of the dock and turn around, are the most entertaining for the audience, he said.

The crowd loves it, even though it might upset the handler, Delaney said.

New this year for the canine competitors is antler shed hunting, he said.

All dogs must be up-to-date on their required shots and rabies vaccinations and people will be asked to provide rabies paper work, according to the Game Fair website.

For the humans, there will be seminars on dog training, the various dog breeds and picking a hunting dog and what is new in training equipment.

There will also be demonstrations in herding and dog agility.

For the sportsmen and women, there will be several seminars to choose from, including dressing game, using GIS technology, planning strategies and walleye fishing seasons.

Three-time World Duck Calling Champion Barnie Calef and three-time World Live Goose Calling Champion Scott Threinen will give their insights on waterfowling.

There will also be a $10,000 duck and goose calling contest.

Hunters can bring their shotguns and test their skills at the sporting clays, flurry and trap load shells challenges.

Anyone competing in two of the shoots will be eligible to win daily prizes.

Loaner shotguns will be available.

Take a break from shooting and watch what exhibition shooter Tom Knapp can do with a shotgun.

World Shotgun Shooting Champion Loral I Delaney, who is Chuck’s wife and hostess of Game Fair, will be giving women shooting instruction.

There will also be a variety of competitions and exhibits for the archers, including introducing children to archery and planning a DIY bowhunt.

Archers can bring their own bows or use a loaner bow in the $1,000 3-D target shoot, as well as test their skills at the flying disk shoot.

Twice a day, exhibition archers will be shooting at various objects located at 50, 80 and 100 yards down range.

Rapids Archery Club will have the kids’ archery range open throughout the fair.

This is a family-oriented event based on an English game fair, Delaney said.

“There is no alcohol on site. We try to keep the swearing down and we don’t sell cigarettes,” he said.

“It’s about being in the out of doors and enjoying yourself.”

“We started on a small scale and it has grown since then,” said Delaney.

Last year, 42,000 people attended the Game Fair over the two weekends.

“We are always amazed they come. I think people enjoy it,” Loral I Delaney said.

People attending Game Fair this year should be aware that there will be road construction on Armstrong Boulevard, Chuck Delaney said.

For more information on Game Fair, go to www.gamefair.com.

Tammy Sakry is at tammy.sakry@ecm-inc.com

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