By Ken Piper
-- MONTGOMERY, Ala., Aug. 17, 2007 - Hunting is big business in Alabama, and thanks to the support of the state, city and county, one of hunting's biggest events is returning to Montgomery in 2008.
Photo: Buckmasters founder and CEO Jackie Bushman speaks at a press conference announcing the return of the Buckmasters Expo to Montgomery, Ala. Sen. Roger Bedford (seated) and Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright were on hand as part of a multi-government effort to help bring the event back to Alabama.
The Buckmasters Expo, which generated approximately $13 million for the Montgomery-area economy in 2004, has been held in North Carolina for the past three years. But a newly-expanded Civic Center, along with support from state, city and county governments, is bringing the Expo back on Aug. 15-18, 2008.
The Buckmasters Expo features exhibitors, vendors and family entertainment from various areas of the hunting industry. The 2004 Expo drew visitors from 44 states to shop and take in the sights and sounds of Montgomery. Past Expo attractions included more than 350 vendors, the Top Bow Indoor World Archery Championship, antler scoring, a golf tournament, a state-certified hunter-safety course, boat rides, hands-on gear testing and more.
"We are very excited about bringing the event back to Montgomery," said Buckmasters founder and CEO Jackie Bushman. "This is something for the whole family, and to put together an event at the level and quality of the Expo requires the help and support of the state, city and county. The 2008 Expo is going to be better than ever and will be the biggest indoor/outdoor outdoors event in the country.
"We couldn't have done this without the support of Gov. Bob Riley; Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright; The Montgomery County Commission and Chairman Todd Strange; Sen. Roger Bedford (D-6); State Rep. John Knight (D-77); Lee Sentell, Director of the Alabama Dept. of Tourism; and Ron Sparks, Commissioner of the Alabama Dept. of Agriculture and Industries."