RALEIGH, N.C. (Oct. 10, 2012) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will have a family-friendly presence at the 2012 North Carolina State Fair, with plenty of interactive opportunities for all ages.
This year’s exhibit celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program.
Visitors to the Wildlife Commission’s State Fair tent can experience hands-on activities, such as the Hunter Education Program’s popular air rifle target range, wild turkey calling with box calls, a “picture yourself as a sportsman” photo booth, and the Sensory Safari. The Commission’s mobile aquarium also will be on display, featuring largemouth bass, bluegill and longnose gar in a “coastal river” tank, and smallmouth bass, brook trout and brown trout in a “mountain reservoir” tank.
The exhibit highlights dynamic conservation activities, such as the statewide wild turkey restoration and regional smallmouth bass management, which exemplify how funding from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Fund is used to create and improve hunting and fishing opportunities for North Carolinians.
“Through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Fund, hunters, anglers and boaters support fish and wildlife management, restoration of species, wildlife education and hunter safety, as well as construction and maintenance of public access on the water and the land,” said Margaret Martin, who coordinated development of the Wildlife Commission’s State Fair exhibit. “It’s the most successful conservation program in history, having pumped more than $258 million into North Carolina projects.”
This year’s Wildlife in North Carolina magazine button — a free, traditional State Fair keepsake — features the smallmouth bass, a favorite sport fish found in the western part of the state. Visitors to the Commission’s fair exhibit will be encouraged to plan “fishing staycations” to tangle with smallmouth bass, along with brook, brown and rainbow trout in the beautiful western North Carolina mountains. Visitors also can subscribe to Wildlife in North Carolina magazine and register to win a Leupold scope.
Commission biologists, educators and wildlife officers will answer questions, provide literature and staff the N.C. WILD Store where visitors can purchase books or the Wildlife Commission’s award-winning calendar.
The State Fair also will mark the debut of the N.C. Wild Store’s special new Wildlife Commission T-shirt, with the front featuring the smallmouth bass art from this year’s fair button superimposed over the agency’s wildlife diamond logo and the back featuring all 32 previous State Fair buttons dating back to the original squirrel button in 1981. Funding for the T-shirt was provided by Neuse Sport Shop in Kinston, with all proceeds from T-shirts sold at the State Fair benefitting the Wildlife Diversity Program.
The 2012 North Carolina State Fair runs Oct. 11-21. The fairgrounds are located at 1025 Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh, with general information available online at www.ncstatefair.org. The Wildlife Resources Commission exhibit is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with the exception of Oct. 11, when hours will be 3-8 p.m. in conjunction with reduced State Fair hours.