Everyone who visits the free Oklahoma Wildlife Expo can find dozens of opportunities to experience various outdoor activities firsthand. The Wildlife Department event Sept. 26-27 at the Lazy E Arena just north of Oklahoma City is designed to showcase Oklahoma’s wildlife and natural resources, and ways we can all enjoy them.
Among the many hands-on activities that visitors can try is bowfishing at the pond. In the Expo’s 10 years, the bowfishing venue has become a crowd favorite.
“If you want to have a fun and successful experience, come on down and try bowfishing,” said Kurt Kuklinski, fisheries biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and supervisor of the bowfishing venue at Expo.
Combine a fishing reel and a compound bow, take aim and let the arrow fly! Visitors will be able to experience what it’s like to shoot a carp or gar target in the water from a floating pontoon boat. You just might discover you have the skill to take up this enjoyable sport.
“Whether you are 6 or 60, you can shoot bows at fish targets,” Kuklinski said. “It’s hard not to walk away without a smile.”
One of the big appeals to the bowfishing venue, Kuklinski said, is that it is visually gratifying. Shooters are able to take aim with the blunt-end target arrow and immediately see if their shot hits the foam fish targets that are anchored in the pond. Shots range from 5 to 15 yards, and “there’s a high rate of success,” he said.
“We’ve had people tell us that after they tried bowfishing at the Expo, they then actually went out and participated in the sport,” Kuklinski said. It’s an activity that doesn’t require a hefty investment in equipment.
Visitors will find plenty of other fishing-related activities at the Expo:
- Family Fishing Clinic at the pond.
- Casting Kids.
- Fish Cleaning Seminar.
- Fishing Lure Make-n-Take.
- Fishing Simulator.
- Noodling 101.
- Common Sport Fish of Oklahoma Aquarium.
- Underwater Oklahoma with Live Fish Cam.
- Fish Hatchery Booths.
- Oklahoma Stream Fish Identification.
- Wooden Fish Carving.
- Fishing Knots and Know How.
- Kayak Fishing.
- Jug Line Float.
- Fly Tying.
- Cast Netting 101.
- Basic Fly Fishing Instruction.
- Paddlefish Research Center Booth.
“In short, the Expo is a celebration of everything outdoors in the state of Oklahoma,” said Rhonda Hurst, Wildlife Expo coordinator for the Wildlife Department. “We want you to leave the Expo with a new appreciation for wildlife and the hobbies of hunting, fishing and wildlife watching.”
The Wildlife Expo has its own website at wildlifedepartmentexpo.com. Log onto the site to find out the latest information, including how to get to the event, lists of activities and events, and answers to frequently asked questions.
Expo hours will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission and parking are free. Be sure to mark your calendar now and make plans to be a part of the fun at the 2015 Oklahoma Wildlife Expo!