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Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Yankee Sportsman's Classic - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Yankee Sportsman's Classic

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ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. -

With more taxidermy, flannel and camo than you can shake a stick at the Yankee Sportsman's Classic is bigger than ever and celebrating 21 years in Vermont.

"It's been a big hit ever since. We've been growing and growing and growing; we've outgrown this building, but we have no more room to," organizer Frank Stanley said.

With so much to see and hear, it's no surprise the event will attract an estimated 15,000 this year.

Reporter Gina Bullard: Do you always talk with a call in your mouth?

Ken Hammel: I can. Some people choke.

Hammel of Mountain Hollow Game Calls in New York puts up exhibits at 16 shows a year, but says the Yankee Classic is his favorite. He says his calls have created a large consumer base in Vermont.

Studies show that 62 percent of Vermonters either fish, hunt or just watch the state's wildlife. With hundreds of booths to fawn over at the Yankee Sportsman's Classic, organizers say this event is for the whole family.

"One of our main goals is to get youth in touch with nature, hunting and fishing, and getting away from the TV and the crazy video games," Stanley said.

I got away from my TV job to try my hand at target practice with a bow. And getting more women involved is also a goal for the state. Jennifer Hirchak of Hyde Park is the perfect candidate. She's hoping to learn how to hunt.

"We have all boys and I figure I might as well join them and be outside and see what it's all about," Hirchak said.

Click here for more on the Yankee Sportsman's Classic.

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