OK: Wildlife Expo gets families outside

Visitors to the 2011 Oklahoma Wildlife Expo Sept. 24-25 will
have a chance to catch a fish, shoot a bow and arrow or shotgun,
ride a mountain bike, float in a kayak, pet an alligator and even
sample wild game meat and camp cooking.

The Wildlife Expo is a free public event designed to generate
interest in the outdoors while providing hands-on learning
opportunities. Hosted by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife
Conservation in partnership with a range of other state agencies,
businesses, organizations and volunteers, the Expo is the state’s
largest outdoor recreation event.

“The wildlife Expo is a unique, one-of-a-kind experience for the
whole family,” said Rhonda Hurst, Expo coordinator for the Wildlife
Department. “Where else can you go spend the day actively
participating in everything from tossing an atlatl to paddling a
kayak? You can touch native reptiles and see bats up close. You can
catch a fish or shoot a bow. You can learn about wildlife from
birds to worms and how to conserve Oklahoma’s resources for future
generations. You are sure to find your favorite outdoor activity as
well as discover some new ones, and the best part is that it’s
free!”

Some opportunities at the Expo are considered common and popular
among outdoorsman – such as fishing at a pond or shooting a shotgun
– while others, like tanning a buffalo hide with primitive tools or
even experiencing a mock bowfishing trip, will be new experiences
for all involved.

“The idea is to provide an absolutely free opportunity for people
to come see all that Oklahoma’s outdoors have to offer,” Hurst
said. Hurst is confident that getting people interested in the
outdoors leads to heightened awareness about the importance of
wildlife conservation.

The Wildlife Expo will be held at the Lazy E Arena, just north of
Oklahoma City. Expo hours will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept.
24-25. The event draws thousands of people every year for a weekend
of outdoor recreation and education.

The Expo features archery and firearms ranges, a stocked fishing
pond, bird watching areas, mountain bike trails, ATV test ride
courses, Dutch oven cooking seminars, and even an indoor pond used
for kayaking and sporting dog demonstrations. The event also
features free wild game samples, live wildlife, and booths and
activities that provide information, learning opportunities and
recreation. Though admission and activities at the event are all
free, visitors can shop at the Expo’s Outdoor Marketplace, a large
area where vendors will be showcasing their outdoor-related goods
and services.

Log on to the all-new wildlifedepartment.com regularly to stay up
to date on this year’s Expo activities.

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