Trappers convention starts Friday at UP Fairgrounds

ESCANABA — The 57th annual U.P. Trappers Convention & Outdoor Expo will be held at the U.P. State Fairgrounds Friday and Saturday.

Convention Coordinator Roy Dahlgren said the convention is among the biggest events of its kind in the nation.

“It’s the largest trapping and outdoor show in the Midwest, and it’s here in Escanaba,” he said.

Multiple additions have been made to this year’s convention.

“One of our big draws this year is Joe Goodman,” Dahlgren said.

Goodman, an artist whose work focuses on the outdoors and North American wildlife, has long been a contributor to the magazine Fur-Fish-Game. He will have a booth at the U.P. Trappers Convention. There, he will sell limited-edition prints, apparel and original drawings.

Hundreds of indoor vendors will offer products such as traps, hunting and fishing supplies, guns, knives and more at this year’s convention. Dahlgren noted an entire building at the event will be dedicated to crafts.

Vendors will also set up shop outdoors during the convention.

Another major component of the U.P. Trappers Convention & Outdoor Expo is live demonstrations. New demonstrators this year will include Ed Schneider, who will present on coyotes and bobcats; Mike Kain, who will present on beaver skinning, fleshing and stretching; and Al Dubord, who will present on marten trapping.

Les Johnson, Ken Luedtke, Lesel Reuwsaat, John Chagnon and Jeff Dunlap will once again provide demonstrations at the convention in 2019. They will present on predator hunting, winter beaver snaring, coyotes and bobcat trapping, red and gray fox trapping and coyotes and state hopping, respectively.

A fish fry catered by Lisa Soderman will take place at the fairgrounds Friday evening.

The U.P. Trappers Convention & Outdoor Expo will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. There is a fee for admission, though children 12 and under can attend the event for free. Free children’s activities — including fishing — will be available at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Pocket Park.

For more information, including a schedule of demonstrations, go to uptrappers.com.