August 11-13 was an amazing weekend for Just Hunt Club and Northeastern hunters as a whole. Hunstock at Wildwood farms in Westminster Massachusetts showcased our hunting community and heritage in a way that made me more appreciative and proud to be a hunter than I have in a long while.
Dubbed America’s re-invented hunting expo it was abundantly clear that for the second year in a row Pat Guyette of @huntsuburbia and company proved just that. Myself and others at our booth would struggle to spend as much time as we do at Huntstock at a traditional type of show. Instead we found some of us getting two extra days at the farm, one day before and after the show, mainly for set up, but also to spend more time with the great people that are a part of Huntstock.
For me personally there were 3 standout highlights from the show this year. The first was how the show more than doubled in size compared to the inaugural year in 2022. I didn’t even get time to see all the booths I wanted to see, which is a good problem to have. The seminar and outdoor education stages were staked with amazing knowledge and wisdom. The treatment and accommodations for the vendors also had tremendous improvements with a lot more space for camping as well as air conditioned bathrooms with showers. The number of companies and sponsors that were a part of Huntstock this year seemed like it quadrupled. The same can be said about attendees. The flow of people moving through booths was constant and filled with really cool like minded hunters who were easy to chat with! I’m not sure on numbers, but it seemed like there were even more giveaways than last year which I didn’t think would be possible.
It’s really cool to see Pat’s vision continuing to grow and manifest itself. It was clear early on that Pat addressed the very few problem points I remember noticing last year and I know that trend will continue. One notable improvement was the dirt floor in the main barn. They changed the material and added calcium so there would be no dust in the air and the difference was huge. All in all Huntstock handles its growth as precisely as anyone could ask for and I am excited to watch that continue over time.
The second standout highlight was the community feeling behind the whole event. I remember noticing it last year, just how many like minded people were in the same place, and how unique and special that is. This year, that was intensified by all of last year's familiar faces. It was really cool to have so many attendees come up to our booth that I remembered just from chatting last year. Vendors too, seeing so many familiar faces that are back for the same reasons you are heightened that feeling of community. I can already see that same feeling doubling down next year with all of the first year attendees from this year coming back. It’s an atmosphere that snowballs more and more each year, and is only going to get stronger.
Also for us to be able to spend so much quality time with friends from our partners means a lot to us and especially me. Guys like Drew and Tyler from Mossberg and Weston from Trophyline. It was a highlight of the weekend, getting to spend quality time with those guys that I had been wanting for some time. It is definitely challenging for us to get together so I appreciated that time with those guys. That’s just another way Huntstock brings people together for the right reasons.
Lastly, how much fun is available at huntstock fires me up. It is awesome to see so many smiling people as you walk around. Having the 3D-course and all the detail that went into setting that up is a massive opportunity for so many archers that come to Huntstock. Even the creativity at booths added to the fun. Eric with Bow Hunt Mass comes to mind with his cornhole toss giveaway, and Beyond the Boundaries booth with dozens of moose antlers laying all over the ground, and lots of other creative ideas. Other cool games like the trail camera competition with trail cameras placed around the farm for people to pose in front of. Heck even the bounce house, good food, and abundance of beer adds to the fun! There is no shortage of fun at Huntstock, whether it’s the people you meet or the games and giveaways anyone would be hard pressed to not have a blast in an atmosphere like that.
After talking with Pat, I know there are only bigger and better things to come for Huntstock events and I know all of Just Hunt Club is excited to be a part of it! I really believe Huntstock is a game changer for the future of hunting expos and I can’t recommend it enough.