Developed as an annual giveaway to promote the agency's magazine, the Wildlife in North Carolina button made its debut at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s State Fair exhibit in 1981. Since then, it has become a “must-have” collector’s item for thousands of people who visit the exhibit each year.
Over the past 40 years, a variety of animals — see list by year below — have made an appearance on the buttons. The buttons have become so popular that many exhibit visitors stop by the Wildlife Commission’s State Fair exhibit just to pick up the latest wildlife button.
While there’s no known monetary value associated with owning an entire button collection, some buttons have more appeal than others. For instance, the 1996 button is a hot collectors’ item — and almost impossible to find — not because it features the rascally raccoon, but because the raccoon has no eyes.
Start your collection by stopping by the Wildlife Resources Commission exhibit at the State Fair!