Like any conference, SHOT Show exists to get eyeballs looking at products. One of the easiest ways to do that is via the tried and true “booth babe” concept that our editorial staff has covered endlessly in previous years. Sex sells, and having cleavage appears to still get asses in seats metaphorically speaking. The other tried and true, albeit more expensive method, is to get a celebrity of some importance to come by for an hour or so. This year, Brownells brought out Lou Ferrigno for a rifle giveaway, and Aimpoint brought out former World’s Strongest Man, Magnus Samuelsson. But nobody read their audience better than Gerber, who brought a real live mother effing bald eagle to the booth.
Naturally, Gerber doesn’t own an eagle. But they did contract with the American Eagle Foundation to bring Challenger each day for photo opportunities and a review of AEF’s work to educate the human population on the importance of birds of prey.
I’m not above a gimmick, and I certainly can’t resist the opportunity to take a picture with a real live bald eagle. Many thanks to Gerber, the AEF, and Challenger’s handler, Laura Sterbens, for the education and my new LinkedIn photo.