2018 SHOT Show report

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  • Dennis Clay

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    Dennis L. Clay photo Garnet Wilson and Joe Mantegna enjoyed a short visit last week at the 2018 SHOT Show in Las Vegas.

  • Dennis Clay

  • 1

    Dennis L. Clay photo Garnet Wilson and Joe Mantegna enjoyed a short visit last week at the 2018 SHOT Show in Las Vegas.

An e-mail sent to Ted Nugent on Jan. 19, 2018 at 10:31: “Ted, Will we see you at SHOT?”

Reply on Jan. 19, 2018 at 11:10: “We won’t make it this year. Tell everyone “Hi” for us and send me a report,” Ted and Family

My reply to Ted: “Will do.”

My first interview with Ted was 26 years ago. We have stayed in touch through the years and visit on the phone or in person when the situation allows. Every once in a while, my phone will ring and, as I answer, the reply is: “Dennis, this is Ted,” and we will discuss a topic of interest to outdoor-minded people.

Here is my SHOT Show report:

The SHOT Show is the Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show, a four-day show which allows the manufacturers of shooting and hunting related items to show their new products to dealers and the press, as the public is not invited. Garnet and I attend as members of the press.

The SHOT Show is big/large/huge. If a person would walk down every aisle, they would walk 12.5 miles. The show is covered by 2,500 members of the media from the United States and around the world.

This was the 40th anniversary of the show. Garnet and I have attended 25 of the shows. This year there were over 60,000 attendees and over 2,000 exhibitors.

Outdoor Life and Field & Stream

Perhaps the big news of the show is about the print media, specifically Outdoor Life and Field & Stream magazines. Outdoor Life will become a quarterly magazine, published four times a year. Field & Stream will cut back to six magazines a year.

Many of us will miss the monthly editions of our favorite outdoor magazine, but representatives said losses in subscriptions make the move necessary.

Both are owned by the Bonnier Corporation which has several other specialty magazines. The situation seems to be a reduction of readership, with readers going to other means of getting their outdoor news.

Bonnier has laid off 17 percent of their workforce, which equates to 70 people. Company representatives indicate the cuts are a part of a company-wide realignment. They are also going all-digital with five magazines” Wakeboarding, WaterSki, Dirt Rider, Sport Diver and Baggers.

Large inventories

Another hit for the outdoors world is the problem with inventory. The head of a large company associated with the shooting industry said many companies are having a difficult time these days. The reason is, everyone thought Hillary would be president, so manufactures were stocking up on shooting supplies.

When Trump won, there was no rush to purchase shooting supplies and by this time the retailers were well supplied. Today there is not a desperate need or attitude to stock up on shooting supplies. Inventories are large, warehouses are full.

The attitude of many shooting and hunting manufactures is, “We are paying the bills, but things are tight.” I take this as a sign we should shoot more, buy more powder, hunt more, buy more bullets, reload more and start the process over again. “It is my duty,” I will tell my wife.

Weatherby moves

This may be considered good or bad, depending upon if you live in California or Wyoming. Weatherby Sporting Goods, based in Los Angeles since 1945, is moving to Sheridan, Wyoming.

Several shooting-related companies have left California within the past few years, based on an unfriendly firearm atmosphere. Weatherby representatives said the move was based on a Wyoming friendly tax climate, friendly gun laws and an eager workforce.

Wyoming estimates the move will result in the creation of between 70 and 90 jobs, bringing in more than $50 million annually in payroll over the next five years. Weatherby also intends to invest an estimated $2 million in relocation expenses as well as covering all capital investment for a new building.

Buck Knives and Remington

Garnet and I attended a reception for the announcement of a new relationship between Buck Knives and Remington. Representing the two companies were C.J. Buck, CEO of Buck Knives, and Jordan Davis, VP of Marketing & Business Development for Remington Outdoor Company.

The Buck Knife Company will be making six classes of knives for Remington Cutlery including everyday carry and hunting knives. Plus, Buck will be making the famous Remington Bullet Knife.

The agreement has the knives being made at the Buck Post Falls factory and sold by Buck, who will pay royalties to Remington. The Buck Factory is being remodeled to facilitate the making of the Remington knives.

Joe Mantegna

The SHOT Show is also attended by many celebrities. We have attended several events over the years with one or more TV, movie or musical stars present. This is where we met and visit with Ted Nugent, his wife, Shemane and sons, Toby and Rocco.

After the Outdoor Channel Awards banquet a few years we visited with Joe Mantegna for a few minutes. I was able to capture Garnet and Joe in a photo. This year we were walking past a TV screen and spotted Joe. Although he was on the screen he was being interviewed on a radio show.

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