The Nation has been going to these yearly shows so long it has become a ritual, a pilgrimage if you will. Just as geese herald the beginning of spring for Eeyou Istchee, so does the Montreal Outdoor, Hunting, Fishing and Camping Show. Having moved from Place Bonaventure to the Palais des congrès for this year’s exhibition held February 14-19, organizers promised that, “As part of the event which has undergone a complete overhaul, visitors will have the opportunity to discover many new features.”
Perhaps that was true but I couldn’t find them. It’s obvious that the new venue has some growing pains making it less visitor friendly as it was in the past. It seemed at times that things were thrown together without rhyme or reason. Getting around wasn’t simple and items that I would have liked to compare weren’t close to each other.
Nonetheless, I found a few cool items. One of the coolest is the Spydro, an underwater camera that attaches to your fishing line. Since it is synched to your cellphone you can see when fish are checking out your lure. It even has a bite-triggered recording feature so you can check out the action. You won’t be able to “overguesstimate” the size of your catch again, as fisherfolk everywhere do, but it can do its own lighting and generate GPS coordinates so you’ll never forget exactly where you caught that big one. “Want to see it one more time, buddy?”
It can be ordered online at getspydro.com. Prices are $259 for a 16Gb model and $299 for a 32Gb camera.
Speaking of seeing more, two Cree outfitters had booths at the show. Mistissini and Ouje’s Broadback fishing camp. Broadback was happy they were booking clients at the event. “Normally they just take our information and book later,” said a pleased Ron Simard.
Both fishing camps offer wi-fi and conference rooms for groups who would like to hold meetings away from it all. “The bands and other Cree organizations used to do a lot of this and we’d like to see that happen again,” said Simard. He estimates the cost of booking the fishing camp wouldn’t be more than a meeting in Montreal or Ottawa and would put money into the Cree economy.
And when you’re heading out fishing, Zebco can make your life a lot easier for a little price. Their $10 Rod-Caddy protects the tip of your fishing rod from breaking during transport or fishing rapids.
Tired of seeing the same old off-road vehicles? How about seeing an approved knock-off of the Willy Jeep straight out of the 1940s. Instead of a belt-driven plastic ATV or side-by-side the Mahindra Roxor has a real 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, 4-wheel drive, a steel frame and a 5-speed manual transmission. Fix up the turn and stop signals, add a few bells and whistles and a few people have made them street legal. Looking online you can see these going for $14,500 and up.
But you need a gun – or just want a new one. Fierce Arms can help. Their prices start at $2195 and head on up depending on what options you’d like to have. A wide range of calibres is available, including the .338 Lapua. The magnum version of this bullet was designed for use by snipers and was used in both Afghanistan and Iraq. There are smaller calibres if you don’t need the accuracy and take-down power that comes with this one.