DESCRIBED as the biggest hunting and fishing expo in the Asia-Pacific, the Wild Deer Hunting, Guiding and Fishing Expo enjoyed a homecoming of sorts over the weekend.
The expo returned to Myrtleford for the first time since 2010, taking place in the Myrtleford Tobacco Complex and hosting hundreds of exhibitors.
Organisers were expecting to have up to 10,000 people attend the two-day event, and after day one Daniel Burke said the crowd had lived up to their expectations.
Such was the early success of the return to Myrtleford, Mr Burke said the possibly of the event moving from a biennial to annual expo was on the table.
“It’s been huge, it’s certainly what I’d hoped for,” he said.
“We get big crowds in Bendigo, a lot of people coming for a look, but from an exhibitor point of view it’s a better crowd for them (in Myrtleford) because everyone is walking home with bags and bags of stuff.
“A few of them have said they’ve got to go home and re-stock because they’ve sold everything.”
The expo has run every two years since it started in Wodonga in 2008, but Mr Burke indicated the show could become an annual fixture in Myrtleford.
“We’d love to run it in Myrtleford again,” he said.
“We’re thinking of ramping it up and doing it every year, if we can make it work, we will.
“We looked at the Myrtleford shed about 10 years ago, but we just couldn’t make it work.
“It’s been a pretty hard slog to get everything right to make it work, but we’ve done it.
“The council support has been amazing, same from the town, everyone is happy for us to be here.
“Everyone is saying they want us to come back, so that’s a good thing.
“It’s always a bit of a challenge when you go somewhere new, but believe in your heart and the money will follow.
“If we’ve got guys going home with empty trucks and trailers, then I’ve done my job.”
More than 500 exhibitors packed into the 250 sites available at the Tobacco Complex for the show, which included taxidermy, fishing gear and swags.