Tickets to Adventure

By Mike Schoonveld

The phrase “ticket to adventure” is a trite expression used by any number of enterprises trying to convince a person to pay the price of admission. “Buy a ticket to adventure and the doors will open to the experience of a lifetime,” they say. The promise may come from a carnival barker assuring passers-by they will see amazing sights. “Step right up and buy a ticket.” It may come from a professional spokesman on an airline commercial. “Your ticket will take you to the adventures you can only imagine.”

This time the phrase is from me and I’m promising: “for the price of a ticket” you’ll find adventures galore, adventures to last a lifetime and adventures to match your lifestyle. The first ticket you need is one to get in the door of the Ford 65th Annual Indianapolis Boat Sport and Travel Show being held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds from February 15-24, 2019.

The show itself is an adventure. With six buildings filled with exhibits, trying to see it all without a plan is like being lost in the wilderness. Be sure to log in to www. indysportshow.com in advance to at least see the general layout. Look, plan and chart a course through the show. Advanced planners even make a schedule of where to be and when.

The schedule will likely be the hardest to keep since along the way you are sure to come across unexpected places, activities, and opportunities. Exploring takes time and it’s part of the fun. If you are in pursuit of a particular adventure, whether it’s a vacation, a fishing trip, a new boat, RV, just a few hooks or a deal on a fishing rod in Tackle Town, a plan and schedule will serve you well and not leave you short on time.

TACKLE TOWN

I seldom walk out of the “Tackle Town” building at the show with less than I started. My shopping is always a combination of stocking up on items I know I’ll need, as well as new and interesting gear I didn’t know existed. I often find my needed items at show-discounted prices.

Any visitor to Tackle Town should schedule a stop by the DNR’s display area. Here’s where more “tickets to adventure” can be obtained. There’s plenty of free information there, but many people put this stop on their annual visit to the show specifically to purchase Indiana State Park passes, launching permits, fishing, and hunting licenses – all tickets to adventure, right here in Indiana.

The new fishing and hunting license year starts April first and buying the licenses in advance ensures you’ll be legal when you get that first opportunity to hit the water. Turkey season will be opening later in April. Many people just buy all the hunting, fishing and trapping licenses and stamps they’ll need for the entire year. Those that do are set for all seasons and it’s a bonus for the DNR, as well.

Everyone knows the money spent on hunting, fishing and trapping licenses is what funds the fish and wildlife management activities across the state. What most people don’t consider is buying a license at the show actually boosts the amount the DNR receives from your license fees.

When you buy a license at Walmart, Cabela’s or any other retail outlet, the business gets to deduct and keep 75 cents from each sale. Your 17-dollar annual fishing license nets the DNR fisheries people only $16.25. The turkey license nets the DNR $24.25, not the full twenty-five bucks.

You’ll pay the same amount for licenses at the DNR’s booth at the show, but all your license fees go to the resource. I like that and with the number of these hunting and fishing “tickets to adventure” sold at the show, those extra pennies on each license really add up.

TRAVEL STOPS

When I go to the show, my favorite stops are at the booths where representatives from travel destinations near and far are located. Who doesn’t like to dream of a trip to Alaska or a vacation in another state? Who doesn’t like to learn about fishing, hunting and other outdoor opportunities available here in Indiana? I’ll admit to having these dreams and I’ll admit those dreams became reality because of the stops I made, the questions I had answered and the concerns which were addressed when talking with the representatives and owners of these adventure destinations. Use this opportunity to plan repeat trips or schedule new ones.

BOATS, RV’s and MORE

Though I’m as likely to buy an RV as an elephant and I don’t need a new boat, I still enjoy a quick stroll through these areas of the show each time I come. Sometimes I walk away simply awed by the size, opulence and price tags on display. Sometimes I walk away with the thoughts of how I’d look behind the wheel or at the helm out on the open road or open waters.

DEER, TURKEY & WATERFOWL EXPO

If there’s a drop of hunter’s blood in your system, plan to attend the show on the final days of the show when the Indiana Deer, Turkey, and Waterfowl Expo is a part of the adventure. It takes up an entire building and features all things you’d expect from the title and more. Hunting gear retailers, hunting outfitters, guides and hunting oriented organizations all gather to exhibit and explain what they have to offer. Special appearances are slated for top industry guides and personalities.

Check out all the latest information on the show at www.indysportshow.com. It’s your ticket to adventure.

For media inquiries, contact Dan Forst – dan.forst@yahoo.com or via cell at 317.441.7106.