Editor's Note: Sitka Athlete Dustin Roe may spend more time chasing sheep than any guide on the planet. Already in 2013, he's successfully guided five Desert Rams and attended as many tradeshows, while others don't have sheep on the radar for another six months. This is Dustin's account of his "Off Season".
My 2013 trade show schedule included Dallas SCI, SHOT Show, GSCO, SCI and Wild Sheep. Getting to work the Sitka Gear booth at SCI was fantastic. I had the opportunity to learn about the Waterfowl and Elevated Forest lines, which include some awesome pieces and the positive feedback we received from fans and professionals was amazing. It goes to show how well the brand has taken off in the industry.
The cold beers at SHOT and SCI at the end of each day were a big hit, and people couldn't stop talking about the stainless steel Sitka cups.
If you didn't get to join us... you missed out, and thanks to everyone that did.
How about the Guide/Outfitter appreciation party in Dallas, put on by Sitka's Jeff Sposito? The turnout was about five times as expected. I guess when you offer FREE beer to a bunch of Guides and Outfitters, they will come!
Between the rush of trade shows, I managed to sneak away for a little hunting with Jeff Sposito in California at his family's ranch. It's an amazing place, and Jeff was an outstanding host. We pulled out the recurves and chased some pigs and feral goats. Some great times were had by all. Our friend Chris killed a pig and a goat, although Jeff made fun of him for the training wheels on his bow. Jeff had tag soup, again, and so did I.
The Auctions were probably my favorite part of the shows, and this year some huge records were broken. The Montana Bighorn Tag raised $480,000 for Wild Sheep and the BC tag brought in $275,000. Some great trophy rams were taken this year which shows the hard work and efforts of supporters and conservation organizations like the Wild Sheep Foundation. A little shout out to my buddy Jim Hens for his two new World Records, Archery Stone Sheep, and Bighorn Sheep.
He is also receiving the prestigious Hoffman-Frost Award for most outstanding Archery Sheep, which is well deserved. It's a pretty rewarding feeling to sit on the stage with some of the greatest sheep hunters today. I also received awards for harvesting my Four North American Sheep. As a sheep hunter, completing a goal like this is something that I will never forget.
So all in all, the trade shows were an A+. Some awesome memories were made and it is great to see what our money is doing for the wildlife we all enjoy so much. From the shows, I was off to guide my first hunt of 2013.
Check back tomorrow to read how Dustin's Desert Sheep hunts went in Part II of The Off Season.