Sportsman’s jamboree time is here again
She’s a pretty tough old bird. She suffered with everybody else following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, relinquished her spot in the limelight during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 but every other September, she’s been there sharing information and entertainment that people have enjoyed for the past 31 years.
She’s having a birthday – she’ll be celebrating number 32 Thursday night, September 15, and she’s inviting everybody to her party.
I speak, as you have probably figured out, of the Sportsman’s Jamboree, an event born on a September night in 1980. The Ruston Civic Center was the birthing room where a group of guys, myself included, invited the public to attend a meeting to discuss such topics as hunting ethics, safety and the rights of property owners. As the crowd size has grown each year, the Jamboree moved a dozen or so years ago and has been held each September at the Thomas Assembly Center at LA Tech.
From the 200 or so attendees at that initial meeting, the event now hosts more than 1,000 men, women and youngsters and has evolved into a full-blown sportsmen’s venue, attracting nationally known speakers, vendor booths displaying the latest in outdoor products and door prizes totaling thousands of dollars.
Only in 2005 when Katrina was having her way with south Louisiana was the Jamboree cancelled; the Tulane University football team was uprooted from New Orleans and LA Tech officials graciously offered their facilities, including the Thomas Assembly Center, for these temporarily displaced folks. Sometimes the thing to do in crisis situations is to step aside and yield to more pressing circumstances. Katrina was, indeed, pressing and the Jamboree was cancelled that year.
In 2001, everything was in order for the 21st Annual Sportsman’s Jamboree set for September 13 with nationally known outdoor channel celebrity, Jay Gregory, scheduled as guest speaker. Two days prior, terrorists attacked our country and everything ground to a stand-still, including air travel.
Gregory was unable to fly in so the Jamboree was held without a guest speaker that year.
One of the features of the Sportsman’s Jamboree is the fact that the event has always been free to the public. Only through the generosity of local and area companies, businesses and government entities is this possible.
Not only is there free admission but attendees will walk away with valuable door prizes and raffle items that night.
The format for the program is quite simple. Area law enforcement and wildlife officials will be on hand to share new laws and regulations as well as giving an overview of the mast crop and browse situation hunters will encounter this fall and winter.
Door and raffle prizes will be awarded throughout the evening with the final event being the presentation by the guest speaker.
This year, the Jamboree is fortunate to have one of Louisiana’s own as guest speaker. Jimmy Stafford is a wildlife biologist who currently serves as Resident Small Game and Wild Turkey Program Leader for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Stafford is a graduate of Louisiana Tech and has worked for the LDWF for 29 years.
Outdoorsmen, women and youngsters, now is the time to mark your calendars for the 32nd Annual Sportsman’s Jamboree to be held Thursday September 15 at the Thomas Assembly Center at LA Tech. Doors open at 4 with program beginning around 6 pm. We’ll be there – if another hurricane doesn’t chase us away
Glynn Harris Outdoors is proudly sponsored by DSK, Ltd. of Minden.