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What's new and cool.

Byline: Mike Stahlberg The Register-Guard

E u g e n e B o a t a n d S p o r t s m e n ' s S h o w

Go to enough sportsmen's shows, and one would think you'd have seen and heard just about everything that has anything to do with hunting, fishing, boating and camping.

Well, the Eugene Boat and Sportsmen's Show is about to enter its 34th year, and regulars can still see new things.

Like a motorized, rideable cooler/scooter. And a combination housetrailer/houseboat. Or a deer mount with antlers that defy description. Not to mention the Bird Man of Las Vegas.

All are among the exhibitions scheduled for the latest edition of the Eugene Boat and Sportsmen's Show, which runs Friday through Sunday at the Lane County Fairgrounds Convention Center. Doors open at noon Friday.

"We try to offer something for everyone," said Joe Pate, president of ExpoSure, the company that produces the show. "We try to bring the commonplace along with the unusual, and mix it in with entertainment and educational exhibits.

"This formula has worked very well over the past several years, and we are always trying to keep it a fresh, affordable and fun experience."

Among the more unusual exhibits this year will be the "Cruzin Cooler" - a scooter/cooler combo powered by an electric motor.

Why would anyone need or want a motorized ice chest that can carry a case of 24-ounce cans and eight pounds of ice - plus a 250-pound rider - up to 15 miles at a top speed of 13 miles an hour?

Because it's "cool, very cool," says Mike Desando, a Springfield-based dealer for the Texas-based company that designed and produces the mobile ice chest. Desando, who will be in Booth A-15, says the device is cool enough to be featured recently on television's Tonight Show.

"Cruzin Cooler combines two basic necessities of life - the ability to have cold food or beverage handy along with the means to get somewhere without walking," according to the company's Web site. "The cooler can be used for hunting, sporting events, races, camping, golf or even a trip to the grocery store to keep your food cold all the way home."

The cooler comes in four different models - two electric powered and two gasoline powered - and has a retractable steering column and foot pegs, pneumatic tires and disk brakes. Prices start at $349.

Available accessories include a towable, non-motorized cooler/wagon, padded seat and backrest.

Desandro says the device is ideal for motor home owners (`put it inside the storage compartment, park the motor home, take it out and ride it to the recreation center") and fishermen (`toss one in your drift boat, then take it out and ride back to get your rig").

"If a guy was handicapped, he could even drive one of these in the mall," Desando said. "I've got a guy in Roseburg, he rides his to the video store every day."

As usual, there will be plenty of boats and accessories for sale at the show.

But never before, Pate says, has the Eugene boat show featured anything quite like the Nomad 25-foot Trailerable Houseboat, which offers "all the amenities of home" on the water, or in the RV park. The company's Web site says the Nomad 25 can be used as a house trailer or a houseboat.

New entertainment at this year's show will be the "Predators of the Sky" shows put on by Joe Krathwohl, the "Birdman of Las Vegas." Scheduled to appear with Krathwohl are an Andean Condor, vulture, hawks, falcons, owls and other exotic birds. Four shows are scheduled Friday, five on Saturday and three on Sunday. Many of the birds will be on display throughout the weekend for "photo opportunities."

Also making its Eugene debut this year, Pate said, is the Realtree's Greatest Deer of the West Display - a 14-mount exhibit that includes the world record atypical mule deer, which scored over 339 points on the Boone and Crockett scale.

Back for encore appearances will be the 50-foot live fish tank, the fish pond, archery range and shooting range for kids.

Fly-casting demonstrations will again be offered on the hour throughout the show at the McKenzie Angler Fly Casting Pool, where fly-tying demonstrations will begin on the half-hour.

There'll be new faces and familiar ones among the exhibitors offering to book hunting and/or fishing adventures as far-flung as Alaska and Africa.

Likewise at the "Sportsmen's Theater," where on-the-hour educational presentations are scheduled on topics ranging from "Fly Fishing for Fall Chinook" and "Sturgeon and Walleye Tactics" to "Waterfowl Hunting in the Klamath Basin" and "Boone & Crockett Field Judging and Scoring."

BOAT SHOW BASICS

What: 34th annual Eugene Boat and Sportsmen's Show, featuring outdoor recreation goods, and services, seminars and "how-to" demonstrations.

When: Noon to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Lane County Fairgrounds Convention Center, 13th and Jefferson streets in Eugene.

How much: General admission is $6 for adults, or $4 on Friday and Sunday with a discount coupon available from sponsoring Bi-Mart Stores. Children under the age of 12 are $1 and those under 5 are free.

- Source: ExpoSure
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Title Annotation:Recreation; The `Cruzin Cooler' is among the attractions at the Fairgrounds this year
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jan 30, 2007
Words:879
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