on Sep 11, 2013 10:14 AM • Views 4140

Wildlife Enforcement Sgt. Andy Waldorf provides instruction on how to shoot an air rifle to Claudette Hozenbackez, 8, of Fayetteville at the Pechmann Center Wildlife Expo in 2012.

Media Contact: Jodie B. Owen

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 11, 2013) — Families looking for something free and fun to do in the outdoors should head over to the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center on Sept. 28 for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s sixth annual Wildlife Expo.

The Wildlife Expo, which runs from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., highlights fishing, hunting and wildlife conservation in the Tar Heel state. It is one of seven events hosted or supported by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission in celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day in North Carolina 2013.

The Wildlife Expo will have more than 15 hands-on activities and demonstrations where participants can connect with nature while testing their outdoor skills. Activities include kayaking, archery,air rifle shooting, and fishing for catfish, largemouth bass and bluegill in one of four ponds.  Expo visitors also can learn how to cast a fly-rod, identify aquatic insects and create their own fishing lures. 

Expo visitors can get an up-close view of some of the more common frogs, salamanders and toads that call coastal North Carolina home at the amphibians exhibit while more intrepid visitors can reach out and touch — literally — some non-venomous snakes native to North Carolina at the reptile exhibit.

At the honeybee exhibit, visitors can learn about the fascinating world of honeybees and the sweet business of bee husbandry.

Back by popular demand is the Sensory Safari, a 25-foot, kid-friendly wildlife exhibit-on-wheels. Expo visitors can listen to bird calls, see animal mounts, handle pelts of some common mammals and learn much more about the diverse wildlife found in North Carolina. 

Participants 15 years old and younger who visit all exhibits and complete a “wildlife passport” will be entered into a prize drawing. In addition to the grand prize lifetime sportsman license, prizes include fishing rods and reels, tackle boxes and gift certificates to AK McCallum. All participants also receive free Fish-for-Fun bags filled with fishing-related goodies.

“This is always a great event mainly because of our sponsors and exhibitors,” said Kristopher Smith, Pechmann Center director. “This is the only event held at the Pechmann Center that has exhibitors from all different backgrounds.  Being able to experience outdoor sports like kayaking and archery, while also enjoying live animals, makes this a great family event.”

Smith encourages expo visitors to bring sunscreen, portable chairs and their own fishing equipment and bait, although a limited number of free loaner rods and reels will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

National Hunting and Fishing Day in North Carolina is part of a larger, nationwide celebration held every fourth Saturday in September and formalized by Congress in 1972 to remind the public that conservation depends on funding and leadership from hunters and anglers.

For more information on times,locations and activities for all seven Commission-supported National Hunting and Fishing Day events, visit www.ncwildlife.org/nhfd

For more information on the Wildlife Expo at the Pechmann Center, contact Kristopher Smith at kris.smith@ncwildlife.org; or 910-868-5003, ext. 14.

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