download     So I'm sitting here, feeling sorry for myself, because I'm missing the SHOT show, which is the biggest event in the hunting and shooting industry. It's winding down now. It is the 38th show, having its beginnings in St. Louis in 1979. SHOT stands for Shooting, Hunting Outdoor Trade.

I'm missing it because the doc says I can't travel yet, because I'm recovering from open heart surgery. This is the second SHOT I've missed. The first was the debut St. Louis show, which attracted 5600 attendees in 1979. Being the first ever, many folks didn't attend because it had no history. Interestingly, the second-ever show was in San Francisco, which can never happen today because of California's gun laws, but also because there are only a couple convention centers in the country that are big enough to host the show. They're In Orlando and Vegas (Sands Expo). Last year, 64,000 people attended in Vegas. This year, the show had more than 1600 exhibitors who displayed their products along 12 1/2 miles of aisles.

     This is a trade-only show, reserved for folks in the industry. I'm particular bummed, not only because I'm missing the show where new and old products are introduced and displayed, but because every evening a bunch of us gather at the Circle Bar in the Venetian. Our group includes mostly editors, writers and publishers, where many tall tales and lies are shared, and a few libations are enjoyed. Next year I'm there!