RALEIGH, N.C. (Sept. 30, 2014) – Learn about the many outdoor opportunities the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission offers the public by visiting the agency’s State Fair exhibit in Raleigh from Oct. 16-26.
The exhibit, located downhill from the Village of Yesteryear, is open from 3-8 p.m. on Oct. 16 and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Oct. 17-26.
New displays for the fair this year are a tundra swan exhibit that showcases the seasonal abundance of swans in the coastal region, and an elk display, complete with a bull elk mount and antlers, which highlights the growing and popular elk herd in western North Carolina.
Another new display for the fair features a motorized, all-terrain vehicle, or trackchair — one of nine trackchairs donated to the Commission for use by mobility-impaired people ages 16 and up. The trackchairs will be available to the public at the Commission’s wildlife education centers and Lentz Hunter Ed Complex. Trackchairs also will be used at some Commission-sponsored events for disabled sportsmen.
Back by popular demand are the air rifle range, staffed by wildlife enforcement officers and hunter education specialists, which gives visitors an opportunity to hone shooting skills, and the Sensory Safari, a 24-foot, kid-friendly wildlife exhibit that will help visitors learn about North Carolina’s wildlife by listening to the sounds of birds, seeing animal mounts and handling pelts of some common mammals.
Younger visitors can test their fishing skills in a replica pond full of magnetic fish and can practice their trailering skills using a model truck, boat, trailer and boat ramp.
Visitors of all ages can test their fish identification skills at the mobile aquarium, which has twin, 300-gallon tanks containing coldwater fish, such as brook, brown and rainbow trout, in one tank and warmwater fish, like largemouth bass and longnose gar, in the other tank.
The N.C. Department of Agriculture has designated Oct. 20 as “Youth Day” and the Commission will be part of a fairground-wide scavenger hunt.
At the N.C. WILD Store, visitors can purchase wildlife-related publications, such as the mountain and coastal guides of the N.C. Birding Trail, as well as the agency’s 2015 wildlife calendar. They also can pick up a free copy of Wildlife in North Carolina magazine and subscribe to the award-winning magazine. Visitors who purchase or renew a magazine subscription will get a free Wildlife in North Carolina cap.
This year’s Wildlife in North Carolina magazine button — a free, traditional State Fair keepsake — depicts a tundra swan, a large, all-white waterfowl that winters along North Carolina’s coast before flying back to the tundra across the northern reaches of North America for breeding. To complement the button, the Wildlife Commission developed a tundra swan T-shirt for sale featuring the agency’s wildlife logo and tundra swan on the front and larger tundra swan image on the back.
T-shirts, which cost $12 for youth and $15 for adults, were donated by Neuse Sport Shop of Kinston, with all proceeds benefitting the Commission’s Wildlife Diversity Program.
“Our goal when planning our State Fair exhibit was to encourage people to get outdoors and experience the abundant and diverse wildlife of North Carolina — from watching the flocks of waterfowl that overwinter here, to fishing at a public fishing area, to hunting on the state’s many game lands,” said State Fair Committee Chair Margaret Martin. “The interactive, hands-on activities for both adults and kids at the fair showcase the many ways to enjoy our state’s wildlife.”
The fairgrounds are located at 1025 Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh. State fair staff can be contacted at (919) 821-7400. General information is available on the N.C. State Fair Web site, www.ncstatefair.org.