2018 Speaker Bios:
Every year there are new and exciting things to see, learn, and do at the Yankee Sportsman’s Classic. Take a look below to learn more about the 2017 seminar speakers.
Vermont’s legendary deer hunters, Lanny and Shane Benoit, will be back anchoring a dynamic group of seminars. They will be discussing the high points of their 2016 season, showing video clips of some of their most exciting kills, and answering your questions. In addition to their presentations, the Benoits make themselves available all weekend for one-on-one discussions.
This is the last time the Benoit Brothers will be presenting at the show. Please join the Benoit's, Yankee Staff and special guests to celebrate Vermont's Hunting Family and bid farewell to the Benoit Brothers.
Rainforest Reptile Show
Michael Ralbovsky obtained a BS degree in Biology, but gained his most valuable experience as an animal keeper at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park. In all, Michael has worked with and gained an in-depth knowledge of all twenty-four species of Crocodilians, not to mention the 17’ 9” saltwater crocodile giant at The St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park. Michael currently lives in Beverly, Massachusetts with his wife and business partner, Joaney M. Gallagher, their five children, and lots and lots of animals. Michael started Rainforest Reptile Shows in 1993 to help promote his love of the natural world and his concern for rainforest preservation.
VT Fish and Wildlife Department Seminars
See Seminar Schedule Page for Date, Location & Times.
Vermont’s Deer Herd, Issues and Answers: seminar with Nick Fortin the VTF&W deer biologist.
Whole Deer Processing and Proper Field Dressing: With Theresa and Rodney Elmer.
Bear Processing and Proper Field Dressing: With Theresa and Rodney Elmer.
Vermont Youth Hunting 20th Anniversary Celebration: With VT Fish and Wildlife Staff.
Captain Matt Houser
Captain Houser grew up on the shores of Lake Champlain. Capt. Matt is a USCG Captain and a NYS Licensed Guide who resides in Peru, NY with his family of 3 boys and wife Samantha. Matt is the Bowfishing Specialist at Eastern View Outfitters—the only Licensed and Insured Bowfishing Guide service on Lake Champlain. Captain Matt holds a position for the Town of Peru as a Wastewater Treatment Plant operator during the day. By night he is a Bowfishing expert on the big waters of Lake Champlain! With nearly 20 years of experience probing the water for prime time Bowfishing action—He knows Lake Champlain and what it takes to be successful Guiding guests Bowfishing throughout the year! Come check out the seminar! We aim to provide an introductory and informative session on Bowfishing a sport safe and fun for all ages and experience levels. See you at the show!
Ken Hammel grew up in Altoona Pennsylvania and has been a whitetail hunting fanatic since the age of 12. He has 30 years of experience hunting the North American whitetail deer, in fact in 10 consecutive deer seasons he harvested bucks scoring 130 to 189 7/8inches on the Boone and Crockett Gross scale. He also has harvested three Giant Whitetails scoring over 170 inches, all on public land where anyone can hunt. Ken is a nationally known caller and hunter. His expertise in hunting the whitetail deer has allowed him to be successful in the many States and Canadian Provinces that he hunts. He has harvested over 100 whitetails in his lifetime, 70 percent of them being bucks. His knowledge on how to rattle in the big North American whitetail deer is second to none. He has rattled, called, and used scents in order to be successful time and time again. Come along and listen to Ken speak on how to help you understand how to rattle in those incredible big whitetails to your tree stand in your neck of the woods. Ken is the Owner of Mountain Hollow Game Calls, Inc. Because of his knowledge of rattling, building grunt calls, and using deer scents, his seminars will help you, the deer hunter, outwit that big buck of a lifetime.
Jim Massett and Joe DiNitto
Jim Massett is a living deer hunting legend. He has been the subject of countless articles and defines the Adirondack deer hunting tradition. Joe DiNitto, Massett's younger counterpart has also built a reputation as one of the East's premiere deer slayers. Over the past 12 years the average age of a buck taken by DiNitto is 6½ years and most have been killed within 3 days after he has begun hunting – a good portion of them on the first day. Together, Massett and DiNitto deliver an incredibly dynamic seminar. Many have called it "the finest seminar on deer and tracking methods" that they have ever seen.
The Big Woods Bucks Team – Hal Blood
Master Maine Guide Hal Blood is a special breed of deer hunter. Hal has tracked thousands of bucks over his lifetime. By chasing that many bucks wherever they might go, Hal has been able to unlock the mysterious life that a mature Big Woods Buck leads. Hal has mastered the core fundamentals and woodsman skills needed to kill any game on this continent. Hal has developed a “system” to teach these fundamentals to help shorten a hunters learning curve and help them be successful and consistent in the pursuit of any game animal.
Jim is a native Vermonter who now lives in Fairfax VT with his wife and two sons. Jim grew up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and has had a passion for hunting since he was a child. Over the last 20 years Jim has devoted much of his hunting time towards the hunting of Black Bears. Jim has been successful in harvesting Black bears in Vermont and Canada. Jim’s primary method of hunting is from the ground with Archery tackle. Jim has appeared on WCAX Wildlife Watch and has conducted several seminars for the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife on Black Bear hunting.
Have Your Trophy Officially Scored
The Vermont Big Game Trophy Club will be on hand with scorers representing the following clubs: MASTC, NHASTC, NBBC, P&Y, B&C, and VBGTC. These nationally acclaimed scorers will be able to officially score any species of North American Big Game. The Vermont Big Game Trophy Club is a non-profit organization and utilizes a network of volunteer measures throughout the state to measure trophies and forward this information to the VBGTC offices for inclusion I their records keeping program. For more information, check out Vermont-big-gametrophyclub.com.
The Whitetails of North America Collection
The Whitetails of North America Collection created by John Laberge of Vergennes, Vermont includes many of the world’s most famous bucks. Standing above all, as full mount replicas, are the current World Record Typical, The Milo Hansen Buck, and the Non-Typical world record, The Missouri Monarch Buck. The collection currently includes over forty, spectacular whitetail typical and nontypical giants from across the continent. Come see this newly created collection of the biggest whitetails that have ever lived.
Nate Smead is a native Vermonter who is passionate about hunting and fishing, especially ice fishing.
He was the 2015 Angler of the Year and overall winner of the Champlain Valley Hardwater Tournament Series.
He finished 32nd in the 2015 NAIFC National Championship on Mille Lacs Lake in Isle, Minnesota.
Nate loves to share his passion for ice fishing with anyone he meets. He advocates for sportsman’s issues for the Vermont Traditions Coalition.
Celebrity Whtetail Symposium
Please join us and moderator Bradley Carleton for the 6th Annual Celebrity Whitetail Symposium, Saturday, Jan 21st from l:15-2:30pm upstairs in the Expo Center seminar room. This year Benoit Brothers, Hal Blood, Bob Howe, Jim Massett, Joe DiNitto Ken Hammel and others will all be on stage to answer your questions.
For over 35 years, Vermont native Clark Johnson has been bow hunting whitetail deer and has taken many mature bucks. Through years of research into deer biology and behavior Clark has applied this knowledge and found success in state after state, from New England to the Midwest. And an integral part of this success has been his effective use of decoys. Learn his techniques for yourself and enjoy the results!
2013 NWTF Roger Latham Award Winner! Joe’s Journey as a sportsman began at the age of 10 as he followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and was fully entrenched in the outdoor scene by the age of 18. In 1976, while turkey hunting he met Dick Kirby who had just founded a company called Quaker Boy Game Calls. Ten years later, with much success and knowledge having been acquired by both men, Joe was asked to join the prestigious Quaker Boy Prostaff and thus another segment of his outdoor career had begun.
Since that time Joe has traveled throughout the country producing outdoor videos, instructing at seminars and clinics, while at the same time honing his own skills along the way. Joes has pursued everything from Maine moose to Alabama mallards. His expertise as an “over the Edge” turkey hunter is well known throughout the Northeast. He has appeared on the Quaker Boy Video Series and has assisted many celebrities and countless sportsmen in their turkey hunting adventures. He is a member of the RealTree Advisory Team and the Alpen Optics Pro-Staff and has served two terms as President of the Massachusetts State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. He writes an outdoor column and hosts his local cable show called On The Ridge. He is dedicated to the future of hunting, so please stop by and introduce yourself.
Bob Howe began hunting and trapping at age 10, he has a wealth of knowledge about the outdoors that astonishes people of all ages and levels of expertise!. He took his information about predators and the successful harvesting of them from a hunters view to a guides view when he became the owner of Pine Grove Lodge in 1998. His guests can attest that he gives them tips that nobody else ever thought of.
Matt grew up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and lives there currently. He is an outdoorsman, runner, coach, writer, military veteran and Physical Therapist who is dedicated to helping hunters address the physical performance side of their outdoor pursuits. His background allows him to assist people of all fitness levels achieve their goals. He has had numerous adventures across northern New England, the Rocky Mountain west and many places in between.
Jim is a Registered Maine Guide and Professional Licensed Wyoming Big Game Guide. He has taken over a dozen whitetail bucks dressing over 200 lbs, as well as 10 other species of North America Big Game. As a professional guide, he has led hundreds of clients on successful hunts for whitetails, black bear , moose, antelope, mule deer and elk in Maine and Wyoming. His passion and love for North American big game animals has been a lifelong interest and he has spent thousands of hours studying and observing these animals in an effort to understand their habits and behaviors and how that knowledge can lead to greater hunting success and enjoyment of the outdoors. Sharing his observations and thoughts on big game habitat and habits is both a pleasure and privilege. Jim and his wife spend nine months of the year in The Rocky Mountains of Northwestern Wyoming and the balance of the year along The Mid Coast of Maine.
A New Hampshire Guide and YouTube star, Jeff consistently harvests big bucks in the big woods. He'll share his method of eScouting to target new locations holding big bucks whether it's on snow or dry ground. Jeff is a BWB producer and family man.
Lee is a Master Maine Guide and operates Schanz's Guide Service with locations in Cornville and Pleasant Ridge, Maine. He has been guiding moose hunters for the last 16 years and has many trophy class bulls to his credit. His son, Stephen, has returned to their family business after 5 years service in the U.S. Marine Corps. They are continuing the great tradition of guiding in their home state and proud to be part of the "Big Woods Bucks" team.
Live Hunting Dog Demonstrations by Mike and Jen Wagner
The owners of Dusty W German Shorthaired Pointer Mike and Jen guide, train, and breed German Shorthaired Pointers . Although they own GSP's, they train all breeds of gun dogs in a stress free environment with a lot of positive reinforcement making it fun for the dog. Their belief is that your dog should be in the house part of the family as well as a hunting partner, all dogs in for training stay with them in the house as one of their own. They've trained all levels of dogs, from gun shy dogs, older dogs who have never hunted, to dogs who have achieved their AKC hunt tests of all levels. Mike and Jen have been on Pennsylvania Outdoor Life and will be appearing again to do a follow up show on a puppy that was shown in the original segment. Their client list includes former NFL Player Tony Siragosa, also from Man Caves, Aaron Tippin the country singer, and Ryan Newman the NASCAR driver.