A full day of free family fun is in store for visitors to the Oklahoma Wildlife Expo, hosted by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation on Sept. 22-23 at the Lazy E Arena near Guthrie. (Darrin Hill/ODWC)
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Have Your-selfie Some Fun at Free Wildlife Expo on Sept. 22-23
How about spending a weekend fishing, shooting clay targets and learning about wildlife — all for free? That’s what you can do when you attend the 2018 Wildlife Expo on Sept. 22-23 at the Lazy E Arena near Guthrie.
Since 2005, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has presented the Wildlife Expo to encourage people to get outdoors, to educate the public, and to preserve and promote the future of Oklahoma’s hunting and fishing heritage.
“The Wildlife Expo is a great opportunity to help folks learn how to enjoy the outdoors and broaden their ideas of playing outside,” said Rhonda Hurst, Expo coordinator.
“Most people are familiar with being outdoors for sports, but do they think about going for a hike with a field guide and identifying birds, insects and wild animals? What about spending the afternoon at a Close To Home Fishing location and wetting a line with a bobber and a cup of worms, or having family night building a bluebird box to hang on the fence?”
Wildlife Expo provides an opportunity to learn about the Wildlife Department’s different management activities and about enforcement of wildlife laws, as well as learn about other organizations, agencies, landowners and businesses that play a significant role in conserving Oklahoma’s wildlife as well as preserving the hunting and fishing heritage. The Expo will emphasize educational opportunities, skills and stewardship necessary to ensure proper wildlife and land management through responsible hunting, fishing, and outdoor skill techniques.
“The outdoors is filled with opportunities for everyone, whether you like to hunt and fish or simply appreciate the magnificent flora and fauna that are all around us, but yet we are sometimes too busy to notice,” Hurst said.
Visitors are invited to interact with Wildlife Department personnel — the stewards who manage, protect and enhance the state’s wildlife resources. No matter what your favorite hobbies are or how old you are, there is something at Expo for everyone.
Featured events include family fishing clinics, Shotgun Training Education Program, and Archery in the Schools. Other outdoor activities at Expo include a pellet rifle range, dog training demonstration area, bowfishing, creating natural art, Dutch oven cooking, and many more.
You can cool off inside the arena, where dozens of booths will allow you to learn more about the Wildlife Department’s wildlife and habitat management activities, and get to know some of the Department’s conservation partners and Expo sponsors. The Oklahoma Land Access Program and Operation Game Thief are among many Department booths. Partners including Terry’s Taxidermy, Oklahoma Mesonet and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, along with many more, will have booths with folks waiting for you to stop and visit.
New this year are selfie stations, which will be found throughout the grounds. Instead of taking your instaperfect picture in the middle of a crowd, head to one of the four themed selfie stations. Two will be inside and two outside. Make sure you put the tag #WildlifeExpo on your photos!
Keep an eye on Facebook (Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation), Instagram (@OutdoorOk), and twitter (@OKWildlifeDept) for more information and live-streaming during the Expo. The hashtag #WildlifeExpo can be searched on any of our social media to check out what others are doing at Expo and to show off your personal favorites.
Expo hours will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Everything sponsored by the Wildlife Department is free, including parking. Lazy E Arena vendors will be selling food and drinks throughout the arena and grounds. For more information, go to www.wildlifedepartment.com/expo.