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Originally featured Sept. 4, 2014, in the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Weekly Wildlife News.
Oklahoma Wildlife Expo

Fishing in the pond is always among the most popular outdoor activities each year at the Oklahoma Wildlife Expo. (Photo by Darrin Hill/ODWC)

Have you ever tried tossing an atlatl? How about goose-knocking? Or flint knapping? You’ll have your chance to experience all of those outdoors at the 2014 Oklahoma Wildlife Expo.

Presented by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, the free event will take place from 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.

“Your whole family will be able to see and do so many things outside on the Expo grounds,” said Rhonda Hurst, coordinator of the event for the Wildlife Department. “From outdoor skills to wildlife education to fishing or just plain fun, our activities planned outside the arena are going to be some real crowd-pleasers!”

The atlatl is a type of spear that is launched over the shoulder using an ancient technique. Expo visitors will have an opportunity to try their hand at tossing the atlatl, just as ancient hunters did thousands of years ago.

Youngsters will get a kick out of goose-knocking, in which they try to knock over metal goose silhouettes by throwing a stick at them. And everyone will marvel at the skill of flint knappers, folks who create points and tools from stones right before your eyes!

As always, children and adults will be able to wet a line in the stocked fishing pond as part of a Wildlife Department Family Fishing Clinic. Other fishing-related activities will be found outside, including a fishing lure make-n-take, basic fly-fishing instruction, tying fishing knots and fish cleaning seminars. Bowfishing also makes a comeback for 2014! Guests will be able to try their hand shooting at simulated fish targets in the pond.

Many highly popular activities at the Expo involve the shooting sports. Visitors will find outdoor areas devoted to archery, pellet gun shooting and slingshot shooting. The Wildlife Department’s Shotgun Training Education Program will set up a range where guests can try to shoot a flying clay target with a shotgun.

“The Expo’s outdoor offerings will also include plenty of craft booths and wildlife conservation-related activities where guests can learn about our outdoor heritage,” Hurst said.

Activity booths will include basket weaving make-n-take, bullet casting, bluebird house make-n-take, rope making, wildlife bling make-n-take, play in the sand, monkey bridge, ride a utility vehicle, mountain bikes, tent camping basics and dog training area.

Several venues will focus on wildlife, including the watchable wildlife seminar tent, birding optics course, bird feeding station, Texas horned lizard corral, furs and skulls booth and watchable wildlife area. And don’t be surprised if the wonderful aroma of baking biscuits leads you to the Camp Cookin’ in the Heartland site, where experts will be using Dutch ovens in campfires to rustle up some mighty tasty grub!

All of these things and more will be found outside on the grounds around the Lazy E Arena. But don’t forget about the dozens of booths and activities that you can explore inside, too! And it’s all free.

For more information and a list of activities you’ll find at the 2014 Wildlife Expo, visit wildlifedepartmentexpo.com.