When Nathan Bolton steps up to the stage on Friday, he will bring with him a message of hope - mixed in with a few lessons about dog training.
It's all part of his ministry as the "Sportsman's Chaplain" with By His Grace Gun Dog Training.
Bolton is one of three speakers who will grace the main stage during the 19th Annual MidSouth Tackle, Hunting and Boat Show, taking place Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Grove Civic Center.
The event is from Noon to 9 p.m., on Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday.
Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and military, $5 for children 6 to 12, and free for children 5 and under.
For Bolton, the show provides a way for him to minister to sportsmen and women, as well as the various vendors, taking part in this weekend's show.
Through his ministry, Bolton mixes lessons about dog training tips and tricks, with lessons about hope and living life with Christ.
Bolton said he relates messages of submission and obedience and line work with having a relationship with God.
He also uses the opportunity to help encourage others. Recently his ministry has helped a young boy obtain a needed track chair.
He's also started matching up emergency personnel - fire, police and EMS workers - with top level guides, so the men and women who serve their various communities are able to have hunting and fishing trips of a lifetime.
When he's not traveling within to outdoor shows, Bolton is the associate pastor for Straight Gate Church in Claremore.
"As a pastor, the number one thing I'm asked for prayers about is the pressures of life," Bolton said. "People have the pressure of the world on their shoulders and they don't know how to handle it.
"I relate it to the pressure of training dogs - and how when you respond to the pressure of life, you begin to live a more fruitful life."
Bolton, who was born legally blind with Retinitis Pigmentosa, also talks about how God has healed him and allowed him to see the world in a new way following cataract surgery.
The surgery, Bolton said, gave him hope because it allowed him to read his Bible without assistance, see his wife's eyes for the first time, and drive a car.
"The damage [from the Retinitis Pigmentosa] is still there, but it's written in my notes miracle," Bolton said. "It's absolutely amazing.
"I like to show what God is capable of doing. It's all about hope. Hope is an action which keeps us going."
Bolton is slated to speak at 1:15 p.m., on Friday, 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, and at 12:15 p.m., on Sunday.
In addition to Bolton's presentations, two other speakers will provide demonstrations throughout the weekend.
Jason Reynolds will present his Fetch-n-Fish Dog Jumping Show at 7 p.m., on Friday, and again at noon and at 3:30 p.m., on Saturday, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Joe Martin will present his Texas Rattle Snake Show at 6 p.m., on Friday, 1 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. on Saturday, and at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Both men, draw avid crowds to their presentations, explained show organizer Vance Montgomery.
About the Show
The show, called a "family-friendly" event with a twist, is sponsored by Montgomery Productions in partnership with presenting sponsors: Gibson Bait & Tackle, LLC, Limit Rodz and Sycamore Springs Ranch.
This is the first time this event has taken place in Grove. It features a wide-variety of fishing tackle dealers, as well as hunting and boat dealers.
As in the past, the show will feature a number of discount tackle dealers, including a variety of smaller companies with products not often found in the big-box stores.
More than 150 companies will be represented during the expo. On Friday evening, the first 500 children in attendance will receive free tackle and hunting supplies during the "Red Balloon" giveaway.
Additionally a trout pond will be set up throughout the weekend, giving children a chance to try their hand at fishing, with some assistance.
Competitors will also have a chance to take part in the 19th Annual Oklahoma State Waterfowl Calling Championship, which serves as a qualifier for the World's Championship Duck Calling Contest, held each November in Stuttgart, Arkansas.
This year the compeition will also feature an amature division - designed for hunters who are good at calling waterfowl, but do not compete on a regular basis. The competition includes a two-man team and a single division, with winners in both competing for a $500 prize.
Throughout Friday evening, adults who visit the show will be entered into a give-away taking place every 30 minutes from 6 to 9 p.m., for eight guns. Montgomery calls it his "Firearm Frenzy."
Participants throughout the entire weekend will have an opportunity to win a custom-made table, designed to the winner's specification, worth close to $8,000.
The table can be similar to ones Montgomery has created in the past two months - including one with a bass fish chasing a bullfrog in the water - which has garnered more than seven million views and 92,000 shares since its initial posting on social media.
His current creation, which will be on display at the show in Grove, features the bass jumping out of the water after bullfrog above the table, and three crappies swimming below the water surface.
He estimates he will put in more than 900 man hours into the piece by the time it is completed.
If the winner is not a fisherman, Montgomery said, the table can be created using a hunting theme.
For more information, persons interested may visit www.montgomeryproductions.com or call 918-343-4868.
Schedule of Events
Friday, Feb. 17
Noon to 9 p.m. - Show opens and Kids Fishing in the Pond
1:15 p.m. - “Sportsman’s Chaplin” Nathan Bolton - By His Grace Gun Dog Training at BASS TUB
6 to 9 p.m. - Firearm Frenzy - Eight guns given away every 30 minutes from 6 to 9 p.m.
6 p.m. - Red Balloon Kids Giveaway - First 500 kids to attend will receive free fishing and hunting products wherever they find vendors with red balloons.
6 p.m. - Joe Martin - Texas Rattle Snake Show
7 p.m. - Jason Reynolds - Fetch and Fish Dog Jumping Show
Saturday, Feb. 18
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. - Show opens and Kids Fishing in the Pond
11:15 a.m. - “Sportsman’s Chaplin” Nathan Bolton - By His Grace Gun Dog Training at BASS TUB
Noon - Jason Reynolds - Fetch and Fish Dog Jumping Show
Noon to 3 p.m. - Mid-South Duck Calling Contest.
1 p.m. - Joe Martin - Texas Rattle Snake Show
3:30 p.m. - Jason Reynolds - Fetch and Fish Dog Jumping Show
4:15 p.m. - Joe Martin - Texas Rattle Snake Show
Sunday, Feb. 19
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. - Show opens and Kids Fishing in the Pond
12:15 p.m. - "Sportsman’s Chaplin” Nathan Bolton - By His Grace Gun Dog Training at BASS TUB
1 p.m. - Joe Martin - Texas Rattle Snake Show
3 p.m. - Jason Reynolds - Fetch and Fish Dog Jumping Show