Check Out Arizona's Best Sports Exposition

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Last fall's highly successful bass and crappie fishing trip with Clifford Pirch has my two sons, Gerry and Ryan, and I eager for another. Clifford says the crappie spawn is about to get under way, so we've scheduled a trip with him in mid-March.

Before we go, we are planing on taking in the Phoenix International Sportsmen's Exposition Feb. 27 through March 2 at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix.

Those who have attended the show in the past described it as one our state's best outdoor and travel events. Just about every product that an angler, hunter or outdoors person is interested in will be on display.

The show will feature sportfishing boats, ATVs and all types of products and services for anglers, hunters and travelers.

Checking out the ATVs will be a special thrill. There are so many new and improved models being built today, it's hard to keep up with the changes. My 2002 Yamaha 400 Big Bear 4x4 seems to pale in comparison to some of the ATVs now being produced.

I'm hoping I can talk Gerry into giving up his motorcycle racing hobby. Instead, he could take up ATV riding alongside his dad.

The event will also showcase wildlife paintings, sculptures and photography, and dog trainers and puppies will be featured.

Art Chamberlin, a Roosevelt crappie guide, is scheduled to pass on tips to catch more crappie. He'll emphasize fishing at Lake Roosevelt. Fly-fishing celebrity Jack Dennis will demonstrate his specialty in a tank specially constructed for the show.

Admission is $9. Youngsters 12 and under are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased at the gate. Show hours are from noon to 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

MSA banquet

Last year, the Mogollon Sporting Association donated more than $40,000 to local youth and conservation programs. All of the money was raised at the MSA's annual spring banquet.

Another year has rolled around and the association is gearing up for what is expected to be the biggest and most successful banquet in the 11-year history of the MSA.

The event begins at 5 p.m., May 3, in the Mazatzal Casino with a cocktail hour. At 6 p.m., a prime rib or chicken dinner is served. The event heats up at 7 p.m. with an auction and raffle.

The event is one of the social highlights of the spring. Tickets are $65 each and usually sell out very quickly. All of the profits go to improving our community and environment.

Call Jack Koon at 474-1662 for information or to purchase tickets.

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