Students can learn at Dixie Deer Classic

CorrespondentJanuary 3, 2013 

The 33rd Dixie Deer Classic wildlife exposition and its popular Youth Day are two months away, but it’s time to start planning to learn about everything from turkeys and quail to aquatic biology.

Jan. 30 is the deadline for applications for the Wildlife Conservation Through Education Youth Day classes and seminars March 1 at the Jim Graham Building and the Exposition Center at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.

“If they want to attend classes formally on that day, then they need to get signed up,” said Jim Hudson, spokesman for the Wake County Wildlife Club, which conducts the March 1-3 show. “Then there will be seminars that will be youth appropriate throughout the Classic for the whole three days. There just won’t be just kids in the classes.”

The program offers sessions for preschool through high school. Public and private schools and home-schoolers are welcome.

“Last year in particular, schools had difficulty with financing field trips,” Hudson said. “So this year we’re offering a stipend to help each school, each class, pay for their transportation. The stipend should cover the entire cost of the transportation. Because of that, and because of the interest in the classes and the fact that they are meeting the (state Department of Public Instruction) core curriculum standard, it’s not just fun trip, it’s also a certified, if you will, education experience.”

Registration is not necessary for the show but is required for Youth Day classes. Contact Beth Gunn of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission at 919-707-0205 or Watch for updates.

On March 1, show admission will be $5 for ages 13 and older, military, seniors 65 and older and women. Ages 12 and under always get in free. For schedules, go to

TV personalities visiting: The Dixie Deer Classic’s list of personalities affiliated with outdoors TV shows keeps growing with the return of Rachel Ahtila, who will be the Youth Day motivational speaker.

Ahtila is a videographer for “Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures” and is a British Columbia hunting guide who specializes in bear hunts.

Ahtila “just has personality plus,” event spokesman Jim Hudson said. “She’s very enthusiastic about bringing people into hunting but particularly youth and women.”

Among other personalities scheduled to appear over the weekend are Steven Rinella, host of the new show “MeatEater” on the Sportsman Channel, Pat Reeve and Nicole Jones of “Driven TV” on the Outdoor Channel, Tom Miranda of “Territories Wild” on NBC Sports and the Sportsman Channel.

Sharpe promoted: Robert Sharpe of Timberlake has been promoted to captain for District 5, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission said in a news release last week. His duties will include supervising 18 wildlife officers enforcing boating, fishing and hunting regulations in Durham, Orange, Granville, Chatham, Lee, Person, Caswell, Alamance, Randolph, Guilford and Rockingham counties. Sharpe began working for the commission 23 years ago as a wildlife technician.

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