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.