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Oklahoma Wildlife Expo Sept. 27-28

Information from: www.thefishingwire.com

Dozens of fun, free activities are in store indoors and outside at the 2014 Oklahoma Wildlife Expo, which returns Sept. 27-28 at the Lazy E Arena, just north of Oklahoma City.

Presented by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, the Wildlife Expo is an expansive event showcasing wildlife, conservation, hunting and fishing in Oklahoma. Visitors will find plenty of things to see and do outdoors as well as inside the arena.

"The Lazy E Arena will be filled with fun, exciting and educational activities that will appeal to everyone in the family," said Rhonda Hurst, Expo coordinator for the Wildlife Department. "Everyone is invited to come out and spend the day. Admission and parking are free."

Folks can find so many things to see and do inside the arena. A perennial crowd favorite will return as OKC Kayaks offers children the chance to paddle their way around a 220-foot-long lake in the middle of the arena floor! Kayak wranglers will be in the lake to make sure all the little paddlers can maneuver their way around the watery course and back to the loading dock.

"The kayak rides are only just the beginning of all the neat activities you are going to find inside the arena this year," Hurst said.

For people who enjoy fishing, the Expo will offer plenty of chances to satisfy that interest. Indoor booths and activities with a fishing focus will include Cast Netting 101, Juglining and Trotlining 101, Clean Boater Trivia, Fish Identification, Fishing Simulator, Farm Pond Management, Interactive Boater Safety Education and Crappie Fishing Techniques.

Young anglers will be able to develop their lure-tossing skills at the Kids Casting venue. And the Common Sport Fish of Oklahoma Aquarium is always a gathering spot for kids who want to see live bass, catfish and crappie. And, if you've ever wanted to experience what noodling might be like, you'll have your chance at the Noodling 101 booth, where a simulated noodling session awaits you!

If hunting is more up your alley, you'll find plenty of topics to your liking inside the Lazy E. Booths will include Turkey Calling Techniques, Whitetails of Oklahoma, Wild Game Food Safety, Duck Identification, Elk Conservation, Skinning and Tanning, Reloading 101, Upland Game Birds and Big Game of Oklahoma. Visitors will be able to get interactive with Laser Shot, Camo Face Paint and Oklahoma Wildlife: Match the Caliber.

But the indoor offerings are not all about hunting and fishing. Many booths and activities will focus on general wildlife and conservation topics. Among those will be Oklahoma Native Plants and Wildlife, What's Your Wingspan?, Plants to Attract Wildlife, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Bee Observation Hive, Underwater Oklahoma, Oklahoma State Symbols: Test Your Knowledge, Black Bear Research, Oklahoma Falcons and Oklahoma Aquarium: Hands-on Science.

Oklahoma State University Insect Adventure will be on hand to give folks some creepy things to see and touch. And if you have visited Wildlife Expo in previous years, you'll know not to skip the Taste of the Wild booth, where visitors are able to sample portions of wild game and fish prepared by some great cooks!

"All of these wonderful activities are just a sampling of what you'll find indoors this year at the Wildlife Expo," Hurst said. "There will also be lots of activities outdoors on the grounds for everyone. And all of the activities are free!"

The 2014 Wildlife Expo will be 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28, at the Lazy E Arena just north of Oklahoma City. For more information and directions to the Lazy E, go online to wildlifedepartmentexpo.com.

Indoor kayaking at Wildlife Expo.
Children get their paddles in gear as they float around the 220-foot-long indoor lake during a previous Oklahoma Wildlife Expo. Come out and enjoy plenty of indoor and outdoor fun Sept. 27-28 at the Lazy E Arena. Parking, admission and activities are free. (Photo by Darrin Hill/ODWC)

The mission of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is the management of Oklahoma's wildlife resources and habitat to provide scientific, educational, aesthetic, economic and recreational benefits for present and future generations of hunters, anglers and others who appreciate wildlife.