Redding Sportsman's Expo
The North State's Great Outdoors
By Jon Lewis
Photo courtesy of Dustin Janc
Dustin Janc is happiest when he’s outdoors, on the trail of deer and elk, angling for trout or trying to outsmart a wild turkey.
Sometimes, though, the weather, work and family obligations keep him out of the woods and off the water. It was during one of those idle stretches when the Cottonwood resident got to thinking. Wouldn’t it be cool, he thought, if Redding had an off-season event tailored for outdoors lovers like himself?
About 18 months ago, he posed that question to his mother-in-law, Angie Gurrola, who co-owns Mesa Productions with her husband Rick and has a wealth of experience in promoting concerts and events. She agreed, but offered up one caveat: you better do a bang-up job or your event will be a one-and-done flash in the pan.
Janc took that advice to heart. He enlisted sponsors, lined up exhibitors, booked the Civic Auditorium, spread the word and hoped for the best. Some 10,000 people came through the doors during that weekend in April and the Redding Sportsman’s Expo was on the map.
Buoyed by that reception, Janc is back and ready to officially tab the expo as an annual event, with Round Two set for the first weekend in April.
“I noticed this was kind of lacking. There were just no outdoors-oriented events. And one day it kind of clicked and with the help of my in-laws, I put something together,” Janc says. He adds that it doesn’t hurt that Redding is basically Ground Zero for outdoor recreation.
Janc also was able to take advantage of the contacts he’s developed through Out West Outdoors, a video production company he operates with three fellow hunting enthusiasts. “I reached out to them and they knew a lot of people who wanted to come,” he says.
More than 100 exhibitors will be on hand to interact with people interested in boating, hiking, fly fishing, kayaking, camping, mountain biking, hunting and anything else pertaining to the outdoors. Visitors can learn about local hunts, book a fishing guide, attend seminars on fly-fishing, fly tying and big-game hunting and enjoy hunting and fishing videos.
Retailers scheduled to have representatives on hand include Sportsman’s Warehouse, Down Range Indoor Training Center, Girls with Guns Clothing, Olde West Gun & Loan, Bastiani Arms, Nor Cal Arms, Crown Motors, Redding Yamaha Sea Doo Can-Am, Harrison’s Marine & RV, Deadeye Outfitters Apparel and
People looking for more active pursuits can visit an archery range or play a game of archery tag using protective gear and special arrows tipped with what appear to be giant marshmallows. The more adventurous can traverse a 260-foot zip line or scurry up a climbing wall.
Refreshments will be available in the beer garden and a few local restaurants will be operating food booths. Janc says every visitor will automatically be entered into a raffle for a gun, a gun safe and other prizes. “Other vendors will offer raffles too. Attendees will have a chance to win prizes by just walking in the door.”
When he isn’t out in the woods or organizing the expo, Janc stays busy with his job as a supervisor at Costco. Janc and his wife, Karli, are the parents of son Easton and daughter Addison. Janc says both kids enjoy hunting and fishing and tag along on trips whenever they can.
Janc says his personal preferences on hunting lean more toward deer, elk, wild pigs and turkeys. For fishing, he favors streams
and creeks, “but to tell you the truth, I’ll fish anywhere. I just like to get outside.” •
Redding Civic Auditorium • www.reddingsportsmansexpo.com
9 am to 5 pm Saturday, April 1• 9 am to 4 pm Sunday, April 2