In February, Punxsutawney Phil didn’t get to see his shadow, thus predicted an early spring. But, according to Wikipedia, he is only right about 39% of the time. As I write this, I just finished shoveling over two feet of snow here in southern Utah. Now I’m taking into consideration the adage of March, which is “In Like a Lion and Out Like a Lamb” or vice versa.

Around March 21st, we start to see an equal amount of daylight as we do darkness. This means that spring is on the way and regardless of whether that groundhog is right or wrong, we can soon get rid of that case of cabin fever and start spending some quality hours outside.
Over the past few months, the Sportsman’s News team has been traveling pretty heavily. We finished up the hunting seasons, did a little ice fishing and even worked on some predator control, but more importantly, we visited a bunch of this year’s industry trade shows. This is where we get to meet with all of the major manufacturers at the Archery Trade Show, the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor, Trade Show (SHOT) and Outdoor Retailer just to name a few. These shows are where the manufactures show off the new products they have been keeping under wraps for the past year or two. Some products are extremely innovative and will make a major impact on the outdoor industry and some are just marketing gimmicks. Many will make it to the shelves of your local Sportsman’s Warehouse and some to the online sales side of things, but the buyers at Sportsman’s Warehouse were out in full force at these shows as well, looking for those key items to bring into the stores. Make sure you check out the “New Products” column in this issue and see some of the things we thought were exciting and are worth a closer look this year.

March 30th is the 4-year anniversary of the Sportsman’s News Pro Membership Sweepstakes. If you aren’t familiar with this program, it’s an opportunity for the outdoorsmen and women like yourselves to have an opportunity to hunt and fish like the pros. Every ten days we give away a special hunting or fishing trip with some of the very best outfitters and lodges in the world. These trips have been reserved years in advance and are places that are held special for customers who come back year after year or possibly a television show host who is going to provide those outfitters some good marketing.

I’m sure that many of you have watched outdoor television and said, “I could kill a buck like that if I had 10,000 private acres to hunt and nobody messing up the hunt too.” Well, the Pro Membership Sweepstakes is your chance to do just that. We have given away over one million dollar’s worth of trips, guns and gear during this timeframe and the quality just keeps getting better. We have given away a $60,000 desert bighorn sheep hunt and a $35,000 Kodiak brown bear hunt as well as a $30,000 elk hunt in Utah with Mossback Outfitters. We are consistently adding more and better-quality trips and for those of you that get to go, you are going to truly experience a trip of a lifetime.

Visit the website for all the details and see what great trips and gear are up for grabs over the next twelve months. Giving away a great prize package every ten days gives everyone something very special to look forward to. Best of luck to everyone and I hope you all have a great spring.