You can't really pimp yourself as an outdoorsman until you've skinned a deer in public. That's exactly what's going to happen onstage today at the I-X Center's Cleveland Sport, Travel, & Outdoor Show. "
If you want to go deer-hunting, but you don't know how to do that, we're going to show you," says Chris Fassnacht, the show's organizer.Dead animals and big knives aside, the fest is a family affair. Really. The show includes plenty of interactive exhibits for kids, like a gold-panning stream and animal-petting zoo. You can even bag and tag slimy creatures in a snake pit to take home. "It's not just goats and stuff," says Fassnacht. "We have real exotic animals."For outdoors buffs, experts from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Jungle Island Zoo will give lessons on training hunting dogs at 10:30 a.m., fishing for steelhead at 11:30 a.m., goose-hunting at noon, and field-dressing your deer at 2 p.m. There will also be a strongman weight-lifting competition, trout pond with Lake Erie fishing experts, climbing wall, and enough tents, boats, RVs, and camouflage to make you want to ditch your fireplace for a real campfire. The show will also make room for a series of displays that can give you ideas for weekend getaways. "You can plan your spring and summer vacations here," says Fassnacht. "It's the best way to snap cabin fever." The Cleveland Sport, Travel, & Outdoor Show runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today at the I-X Center, 6200 Riverside Drive. Tickets are $8.50 in advance and $10.50 at the door. Call 216-529-1300 or visit www.sportandtravel.com
Sun., March 16, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 2008