Cool Finds at the Great American Outdoor Show, Part 1

posted on February 12, 2019

Everywhere you turn at the Great American Outdoor Show, something new and interesting awaits. Here are some of our favorite scenes from the 2019 show, but they represent just a fraction of what keeps us going back every year. See you there next February!

GAOS: Now You Know You’re in the Right Place—Great taxidermy evokes memories and inspires outdoorsmen and women to reach for more. This thundering herd of whitetail bucks charging from the large Kanati Elite Taxidermy booth made many stop and think. It’s difficult to imagine where such a monumental work would fit into everyday life, but it sure was the perfect centerpiece for GAOS. For more information, visit

Mossberg Goes Old-School—Popular as all the rifles, shotguns and new MC1sc sub-compact pistols were at the Mossberg booth, attendants there said most surprising to them was the attention paid to the “new” Model 500 Retrograde pump shotguns, which actually recreate a look from 30+ years ago. Spencer Trump, a self-proclaimed Mossberg 500 guy from Hanover, Pa., obviously approved. To learn more about the Model 500 Retrograde, click here.

Rope Mart—Where else can you get more different kinds of rope than at the show’s R&W Rope corner? R&W’s Ray Rios said their business is mostly wholesale, but the New Bedford, MA-supplier has been coming to Harrisburg for decades and wouldn’t miss it. He wouldn’t hazard a guess for how many kinds of rope were on the shelves, but said it had to be “hundreds.” Rios was observing his 30th year working the show, and proudly stated, “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.” For more information, visit

Packable Sticks—There are plenty of shooting sticks available nowadays, but none (that we’ve seen) that are as lightweight and versatile as the collapsible Shootin’ Stix from Active Outdoors. They were selling for $12.95 during the show. For more information, visit

Vintage Smoothbores—Though most of the guns on display are current models, Woodcock Hill was one of a handful of vendors exhibiting older models. A couple notables in this year’s crop were a pristine 20-gauge Parker with color-case-hardened sideplates, and another 20, an engraved hammer gun from Britain’s G.E. Lewis. Customers can’t complete a purchase at the show, but instead put a deposit down and then make arrangements for transfer through their local FFL dealer. For more information, visit

Spreadable Bacon—We promised to go easy at the food stands, but couldn’t resist trying a sample of the new Bacon Jams at TBJ Gourmet. This culinary brainstorm comes in six flavors and is made from four all-natural ingredients: smoked, uncured bacon; brown sugar; caramelized onion; and apple-cider vinegar. Does that mean it’s health food? Hmmm. It sure doesn’t taste like it, and we have lots of ideas how to use it. To learn more about it, visit


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