“Hunters, start your engines!”

That seems like an appropriate enough sentiment this weekend given the fact that new Texas Parks and Wildlife Department hunting and fishing licenses go on sale at local vendors Wednesday, Aug. 15, not to mention the fact that the Sept. 1 Dove season opener is waiting in the wings.

Which means that the timing of not one, but two hunting shows this weekend down in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex is just about perfect.

First up is the 43rd annual Texas Trophy Hunters Association’s Hunters Extravaganza show (www.ttha.com), the so-called granddaddy of them all. This year’s North Texas show starts its Aug. 10-12 run later today at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

This weekend’s TTHA Hunters Extravaganza event will see ticket prices of $15 for a full weekend pass, $10 per day (adults), and $5 per day (kids 13-17). There is also free parking and a shuttle service being offered.

Show times for the Fort Worth Hunters Extravaganza event are 3-8 p.m. today on Friday, Aug. 10; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow on Saturday, Aug. 11; and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 12.

As noted in this space previously, there are hundreds of Hunters Extravaganza booths to check out this weekend with everything from Texas hunting guides offering outfitted hunts and trips to all kinds of hunting gear and deer lease equipment booths to deer mount exhibits and even a Gator Country show.

Look for several top flight seminars to be held as well. One will be Cole Tanner as he discusses deer hunting with ozone scent elimination technology. A lot of bowhunters in the big buck rich American Midwest are familiar with this tactic. But for many rifle-toting deer hunters occupying tower blinds, box blinds, and tripod stands here in Texas, the technology is still somewhat unknown.

Two other seminars worth your time will be when North American Whitetail magazine columnist and NAW TV show co-star Dr. James C. Kroll, the well known wildlife management professor emeritus down at Stephen F. Austin State University, steps to the stage.

Known to many as Dr. Deer, the Nacogdoches resident will be discussing dry climate food plots in Texas along with key facts about the whitetail rut that many Lone Star State deer hunters may not know.

In addition to Dr. Kroll’s seminar appearances, Outdoor Channel television stars Michael Waddell and Travis “T-Bone” Turner will also be on hand in Fort Worth this weekend to meet and greet fans of their Bone Collector TV show.

But keep in mind that the TTHA Hunters Extravaganza this weekend is merely a start, not an ending to upcoming hunting events scheduled here in North Texas. Because also happening this weekend is the 2018 version of Bass Pro Shops’ Fall Hunting Classic (www.BassPro.com), which is starting its Aug. 10-19 run at the Garland and Grapevine BPS store locations.

While Johnny Morris’ BPS store locations have drifted away in recent years from the practice of bringing in big time television and video hunting stars like Mossy Oak’s Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland or Realtree’s David Blanton to greet fans and do seminars, there are still plenty of seminars by local experts along with special events for everyone — including youngsters — who attend.

Perhaps the biggest and best reason for heading to the BPS Fall Hunting Classic over the next few days are the huge sales on hunting clothes, hunting footwear, hunting gear, shotguns, rifles, bows, arrows, broadheads, decoys, calls and optics that hunters will need this fall.

And since Johnny Morris now owns the Cabela’s chain of stores, look for Fall Hunting Classic sale prices to also be found on gear at the Allen and Fort Worth Cabela’s store locations too.

Of course, with today’s arrival of the Aug. 10-12 tax free weekend here in Texas, there are also several local merchants who are gearing up for 2018 hunting seasons as they get ready to arrive here in the Denison and Sherman area. All of these local merchants have their own sales and special emphasis going on for hunting clothes, gear, and gadgets.

One is Orvie Cantrell, Jr. and his Big O’s Archery Shop in Sherman on Texoma Parkway. Another is the new Orscheln’s store in the old Gander Mountain building. And then there is the local Academy Sports and Outdoors store managed by Mike Hoops, a location where many new hunting licenses and shotguns shells will be sold over the next few weeks. And of course, the two local Walmart stores in Denison and Sherman will also be busy selling hunting goods too.

What does all of this mean? Simple, if you like dove hunting, duck hunting, goose hunting, hog hunting, or deer hunting, then this is a weekend tailor made for you.

Now that 2018 hunting seasons are literally just around the corner, and with all of the North Texas events and sales going on for hunting gear, you might want to be sure to leave a little extra space in the back of your pickup truck over the next few days.

Because with the current TTHA Hunter Extravaganza, the BPS Fall Hunting Classic, and plenty more happening at various store locations, who needs Christmas in July?

For Texomaland hunters, an early Christmas in mid-August will do just fine.