It used to be that January and February were my least favorite months of the year. The Christmas holidays are behind us, the icy grip of winter has us in its grasp and it gets dark before it’s even time for dinner. But then a few years ago, I made a discovery that has me looking forward to February every year—the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pa.
This will be my sixth year attending the show, and every year it just gets better. From my home in central Virginia it’s about a five-hour drive to Pennsylvania’s capital city, up through the Shenandoah Valley and across the flat farmland outside of Gettysburg, into the rolling hills until the mighty Susquehanna River comes into view. It’s a great start to the nation’s premier show focused on the outdoors. In Outfitters Hall, you’ll find hundreds of outfitters and guides from around the world. In the Shooting Hall, manufacturers are showing off their new products, fresh from their debut at SHOT Show in Las Vegas a couple of weeks earlier. In the Archery Hall, the Fishing Hall and more, you can immerse yourself in the vast and varied world of outdoor recreation.
The Great American Outdoor Show is distinctly different from the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, but there is one bit of commonality: My favorite part of both events is the people. Just like the NRA members that will be in attendance in Indianapolis later this year, you’ll find some of the best folks in the Second Amendment community at the GAOS in February. These are sportsmen and -women giving back to their communities, helping the next generation to explore the great outdoors and ensuring that our wildlife resources are managed so that they can be enjoyed long after we’re no longer here. It’s a heartwarming experience in the cold winter months, and I hope to see you there this year!