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Kansas Sports, Boat & Travel Show returns to Kansas Coliseum February 16-20

Special to The Angler

With the ice storms of January a fading memory, anglers will block out those memories even more as they flock to the annual Kansas Sports, Boat and Travel Show.

Family outdoor adventure, entertainment and education comes to Kansas as the 51st Annual Kansas Sports, Boat & Travel Show opens at the Kansas Coliseum, Feb. 16-20.

Catfish pro Dennis Halgren from Illinois, is set to talk to show visitors about his secrets for championship fishing. Phillip Hain will be demonstrating casting techniques and the correct use of new bait products on his Travelin' Fish Tank, a 40' long glass aquarium.

A family favorite, the Make-A-Wish Foundation's Trout Fishing Pond where kids can catch their first trout of the season will be featured and the Kansas Bassmaster Casting Kids Competition will be held.

Water fun seekers will find great deals on new fishing and ski boats. Campers and RV travelers who prefer the freedom of RV travel will find the latest models and special value pricing.

Family entertainment will include Crunch, a 165 lb. alligator snapping turtle. Crunch has appeared on CNN as one of the largest still alive in the world. He is over four feet in length and has been in captivity for 25 years. His estimated age is between 150 and 200 years and he is likely to live another 100 years.

Commercial trapping had nearly depleted this species in the '60s and '70s, but they are now protected in most states of their range.

Another fun-filled family attraction will be The Great American Duck Race, presented by Robert Duck from Bosque Farms, New Mexico. Mr. Duck is a 12-time world champion duck racer who has earned more than $50,000 in prizes since 1980. He currently travels to fairs and festivals full-time to bring this fun sport to audiences across the country.

Robert and his wife Kathy own 75 drakes and hens, of which about two dozen travel with them to compete. He says that the races give him a chance to educate people, especially children who have never touched a duck.

Families can try an automatic target system furnished by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. The system is used for hunter education throughout the state and features a video scene of deer, elk, bear and many other types of wildlife. The participant fires a rifle or shotgun that emits a laser beam and records the hit, scoring the hunter on the effectiveness of the shot. The objective of the training is to show hunters to shoot responsibly.

Mike Cargill of the Great Bend Zoo will present snake and reptile education workshops. Game calling seminars are being presented by Barney LaRue. LaRue is a turkey call professional from Rudy, Arkansas. Chisholm Creek Kennels will present dog obedience and tetriever training seminars.

Winning shots from the 2004 Outdoor Writers Association of America photography contest will be on display. The exhibit showcases stunning scenes from five categories and includes work form America's best-known outdoor photographers.

The show will open Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 16 and 17, from 5 to 9 pm; Friday, Feb. 18, from noon to 9 pm; Saturday, Feb. 19, from 10 am to 8:30 pm and Sunday, Feb. 20, from 10 am to 5 pm. Adult admission is $7.00 at the door. Children under 12 are free. For information, call (303) 892-6800 or log on to kansassportshow.com.

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