The inaugural Outdoor Rendezvous was such an overwhelming success -- drawing close to 1,000 participants -- that organizers Dennis Pirch and Mark Kile have decided to host a second event.
In fact, the rendezvous is on track toward becoming an annual event that draws outdoorsmen and women from around the state.
"Last year, we found out it was new, different and something we just want to have a lot of fun with," Pirch said.
"We think it will grow into something everyone looks forward to each year."
The one-day event begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 at The Tackle Box, one-mile south of Punkin Center on the east side of Highway 188.
The festivities, which Pirch calls "an outdoor enthusiast's sidewalk sale," are free to anyone interested in hunting, fishing, hiking, archery or simply spending time in the backwoods of Arizona.
"Outdoorsmen and women who have used fishing, hunting and camping equipment they want to sell or trade with others are welcome to attend," Pirch said. "They can bring their used outdoor equipment and set it up in the parking lot on tables or their truck tailgates."
A display of new and used bass boats and all-terrain vehicles from Tempe Marine also will be on hand.
Other highlights the founders have scheduled include a series of seven seminars throughout the day.
Among the seminar presenters will be Art Chamberlain, Preston Mercer, Mark Kile, Tige Godac, Steve Smith, Pat Haynes and Ty Goodman.
All except Mercer and Haynes were presenters last year.
Goodman and Godac are licensed guides, Pederson is a highly successful veteran hunter, Smith a Tonto Basin rancher and lion hunter, Kile a three-time Bassmaster Classic Qualifier and Classic Rookie of the Year and Chamberlain a Roosevelt Lake angler. Mercer and Haynes are both longtime Rim Country anglers and hunters. When Mercer is not hunting or fishing, he doubles as a firefighter in a Forest Service helitack crew.
The Outdoor Rendezvous will again feature a chili cookoff. Amateur chefs interested in cooking up their own fire brand versions of the popular dish, may showcase their hot stuff free of charge.
According to Pirch, all types of chili -- red, green, meat only and with beans -- can be entered.
Pirch and Kile are still in the process of selecting an impartial panel of judges,ut said that prizes for first, second and third places will be awarded.
For more information, call The Tackle Box at (928) 479-2108.
Hunter safety class
A hunter safety class will start at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11 at the Payson Police Department. The cost is $7 per person.
For more information and registration, call Milo at (928) 472-4338 or Jim at (928) 472-8543.