In many ways, it’s one of the biggest weeks of the year for hunters across North Texas.


And that’s true even though there’s not a single hunting season that is currently open anywhere around the area.


But you wouldn’t know that starting this weekend — today, to be exact — where not one, but two big hunting shows will begin their August run down in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.


First up is the granddaddy of all Texas outdoor hunting shows, the annual Texas Trophy Hunter Association’s Hunter’s Extravaganza, which is currently gearing up for its three-day Aug. 11-13 run this weekend at the Fort Worth Convention Center.


The 41st edition of the TTHA show kicks off today down in Cowtown with the doors opening up from 3-8 p.m. Tomorrow on Saturday, the show will be open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. And on Sunday, the Hunter’s Extravaganza doors are open from 10 a.m. until the show closes down at 5 p.m.


Headlining the event this weekend will be Eva Shockey, the queen of the whitetail and big game hunting world. In addition to becoming a cover girl for Field & Stream magazine a few years ago, Shockey is a regular television show co-host on a variety of hunting programs shown on Outdoor Channel and My Outdoors TV (MOTV).


Shockey will also be joined by Texas’ very own Dr. Deer, otherwise known as Dr. James Kroll, a regular contributor to North American Whitetail magazine as well as a co-host of the NAW television show. Kroll is world renowned for his whitetail expertise and still serves as a wildlife and forestry professor emeritus at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches.


Aside from the celebrity appearances and seminars that the show will feature, the Extravaganza will once again contain a wall-to-wall display of hundreds of vendor booths showing hunters and outdoorsmen the latest and greatest in deer hunting gear, hunting clothing and accessories, hunting rifles and shotguns, bows and archery tackle, hunting knives, deer stands, deer feeders, game cameras and more.


In addition to all of the equipment and gear mentioned above, a number of outfitters will be in attendance offering fall and winter hunt specials for everything from Muy Grande white-tailed deer down in South Texas to Rio Grande turkeys in the Hill Country to waterfowl and dove along the Gulf Coast and up in the Texas Panhandle.


In short, if it has anything to do with hunting whitetails, big game, waterfowl, dove, turkey, quail and small game in the state of Texas, then it will be front and center this weekend down in Fort Worth.


Need something to keep the kids entertained while you shop the various vendor booths for the latest hunting gear? Then keep in mind that there will also be a variety of food vendors, cooking displays, a mechanical bull ride and even a junior angler fish catching tank.


Also back this year are the Extravaganza’s popular snake and alligator displays. They include a huge pit of slithering rattlesnakes from Joe Martin’s Snakes of Texas along with some swamp lizards shown off by Gator Country Alligators.


Show attendees that join the TTHA this weekend will have a chance to win a Kawasaki Mule SX. In addition, a variety of outdoors gear, sporting firearms and fall hunts are also going to reportedly be given away to a few lucky few.


Ticket prices are $10 for adults; $5 for teenagers (13-17 years old); and $15-$20 for multi-day passes. Kids ages 12 and under are free as are active military members and veterans (with an ID). Members of TTHA are admitted free today and platinum life members of TTHA are admitted free all weekend.


For information on the granddaddy of all Texas hunting shows, visit the TTHA Web site at www.ttha.com.


Also opening up today is the annual August run of Bass Pro Shops’ well known Fall Hunting Classic at both the Grapevine and Garland store locations.


The annual event will kick off today, running from Aug. 11 until Aug. 27 this month at both locations. In addition to special store displays, food vendors and fall hunting seminars, there will be a variety of special sales going on for the latest in hunting gear and clothing.


If you need to stock up on such things as camo clothing, waders, decoys, hunting ammunition, rifles and shotguns, game feeders, trail cameras and much more, then you might want to stop buy and visit one of the two Metroplex BPS locations for some of the best outdoors shopping deals of the fall.


For more information on the Bass Pro Shops’ Fall Classic, visit the BPS Web site at www.basspro.com.


If the two hunting shows mentioned above get you into the mood for fall hunting seasons that begin in just a couple of weeks, then there’s a very important step that hunters can take this week all across the Lone Star State.


And that step is to buy your new Texas hunting and/or fishing license when they start being sold this next Tuesday, Aug. 15 at locations all across the state according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.


The new 2017-2018 licenses are necessary of course since all current Texas hunting and fishing licenses — except for the state’s year-to-date fishing licenses — are set to expire later this month on Aug. 31.


That dilemma can be remedied starting this next week at more than 1,700 retail vendors across the state including many right here in the Grayson County area.


Licenses are also available at the 28 TPWD field offices scattered around the state as well as at more than 50 TPWD state parks found across Texas.


For those who prefer to shop from the privacy of their own homes, the online option is also available at www.tpwd.texas.gov/buy.


The agency says in its news release that more than 2.4 million hunting and fishing licenses get sold by TPWD every year. Of those sales, the revenue that is generated pays for a wide variety of conservation efforts and outdoors recreational opportunities across the Lone Star State.


Such activities include fish stocking at water bodies around the state, management of wildlife on a wide variety of public lands, restoration of wildlife and fisheries habitat where needed, the leasing of lands for public hunting programs, fishing and boating access permits on rivers across the state, and the supply of TPWD Game Wardens that patrol Texas each year.


For more information on the sale of new hunting and/or fishing licenses, call TPWD toll free at 800-792-1112 or visit TPWD’s superb Web site at www.tpwd.texas.gov.