ORLANDO, Fla. — Row after row after row of outdoors hunting equipment ... booths bigger (and nicer) than some houses ... and everybody who's anybody in the billion dollar industry ... and ESPNOutdoors.com.
We're going to be rubbing shoulders with the man — all the men, in fact — again at this year's Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Orlando, Fla., put on by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
But this year our 11-man crew has been thrown a twist. With the economy in the ridiculous spot it's in (have you heard?), more than 700,000 square feet of booths filleded with people trying to sell products can be a high-stress place to walk.
Then there's the Barack Obama effect. Guns have been flying off the shelves in anticipation that President-elect Obama will change the atmosphere when he officially enters office on the 20th.
Great news for gun dealers, right? Guns flying off shelves. Maybe in 2008, but Obama takes office in less than a week. What are dealers thinking about 2009? And what about the rest of the industry? With people spending less, is the recreation of the outdoors going to be high on the list of things cut or are people going to be looking to shoot their own food?
With manufacturers, buyers and sellers all under one roof, we'll looking to answer all those questions.
In the meantime, we'll be bringing the most interesting new products, stories and photos from around the show as we have the past two years.